Friday, 25 January 2013

20.01.13 The Bike Leg

As I enter transition I am feeling quite good.  I have my wetsuit half off my body and begin to step out of the rest of it as I put on my bike shoes and helmet and stuff my chia seed mix in my back with a couple of gels.  The helmet is on, I un-rack my bike and run to the end of transition, I am away in 2 minutes and 26 seconds.  The start of the bike is through the streets of Auckland over cobble stones and tram tracks before heading along a bypass road parallel to the ocean and onto the bus lane that leads over the Auckland Harbour Bridge.  It is quite surreal that we are riding over the harbour bridge.  The climb is steep but not to bad.  I hit the top and start the descent down to the other side.  My speed picks up and I am traveling at 58km/h as I descend the bridge.  The next part of the ride is through the new bus lanes into the North Shore.  Before I know it we are off the bus lanes and into the residential area of    Windsor Park and Rosedale.

The support throughout the start of the ride has been amazing.  The Fulton Hogan boys that have been in charge of closing the roads are cheering you on but it is support from the local residents that blows me away.  As we are going through the residential area, there are crowds of people lining the streets.  Not only that, they have lined the numerous roundabouts that we are going through with BBQ at the centre and an amazing party atmosphere.  It is taking my mind off the fact that we are constantly turning left and right through the undulating streets which is preventing you getting into any consistent rhythm. I am looking at how far I have gone and I am at around 30km.  I am starting to wonder when we will be heading back to town as I am over the constant turning through streets.  I turn a corner and find myself back on the bus lane heading back into town.  It is now raining, not heavy but enough to be annoying as it hits you in the face.  It is not long until I am heading back over the bridge.  The legs are tired now and the hill climb over the top of the bridge seems a lot harder than before.  As is cross over the crest of the bridge, I now hit my 58km/h speeds again.

After the bridge we are heading back into town and I begin to notice the huge amount of volunteers that are cautioning us as we twist and turn through the slippery streets of Auckland.  For the first time I see Victoria, Lachlan and a couple of friends (thanks for coming Morgan and Mike).  I go past them as I come to some tight turning corners.  The volunteers are telling us to slow down as another rider with a full disk wheel goes flying past me.  I know that the turn coming up has tram tracks across it as I see him lean into the corner and the back wheel loses traction.  Somehow, and I still don't know how, he holds the bike upright.  As I follow him into the next right hand turn, he takes it a little more cautiously. We then hit the straight of Quay Street and begin our first lap of Tamaki Drive on our way to Mission Bay.  Again there is huge crowd support and I soon get into my rhythm as push on at around 40km/h.  There is a definite tail wind so I know that I will be heading back into a head wind on my way back.  I know this road well as it twist around the coast of Auckland and it is not long before I am at the turnaround.  As predicted there is a headwind and it is a hard slog back to town.  I look at my average speed for the race and it is below 30km/h.  It has definitely been a hard ride with the twist and turning of the roads on the North Shore but I felt I had made good time on the flat sections, obviously not.  At present I am going to do over a 3 hour bike ride which is around 10 minutes slower than Tauranga and I thought that this would be a fast course!

I am heading back into town and am now hitting the 60km mark of the bike.  My back was aching slightly at around the 40km mark and now is really hurting but on this race I remembered the Voltarin gel as I was getting ready.  I am not sure if it is working or not but I am glad that I at least put it on.  I was in agony in Tauranga at this point.  I am feeling OK now but I am looking forward to the end of the ride at this stage.  I again see my support crew as I head to the turnaround in town and begin my second lap of the race.  There is a tailwind again but my legs are tired.  I am trying to push through it as I see that my average speed is now above 30km/h, at least the ride will be 3 hours or less if I maintain this speed.  I again hit the turnaround at Mission Bay and start heading back into a headwind.  My average speed is dropping and I am pushing as hard as I can but just not feeling it today.  There is 10km to go and I cannot wait for it to end.  After around 15 minutes I have made it back to the city.  I do half a lap on the bike in the city before heading back for transition.  About 500 metres from transition I pull my feet out of my bike shoes and ride on the top of them.  I hit the dismount line for the bike and run my bike into transition.  My legs feel like jelly but it feels good to be off the bike.  I run the length of transition back to my area and rack my bike.  The ride has taken me 7 minutes more than Tauranga which is not much considering the fact that I am definitely hurting more today than I was in Tauranga.

Below is the graph of my bike.

ironman Auckland 70:3 by IronmanBarefoot at Garmin Connect - Details

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