Some 'Aero Testing', 1st MTB Race of the Year
Hey there sports fans!
Last week i went to the track to do my 2x20m session, and i thought i'd try a few different positions while i was out there, and see if there was much of a difference (i think this is a variation of the Chung Test!)
Since it was 2x20min, i figured i'd try different hand positions for 10min periods. The weather was pretty good, but cool. Very little breeze. The only significant change was that the sun was setting so the first 20min i was in the sun and the area was a bit warmer. It felt cooler the second effort...in theory that ought to mean a slightly slower time, but it's probably not a significant issue in this case.
I was on my winter bike (fenders) and my hand positions were:
#1 - middle of the bar tops
#2 - hoods, arms flatish, bent over a bit more
#3 - middle of the tops, same as #1, maybe a bit lower
#4 - drops
Here's the wattage (AP) and speed for each 10min segment:
273w / 34.8kph
270w / 35.3kph
267w / 34.7kph
260w / 35.2kph
#1 and #3 are fairly close, as expected. #2 and #4 are more interesting. It's a bit more speed in the first, and #4 is really significant as the watts were a fair bit lower (getting tired), but the speed was about the same as riding 10w harder - so in theory at ~35kph riding in the drops saves me over 10w.
I'll try to mirror this in my next few efforts, see what results!
Also, the first Island Cup MTB race was last Sunday here at Hartland (The Dump!), and i had a pretty good event. There were some good duels with other riders, and my main focus was maintaining a certain pacing strategy - ensuring i ease off on the gas before particular technical sections (like the technical bits going up Crazy Horse, Rollie Ridge and that nasty grade at the end of Crossover) and i managed to get PBs in my lap times (30min, 32mins), and much better than i was expecting (32-35min). Last year i was so gassed that i'd hit a few of these sections and have to get off the bike to get over the technical bits. This year i planned to get off and use my CX skills in a few spots (that nasty bit on the climb on Crazy Horse, and the big, wide rocky corner on Skull Trail, which i normally ride, but knew it'd be faster just to run), and then ensure i have gas in the tank for the others (which i did!) So, well planned.
Admittedly i eased off on the first half of Shock Treatment as it was really muddy and got some in my eye the first lap...so could have snipped a little more time if i wasn't slowing down for puddles...i'm such a fair-weather weeny. ;)
I rolled into the finish, and goofed around before the line, delaying 10-15seconds, and then there was a riding coming up behind so i weaved over across the line, but they scored him in front of me - boo! So 11th in Intermediate (B) Men. Whatev's, i know i beat that guy. =P
Planning to head up to Cobble Hill next week for #2 in the series, and avoid the second VCL (local road race series) on a hilly course.
PS - here's the poll from my last entry, if you haven't voted already, when do you find you perform best?