The Internet of Bikes: 2013 USA Cycling National Championships Masters Time Trial Prineville, Oregon
The USA Cycling National Championships Masters Time Trial (45-49) is the last time trial of the season for Frame and Wheel. This year the race is held in Prineville, Oregon. The course is an 18.5 mile out and back route that features flat terrain (350 feet of elevation gain) long sight lines, some gradual climbs and beautiful western scenery. Frame and Wheel brings the Austro-Daimler tt Carbon Champagne to Oregon for the event. The bike survives the journey and meets USA Cycling regulations after a few adjustments to the aero bar extensions. Frame and Wheel is without a trainer and must warm up on the road. This represents a new feature to the pre race routine, but it goes smoothly. Conditions are calm, clear and dry and favorable for a time trial. Temperatures are in the 70s. Frame and Wheel arrives at the starting area with time to spare. The officials check the bike measurements again. The bike weight is checked too (18 pounds 6 ounces or 8.6 kg). This causes a brief moment of panic. Frame and Wheel has not checked to make sure the bike meets the 7.5 kg weight limit (16 pounds 8 ounces). Frame and Wheel enters the busy staging area. Names and numbers are being read in random order; riders and their bikes are being organized. It is hard to hear over the music and the announcer. Frame and Wheel is moved into the the line by the official and then called to the start house. Frame and Wheel is in the gate and being held by the official. There are two ghost riders in front of Frame and Wheel so the wait is long. Frame and Wheel sets off at 9:57:00.
Frame and Wheel has not used a starting ramp in a long time and thus nearly rides off the edge of the ramp due to poor gear selection. Luck and skill reserves are deployed to avert disaster. Frame and Wheel gets up to speed and begins the internal monologue. Frame and Wheel clears the first hill and enters a decisive two mile straightaway with good speed. Frame and Wheel concentrates on pushing the 55 x 11 through this section. It is hard work, but speed is maintained at or above thirty miles per hour. Frame and Wheel is alone and there are no riders in sight. Frame and Wheel concentrates on maintaing speed on the rolling sections that follow. Frame and Wheel loses some time in advance of the turn around. The landmarks do not look familiar and thus there are a few moments of hesitation. Frame and Wheel uses every inch of road to navigate the turnaround cone and almost goes off the edge of the road. Luck and skill reserves deployed again.
Frame and Wheel is inbound. Riders are now visible. Frame and Wheel catches a rider and another is in view. Frame and Wheel is maintaining good speed and closing fast on a clutch of more riders. Frame and Wheel dimly realizes that the right extension bar is slipping. This is affecting the precision of the shifting. Frame and Wheel is approaching the final hill. This hill is steep, but it is short. Frame and Wheel is out of the saddle on this hill and pushing hard. Drool is present and the legs are feeling the effort. Frame and Wheel passes one more rider here and rides hard through the final mile for the line which is visible in the distance. Frame and Wheel is out of the saddle again and producing a maximum effort. The race is over. Frame and Wheel posts a time is 38:07. This time is faster than reigning champion Rob Garwood (38:22.2) of Harrisburg, Virginia (Final Kick Racing p/b Fortress) and Paul Thomas (38:37.6) of Tuscon, Arizona (White Mountain Road Club) and fast enough to win the day.
Frame and Wheel spends a few minutes waiting for the announcer to confirm the results and is unaware that results will only be confirmed after Frame and Wheel reports to doping control. Frame and Wheel figures this out and begins the surreal process of being tested by US AntiDoping Agency (USADA) for performance enhancing drugs (a topic for a separate blog post). Frame and Wheel is very pleased and a bit surprised with the result and amused with the notion that this victory has been achieved on an Austro-Daimler (the same bike Frame and Wheel raced as a sixteen year old). Frame and Wheel is released from the doping control tent after an hour of rehydration efforts and testing administration. The parking lot is empty. Everyone has gone home. Hank and Beth Pfeifle are waiting patiently. We load the truck and make the drive back to Bend. Frame and Wheel is now feeling the effort. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful drive. Frame and Wheel thanks the organizers for putting on a well run time trial and congratulates all the riders in the category on their times and dedication to the time trial discipline.