I’m developing a love/hate relationship with Helipad. I love it because it is such a sweet trail to climb. Steep, challenging, pure fun. Then there is the fast and swoopy descent…the only way to earn it is to climb it, up Helipad or up Goat, it’s up to you, but either way is UP. I hate Helipad because I no longer enjoy climbing it. Since the Helipad TT started, I am now forced to give every climb a full on sprint…to try and beat my previous time.
The last time I rode Helipad was back in February. I made a decent time, 6:57. Since then 12 others have taken the challenge and ripped up Helipad as fast as they could. The time to beat now is 5:50. Yes, you read right, five minutes and fifty seconds. And I hear that Rich still might have a few more seconds still in him…
Yesterday, I went in with confidence to shave thirty seconds off my first time, but I only came away with seven. All that pain, for less time than it takes to ride a bull.
I really should be happy. I improved. But I thought I could do better. I know absolutely nothing about racing, especially time trialing…but I thought I would experiment. So I warmed up a few extra miles, I carried less weight, locked out my suspension, and increased tire pressure all at hopes for increasing speed.
Less weight=Good. Locked suspension=good, more tire pressure=not so good. I didn’t have the traction in the saddle or out of the saddle and I slipped out a few too many times, even had to dab twice. I lost at least seven seconds in slippage.
All in all I probably only went faster because of the tail wind that gently coaxed me up the mountain. At least now I am a full even minute behind the number one spot. Something to work towards, after all, it’s still early in the year. Maybe with enough tail wind I can shave a few more seconds off.
Thanks to the rider who pulled off the trail on his way down and waited for me to pass as I climbed. I was huffin and puffin as I passed him I can’t even recall if I said thanks outloud. So Thanks!