Sunday, November 02, 2008

Bike race: Lost Faculties vs. Lance Armstrong

Yesterday, Jon and I (of team "Lost Faculties") competed in a bike race in Gruene, Texas. It was 16 mile time-trial, on River Road which follows the Guadalupe River. There were about 150 entrants, including Lance Armstrong, as well as many of the top state and local riders. Riders started at 30 second intervals for about an hour and a half, except the last few riders started a minute apart, and Lance started last with a 3 minute gap. The out-and-back course was more difficult than previous time-trials I've done, with a lot of small hills and turns, so it was hard to get going fast and easy to lose speed. Lisa came to watch, and also Jon's wife Sylvie and daughter Coralee.

Sylvie took pictures!

Team "Lost Faculties" before the start, clearly not intimidated by Lance's presence:

Lining up for the start, with my "sunflower wheel". My start time is 30 seconds behind Jon. We didn't plan it that way, it just happened.

Jon in the starting gate:

Me in the starting gate. Always aware of safety, notice that I only clip in one pedal before the start signal. :-)

Lance approaches the start line on his white "Trek" bike, surrounded by fans:

Lance tried to intimidate the Lost Faculties by wearing a black skin suit and scary looking helmet:

Lance in the starting gate:

A picture of me, somewhere out on the 16 mile course. Remembering to keep my head down:

Lance finishing:

Results are posted! Lance won the day, but both members of team "Lost Faculties" made the top 20 overall, and made the first page on the results list along with Lance. I was 10th, in 37:06, which put me among several of the top local riders, and less than 4 minutes behind Lance. Jon was 20th, in 39:05. The 2nd and 3rd place finishers were the top two in the Texas state 40K time-trial championship earlier this year, so Lance is in good enough form to hold off the top riders in the state.
Click the image to enlarge and make readable.

Lance may have been the overall winner, but I did manage to win the "age-group prize" for first old guy! They didn't let me keep the flowers, what's up with that?! But I did get a cool medal.

Other statistics: Lance averaged 28.9 mph, and I averaged 25.95 mph. I noticed that most of the top local riders were about 2 mph slower here than in the state 40K championship, so this was not a fast course.

Here is a link to an article on the race in Cycling News, with full race results and more pictures: Link to article

Also, here is a link to an article about the race in the San Antonio paper: Lance getting back in gear