Saturday night, stay home instead of going out. Pass on drinking that glass of wine. Go to bed at 10, anticipating the shock of the 5:30 AM alarm. Wake up bleary-eyed, down half a pot of coffee. Force yourself to eat though your stomach is saying, “not this early”. Head out in the early morning darkness to drive 80 miles to Erie, PA. Hope that the caffeine will kick in and keep your car from drifting into the rumble strips.
90 minutes later scramble to pump tires, pin on numbers, get dressed, use the beach-house john that’s already seen way too many visitors this morning.
Finish off the espresso shot. Prepare for the discomfort to come.
With some luck, it will be around 26 minutes of suffering. The harder you ride, the more unpleasant it will be, but also the sooner it will be over. It’s comical to pay to do something you wish was over as soon as it starts. At the Presque Isle fall time trial, there were 140 people willing to pay for the privilege of suffering while riding the 12.5 miles around the peninsula.
These were not all hard-core racers, either. The ages ranged from 11 to 75. Bikes ranged from full-on TT bikes to knobby-tired MTBs. You have to love that.
Standing around afterward, it’s interesting to hear riders’ perceptions of their rides. Some of us, again, made the mistake of paying attention to the misplaced (and then missing) mile markers. Some (Ray H) seem to have a computer running in their heads the whole time. We concluded that if you’re thinking that much, you’re wasting watts. And if you’re thinking clearly at all, you’re not going hard enough.
You also have to love that the rain held off until the very minute they finished announcing results and handing out the plaques — especially since everyone was huddled around the organizer’s laptop looking at the results (the printer wouldn’t work). THAT was a sight worthy of a picture.
Here were the top-5, which included 3 of us from the “Leroy TT crowd”:
1 Brian Batke,47,Novelty,OH 25:53.21 28.97 Team Columbus
2 Eric Hodos,40,Allison Park,PA 26:33.78 28.24 UPMC Cycling Performance
3 Rudy Sroka,51,N. Royalton,OH 26:35.56 28.20 Team Lake Effect
4 Chris Cioccio,37,Erie,PA 26:46.87 28.00 Indiana Regional Med Center
5 Ray Huang,42,Cleveland Heights,OH 26:52.46 27.91 Team Columbus
along with a great effort from another Leroy-er:
80 Robert Sroka,13,N. Royalton,OH 33:42.28 22.25 Team Lake Effect