Cleveland Steelman: Bike
The bike leg was all about the weather and the food.
My big fear was bonking - either through dehydration / electrolyte problems (a speciality of mine), or blood sugar. So my plan was to drink Zym every ten minutes (~750ml per hour), and to eat 300 cals / hour. On top of that, for the first 20 minutes, I took a drink every five minutes to try and recoup some of what I’d lost during the swim.
My food went like clockwork, and was a gel on the twenty-past the hour of cycling, and a mini-Mars bar on the twenty-to the hour. The chocolate was a real psychological boost - something to look forward to, and the gels were just some tasteless goo to shove down my neck . . . but at least they also contained water.
For the first half of the first lap I was overtaking other riders, which was nice. I concentrated on keeping my speed in my target zone - 17.5 - 18 mph for lap one, and was very conscious about not over-cooking it. A couple of times I saw another rider in the distance, and made a big effort to not go all-out, but just reel them in slowly, because by now I’d worked out that if I stuck to the plan, I was going to finish this race.
After about 15 miles the rain started, which wasn’t so nice. It was cold, and coming down HARD. By the end of the first lap (18mph average), where I stopped to swap out bottles with my Support Team (Wife, Daughter and VonSmallhaussen - thank you so very much guys for waiting for me in the rain!), I was starting to feel it. I dropped one of the new bottles into the road and exclaimed the F-word in front of Daughter. I don’t think she heard though . . .
A couple of miles into the second lap, the wind picked up, really throwing the rain in my face, and I started to get cross with the whole situation. Shouting at the gods, “Is that ALL you’ve got? C’mon - if you want to beat me, you’ll have to do far worse than that!” That kind of thing. No, really, that is exactly what I shouted at it. And then I saw another rider a few hundred yards ahead.
But she was obviously having a bad time of it, all over the road, and riding at about 50 rpm. As I caught up, I asked if she was OK, and she replied that she was thinking of stopping. Which put some perspective on it. I want and like overtaking people who are racing. When someone else is struggling like that, I just want to tell ‘em to tuck in behind - together we can do this. Except this is triathlon, and drafting isn’t allowed. So I had to leave her to face it alone.
I hope you got through.
About ten miles from the end my neck was pretty sore (old whiplash strains starting to come to the fore), and I had to sit up to ride . . . but I got to the end, and was ready to run. I’d managednot to over-cook the bike, and my quads felt fine - no signs of cramping, and the only real tiredness was in my neck.
Maybe I really was going to finish . . .
- Type: Cycle
- Date: 07/05/2008
- Time: 10:57:30
- Total Time: 3:22:00.00
- Distance: 58 miles
- Average Speed: 17.23 mph
- Average Cadence: 100