Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Solo Break-Stage #2 TotU

Stage 2 was a big dose of HTFU. Who knew a 27 mile TT would hurt about 500 times more than a 8 mile one! Matt Simpson, Dave Wilcox and myself were emailing each other and texting each other into the early hours of tuesday am game planning how we would tackle Stage 2. When we saw the leaderboard at the Ride Studio much heated debate ensued as to what we had to do to stay on top or not fall off the GC.
I sadly brought a butter knife to a gunfight in the form of a paper cue sheet. David and Matt both were smart and had Garmins with touch screen mapping. I love my 500 but in this instance its not the optimal tool for the job. That is doing a tt on a route you have no experience with technology is your friend. And the more the better! Pulling a wad of paper out of your jersey pocket at 20 mph to see what turn is next is suboptimal by any definition. So long story short I took two wrong turns. Once cost me ten minutes. The other was no big deal at all. But you know what? I will give that ten minutes away for experiencing what it feels like to get in a solo break and turn yourself inside out for an hour and a half. Frankly I will now have a whole new perspective of the breakaway in a road race. Racing on your own without a draft is insane. I have literally never suffered like that on a bike in my life. But it felt good. I was locked in just trying with all I could to get every second I could out there. And I felt fast. The numbers may not support this but my legs felt good.
When I got back to Hanscom and heard the times that Matt and David put in I couldn't believe it! They were flying! What an amazing course. The TotU has hit a note with me. Its brought a level of excitement to a weeks riding that I have never experienced before. All the riders involved are sooo stoked for it. My failings so far have been poor recon. The smart riders are pouring over maps and memorizing the sectors and turns. They are taking advantage of course knowledge and using it to their advantage. The gamesmanship has been hilarious. There may even be some bike doping/bike kidnapping going on but what happens on the TotU stays on the TotU...
Stage 3 is going to be no joke. I am heading out early in the am. I have consulted the hillclimbing experts and have a plan! Ok maybe my plan includes huge amounts of cofeets and Swedish Death metal. But some plan is better than none right! The Ride Studio has been a great hub for this Tour. We were in for quite a while plotting and scheming today. Huge thanks to Matt and David for being such great companions on this house of pain.....


  1. What happened to Simpson? He looks 75 years old.

  2. Chip, let me know if you need help getting the .crs files on your Garmin. The 800 is nicer than the 500 but courses on the 500 can be helpful.