The course offers participants a true tour of Chicago, starting at the scenic lakefront, tunneling underneath the bustling Loop, through the heart of the financial district, then cruising down the city’s most exclusive freeway.
The 2018 event debuted a 100% traffic-free Bike Course, which now utilizes all southbound traffic lanes (closed entirely to traffic). Sprint and International distance cyclists will now enter Lake Shore Drive from the southbound Randolph Street exit ramp, located 50 yards west of the previous on-ramp.
All cyclists will ride northbound in a clockwise direction, utilizing the two westernmost lanes while staying to the left (passing on the right). Cyclists will turn around at Hollywood Avenue and proceed south, utilizing the two easternmost lanes and again staying to the left (passing on the right). International participants will exit at the Wacker Drive egress ramp, while Sprint participants exit (as usual) at the Randolph Street egress ramp.
The International bike course then leads west along Intermediate Wacker Drive, where the unique experience begins: a ride underneath the city along the newly-rebuilt (and completely traffic-free) Intermediate Wacker Drive. Cyclists will proceed west then south to Monroe Street, turning around underneath Jackson Blvd, then returning north and east along Lower Wacker. Just past Michigan Avenue, the course leads cyclists to another down ramp, setting-up an exclusive experience: cruising down the Lower Randolph Busway – Chicago’s most secretive and unobstructed expressway. The open-air Busway offers a unique vantage point for spectators as triathletes ride through the heart of Grant Park while suspended 15 feet below ground level. Athletes will proceed south through Place to a turnaround point underneath I-55, then return north on the Busway, back to Middle Randolph and into transition.
The International bike course requires two distinct ride/pass zones, relative to specific areas of the course:
1. Ride Left, Pass Right
This rule remains in effect for the first 14.5 miles of the International Bike Course, along Lake Shore Drive. The rule was created to keep cyclists clear of activity in the middle of the road (which are buffered by safety cones). Cyclists who wish to pass must look for clearance to their right side, move to the right, complete the pass, then move back to the left. Those being passed must remain four bike lengths behind in order to avoid a drafting penalty. The Ride Left, Pass Right rule applies to the entire Sprint bike course field.
2. Ride Right, Pass Left
(International participants only)
After immediately crossing the Chicago River, all International distance athletes will turn left, exiting Lake Shore Drive at the Wacker Drive egress ramp. This down ramp leads cyclists west on Intermediate Wacker Drive. At this point, all cyclists must follow the standard Ride Right, Pass Left protocol for the duration of the race. Cyclists who wish to pass must look for clearance behind them and on the left. Once clear, they will move left, complete the pass, then move back to their right side.
Race Officials will patrol the bike course, ensuring safety, proper positioning and passing among the field. In addition, 12 Bike Marshals will be on course, reiterating rules, aiding stranded cyclists and ensuring general course safety. Participants are asked to obey all signals and instruction. Penalties, including disqualification, can be assessed for noncompliance.
The Bike In access to Transition is adjacent to Randolph on the right hand side of the bike exit. The flow for this transition is north to south with the run exit being slightly west of the swim entry.
Bike Support Crew
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