On Saturday, July 11, I rode the Carmichael Training Systems Cheyenne Cañon Time Trial (CTSCCT). This is my second bike race ever and also my second uphill time trial ever. My first was the Allen Park Memorial Hill Climb last fall in Irasville, VT (traveling up the Appalachian Gap) where I finished 9th overall in a small field riding my Swift Folder. The CTSCCT is a little bit bigger of a race and, having been on my bike quite a bit this spring and summer, I was a little bit better prepared (plus, I have ridden the course a total of five times prior to the race). The course description from the race's official website is a follows:
Starting at the corner of N. Cheyenne Cañon Road and W Cheyenne Blvd. This challenging hill climbs 3.1 miles to the top of Cheyenne Cañon reaching the flat dirt parking lot at Gold Camp Rd. The total elevation gain is approximately 1,250 feet. The course follows N Cheyenne Cañon Rd. with no road changes. The final 1000 meters is a constant 10% grade.
So, that makes it 7.6% average grade over 5km which is not terribly steep but certainly challenging enough. I seeded myself at 19:34 which was exactly two minutes faster than I had ridden in my fastest training ride (riding pretty hard during my second of two reps). My seeding did not take into consideration the fact that K brought home a faster race bike for me the day before the race. That's right, instead of riding my 20"-wheeled folding bike, I would be racing on a hand-me-down Specialized S-works carbon fiber bike with Shimano Dura-ace componenets. The rig was a bit banged up but was wicked light and fit well after a few adjustments on the morning of the race. I do not remember very much about the race. I pretty much went all out from the start, passing several riders (the race was staggered at 30-second intervals). I think that I paced myself pretty well with maybe a little bit too much effort in the first half of the race.
The race was won in 13:38 by Garmin Slipstream's Tom Danielson who missed his own "course record" (in quotes because it was set during practice) of 13:34. If you have not heard of Danielson, he is one of (if not) the best climbers in the nation. He has the CR at the other Mount Washington race (49+ minutes) which is ~1 minute faster than Tyler Hamilton's old record. Lance Armstrong (a reasonably good cyclist) has also ridden this course in just over 14 minutes. I finished well back in 18th with a 16:28. This was good for 1st in my division, the utterly arbitrary 35+ category 4 (I was the 7th fastest 35+ rider in the race). All in all, it was a fun race and it would have been tough to pass up given nature of the race and its proximity to K's apartment. Post-race was great too with the awards ceremony at the new (and massive and beautiful) Carmichael Training Systems building. There were great beverages (gratis with no line!?!) from Bristol Brewing and some as great food (gratis with a long line) as well and the racers that I met there were genuinely friendly people.
...also, I have to add the new CTS building to my growing list of places without appropriate dedicated bicycle parking...