Tupper Lake Tinman 2009 – The Bike

I headed to my bike rack. Eric and Bob were still there. They seemed amused that I backstroked nearly the whole way. They were gone in a minute or two.
I took the transition slowly. I didn’t want to forget anything. I got out of my wetsuit. Dried off. Wrapped a beach towel around my waist and changed into bike shorts. I filled my water bottle with Pepsi, and drank a little. I shoved half a sub into my jersey pocket. It was starting to rain again. I hadn’t brought my cycling jacket, so I wore my Boston Marathon jacket. Socks, bike shoes, helmet. A quick trip to the porta potty. I spent about 12 minutes in T1. I walked my bike to the road, and mounted.
The bike course was an out and back course made up of rolling hills. I cruised along passing more people than passed me. But then I was towards the back. I saw lots of people with flat tires. I would inquire in passing if they were okay. They usually seemed to be. But around 17 miles, I passed a woman who was stopped. I asked in passing, and I caught the word broken. I stopped and went back. It turned out she had gotten her second flat, and was out of tubes and CO2 cartridges. I had 2 spare tubes and 2 CO2’s so I gave her one of each, and headed on my way. I can use all the karma points I can get.
It rained off and on for the first 25 miles or so. My bike picked up all kinds of dirt and grit, and was making many scary sounds. I kept thinking maybe I broke a spoke. But everything seemed okay. At one point I was riding through a drizzle that was collecting on my sunglasses and making it hard to see.
Along the way I ate about 3 bananas (grabbed from volunteers) and a Carb Boom gel. At maybe mile 24, I saw Eric riding the other direction. He gave me a shout out. I passed a general store around mile 25. I decided to go around the turn around at mile 28, and stop at the general store at mile 31. This is what I did. I stopped at the general store and bought a 20oz Pepsi. I carried a $10 bill in my jersey pocket for just this purpose. I asked if they got many Tinmen coming in. She said no, never. I told her she got one. I filled my water bottle with the Pepsi, and pulled out my sub. I started eating it, then decided to eat it on the bike. I was steering with one hand and eating with the other. As I passed through Cranberry Lake there were a few people out cheering on the riders. I waved with the sub in my hand. The ride back into Tupper Lake was fun. There were nice long downhill sections in the last 5-10 miles. I actually seem to feel stronger later in long rides. On one of the final downhills I managed to reach close to 40mph coasting down on the aerobars. I polished off the rest of the Pepsi before T2. I finished the 56 mile bike ride in 3:21 which was faster than I had thought I would do. I had guessed about 3:30 or even 3:45.