Monthly Archives: July 2010

58 miles, A Camera, And An Ipod: Calgary Bike Course Scouting Report.

Just got back from being in the car FOREVER. Scouting the course took much longer than I thought, but it was well worth it.

It has been quite a hectic morning here in Canada. Rose bright and early and ate a HUGE breakfast. I think I freaked out the waitress with how much I devoured. I surely got my money’s worth out of the hot buffet. After, picked up two new water bottles at the expo. Then headed out to transition 1, which was about a 45 minute drive from the hotel. Dropped off my T2 bag and my bike:

In the rack

All I can really say about T1 is that I really hope it doesn’t rain over night. Not much cover out there:

Just downhill of T1 is the swim start/exit. I got a chance to put my little toes in. Cold? Yes. Too cold? Nah.
We go straight out from the boat ramp below and hang a left to swim under the yellow bridge in the top left corner.

After setup, I hit the open road to check out a course described as “challenging” by race officials. Having completed the route, I can say that on this course you are either going downhill, or going uphill. Not much of flat to be had around these parts. Lucky for me, I like the hills, so this should play in my favor. What kind of hills you ask? Well lets take a look at some parts of the course.

Its flat enough coming out of transition. But the ups and downs start within the first three miles:

Some false flats.

Before mile 10, the real bumps start to show up:

More where that came from:

Here’s the big one coming out of Cochrane, a little over half way:

Cochrane Hill Part 1

Cochrane Hill Part 2

So in short, this race is moderately hilly. But some good descents too.  How most people were able to pull this off last year around 2:45 beats me. I heard there was a huge tailwind in 2009; maybe we will get some luck from Mother Nature tomorrow.

Okay, after all that driving, I’m ready for a nap!

How We Get Dressed For The Big Dance

Aside from the activities itself, the second most intimidating and frustrating part of triathlons is the amount of equipment needed. While one doesn’t need to spend the kid’s college savings to get into the sport, there are still plenty of tiny things one needs.

Case in point, lets see what the ritual is to get ready for “just” a half-ironman. Today I picked up my athlete packet. Contained within in it were all my identifying stickers, bibs, and timing gear. First up, my bike got stuck:

One sticker on each side of the down tube and one on the seat post. Next up, I got my transition bags ready:

This is probably the most nerve wracking part of the pre-race ritual. Nothing sucks more than getting off the bike during the race and finding you left your running shoes in the hotel room. Here’s the content of each bag:

T1: Swim To Bike Bag:
1. Towel.
2. One Gel
3. Helmet
4. Sunglasses
5. Arm warmers
6 Bandaids, duct tape, Advil.
7. Cleats
8. Garmin 310XT

T2: Bike To Run Bag:
1. Running socks.
2. Hat
3. Bib belt
4. More bandaids, duct tape, Advil
5. Extra gel

Of course, we cant forget about everything ON the bike:
1. Computer
2. Aero bottle, with its straw and scrunchie to stop splashing
3. Seat bag with tire levers, mini allen wrench tool, spare tire, CO2 cartridge, CO2 inflator head

To top it off, there is the stuff I need to bring with me to race morning:
1. Wetsuit
2. Swim cap
3. Timex watch
4. Dry clothes bag
5. Pump
6. Infinit solution
7. Body Glide
8. Timing chip

So, as you can see, it is easy to forget something. Which, this time, I forgot an extra water bottle. Luckily, there are vendors galore at these things, and I can snag one tomorrow. Right now, I’m just happy all my stuff is packed into the bags, and ready to drop off tomorrow….I think…..maybe I should check one more time…..

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