Curtis Bice Report: Trek Employee TT


Not Your Usual Race Report – Trek Employee Time Trials

Two weeks ago, I had the honor of winning the Trek Employee Road Time Trial, which took an all out effort to cover the 5.8 mile out and back course in 12:47 at 27.2 mph.  The competition was tough, with Jason Svaldi, a strong Cat 2 road racer (who can kick my butt in a sprint any day) was just 5 seconds back, and our strongest Masters rider, John Balmer, was just 12 seconds back.  Our chief road engineer was only 30 seconds back on a fully decked out prototype Speed Concept TT bike.  I did get a little lucky, in that Jordan Roessingh, Trek’s fastest Cat 1 rider from IS Corps, did not race.  He beat me by 90 seconds in the WI state TT 40k championships this year.
This race however, was not your typical time trial event like you see from racing the MATTS series or other similar events.  As Busteed and Prinner know from the Waterloo Classic, part of the Tour of America’s Dairyland series this summer, Trek can really throw a great race and a great party.  This small event of 40 racers was no different.  Below are some happenings from this unusual but awesome road time trial race.
·         This race is also referred to as the “Beat the Boss” time trial.  Trek’s President, John Burke, was the last man to take off (on nothing less than a top-end TTX).  Any “non-racer” who beat his time won a cash prize.  He finished about 2/3’s of the way down the field with an average speed of 22.5 mph, so a good number of riders got paid out.  Many racers, not being time trailers, race on standard road bike, only some with clip on aero bars.  Categorized “racers” don’t qualify, so I (and my TTX) had to work extra hard to take home the overall cash prize.
·         The road we raced on was a 3 mile stretch between Waterloo and the next town over, Marshall, which has been closed for construction the last month.  The brand new blacktop was all done but not open to traffic yet, so we had the smoothest road you have ever ridden on all to ourselves (after clearing it with the townships and construction company of course).
·         None other than THEE man, Gary Fisher, was in the house that day and stopped by to watch part of the race and send Twitter pics of a couple ‘interesting’ competitors (this man posts some of the funniest tweets I have ever seen).  I was unfortunately out on the road during that time, so didn’t get a chance to say hi.  Below are his tweets from October 10th
o   RT - New good old boy skinsuit http://twitpic.com/kyg8r
o   RT - Import rider http://twitpic.com/kyg6v
o   RT - Beat the boss time trial at Trek, Doug C at the start http://twitpic.com/kyg2b
·         These ‘interesting’ competitors Gary was tweeting were part of the costume contest – if you can’t win, you might as well get some style points, right?!  The winner, as tweeted by Gary, raced in the 45 degree, cloudy weather with super short cut-off jeans, a wife beater, and cop style sunglasses.  The winner of the ‘best bike’ competition raced one of Trek’s 40 lb, 3-speed, B-Cycle cruisers (our new bike-share program bike), decked out with custom cardboard aero ferrings held on with electrical tape, aero bars zipped-tied on the handlebar/basket, a case of beer in the oversized metal basket with a straw sticking out of the box, while wearing a skinsuit and a full-out aero helmet.  He finished dead last, but I give him props for keeping that thing above 20 mph average speed for the race.  Other honorable mentions include a single speed, fat-tire cruiser, also with a case of beer in the basket, and a dude hammering hard, bobbing up and down coming across the finish line on a Top Fuel full-suspension mountain bike with the tires at 30 PSI and the shock lockouts left in the OFF position (now THAT’S efficiency!).  All of this made it much more entertaining than the usual TT’s, which are about as exciting for spectators as watching grass grow.
·         What better way to finish than to stop at the post race ‘feed zone’ to pick up a BEvERage or two of your choice, specifically of the New Glarus variety!
·         Post-race, I found our chief road engineer who was on the prototype Speed Concept that day.  Less than 10 people have ever raced on this bike and only a few more have ridden it.  Well, we just happen to ride the same pedals and be about the same size, so he let me take it for a spin.  Holy cow!  It rides even better than the TTX, is super light for a TT bike, and is the cleanest looking bike I have ever seen.  Good luck finding anything on this bike that creates unnecessary drag.
A week and half later was our mountain bike time trial, which was raced at our private trails across the street from our factory.  It had a staggered, ’lemond’ style start, where we had to run, in 30 second intervals, 100 yards to our bikes – it’s not very fun taking your first pedal stroke already winded.  Despite this, I had a great start, catching my 30-second-man in… well… 30 seconds (you should really make sure you chain is on the ring when standing at the start line).  I passed one other rider on the 5 mile course and had no one pass me.
However, when the results came in, I did not fair nearly as well, finishing just ahead of mid pack about 2 ½ minutes back in 25:30.  Jordan Roessingh took the V (this dude is FAST on AND off the road).  Being a roadie who does a little mtb’ing on the side, it’s hard to keep up with our expert off road riders, some of whom have been described as “It’s like trying to chase a monkey on crack.”  None the less, this was also a great race and a great time, also with post-race BEvERages.
If anyone is interested in playing hooky from work and stopping by in Waterloo for a visit during the week, I would be more than happy to make sure a factory tour is arranged.  It’s quite a cool operation to see where all of the Madone’s are built, and where the Project One bikes are painted.  I can also take you for a ride on some of the great, traffic-free roads in the area, or stop over on our 10 miles of mountain bike trails.  Just drop me a line any time.
Keep ridin’ and racin’!

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