The Blair Road Hill Time Trial
not to be confused with the Blair Witch Project though........Jim Behrens had a great idea this year of having a hill time trial on one of the steepest hills in the area, and the #1 hill that came to mind was Blair Rd. South. Now this hill isn't very long, approx. 1/2 mile, but it's steep, in places the grade tops out at 14-15%. This hill is on Tony's and my regular bike routes so we are very familiar with it and have ridden it literally hundreds of times if not more, but rarely do we ever blast up it like we did last night. Jim started us in the river valley about 200 meters North of the bridge over the Grand River, which allowed us to get slightly anerobic and somewhat of a decent speed up before the start of the climb. I drew first stick and was actually nervous! Like I said, I have ridden this hill forever and was NEVER nervous about riding it, but theres something about racers lining up and knowing you are going to compete that makes the nerves kick in. I could have a TT right in front of my house and I would get nervous about it.........Anyway as soon as Daryl let go of my seatpost I took off like I was doing a flat TT. I went over the bridge at 24.5 mph and was breathing pretty heavily. Normally when I go over the bridge my HR is less than 100 due to the long 40+ MPH downhill beforehand that begins at River Rd. which also allows alot of momentum for the start of the climb. I hit the base of the climb and dropped down into my small ring and stood and pumped, not giving 100% yet because the steep part was yet to come. As I rounded the corner where the guy with the tennis courts lives I opened it up full throttle. I hammered the steepest section so hard I literally was seeing stars at this point, which I had never seen before on this hill. I crested the top and rode the false flat to where Jim and Alice were taking times just before Ford Rd. and I was feeling really dizzy, damn that was hard, but fun all at the same time.
The distance of the short but intense TT measured just .49 miles from point to point and my finishing time was 1:59 seconds. Could I have lessened my time anywhere? I don't really think so, at least not on this particular night. Could I prepare for it by having fresher legs? sure, but it was all relative last night.
Matt, AKA Mario (sorry Matt) won with a time of 1:44, Tony was 2nd. with a 1:48 and then me with a 1:59, I don't know about the others times but I'm sure they were nearly as good and I do know everyone suffered, thats the great thing about starting first, you get to see the agony in everyone as they cross the line.
Afterward, Matt, Daryl, Tony and I did a cool down ride which was anything but a cool down. We rode about 15 or 16 miles at sometimes race pace and slightly lower. Legs felt good during the ride and we all did our turns taking hard pulls. Once we got back on the regular Leroy TT course by the turnaround we opened it up all the way to the finish. Matt took the final pull from about 1 mile out and was pulling at over 30 MPH. I was sitting 3rd. wheel and jumped at about 200-300 meters out and opened up a 34.5 MPH finishing sprint to end a great training ride. It was alot of fun last night and thanks once again to Jim for organizing this, nice job Jim.
Last triathlon tomorrow at Presque Isle then it's cross season. Bring it on.
P.S. The header picture on my blog is actually Blair Rd. hill facing North, which isn't as steep.