Monthly Archives: July 2008

2008 Bull’s Gap Time Trial

Quick summary: 3rd place! behind two Masters World Time Trial Champions: Mike Olheiser (2006) and David Grice (2003). I was happy with just about every aspect of my ride except for having a little bit too much left towards the end. Mike’s time of 48’27” shattered the old course record set by GW by over 5 minutes. David started 1 minute behind me, and I expected him to catch me before the halfway point. I was having a good ride though, and by the top of the climb to Bull’s Gap I estimated that I was either pulling ahead slightly or still 1 minute in front of him. By the end, though, David had pulled back some time and ended up riding 54’13” which was 38 seconds faster than me, but which also means I have now completed two time trials in which I didn’t get passed by anyone! I believe Mike Lanham (Marx and Bensdorf) was fourth followed by Travis Sherman (Marx and Bensdorf) in fifth. The full results are posted on the COGS website.

Quick stats:
22 miles in 54’51” for an average speed of 24.06mph
Normalized average power: 326 watts
Average/Max heart rate: 178/187 bpm
Cadence Min/Avg/Max: 40/89/117 rpm

On the way out (includes the 1.25 mile climb to Bull’s Gap):
Time: 30’15” for an average speed of 21.8mph
Normalized average power: 335 watts
Average/Max heart rate: 178/186 bpm
Cadence Min/Avg/Max: 40/88/112 rpm

On the way back in (includes the 1.25 mile descent from Bull’s Gap):
Time: 24’35” for an average speed of 26.85mph
Normalized average power: 313 watts
Average/Max heart rate: 179/187 bpm
Cadence Min/Avg/Max: 64/90/117 rpm

Here is the power/heart rate graph. My speed / distance is still off or maybe the course wasn’t quite 22 miles?

2008 Bull's Gap Time Trial

2008 Bull's Gap Time Trial

  1. Note the rolling hills right from the start. Difficult to get in a rhythm. The best strategy was to make sure that you didn’t ease up too much on the downhills so that you could carry some good momentum into the next hill. Then because it was still difficult to keep the wattage up on the downhills you needed to finish off each hill above your threshold power.
  2. This was the largest “roller” on the way out. Note how my power dropped and stayed consistent, but it was still 15-30 watts above my threshold power.
  3. There was a sharp downhill right before the start of the climb up Bull’s Gap. Note how I hit it hard to get my speed going up before the bottom of the hill and then kept a steady wattage on the climb — 332 watts which again is 15-30 watts above my threshold power.
  4. The long false flat on the way back. My wattage was a little bit chaotic here as I was feeling a bit of my early efforts, but still wanting to push the pace hard. My average power for the false flat was 313 watt (right at threshold).
  5. Wattage all over the place on the final rollers. I was still feeling pretty good towards the last rollers so I tried to really ramp up my effort. It was hard though spinning out the downhills so my average wattage for the last 5 minutes was only 319 watts (a few watts above threshold).

Finally, here’s a comparison of pictures right before the start of today’s race in 2008 and the one 15 years ago in 1993. Enjoy!

2008 - Brian Toone

2008 - Brian Toone, Bull's Gap Time Trial

Brian Toone - Bull's Gap Time Trial 1993

1993 - Brian Toone, Bull's Gap Time Trial

Bull’s Gap Time Trial

Here is a blast from the past. I am racing this Sunday for sentimental reasons as much as for the training. It will be exactly 15 years since my first bicycle race – the Bull’s Gap time trial in 1993. Here a couple pictures my dad took during that race.

Brian Toone - Bull\'s Gap Time Trial 1993

Brian Toone - Bull's Gap Time Trial 1993

You can’t miss the tube socks, hairy legs, world championship jersey, and glasses! I had just turned 17 a month prior to the race.

Brian Toone - Near the top of Bull\'s Gap

Brian Toone - Near the top of Bull's Gap

The course this year is the exact same as 15 years ago, 11 miles out with the turnaround at the top of Bull’s Gap and then 11 miles back into the outskirts of Sylacauga, Alabama. I think my time back then was 1 hour and 6 minutes. I am hoping to be at least 10 minutes maybe even 15 minutes faster than that this year.