Last night was another Wednesday Night Time Trial. This time, the weather was perfect – no wind, no waves on the Bay, not too hot, and it had recently rained so the creek was high. I went out for my warm up and when I came back I was saying to somebody how this was going to be a night for personal bests when suddenly my rudder pedal went “ping” and I realized the cable had come off again.
I then spent 30 minutes in utter panic trying to get the rudder pedal jury rigged to hopefully last the race, and do it in time to run the race. I did it, but only just, mostly thanks to Mike F who helped, partly in figuring out how things should go together, but mostly in telling me to calm down and don’t rush. After that, I managed a quick warmup, and got in the now very long line to start. Paul D made me go ahead of him again. With one minute between us, that means I got to see him at each buoy turn, but he got to see all four times I had to flip up my rudder because it felt like there were weeds on it. I think at least two of those times there were, because my speed immediately after was 0.2 mph faster than before.
Unlike when I’d warmed up, there were a few small wakes on the Bay during the event. Not enough to really make any difference to anything, but enough to notice. I pushed myself really hard, but I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere. My split time was 9.43, which is slower than both last week and the first week, both times when I’ve set personal bests.
Going up the creek was good – this time I remembered to hold to the banks of the river to stay out of the current, although Ginger B didn’t realize I was on-course and played chicken with me. Because of my problems with my right rudder pedal, I went around the far buoy the “normal” counter clockwise method instead of the Jim Mallory approved clockwise method. That probably cost me a few seconds, but not a lot. Turning down stream was great – my speed immediately increased from around 6.0 to around 6.4 mph.
My total time was 18.95, another personal best. Even better, this was the closest ratio between first half and last half times except for 17 June when my time was horrible both at the split and the final.
I know Paul D thinks I’m obsessed with comparing myself to him, but since he’s so close to me in time, it’s only natural that I’d use him as a benchmark to compare my own progress. And today he was once again a tiny bit slower than me at the split (0.04 minutes slower), but much faster than me at the finish (0.10 minutes faster). I don’t know what I’m going to have to do to beat him, but I’m pretty sure he’s doing it too.
After the race, and some of the after race socializing, beer drinking and hot dog eating, I was asked to get one of the buoys. I did, and as I was heading back, Steve B came along on a bit of a warm down paddle. I tried to stay with him, and I couldn’t. Then I tried to ride his wake, and that didn’t work either. But when I got in I was worried about how my rudder pedals were sticky, and so I was working them back and forth and the wire went “ping” again. Today (Thursday), I’ve spend some hours trying to fix that issue, but I guess only time will tell if that works or if I’ll need to order a new set of pedals.