2010 – 2017
2010: RETURN TO RACING AS A TIME TRIAL SPECIALIST
Early in the 2010 season, I decided to return to racing, but not in road races or criteriums. I would become a time trial specialist. In March, I bought my third racing bike, a Cervelo P1. This is a pure time trial bike with aerodynamic frame and handlebars. I completed three time trials. The third race was the 40 kilometer (km) State Championship. I finished in fifth place with an average speed nearing 23 mph. I considered the season a successful return to competitive cycling. My average racing speed was 21.23 mph. I logged 6,104 miles for the year.
2011: NEW TEAM, NEW TRAINING PROGRAM, AND MORE RACES
For the 2011 season, I changed teams, joining National Capital Velo Club (NCVC/UnitedHealthcare), started a new time trial-specific training program by Michael Cooper, and increased the number of races to seven. My best finish in the mix of 20 km and 40 km time trials (plus a single hill climb) was fourth place at the State Championship. But, my fastest race was recorded a week later at 23.0 mph for a time of 1:04:50 for 40 km. My average racing speed increased to 22.35 mph. I logged 5,101 training miles for the year.
2012: APPROACHING 24 MPH AVERAGE SPEED
For the 2012 season, I continued my time trial-specific training program and entered eight races, a mix of 20 km and 40 km time trials. I was in the top 10 finishers in four races, with a fifth place at State Championships. My average speed was slightly slower at 22.28 mph; though at my last race, a 10.9-miler, I averaged 23.53 mph. Total training miles for the year were 6,260.
2013: FIRST PODIUM FINISHES IN 50 YEARS
For the 2013 season, I continued my time trial-specific training program and entered eight races, a similar mix of 20 km and 40 km time trials. I had top 10 finishes in four races. My average racing speed increased to 22.66 mph. At my last two races of the season, I achieved my first two podium finishes in 50 races and in 50 years. In my age group 10 km time trial on a rolling hill loop course, I finished second in 0:17:12 (21.67 mph average), the third fastest time overall. In my age group 20 km time trial, I finished first in 0:35:01 (21.29 mph average), the second fastest time overall and a new course record. The previous age group course record was 0:36:54 (20.20 mph average). I broke that record by a minute and 53 seconds. Total training miles for the year were 5,514.
2014: 12 RACES, 12 CONSECUTIVE PODIUM FINISHES
Since returning to competition as a time trial specialist in 2010, I have entered seven or eight races each season. Racing competitively in a new age group for 2014 presented an opportunity for multiple podium finishes and age-group time trial championships. And that is exactly what happened: 12 consecutive podium finishes out of 12 races (14 consecutive podium finishes if the last two races of 2013 are included).
I won six races, including Virginia State Time Trial Masters Age Group Championship, Virginia State Senior Games Age Group 5 km Time Trial Championship (and 2015 National Senior Games qualification), Northern Virginia Senior Olympics (NVSO) Age Group 10 km Time Trial Championship, and NVSO Age Group 20 km Time Trial Championship (new course record), and won the five-race Mid-Atlantic Time Trial Series Masters Age Group (jersey pictured below). I also had four second place and two third place finishes. I won an assortment of medals – and a pound of bacon.
Average race speed increased by 1 mph, approaching 25 mph, due to a better fitting race bike and the loss of 10 pounds of body weight. Fastest average speed recorded was 24.52 mph for the victory in the Virginia State Senior Games Age Group 5 km time trial. Total training miles for the year were 5,589.
2015: FIRST ATTEMPT AT NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
As my fitness and race results continued to improve over the past several years, I have been watching some of my local rivals compete in national championship races. This year, I felt I was competitive enough to join them. I qualified last season for the age-group time trial events at National Senior Games. With high expectations, I joined 50 competitors from around the country in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. I finished in 11th place in the 10 km time trial. I did not start the 5 km time trial. I learned a valuable lesson about riding, not just driving, unfamiliar race courses before important events.
More significantly, I closed the time gap with two faster nationally-ranked local rivals. In the first race of the season, I was beaten by 2:52 by one, and 39 seconds by the other. In the final race of the season, I was beaten by only 42 seconds by the first one (an improvement of 2:10), and beat the other by 20 seconds (an improvement of 59 seconds).
I won three races, including Conquer the Canal and the Northern Virginia Senior Olympics (NVSO) Age Group 10 km and 20 km Time Trial Championship (plus new course record). I successfully defended my Mid-Atlantic Time Trial Series Masters Age Group jersey. I had podium finishes in seven out of nine races. Total training miles for the year were 6,211.
2016: MID-SEASON SURGERY AND PNEUMONIA
After completing the first two races of the season, I needed urgent gall bladder removal surgery. The procedure was a success, but five days later I developed pneumonia. In six days, I lost nearly 10 pounds of body weight. Despite receiving permission to resume training a week after the surgery, the rapid weight loss seriously impacted my fitness. My results in the next five races were far below my usual performance level. I was beaten by competitors who had never ever beaten me before. It would take two months to finally rebuild my strength and endurance. It was just in time to defend my three consecutive Northern Virginia Senior Olympics (NVSO) Age Group 10 km and 20 km Time Championships in two decisive performances.
I won only two races, both of the NVSO time trials (plus new course records). Due to my poor race performances after the pneumonia, I failed to defend my Mid-Atlantic Time Trial Series Masters Age Group jersey, settling for second place. I had podium finishes in five out of nine races. Total training miles for the year were 5,929.
2017: ANOTHER HERNIA SURGERY AND SECOND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ATTEMPT
During my gall bladder removal surgery last season, my doctor discovered that I was developing a second hernia. We scheduled the surgery, which was successful, at the start of this season. After four weeks off the bike, I was given permission to resume training. This season had two primary events: the USA Cycling Masters National Time Trial Championship, in Augusta, GA, in June, which did not go well: and the Northern Virginia Senior Olympics in September, where I won again for the fifth consecutive year.
I won only two races, both of the NVSO time trials. I skipped several races in the Mid-Atlantic Time Trial Series, so had to settle for a 14th place finish out of 27 competitors. I had podium finishes in four out of eight races. Total training miles for the year were 5,157.
NEXT: 2018 RACE SCHEDULE