Training Ride, Wednesday July 4th, Daily High Temp: Over 100 degrees.
We started our day at Devils Lake State Park which is at ~mile 16 of the course. The ride started out with a few long climbs and we quickly fell in love with the tough climbs, long descents, quality roads, and low traffic. The most challenging part of the ride is definitely the middle miles (~mile 16-32) and we were happy to get these tackled right off the bat. Bluff road was the longest/toughest climb that stuck with me, but the 6-8% grade for most of the climb made it just a steady bit of work. After the last big climb at mile 32 there is a nice long flat/fast section where you can really cruise. Again, we found ourselves appreciating the quality of the roads compared to other races we have done! The final miles of the course into Lake Delton take you through some nice undulating neighborhood roads on the coast of Lake Delton where you can use your momentum from each downhill to make it up the next one.
Things to note:
- Comparable to: IM Lake Placid, with the long steady climbs and fun descents.
When starting the race at the actual bike start it will be important to pace the start somewhat conservatively to be able to have the power left to get up the hills and finish the ride strong. On that note, if you are not used to or are not a climber, a compact crank or 27/28 cassette would be a smart idea. I did the training ride on a 25 and was ok, but am considering racing with a 27.
Not many water stops along the ride, and it was a hot day….this is why we started at Devil’s Lake. This ride is very much in the country. We filled up with a farmer’s hose, then again when we got to Lake Delton. We had to ride a bit off course in Lake Delton, but there are plenty of gas stations there (closest is: Left out of the Tommy Bartlet entrance, ~400m down the road on the opposite side of the street)
LOVE it!! Everyone in our group that wasn’t already signed up is now planning on signing up!
~ Jackie Arendt
Bike Course Map
Official Course Preview Drive Thru Video