Yesterday I drove out to the site of the race to check out the bike course. Jeff was worried about me heading out there by myself, so he decided to tag along.....no, not to bike with me, although I tried to get him to ride along. First he was going to fish in the lake while I made the rounds. He ran out of time to pull his gear together, so as an alternative I found a golf course he could play that was right on the bike course. It meant I'd be starting at about mile 46 of the 56 mile course, but no problem. It's the same loop. I ended up with about 53 miles, so the only part I missed was the section out of and back into the park. On the drive back home, we went into the park to take a look around.
Nuclear power plant (decommissioned) that the lake was created for.
View for the majority of the ride. Scorched earth. Guess the 95 degree temp at the end of my ride shouldn't have been a surprise, eh?
View of the lake from the road around the park.
Traditional post long ride reward.
The quick and dirty of the ride:
- *narrow* roads....while this hopefully won't be a problem on race day, the 6" of shoulder left me feeling a little vulnerable out there. Luckily there wasn't *too* much traffic and the parts where there was more traffic had a nice wide shoulder.
- *crappy* roads....the nicely paved sections were few and far between, but don't get me wrong my arse was more than happy for those sections. Vast portions of the ride were just terribly bumpy, or rocky with gravel, or both.
- both the above had me riding in my aero bars a lot less than I would have liked.
- hills....while I seem to remember this course being billed as mostly flat, there were quite a few hills on the ride. Almost entirely towards the end. But at least now I know a bit about what to expect come race day. (mile 10-ish below is the actual 'start' point for the half iron race)
- wind....the first and last sections of the ride are on a road that heads into the wind. One of the highlights of the park is supposed to be wind surfing, so again...shouldn't be a surprise. Hopefully the wind won't really kick up until later in the day.
- heat....it wasn't too terrible on the bike, but I really noticed it on the uphills, when my speed dropped off and I was working harder. The run is definitely going to be a challenge.
I head back out there this weekend for an olympic distance race. The bike course is an out and back on the flatter section of the half iron route. The run is the same course, one loop instead of the two that I'll be doing next month. So, a small preview of what I can expect for the half iron. Only two tris left in the year! Definitely time to go for broke. :)