Herscher Two Man Time Trial
Thunderstorms passed through the area of Herscher, Illinois the morning of the 2012 Wolfgang Freitag Memorial 2-person team time trial, delaying the start by 20 minutes. Light rain continued off and on through the race. Winds were from the northeast and variable, at times picking up and at times subsiding. Conditions were far from ideal, but the riders welcomed a break from the oppressive heat of the past few weeks.
John Betenia and Scott Dahman had a plan: trade 1-minute to 0.5-mile pulls at slightly higher than John’s 40k individual time trial wattage. Without the aid of a power meter, Scott would pull through at a constant speed set by John. As John is normally a little stronger, it was expected that Scott’s pulls would shorten toward the end of the race. It was a good plan, but execution proved challenging as John and Scott had not really worked together prior to the morning’s warm-up. John took the opening pull to set the tempo into the cross-headwind. Filled with pre-race adrenaline and squinting through raindrops on his glasses and computer, Scott lost track of time and distance and cooked himself in the opening five miles. He never fully recovered and soon John was carrying most of the workload. Both men persevered, however, to finish in the top 10 overall and take silver medals in the 90-99 combined age group. With a little practice, the duo should be able to knock off a couple minutes next year.
Sean Walker and Martin Gruebele had a promising start, but quickly ran into hard luck. 5 miles into the race, Martin’s front derailleur ‘mysteriously’ shifted to the small chain ring, and could not be shifted back. At mile 21, just when Sean had gotten used to the idea that Martin was going to suck his wheel spinning at 130 rpm muttering f&*% about every 30 seconds, the real reason for the ‘mysterious’ shift reared its ugly head: Martin’s crank flew off! Miraculously no crashes or collisions ensued. Inspection revealed that the right bottom bracket shell had come completely unscrewed. “Aren’t bottom brackets threaded such that pedaling is supposed to tighten them?” asked Martin. “Try plumber’s tape,” Sean replied.
Martin had the tools to fix it, and he and Sean put in a good training ride to the Kankakee River State Park before downing a large lunch in the picturesque downtown of Herscher.
Better luck next year!