What can I expect from this bike race?
July 31, 2009 6:10 AM   Subscribe

I'm participating in The Top Notch Triathlon tomorrow in Franconia, NH. I've never done an sort of competitive event like this. What can I expect, and are there any essential tips that I should know about?

I'm on a relay team, so I'm only responsible for the 6.5 mile bike ride (which is primarily uphill, in the woods). We're basically just doing this for fun, and don't hope to have any sort of spectacular times or anything like that. I'm an experienced recreational road cyclist, but have very little experience with mountain biking, and no experience with racing of any kind.

I scrutinized the results from previous years - times for the ride are usually around 30 minutes to an hour. I'm going to try to pace myself so that I end up somewhere in the lower end of that. I'd be ecstatic with 45 minutes, but could live with "not last."

From what I understand, there are going to be real extreme athletes at the event who are there to win, and there are going to be family teams that are just there for fun. I hope to find a pack of riders who are holding a pace that I'm comfortable with and just stick with them.

Does anyone have inside tips specifically about this race, or this kind of event in general?
posted by TurkishGolds to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total)
Oh, I've also never biked the course before, and I'm not going to have time to do it before the event tomorrow. Anything specific about the terrain that I should be aware of?
posted by TurkishGolds at 6:12 AM on July 31, 2009

No drafting in a triathlon.

Also, previously.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:34 AM on July 31, 2009

Duh. Didn't see that you'll be in the woods, where you wouldn't be able to draft anyway. Never mind that part.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:36 AM on July 31, 2009

I did the running part of a triathlon once and was a little confused as to how one officially finished their part and one's teammate got to start theirs. Other than that, since you're not trying to break any records, you're just asking out of the nervousness which is part of what one feels before any race. So relax and expect to have a good time.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:59 AM on July 31, 2009

The course should be well marked and there will be enough other people on the course that it should be obvious where to go...but probably not so many that you'll find a pack to stick with. (Especially since your start time depends wholly on how well the swimmer on your team does.)

The one thing I'd recommend above all else is familiarize yourself with the transition area: figure out where you're starting and where you return, and the quickest path to a bathroom that doesn't intersect the raceway. My experience (2 sprint tris) is that there will a lot going on at once and it's mostly volunteers coordinating it and you don't want to get in their way.
posted by kittyprecious at 7:11 AM on July 31, 2009

Oops, just looked at the website--you're up first! In any case, two things to remember: (a) get there early--time flies the morning of the race--and (b) don't let the hardcore competitors with their dolphin-skin wetsuits freak you out. You're there to have fun.
posted by kittyprecious at 7:15 AM on July 31, 2009

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