One of the most beautiful stages of the Tour de
France is the team time trial. We try to replicate that here with our
40K (25.5 mile) courses that foster a true sense of camaraderie because
we all share the work at the front and return with an impressive average that
reflects all of our participation.
Your fellow riders are your
teammates here, not your competitors. You don’t need a TT bike
(although they are welcome), TT helmet, or any of the fancy gear. All
you need is standard road gear and a desire to ride fast in a team
setting. Come out and give it a try!
FAST FRIDAY RIDERS’ BIBLE (BY PETER TELEP)
Safety first. We always call out turns, sand, pot
holes, cars back, etc. This is a BIG DEAL. No exceptions. While
"racers" tend to do this very subtly, we do not. "CAR BACK!" "SAND!"
We ride as a team. There is no showboating here.
This is a team time trial event, where all riders pull their weight and
contribute what they can for the team's overall time/speed. We have no
sweepers, so if you drop, you must know how to get back.
TT BIKES: You may ride in your drops when you
pull--but you are still responsible for calling out and pointing out
hazards in the road. If you can’t come out of your drops to call out a
hazard, don’t bring that bike. Also, while in the pace line, YOU NEVER
RIDE IN YOUR DROPS. This is a roadie rule. We want your hands near
Warm up: there is none. Let me say that again. If
you need a massive warm up, ride to the ride start and/ or bring your
trainer and ride like a maniac in the parking lot beforehand, LOL.
I tend to take the first pull. We roll out and spin
up to 24 mph, trying to maintain a minimum speed of 24mph for the
entire ride. You will hurt in the first five miles. This is normal.
During the ride, we WILL slow down considerably for turns, stop for any RED LIGHTS, and obey all traffic laws.
PULLS: when the guy in front of you gets off
(signaling by waving his elbow or tapping a fist on his butt), maintain
his speed until he gets back into the pace line. Don't reward the
puller for his fine work by suddenly accelerating from 24mph to 28mph
while he's trying to catch his breath. If you plan to increase speed,
do it very gradually so we can all follow. Conversely, if the guy's
pulling at 28mph, comes off, and you can't hold, then you get out of
there and don't slow the group. Protect the pace and don't take a long
pull if you can't maintain. You do the group a favor by getting off
before you slow us all down. Always look back first before you come off
the front, and always stay tight as you roll back to the last wheel.
The last man in the pace line will call out, "LAST WHEEL!"
Soft pedaling: when we ride tight at faster speeds,
the danger factor increases considerably if the group slows down
abruptly, especially when we hit wind. Do everyone a favor and leave a
little more gap on windy days.
You might think you need to get tighter, but
yo-yoing can quickly lead to a crash. With that slightly larger gap,
you can soft pedal a lot more, instead of braking a lot and/or coasting
too much. Every time you stop pedaling, you send an alarm into the guy
behind you. Just remember that.
FLATS/MECHANICALS: We all stop. The average we
keep is a rolling average, so stopping to fix a flat will only cost us a
few tenths. We will not leave anyone alone to fix a problem on this
ride. If we can't fix the problem,
we'll finish the ride, then drive back to pick up our comrade.
Most of the veterans of this ride know the roads
very well. We know every pothole, every sandy section, and we know
which parts of the roads are protected from wind and which are not.
This gives us an advantage over new
riders, as we are better able to dose out our
effort. If you're new to the ride, I would advise keeping your pulls
short and fast, so you can get a feel for the overall course and learn
where and when to apply power.
At the end of the ride there is usually a surge in
the pace and a final sprint point if anyone wants it, but if we are
doing our jobs right, we should have left all our excessive energy on
the course. Again, we are working as a team to pull the group as
quickly as possible to the finish. If guys run out of steam at this
point and drop off, no problem. The ride is over. I stop the clock
when I get to a designated spot at the end of the road. We always
compete against our fastest recorded time.