Saturday, February 13, 2010

A2 = Ah HA!

Preparations for my 2010 season with Team Vera Bradley Foundation just got a HUGE boost! Early in the week, I loaded up my Specialized TT bike and my Dad in the Elephant (a.k.a Honda Element) for a full-on country music infused road trip! I was scheduled to spend some time with Mike Giraud at the A2 Wind Tunnel in Mooresville, North Carolina.

The miles ticked by quickly and the closer we came to Mooresville and my testing session time, the more excited I got. I just couldn't wait to see how my position could be improved. Two of my teammates also tested on the same day as me so we had hoped for some good pre-season hang out time too! I arrived at A2 with a little time to spare and watched one teammate's wind tunnel session with the other teammate. I took many mental notes as I watched and couldn't wait to see how I could improve my aerodynamics, just like my teammates did.

Finally, after a quick changed into my skinsuit, it was time for my test! A2 testing starts with a series of baseline tests, just to get an idea of where you are with your current position. Mike came in after my baseline tests to inform me that "this is going to be easy." WHAT? What's going to be easy? Then Mike informed me that I'm already very aero! Fortunately, I was not shocked because my coach had prepared me for this moment...we've always set up my TT position by "feel" and I've only been satisfied with it when I "feel" fast and powerful. So with a HUGE sense of confidence and pride, I asked Mike what improvements I could possibly make...??? So Mike tweaked my bike to fit my body in the most aero position and after a total of 13 tested positions, I was again satisfied, and CONFIDENT!

So I spent several days and quite a bit of pocket change to learn that I do know what I'm doing...really? REALLY! Every second, and every penny, spent were absolutely well worth it! I learned a TON about aerodynamics, my own personal aeroness and had a great road trip with my Dad. And by the way, my Dad happens to be just about the best support staff a rider like me could ask for. Not only did he catered to my crazy schedule he did all the driving! And he learned how to fabricate a special piece of carbon to hold my SRM head unit- ask me about it when you see me on my TT bike and I'll proudly show you his handiwork!