A girlfriend and I took a test run of the Pole Pedal Paddle bike leg today. It was just as I expected in regards to difficulty. The 22-mile course is mostly downhill with just one significant hill.
We were both on mountain bikes... hers a Schwinn and mine a Diamondback, more suited to leisure rides around the neighborhood than a downhill road race. Nevertheless, we both felt more comfortable with our big, knobby tires and the cushy seats. :)
On our test run, we had one major setback that we didn't anticipate... she got a flat tire. We stopped another cyclist going uphill who happened to have a cellphone so we could call for a pickup (I finished the ride alone). He offered to fix her flat but as we were not riding typical road bikes, her tire wasn't easily 'popped' off. He therefore didn't have the right tools with him.
We talked with him for a short time - very nice guy - he's currently training in hopes to qualify for a spot on an American team heading to France (time trials in Wisconsin next week) for a 2000 mile race (?). His bike, a Leopard, was amazing! Just looking at it made me want to buy one... even the spokes are designed aerodynamically and the entire thing weighs under 15 pounds. He stated that on a downhill, he can average 45-50 mph. Wow!
I enjoyed the ride today. It took me just over an hour to come down the hill to the bike/run exchange point. Come Saturday, I will use the same bike equipped in the same way (maybe a windbreaker though - it was a bit chilly with the wind, but then we'll be starting 2 hours later). It will work just fine. I'm not looking to place or break any records... just doing it for fun. I expect I'll finish a little quicker than I did today... we enjoyed one another's company and conversed the enire way. There were times when I just coasted and didn't pedal. Come Saturday, I'll give it more effort. :)