Friday, August 15, 2008

And If You Continue to Wonder Why Cyclists Think Triathletes are Ridiculous

Because the temperatures in Portland are supposed to reach 104 today, and because I promised myself that I would ride the Swan Island Crit tomorrow and wanted to spin my legs out this morning, I got my arse out of bed at 5:30 this morning to get my ride in.

Cruising down the Springwater Corridor around 6am, I noticed another cyclist bobbing and weaving his way down the middle of the path (and then on the right side of the path, then the left). As I got closer, I noticed that (1) he was in his aero bars fully weighted down with a backpack-so much so that the backpack had shoved his helmet over the top halves of his eyes and (2) not wearing a shirt. Nothing about this setup was safe or appropriate for the eyes of small children. And I know this guy was a triathlete--not just some doofus commuting in aero--because I've seen him at local events.

As most of you know, I started cycling so I could compete triathlons. I was, however, lucky enough to begin my riding career with a group of road cyclists who were big on learning proper riding etiquette and common sense (thanks Tessa, Kenji, Dave and Danielle!).

A couple of things for my triathlete brothers and sisters out there:

1. It is neither necessary nor advisable to commute in downtown Portland in aero bars. Home is not T1 and work is not T2. You are not wearing a timing chip and there is no prize for hitting 30 MPH on Fourth Avenue. Sit up and keep your hands near the brakes.

2. Please learn how to hold a line. If this phrase is a foreign one to you, let me explain. It's pretty simple. Ride straight.

3. Most our cycling lives do not take place on a clean, closed course. Please learn to signal, point out obstacles and let the poor lady on the Electra cruiser know that you are going to pass within an inch of her life at top speed. It's just the nice thing to do.

4. Triathlon race clothes are great for what they were made for-racing in. Understand that when you wear your race clothes out in the normal world you will subject yourself to the ridicule of the slightly more cool identically kitted-out road racers, the definitely more cool bike messengers and the infinitely more cool zoobombers. Just an FYI.

On a different note, for several weeks I have meant to give Kristin S. props for her inspired addition to our HTFU line of energy bars.

The OMT: The "One More Time." This is the bar that you thought tasted so good that you had to back and try another one, only to realize that it really didn't taste all that great the first time. Good for closure; not recommended to have more than once. Tastes like black licorice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Many tri-geeks are easily identified by the Bib-short-straps-outside-the-jersey look.