I was riding my white 'dale road bike with a view of doing a steady ride all the way around, with no detours for breaks, refueling. As it turns out having just 2-insulated water bottles wasn't enough. The bike course starts and ends the same as last year, but soon changes direction, and although the course covers some of the same roads, apart from a long stretch on Littig, the roads it does reuse from last year, it does so in the opposite direction.
My least favorite section of last years course, the long slightly uphill drag after turning right on Blake Manor, is now done in reverse, and will require some skill come race day to make the sharp right turn onto FM969 given that its downhill there. Also, my favorite section of last years course has gone as well. The massively long and very fast downhill on Taylor is also gone.
So, it turns out it's much more of a cyclists course now. Longer sections on roads, 973, Blake Manor, Littig and 969. The road surfaces are generally pretty good, it's almost completely flat with the exception of the hills around the back of Walter E Long Park. So, it will be a tale of the wind, the heat, and those that can spin fastest for the longest. No more big sprints, rest on the downhills etc.
At least according to my bike computer it was exactly 56.4 miles.
If you are going to ride the course, I recommend taking at least 3-bottles. There are really only two gas stations or store on the route, the first is a Texaco station around 12-miles on Blake Manor, and the only other is the gas station/corner store in Webberville, around 46-miles. Next week, I think I'll go back to taking a detour through Elgin instead of taking the right on Monkey.
Stats: 56.4-miles, 3:10-minutes. No run afterwards, it was too dam hot and I was dehydrated.
On the heat. For the record I weighed myself after breakfast, I weighed in at 207.5lbs. I drank 2x 750ml sports drinks, 1quart of Powerade from Webberville corner store and an ice cream bar, ate 1x Cliff Bar, 1x PowerGel. After the ride I had 750ml choclate milk, another ice cream bar, 1x large McDonalds low fat Vanilla Iced coffee; for lunch diet Dr Pepper and a chicken wrap from ChikFillet at the mall while trying on Oakleys, a can of diet pepsi when I got back while I was cleaning and lubing the bike, then weighed my self. 204.5lbs. Wow, must have more ice cream bars ;-)