Monday, June 11, 2012

Race day report: Trifactor Time Trial 40km 10th June

And my team captain lent me his front 404 Zipps! Now let's look at the final product...

I was drooling after I put those front wheels on, every time I walked pass my bike, I paused and just stared at those big white capital ZIPP words... Boy do they look fast.

  • Saddle bag removed
  • Front 404 Zipps!
  • Down tube bottle cage shifted to seat tube, replacing a slightly heavier one
  • Lights removed

However, when I pumped the tires up, at night they were flat... It was a slow leak... I was so worried that it kept me up on the night before... Contemplating whether swap those 88mms back... After much deliberation I decided to pump'em tires up, sleep and see if they hold up decently. At least enough to ride home.

Alas! The next morning, I couldn't drag myself out of bed early... Rushed here and there, tires held up! One last pump up before setting off... Wait... Better pump it up and leave at the last min...

What a bad decision! I reached the venue at like 820am, dropped off my phone and keys, and ended up quite literally at the very back of all riders... I knew this race was a goner, should have really really excused my way to the front... Ahhhhhh...............

Photo above taken from Trifactor, to give you an idea of where I was... And this wasn't even at the back! I was further behind!! Argh! Oh well...

But just infront of me, was the guy... Yeow Chun Tan (IIRC, to be referred to as "Aeroguy") on a aero time trial bike, aero helmet, zipps and a skin suit too! Maybe if I just draft him, we will catch the lead pack! Alright that's the plan, you sneaky bastard...

Gun time! Bang! hmm... Shoes not tight.. *adjust velcro* *check tire pressure* *reset cyclometer* *clip right leg in* And still I have not moved off... Come on guys! Start riding! That's the problem with coming late and starting at the back...

Alright! We are moving! With the excitement and adrenaline I started spooling up the wheels, the Aeroguy wasn't speeding up as much as I hoped so I overtook him.... Faster and faster, I saw my speedo stabalise at about 42km/h... So many people to pass... Luckily most were keeping left...

I knew I couldn't maintain 42 for the race... The fatigue started to come in, and I slowed to 38km/h knowing the first pack was gone.

Than BAM, Aeroguy comes along! YES! Draft that ass! 40km/h constant... Nice... But probably not enough to catch the first pack... I surge to his right and ask,
 "Do you want to take turns?"
"No, it's okay, you can go ahead" I'm not sure if he said I can go ahead, or that I can draft him... HAHA but I couldn't maintain 40 for nuts, so I drafted. My face was dripping sweat like crazy, not sure if it was the aerohelmet's lack of ventilation or the 40km/h pace that I was not used to. It was hard, even just drafting! And drinking water from a bottle in your seat tube is damn difficult! Big mistake on my part!

So for the first 2 laps I was on his rear wheel feeling like a cheater, he started slowing down to 38 and I went right thinking it was my turn to pull, holding at 40... 40... ahhh dropping to 38, than he pulls again at 40.... It kept going till lap 4...

Final lap! When I glanced back, a huge group of blue jerseys were drafting the two of us! I THOUGHT I WAS THE CHEATER, THOSE BUNCH OF GUYS! At least I helped pull when Aeroguy dropped in speed. I was letting my thoughts distract me, as I got sick of pulling the bunch of cheaters and dropped left.

Only one guy from the blue jersey pack pulled and me and Aeroguy took a break (Actually I didn't know where he was when blue pack leader pulled as he was behind.. Slowing down to 38 now... Just before the U-turn of the final lap, blue pack leader said "go!" as I surged ahead to 40 hoping to break the pack before the u-turn and make them work to sprint out of the u-turn.

As I accelerated out of the U-turn, Aeroguy comes along and I get on his rear wheel again, 38... than 36... Oops, it was my turn... 38... 40... Than I realised isn't this a time trial? It was like my worst fears, it was a road race with time trial bikes... If that's the case... I gotta save my legs for the final sprint... I know I couldn't do a Cancellera and time trial into the distance! I was half dead!

I dropped left... Aeroguys comes along... 38.... 37... 36... my turn... 38... 37. 36... drop left, blue pack leader finally pulls again... 38... 37... 36... I'm not going to pull any longer, I gonna wack that sprint! I look down at the speedo to see 37.77 km... Not long now... 38km... And a guy on road bike sprints off! It's too early! No ones goes after him!  Dual Tri-spoke guys comes and takes the lead, I go after his wheel! 40+ now as the speed climbs higher in anticipation, the guy on road bike gets caught... I head left and over take dual tri-spoke... blue pack leader surges infront of me!
I want to head left to surge, but traffic ahead!
Aeroguy comes pass me on the right, a huge train behind him!
I can't get on Aeroguy's rear wheel! Shit!
Traffic on the lefts clears! Surge left!
Traffic in the MIDDLE of the road! SHIT! PLEASE RIDE STRAIGHT!
Phew! Pass the traffic omg! Traffic everywhere!
Aeroguy, guns it! and hugs the right edge of road! No one can match his burst! And what strategy to go right so no one can use his draft!
Blue pack leader leader got dropped, new bunch of fresh cheaters come along.
NO WAY AM I GONNA LET A BUNCH OF CHEATER DRAFTERS ( actually I also drafted a lot, hahaha) WIN ME!
Tuck into aero position GIVE IT MY EVERYTHING!
48km/h just before I hit the finishing line... Second to Aeroguy.

As we rolled to a stop, the feelings was great. I congratulated Aeroguy, and thanked him for the insane pull... Head comes blue jersey team as they shake my hand, and congratulate me like I won 2nd overall (we were the second pack)... It was nice. haha. I knew we weren't the first pack, so 2nd to Aeroguy was still a good feeling.  And the shaking of hands of every rider coming in... Quite priceless! Knowing we had put in a hard effort, and enjoyed the ride.

I just saw the results today, 12th place... I started off 1 min behind the race leaders, and ended up just 2 mins behind them on timing... Damn! If Aeroguy and me had tried harder, maybe we could have caught up?

Anyway, important lessons:
  • Reach early and get a good position on start grid, if not try to squeeze in front no matter what!
  • Bottle on downtube, even though slightly worse aerodynamics, no point if you can't reach it properly!
And I leave you with a video of the 5km category flag off!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pre-race jitters

Let's see that sexy bike first...

Actually, this picture was a month or so ago, and I have made some changes... But omg, when I mounted it.... I was drooling!

Things I have changed since:
  • Glutes TT saddle
  • Carbon fibre headset spacers
  • Widen the aerobar placement (about 5mm each side)
  • Rear carbon brake pads (I though I was already using carbon specific ones, but it cut pass the first layer! damn heart pain... Planet-X 101s!!! )
  • Using Squirt lube
  • Raised stem by 10mm (1x spacer)
Sounds like a lot... But I did them one day at a time mostly... Just bit by bit, till things feel right, I'm probably gonna change them as I ride.... Since nothing ever feels right... I can only adjust till it feels "Okay"

*Anyone care to sponsor me a professional bike fit?

But yesterday, when I went riding with the front high profile (88mm rim depth) i felt like i was doing this:

The wind was not crazy strong, but it was terribly inconsistent... One second coming from the left than the right, than constant for maybe a min or so, than a huge trailer comes along and just pushes you near the curb than sucks out when it passes. It was crazy.

I kept telling myself that the road would be closed so I needn't worry about heavy vehicles putting me off... But... damn, there would be many people riding wouldn't there be!?

With this jitters, and fears that the race is a mass start, maybe even criterium style road race with time trial bikes... I think, maybe the race is maybe just a training ride for the National ITTs.... No idea... I'm just gonna go there with a open mind....

Hopefully someone lends me their lower profile rim and hope things go smoothly... Such mixed feelings!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Further appeals...

I am looking for FOUR specific individuals/groups who were at Changi Coastal Road around 9:30am on the 26th May 2012.

1) A cyclist named Gary who was apparently riding behind Jude Alphonsus Tan
2) A Caucasian lady who was roller blading on the path towards East Coast Beach
3) A Caucasian couple who were cycling towards East Coast Beach
4) A Filipino lady whom the police questioned

Please contact Junchyi Seow directly at 91264691 or leave her a facebook message if you know of anyone who might fit that description. Spread the word please for all of us.

I thank you all for fervently spreading the previous message.

Jun Chyi

Sharing is caring... 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Appeal for witnesses: Fatal accident at Changi Coastal 26th May

This is an appeal to cyclists/motorists/passer-by who had possibly witnessed Jude Alphonsus Tan's accident on the 26th May 2012 along Changi Coastal Road around 9:30am.

If you had been at the scene and saw the accident, please do share an account with me as his family members are looking for answers. Contact me, Junchyi Seow, by leaving me a personal Facebook message please.

Please help to spread this message. It is very important to all of us.

Thank you and regards,
Jun Chyi

You can find his Facebook page here: