Wednesday Night Time Trial Series

Thanks to Jayson and Colorado Endurance Sports, July 27, August 3 and August 10 have been filled with exiting time trial action here in Colorado Spring. July 27 and August 10th raced up 26th Street and August 3rd took us up Cheyenne Canyon. About 30 racers showed up each day, competing in varying classes and age groups. Some riders even tackled the hills on their mountain bikes! After the last race, the awards were handed out at Bristol Brewery, with athletes enjoying a free pint of the local brew. Congratulations to the winners of all the classes and to all the racers. The series also served as preparation for the big show - the Cheyenne Canyon Time Trial held in conjunction with the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. If you are looking for a hard race on Sunday August 21- check out http://www.coloradoendurancesports.com/ for more info on the Time Trial.

July 27 - I wasn't quite sure we'd be racing since the sky was ominous and the clouds were rumbling. But the storm moved over before race time and we were on. Racers got to pick start times, with riders going off at about 30 second intervals. When I rode my bike over for a warm up, there were already racers on course. Although the road wasn't closed, the volunteers did a great job with traffic control and warning cars about the riders. Thanks to the rain, there were patches of gravel and some running water across the road in places. But it was a fun, hard effort, climbing from the bottom of 26th St to the start of the gravel on Gold Camp Road. A pretty relentless climb as will, with just one place to be able to recover. I handled it well, setting a fairly decent time of 20:33.
Riding up Gold Camp Road in the first 26th St race - Photo Tim Bergsten
 August 3 - Once again, the weather wasn't cooperating. It was a light mist when I started the race up Cheyenne Canyon, but the clouds looked ominous. The higher I climbed, the thicker the mist became, finally turning into a strong rain. If you haven't been up Cheyenne Canyon, it's not a fun road to come down when wet! There are plenty of steep corners and blind curves. I put the descent out of my mind and settled into a steady rhythm and smooth cadence. Got passed by a few guys who had started right after me, but was holding my own. There were a few tourist out - all giving us the "are you guys crazy?" looks. As I neared Helen Hunt Falls, the thunder started. It was all too reminiscent of the storm Nick and I had gotten caught in the day before - with a downpour and lightening so close there wasn't a pause between bolt and thunder! I felt sorry for the volunteers at the top, standing out in the weather to record times for everyone. I was a little slower then I wanted for this race, finishing in 22:18. The weather deteriorated as we rode down, leading Jayson to hold a make up race on the following Monday.




On the road for the Cheyenne Canyon TT- Photo Nick Thelen, taken from Columbine Trail

August 10 - Finally, sun and clear blue skies! A perfect day for racing. I made sure to get a good warm up before taking the line on the 26th St. I really wanted to break 20 minutes for the TT and hit the gas from the start. Holding the pace through the S curves and up Lower Gold Camp road and I was making up some time of the guys in front of me. I was working hard, accelerating out of the short downhill into the long straight away on Gold Camp Road. Then the wind picked up - we were riding straight into a nice head wind for that whole stretch. I got into the drops - wishing for some aerobars at that point and kept turning over the pedals. When I finally reached the Chutes parking lot, I was really suffering. Nick was waiting and hollered some words of "encouragement" as I rode past. Finally across the line in 20:16 - faster then last time, but slower then I wanted.

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