Friday, April 16, 2010

From below sea level to the high mountains: Mooseman bike course changes AGAIN

Gonna skip past New Orleans already and start talking about Mooseman coming up on June 6th. The bike course has been a hot topic over the past few weeks with an ever changing bike course. For the half Ironman distance, how you perform on the bike is gonna determine how well of a run you are going to have. i.e. Go too hard = have a lovely (shit) run.

So basically the Mooseman race director has always wanted to turn the bike course (previously 2 loops of 28 miles) into a big one loop course. Thats cool with me, whatever. He did get approval for a 1 loop course, and it includes a huge 3.5 mile, 900 foot elevation climb at mile 6. Mile 6, whatever. EXCEPT for the fact that with water temps of 60 degrees or colder, your legs are still gonna be ice cold FROZEN by mile 6 when you hit this hill. On the back side of the course you then hit what the locals call "Heartbreak Hill" which is a long slow death kind of climb. Not steep, just a steady death. Then finally you hit the short ups and downs of the bottom of the course.

Fine. I accepted it. The course is harder. I'll train for it. I am heading up to preview it in May.


...and it got even HARDER!

Here is the progression of courses via elevation:

Course #1 (2 loops)
Looks like a lot of climbing, but its only a 400 foot elevation change from min to max

Course #2
1 loop course. Look at that beast of a climb! Makes the other hills look small even though they aren't, including heartbreak hill. Min elevation: 459 Max Elevation: 1581

Course #3 - Current Bike Course
Oh Mother of God, have mercy on my soul (and legs)

So why write a huge long drawn out post about this? Well, for changes this signifigant, it changes how I will train on the bike between April 18th and June 6th. Hills have always been my friends. Now hills are REALLY going to be my friends. And its not the climbing that worries me. Its the climbing on the TT bike that worries me. My Cervelo P2 is an awesome bike, but climbing on that thing suuuuuuuuuuucks. That bike is made to go fast on the flats and rollers, not up mountains!

Well if there is anything positive about this experience, it will be that this will be a taste of Lake Placid.


  1. Holy crap that Mooseman course looks like a killer. You are right, it will be a warm-up to IMLP! Ouch. Don't think about that right now though, think about New Orleans! Good luck, I can't wait to hear the race report!

  2. Wow...those are some hills! Is the course set in stone or are they still in the process of deciding what it will be? Either way, it's good that you've already been training on hills. I suck at hills, so I would probably die on that course!

  3. Good Lord!!!!! Whenever you see pink on an elevation chart, you know you are dealing with some serious hills.

    Do you think you might go with the road bike instead of the time trial bike if it is better for climbing?

    Good luck at NOLA!!!!!!

  4. Piece of cake for you:) Right? Happy Friday Jon!

  5. As soon as I saw #3 I thought, "might want to ditch the TT!" But the downhills would be awesome big ringed in aero!

  6. If I was doing that race, I would highly consider bringing the roadie, and ride in the drops on the flats. Seriously, I rather be able to shift without moving my arms up every 20 feet. I would just toss my aero wheels on the roadie.


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