Riding with the Tri Crowd

triathletesSo I took off for a little ride last night, without any real desire or direction I headed out to Bluehole where I’ve been doing hill repeats of late.  On my 3rd hill repeat I saw a rider near the top of the hill.  On my 4th hill repeat I saw some more riders gathering at a nearby house for a ride.  For a cyclist like me who loves to ride with other people, and lives in a place where so few other people ride seeing a group ride forming up is an exciting prospect.

The guys invited me to ride out to Glenn O Jones with them and even though I’d told Shauna I’d be home in an hour I thought, this only happens like, well never, so I’m in.  Turns out the 3 guys are planning to do a half ironman in November.  I knew all of them, but not well.  They all rode tri bikes, and almost immediately dropped down into the super aggressive aerobar position.  Using my finely tuned personal communication skills I immediately told them most road bikers don’t like triathletes.  After I pulled my foot out of my mouth I explained how i didn’t feel that way, but some of the road bikers I had ridden with in the past have a chip on their shoulder about triathletes.

Riding with people on aerobars changes the dynamic of riding just a bit, one of the first things I noticed was how fast they were downhill, at the top of a hill I began to coast and they all coasted away from me.  I usually tend to be the fastest rider downhill.  On the 5 mile flat road out to Glenn O we hauled, the tri bikes are truly in the element o a road like that.

Now as I said, “I don’t have any problem with triathletes on road bike rides,” but I’m not real keen on the aerobar position in groups, I have personally seen and heard many stories about guys riding aerobars in a group coming to ruin. Unless you are the front rider you really need access to your brakes, that’s just a fact.  These guys stayed on their aerobars almost the entire ride, which is impressive to me, and when we rode single file, they kept a healthy distance apart, in short they rode very well and left me with no reservations about riding with the tri-crowd.

I have the utmost respect for triathletes, the amount of work it takes to be competitive in 3 separate sports is staggering.  I’m just barely able to ride enough to be a decent cyclist, I can barely jog, and I’d drown in the pool.  Hope to ride with them again.

About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in Barn Door Cycling, Bikes and components, Rides and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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