Redlands Bicycle Classic Big Bear Time Trial 2015
While the Big Bear TT is only 7.6 miles, it consistantly pushes racers and their gear to the limits. Starting at almost 7,000 feet (about 6,900 feet above the typical training grounds of Team Mike's Bikes p/b Equator Coffee) it's very easy to put yourself in the red too early, a mistake from which you will never fully recover. The course traverses rolling hills with plenty tight turns. Even the most nimble time trialists will be in and out of their aerobars as they burn up the tarmac amidst the most stunning scenery in Southern California.
The morning of the race, we all hopped in the Toyota Sienna with our Specialized Shivs on the roof. The amazing array of bikes armed with Zipp Disc wheels turned a lot of heads. Just wait until we get Nate English on one of those things! Once we got to the mountain-top start, Caesar popped out and made last minute adjustments. We were all pumped for this true test of strength. The smooth shaven Max Korus is our resident powerhouse and was looking fit cinched tightly in his Capo Skinsuit. Chris Riekert subscribes to the “pedal smarter” school of thought and was pulling out all the technology stops from the S-Works cotton cased tires all the way up to the McLaren aero helmet (and of course everything in between).
There was a stiff headwind coming out of the West, which would make the out-and-back course slower uphill but rocketship mach 10 time travel back home. Travis, Reese, and I were the first to go and were sure to get our last sips of Osmo before heading out. All had fast times averaging well over 27.5 mph on a very technical course. Roman, Adam, and Chris had crushing times at around 16 minutes and over 28.5 mph. Nate crossed the line, still breathing through his nose, in 15:23 moving to 12th on the day and 17th in GC.
While on pace for the winning time, Max launched himself into a sweeping right-hander at full cosmonaut speed still in the bars (#aeroiseverything) and couldn’t track out of the turn. He overshoot and ended up in a ditch off the left side of the road. While he suffered only scratches, he had to give up what he is confident would have been the winning TT.
Team Mikes Bikes p/b Equator Coffee had a great showing today, placing Nate 12th in an exceptional field consisting of riders such as Tom Zirbel and Phil Gaimon. We thank our sponsors for providing us with the best equipment available and for their limitless support. We are already excited for the new Redlands stage in Yucaipa!
Today we also learned of a huge loss to the cycling community. 24-year-old Erika Greif was killed on the way to the Redlands Classic in a traffic accident on the 395. Many of us have raced alongside her and her positive attitude, dedication, and warm smile will be missed. Our hearts go out to her family and friends and especially to her fiancé, Nick Schaffner from Herbalife.