Saw your post and it brought me back tp my first race and all the questions I had at the time. So to answer your questions:
1. No you don’t need a crew person to bring your bike to you, you run to it. When you cross the timing mat after the run you still have about a 100 yard run to get to you bike and no one can assist you to do that. When you place your bike that morning before the race starts you leave your helmet, shoes (if you think you need bike shoes) and hydration with your bike and when you get to it after the run, you put on your helmet, etc and you are off but remember, you are on the clock from the starters gun until you cross the finish line so changing shoes slows you way down. I run, bike and paddle in the same shoes. I know there are some who do change into bike shoes but I’m not fast enough to do that.
2. Designated Area for bike equipment? You leave it with your bike. They have racks and racks set up for us to leave our bikes at and I leave all my equipment with my bike. So when I finish the run, I make the 100 yard run to my bike, put on my helmet, take a quick swig of water and I’m off.
3. End of bike portion question – when you reach the end of the bike section, there will be volunteers (thank you to all the volunteers!) that will take your bike and store it in a safe place (they are very protective of the bikes and do an excellent job of keeping them safe) and from there you run across the bridge to your kayak to continue the race. Since I don’t use bike shoes, I just jump off my bike and run to my kayak BUT I did see one person change their shoes once and it cost them time. If you do change you shoes at that point, you have to carry them with you (unless you can get them on your bike before they take it from you) but you will have to carry your paddle shoes too cause you can’t race barefoot and your boat is a couple of 100 yards away. There is a lost and found for unclaimed equipment at the end but I don’t go that route.
My biggest suggestion is to run, bike and paddle in the same shoes (unless you are really quick and can do it on the run) As I said, you are on the clock from the starters pistol shot until you cross the line at River Bend Park and every seconds counts!!!!! If you have any other questions (of if anyone has any questions) send me an email, I’m happy to help. I’ve been an ironperson for a few years but am no expert so if anyone else has suggestions, please post.