I rode out of transition and through town, the streets were lined with people hollering. It is just the coolest, most amazing feeling, I couldn’t quit smiling.
Heading out for the first bike loop
I worked hard on taking it easy through the climb out of town, and I got passed by a ton of people. My plan was to try to keep it reigned in, and I stuck to it the best I could.
I bombed down the Keene descent (maximum speed 44 mph), across the flats, and down the out and back before the climb to Wilmington. There were people everywhere cheering us on, playing music, playing bagpipes, walking goats (??), singing and dancing. It was pretty amazing.
The ride was pretty uneventful, and I made the turn to climb to Wilmington. I heard this flapping and looked down to see my bib falling off. I was climbing, going pretty slow, so I unclipped to stop and tried to grab the bib. Then I tipped over in slow motion.
It was all pretty comical.
Except that I had to get going again on the steepest part of the climb. First I picked my bib off the ground and somehow the belt had worked its way out of the buckle. I worked it back through the buckle and tied it off.
I climbed on my bike, clipped one foot in, and kicked, kicked, kicked to get up some speed and then started pedaling with one foot not clipped in. It took me a while but I finally clipped in and got up the climb.
I was happy to see the bears (set of 3 hills) come, I knew I was almost done with the first loop and I started running into crowds again. I stopped at special needs and a volunteer had my bag all ready and helped me restock my nutrition.
Have I mentioned how incredible the volunteers are?
I rode through town and the partying crowds, I saw my crew again and waved, smiled, and gave them the thumbs up. It was fun riding by the Olympic stadium, there were a lot of people and I hollered and pumped my fist as I went by and the crowd all cheered.
One random guy hollered to me “You still have time to make the cutoff!”
Yeah, thanks buddy.
I looked at my watch and saw that it had quit working. I had hit stop instead of lap when I left transition, so my first loops time wasn’t on there.
Great. Someday I hope to actually use the multisport mode successfully with my Garmin 310xt.
I had my bike computer though, and I knew I was pretty much on my mark.
I rode for a little while, and around mile 70ish I started feeling rubbing on my right inside thigh. I didn’t think a lot of it, just that I was going to be chaffed there, ah well.
But it kept getting worse, so I finally looked down to see…my thigh.
The inside seam of my tri shorts had ripped from crotch to leg seam.
Oh crap. I planned for lots of mechanical issues on the bike, but not for a wardrobe malfunction. How the heck am I going to run a marathon with my crotch hanging out?
I dropped back into aero and rode, thinking about what to do. I took the small piece of duct tape I had on my aerobars to cover the Velcro that held my water bottle on, and tried to stick it to my shorts.
It went flying off. Oops, I hope the Ironman cops didn’t see that.
I saw bike support helping someone and I stopped and asked if they had any tape. The girl handed me a 1 inch piece of packing tape.
Thanks, my issues are much bigger than your little piece of tape can handle. I got back on the bike.
I rode through 2 aid stations asking for duct tape, no one had anything. I kept thinking and thinking about what to do, slowing down a lot because I was no longer focused on the bike, I was focused on my crotch creeping out of my tri shorts.
After the second aid station, some guy rode up to me and asked if I needed tape, he had heard me asking for tape and he had some athletic tape. YES! We did a hand-off while riding, I pocketed it, and I took off, deciding to deal with it in transition.
I was pretty excited about the tape and was thinking about how I was going to doctor my shorts as I turned up the climb to Wilmington.
And I dropped my chain.
You have to be kidding me.
A guy behind me did the same thing, the two of us laughed, and I forgot about my little “issue” as I bent over in front of him to fix the chain. He said, “Um…” and I looked up at him, questioning. “Sorry, but did you know your shorts are ripped? It isn’t that bad. Yet, but um…it might get bad.”
Which I think is a polite way of saying my crotch was almost hanging out. “Yeah, I know. Thanks, I am trying to get to transition. You all set? Have a great day!”
I hopped on my bike really quickly and climbed the hill and tried to get away from him.
The last 9-12 miles back to town were a slog, but I actually was in an awesome group of people who were all passing and re-passing each other and talking, laughing, commiserating, as we were doing it.
There was a lot of talk about throwing our bikes in Mirror Lake and joking about how really we were the smart ones, taking our time on the bike so we could have a cooler run when the sun goes down.
I climbed the bears quickly with the most amazing crowd support the whole way, lots of people saying that I looked like I was having fun.
“No one smiles on the bears!!” someone shouted at me.
“I DO!” I hollered back and everyone hooted and hollered.
I made the turn back to transition and my bike computer read 7:35. Sweet.
T2 – 5:39
I hopped off my bike and a volunteer took it away from me.
“Good.” I thought, “I don’t want to see that thing again for a while.”
I ran to the changing tent and again was met by a volunteer. Again water was put in my hand, I was sat down, and all of a sudden my bike shoes were off, my socks and running shoes were out.
I looked at her and just said, “My shorts are ripped and I am afraid of my crotch coming out on the run. You think this will keep it in check?” I held up the roll of athletic tape. She burst out laughing and said, “Well, let’s get your shoes on first.”
We did a quick tape job, and she said that it wasn’t “that” bad. So I grabbed my visor and walked quickly out of the tent to start my run.