About halfway through last season, I realized that TTTs are my reason for living. Well, TTTs are at least my reason for bike racing. In anticipation of the first TTT of the season, I decided to share with the ECCC blogosphere why I love them so much.
1. TTTs operate within a controlled environment. Ok, I know the environment isn’t totally controlled. Last year at Philly we got rained on, Shane got a flat, and then a flock of geese slowed our TTT to a clipping-out halt. When I say, “controlled,” I mean that in general, there are no surprises. I know what to expect from each of my teammates in terms of speed and length of pull, how their elbows look when they wave me forward to take my pull, what their complimenting voices will sound like when I peel off the front (“good pull, Liz!” or the ever-famous “you got it, girl!”), who will take us down hill fastest, and who can lead us uphill the fastest. With all the uncertainty in bike racing, especially when one is still fairly new to the sport and is still going through the “ZOMGWTF” stage, TTTs provide the most controlled environment a bike racer can ask for.
2. Nobility. Glory. As the weakest rider in the Columbia WB quad last year, I grew to appreciate what it is to be a noble teammate and go down in glory. There something totally awesome about wasting yourself for your teammates only to have them leave you behind on the course. Last season, this moment usually came about 3/4s into the TTT. Inevitably one teammate would propose that we “pick it up a bit.” At that point, I would take my final pull, peel off, and say, “go on without me.” It’s pretty glorious to drain your tank for your teammates.
3. Team work. This one sort of goes without saying since the word “team” is in the title, “team time trial.” But, I love the teamwork involved in a TTT. As someone who is no stranger to a reverse breakaway, it’s not often that I get to work with my teammates in a mass start race. Hopefully this season I’ll be able to break out some bad-ass team moves. Until then, the best time I get to work with my teammates is in a TTT. It may sound cheesy, but being part of a team is probably half the reason I’m into cycling (the other half is because I like to measure the circumference of my calves as my legs get stronger).
4. It’s fun to win. Last year, the Columbia WB squad took fourth place at Philly, fourth place at Army, and first place at X-Pot. Taking fourth place was pretty cool, but taking first place was really cool. Seeing the four of us lined up in the Velocity Results photo was too fun. I think that little photo is motivation enough for us to kick some ass this year. So watch out WBs, the Columbia Killer Bs are back! And we’ve got a pretty fierce group of women this year.