I came out of the changing tent and was handed my bike. With a flat front tire.
I think when i had the guy help me with inflating the rear tire, he also hit the front with a shot of pressure, which it didnt need. Overinflated, during my almost two hour swim and transition tent meet and greet, the temp warmed up and pop. Not a problem, if youre going to have a flat anywhere, this is the place to do it. They fixed it for me, 10 minutes and i didnt even get my hands dirty.
I had advice from the guys at Endurance Nation on my race execution. Dont chase people passing me on the climb out of town. Save yourself, you will see many of them later at the end of the bike portion, or certainly during the run. Stay aero, focusing on form on the bike will improve efficiency and preserve much needed resources for the run discipline. They also gave great advice on where to grab nutrition, where you wouldn't be able to (like the 40mph + descent into Keene, no, you dont start messing with a gel packet then).
I also knew from personal experience that I needed to force myself to drink, I should be emptying all my bottles between aid stations. Kona Kola Nuun in every bottle. A gel every 20 to 30 minutes also a must.
Throughout the day I played leapfrog with the same group, being passed by them on ascents, blowing by them on descents. For me at least this wasnt going to be about chasing or making a breakaway. Like I had written on my forearms, "patience" and "purpose" would bring me my own success this day.
At bike Special Needs I stopped and took some time to move off to the side, dismount, restock my Nuun tabs, eat some Sports Beans and have a long drink. And goofed around a little with the volunteers. A nice little break, maybe 5 minutes spent, a good investment with the return being a smile on my face as i left for loops number 2.
Climbing out of town on the second loop I noticed the words on my forearm beginning to fade. Moreso my left arm than right. So my mantra for the rest of the ride was "my patience may be wearing thin, but my purpose is still clear"
I stopped at the portosan on the Haselton out and back and fully utilized the service provided there.
I was feeling a little bonky passing through Wilmington Notch the second time. i broke out my secret weapon, Peanut M&Ms I had saved in my bento box. The sugar really helped to carry me through. I did come out of the saddle up Papa Bear, more to stretch than anything else.
Returning to the oval i went up around the back of the high school, then carefully down a hill,and pass offed the bike.
Bike Time 8:10:14 13.7 mph pace