I set out to get in a two-hour ride this morning. For the first 4 miles the roads were under construction, so I just picked my way slowly through that, which gave me a warmup. Then I stopped and re-set the bike computer to give myself a little time trial.
I always do a loop course for my time trials to cancel out any advantage due to wind. I noted my starting point and started pedaling. The route was forgivingly pancake flat and the winds were light, about 5 mph. It was getting warm, about 75-80*F while I was riding.
Pedal, pedal, pedal, down the peninsula on the wide-shouldered rural roads, trying to keep my cadence above 85 and my back loose. Keep hydrating, stretch now and then, but stay quietly in the aerobars as much as possible. Down to the drawbridge at Tilghman Island - whoops, it's UP and traffic is stopped! Good place as any to turn around.
When I got back to my starting point I noticed that my time was at 58 minutes. Okay, let's go for 60! Push hard for another minute, then check for traffic and turn around, back for a minute to the starting point, working hard.
59:30, 59:31.... all of a sudden I'm sprinting for the finish line for the stage win at the Tour de France. The other sprinters are beside me for a ways, but soon Eric Zabel drops off to my left. Bradley McGee can't keep the pace and fades to my right. Thor Hushovd tries to get on my wheel but falls off the cadence. Petacchi is the only rider left, but I'm stronger and push for the win. The crowd roars, and the way is clear in front of me - the finish line is ALL MINE!
The clock rolls over to 60:00 and I put on the brakes. The roar of the crowd fades. Checking the distance:
17.9 miles/28.8 km!
Woo! That's a great improvement for me! Now I realize that the women's Athens Olympics time trial was won at a speed of about 46.1 km/hr. That just means I have a little more training to do before I'm there! :-)