Although a separate event from the Utah TT this year, the Idaho 40k TT was scheduled to begin at 7:30am at the highway junction south of Sun Valley. This meant I had to wake up way too early at home, not knowing anyone to stay with in the greater Sun Valley area. But there were no wildlife encounters, so I arrived in good time.
Then the promoter (Rich, Richard Feldman from Sun Valley, remember him from a previous ID TT?) decided to go warm up and Joe, the by-the-letter-of-the-rule-book USCF official, wouldn't start sending riders until he showed up again. Which he did after about 15 minutes, so no big deal. Not many people were available to start, as this was apparently Rich's first promotional effort and he didn't get many flyers out. Looked like there were a few masters ahead of me to chase, and only two seniors behind me.
The early start time was selected to avoid the heat (and wind) of the day and traffic on the highway, and seemed to be working at this fairly well. It was even a little chilly with the sun just peeking up from the mountains, so I put on an extra jersey underneath. The "toys" consisted once again of my trusty clipon Scott/Lemond II bars and Trialist rear disc. I had attempted to order a Tri-Spoke from Performance, and they claimed to be shipping it but it never arrived. I found out weeks later that Tri-Spokes are not carried in stock (not that I was told this when ordering with 2-day delivery!), they still didn't have one, so I canceled the order and got almost all my $300 back. I'm still paying for shipping?
But that was in the future at this point, so what could I do but start my TT. The first bit was up a slight hill, and consequently I felt very very slow. Boy, if the rest is like this I could be out here for hours. Then I picked up some speed on the reverse slope, the wind was still minimal, and it looked pretty flat all the way to Picabo. The town, namesake of a certain Olympic skier. Thus I was feeling a little better, and pushed along at 26 or 27.
I wasn't catching my minute men, though. Oh well, some of those old guys are pretty fast. Kind of boring with nothing in front of me to chase, unfortunately for me. I zapped through Picabo (a general store and grain elevator) and was getting fairly close to the turnaround, with some slight undulations in the road appearing, when I spied a rider ahead. It turned out to be my four-minute man, well into the master categories.
Having started my stopwatch successfully on an official minute, I even had a pacing strategy in place: try to build up a cushion on the way out, in order to be sure to break an hour. An admirable strategy, needing only execution. Interestingly enough, I arrived at the turnaround (theoretically a little over halfway) in only 26 minutes, so if I could only go back that fast I would generate a final time of 52'. Hmm, being that my PR is 57'30", that's probably not going to happen, but I do have a nice cushion.
Back through Picabo, noting the two guys who started behind me closing in, Rich of course on his beam-bike. Must be tough owning a bike shop in Sun Valley and having nothing better to do than train all the time. However I also was closing on a rider up ahead, and caught him about the same time Rich caught me.
Lacking any intermediate distance readings from my intermittent speedometer, I could only watch the top of the little rise get closer. It looked like I was certain to comfortably break the hour, but going up the bump felt pretty slow. I picked up speed again on the way down - I like the way that works - and managed to wind up and hold 30 all the way to the finish line. Looking down, I seemed to have a time of 58'00". Not too bad, I suppose.
Some amount of waiting for official results to be posted, then with an official 58'01" and thanks to the low turnout I was 3rd senior man in the district as well as 3rd fastest overall. (see http://www.eagleut.com/~yorgason for all kinds of results) Rich made a new Idaho district record with his 50'51". I got a bronze-colored medal and headed for home. Quite unusual to be finished racing and home before noon, but then I got up at 4am, so it was nap time for me.