2015 Race Results
The first race this year was in Ashville, North Carolina. It was a 31K time trial. This was the first time my pilot Kurt Page and I rode this year. So prior to the race the only time we rode was checking out the course. I was not at my peak and the race was a challenge. We finished fourth overall. For the level I was at, I felt we did pretty good.
The next race was the Para cycling road nationals held in Chattanooga Tennessee. Once again Kurt Page and I checked out both courses the day prior to the road race. I was familiar with the time trial course as Bob Springer and I raced it last year. The course had turns in multiple directions. There was even a round-about. Then near the end of the course was a short steep incline. It was a challenge to go up. We got great speed going down. Just like last year we had to do 2 laps. I felt we did well and we actually finished third.
The next day was the road race. This course was a 3.3 mile loop. We had to do 11 laps. Kurt and I determined on the last lap we would push it with about a half mile left. In the stretch we would go up a short incline then turn left and go up another incline which was longer. Then we would go down the incline for a good distance and at the bottom take a hard left and sprint 250 meters to the finish. When we started this final charge, on reaching the crest of the first incline, the timing chain popped off and jammed between my crank and timing ring. We tried to spin slowly to get it back on. That didn’t work and we had to stop. So much for our plan. By the time we got the chain back on, about 30 seconds, we could not catch the two other teams we were fighting for third place. Oh well at least we won a bronze for the time trial the day before.
The next two races were the 30K and 40K time trials at the Bong recreational park. This is put on by the American Bicycle Racing club. Bob Springer and I were so familiar with this course we didn’t do much of a warm up. Nothing more than doing a few fast sprints.
Shortly after the 40K Bong time trial was the Harmon 100 ride sponsored by the Wheeling Wheelman club. This is a 100 mile ride. The course had a lot of rollers, flats and many turns in the middle of nowhere. It was a nice ride. After a long ride like this it takes me a few days to recover. The weather was great. Not to hot and not to cold.
This was going to be much different than in the past. That is because the 333m track in Kenosha was closed. It was being repaved. So Bob and I would do most of our training indoors on a trainer. There were times we did ride outside using the road tandem.
One of these days we decided to ride by Parkside College. There is a loop which has a good short incline. We would shift to a hard gear before the climb and make it like we were doing a kilo. The first time we did this the 53 tooth chainring broke. We could no longer use this chainring and barely could use the small chainring to get back to Bob’s house.
We did this one other time after Bob put a new chainring on the road tandem. Then it was starting to get to cold. Therefore our training was done indoors. Here it was beginning of November and the Para cycling national team still didn’t decide where the track nationals would be held. Makes it very hard to train.
Finally it was decided the track nationals would be held in Colorado Springs, CO on December 12th and 13th. Now someone might think who would hold a track event on the track in Colorado Springs as it is outdoors and cold. Well an inflatable dome was put over the track.
Bob and I stayed at the Olympic Training Center and got there the day before the races. We were able to setup the track tandem and get in some time to be comfortable riding on this track. It is much different than the indoor track in Carson CA. This track has 33 degree banking where the track in Carson is 45 degree banking.
The first day of racing was the qualifications in the morning and finals were slightly less than 2 hours later. For qualifications we finished third. This meant we would race for the bronze against the team that finished fourth.
The final 4K pursuit race was one of the most exciting races I ever was in, if not the most. Bob and I decided to not go out as hard like we did in the past. Then we would do negative splits. That is to increase our speed every 3 laps. ON the third lap a guy on the inside of the track telling us the lap number suddenly said kilo…kilo…kilo. There is a strategy used on the track called kilo them. This means to go out really hard in this event and pass the other team in the first 3 laps which is a kilo.
When I heard the guy yelling kilo, I thought we were getting close to passing the other team. I felt Bob start pedaling faster, so I increased my output as well. Well on the tenth lap the gun was fired and Bob said we beat the other team. When the gun is fired, it tells the teams the race is over and they don’t have to go the entire 12 laps.
When we got off the track I asked Bob “Why did it take us so long to pass them when the guy was yelling kilo?” I thought we were about to pass them on the third lap. Bob said not at all. The other team was trying to kilo us. When the guy was yelling kilo, he was telling us the other team was about to pass us. They were about 30 meters behind us. That is okay that we were thinking differently on what was going on. The end result was both of us kicked into over drive and passed the other team. That is awesome going from almost being passed to passing the other team. So we won the bronze medal.
The next day was the Kilo event. Once we were up on the track in the starting gate I was totally focused on what I had to do. Make sure my body position is correct coming out of the gate and then for the next three laps. The first ¾ of a lap we are standing and then we sit for the remainder. I felt totally in synch with Bob. This ride was one that I felt my body was in the perfect aero position as well. With our limited training I feel Bob and I did great. We had the third fastest time for the kilo. We took home the bronze.
I would finish with saying I could not have done this on my own. There are so many people that provide assistance and encouragement. That is my family, friends, sponsors (Wheel and Sprocket), my pilot Bob. When it comes to friends I thank Ken Goll the most. He has helped out in many ways, especially building the box used to take the tandem on the airplane going to a race. And let’s not forget the Almighty Lord!