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You survived the swim. Perhaps that surprised you, but we knew all along that you could do it and make it through the first transition. But before you get all carried away, popping the champagne and wheeling yourself onto the course, there are a few things to remember on the bike. Those just happen to be rules, safety and rules - not necessarily in that order. Sounds fun, huh? Well, it is. But it can also be a bit dicey. So, USA Triathlon - the sport's governing body - put together a rule book to help keep you and your fellow participants safe.

Helmets: You must wear one. And you have to keep the chin strap buckled at all times, too. A good rule of thumb is to have your helmet on and buckled whenever you are touching the bike.


Drafting: Triathlon is not NASCAR or even the Tour de France. You cannot draft. That is, unless it is an ITU event. But don't worry about that so much. Most triathlons in the United States are USA Triathlon sanctioned and, thus, do not allow drafting. What that means is that there must be three bike lengths between you and the person in front of you. There are exceptions, such as in crowded areas, narrow parts of the course or when safety is at issue.

Blocking: You are blocking if you ride on the left side of the bike lane when not passing. Like the fast lane for automobile traffic, the left lane in a triathlon is for passing. No problem, right?

Littering: You don't need Woodsy Owl to let you know littering is wrong. But most littering in triathlon is unintentional. An unsecured gel or energy bar wrapper, a tissue

and even a water bottle launched from a rear cage can transfom into streetside debris in an instant. If it does and it comes from you, you have to stop and pick it up or face disqualification.

Passing: You must be able to pass the person in front of you within 15 seconds. To help you do this, the person being overtaken must fall back if the front of your wheel goes beyond the front of his or her wheel. This, of course doesn't always work out that way. We humans being the competitive beings that we are will occasionally pump the pedals harder after noticing someone coming up slowly from the rear. That can make passing all the more challenging to complete in that 15 second window.

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