Tag: road racing

The Santa Catalina Road Race – January 29, 2017

My first honest to goodness road race.  Not a time trial, not a criterium – a road race.

It was windy and 41 degrees in Oracle, AZ at the start line.  Later, along the course I would see little patches of snow resting in the shadows of roadside cacti.  Many riders wore jackets or vests obscuring their numbers and no one was without tights, full-finger gloves and other defenses against the cold.  Unlike the young guns, we older gents don’t need to display our disdain for the cold by showing up at the starting line in short sleeves and blue skin. My new Garneau short sleeve base layer, Craft long sleeve base layer, tights and semi-thermal arm warmers kept me “warm” but, no matter, it was not long into this race before I wasn’t thinking about the temperature or my comfort.  My mind and body were full of the feelings of being in a pack, in a road race – for the very first time.

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On Saturday, January 21, I will enter my first ever USA Cycling sanctioned road race – a time trial –  a baby step in the process of other road races in the future, but I am both nervous and anxious to try this.

A few days ago, I installed a set of clip-on time trial bars and went for a shakedown ride around the neighborhood, an allen wrench set in my pocket to make any adjustments.  The biggest adjustment came in just the first few pedal strokes when I dropped onto the arm pads.  With arms that narrow, my pretty stable bike was now a twitchy beast, weaving all over the road.  I must have looked like a drunk on a stolen bike. 

After several stops and adjustments, I rode about and found that there’s no way that I could stay in that position for a full TT.  The clip on bars seemed too long and too high – an odd combination and nothing I could to with allen keys was going to make that mo betta. 

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