The bike portion of Ironman CDA is the longest part of the race – both in length and pain. The course starts out easy enough, running East from downtown towards Lake Shore drive. At this point, you will head South-ish along the lake. The road begins to rise here, until you come to the first hill. For those that live in hilly areas, this hill is not that bad. For Florida guys like me, it’s big! At the top of this hill there will be a nice down hill a bit and then on to another hill. Eventually, you will turn around and head back in the direction from whence you came. Back downtown, the road now heads up to hwy 95 south towards Moscow, ID. There are some no passing zones here. This means that only one cyclist at a time will be allowed. If you’re fast, then be prepared to be slowed down by slower cyclists. If you are slow, then be prepared to have someone trying to pass you or getting ticked off until the no passing zone ends. It’s less than a mile.
Now the fun really begins. The highway takes a turn heading up, into the sky. The first hill is about 3 miles long. Once you reach the top, there will be another hill that is about 2 miles long. From there it’s fairly flat, but I believe it’s really a false flat.
Near the 20 mile mark (from downtown), you will find some ports-potties and an aid station. Soon after this, you will turn around and head back downtown. Of course, those hills you came up (and then down) on the way here, you will have to head back up again and then ride fast (or coast) down the last hill until you arrive near the lake again. Get ready for the no passing zones again, and then head back downtown.
You have now completed 56 of the 112 mile course! If you loved it, that’s great, because it’s now time for lap number 2! You will ride the exact same course, one more time.
Once you have finished the course, you will take a right turn into the dismount area where a wonderful volunteer will take your bike and rack it for you. Now, it’s off to transition, and on to the run.
Check out my post from last year for more information on the entire race, along with pics of the bike elevation profile, and map.