Sunday, March 13, 2011


Headwinds and light drizzle toward the end of today’s Iona bike time trial made for conditions that were a far cry from those seen for the same event last semester. Only 5 of the 14 riders who competed in the event in both the spring and the fall managed to improve on their times. Kory’s 15:23 was nearly a minute back of his own course record time. With all of the other riders facing the same headwinds during the last 5k, Kory still had the fastest time of the day.

There is a much more interesting comparison to be made, one more indicative of improvement or atrophy over the last couple months. How your time compares to Winston’s; whether it be in the pool, on the bike, or running, has long been a club performance standard.

All told, ten of us finished in front of him and we have every reason to be proud. After setting his PB’s in nearly every event last year, Winston has never been fitter. Both Johnson and I were defeated by Winston in the Iona time trial for the Fall Classic, but managed to finish ahead of him this morning. Kellen has every right to be thrilled because he finally beat me at something, but I will humbly remind him that he has hardly improved. Last semester he finished 1:03 ahead of Winston, this semester, 1:05; hardly any significant difference. As a benchmark and a yardstick, Winston you have no equal. Please keep up the consistency. One day I will swim in your lane.

Kellen and I were practically neck and neck. Our photo finish is included below, with Winston trailing. I'm in the pink. I assure you it would have been more dramatic had we not started 20 seconds apart.

Last semester, the women’s winner, Kim managed to get through the course nine seconds ahead of Winston in 16:48, which remains the female course record. Her 18:30 today put her first among the ladies yet again and puts her four-tenths of a point ahead of Brendan in the overall, combined gender standings. Brendan has never been angrier. To make matters worse, plans for much anticipated post-race pizza were cancelled. He has since been utterly inconsolable.

Derrick has already made appologies for ruining Kim's finish photo.

Some observations from the race:

Eddy does not understand the basic principles of nutrition. Anything eaten minutes before a 10k time trial will not enter your blood stream in time to improve performance.

People with the name Jen are cursed when it comes to bike time trials. Jen Bhatla’s chain broke within the first few seconds of the uphill bike two weeks ago. Jen Moroz had today’s only flat within the first few hundred meters of the course. Suspicions of foul play point to Theresa, who is just behind Jen in the overall standings. A small puncture, a slow leak, a screw in the tire, all would be in Theresa’s best interest. I will advise Jen at the next available opportunity to check her fork for hairline cracks and to avoid dark alleys. To add to suspicion, I will point out that mechanical problems also kept Jen from racing the Iona time trial in October as well. On the plus side, while helping Jen change the sabotaged tube Kellen has set the new club record for the task. Twenty-three seconds. Sorry Matt.

Four eagles, three herons and innumerable crows were spotted along the course during the warm-up. Since no riders could lift their eyes above road level during the race, it is not know whether they remained to watch the time trial. Several horses had turned out to line the course as well, but proved to be rather poor spectators, interested more in hay consumption than cheering on the riders. They could have at least turned their water trough toward the outer fence and set up a Spartan aid station. I really think a sip of stagnant water at the 8k mark could have taken minutes off my time.

Shortly after Kellen passed me with 3k to go, I detected the unmistakable scent of burning rubber. While Kellen went by at a good pace, I seriously doubted he had reached speeds where rubber begins to overheat. In July maybe, but this was still an early season time trial after all. I saw some emergency vehicles on the adjacent runway and traced the cause of the stench to an aircraft’s tires on the tarmac after landing. I subsequently tried and failed to use some of the landing planes to pace myself. A fuselage is clearly better shaped to handle headwinds than the average cyclist. Especially Kaley’s parachute jacket, an outfit forcibly imposed on her by those on the losing side of the “Kaley Vs Boys” row on the spreadsheet. Some sort of handicap was clearly necessary.

After allowing 40 minutes for Kellen to get his camera in position to take a group photo, much of the group had become thoroughly chilled. Half of the group broke off to ride farther into Richmond while the more sensible lot headed back into Vancouver. Matt Reeve received yet another DNS, perhaps hoping the enormous pressure to perform will allow him to do well in the final three events of the Spring Fling. Once again, congratulations to Kory who beat Winston by an impressive two minutes and forty three seconds.

For the next event, a source of post-race calories and protein will need to be determined beforehand. Steveston Pizza doesn’t open until three in the afternoon, and Kellen received no response to his invitation to eat at Uncle Fatih’s pizza on Broadway. I later heard that Kellen was unable to enjoy his pizza because tears of sorrow had made it far too salty to stomach. To avoid subjecting Kellen to such a lonesome dining experience again, let’s all head to Fresh Slice at The Village after running the mile.

Winston's long ride home to Burnaby happened to be during some of the heaviest rain of the afternoon. The photo below of Winston's commute was taken by a photography student at Emily Carr who happened to be passing by.

Kory Seder 15:23
Barry Claman 15:29
Dylan 1:40 15:55
Brendan Neaf 15:58
Vincent Lavallee16:43
Kellen Kjera 17:01
John Heinz 17:34
Max 4:20 17:40
Johnson Jia 17:52
Derrick Lee 18:15
Winston Guo 18:06
Tyler Filteau 18:21
Ben 3:40 18:53
Eddy Wu 18:54
Kim Seder 18:30
Victoria Gilbert18:56
Steph Urness 18:56
Steph Flynn 19:31
Kaley 6:40 20:07
Drew 4:00 20:31
Seanna 5:20 20:31
Jen Bhatla 22:04
Claudia 6:20 22:10
Sherry 7:00 22:21

1 comment:

bnaef said...

I'm pretty sure my time was actually somewhere around 16:32, not 15:58