Bike Course FAQ's
1. Will there be a bike repair station at the race site?
Yes. The station will open at 5:30am and close at 9:00am. You should have your bike in good working order BEFORE you come to the race. The purpose of the station is for last minute issues that might come up, such as missing handlebar plugs, under inflated tires, or a quick chain repair.
2. Is the bike course an open road course?
This is considered an open road course when you cross over E Lake Sammamish Parkway traffic circle. Issaquah & Sammamish Police officers will be at all intersections with stop lights to insure bikes have the right-of-way. The course is closed (coned off) to traffic from the State park to E Lake Sammamish Parkway traffic circle. The police officers also carefully monitor traffic on the two lane portion of East Lake Sammamish Pkwy. Open road rules are in effect NORTH of the traffic circle. When you get to the course turnaround, you will have Course Marshals to ensure a safe place to complete your turn.
3. Do I have to wear a helmet?
Yes. Your helmet must be on and the chin strap fastened before you will be allowed to leave the TA to start the bike course. The bike helmet must be ANSI, CPSC or SNELL certified. Most helmets purchased in the US within the last 2-3 years are certified. Please confirm this by checking for a sticker indicating its certification on the inside of the helmet.
4. What are the main bike course rules I should be aware of? Is drafting allowed?
Your safety is our number one priority. This is an OPEN ROAD course. You may not ride in such a manner that blocks vehicular traffic (or other cyclists attempting to pass). Emergency vehicles have the right-of-way at all times! Follow the instructions of Police Officers and Course Marshals on the course. For the safety and enjoyment of everyone, please be responsible and adhere to USA Triathlon rules, including the following key safety rules:
- Know and follow the course.
- Properly wear a bike helmet meeting or exceeding CPSC, ANSI, or SNELL standards.
- Ride on the right side of your "lane". No blocking, either intentionally or accidentally.
- Pass on the left of the cyclist in front, never on the right.
- No drafting. If you are passed, immediately move your bike out of the drafting zone (2 meters wide and 7 meters long surrounding the bike).
- Do not endanger yourself or other participants. Do not interfere with other participants. Slow down and exercise extreme caution in passing the site of any cycling accident.
- Zero tolerance for any unsportsmanlike conduct.
5. Is there a cut-off time for the bike leg of the race?
We do not have a hard cut off time, but do target 2 hours after the start of the last swim wave, or about 9:50 am. We have an official "Last Person" that acts as a sweeper for each of the courses. Our "Last Person" always stays just behind whoever is at the back of the field. As the "Last Person" makes their way along the course, we begin closing the course behind them. This allows us fully reopen the roads to traffic as soon as possible and is much appreciated by the citizens of Issaquah and Sammamish.
6. I only have a mountain bike. Is it okay to ride that in the sprint triathlon?
Absolutely! There are lots of Triathletes who ride mountain bikes. Some other races have a special group for those with mountain bikes, but we keep you all together. You may want to consider adding "slicks" if you can afford them. Slicks are smooth tires, which would be faster on the roads than the nubby tires that come on mountain bikes. Keep in mind that if you plan to compete regularly, or are looking at competing in races longer than Sprint distance, you should probably invest in a road bike or tri bike.
7. Can I use a tandem or recumbent bike in the race?
Yes. However, if it's a tandem bike, you must ride it solo. This is another one of those areas where we differ from USA Triathlon, where these types of bikes would not typically be allowed.
8. What is the road surface like?
All sections of the bike course are on mostly smooth, asphalt pavement. Both the Cities of Issaquah and Sammamish have worked with us in the past to repair potholes, and the City of Sammamish uses a street cleaner to sweep the shoulders of the road along East Lake Sammamish Pkwy the day before the race. The Bike Course Marshals do touch ups with brooms as needed. The Bike Course Captain marks any remaining issues with signs and/or chalk. Stay alert: watch for markings and listen to the Bike Course Marshals who will shout warnings if any new issues come up during the race.
9. Since the bike course is an out-and-back course, where do we make the U-turn? How will that work with traffic control?
The U-turn is made right at the intersection of the Pkwy and Inglewood Hill Road just past the 7 mile mark. Three police officers work the intersection at Inglewood Hill to stop vehicular traffic in all three directions so that the bikes have the right-of-way for this U-turn. Review the bike course maps and descriptions so you know the course. Ride the course before race day if you can. During the race, keep an eye on your odometer (if you have one) so you know when the U-turn is coming up. If you don't have an odometer, watch the posted mileage signs. Also, watch for signs and listen for Bike Course Marshals warning you that the U-turn is ahead and that you need to slow down. Then, SLOW DOWN! This is a relatively tight turn. Making the turn slowly and safely will save you more time (and skin) than speeding up and crashing hard. Be careful as you power up after the turn.
10. Will there be a bottle exchange (or aid stations) on the bike course?
No. Due to the distance of the bike ride, one or two pre-mounted water bottles should be sufficient for fluid needs.
11. Will there be a SAG wagon on the bike course?
We have Course Marshals monitoring the course and in touch with aid vehicles and other Marshals. But per USA Triathlon rules, no outside assistance may be received to make actual repairs to your bicycle during the race. You may receive the use of another participant's tools or parts but you must make the repairs by yourself.