The Elkhart Time Trial Series consists of 5 time trials throughout the spring and summer (April-Aug) and a race is held once a month in the buzzing metropolis of Elkhart, IA (population 357, yes there are lots of towns like this in Iowa where only 357 people live). The course is a flat out and back 12 kilometers (roughly 7.5 miles). The road runs north to south then you turn around a cone in the middle of the road and head back north towards the start/finish line.


The course record was set back in 2006 by Nick Frey, the same year he won an U23 National Time Trial Championship. Nick now rides professionally for Ciclismo Racing. He was most recently named the Best Young Rider at the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Nick’s time back in 2006; 15:14, not too shabby. While others have come close to this record, no one has eclipsed Nick’s time. Dixie Chopper, the world’s fastest lawn mower, put up a $250 bounty on Nick’s record this year. The first rider to break the record wins the money, in a promotion titled, “Mow down a national champion”. I had my sights on the record.


I haven’t done the Elkhart TT Series since 2006. I know I have great power output but aerodynamics was always something to consider. After spending time in the A2 wind tunnel in Charlotte, NC, I had a better idea of what to expect on this TT course. I used the calculators on analyticcycling.com to help me gain a better perspective on the power I would need to generate in order to ride 15:00 on this course or 48 kilometers per hour. The dead turn at the far end of the course makes this a little more complicated as you have to regain speed as quickly as possible then get back in your aero position. From my calculations; on a calm day I would need to put out 380 watts to get to 15:00. Not a big problem, I put out 372 watts here in 2006. I know I can do my 2x15 min intervals up Mt. Lemmon at 370 watts, so another 10 watts for the same time shouldn’t be too difficult. I started at 7:06 PM and thirty seconds behind friend and training partner Matt Zepeda. In a TT, you have to get up to speed as quickly as possibly so a short sprint at the beginning and turnaround point is an absolute necessity. I cranked out a short sprint then got in my TT position. Immediately my HR spiked and I was gasping for air on this humid but cool evening. I made it to the turnaround cone in 7:20 so I knew I was good shape but there was a slight headwind coming back home towards the finish of about 4 mph. 4 mph wind is pretty calm but enough to make you work that much harder. I was going to have to take the wattage up a notch to make my goal of 15:00. I could see the finish line and knew it was going to be close, I just lowered my head and started cranking as hard as I could, pouring it on the pedals for the last few seconds. I crossed the line then looked down to see my SRM Powercontrol VI turn to 15:00. I did it. This was a solid effort for me today and just the workout I need to help me prepare for Ironman Coeur d’Alene in 9 days. My average power for the effort was 386 watts for 15:00. I included the data below.


Now I want to take a Dixie Chopper lawn mower to Coeur d’Alene and mow down the competition.


Bike: Specialized Transition S-Works (Red) size M

Wheels: Zipp 900 Clincher Disc, Zipp Zedtech 808 front clincher with ceramic bearings

Tires: Maxxis Cormet 700x23

Crank: Specialized S-Works SRM wireless 53/39

Groupo: SRAM RED

Helmet: Specialized TT helmet

Sunglasses: Rooly L/Vatican (gloss black/chrome)

Kit: Midwest Speed Merchants Speed Suit (short sleeve)

Shoes: Specialized S-Works 43.5

Shoe Covers: Midwest Speed Merchants


15 minutes of fame:

Duration:                15:00

Work:                     348 kJ

TSS:                       28.8 (intensity factor 1.073)

Norm Power:          386

VI:                           1

Pw:HR:                   6.55%

Pa:HR:                   12.59%

Distance:               7.348 mi

Elevation Gain:      13 ft

Elevation Loss:      13 ft

Grade:                    0.0 %  (0 ft)

Min Max Avg

Power:                    0          950      386      watts

Heart Rate:            115      178      169      bpm

Cadence:               23        113      99        rpm

Speed:                    8.3       33.3     29.4     mph

Pace                       1:48     7:12     2:02     min/mi

Altitude:                  1253    1260    1255    ft

Crank Torque:       0          1181    335      lb-in

Temperature:         71.6     73.4     72.3     Fahrenheit


Work Hard,