Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Contre La Montre

Yesterday the WCA road schedule came out and it contained few surprises.  The series continues to be very focused on criteriums but does offer some road races too.  I don’t understand why time trials aren’t a more popular feature of the WCA season; only two are scheduled this year … one on a Friday in La Crosse at the beginning of May and then the state championship in mid-July.  Meanwhile the ABR series will have four TTs in Wisconsin and Wisport will offer no fewer than nine races against the clock.  (The Kirke Vei TT in Cottage Grove is both an ABR and a Wisport event.)

I’m not a race promoter, so maybe I’m missing something.  But it seems to me that running a TT should be less work than running a crit or a road race.  Yes, you have to manage the start times of each competitor individually, but it’s far easier to marshal the course and to ensure accurate results at the finish.  For the last couple of years I have participated in a handful of unsanctioned TTs just outside of West Bend and, while the number of racers has been small, administration of the races has been handled with ease.

Today I was thinking about where I would hold a TT if I wanted to bring one to Washington County.  I wanted to create a course on which a 40-kilometer TT could be completed with little interference from motor vehicle traffic, with a challenging variety of terrain, and with enough parking to handle 100 participants.  I came up with an idea that I really like.  Here is the location of the course:

Three laps of the course—I envision it running clockwise to challenge riders with the long climb up Aurora Road—would be almost exactly 40 kilometers.  It’s close enough to West Bend, Slinger and Allenton to give participants a lot of options for restaurants, gas stations and other services after the race.  It’s far enough from population to avoid many of the problems associated with racing on open roads.  Here is the course in greater detail:

With the elevation change on each lap, this would not be an easy 40K!
So, what about the parking situation?  Addison Elementary School is less than 1 mile from the start/finish.  On a weekend, it would have plenty of parking.  Rent a couple of Port-A-Johns, put up a registration table, erect a podium, and call it Race Headquarters.

And the school is just north of County Highway K, so there’s easy access to US Highway 41 for anyone coming up from Milwaukee or down from Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh, Fond du Lac, etc.  I think the location is a winner and hopefully it wouldn’t be too hard to secure the cooperation of the Town of Addison and the Slinger School District.  There are a couple of intersections that would require marshaling by volunteers and/or the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, but I don’t see any insurmountable obstacles ...

aside from my inability to host such an event by myself.  What I could do, this year, is invite friends and teammates to test the suitability of the course either on their own or in a small, inconspicuous multi-racer event simulation.  Good reviews from the right people might be enough to convince a local sponsor to support the event in one of the series next year.  Dream big, right?

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