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timtim Posts: 43
Not sure if this has been posted before but for all of you doing IMUK i thought i would give my views on the bike leg after doing 2laps this weekend

first we drove round it getting lost a couple of times, though this was due to poor navigation rather than poor directions, took 1.5hrs ish

we cycled to the anderton centre, about 5k then did a cycling reccie, the first hill over the moors is hard work, i would say it is in two stages, first one is longer and flatter than the second which may require getting out the saddle depending on your gearing there is a section in between to recover on. after that there is a great downhill, but be wary of the very poor road right before the sharp left onto main roads. the main roads are good for building up your average speed, whilst the rest of the course is undulating with lots of bends. we had a quick breather to fill up bottles before starting a second loop, the hill felt harder this time, but the downhill was more fun! again some speed on the main roads before we both started runing out of energy, my cycling buddy blew up with 20k still to go and we had to stop to eat then it was a very gentle ride back to the start and then more discomfort to cycle back to the hotel!

both laps were 2h 15ish, the first we were stopping and starting and the second we had to slow from lack of food, which leads me into my first question

I had planned to eat power bars on the bike but only had 3 in the 4 1/2 hours we were cycling, this clearly is not enough, but what is? and what is the easiest way to eat on the bike, i was having major difficulty unwrapping and chewing whilst moving?

my second question is what cassette are peeps using? i didnt check what mine was but was thinking of getting one with some easier gearing, as i suspect trying to power up the hill 3 times will have a detrimental effect on the run? any thoughts on this?

other things i noticed the resevoir look quite sheltered and big and deep which bodes well for wetsuit use and a smooth swim. and the run starts down a hill again a good way to get into your stride. incidently has anyone worked out where the run goes from the map and directions? the website just confused me?!



  • Barny51Barny51 Posts: 16
    I did the bike the other week...

    That first hill will defo be a bugger right at the start after the swim but I didnt think it was too bad and a good steepness to spin up OK.. Then again I do all my riding in the surrey hills.. good thing is the second half of the lap is fast and flat (easy undulating) I found so plenty of time to rehydrate and eat.

    When I did IMCH last year I had the following on the bike:

    straight away = SIS go gel - (easy to digest and striaghtto work after the swim).
    6 bike bottles of POWERBAR drink
    SIS go gel at the end of the bike.

    Basicaly eat 1 energy bar per hour washed down with energy drink with some added gells.

    Worked a treat so plan to do the same again - yop tip - open and cut up the bars before the race.
  • I recced the bike course this Saturday too... I was unexpectedly majorly low on time so instead of doing the planned full ride I did one lap followed by a further 3 times up and down the big hill before I had to head back to Oxford.

    My thoughts are the same on the hill... much bigger than I'm used to and therefore pretty scary. I'm confident I can get up and over on laps one and two but for lap three I reckon we'll see plenty people pushing their bikes on the second hard section you mention. I'm now wracked with the same gearing worries.

    Currently I run 53/42 on the front and 28/11 on the back... This is just the stock setup that my bike came with, and gearing isn't something I had really considered before now. Maybe I'm just soft, but from my perspective, even in 42 -28 this hill is definitely not a sit and spin affair... I was forced up out of the saddle for both steep sections and rpm was forced right down! On my 4th climb of the day there were moments when I wasn't sure I was going to make it over the crest. Now definitely considering an easier gearing though worried that I have no experience with this kind of thing and wouldn't be able to train with it!

    Advice appreciated!!

    re the road closures, the lap of the course I did was an absolute nightmare... it took me almost 3 hours and I got lost so many times I couldn't count... It wasn't until I found a local roadie who sat on my wheel shouting directions at me that I got any decent riding in at all! The whole course is a maze and I hope the marshalling and course marking is spot on otherwise it will be chaos! I have to admit that when I was out on the road I couldn't conceive how they were going to close all those roads all day... but I sincerely hope they do!!
  • timtim Posts: 43
    It sounds from the comments on here that the rookie day would have been ideal Conehead i shall be planing my time better next year.

    There were lots of right turns, mainly T's into more main roads, not confirmed is a little worrying, but i guess its best just to accept what is coming! there will be a course whether its the one i rode or not its still gotta be done.

    not sure on my gearing i shall check tonight, was thinking of investing in a 11-28 cassette but i may have that already, and will just have to suffer, not keen to change to a compact since that will effect my riding at other times. I managed the hill twice without too much difficulty (would have struggled a bit on the third) with what i have, just was concerned about killing myself early on and having nothing left later.

    thanks for the tips on feeding, i always feel its too much effort to eat and therefore dont bother but am fully aware that this will get me nowhere on an IM race i plan to get a timer going and eat on the beeps in order to keep diciplined. if the day is dry i shall be sticking a few bars to the bike to make life easier.
  • timtim Posts: 43
    Just checked my cassette its an 11-23. Am thinking going for an 11-28 would be the sensible course of action?
  • WannabetriWannabetri Posts: 219
    Have done the route a few times and so here are my pennies worth.

    I was operating with a TT specific 52/42 23-11, and when I first tried it. I died! Luckily I was brought back to life by my friends compact so then tried it with a 50/34 and 23-11. First time up - beautiful, Second time - dying. Didn't need the failure of time three to tell me that I needed another change. So my final gearing for the course is 50/34 and 25/12. Done the worst hills the chilterns have to offer and feel much more confident. More in the saddle climbing. Bear in mind I am 93kg and not the best climber as it is, but definitely happy with my choices. I am giving up a little bit of top end speed on those lovely downhills, it's worth it for what it gains for me.

    The bike course rumours have been doing the rounds for a while but nothing concrete. I think the issues will be on how they close roads or at least stop traffic to get across the main roads. It's a toughie for the organisers but you got to keep the faith! At the end of the day, you have to swim 2.4miles, bike 112 and run 26.2. If you know the course beforehand then great but you train for the distance as much as the terrain. You can't go reccy IM's on foreign soil (RANT) lol.

    This the run course I mapped following website instructions and may own little recce of the course (from my bike) : http://www.mapmyrun.com/run/united-king ... 4168272454
  • andyb99andyb99 Posts: 229
    i live just 2 minutes from the anderton centre....and i train myself on these very roads....does anybody have a link for the bike leg map??
  • andyb99andyb99 Posts: 229
    i've found it...the hardest part of the bike leg is the very first section...once over the ressi you climb up sheephouse lane....that part isnt too steep but its long...then a short drop before a killer climb over belmont hills....but i can do it on my hybrid bike (though not after swimming a coupld of miles obviously)

    I hope to be around on the day...and if any of the BCTTT massive are doing this and want to do a recce i'll be happy to meet you and show you around......
  • nicknofingernicknofinger Posts: 284
    http://res.au.eventdirector.net/IMUK/SI ... 0Oview.pdf

    If the bike leg does have traffic it'll be like my cycle to work, and that's like doing the Death Star run in an X wing !!!!! Sorry for the geek reference.
  • andyb99andyb99 Posts: 229
    i think the roads will be open with stewards and police stopping the traffic at junctions with major roads...Most of the roads are country roads on the entire route until you get to the last section where there are some bigger roads....and i'm sure we'll start seeing the signs warning people.
    how many people enter this race???
  • WannabetriWannabetri Posts: 219
    My only worry about stewards and police stopping traffic is that there could be a cyclist come along every minute or so which is going to seriously hamper some people's lovely journeys around the area. Imagine that 2000 cyclists could all be in a single line 10m apart (drafting distance + a bit of lee-way) - making it 20km long. That traffic could be waiting quite sometime................. but stuff 'em!!! Don't they know triathlon is taking over the world.
  • andyb99andyb99 Posts: 229
    20000 (yes 20 thou) did manchester to blackpool on sunday...the roads were open....some people did get delays...shit happens
  • timtim Posts: 43
    Same thing happens on the London to Brighton, there is some disruption but being a sunday morning/early avo, it should be minimal. Be nice to know if the route is the one i did, so I very much appreciate your digging conehead.

    with the gearing i have a 53/39 which i cant afford to change therefore am going to look for a bargain cassette that is more suitable for the climbs, 11-26 or something, thanks all for your advice and opinions, always useful to ping ideas around.

    one more question whilst i am on IMUK, does anyone know if participants and/or volunteers have to get tickets for the Pasta party? and anyone know why its on the saturday night, carb loading leading up to a race = great, carb overloading the night before a race = pain and suffering.
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