So my last race of the season is coming up next weekend. It is the Texas Time Trials in Cleburne. I will be competing in the UMCA North American 100 Mile Championship. This is a 100 mile time trial, which means no drafting, on a 20 mile, hilly loop. Since there is no drafting allowed, I broke-down and got a pair of aero bars for my bike from FWCycling. Aero handlebars allow the rider to sit lower on the bike and with a narrower, more aerodynamic upper body cross section. As viewed from the front, the rider’s body is narrower than having the arms spread out to normal drop handlebars. This is critical since 90% of your energy goes towards combatting wind resistance when you are riding at speed.
I’ve been riding them for the past week, including a spin with Kevin D on Sunday. They still feel a little awkward, but they definitely improve performance. Seems like I can easily ride 2 mph faster at the same level of effort. However, I’m a little worried that my body won’t be able to handle 100 miles in the aero position (I already have l and neck issues that prevent me from doing any kind of weight-lifting, basketball or any activity that involves raising your arms over your head). But on the bright-side, Jess and I are leaving that next week for some R&R in Maui. There are worse places that I could nurse a sore neck/shoulder.
This is also an unsupported ride. So I will need to literally have an ice chest at the side of the road to stop and get new water bottles, food, etc. which really eats up ride time. Therefore, I’m shooting to finish the 100 miles in under 5 hours