District Time Trial Championship

Promoter: Reno Wheelmen

Course: Out and back, starting on the Beckworth/Sierra Valley Road, starting in Loyalton, CA.

Course Description: Flat with some flat sections thrown in too. Flatter than the Sattley A23 Road course. This was twists and turns a bit. The first turn on the way out (and last on the way back) is a realy, honest to goodness 90 degree corner. With the way it is coned off it is very difficult and probably risky to try and take it at full speed. The pavement isn’t quite as smooth as the Sattley course either. It is still a very fast course. Just look at the time Max Korus did in 2015! But all else being equal I’m not sure that it’s as fast as the Sattley course. That said, when weather conditions are good this is one of the fastest courses in the country.

This is a fast course. REALLY fast. Every time it’s been used a national record has been broken. **Max didn’t get his elite 40km record because the course had not been surveyed at that time. It was surveyed before the 2016 race.

Below is a list of elite male course records. This one might take a while to get more than one entry…

 2015  Max Korus  47:22  Specialized Shiv. Would have been an elite national record if the course had been certified before hand. Actually the course was likely a tiny bit long.

Distances: 20km for Juniors and older masters, 40km for
everybody else.

Road Surface: Good to excellent. When the weather is good national records fall here. This may be the fastest 40km TT course in the US that is still in use.

Gearing: Once again, only the strongest riders should consider a single chain ring bike. If it’s as windy as it has been in the past only a small minority of riders will ride the head wind section solely in the big chain ring.

I wouldn’t bring a fixed gear bike unless I had another bike to ride if it was windy.

Facilities: Porta Cans at the school. There are several stores and restaurants in Loyalton.

Weather: Loyalton is up in the mountains so it could be quite cold in the morning. Come prepared for the worst and hope for the best. It’s been super windy on occasion, including rain showers in the past. In 2015 for elite nationals it was brutally hot. In 2017 for the district TT it was in the low 40’s and windy and riders drove through snow showers on the way back to Truckee. In 2016 it was in between. Watch the forecast and come prepared.

Feeding: N/A

Rules Specific to this race:

Race Advice: First of all, you’re going to need to find a place to stay nearby. Loyalton is more than two hours from Sacramento if you drive fast, and the race starts early. Most riders stay in Truckee.

I’ve found that bringing a stationary trainer is a great way to help get a good warm up. It can be quite cold in the morning (down into the 30’s!) so you get a much better warm up on your trainer. Also, I find that I get a better warm up on my rollers/trainer because I don’t stop every 100 yards to talk to somebody. I just sit on my rollers and keep spinning while I chat with anybody that stops by. Even with your trainer you’ll still want to go out and ride on the road a bit and do some jumps and short TT efforts to get your heart rate up before the start. You should come to the start a little sweaty.

I always time trial with a power meter. I like to go out and find my pacing for that day, note the power at the speed and try to monitor and make sure I don’t under or over do it the rest of the way. I never go out and shoot for X watts at the start. That seems to only get me into trouble.

The landmarks aren’t as straight forward as in Sattley. You can look at the map and figure out how far the first/last turn is from the start/finish, etc. but you don’t have the easy 10k/30k county line marker like you do in Sattley. You can break the course into six sections.

  1. The initial north bound section
  2. West bound. This is where you are most likely to have a head or tailwind depending on wind direction.
  3. Mostly north again to the turn around.
  4. South bound.
  5. Heading east. Headwind? Tailwind?
  6. South bound. The run for home.

Make note of the wind direction (if it’s windy) and plan your pacing accordingly. In 2017 the wind was from the west. In 2016, from the east. For 2017, It was favorable on the first section so I went fast, but held back just a bit because I knew the section section would be hard into the headwind. I rode the headwind section hard to minimize time lost. For 2016 conditions it was the opposite. Work the initial cross/headwind, float the tailwind west and hope to have something left to fight the hard headwind that was later in your race.

One thing I like to do is use the auto lap feature of my Garmin 520. I set it to do laps every mile. Since I’m always shooting to go around 50 minutes I know that each mile should take 2 minutes. Every mile I can get an idea if my pacing is going in the right direction. I find it very helpful. Especially when the wind is variable. In 2016 I was shooting for a national record in my age group. It was fairly windy though and when I made the turn for home with a bit over 5 miles to go I was pretty far off the pace. But the wind turned favorable in that direction and I started taking some serious time back with splits of between 1:46-1:48. Seeing that, I knew I could take a minute back and get the record. And that happened…. Until the wind shifted again and my last mile was a 2:02 and I missed it by a few seconds. Frustrating, but I knew that I was in with a shot and buried myself to try for it. Had I not known how much time I was bringing back I might not have dug as deep and wondered if maybe, just maybe there was more in the tank if I had gone looking for it.

At the start you’ll want to get up to speed quickly, but be careful that you don’t dig yourself a hole by going too hard too early.

Lodging: There are a number of motels in Truckee which is about 30 miles from Loyalton. I believe that there is also a motel in Sierraville which is only 5 miles away.

Corrections and additions, please email me!

Kevin Metcalfe

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