2017 Race Report #1 – Conquer the Canal Time Trial

My first race of 2017 was the Conquer the Canal Time Trial, held on the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail, Chesapeake, VA, a flat 12.1 mile out-and-back course, Saturday, April 1. Unlike last year’s race, the weather was pretty good. Mildly warm, high humidity, but windy with gusts up to 10 miles per hour.

Rather than warming up on my trainer, I joined one of my age-group competitors and rode several lengths of a nearby bike trail. I also got to wear a new piece of clothing: aero-sleeves. These sleeves, made by a company in Australia, have a dimple pattern, like a golf ball, and eliminate the need to shave my arms.

I started out at 24-25 miles per hour, and was able to maintain a cadence of 90-95 RPM and heart rate around 140 BPM (103% MHR) outbound. Inbound, I had to battle the headwind which was being channeled by the trees lining both sides of the course. Not surprisingly, my speed started to slowly drop off, though my heart rate and power readings remained consistent for the entire race.

Race replay: Conquer the Canal Time Trial

This was the sixth consecutive year that I’ve entered this particular race. I finished on the podium last year with a third place finishing time of 0:31:29 (23.05 mph average). The result this year was the same – a third place podium finish. The first and second place finishers were familiar rivals. The winning time was 0:28:59 (25.04 mph average). The second place finishing time was 0:31:46 (22.85 mph average). I finished in 0:31:50 (22.81 mph average), only four seconds back. I will face the second place finisher again for the Virginia State Time Trial and Virginia Senior Games Time Trial Championships over the next couple of months.

Next race is a hilly 28 km time trial, over rural roads of very poor quality, near Charles Town, WV, on Sunday, April 30.