I read lots of cool, helpful blogs and articles on being a newbie to triathlon. The combination of 10 things not to do around cyclists/triathletes and funny stories about the writers’ embarrassing stories have inspired me to write this blog. I really appreciated all of the great advice and funny articles. I too had my clip-in incident where I rode all 10kms unclipping perfectly at stop lights until I arrived at my office and fell like tree onto the sidewalk. The point of this post is to 'treat yo’self’. If you want to be a triathlete and are willing to burn the hours training, my advice is to go out an buy an entry level triathlon bike. I believe most of us spend money on some pretty silly things that depreciate fairly quickly. Bikes seem to hold their value and they look cool. At least think about cost/gram of bike because I believe someone will see your bike, and judge it by how light it is. Also buy a used a trainer and you have doubled your awesome bike as a stationary bike that even if you decide to stop triathlon, you will have a bike to ride on all winter when it is crappy to run outside. See now I am saving you all money.
I believe that you need to fake it until you make it and buying a triathlon bike is step one. Most entry level bikes range from $1500-2000. Most of us loose that the minute we drive a car off the car lot. Or pay that out in cell phone bills every year. Some of us drink that in Tim Horton’s coffee in 6-8 months. The point here is do it, with some sacrifice somewhere else you will thank me.
I will recommend the bike fit is important but if you like the look of a bike, a qualified bike fitter can make it work. I basically bought ‘darth’ AKA Darth Vader from the non-Local Bike Shop, who because I had a plane to catch provided a basic bike fit. The problem was, I bought a clearance bike from previous year and based on the deal I was getting, a laissez-faire approach was taken. Recently asked a fellow friend, triathlete and entrepreneur, Jeff Zhavich, owner of Kinesic Sport Lab, he recommend Alan from Sweet Ride cycle in beautiful Mahone Bay, NS. It was worth the drive. Now I have a full aero fit and can enjoy the fruits of triathlon bike purchase mainly because it is light and fast and has that ‘Look-Cool-Factor’ I always strive for. Now I admire the Men and Women who have recommended the absolute minimums of being a new triathlete. My wife reads the same ones and attempts to slow my spending down. See I compare it to how much a purse cost, then I add up the time that she gets to enjoy that purse. The more hours I ride my bike, the better the deal is as the hours add up. I get that some personalities out there cannot make up their mind and like to spend money. Now serious frugal triathletes can totally take advantage of other uncommitted peaople's loss. Now everyone will say the fit is more important than looks or the deal. Now the fit is really important, trust me I tried every position the bike could go in before I caved and paid for a second professional bike fit. Now Jeff was right, bike fit is crucial to performance especially if you want to stay on the bike more than 30 minutes. But after you have your fit, the LCF keeps on giving.
Now I like to spend money especially someone else’s money. Triathlon is expensive especially if you are a gear junkie but don’t let that stop you because there are corners to be cut and ultimately it is up to you what you wear or post on instagram( Follow me @ABeaverdam). But you have three sports to buy for so be a little choosey. Now I have always been a runner and require work out clothing for my job. Yes the military will supply you with 1980s grey shorts and t-shirt but you end up getting minus LCF points. So I was good for running gear, swimming requires goggles and competing in a race requires one times triathlon suit (or else you end up trying to put on a shirt on a wet body in T1, trust me). Other than that, you need a bike. I started with a gently used road bike with clip on triathlon bars. That worked for a while but then I started itching for new stuff that I currently did not own. Cycling apparel is unique but it is needed. If you do the act of cycling you need to look like a cyclist and drink expensive coffee. The rest will take care of itself.
I follow a few bloggers who are like me. I like the Military, Mother or Father type of blog especially the athletes that still find time to train. I know I can’t keep up with the Jones’ but I can sure as hell try. I really like the Swim, Bike Mom Triathletes who are the Queens of balance and somehow amongst all the diapers, kids clothes and family vacation’s they still can have carbon fibre wheels and the latest Team Betty or Wattie Ink cycling kits. I love it. Do I actually care about someone having elite triathlete equipment as amateur athletes? No I love that Men and Women who have many priorities long before themselves get to treat themselves and involve fitness to aim for a more healthy lifestyle. Amazing. It also has major confidence building power, you train so hard for a few hours which make it worth it on race day. Be proud. Buy yourself that triathlon bike, get a fit and think about how cool you will look on it. Plus once you have been on a fitted triathlon bike, you will not want to sit upright on a beach cruiser ever again. Treat Yo’self.