Cycling Stories: NC State Time Trial Championships

We’re passionate about cycling, whether it’s riding around the neighborhood with our family, or racing in the local criterium.  So every now and then we like to share cycling stories from our own employees, in their own words.  This week Bob and Erik, product distributors at our HQ in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, are sharing their day at the NC State Time Trial Championships:

Bob and I [Erik], two members of the Garneau Custom p/b PowerBar team, decided to try our luck at the North Carolina State Time Trial Championships. Although it’s my 3rd year racing, I had never been on a TT bike until this spring. I was hopeful & confident going into the event, but Bob’s been racing his bike since the late 70s, so this was pretty much routine for him. He knew what he could do and what his opponents could do, so all he had to do was execute and hope for a tailwind!

Ed.: photo proof that Bob's been racing for a while

We loaded up Bob’s truck with our gear and headed up one day early to give the course a good pre-ride. After a loop with a local (to us) rider, we headed into downtown High Point, NC to watch the North Carolina State Championship Crit races. The crit venue was great; a covered, outdoor bus terminal was transformed into the start/finish line, with a stage, bleachers, food vendors, P.A. system, big-screen TV that popped out of the top of a van (with a video feed of the race from numerous roof-top cameras), plus a VIP area that Bob and I somehow got invited into! Nothing like sitting in the shade, eating free food, drinking free beer, and watching some bike racing! This must be what Phil Liggett and Bob Roll do year round; what a job!

Bob on top of the Master's 50-54 podium

The next morning we staged at a local high-school and set up our trainers. As a testament to the difference in experience between Bob and I, I spent the night prior carefully pinning my race number to my jersey, while Bob simply pulled out a can of Elmer’s spray glue to affix his number just before hopping on the trainer! We started warming up for the atypical TT course, discussing mental notes from the prior day’s recon ride. The course was a true 40k, but it wasn’t as flat as most, which I preferred. Bob, on the other hand, wasn’t quite so happy with it, going so far as to say, “this isn’t a TT course!”

Erik on the Cat 3 podium

Bob went off first, shortly after 8:35 am, and I started about 10 minutes later. I won’t bore you with the details (since hearing a play-by-play of a time-trial is only exciting to the one telling it, and even that’s a stretch) but as I rolled across the line, 40k later, I looked for Bob to see how he rode. Not sure of our exact times, we traded stories of how the race went and waited for the announcement from the race organizer. I was able to put down a time of 56:22.327 (26.45 mph avg), good enough for the silver medal in Cat 3! But Bob was the big winner, with a time of 58:47.759 (25.37 mph avg), putting him atop the podium in the Master’s 50-54 category! So congratulations to Bob for a great effort and well earned win! All that was left to do was load up the truck, find a good Mexican restaurant to grab lunch, and head home.

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