As I exited the water I was a bit wobbly. I quickly realized I didn’t flutter kick enough toward the end and had no blood flow in the legs. Too late now, just start toward transition, I got my legs under me pretty quick. Got my bike bag, found a seat and got ready for the bike. Jersey, knee sleeves, socks, bike shoes, helmet. Go grab my bike, and away we go.
Two years ago when I did this course it was very windy. The forecast for this year was six MPH with gusts to nine. Well it felt stronger than that right away, but not even close to as bad as two years ago. The bike course is three loops. Out Rio Salado, left on McClintock. Right here is a Portillos.
If you are from the Chicago area, you know Portillos. I wanted to stop. But, alas, this is a race, and I keep going. Right on McKellips, left on Alma School, right on McDowell, and left on the Bee line. The Bee line. ~10 miles, fully exposed, slightly uphill until the end when there is a definite kick up. And outbound into the wind. The first loop is pretty crowded. More than half the field swims 1:15 to 1:30, so more than half the field is hitting this at the same time.
Now remember, no drafting, and a six bike length gap is required. Yeah, right. Do the best you can and truck along. The neat thing about a multi loop course is as we are on loop one, the pros go zooming by on loop two. And I mean zooming by. Anyway, I’m watching my power staying within, actually a bit under the plan, and doing better than expected on speed overall. Thankfully no mechanicals this year!! I stopped at mile 62 for special needs, which was two fresh bottles of carbo pro, along with a Snickers and a Coke. I stretched out as they retrieved my bag, took a few swigs of Coke, and was off. I stopped at mile 92 for a quick nature break and another stretch. Then, it was head on in. Except the wind had shifted. As I went down the Bee line my speed was much slower than the first two trips. The wind was more cross than help, and as I turned on McDowell, wham, right smack into it. Ugh, expecting a free ride in, and DENIED!
But finally, on Rio Salado, and the sound of cow bells, cheering, and the village. Volunteers take my bike, and I get my run bag. Gotta say, I made it through the bike pretty good. 6:39 (6:32 pedal time) and I wasn’t cooked. I kept my power in check, and felt ready to run.
To be continued.....