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Ironman Kalmar - part two - the bike

Out of the water I raced directly to my transition bag. Going from horizontal to vertical never has been an issue for me and so I just went, settled down in the tent, emptied my bag on the floor (no helpers - also no wet-suit-strip-personnel - but I was ok) picked and chose what I needed. The rain jacket, the wind vest went back into the bag. Same for the arm warmer/coolers. I put on my helmet, bike jersey, bib belt, sunglasses (the lighter one - the dark one went back into the bag) threw my wet suit, goggles and swim cap also into the bag, tied it up, grabbed my bike shoes and tossed the blue bag at a provided space next to the tent.

Short port-a-potty break and off to my bike. Now comes the fun part - that's what I always have in mind. I do like cycling. Even after having to fight with some dislocated disks at my spine, cycling, swimming and running are fine. Standing around - not so much. So I kept moving. At the mout bar I hopped on, and it all started out flat. To the Oeland bridge - and there it all became somewhat tough. I had to really hold on to my headset, for the wind was trying to steer my front wheel somewhere else. But I had not had the chance to switch - I knew I had to deal with this so I just was a bit more careful not to be blown to the middle of the bridge. Up the 40m, down the 40m, it really was quite windy. Then right turn towards the South on the island of Oeland. I had tried a small part of that course the previous day and knew about headwinds and false flats. So easier gear, higher frequency and off I went. In Morbylanga the boys were sitting at the side - I saw them first and got some big cheers. That was at a small out-and-back, so they got to cheer twice and I got to hear them twice. further on South. More headwind. Eventually this part was over - I was down somewhat 50-ish km, when the course made a left turn into West-East-direction again. The crosswinds were not as bad as on the bridge - it actually all was a breeze to ride there. Then came the most fun part - back North. With wind in my back - as they had wished us all in the pre-race blessing. False flat the other way round. And - well - a hill. Up to the place where the boys and Martin were waiting. Good reason to throw the bike into easier gears and pedal. After passing them it went down hill and back to the Oeland bridge again. This time the passing wasn';t as bad. Not there were only 60-ish km left and these went up North with a loop and little out-and-back on mostly agricultural streets. Narrower than regular ones, but really most of the time really good quality.  The people - like on Oeland - were out on every second corner to cheer - and me - smiling back. Smiling some more. The kids would have found that barracuda face on me - again.

Then came the nasty part. The way back South. Remember - the winds there always come from the South. So I went into the headwind, with some slightly rolling landscape - really slightly but every uphill slowly became one uphill too many. I couldn't see them anymore. But closing my eyes wouldn't be a good idea, stopping not, either, so I continued. This is where I dropped a lot of speed. I really was quite well on my way but this last 20-30km really got to me. I counted km. Backwards. 

Well, eventually if one pedals and pedals one gets somewhere. For me, that place was transition - my, was I glad to be off the bike. roughly seven and a half hours. And only a marathon to go.

To Be Continued.