The website says that there will be 4 aid stations on the bike course at Eagleman, about one every 10-12 miles. This will be my first race with water stations on the bike. What kind of water bottles do they use? The typical 20-24 oz. water bottles that you can snap into the bottle cage on your bike? Or are they the retail bottles like the ones you find at the grocery store (Deer Park, Poland Spring, etc.)?
Any difference between the water bottles and the Gatorade bottles at the aid stations? And is the water in the bottles cold, or at room temperature (i.e., really warm, if it's hot that day)?
I'd like to plan ahead of time so I'll be ready to either put the bottles into my bottle cage or think about trying to refill my bottles with the aid station bottles. And do it automatically and focus on the pedaling part.
It's actually a high-pressure hose that they have hooked up to a tank on the side of the road. You just ride by with the top of your bottle off and they fill your bottle as your ride by. I think the water tank is on the right, and the Gatorade tank is on the left, but they might have changed it up this year.
Hold onto the bottle though, it might get blasted out of your hand!
Interesting. I hadn't thought of that. Thanks.
In all seriousness, last year they had the gatorade sports bottles that you buy at the store.
Only the orange flavor.
Kinda like this Not sure if that is the EXACT packaging, but pretty close. Good news is they fit fine in your bottle cage. Not very snug, though. May get launched if you put it in a behind the seat bottle holder.
Pretty sure water was just what you described. Your typical bottled dasani/deer park/whatever "sports" bottle.
EDIT: if you could type in a title that length, why couldn't the title of the reply be the same length?
OK. What about the water bottles?
EDIT: I posted this before you edited your post.
Yeah, strange about the title being too long.
You got me on that one, bcfrank!
I heard legends that the jellyfish manned one of the water stations. You may want to watch out for that station, PotomacTriathlete2009.
Well, as I said on the other thread, I don't think the jellyfish will be offended by the fact that I don't want to be stung by them. Not sure why you're so upset that I said that.
Also, the water bottle exchange can be a little intimidating. Kids are standing out there inches from your bike. holding bottles out for you to grab as you whiz by at speed (well, you should slow down at least a little) along with 20-30 other cyclists all crisscrossing to and away from the line of volunteers. Each cyclist throwing their empty bottles on the ground and grabbing a full bottle from a kid's outstretched hand.
To practice, either set a bottle on a table and try and grab it as you ride by. If you're unsure of your handling skills, you may want to take enough water for 56 miles on your bike with you. If you do decide to try and get water at the bottle exchanges, try getting one as soon as you can. (ie next aid station after you empty your first water bottle). That way, if you whif, you can pick one up at the next aid station... only 10mi down the road... before you empty your second bottle.
And yeah, the bottle you discard at the aid station, don't expect to get it back after the race.
They could always order in a storm surge like a few years ago. You could refill a bottle whenever you wanted, and didn't have o worry about adding sodium. ;-). On a on-topic note, these bottles are slightly narrower (usually) than a standard bike bottle, so if you have cages that are loose-grip, you may be ejecting them if you hit a bump. I lost one on the first five miles of Columbia this way.
I may not have too many other cyclists to worry about at the aid stations. I'm going to be fairly slow on the swim so I'll be behind most of the people in my wave. I'll do OK on the bike though.
I plan to bring 2 bottles with me. That may be all I need, depending on the weather. I think I made it through the 59-mile Vasa Ride on just one bottle, although that was in early March and cooler temperatures. Hopefully I'll only need one bottle at the aid stations at most.
Thanks for the tips. It really does help to know what to expect. Then I can visualize this stuff beforehand and have an overall game plan for the day. This is part of what I'm doing for the next two weeks, getting a sense of how I'll approach each part of the race in terms of equipment details, nutrition/hydration and pacing.