If almost watching a woman drown wasn’t scary enough, there were even more surprises on the bike course. After the swim, we ran up a huge-ass hill (sorry, but the hill was ridiculous–a theme for this course). I got to the bike transition area, dried off, slipped on my shoes, chugged some water, and ate a few Shot Bloks before heading off to the beginning of the bike race. As I was heading out, I heard one race official call in that the first bike was already ten minutes away. What a Debbie Downer for me. Even though I was in the last wave of people to begin, it still felt like I was already losing.
The first few miles of the bike course were fairly nice–flat or downhill, and I began to think to myself, “Ha! Nineteen miles will be nothing!” That is until I got to miles 5-19 which were miraculously all uphill. When people said they walked to school uphill both ways, I now feel like that’s slightly possible.
There was a 3-mile stretch of solid uphill on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard that wasn’t a steep hill, but a steady incline. It felt like I spent a thousand years on that road. I got passed up by what felt like a million people. Some even commented on how well I was doing with a mountain bike compared to a road bike (Rachel D.: You were totally right. Huffing it with a mountain bike was the most painful ride of my life).
The scariest part, though, was when I crested the top of a hill only to find about 6 police cars, a bunch of participants, and one old couple standing outside their car. As I made my way around the mass of vehicles, I saw a cyclist crunched up on the ground, blood everywhere. I assumed she was hit by the car since it was a blind curve into a hill. it would have been easy for a car coming behind her to crest the hill and not see her until the last minute.
I didn’t see if she was conscious or not, but she wasn’t moving. The elderly couple were standing there watching the police and bikers, and it looked like the woman was crying. They were standing by their gold Honda CR-V. That was another moment of fear. I had just witnessed a women almost drowning less than an hour before, and now I was coming upon another participant who was in peril.
I wondered if I should stop and help with any first aid knowledge I had, but I figured I’d be just another person in the way. That, and the police had to know more about emergency first aid than I did.
Along with the women getting hit by a car, the bike course was just hard. Cycling was my weakest area (not smart since it was the longest area of the course. There were times I felt like quitting during the bike race. “Just come pick me up! I quit! I hate this!” I shouted expletives when no one else was around. I even almost cried at one point after getting passed by what seemed like a thousand people for those dreadful three miles.
But I am SO glad I didn’t. Once I made it up the final hill (and that’s saying a lot, because the whole bike route was uphill!), I had a few more shot Bloks, a Hammer Gel (gag, gag, gag), some water, and began the run.
Check back tomorrow for the run details and finishing info!