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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Outlaw Cycle

The first part of the cycle route was a few miles around the lake on the footpath.

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

After this cycle route had about a 10 mile section to and from the loop section which 3 laps of the loop had to be done before returning back.

On the loop section I renamed the first half of the road to Southwell as Pirate Road, as the pirates were also helping marshalling at points along the road and at an aid station.  It had various pirate related signs which made me laugh plus even big pirate banners/flags. Before each aid station was a goal net for throwing discarded drinks bottles in to, it would give me something to do at other aid stations. At this point I had enough drinks so I did not need any supplies.

For the next few miles were a few undulations before heading fast (nearly 30 mph) into Southwell past Southwell Minster (Cathedral) before a sharp 90 degree right turn.

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

My brother was there on the second lap with his air (fog) horn, luckily he had shown it to me before hand as I would have came off with the shock and loudness of it.

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

We then went round a few other sharp turns around the town past the race course before heading out in the countryside. There was a Sherwood car restoration company we went past which made me smile when I saw the name.

At the next turn at the far north east of the course was a 130 degree left turn on to a major road. They with a external company came up with a structure to go over the kerbs to allow a safer joining the road. It was like wooden ramp with sandpaper on it. My concerns were getting a puncture on it and the dismount end was not aligned to the edge of the road surface. After the shock of it the first lap I was able to get over it ok in a low gear to ensure I did not fall off.

The top section of the lap I was more undulating and was a bit more exposed to the wind. Which on the first lap my cycle computer showed it was only 16c which I was not too happy about the short sleeves and the lack of cycle arm warmers (tubular shaped material) at the expo.

At the north west end of the course due to joining another major road on a hill we went through a pub car ark which was fenced off with people drink the other side while we were putting in all the effort. There were a few more climbs which were only 200m at most before a nice flattish section which I was cruising along at 20+ mph in aero position.

Starting the second lap it was starting to heat up and the warmest temperature on my bike computer was 29c, I was now glad of the short sleeves.

The aid stations on average were about 12 miles (45 minutes) between each. So on the second lap onwards I was getting at least one drink at each to ensure I remained hydrated. I had also kept one of the 2 bottles I started with until I started the 2nd lap as it was a different make from the race drink, which I had made up stronger to have extra carbohydrates (calories) due to no food on the course.

On a couple of the aid stations I also added to the sports drink a carbohydrate sport powder I had with me to give extra energy and sodium/potassium (essential salts).

I was at regular time intervals having part of an energy bar and cola powerbar rideshots with caffeine. With about half of the last lap to go these had all been eating and I was switching over to using a couple of gels I had with me. This should help my stomach before starting to run with not so much solid food at the end of the cycle.

There was support in various places along the route which was encouraging, with the pirates getting a lot of support. I was say hi to the pirates as they went past me or I went past a few of them. The route was more undulating than I thought but nothing really that steep or long.

On the last lap I was having a bit of a yoyo ride (ensure we meet the drafting rules) with a women who had a duff beer cycle top on, mmm duff. I was also doing some mental arithmetic in my head (not a good idea at this stage of the race) I was possible on for a sub 7 hour cycle, this kept me pushing on when I was starting to struggle.

On the way back we had through some country lanes that had speed bumps and poor road surface, they even took us on a different lane to avoid the worst section. From here you had to watch out for cars going slowly as it was just wide enough for one car in places and even cars stopped in the route asking questions to a marshal at a car park, I was not best pleased having to stop with half mile from the end.

On the way in to transition I decided I would take my feet out of the cycle shoes and just pedal with my feet on top of them. This should save time in transition. However I was not prepared how short the road was in to the dismount line and the speed bumps, I just about managed to get my feet out in time.

I handed my bike of to the marshals to rack and ran in to transition in the process crossing the timing mat.

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

My cycle time was 6:56:29 which is a PB for me. It is an average speed of 16.1 mph.

Then in to T2 after all the above cycling.

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