- Race: METTS Freeport Time Trial
- MonsterTrucker: Valerie
- Date/time: Sunday, June 15, 2014 07:30 a.m. (start time was 7:41 a.m.)
- Distance: 16.6 miles
- Goal speed: get to 19 mph or higher average
- Goal time: under an hour (set when course was originally 18 miles)
- Average speed: 18.8 mph (pretty close if it weren’t for that darn hill)
- Max speed: 36.2 mph
- Elevation change: 639 ft
- Temperature/Wind speed: A bit dewy upon arrival, but got a bit muggy and sunny. Wind speed was probably negligible although it would have been nice to have something to blame for me slowing down on the uphills.
- tl;dr: Fueled by Smuttynose beer and Honey Stingers. Entertained by Tasty Dude Films.
I met up with my friend Jake again and we went to the Emerge Film Festival in Lewiston-Auburn with his friends Travis and Jon from Tasty Dude Films where we caught their feature-length film “The Water in the Bay.” It’s a rather bittersweet story about how people deal (or don’t deal) with loss. It’s also surprisingly funny in places as I think the comic relief character falls nicely in the tradition of the wise fool as made popular in Shakespeare’s day (probably before then as well). Travis plays a drug-dealing pizza delivery guy and would-be detective. If it’s shown at another film festival or out on DVD or streaming video, I’d highly recommend giving it a watch. Here’s the trailer:
After having a late lunch at Gritty’s (the Mexicali burger is delicious, albeit messy), Jake and I went to Freeport to scope out the course. I have to admit, I was a bit intimidated by the hills, which didn’t look so bad when I looked at it online. For a bit of a morale boost (and to hang out with Jake’s twin brother Josh, who is known for his blog and book on beer) we went to Novare Res for Smuttfest as hosted by our sponsor Smuttynose Brewing.
As much as it would be awesome if it were otherwise, it was merely a coincidence that I was in town for a bike race the same time our sponsor was having an event. There, I had a rather delicious Durty (which despite being a spring beer, I think would make for a perfect handup beer for cyclocross season since it’s refreshing, but still has enough to provide fuel for a tough runup and stay warm in a crisp autumn day) and a Scotch Ale, which made me see plaid when I drank it (either that or it was because I was surrounded by hipsters).
Since I had a race the next morning, we called it a night after just a couple of beers.
Bright and early, we made it out to Freeport. I quickly assembled my once-bagged bike and checked in at the registration table, where I got a tracking device that looked like one of those things people under house arrest have to wear if they’re a flight risk. I warmed up by spinning around the block a couple of times, but we were so early that I didn’t want to keep spinning at the risk of wearing myself out.
Since the race was slightly longer than Cape Elizabeth, I made sure not to completely blow out at the beginning, although I wanted to give the spectators at the starting line a good show by going hard out of the gate. Surprisingly, I passed a couple of other riders who started ahead of me along the way. The hills were what I expected. I tried my best to keep momentum from the downhills and flats, although I jumped the gun in dropping to a lower gear a couple of times, resulting in egg-beatering and losing time. I also made sure to try to drink enough water (I ended Cape Elizabeth with a half bottle of water left) and enjoy some delicious Cherry Blossom Honey Stingers (my favorite flavor) along the way so I’d avoid bonking. The result was I didn’t feel completely dead halfway through the race.
Somewhere around mile 11 according to my cycling computer, I heard a car approaching from behind. No big deal, I knew the course was still open to traffic (but was very helpfully marshalled by the Freeport Police to make sure we could continue through intersections… definitely felt weird running a stop sign in front of a cop and having it be ok). Then, suddenly cowbell! As the SUV passed, I heard yelling and cheering from people I didn’t even know. My energy level had been flagging slightly since it was past the halfway point and I was going uphill, but hearing that made me remember cross season. I suppose that was the happy thought I needed to get me flying again. Along the way, picturesque trees and farms (including what Jake refers to as oreo cows) lined the curvy (albeit sometimes bumpy) roads.
Near the end, I knew it was coming, but the dread was palpable. I remember Jake asking when we were in the car, “Hey, do you remember that thing that looked like a wall that we passed through? That’s on the course too.” I probably should have taken a picture of it since it’s significantly less scary-looking on google maps. Granted, it’s short, but if you did what I did by downshifting too early, it’s excruciating.
When I got to Bow street, there was one more climb before the finish line. Naturally, this was where they put a photographer. Then I pushed as hard as I could. You know, to give the finish line spectators a good show. I made sure to stop before the train tracks though, because that would not have been a fun day after that.
Finishing time: 52:55.957
First in my age group (out of one racer… winning by default is still winning) and first in the Women’s Merckx division (out of two).
I was only slightly faster in mph than at Cape Elizabeth, although this course was longer and slightly more hilly. Still, I accomplished my goal of completing the course in under an hour. Also, Jake and I had brunch at Silly’s in Portland afterward where I continued the fine tradition of fried chicken after a race (like the country fried chicken I had after Ice Weasels)/long ride (back in March, I got QOM of fried chicken at Cambridge Common… ok, that’s not actually a thing but it should be). Thus I accomplished my continuous goal of using riding bikes as an excuse to eat a ridiculous amount of food in fun places.
That’s enough for now. So get out there and ride your bike!