Early Season Race Report

Chain of Lakes Start by Hardesty PhotographyIt’s still very early in the racing season, but several events have come and gone. Here is a brief synopsis of the Hourglass riders’ efforts and results in those events. Where possible we will give credit to the riders from our overseeing entity, the KBS team as well. The events will be done in reverse chronological order, so this post can be updated with the most recent event near the top.

Hourglass Cycling Race Report

by John Tenney

Chain of Lakes Cycling Classic 2/28 and 3/1

DH-11The Chain of Lakes race is held in the Fort Meade / Winter Haven area. Last year, I did the TT only. This year I tried the road race. I was joined in the cat 5 / Masters 35B group by several teammates, including Bill Edgbert from Hourglass and KBS riders Tom Elbel, Jose Cabrera, Whit Robinson, Claudio Macieira and a few others. The course was great, relatively smooth roads and only a few easy climbs.

For the first time, I stayed with the main pack for more than half a lap. After a really sharp turn the guy in front of me left a gap and didn’t close. I went around him to try and close up but it was too late, I couldn’t reach the pack. So I dropped back and found a few guys to form the Grupetto. I finished with them, about 20 minutes behind the main pack. No other race group caught us either so I call it a success.

Jose won the Masters 35B division and Tom was 5th in the cat 5. Not sure how the team did in any of the other divisions.

The rain swept in later on, so the Time Trial was cancelled.

I didn’t go to the crit (held Sunday in downtown Winter Haven) but I see from Facebook posts that a couple of the KBS Katz made podiums in the women’s races.

Swamp Classic 2/21 and 2/22

JWT start of TTI’ll only cover the road race and TT as I missed the crit on Sunday. All I know about it is that KBS rider Ed Lally had a nasty crash and ended up with a concussion and stitches. He is OK!

The road race was on a 14 mile loop around Micanopy rural “roads” and I used the term lightly, as the road surface was mostly terrible. Many people enjoyed my comment that I should have brought a cyclocross bike. Numerous flat tires and crashes marred the races. Hopefully the road surfaces are redone before next year’s race. It is very difficult to find remote roads with little traffic and in good shape.

I raced in the combined Masters 35B / Cat 5 with Bill Edgbert from Hourglass, and several riders from KBS including Whit Robinson, Russell Ray, Ed Lally, Josh Jiannuzzi, David Rankin, and Claudio Macieira. I did a lap before for warmup, was worried about making it back and time and I pushed a little hard to get there, only to find a delay as other races were finishing. Once we did start, 30 minutes late, the lactic acid has built up in my legs and BAM I got dropped “like a toaster in a hot tub.” I found a “Grupetto” to ride with but flatted out on my second lap. So much for my race.

In the Masters 35B Ed Lally finished 14th, Claudio 15th, Russell Ray 26th, David Rankin 29th and I am listed in 37th as a DNF, in a field of 40. I am not sure why I am being listed in this group as I registered as Cat 5.

The Cat 5 results were Whit 10th, Josh 13th, and Bill in 25th out of 33 total.

I rode with Walt here for a lap and a half before I flatted out and had to abandon.

I rode with Walt here for a lap and a half before I flatted out and had to abandon.

The Time Trial didn’t start until 4:30. Most of the KBS riders took a shot at this challenging course with a couple of fairly steep climbs and long (long for Florida that is) descents. It was 7 miles long and my goal was to finish under 20 minutes. I managed 20:10 for 11th place out of 12 in Masters 50+. Pretty sure I lost at least 10 seconds in the turnaround as it was very narrow and constricted. My power output was not where I wanted to be though, at an average of 249 watts. I should be able to do 270.

Other HG/KBS results: Masters 35B – Thomas McNiell 4th; Cat 3 – Chris Tricolli 6th; Cat 4 – Chris Hardesty 3rd, Rob Thwaites 9th; Cat 5 – Bill Edgbert 5th; Women Cat 3 – Christy Markel 3rd, Tara Smith 4th.

Power, Speed, HR, Elevation graph for John Tenney's TT

Power, Speed, HR, Elevation graph for John Tenney’s TT

President’s Day 40K Time Trial 2/16

Team-KBSThe second race of the series featured 52 riders and also a team time trial. Neither Hourglass nor KBS were able to field an entry for the TTT as too many of our riders were exhausted at the end of the 40K. Hourglass had two racers with Bill Edgbert and Pat Jennings in the Masters 50+ division. They finished 5th and 6th respectively with new PR times of 1:06:24 and 1:07:30, average speeds of 22.41 and 22.04 mph. KBS did well, with Kyle Markel in 5th, Chris Hardesty in 10th, in Cat 3/4/5, David Rankin 5th in Eddy Merckx, and Debora Haley winning Women Cat 3/4/5.

I was ready to get the bike out and race in the Team TTT but Bill and I couldn’t find a third, and teams must have 3 or 4 riders. Pat was willing but had a long drive back to St. Pete and simply ran out of time. Hopefully we get it going in the Memorial Day race.

Pat Jennings setting a new PR for 40K 1:07:30

Pat Jennings setting a new PR for 40K 1:07:30

Bill Edgbert finishing 40K in 1:06:24 trying to catch Pat

Bill Edgbert finishing 40K in 1:06:24 trying to catch Pat

Race of the West 1/31 and 2/1

HD-01This annual event features challenging terrain in Clermont, FL for the road race, and one of the most scenic criterium / circuit routes I’ve ever seen.

The Saturday circuit / crit course rides around a 1.4 mile loop through Ferndale, FL which featured a freshly paved road. High speeds were attained on the new surface. 27 riders were in the Cat 5 race. Bill Edgbert scored a top 10 for the Hourglass team and even though I got dropped right away as a rider fell in front of me at the start, I finished my first crit ever in 23rd, 1 lap down, very pleased not to be last. Jeff Macre finished 13th, the 3rd KBS rider in the race.

The Sunday road race was a loop around 455 and 561, with some climbs including Makeout Mountain, The Wall, the as far as I know unnamed 561 climb, and a long drag uphill on 561A to the finish. Other than traffic concerns it’s a great course. 99% of the Clermont/Ferndale residents are respectful to cyclists but there is always that 1% that scare the life out of you. Always seems to be either a Ford pickup truck or a Prius (go figure.)

Road Race Course for 2015 Race of the West.  A lot of climbing

Road Race Course for 2015 Race of the West. A lot of climbing

I was the only Hourglass racer that day. I never saw Bill and I can’t find him in the results either. Josh Jiannuzzi and Jeff Macre were the other KBS riders in the Cat 5 race with me. About 30 seconds before the start we noticed Jeff’s number was on incorrectly. I unclipped to help him fix it. The ref was gracious and said “just put it on, get going you are going to miss your start” so I rushed it and Jeff got going and barely caught up to the field. I was not so fortunate. I got gapped and never caught up.

My new goal was to avoid being lapped. Approaching the finish of the 1st lap I was caught by the leaders of the Women Cat 4 group. I considered tagging along with them but we had been given a stern warning against drafting with a group different than your own. Still, I found myself riding near Lauren Chandler of the KBS Katz quite a bit that race, as she and Tish Kelly had gotten dropped from the main group. We eventually finished within seconds of each other. They were much faster up the hills but I would catch them on the downhills and flats. I finished my third lap without getting lapped although I knew the Cat 5 leaders were not far behind. I could see the flashing lights of the Lake County Deputy leading them out behind me.

I completed my fourth lap without incident, catching up to Lauren and Tish at the finish. Josh finished 15th, Jeff 20th and I ended up 29th in a field of 30. Not last!

Lauren Chandler and I finished within seconds of each other, although we were not allowed to draft, being in different divisions.

Lauren Chandler and I finished within seconds of each other, although we were not allowed to draft, being in different divisions.

L to R Josh Jiannuzzi 15th, John Tenney 29th, Jeff Macre 20th in RotW Cat 5 road race

L to R Josh Jiannuzzi 15th, John Tenney 29th, Jeff Macre 20th in RotW Cat 5 road race

Race for Humanity 1/24 and 1/25

I missed this race due to illness and have very little knowledge of what happened. I know Bill Edgbert was there, finished the race 26th in Masters 35B but little else. It was very cold, I know that!

MLK Day Time Trial 1/16

KE-03The first of our CFL Holiday Monday 40K TT series was well attended with 40 riders, with several from our overseeing team Kyle’s Bike Shop racing, but only two Hourglass riders (sort of) in the field. Dave Dixon was there but is an “honorary” member at this point. He still has not left his old team due to sponsor obligations. Pat Jennings had to carry the team flag, as I was officiating, and others from the team did not have the holiday off. Pat had a rough day and finished 8th in Masters 50+ with a time of 1:11:23, average speed of 20.8 mph over the 40K course.

The KBS riders did fairly well, with Debora Haley on the podium, 2nd place in Women Cat3/4/5, and Mark Chandler in 2nd place Men Cat 3/4/5. Kyle Markel, Chris Hardesty, Luis Lora and Rigo Gonzalez also placed in the Cat 3/4/5 field.

Team Kyle's Bike Shop minus Pat and myself who somehow missed the picture

Team Kyle’s Bike Shop minus Pat and myself who somehow missed the picture

Cross Season is Over

MTB-podium-from-ClaudioI‘ve always been fascinated by Cyclocross racing. When Stuart Beal and Carlos Iglesias asked me to go with them to a “Cross Race” in Clermont a few years ago I was curious. It’s kind of hard to figure out why it exists, really. I mean, who thought up taping off a section of a field, putting obstacles like sand pits and barriers, and adding sections called “run ups” anyway?

Whoever “They” are, I’m glad they did. It’s hard to have more fun on a bicycle. Safe too, as there are no cars on the course (well except for a van driving down the West Orange Trail today (?) Oh and except for the road section at Infinity. Oh and Lakeland. OK there aren’t many cars on the course.) OK maybe it isn’t totally safe but it’s safer than riding down a busy road any day.

Lost Van (out of state plates) driving down the West Orange Trail.  Only in Florida!

Lost Van (out of state plates) driving down the West Orange Trail. Only in Florida!

It’s also very challenging. The course designers love to go out and find spots that will test you, like ditches, off camber turns, very long sandy sections and very steep hills, both up and down. I’ve never been competitive as a racer but I’ve always been excited about trying to figure out how to get around these courses without having to jump off the bike, or worse, falling off.

The 2014-15 Season

As September approached I told my coach at the time (Dave Severn) that I wanted to take a stab at a few cross races, maybe even the whole FRS series. He agreed to help me do better at the races and customized my training plan for certain cyclocross talents and strengths needed. I went in to the season expecting to be last or second to last, just like all the other races I’d been to in previous years. And of course, my first race at Wicked Awesome Race #1 (WAR) in Dade City was pretty much that. I don’t have a cross bike (yet) so I show up with my Giant aluminum 29er hard tail and do the best I can. However, the WAR series had something I liked; a mountain bike division. I raced Masters 55+ in the morning but stayed around all day to try the MB race. I know this division is somewhat controversial with the cross “purists”, but not everyone can afford to have another bike just for a few races at the end of the year. My MB is my commuter. I ride around the neighborhood with it (with my wife and kids.) I ride it to the stores, or to doctors appointments or even a few business meetings. It’s also the only bike I have that can handle “off-road” conditions, so this year anyway, it was my cross bike.

Anyway, at WAR #1 a funny thing happened in the MB race. I didn’t finish last. I didn’t even finish 2nd to last. No, I finished 4th out of 6. I actually caught someone. Huh. Maybe this training stuff works. OK I was now interested in going to a lot more races.


I raced in all three WARs, Spooky Cross in Winter Garden, Infinity Cross in Melbourne, Lakeland Cross and finally today, the final race of the season, Orlando Cross (in Clermont of course!)

No one was more surprised than me when I started doing better. At Lakeland I actually caught and passed Claudio Macieira, an A rider, during the Cat 4 race. I finished 14th out of 27, exactly mid-pack. I was still last or second to last in all the Masters races, but those are some serious riders in that group. Guys like Brian Davis, Steve Noble, Dan Sullivan, etc. In those races I just fought not to get lapped twice.

I noticed something else, too. The new USA Cycling points system rewards you for racing with people above your level. I was getting excellent points for finishing last in Masters races, even better than mid-pack in Cat 4. And then something unbelievable happened at WAR #2. On Saturday, they called me up to the podium for the Mountain Bike race. I had finished 3rd out of 7. This was a big deal for me. I had never been on a cycling podium before.

My first time on a cycling podium.  Third place in the Mountain Bike division at WAR #2 on Saturday

My first time on a cycling podium. Third place in the Mountain Bike division at WAR #2 on Saturday

I was excited about the Sunday race. I didn’t expect to make a podium again (it turns out John LaManna had a mechanical on Saturday) but I thought hey, there’s always a shot. Well surprise, surprise, only three of us stayed around for the MB race. Me, Mark and Connie Schwab, and Mark was the guy I had caught and passed yesterday. Hey what can happen here? (see this story on that race) As you can see below …

Kayleigh Thornton giving me my medal for my first ever win at a cycling event

Kayleigh Thornton giving me my medal for my first ever win at a cycling event

What’s more, is that I found out later that week (when Josh posted the series standings on Facebook) that I was leading the MB division, with a 4 point lead over two guys tied for second. Series winners received a sharp looking jersey from Mumu apparel. Coach and I decided we wanted to win that jersey. He added strength training and a bunch of cross style exercises on the bike for that purpose.

Long story short, I had enough of a lead to hold off the challenges at WAR #3, even though I did not get another podium.

Winner of MB division for Wicked Awesome Race.  A jersey to remember!

Winner of MB division for Wicked Awesome Race. A jersey to remember!

Next to me was Dave Dixon, who came very close to catching me in points. (The 2nd place finisher had already left.)

Final Race of the Season

Orlando Cross was the final race of the year. Topview had to change the venue to Clermont which made it odd calling it Orlando Cross, but a name is a name. It was a great course. A hard course. The perfect course for the last race of the year. Even though John Paul Russo hates himself for making the course that hard I congratulate he and Tim for doing a great job.

The Masters 55+ only had 7 riders but they all looked very fit and competitive. I started out in last as I usually do but caught one guy right away. Then I caught up to another guy. Then another at 30 minutes in. “This is really amazing” I thought. The last 15 minutes were really hard on me but I held them off and finished 4th. I got an “almost podium” as Topview likes to call up the top 5 riders to encourage more people to race (which is an excellent idea.)

"Almost a podium" 4th at Masters 55+ at Cross Orlando

“Almost a podium” 4th at Masters 55+ at Cross Orlando

I was dead for the Cat 4/5 race but I finished it anyway, 16th out of 20. I have no idea how I will end up in the FRS points standing at this point.


So quite a year huh? I hit the podium, won a race, won a series, won a jersey and most of all, made many new friends and built on relationships with old friends. I even learned how to mount on the run, well at least a fast walk, as opposed to standing there and stepping on the pedal first. I learned a lot and had a lot of fun. I want to shout out to some people I haven’t mentioned yet who made this a great year:

Ted Hollander thanks for your encouragement and advice.
Michael Toth for being the best heckler ever.
Layne Hampton with Hawkdancer Photography for the greatest cycling shots ever.
Team Kyle’s Bike Shop for taking us under their wing and making us feel welcome: Kyle, Christy, Mark and Lauren Chandler, Tara Smith, Rob Thwaites, you are all great people and I look forward to racing with you lots more.
Michael Ploch for trying to catch David Fleet for me so he wouldn’t catch me in the points at WAR.
Nathan Rogut for teaching me how to put on a number, for being a good ref, and for being “my dad” at the races.
Graham Partain for Cross Copter. ’nuff said.
Steve Collins, Gordon Myhre, Patrick O’Shea and all those others who hung with me at the back of the pack so I wouldn’t feel lonely.
If I forgot anyone please yell at me, I can come back and edit this, but remember I am “an old man on a mountain bike.”

So I’m exhausted, totally beat up, sore, etc from today’s race. The end of the season. I’m glad it’s over.

Wait. Is it September yet?

Wicked Awesome Race

Race Report: Wicked Awesome Cyclocross Racing Series

Mark Chandler over the barriersJosh and Kayleigh Thornton were our kind and generous hosts October 18&19 for the second of the Wicked Awesome Race Series weekends. This is a three-weekend race series for Cyclocross competitors, held under USA Cycling rules. Cyclocross, aka “CX”, is a fast growing sport in Central Florida, and throughout the country as well.

The Wicked Awesome Race (WAR) series is turning out to be a cornerstone in the Florida CX scene. With a total of six race days, and opportunities to do multiple races each day, there are a lot of USA Cycling ranking points to be had.

The Venue

All three weekend events are held in the vicinity of Dade City, FL. Weekend 1 was in Stanley Park. Weekend 2, which this report will feature, was in John S Burks Memorial Park.

The Course

It seemed Josh looked for every sandy, off camber turn he could find and put the tapes around them. Those generous with words declared it a “technical” course while others had less flattering things to say. It’s supposed to be challenging and it was. Several turns were on steep downhill sections with random piles of sand thrown in just to make it interesting.

Off Camber, Downhill Turns

The riders were challenged by the frequency of off-camber, downhill turns

The course changed during the weekend as well, getting softer and more difficult after each pass of frenetic riders. The dew on the grass early Sunday morning made the M35,45,55 class rather interesting as well, as the corners became quite slippery.


Weather was perfect for the weekend: scattered clouds, no rain and temps between 70 and 85 for all races.

Race Reports (John Tenney)

I am fairly new to cyclocross. In fact, I still use my 29er mountain bike. One of these days I will get a cross bike, if my wife will let me. I enter races with my 29er and do my best. I often get lapped but it is a fun time anyway. The cross racers are always friendly and though they may kid you a bit when they heckle you from the sidelines, they are always polite when they pass you on the course.

I got there slightly later than I wanted so I did not have time to preview the course before my Masters 35,45,55+ race. My first lap was my preview. Wow. That was interesting. I didn’t fall but I unclipped a lot. Many narrow turns, off camber, through piles of sand, on the edge of cliffs, etc. I have to remember that the Masters races are 45 minutes long, too. It was a long time to be at or above threshold heart rate.

I kept pushing because I had a “rabbit” in front of me most of the way and caught him just before the finish. Turns out he was not in my group. I finished 7th out of 8, and 8th place had a mechanical. I was still happy I finished 5 laps in 52 minutes.

My next race wasn’t until 5:30. I mostly rode around the park keeping my aching and lactic acid filled legs warm, but I did manage a lap just prior to the Mountain Bike / Single Speed race, and noticed that the course had changed. It was more “dug up” and even more difficult. I started out slowly, as I was pretty spent from the day. My training paid off though, as I began to pick it up. I registered my fastest lap of the weekend during this race, a 9:04, which although is not that great compared to the 6 minutes plus the guys were doing on cross bikes, it felt pretty good to me. There was another mountain biker in front of me though, and he was getting closer. I realized I had a chance to catch someone. I avoided the temptation to get excited and speed up to him. I figured (correctly) that if I was gaining on him now I would continue to do so. I kept on “racing the course” instead of racing the other rider. Eventually, I caught up to him on one of the steep downhill turns, and he let me by. Then I started worrying. Would he speed up and catch me? Short story: no. He steadily dropped back throughout the rest of the race. I crossed the finish line after my fourth lap in just about exactly 40 minutes.

Mark Schwab, a rider about the same level as me.  Makes it interesting to have someone to race!

Mark Schwab, a rider about the same level as me. Makes it interesting to have someone to race!

I found him in the parking lot, introduced myself and thanked him for inspiring me. Mark Schwab turned out to be a friend of a friend, John LaManna. We stayed around John’s tent, talked and had a beer after the races. Then he informed me they were looking for me at the podium. What? I had finished third? My first ever podium in a cycling event.
My first time on a cycling podium.  Third place in the Mountain Bike division

My first time on a cycling podium. Third place in the Mountain Bike division

During our post race beer and analysis, we discussed the course (of course) and both decided that it would be worth it to try using flat pedals on Sunday, as opposed to clipped in pedals. (Some people wrongly call them clipless pedals. The correct term, from the clip and strap days, would be strapless pedals!)

As you will see, it was a good call …


My "Sanctuary" for the weekend.

My “Sanctuary” for the weekend.

Got there in plenty of time Sunday morning to not only set up my tent/pavilion/sanctuary but also to run a warmup lap. Josh had made two changes to the course, making it longer and more difficult. At least I was expecting these two changes when I got to them.

Perhaps it was the cooler, morning temperatures, but the 45 minute M35,45,55+ race seemed a little easier today. I still got lapped but I also passed many people. It was a bigger field as well. However, I still ended up 2nd to last (9th out of 10) in my division.

The dew on the grass made things interesting. One spot required traversing some tree routes as you navigated a copse of trees. The wet roots caught me, even with flat pedals, and I fell on my side, skinning both knees and my left shin. Didn’t hurt much but it bothered me all day.

Now came the long wait until the MTB race at 2:30. I had some lunch, tried to take a nap, played with my cell phone, and rode around the park some more. I even went and did a slow lap just for the heck of it, and did another right before my race.

It was starting to warm up and I noticed a lot of teams “breaking camp” and leaving. I hoped we had enough for the last race! Turns out there were only three of us on mountain bikes: Mark, his wife Connie and me. Well that guaranteed a podium anyway! Connie told right at the start that she was inexperienced and was going to go very slow and just “get around the course.” Although we both lapped her, she did very well and managed to complete 3 laps.

Connie made the race legal (need three to be scored) so thank you for that!

Connie made the race legal (need three to be scored) so thank you for that!

As I expected, Mark took off from me at the start. Same as yesterday. I kept my patience. I kept reminding myself “race the course, not the competition.” There were some new single speed people who were in the mix. Several times they had pileups in front of me that required me to walk my bike around them. (No one was hurt, they fell in the sand.) I kept patient. I would see Mark off in the distance from time to time. About halfway through the second lap I noticed he was getting closer. Ah ha! I crossed the start/finish line right behind him to start the third lap. (I expected us to get 4 laps in, even though it is only a 30 minute race.

I was not ready to pass him yet though, with 2 laps to go. I did not want to be in the lead position, worrying about him. Several times he looked back at me as if expecting me to pass and several times I slowed down and stayed where I was. There was one section of the course, about 300 yards long, that was on a steady 4 to 5% uphill grade, and through thick grass. It was a tough section that required a lot of effort, although not technical at all. It was on this section that Mark pulled up. I couldn’t stay behind him any more. I passed him, muttering to him “Oh all right, I know this is your strategy move.” But he was done, he had used up his “stuff” and had nothing left. I steadily increased the distance, and crossed the finish line a minute or two ahead of him for my first cycling win ever. Hey, there were only three riders I know, but a win is a win.

I expect Mark will be gunning for me in the next few races. He knows what he has to do now. It will probably be pretty funny to watch us, each trying to let the other one lead.

Timing chart and results for MTB race

Timing chart and results for MTB race

My first win, and it was great to share the podium with Mark and Connie, who are great people.  I love cross racing!

My first win, and it was great to share the podium with Mark and Connie, who are great people. I love cross racing!

Airport Time Trial Summary

Last Airport TT of the Year a Success

by John Tenney
Airport TT #10 line upA successful season came to end on October 7th, as Topview Sports hosted the 10th and final (for this year) Airport Time Trial on Heintzelman Blvd.

This is a popular and successful series. This year, for the first time, overall results were kept and tabulated, and sponsors are providing funds for trophies for several classes (to be awarded at a future date).

Overall results are posted here.

Our own Hourglass Cycling team had several members make the results, including two podiums. Chuck Peabody won the “Eddy Merckx” division, John Tenney placed third in the Masters 50+. Randy Durkee was close behind in 4th in Masters 50+. David Dixon was 6th and Bill Edgbert placed 15th, only making a single race due to scheduling difficulties.

Chuck Peabody, winner of the Eddy Merckx division

Chuck Peabody, winner of the Eddy Merckx division

Randy Durkee - 4th in Masters 50+

Randy Durkee – 4th in Masters 50+

Dave Dixon, (6th Masters 50+) and Connie Houlihan (7th Women Cat 4) after race #10

Dave Dixon, (6th Masters 50+) and Connie Houlihan (7th Women Cat 4) after race #10

Bill Edgbert, 15th in Masters 50+

Bill Edgbert, 15th in Masters 50+

The course and venue have been posted in previous articles.


It started ominously with a rain storm looming to the south.

Fortunately, it moved off to the east and not a drop fell on the course. The temperature was pleasant, in the mid 70s. Other than a nasty wind coming from the south it seemed to be a perfect night.

The light stayed with us until all post race activities, including several announcements by Tim Molyneaux concerning next year’s plans. Stay tuned, as we plan to be involved in the planning stages of next year’s series, including a possible bid for the State TT Championship.

Race Report

John Tenney, 3rd Masters 50+

John Tenney, 3rd Masters 50+

I got a decent warmup but switched to a shallower front wheel due to the wind from the south. This turned out to be unnecessary as the reader will see.

As the race started there was a significant head wind for the “out” part of the out and back. I noticed it right away as my speed was less than it should be for the indicated power output. As I turned the last bend towards the 180 degree turnaround I saw my speed pick up and realized that the wind had died and we would not have a tailwind on the way back. Disappointed!

As expected, when I made the turn the speed did not rise significantly. I realized a PR was only going to possible by burying myself in pain. I picked it up, and the legs started complaining. I really needed Jens Voigt’s “Shut Up Legs” sticker for this section. My goal was to beat 18 minutes, and thus average over 23 mph for the course. This has been my ongoing goal all year. I might have made it if the tailwind had stayed. As it was, I ended up with 18:11 for a 22.92 mph average. A new personal record for me, but of course I am disappointed I didn’t break the 23 mph barrier.

My Power Meter output and analysis for the race

My Power Meter output and analysis for the race

Six Gap Success

9:20 Total Time, Short of the Sub 9:00 Goal but a Personal Record Nonetheless

2014-Six-Gap-JWT-top-of-Hogpen-by-FelixThe last few years I have put the Six Gap Century ride in Dahlonega, GA on the top of my “to-do” list for cycling rides.

It is at the same time the most satisfying and most stressful ride to complete.

This year was my fourth trip to Dahlonega to attempt this ride. That’s right, “attempt.” Finishing is not a given on a challenging ride like this. The ride crosses several mountain passes (“gaps”) on it’s way through the north Georgia spur of the Appalachian Mountain range. The passes in order are: Stonepile Gap, Neel’s Gap, Jack’s Gap, Unicoi Gap, Hogpen Gap, Wolfpen Gap and Woody Gap. If you counted there you might have noticed there are actually seven gaps, although Stonepile is not considered as challenging as the other six.

I mentioned this was my fourth attempt. In 2011 I had just gotten back to cycling and was not realistically thinking of doing the entire ride anyway. There is a Three Gap option which fitted better in to my training level at that time.

In 2012 I was at my lowest weight in recent years (around 215) and completed the ride without mishap, although I considered my 9 hours and 28 minutes total time to be very slow. I spent over an hour in the rest stops (“SAGs”) recovering from the long, fairly steep climbs.

2013 I was doing OK when I had a spoke break at mile 70. I limped along for 7 miles but there was no way I would be able to manage one of those long descents, so I abandoned the ride and got picked up by a support vehicle.

This year I had done a little more training and had taken off a few pounds, so I felt nervous, but confident I could finish the ride, and aimed to do so in less than 9 hours. I also had a new road bike with disc brakes, which would take a lot of the stress out of the steep, curvy (technical) descents.

I was pleased to travel to and from the event with Carter Lane, another East Orlando cyclist. We got along very well and it reduced the stress quite a bit to have someone to share driving, lodging and meals with. Thank you Carter, it was very easy to travel with you.

The Course and Venue

The ride is put on by the Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce. It starts and ends in the parking lot of the county high school, just outside the village of Dahlonega, GA. It’s approximately 104 miles in length, and advertises 11,280 feet of vertical ascent over the mountains. The weather is usually brisk, in the 50s in the morning and up to high 70s mid afternoon. Most of the roads are in pretty good shape but there are no bike lanes on the course, so you are sharing the road with Georgia “country gentlemen” in F-150 pick up trucks with loud horns and bad attitudes. Gets a little scary at times.

Parking is a problem. The event is so well attended that the High School parking lot is not sufficient. Combine this with “reserved spaces for dignitaries”, such as the Lt. Governor, there is a lot of overflow. We were sent out in to the field behind the school which was a minor inconvenience.

This Year’s Weather

There was no rain forecast for the course until well after 5pm. Initial temperatures were low 60s. Start temperature was 61 degrees. Expected high was 73 degrees. My Garmin shows a high temperature was reached of 84 degrees at 1:45 pm, near Wolfpen Gap.

The “Event”

For insurance purposes this is called a “timed event” and not a race. Seems fair enough as there are no awards for finishing first, although there are two “King of the Mountain” (KOM) contests for the climbs, one on Hogpen and one on Wolfpen.

The horn went off at 7:30 and the 2200+ riders began filing through the narrow starting gate, to cross the sensors and trigger the transponder timing. I crossed the line at 7:37 am, well in the back. May not have been the best move, as I was blocked several times on early descents by slower riders riding three or four abreast on the road, even after having been told at the start to ride single file if possible. Oh well, nothing to be done about that.

After maneuvering through traffic we started to climb Stonepile Gap, which is relatively short by Georgia standards but a mile and a half climb at 7% is no picnic for a Florida Flatlander. I managed to maintain 6 to 7 mph going up it. The descent after was nice, in the mid 30 mph range.

I skipped the Turner’s Crossing rest stop and proceeded straight to Neel’s Gap. This is a fairly long climb, a total of 9 miles but the steady climb part is the last 4 miles, averaging just under 7%. It’s not the steepest climb but it does wear away resolve. I passed Turner’s at 8:45 am and didn’t pass the top of Neel’s until 9:45 am. Not sure why it took me that long, I have done that segment in 45 minutes before. I certainly didn’t feel like I was dogging it. Still, it gave me plenty of time to make the first cutoff time: Bottom of Neel’s descent by 10:30.

My legs were slightly rubbery as I climbed up the next one, Jack’s Gap. It starts out slowly and increases to 10% at the end. This is the first of the “hard” climbs. This is also the next cutoff time: Top of Jack’s by 11 am. I pulled in at 10:45. It was good to see Ched Wells pull in right after me on his mountain bike. He truly is a cycling star.

I took a break at Jack’s to eat some food and relieve my bladder. Back out on to the road I went, intending to make my next stop at the top of Hogpen. I climbed Unicoi, rode past the rest stop, since that climb felt a little better on my legs than Jack’s.

I turned on to the Hogpen climb. It is by far the worst climb of the ride. It is long, almost 7 miles, and steep, reaching 15% during a 2 mile mid section that is just really, really hard. I was unable to make it up the hill without walking, and I stopped at the mid-point rest stop to refill water bottles. Most experts say to skip that stop and finish the climb. I walked one more time and made it to the top around 1:30pm. I had been hoping to be there by 1. So I was behind on my goal, which was to finish the entire ride in under 9 hours.

However, the hard part was over. The most stressful part of the ride for me by far, was the Hogpen climb. I had been fretting over it for months. Now it was time to finish the ride. The descent was the best I’ve had yet, and I credit all to having disc brakes. They made the descent so much more controllable.

I was tired when I reached Wolfpen Gap but I plodded ahead and managed to climb the entire thing without stopping. I rode past the rest stop and continued on to Woody Gap.

I reached there around 4:05pm, which worried me. I definitely wanted to finish before 5 pm, which would still be a PR for me. I kept the stop fairly short and took off down the descent. The last 16.5 miles are mostly downhill, but there are some steep climb sections which would ruin my over the ground average speed.

I left the rest stop at 4:08 and made it to the high school right at 4:58. That’s 50 minutes for 16.5 miles. Almost 20 mph average, which I was happy with. And, to settle a dare from my friend and running coach Brock Brinkerhoff, I went out and ran a mile and a half after putting my bike away. It was painful but I did it.

It wasn’t a goal setting ride, but it was my fastest Six Gap yet. I have to count it a success.

The Training Peaks analysis of my Six Gap ride

The Training Peaks analysis of my Six Gap ride

FAIL. Lesson Learned (again).

John Tenney at Blue Ridge BreakawayOn Saturday August 16th I rode in the Blue Ridge Breakaway (hereafter referred to as “BRB”), a 105.7 mile ride through the Blue Ridge Mountains with over 10,000 feet of vertical elevation change.

I did not have a great event. In fact you could say it was an EPIC FAIL. And it was my own fault for making mistakes I knew better not to make.

It all started when I found out on Thursday, that the event was Saturday (and not Sunday like I believed.) I noticed my friends posting on Facebook that they were on their way to Waynesville, NC. “Why are they leaving today?” I thought. “I’m leaving tomorrow so I can relax Saturday and have a good ride Sunday.” When I checked the BRB website and discovered my error.

Quickly I began packing up the van. I called the hotel and they were very nice and said yes, you can come in a day early and we won’t charge you for an extra day if you leave Sunday. That was nice. Still, I didn’t get out of the house and on the road till 3:30 in the afternoon.

So that leads to:
Lesson One: Get the Proper Event Information and Scheduling.

Holiday Inn Express Orangeburg, SCAround 11:30 pm I was only 400 miles in to a 610 mile drive. I decided to stop at the Holiday Inn Express in Orangeburg, SC for the night (a very nice place by the way and not too expensive) and get some sleep. This was actually a good move.

The next morning I went to the breakfast lobby and had some coffee and some “prefab pancakes.” Not the most nutritious meal but I wanted to get on the road. I got going and had to stop almost immediately at a rest stop to “vent some coffee.”

Oak-Park-InnI didn’t get to the Oak Park Inn (another very nice place) in Waynesville until noon. All I had eaten in the last 24 hours was a Subway BMT sub, some pancakes and a food bar. I was frazzled and stressed so I did not go right out to eat but laid down for a short nap. Around 3pm I got up and rode my bike up to the venue, hoping to pick up my packet and possibly stop for some food on the way home.

I was two hours early for registration. I took a ride around the lake (very pretty) but that only killed about 45 minutes.

The volunteers were very nice but they didn’t have the timing chips yet, could I wait till 5? So I stayed around and helped them set up, move chairs, carry boxes, etc. All in all not a bad thing to do but I still had not eaten. I rode back to the hotel and got my van so I could eat with “the gang.”

Well, “the gang” I was hoping to ride with were all staying at a cabin, and had already made plans for dinner. When I left registration at 6pm I was quite hungry but did not relish going in to a restaurant in a strange, country town by myself to eat dinner alone (hear those banjos?) so I went to a Hardees and picked up a fast food meal. Which leads to:
Lesson Two: Don’t Travel to Major Events Alone.
I need the peer pressure from a “travel buddy” to make me eat correctly. Fast food and a couple of food bars is not enough nutrition the day before a very challenging 106 mile mountain ride.

The next morning I was up sufficiently early to wolf down some pop-tarts, drink a bottle of water and wait for nature to take its course. Cyclists understand that you want to get all your “business” done before starting a hundred mile ride. Fortunately for me, my digestive system agreed with me and all was well.

At the event they were offering donuts, pastries and coffee. I took half a cup of coffee. I have no idea why I didn’t eat at least one donut or a pastry. I certainly did not have enough carbs in my system to fuel me for the whole ride.

Still, the first 30 miles or so I felt great. I was riding fast, climbing well, and the disc brakes on my new bike (Giant Defy Advanced 1) really made the descents enjoyable. I felt so good I skipped the first two SAG stops, which leads to:
Lesson Three: Don’t Make A Problem Worse By Ignoring It.
I should have stopped and at least grabbed some cookies, peanuts, bananas, or something.

At mile 42 I stopped because I realized I was having a problem. I wasn’t flying up the hills anymore. I was getting shaky. I still didn’t feel hungry but I should know by now I can’t trust that feeling. I stopped and ate some peanuts. Then one of my buddies came in and left quickly. I didn’t want him to get too far ahead so I hurried up and followed him. Which is mistake #4:
Lesson Four: Don’t Race Other People, Race the Course
The right thing to do would have been to stay and eat something. Instead I was determined to “be that guy” who was going to perform. Another rookie move.

I got to the mile 52 SAG and saw a lot of contemporaries relaxing, eating, drinking, etc. I only needed a little water (or so I thought), grabbed a cookie and got back on my bike. Big Mistake. Big. HUGE. What I had failed to do was study the course. If I had, I would have realized that the next 13 or so miles were all uphill at an average gradient of 7 – 8%. This was “the stop before the big one.” Not a good time to skip a rest and recovery period.
Lesson Five: Know The Course!
The first three or four miles were fine. I was just riding along, saying to myself “wow this is a long hill” and it finally came to me, this is the big one.

It was very beautiful. I enjoyed the view. What I did not enjoy was how my body was running out of gas. I was bonking. I had depleted my reserves and my body had switched to fat burning mode. In this mode it is impossible for me to climb up a 7 to 8% grade. I started shaking. I had to stop and rest. People started riding by me. I knew the next stop was at mile 63, some 5 or 6 miles ahead, and they were all uphill. I started walking. This was really the end of my ride, as the next 30 miles I finished were just survival.

I made it to the Blue Ridge Parkway rest stop and guess what, they were out of water and almost out of food. It had taken me two hours to get to the top of that hill and I was at the tail end of field now. Everybody had gone by.

The smart thing to do would have been to wait for supplies. I didn’t. I followed one of my contemporaries out (see lesson four), thinking that I only had a little climb left (wrong. Had a big one left, see lesson five.)

I was looking forward to the infamous tunnel, since I had my trusty USB light mounted on my bike. Hah. At mile 80 I went in to a hole in the side of the mountain that was pitch black, and no dinky little 25 lumen light is going to help me. Next time I will bring a BIGGER light.
Lesson Six: Bring the Right Equipment
I made it through the tunnel without dying but it was mortifying. Well, see the video below. Realize also that the Go Pro adapts to lower light much quicker than my eyes. I never saw the reflectors or the white line to the right. If it weren’t for the car coming the other way I probably would have smashed in to the wall.

I made it to mile 85, halfway up the last big hill (7 mile climb at 8%) when I had to be sagged in, because I would not make the requirement of being off the Blue Ridge Parkway before 5pm. It was frustrating, knowing that I was only 3 miles from a 17 mile descent to the finish, but rules are rules, and I wasn’t going to argue with the BRB staff. I endured the embarrassment of being sagged off the course, and lived, so I guess it wasn’t that bad.

I suppose there is a lesson seven in all this too, since I don’t want to end with six. That would be to plan my trips better, and further in advance. I am working with my coach (who was NOT part of my BRB planning – another mistake) now to get ready for the next mountain ride: Six Gap, a 100 mile ride in Dahlonega, GA which traverses six mountain passes (gaps) on September 28th.

Pray for me.

Charity Classic 40K Time Trial Race Report

John Tenney finish at Charity Classic 40K TTOrlando Runners and Riders held the Third Annual Charity Classic Time Trial on Memorial Day, May 26, 2014. Last year the event was held in Clermont, with a finish at the top of Sugarloaf Mountain Road. This year the course was a 40K (24.8 miles) out and back on Deer Park Road in St. Cloud, FL. The charities featured this year were Harvest Field Ministries, Cure on Wheels, Amateur Athlete Assistance and The Sean Ashman Foundation.

The Course / Venue
This is a great venue. Deer Park Road is in a remote area on the east side of Osceola county. The address of the southern end is 5779 County Route 419, St. Cloud oddly enough. It is a fairly smooth road, with no noticeable rough areas. There are some turns but they are gradual in nature. Other than a few rises to go over a creek on a small bridge it is basically flat. To our knowledge, there is no other useable stretch of road in Central Florida where a 40K out and back would be possible without stopping highway traffic. Speaking of traffic, it was very light. The occasional pick up truck pulling an airboat on a trailer, semi truck cutting across from 192 up to Nova road and then on to 520, or a motorcyclist stretching his legs, that’s pretty much it. During my entire 72 minute ride I saw four vehicles.

Facilities are another issue. There are no convenient stores within miles. Make sure your car is topped off before this trip. We brought a porta potty in for this one (which they put in the wrong place – 7 miles away from the start) but in the future, we are looking in to the Latter Day Saints church at the south end as a launch point.

Weather / Environment
The weather was really perfect. It was dead calm as we lined up to start. Temperature was 77 degrees at the start and 82 at the finish. I will remember to bring bug spray next time though, as the gnats were out in force. The sky was a high overcast, which broke through to partly cloudy by the end of the race.

Getting things ready at the start.  L to R, John Tenney, Ward Bates, William Thomas, Deputy Israel Davila

Getting things ready at the start. L to R, John Tenney, Ward Bates, William Thomas, Deputy Israel Davila

The Race
I was running around trying to get all the last minute details done before I got on my bike. I got maybe a one mile warmup by riding quickly up to the Nova road corner and turning around. I wanted to be the last to start to make sure everyone got off OK, and to make sure William Thomas (doing start/finish duties for the first time) and Dave Severn (taking photos) didn’t need anything. I came up to the line second to last, as Tom McNeill was getting his affairs in order at the porta potty. He started 2 minutes after me.

I was still rushed as my start time came up. I barely managed to stuff a shot block in my mouth, put the wrapper back in my pocket and start my Garmin as William gave me the “go” sign. Probably lost a few seconds there. Then I couldn’t get clipped in. Another few seconds gone. Ah what the heck, it’s a long race.

Tom McNeill from Kyle's Bike Shop won the Eddy Merckx division with a 1:05:55

Tom McNeill from Kyle’s Bike Shop won the Eddy Merckx division with a 1:05:55

My goal was to keep my HR at or below 140 until the final stretch, and that way I was hoping to “negative split” (do the return leg faster than the out leg) so I jumped up to 22 mph and about 138 on HR. I pushed a little towards the end of the 5 mile segment (first of five in my head) and hit mile 5 at 13:53. That was a little fast as the HR went above 140, so I backed off for the next 5. Tom McNeill passed me somewhere around here. Young guys!

I caught up to Crockett in the second segment. He had started a couple of minutes ahead of me and was taking it easy, since this was his first long TT. We talked for a second and I pushed on.

Crockett Bohannon waiting for his starting signal from William Thomas

Crockett Bohannon waiting for his starting signal from William Thomas

The turn was really tight. I didn’t unclip, but I slowed down to nearly a stop to make it. Was really glad that Osceola County Sheriff Deputy Israel Davila was watching the turn for us. That is a very comfortable feeling! Gave him a wave and headed back north.

Suddenly I have a head wind. Where did this come from? Morning breeze I guess, rising up from the ENE. It made a difference. I was not able to maintain 20 mph without pushing the HR up so I just settled in at 140bpm. Also, my left arm was hurting from the aero position. Way too often for my liking, I had to sit up and shake it out. Need to figure that out. I also need to tip my seat down just a hair, as it was starting to hurt in the “forward regions.”

Segment 3 was my worst, at 15:33, which is just over 19 mph average. Once I got to the middle of the course though, there was more tree cover and less effect of the wind. Segment 4 I picked it up again and did 14:29, which was my second best (full) segment. The last segment was only 4.8 miles but finished in 13:35, which is the highest average speed, probably.

Chuck fought me off for 6 miles.  He managed to stay 3 seconds ahead of me at the finish

Chuck fought me off for 6 miles. He managed to stay 3 seconds ahead of me at the finish

I got Chuck Peabody in my sights somewhere in Segment 4 and it pushed me. It really helps to have a “rabbit” out there as a goal. He knew I was behind him too, as he started picking it up. I didn’t catch him. He stayed in front of me by three seconds at the finish. Good job Chuck! It still helped me finish with 1:12:13, which beats my last time on that course of 1:13:50, when we tried it out a month earlier.

This is a great course. It should be a great race. More people should come out and try this. I know the distance scares them but it shouldn’t. Why should someone who can do a century be afraid of a 25 mile time trial? I like Crockett’s approach, just ride it like a solo ride, and try to do a negative split. He did great, beating his goal of 1:20.

I hope we see more people at the next one.

Video of starts and finishes:

Bull session after the race.  Actually waiting for Bill to return from the potty so we can do podiums

Bull session after the race. Actually waiting for Bill to return from the potty so we can do podiums

Podium for Eddy Merckx class.  1st:  Tom McNeill, 2nd: Chuck Peabody, 3rd:  Crockett Bohannon

Podium for Eddy Merckx class. 1st: Tom McNeill, 2nd: Chuck Peabody, 3rd: Crockett Bohannon

Masters 50+ Podium 1st: Carl Westergren, 2nd: Edgar Leano,  3rd: Bill Edgbert

Masters 50+ Podium
1st: Carl Westergren,
2nd: Edgar Leano,
3rd: Bill Edgbert

My workout on the Training Peaks website

Race Report: Airport TT #6

Airport TT #6 Race ReportRace Report for John Tenney at Airport Time Trial #6, May 13, 2014.

Venue and Conditions

The venue has been discussed previously (as excellent for a time trial) with one change tonight, all riders were entered to run 2 laps instead of one, making the entire course length 13.9 miles.

The weather was party cloudy and not too warm, around 82 degrees, but very windy. A strong crosswind from the east blew in at 15-25 mph. This made the race very interesting. Only 15 riders showed up, which is very unusual. Typically this race draws 30 to 40 riders. Claudio Mayol volunteered to take pictures using our camera, so we got a lot of great pictures. He has shown his hidden talent as a photographer.

Yes I gave Claudio a smile as I was trying to clip in.  I started pedaling hard right after, I promise

Yes I gave Claudio a smile as I was trying to clip in. I started pedaling hard right after, I promise

Clipped in now, and switching to the aerobars (left hand is on already)

Clipped in now, and switching to the aerobars (left hand is on already)

My Race Description

In the first race with our new sponsor on board, Hourglass Insurance Solutions, I was the first of three Masters 50+ to start, with Brian Davis and Kevin Clark right behind me. Obviously I expected to see them go by pretty quickly, as they are very fast riders. I started out with a relatively easy pace, as I had no idea how the 14 miles would treat me. Except for the first climb out of the taxiway overpass, I kept my speed at 21+ mph until the first turn. Brian caught me at 3:50 in, which was a bit discouraging. Kevin didn’t catch me until after the first turn, around 12 minutes, which was encouraging, as I noticed he isn’t blowing by me like he has in the past. I was able to keep him in sight longer, although he is still 3 or 4 mph faster than me.

The dog-leg towards the turn was downwind, and it felt great pushing it up to 25-27 mph up to the turn. Of course, turning back in to the tailwind was not so fun. I dropped below 20 mph in the beginning, but then I got a rabbit! Roger Hungerford, riding on a road bike, appeared in my cross hairs. Roger is 63 years old, very nice guy, and would definitely be faster than me if he had the aero bike and aero gear that I have. However, on his road bike, he was just a little slower than I am, and gave me something to chase. Probably made me push a little harder than I should have, as my heart rate went up to nearly max at one point, but I did manage to catch him in a slight headwind section. Keeping him at bay after that was my new goal.

One incident kind of marred the race for Roger and I, as we came up to the mid-point turn. We had one junior rider, who was being followed by him mom with blinkers on. This is OK, but taking up the entire right lane is not. As we cam under the last bridge we had to go in to the left lane to prepare for our 180 turn, and there was traffic coming from behind. We both had to slow down until traffic passed by. Probably cost us both 10 seconds at least. My suggestion is that if you are going to follow behind your junior rider that you get all the way to the left of the lane, leaving room for a rider to pass without leaving the bike lane by very much.

The pickup truck was a mom following her son.  She was only looking out for him, which I get, but she kind of got in the way of our 180 turn

The pickup truck was a mom following her son. She was only looking out for him, which I get, but she kind of got in the way of our 180 turn

The second lap was painful. My saddle sores starting making their presence known. I had to stand up and shake things out a few times. Each time I did this Roger got closer. Fortunately the tailwind section helped me pull away a bit, and turning back in to the wind, my aero setup helped me stay away.

Finished strong, under my goal of 39 minutes, at 38:40.

Power Agent and Endomondo data (Endo includes cool down lap)

Power Agent and Endomondo data (Endo includes cool down lap)

Airport Time Trial Race Report

When I can, I like to make a "Trophy Pic" like this for my wall

When I can, I like to make a “Trophy Pic” like this for my wall

Airport TT Race Report: John Tenney
As has been said previously, the Airport TT venue is an excellent place to time trial. In addition to the wide bike lanes, today we had support from the Orlando Police (who left two squad cars at the start line with lights on to slow down traffic) and a representative from GOAA Ops who gave us up to date weather. Great support for this race!

And the weather was definitely an issue. It was raining when I got the course. I waited in the car for 15 minutes for it to stop. When it finally did stop raining it still looked pretty ominous. Fortunately Claudio Mayol (a race volunteer, there every event) convinced me to stay and at least ride the course. So I took a ride up and down Heintzelman and it wasn’t that bad although very windy. The south end of the course looked really ominous – with dark skies and thunder clouds. Still, I got back to the start totally dry. I decided to go on with it, but I elected to do only one lap (Tim was giving us the option of 1 or 2 laps, 7 or 14 miles.)

The 14 milers left first, and then the junior 7 milers. I was the first of the adult 7 milers to start so I expected to be passed early and often. Oddly enough the first guy to catch me did so about a half mile before the turn and he inspired me to try and catch him. I stayed at least 25 yards behind him (and everybody) so no drafting took place, don’t worry. Another guy caught me just after I made the turn and I let him go, and then decided to chase him. Although I never caught him I kept him in sight. No one else caught me the rest of the ride. I was trying to catch Clay Zinnert in front of me but he is improving and although I gained a little I never seemed to get close enough to make a difference. Clay did a 20:31 which is not his best but hey, before this year that would have beaten me every time!

It was difficult to say where the wind was coming from although I was getting knocked around a lot. I’d say it was a crosswind from the east most of the time. When the course takes the little jaunt to the west at the south end I did feel a little push.

There was (for once) no traffic affecting the 180 degree turn. I slowed to 16 or so because the road was damp but got right on the pedals and picked it up again right away. Except for the first climb from under the bridge my analysis shows I did not go below 21 mph on either leg. That is an improvement.

I crossed the line still pushing, although starting to run out of gas. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. I finished in 18:38 which beats my old record by 20 seconds. Average speed over the 6.94 mile course was 22.35 mph, also a new personal record for any time trial.

It started raining shortly after I finished so I headed for the car, loaded up and drove home very excited about a great effort tonight.

14th out of 16 at tonight's Airport TT, but a new personal record of 18:38, average speed of 22.35 mph

14th out of 16 at tonight’s Airport TT, but a new personal record of 18:38, average speed of 22.35 mph

Orlando Airport Time Trials

by John W. Tenney
Starting-lineupOne of the best ways to check your cycling progress is a time trial, and for those in the Orlando area one of the best events is Topview Sports’ Airport Time Trial Series. Promoted and overseen by Tim Molyneaux, this event is drawing larger crowds than ever.

With some new sponsors this year, the event is even more attractive, with race day prizes awarded. New sponsors include Winter Park Cycles and The Fit Lab

Races are held on Tuesday evenings (see schedule below) and typically end well before the light fails, but the Heintzelman Blvd venue offers excellent street lights for those that want to ride later. The course is an out and back with a total length of 6.94 miles. It’s basically flat except when it goes under a couple of aircraft bridges (see photo below) although the wind is usually a factor, since it is in a large, open area (airport duh) the breeze can be strong.

SW 737 on Aircraft Bridge at Airport Time Trial

Fairly common site on either of the two aircraft bridges that cross the route

The 2014 schedule is as follows:

January 21 (5pm start)
February 18 (5pm start)
March 18 (6pm start from here on)
April 8 and 29
May 13 (special 14 mile course)
June 3
August 5
September 2 and 30

The results are updated (live) using a pretty cool app called WebScorer, which posts the results to their website. Here are the complete results for TT #3.

The Orlando Runners and Riders team is starting to appear in respectable numbers at these events. While we are yet to be a threat to the podium, our times are improving and what’s more important, we are having fun.

Orlando Airport Time Trial series

Orlando Runners and Riders results from Airport TT #3