Give it a Tri! | Part 5 - The Bike

Camelback Coaching Carefully study the course map Carefully study the course map

A little preparation goes a long way for the cycling stage of a triathlon

Study the Course Map

Carefully study of the course maps provided by the race organizer prior to the event is recommended. These will delineate directions of turn and how many loops are required (if a multi-loop course). Most triathlon courses remain open to traffic—one lane might be coned off for cyclists. It is the participant’s responsibility to remain within the coned area. 

Helmets are Required Equipment

A helmet is required to participate in the cycling portion of any triathlon. No exceptions.

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Unless competing at the elite level in triathlon, drafting on the bike is not allowed. An athlete cannot ride directly behind another competitor’s wheel as one might do in bike race or on a group ride. Ten meters of separation is required between the rear wheel of the cyclist in front and the front wheel of the cyclist riding behind. 

Anne Wilson

Anne Wilson is the co-owner and head swim coach of Camelback Coaching, a full-service triathlon coaching company located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Anne swam competitively, including collegiately at the US Naval Academy, before diving into the sport of triathlon. She has competed in triathlons for over twenty-five years and coached full time for ten. For more information, please visit