Monday, July 1, 2013

Putah Creek Smackdown

Last Wednesday I went out to Davis to give the Putah Creek 10 mile TT a go for the first time. All the info about this event can be found here, but I'll give you the short version. Every other Wednesday during daylight savings Davis Wheelworks volunteers but on this TT. It's at 6pm, it's free, and it's in the middle of nowhere. The course is a smooth, flat out and back in the middle of farmland, with one 90 degree turn. 

As I drove through fields I was sure I had missed a turn, but all of a sudden in a sea of some kind of plants (I don't eat vegetables, couldn't identify them) there was a congregation of cars, and they weren't rusty farm trucks, but rather new model luxury cars with exotic TT bikes on the top. From these cars emerged speedsuit and aero helmet clad men and women, some local, some from hours away, prepared to ride their bike in the redline for 20-30 minutes. 

I rolled on my bike down the road and there were 2 volunteers and a line of racers. I gave the racers my name, they wrote it down, gave me a number, and I waited to be sent off in my 30 second interval. Unfortunately I was in so much traffic on the way I had no time to warm up, but I felt alright as I headed out.

Never having raced this course or distance my primary goal was to negative split it no matter what, so I went out conservatively. There was a slight headwind and the course is very slightly uphill on the way out, but still I went way too easy as can be seen on the GPS track to follow. At this distance there is no on the bike nutrition needed nor time to stretch out, so my main focus was staying in the most efficient, still position possible, spinning a steady cadence, and keeping my heart rate over 90%.  My time was 13:18 on the way out (22.6mph) and 11:02 on the way in (27.3mph) for an official time of 24:26 (24.5mph). When my vision came back, thoughts of vomiting subsided, and legs resumed function several minutes after crossing the line I noticed my bike, shins, and beard were covered in something odd- bugs!

Aside from my insect goatee the experience was great. You can run anything  you want, teams, tandems, enclosed recumbents, and all of the above were present this Wednesday evening. Another added value to your 0 dollar entry fee is Mark Adkinson of Hors Categorie Photography is out there taking pictures of you that you can grab later on your site for position analysis or showing your fat facebook friends how good you look in a spandex onesie and alien helmet. Going to the middle of nowhere with your bike and riding it as fast as possible for little reason and no glory whatsoever captures the true essence of cycling for me, PCSD is pure cycling and is 100% worth the trip for any greater Bay Area cyclist.

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