Bike Course

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Bike Course

Post by Slatts on Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:47 pm

Description of bike course lifted off of forum:

So, that's my bike course recce done. Could have picked better weather; it was 9 degrees, wet and windy Like all my recces, I will waffle on a bit, but these are the main points:

1. How the heck do they fit a '1 lap' 3.8km swim in that lake with 2000 people? It must be a right circus.

2. This course is almost the antithesis of IM Austria if you've done it. The climbing is almost all in the first 30km of the loop, and the long gradual grinding climbs in Regensburg are followed by all-too-short fast descents.

3. The second half of the course is very susceptible to winds.

4. If you live in the UK the roads are nice, if you live in Bavaria, they're average

5. If you're not a very strong biker (sub ca.5:10) then you need to pay particular attention to conservative pacing from the off.

I pulled away from the lake in the drizzel and didn't really feel up for this, but really needed to get it done as Mrs O and mini O were in the UK, so it was an ideal time. Within a few kms I managed to take a wrong turn on the outskirts of Neutraubling, which is punctuated with industrial units; back on track, I crossed the Danube and then had another 'moment' route finding, and ended-up doing a circle through Donaustauf village, which I'm pretty sure is bypassed (a couple of extra kms already ). I knew once I made the turn north on the road to Brennburg, route finding would be easier. After a couple of kms on the road past Walhalla (don't forget to look up to your left!) the road branches off and over a flyover on to the Brennburg road, and the lion's share of the ascent.

The road here starts with a surface that wouldn't look out of place on a UK country lane, and I was almost in the middle of the road trying to avoid the craters. This soon ended and then it was back to good German tarmac, but this also signals the start of the ascent up through Lichtenwald; my Ergomo had this at a max of 7% in places. This then peeters out a bit and becomes a long gradual grind up towards Altenthann, where there's a little respite from a gradual descent through Forstmuhle. Shortly after this the road kicks up, and the familiar long grind begins again towards Brennburg. The stiff easterly wind and weather was making this quite a chore, and I'd anticipate it being a lot better in warmer weather and some proper IM preparation!

The steepest section lies a few kms before Brennburg, which was a sustained drag between 7-11.8% which was the max gradient my computer had it at. This is fine for the strong bikers, but these long steady ascents are a bitch for us swim/bikers! Note to self, really do take it easy here on the day. I'm still no slouch (I wasn't pushing it either) but in today's conditions I was sat in the 39-23 on this hardest section of the course in to the wind; I'd certainly recommend a 25 or even 27 sprocket for those who are expecting to do over 5:45-6:00 for the bike, otherwise your legs will be toast. The names written in the road were a sign I was on another uphill section; there was also a banner advertising some Tri firm which I rubber necked at and ended-up on the verge going uphill Finally, and with some relief, I reached Brennburg. The course heads south to Frauenzell, and this is where there are a couple of fast descents.

What goes up must come down, and on this course, all that hard-won altitude is lost all-too-quickly on some very fast sections. Crosswinds meant some bad wobble, so I was crouched over the base bars here, especially with the wet roads. The fastest section is shortly before Wiesnt, where I had to stop for the lights at the bottom! Reaching Wiesnt signals the start of the flat part of the course, with a few little nips in and around the villages. It's back over the Donau now, and towards Pfatter; here there was a short section in to the teeth of the wind again, but I had Kylie on the headphones and imagined her wrything on a pile of bodies to take my mind off the annoying draft. The road then turns south again to Sunching. This is a nice flat section, good surfaces and should hopefully be crosswind free next year! After Sunching the course heads to Aufkirchen, where you climb slightly (7%) before hitting the village, then descend back out of it. The road is ocassionally up and down with little out-of-the-saddle sections out of some villages (Hagelstadt), but generally flat. One thing with doing it this time of year, is the amount of muddy crap on the road from the tractors during harvest time! By the time I got to Moosham it wasn't far to go.

Here in Moosham, as you enter the village there's a dip under a bridge and what is a very tight right hander; I was lucky nothing was coming the other way as I over shot the bend. This was the site of my final navigational faff; not sure I'd taken the right turning in Moosham I ended up doing a loop of the village and adding another km or so to my route. Unlike Roth or Austria, there are no residual signs or road markings showing you the way. After Moosham it's pretty much a drag strip back to the lake, before it starts all over again By the time I got back, the roads had dried and the temperature had hit a balmy 11 degrees

There you have it. I made this loop 695m of ascent, so that averages out less than the 1500m total they claim (obviously I didn't do the final bit in to the city on a week day!), although I've no doubt my Ergomo is not that accurate. It's strange the way bike courses work; Roth, Austria & Regensburg all have between 1450-1650m of ascent, but they all feel quite different. Austria is said to be a flattering course, Roth just feels fast on the right day, and Regensburg is a tale of two halves. I think this course suits the stronger bikers, with the long dragging climbs, as opposed to the short steeper variety like the Rupertiberg in Austria, followed by a long descent. I can see why some of my local contempories who are bike animals, qualified for Kona on this course.


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Re: Bike Course

Post by Spins on Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:14 pm

I was talking to David Cantwell recently. He did Regensburg this year and he said the climbs aren't that bad. He reckons if you're able for Kenmare, then you'll find the climbs a piece of piss at Regensburg. He wouldn't consider himself to be a strong biker and he did a 5.47 bike on his way to an 11.14 finish time.


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Join date : 2009-07-07
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Location : Waterford City (The Big Blaa)

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