The TTBikeFit BLOG:
We don’t post that often these days, but there is a ton of good archived info here and when we have something REALLY SMART to say, look no further!
We are all pumped – Lis, Patrick and Vinu are in good spirits, and they all look ready to rumble! Scott and I rode 80 miles of the bike course yesterday. That thing is a drag strip! Depending on winds and heat, it is a smoking fast course, at least the Queen K section. The pavement is glass smooth, and although there are lots of climbs, they are gradual and long. Our experience was 18-20 on the way up the hills and over 25 going down. Yesterday the winds picked up at Hapuna, close to the turn up to Hawi. We were out there earlier than the racers will be, but the wind was at our backs going towards Hawi. However this meant that coming up from Kawaihae the wind was blasting in our faces, making this steep little climb 5 minutes at 10mph. The other thing you notice is that the winds shift frequently on the Queen K depending on lava formations. One second you are going 28 and the next 17 for no apparent reason.
The weather here has been very consistent for at least the past week. partly cloudy in the am, and then clouding over at about 1pm. This is ideal for the racers, let’s hope it holds today!
Lots to see at the bike check-in. There was the weird: TJ Tollakson’s carbon motorcycle fairing (legal??). The scary: the DK tri team taking a swim after bike check-in. Stadler is unbelievably jacked – look out for this guy on race day. The other fairing: Luke McKenzie’s Vision Tech aero bottle that looks exactly like the old Profile bullet bottle that was outlawed years ago. The other scary: Chrissie Wellington, bubbly as a 40 of Olde English 800, gracious, nice, cheerful, yet looking like she can and will destroy all comers. There was more too; see for yourself: More
The Roo crew was up on stage at the expo showing off their new tri bike. The frame is currently a one-off, but they say it will be available for purchase in early 2009 – pricing undetermined, but no doubt high. The biggest innovation is the assymetrical downtube and BB area that are designed to suck air flow away from the “dirty” drivetrain side and over to the clean side of the bike.
Two days til race day, and things are heating up. Everyone is here now, the air is charged (and hot and humid). Here are some famous and not so famous folks spotted today:
Cervelo has plenty of P4’s here at the expo – I may even ride one if they have one big enough. I have not heard that any pros will be riding them on Saturday. I know Rhodesy is not, and I have seen none of them going by on Alii.
Kestrel has totally reworked their Airfoil and Talon framesets after spending hours in the wind tunnel and stress lab testing everybody’s frames. Different layups, better carbon, more beefy downtubes and bottom bracket clusters make for lighter yet 20% stiffer frames. More
Spent the morning handing out Fuel Belts and TTBikeFIt stickers at Lava Java, then headed over to the expo. I checked out all the latest bikes, and I’ll be posting pics and comments soon. Til then, some people shots:
We had the good fortune to fly the 2nd (and hence 3rd leg too) with 5x Ironman champion Heather Gollnick and her husband Todd. They have formed a venture to sponsor a new race series Rev3: http://www.rev3tri.com/ – the series aims to provide much higher prize purses for pros and be be family friendly for age groupers. Several top pros are already comitted for the first race, a 1/2 Iron on June 7th in Middlebury, CT. Heather is really cool – rumor has it she is biking with Scott and I out to Hawi on Friday – that should be painful (for us of course).
24 hours of travel, thanks to USAir maintenance. Flight #1, Boston-Phoenix, uneventful. Flight #2, Phoenix-Kona… soon after everyone is aboard we get the “burned out light bulbs”: announcement, and on comes a mechanic. I am up front so I can watch him proceed to let something fall out of the ceiling of the cockpit, hit the floor and scatter into several parts that roll under the pilot’s seat. Not good. 45 minutes, lots of head scratching, screwdriver poking and 2 mechanics later we are off – great. 1 hour later, shortly after leaving the mainland, the pilot comes on: “More bad news folks. Our shortwave radio doesn’t work. We can’t fly over the Pacific without it. We have to go back to Phoenix. And oh yeah, we can’t land because we’re too heavy. So we spent 2 hours circling at 10000 feet with flaps and landing gear deployed. 2 hours on the ground in Phoenix while they ready a new plane. Finally land in Kona 6 hours late, missing the Fuel Belt K-Swiss booze-crooze! Oh well, we are here, bikes are mostly built and in one piece, and the first mug of Kona java is down! The FB house is awesome too:
Watch this blog for stories, photos and video direct from the Hawaiian Ironman. Lisbeth and my good friends Vinu Malik of Fuel Belt and Pat McCrann of Endurance Nation are racing, and I’ll be in possesion of a press pass so I hope to have some juicy stuff to post. Look for info on pro bike setups, race updates, and much more!