Guest post by CJ Dungan
Derek Plate and I had the opportunity to ride the Galveston bike course and wanted to share our experience with those of you that will be racing in a couple weeks in case you haven’t had the chance to see or ride the bike route.
First and foremost, this bike course is mostly straight and flat. If you’ve been doing long rides on your trainer, you’re well prepared because you have no hills to climb or coast down and you’ll be pedaling the entire time. Also try to practice staying aero for as long as possible as you won’t be able to sit up for any climbs to give your shoulders a rest. Near the 20 mile mark, you’ll cross a bridge that takes you to San Luis Pass. Be careful on this bridge, especially as you leave the bridge (heading both directions) because the road quality diminishes and there are a few tricky bumps. Aside from the bridge, the road quality is nice and smooth.
The most challenging part of this ride will be the wind and how well you manage your energy. The wind was blowing 11mph out of the south east. This translated into a severe crosswind and a slight tail on the way out, and a slight head on the way back. Derek and I were confused and didn’t realize we had a tail wind on the way out and didn’t save enough energy for the way back. The slight head wind on the way back made it tough to keep our speed up and keep our legs moving. Make sure to check the wind the day of the race and manage your output on the first leg of the bike.
The start/finish of the route has a few tight turns on some lower quality roads so be extra careful. There will also be a lot of spectators at this part of the race so keep your focus on the road and watch out for people crossing the street in front of you. One last thing, the course has zero shade so sunscreen is a must. You don’t want your tri top rubbing your freshly sunburned shoulders for the entire run, so pack a little sunscreen in your T1 bag.