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Old 09-14-09, 10:53 AM   #1
adamtki
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Do they usually close traffic for triathlon?

Noobie question - For the bike portion of the race, do they usually close the lanes to traffic so that you can ride without stopping? I can't imagine having to wait for a light or for a car to turn when you're going for a timed event.
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Old 09-14-09, 10:56 AM   #2
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Depends on the event. For the most part, no they don't, you're on open road. Shorter sprint events will more frequently get police assistance at intersections, at least in this area. Longer events it's frequently "see ya!"
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Old 09-14-09, 11:08 AM   #3
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I've only done one race, the Triathlon at Pacific Grove, in which the bike course was closed to motor traffic. Usually, they control intersections so you can go through without stopping, but then let motor traffic on the road.
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Old 09-14-09, 11:22 AM   #4
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i just completed the nations triathlon in DC (olympic). it was my first tri. The bike AND run courses were closed roads, which was nice. they did have specific time cutoffs where the bike course reopened and if you weren't off you got a DNF, and a specific time where the run course would reopen and all runners must be on the sidewalk.

As i was leaving, however, i saw a group of TNTers being cheered in at about mile 5 of the run, walking in the road. i believe they were the last on the course, so therefore the time cutoffs were very generous.

when you choose a tri you should be able to read about the course to see if it's closed roads or not.
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Old 09-14-09, 01:40 PM   #5
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Of the ones I've done (five so far), none of them had closed roads. Two of them had volunteers directing traffic at intersections for the bike portion. One had the run on a walking path around a lake, so there was no traffic. Everything else was just open road for the bike and/or run. However they've all been outside of town so the traffic was pretty light.
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Old 09-14-09, 02:06 PM   #6
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I just did the Nation's Tri in DC and it was quite liberating to ride on a completely closed 4-lane highway opposite the normal direction of traffic.

That being said, most races I've done have had open roads.
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Old 09-14-09, 03:00 PM   #7
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So for those races with open roads, is it common to have to stop at least once for traffic when you're in the middle of a race?
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Old 09-14-09, 03:06 PM   #8
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I've never had to stop for traffic.
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Old 09-14-09, 03:11 PM   #9
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Most leave the roads open but involve volunteers and local cops to control the intersections. Also good ones try and route the bike course around traffic lights. That said theres only so much control.

I've never had to stop though, although I did have an idiot auxilary cop let a guy do an Austin Powers in the middle of the road during the race and expected me to go around the guy when he could have just stopped the guy for a second to let me by (its not easy to change direction at 20 mph!)....
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Old 09-15-09, 09:32 AM   #10
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Typically if the race is not a completely closed course they will have the intersections manned as stated above. If the course turns onto a main road then more often than not there will be a coned off lane for the race and the cars have the rest. If you are having to cross traffic to get to that lane (as is the case in the Memphis in May event) then they will halt traffic until they have a clear section. The cars go through until more bikers come along. Basically, the race has the "right-of-way" for a few hours.

Your best bet is to check the race website and look at the course desription. If it is not clear than contact them. They are there for your questions so ask 'em.
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