This past weekend, I rode the course at Augusta AGAIN. Obviously, I felt the need to reallllly get to know every nook and cranny of the course (or not). The real story is that the first time I rode the course, I went with a group of people from a local bike shop (shout out to Decatur Bikes). The second time I went, I rode with a few friends from my running group who couldn't make it the previous week.
It is funny how my perspective of the course changed the second time. I have a couple of theories as to why it changed. The first being that prior to seeing the course, I had been told it was essentially flat so any hills at all were one too many on that day. My other theory is that I rode an extra 5 miles that first time because I missed a turn and got lost. Those last 5 miles were Chattanooga hilly and it may have skewed my memories of the course which is funny in a way because everyone I ride with tells me I have "hill amnesia". I tend to forget the major hills on some of our routes when describing the ride to potential new riders.
So, for the benefit of any readers who are doing the Augusta 70.3... from this day forward, let it be known that my new "official" review of the Augusta course is this:
The first 16 miles are flat. After mile 16ish, the route goes to rolling hills with some flats mixed in, there are some fairly long, slow uphills somewhere around miles 30 to 40. You are not climbing Mount Everest on a bicycle. They are the type of hills that make you wonder when they might end because it feels like you climb for a while. After that the course goes back to rolling hills with a short steep hill and one more long slow hill before you hit the flats for the last 4-5 miles. There you have it. Go forth and prosper.