Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The TT That Almost Killed Us...

With Mike still sort of in recovery from his knee surgery, and me having done a hard effort at our women's ride last night, we decided to go to the TT and give the rocketship (aka tandem) its first run of the season tonight. Figured it would likely be easier for us than riding our own bikes.

We started out well, and quickly got into a good rhythm on the bike. About 2 - 2.5 miles into the loop, we were forced off the road and onto the dirt by a car that was turning left and taking up the whole road. Mike is an expert bike handler, so quickly got us back onto the road without incident, and back on our way. It was awkward and somewhat difficult getting back into our rhythm after that, but we managed, and were cruising along quite well.

At about mile 5, we were almost killed. This section of the course is VERY fast, and we were cruising along at about 35 mph when a woman started pulling out from a driveway in front of us. Mike locked up both disc brakes, but a tandem with two large people on it moving in a forward motion at that speed is very difficult/impossible to stop. Heart rates went up, and sadly, some cursing ensued. Luckily, she ended up seeing us, and didn't pull out any further.

From my perspective, this was scary. When we are on the tandem working that hard, I don't see anything around me, so didn't know what was going on.

After that incident, Mike lifted the visor on his helmet and declared that he was done. We pedaled fairly easily for a short distance, and then the competitiveness kicked back in and we were off, trying once again to get into a rhythm. At this point, we were demotivated, and having trouble catching anyone who started in front of us, and we still had the hilly part of the course to come.

As we turned onto the final stretch (where the hills start) ANOTHER car made a left turn DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF US! Is it a full moon tonight? We're not small, and the rocketship is bright yellow/orange - you can't miss two large aliens on a rocketship like that! I honestly don't get it...We finally caught a couple of people who had started ahead of us, and ended up in a sprint finish with our 30 second person (who set a PR tonight - he was FLYING). We finished the 9.75 mile course in 22:40 which is a great time given the challenges we faced.

I am just glad to be sitting here typing this story.....


Loraine said...

Holy Sh&t Cathy! Scary! That's too many close calls for one night... Glad to hear that our fearless leader emerged unscathed... Have a great weekend, hope to see you at the races!

Edward said...

it wasn't you, it was a weird night.

Because the TT bike still scares me, I rode in the PR instead...3 laps, and I swear I saw a ghost in there twice. At the top of trestletown, headed down the dirt steep part that take you by the rust car on the left and the white car on the left, I saw a tall lady walking around or on top of the rusty car. Now I SWEAR ! just 40 yards ahead, you go further and take a left and that takes you into the pines and towards the start/finish of the TT. but right before that there is another dead car up the banking on the right. The SAME lady was walking on top of the wreck. Same person, 50 yards apart, and I was going 12mph. it took me seconds to go by both cars and no way could a person on foot could get there ahead of me

spooks I tell ya

claudia said...

Dude. That is the TT from hell right there.

Michele said...

Wow. Glad you're both okay.

And that is great time, especially with the stupid drivers!

Philip said...

22:40 is still 25.8 MPH average, not bad by any standard ... and I'm sure the best is yet to come!

Pretty soon the rocketship will find the hyperdrive switch and really blast. Make Einstien proud, and bend some light waves.


paul.obeda@ said...

Wow. What a trip.

Sounds like a good, loud bicycle air horn might help save your vocal chords, if not more.

Mark B said...

Hmmm - seems we might consider putting a marshal on the final corner. We have enough close calls right at the finish line with spent riders milling about, the narrow road, and the drivers who get confused by dozens of people frantically waving at them.

- Mark B