Isn't it great when a plan comes together?

TTT-1410-XL-smThe plan was simple. Paul even put it in writing on his Facebook page. "We're gonna Kill It.. Team OC will Rock the island." That was it. So simply stated, so difficult to pull off.

And yet, as Paul so succinctly predicted, on Saturday, September 8th, we did it. Here is what Paul's follow-up post said, "1st Place....the Island was rocked today. Thanks Eddie, Bob, Ernie...for a Brilliant Race. Time for a nap."

It was really just like that. Three Canyon Velo riders (Paul L, "Pastor" Bob B, and me) along with Ernie L from Team Pinnaclife won the annual 40k (25 mile) Fiesta Island Team Time Trial in the 4-Man 180+ category with a time of 53:03, with an average speed of 28.3 mph. We did crush the course.

We planned it, prepared for it, raced it, and won. It was really nice to see the plan come together.


 The plan started on July 6th when Paul sent an e-mail out to see if there was enough interest in getting a team together. Soon we had a 4 man team. We also had a couple of back-up riders in mind in case we had a need.

The plan next called for several training sessions where we worked on the longer efforts that would be required to effectively compete in a 40k time trial, which is twice as long as the typical 20k TT that we usually race.

Several of those sessions involved us riding by ourselves behind the regular CV Sunday ride so that we could simulate the intensity of a long TT without having to be worried about others behind. That resulted in some very fast rides.

TTT-1324-XL-smWith a week to go, it became apparent that we would need to implement the back-up plan, as one of the original riders had to bow out. With a couple of calls we had Pastor Bob on board as our 4th rider. Pastor Bob had always been in our minds as a potential back-up because of two reasons. One, he is always near fitness, as even when he is "not riding" he can be found in the local gym putting hours on the stationary trainers. Secondly, he is one of the most mentally tough individuals out there, so if anyone can suffer for an hour of racing, he can.

That brought us to race day.

For those who haven't raced it before, Fiesta Island is a large island in San Diego's Mission Bay with a well paved semi-perimeter road of a bit over 4 miles circling around from the causeway and back. For the 40k TTT, each team makes six laps.

It was a beautiful day, a bit humid with temperatures right around 70 with little to no wind. We arrived at Fiesta Island in the dark. We all parked together in the little dirt lot across the causeway from the island and put the trainers on the concrete bike path along the edge. Since Bob and I had not raced Fiesta before, at first light we went over to the island with Paul and rode one lap to get the lay of the land. We then went back to ride the stationary trainers.

With about 15 minutes until our start time, we packed up and headed across the causeway to the start house on the island. Ralph Elliot, sometimes called the voice of So Cal Cycling, was announcing the race. Soon the fans heard, "There goes Team OC" as we raced away onto the course.

Six laps seems like a long way. We said little to each other as we quickly settled into our turns. It was apparent that we had a strong team. The transitions were smooth, with each one pulling through, taking a pull, and then getting off for the others.

The first two laps went by quickly. The third and fourth laps were the most difficult for me. It seemed like these were taking forever. The longer we road, the stronger Ernie's pulls seemed to become. Paul also made some very long fast pulls. Bob and I did our jobs, taking our pulls and keeping the speed up.

It was really fun to be the team that passed other teams in our category. In fact we caught and passed the team that we were most concerned about on the 5th lap. That team tried to repass us, but Ernie and then Paul really laid it down and we never saw them again until the awards ceremony.

On that day two Cat 1 teams both broke the course record. With about 2 1/2 miles to go in the race, one of those teams (not in our category) passed us. We were going fast, and they shot by us. Ernie put in a marvelous effort to keep us within sight of them as a means to increase our speed.

At about the same time after I had just taken my pull and had come to the back, Pastor Bob said he was done. I quickly crossed the gap and filled in behind Paul and Ernie. Since the time was to be taken on the third man, we had to keep it together for the last two miles. Bob told me later that he did that to motivate me to give it my all for the remaining two miles. Soon Paul, Ernie, and I crossed the line, and not long after Bob came home.

Paul used the word brilliant to describe the ride. That truly fit what each of the riders did. It was especially true of Pastor Bob's ride. Think of being called in to sub with a week to go, not really training specifically, and then staying in, while taking ALL of your pulls until only two miles to go. Again, brilliant!

The gold medals simply topped off a plan well done.



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