When the 2017 Ohio State Cycling Time Trial and Road Race Championships were announced, I was immediately interested. They would both be hosted by the Dayton Cycling Club, and held the same weekend in towns that were only about 20 minutes apart. My son and I had done the Ohio State Time Trial Championship in 2016 with good results, but neither of us had ever done a road race. I presented the idea to my wife, and she did not like the thought of our first road race being the state championship. After assuring her that the boy would be fine, she relented, and we decided to make a weekend of it. This was in late April or early May.
In mid-June, I quit my desk job at the YMCA, and took a very physically demanding job at our neighbor’s warehouse. I was working an average of 55 hours a week, on second shift. While preparing for 2016’s state championship, I was getting 150-200 miles per week on the bike, and I was getting in some good hill training. This year, my training was a lot less, and in preparation for these events, I was only able to average 150-200 miles per month. To say the least, I did not have high hopes for my race performance. I did, however, believe that my son would have a great weekend, and that was enough motivation to go through with it, no matter what the weekend held for me.
Fast forward to race weekend: When I woke up Friday morning, I was tired, sore, and dehydrated. I knew I had to take in as much food, water, and amino acids as I could during the work day. I had dropped 11 pounds during the past month, so I wasn’t worried about taking in too much of anything. After a long and hard day at work, I was happy to get home at 9:00. I ate a quick dinner, and loaded up the car with our bikes and gear. My wife decided not to come, and Logan and I were on the road by 9:30, and arrived at our hotel at 11:45.
When the alarm went off at 5am, it was raining. We had been watching the forecast all week, so it was expected, but it wasn’t as bad as predicted. I had coffee, a peanut butter sandwich, and sports drink. Logan ate his usual prerace granola bars and sports drink. We got on the road and I headed in the wrong direction. When we finally got turned around, it started raining so hard that I could not see a thing. I started to wonder if the race would be delayed or cancelled, but by the time we got to the venue, it stopped raining. And it was a bonus that the rain drove the temperature down to the low 70s, which would be great for racing.
Once we unpacked and got our bikes put back together, we ran into Jason Izworski. I know Jason from Facebook, and this was the first time we actually met in person. He is a Category 4 racer, and has been doing triathlon, cycling, and running, for a while. It was nice to meet him, and hear him give my son some of the same advice that I had been giving him. He seemed to be listening more to Jason, than he had been listening to me. Well, at least he learned that I know what I’m talking about!
After talking to Jason, we went out for a warm-up ride. I wanted to go out about two miles, to see the only real hill on the course, or what I was told was the only real hill on the course. It was a cool morning, and the roads were still really wet from the rain. We rode out an easy 2.4 miles to the climb, or what I thought was “the climb”. It turns out that I was wrong, and the big climb was about another half mile up the road. We got back and had a snack and some fluids, and got ready to race.
The race started about five minutes late, but it was a well run event, and the racers did all start one minute apart. I heard, just before my start, that a volunteer had told the first couple of riders to do a second loop. Someone said that they were able to redo their race later. I took off a few riders ahead of Logan.
I rode my Felt B-14 with 81mm deep rims. I wore just a dry fit top and cycling shorts. I knew my time would not be fast enough to get on the podium, so I just went for comfort over tight fitting aero gear. I did leave the water bottle off the bike, because I knew the course was just under 10 miles, and I would not need it. The course was an out, to a loop, then back on the same road that we went out on. The first 4 miles had hills, mostly rolling hills, with one climb. The last 5.9 miles were mostly flat, with a lot of 90 degree turns, which were fun to ride, despite the wet roads.
I wanted to see just how hard I could ride and hold it. I took off at just about 25 mph, and slowed down on the hill, for an average of 21.9 mph for the first 5 miles. Once I hit the flat with the turns, I averaged 25.7 mph for the next 4.9 miles, with a top speed of 42.8 mph on the downhill. I tried to hit all the turns as hard as I could without hitting the brakes. This worked great for all but one turn. I managed to stay on the road, but it definitely woke me up a little. Overall, it was a good course for the state championship.
Logan had a great race. He won his age group for the second year in a row, and was very happy.
Logan averaged 204 watts with a max power output at 653 watts with his normalized power at 218 watts. It is always a great experience to do events with my son, whether it’s cycling or triathlon. I hope we compete together for a long time.