Read a report of the action by Wayne Bowers!
8/18/12 Ohio Power Series Race #7
Today is 331 Racing’s annual Reagan Park Time Trial in Medina, Ohio. This year they have lengthened the course to include some new trail making this an 8 mile race. CAMBA teammate Mike Kline and I rode over together and met up with Rusty Brown also of CAMBA. The weather is a perfect 70ish and sunny and the trail is dry and fast.
We begin discussing our bikes and find that Rusty and I are both experiencing the joy of a skipping chain while in the big ring on our 2 x 10 setups. I replaced my chain and cassette in between the West Branch race last weekend and this one but it looks like I also need new chain rings..? What this means to us is that we will have to race in the small chain ring for the entire race. I have no idea what this will do to my race. Will I have enough gears, will my legs suffer from the higher cadence? I guess I will find out. Rusty also discovers that his front fork is not holding air today and he will have to lock it out for the race. It’s not looking good for Rusty and I today.
At 11:15 we are escorted by police down the road to the starting area near baseball field #3. I do not start until 12:14 so I hang out catching up with others and figuring out what staying in the small ring feels like. I also have the opportunity to warm up within 5 minutes of my start time which is nice.
We line up and there are 3 guys in front of me. Today we 40-49ers will benefit from a clear course because we are the first to go in this wave. That rocks. Most likely I won’t have to worry about passing anyone. Nice! Bill Raun is first, Paul Archer is directly in front of me, I am not familiar with the one in front of him and I meet Bill Rogers who is right behind me.
I take off at sprinting to get going in my little chain ring and it feels weird but I sit down and just try to dish out power. I get up the paved path see where I am supposed to turn right and realize that it is a 90 degree turn with two sticks on the ground that will surely throw me if I hit them and I slow and crawl around the turn. Frustrating. I can’t afford to lose time like that especially since I have only ridden this course a few other times.
I ride on as fast as I can and I realize just how little of this course I remember. I am not a huge fan of time trials because they are over so fast but I do need this skills work. I struggle to maintain speed on this section of the course. There are a lot of twisty tight turns that I am forced to crawl around but I am getting the hang of steering my 29er at these speeds.
The small ring proves to be pretty good. I am not burning up anywhere. There aren’t any sustained climbs here anyways but I find that my legs seem to appreciate the higher cadence over a bigger gear on the hills I do have to climb. Probably 20 minutes into the race I see Bill Rogers behind me just railing turns. He must be on a 26er. At just about the same time I see Paul Archer. I count to where he was and it’s about 18 seconds. That means I have gained 12 on him which is encouraging because he smoked me at Chestnut Ridge a few weeks ago.
Not long after my little confidence boost Bill Rogers is on me and I give him room at the crest of a small hill to get by. I try to stay with him but that instance of slowing gave him a gap on me that I can’t close. I grab my bottle and now I am 5 seconds behind him. Shoot, I wanted to ride behind him for awhile. I never see him again. Who is this guy? I have never seen him before last week’s race.
We climb up a hill cross a road and fly down a hill where someone is racing a little remote control car and I see that Paul Archer is fixing his bike. He is ok- just experiencing the sheer joy of a mechanical. I race on completing section after section the names of which I don’t know. The trail is tacky and fast and I have sort of figured out how to lay the bike over more on it’s side so I don’t have to brake on the 1,000 little turns this course has for me. I have by no means mastered this skill and almost wack trees periodically.
Eventually I pop out on the road, take a quick drink, then sprint down a hill and out onto the soccer field which leads to the Huffman trail. I am somewhat familiar with the Huffman section since I just raced it for the Trails and Treads duathlon. I hammer the soccer field draining the tank because I know that the little road between this field and Huffman is loose gravel and I won’t be able to keep my speed up there.
I get into Huffman shoot through the beginning climb and see someone a few switchbacks up the hill. Yes! I am gaining on someone. It has to be the guy that left second in our wave. I fly through this trail marveling that my legs still have this much in them. Small chain ring rules! I seem to be gaining on him. He turns out of Huffman to the soccer field that leads to the finish with me about 10 seconds behind him. I manage to close that gap some but there just isn’t enough course left. I cross the line in 44:42. Good enough for 3rd at that time but, someone that started behind me posts a faster time and I end up in 4th for the day.
As expected Bill Raun kills it in 41:36 for 1st in our class. I am very happy with this finish especially since last year in this race I flatted my front tire to the ground spraying Stans Sealant everywhere and had to run the last ½ mile to finish. Rusty finishes with his front fork locked out and in his small chain ring in 8th with a 46:27, Mike finishes 9th with a 46:36, Jon finishes 13th with a 48:23.
Thanks to our sponsors, Eddy’s Bike Shop, Kenda Tires, The Bistro on Main in Kent and Rudy Project Sunglasses for supporting CAMBA!