Hey y’all! Taper is in full swing over here – IMTX is coming and I can do nothing to stop it!! I’m getting super excited, nervous and anxious all at once. And trying not to obsessively check the 10-day forecast too much
For this week, here’s a preview of the IMTX bike course from my perspective – having ridden it during training only.
Heading out (Portion going North) – generally a tail wind!
- Woodlands Pkwy – pretty smooth, you will likely want to go fast since you’re feeling good, be careful! Takes nearly 10 miles to get out of the Woodlands.
- Honea Egypt Rd – you eventually get out of the neighborhoods and are going north. There has been some construction on this road but hopefully they have a plan to clear it out for race day. This road will feel pretty “fast” especially if you have a tailwind – it is nice and smooth and straight. It is easy to push hard here if you don’t watch out (I always have to remind myself to hold back).
- FM 2854 – you go over a bridge then take an immediate turn onto FM 2854. FM 2854 is also a pretty nice road, no major hills and nice surface. Right before Highway 105 is one of my favorite scenic views of a huge wall of trees to the left. *Be careful at the intersection of HWY 105; I assume there would be cops to take care of traffic, but it’s a very steep downhill directly to the intersection and 105 is a high speed road.
- Lone Star Parkway – lots of little rollers
- FM 149 – you will get a few nice down hill sections, then start getting into the Sam Houston Forest where there are some more rolling hills, but is pretty and sometimes more shaded. The forest area is scenic.
- Osborn Road – be careful when you turn onto this road, there are a lot of cracks, so may be worth getting out of aerobars just in case. Smaller narrow road with a few curves.
Heading West + Loop – Rougher Roads and Getting some wind
- FM 1375 – a few more hills, I usually have to slow a little here to maintain power.
- Bethel Road – nice and enjoyable and fast, must be mainly downhill 🙂
- CR 209 – this road is a deceivingly hilly so watch your power as it will go up quickly – mine did. Very pretty country road though!
- FM 149 – You will then get back on FM 149 and you will know when you cross into Grimes County as the road surface will change to chip seal. You’ll head through a small town called Richards then continue west. (note – for those training the first general store is in Richards. Don’t expect much southern hospitality from this store, but there is water, food, etc.) The part of the road that continues west isn’t too terrible; there is a smooth strip where the car tires have traveled if you can stay on it.
- FM 2562 – this is where you’ll start to notice the road surface and also possibly a head wind if wind is from the south. I had to take it pretty slow last weekend!
- FM 2819 – just more chip seal (side note – the chip seal is really not that bad, but I know some people that hate it)
Going South – Smooth roads and less hills!
- FM 1486 – heading south, and a few more rollers and one sort of large hill, but nothing too bad. This road goes on for quite a while and near HWY 105 you will probably feel a tad “uncomfortable” in the saddle and might use the hills to stand and stretch if you can. Once you hit HWY 105 you will be happy for such nice roads again. *same thing – HWY 105 is high speed hope they will have cops to stop traffic
- Jackson Road – some tree cover from the wind, and also fairly flat (only small elevations).
- 1488 – also fairly flat and smooth sailing back into town.
- Back in the Woodlands – Not bad going back in but some small hills still on Flintridge before you are done.