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Monday, June 25, 2012

Ironman CDA bike course

Friday we decided to ride one loop of the Ironman Coeur d'Alene's bike course (56 miles).  We were scheduled to ride the route on Saturday, but due to the impending storms on Saturday, we decided to ride on Friday so we didn't miss the opportunity to see what the course was like.

The bike course starts from City Beach and heads out to the southeast along a beautiful lake shore road (the same roads as the run course).  There are a few hill climbs and amazing views of Lake Coeur d'Alene before turning around and heading back toward City Beach. 

Once back at City Beach, the bike route leaves town to the southwest on a major highway (for those that are familiar with the Ames area, it is VERY similar to Hwy 30) where the speed limit is 65 mph.  There is a nice wide bike lane along this highway and vehicles are very respectful of the bicycles.  At the start of this leg of the bike course, there is a 2 mile climb that is at a 6% grade.  I was very intimidated by this climb at first, but it turned out to be much easier than I anticipated.  I must be getting stronger on the bike!!  :)

About 5 miles out of town, the road became VERY BORING.  There was a slight incline the whole way out to the turnaround and a 15 mph headwind, but there were no twists and turns, up and downs, or things to keep you focused on your task at hand.  The landscape became very similar to the Midwest and I didn't feel as though I was in North Idaho anymore.  At one point I must have "fallen asleep behind the handlebars" since I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing and double shifted causing my chain to drop on a climb...Oh well...this forced me to refocus my attention on the task at hand :)

This is the view out of town...looks like Iowa.

We knew the turn around for the bike course was just past Setters Road, but we weren't sure of its exact location.  We kept looking for markings on the road (the course was VERY well marked up to this point with bright orange tape), but we didn't see any sign of the turnaround.  When we were close to 40 miles, according to the bike computer, we decided to turn around knowing it was about 20 miles back into town.  We weren't sure how we had missed the turnaround, but a few miles down the road it became quite obvious how it was missed...the turnaround was in the northbound lane!!  UGH...we ended up with a 61 mile ride instead of the planned 56 mile ride...Oh was another great adventure!!

The return trip went pretty quickly as we had the wind at our backs and it was a gentle downhill for the most part.  When we were about 2 miles from town, we had that long 2 mile descent at the 6% grade that we had climbed earlier when we left town.  I love going fast!!  What a fun part of the course!!

All in all, it was a successful 61 mile ride, even if more than 30 miles of it were REALLY BORING.  We were so hungry when we were done, we showered, changed and went to Bonsai Bistro for some wine, soup and AMAZING sushi!!  There is nothing better than fabulous food after a great workout!!
Wine and Soup...YUM!!
Sushi...even better than the wine and soup!!

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