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I haven't done the Penticton 2016 course although I've done lots of riding in that area. I've never gone up Secrest which I think is the toughest climb on that course? I find both old & new Whistler courses to be harder than anything I've ridden in Penticton (old Ironman Canada, Penticton Gran Fondo ).
Did you do the old Whistler IMC course? This one has more climbing but I don't think I'd call it harder, it's just different. There are no long sustained climbs, it's just that you're almost always either climbing or descending, except when you're passing through the village and out to Alpine. There are some steeper sections on this course (12-14%) but they're short.
So this gravel riding craze... hasn’t really been an interest but this weekend I mentioned to the hub that maybe I should check it out (he was talking about getting a new bike so you know, me too). Then yesterday I learned Argon-18 has a new gravel bike and they’ve named it after my favourite beer. Obviously it’s a sign from the Universe. So @Matt I can’t find any pricing info - how much are these retailing for?
We got ‘er done. Hottest day of the year and (rumour has it, I’m too lazy to check), the most gain on any bike course on the current IM roster. Happy with my swim, happy with my bike, the run was a shit show in an inferno. I walked every hill and everything in full sun, except when I came across Rachel McBride spectating and she gave me a high-5. Then I did a Rachel-fartlek until I was out of her sight... gotta redeem myself next time or it will be time to change my social media handle. I beat the hub by 47 minutes so am feeling appropriately smug.
Thanks @Matt for helping me with a last minute bike panic.
For an hour and a half, I wouldn’t fuel during. I’m currently training for an 11.8 km swim (because I’m an idiot, especially considering how slowly I swim) where I will need to fuel so I’ve been practicing on my longer swims. Fueling every 500m vibe of my Garmin, alternating a swig or 2 of Infinit and EnduranceTap “gel”.
What I’ve learned so far is keeping everything as liquid as possible works best and that training for an ultra swim is mind numbingly boring.