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Good evening everyone! In continuation in our weekly emails explaining the course, today we will talk about the BIKE COURSE. This bike course has been slightly tweaked from years in the past, and different from the one in the video at the bottom of the page, so pay attention! :)
Before we talk about the course, let's talk about etiquette. First and foremost this event is a USA Triathlon sanctioned event. The following are the most commonly violated rules on the bike course, so let's not do any of this:
*Drafting- keep at least three bike lengths of clear space between you and the cyclist in front. If you move into the zone, you must complete your pass within 15 seconds
*Position- keep to the right-hand side of the lane of travel unless passing
*Illegal Pass- cyclists must pass on the left, not on the right
*Blocking- riding on the left side of the lane without passing anyone and impeding other cyclists attempting to pass
*Overtaken- once passed, you must immediately make reaward progress out of the draft zone of the passing cyclist and move completely out of the draft zone within 15 seconds.
THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE LISTED ABOVE IS THAT YOU NEED TO STAY TO THE RIGHT OF THE LANE!!!!! This is going to be very important on the first 5 miles of the course, which is a highway with a large shoulder. There ARE rumble strips, which we mark with Orange Echelons at the start of them, so that you are aware. PLEASE STAY TO THE RIGHT so that if someone has to pass you, that you do not make them go out in the traffic lane. If YOU are trying to pass, please do so safely!!! It isn't worth your life to try and pass out in the travel portion of the highway!!! Stay alert! Stay alive!!
The course is attached to this email, but let's talk it out. First and foremost, when you leave transition, you will be on the parking lot of the Elks club. The lot has some loose stone so we recommend that you take a look at it on race morning, and make a decision as to where you are comfortable with mounting and dismounting your bike. In all honestly, I used to run my bike almost all the way out of the parking lot, which is quite a ways. As I got more comfortable with my skills, I mounted a lot earlier. I ALSO WOULD ALWAYS START IN AN EASY GEAR SO THAT I COULD GET SOME MOMENTUM.
When you leave the parking lot, you will turn right on to Route 113. About 200 yards up the road, you will see the first set of rumble strips, and the markings showing them. Please stay to the right of the lane as you ride, so that people can safely pass.
About 5 miles down the road, you will make your first RIGHT TURN on to BETHEDEN CHURCH RD. So as to alleviate any confusion, we have put straight arrows at all of the intersection roads prior to that, especially Lambertson Road, which you should go straight past, as this was the old course.
After making a right on Betheden Church, there will be an area that slightly veers right. If you are on the right side of the lane, you will almost feel like you are going straight. This is now WARD RD. At the end of WARD RD, the Worcester County Sheriff's Office will make sure you can safely turn right on to Bird Hill. Then an immedate right on the Stockton Road, with a great shoulder. IF you have to pass, please make sure it is clear to do so. THESE COURSES ARE OPEN TO VEHICLE TRAFFIC.
Make a right hand turn on to GROTON Road (around Mile 15) and, at the end of the road, Right hand turn back on to Route 113.
GO PAST THE ENTRANCE TO THE YMCA!!! This is marked with STRAIGHT ARROWS. Go to the entrance to the Elks Club and turn in to the same driveway you exited. If you are comfortable, ride to the dismount line. If not, run it in! Know your skill and comfort level.
There will be minimal bike tech at the venue (ok... I'm a mechanic and Laura owns a tri shop) but we might not have time to fix everything on race morning. Please bring materials that you would need to fix a flat on course, should you have one. All athletes should be self sufficient on course!
The bike course is currently marked with orange arrows (3 of them) prior to every turn. We will add black arrows on white backgrounds on sign boards at every turn as well, just to be sure. Be sure to look at the attached map.. Right out of the Elks, Right on Betheden Church, Right on Bird Hill, Right on Stockton, Right on Groton, Right on 113, Right in to Elks Club... it's like NASCAR... except the other way! Vroom vroom!!! See you Sunday!!
Any questions please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click the icon below to download the attached PDF.