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.

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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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