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Accidentally entered a triathlon today. Twice.

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Accidentally entered a triathlon today. Twice.

Old 09-06-15, 04:02 PM
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WalksOn2Wheels
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Accidentally entered a triathlon today. Twice.

On my morning ride, I crested a hill to find the road blocked off and bikes just streaming out of a side road. I got closer and they basically just let me roll through. I pulled up to the closest rider and saw all the tell tale signs of a triathlon. Funky sleeveless jersey, numbers on calves, etc. That and the road they were streaming out of was next to the city water park.

Anyhow, it ended up being a fun time seeing how many people I could pass,but it was also clear that if I was actually competing, I would have sucked at it. All of the fast guys and gals were pretty far ahead, but I saw them in action on the opposite side of the road. Not to mention the fact that my dodgy knee would suck on the run and I can NOT swim fast to save my life.

So at the turnaround, I went straight ahead to my pre-planned route, but it was only another 3 or 4 miles down the road until I had my turnaround. I re-entered the race course with some of the slower riders, so I made a point to give encouragement, etc. because Lord knows I wouldn't handle a triathlon to save my life.

I make fun of triathletes a lot, but I have to admire them for the effort.
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Old 09-06-15, 04:16 PM
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I knew a tri guy who had a number tattooed on his leg and arm. It was pretty corny. Not sure what he did if he entered a race and got a different number.
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Old 09-06-15, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
I knew a tri guy who had a number tattooed on his leg and arm. It was pretty corny. Not sure what he did if he entered a race and got a different number.
Nothing a little tape can't covet up.

Maybe that number is the number he had when he won?
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Old 09-06-15, 05:38 PM
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Yeah triathletes are freaks man....on the bike I can hang with em no doubt, but they could and would easily smoke me on a run or swim....lol...easily....
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Old 09-06-15, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels View Post

I make fun of triathletes a lot, but I have to admire them for the effort.
Yes.
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Old 09-06-15, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels View Post
I make fun of triathletes a lot, but I have to admire them for the effort.
You really should have let them do their thing and rode somewhere else. That would have been the respectful thing to do.

Triathlon has some pretty strict rules about how close to another rider you can get. I hope someone didn't get penalized or disqualified because of you riding too close. And the slowest racers are often the ones who race with the most intensity. I'm not fast but I race at 10/10th's and would be looking for a race marshal to shut you down if you rode up to me without a race number and started to "encourage" me.

The racers pay money and and have a right to expect a closed course. I'm sure that you are a good rider but someone not trained and unfamiliar with the rules is dangerous to the competitors. The second time you entered the course was no accident and you had no business being there.


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 09-06-15 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 09-06-15, 07:24 PM
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I have all the respect in the world for triathletes. To me, swimming is not a sport. It's what you do to avoid dying in the water.
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Old 09-06-15, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
You really should have let them do their thing and rode somewhere else. That would have been the respectful thing to do.

Triathlon has some pretty strict rules about how close to another rider you can get. I hope someone didn't get penalized or disqualified because of you riding too close. And the slowest racers are often the ones who race with the most intensity. I'm not fast but I race at 10/10th's and would be looking for a race marshal to shut you down if you rode up to me without a race number and started to "encourage" me.

The racers pay money and and have a right to expect a closed course. I'm sure that you are a good rider but someone not trained and unfamiliar with the rules is dangerous to the competitors. The second time you entered the course was no accident and you had no business being there.


-Tim-
spot on
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Old 09-06-15, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
You really should have let them do their thing and rode somewhere else. That would have been the respectful thing to do.

Triathlon has some pretty strict rules about how close to another rider you can get. I hope someone didn't get penalized or disqualified because of you riding too close. And the slowest racers are often the ones who race with the most intensity. I'm not fast but I race at 10/10th's and would be looking for a race marshal to shut you down if you rode up to me without a race number and started to "encourage" me.

The racers pay money and and have a right to expect a closed course. I'm sure that you are a good rider but someone not trained and unfamiliar with the rules is dangerous to the competitors. The second time you entered the course was no accident and you had no business being there.


-Tim-
1) I really don't think this race was a "big deal." If it were, wouldn't I have been fully blocked by a race marshal at both points? If I had rode up to the course and was very succinctly told I should not be there, I would have turned around. I didn't muscle my way past anyone and was fully planning to turn around when I first came upon the event.

2) I didn't get any closer to any rider other than the same amount of distance that another rider in the event would have to be in order to pass them. In fact, a few riders were either all over the place, or just enough in the middle of the shoulder that I would go over the white line (traffic was not closed off, only stopped when riders needed to cross or turn around) just to make sure they had the full shoulder.

3) Any encouragement was just a small "You're doing great!" as I passed them. Nothing more.

4) I will make sure to never encourage you.

EDIT: To be clear, I assume "too close" would imply drafting? Yeah, I didn't stay near any one person long enough for it to even look like a draft. I always gave them plenty of room and never rode anyone's wheel, etc. I was mindful of the fact that drafting is a no-no in these types of events.

Last edited by WalksOn2Wheels; 09-06-15 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 09-06-15, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
You really should have let them do their thing and rode somewhere else. That would have been the respectful thing to do.

Triathlon has some pretty strict rules about how close to another rider you can get. I hope someone didn't get penalized or disqualified because of you riding too close. And the slowest racers are often the ones who race with the most intensity. I'm not fast but I race at 10/10th's and would be looking for a race marshal to shut you down if you rode up to me without a race number and started to "encourage" me.

The racers pay money and and have a right to expect a closed course. I'm sure that you are a good rider but someone not trained and unfamiliar with the rules is dangerous to the competitors. The second time you entered the course was no accident and you had no business being there.


-Tim-
Lighten up Francis. Chances of anyone being penalized in a Triathlon for drafting are very low. Many triathlons are not run on closed courses so competitors need to be mindful of traffic.
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Old 09-06-15, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
You really should have let them do their thing and rode somewhere else. That would have been the respectful thing to do.

Triathlon has some pretty strict rules about how close to another rider you can get. I hope someone didn't get penalized or disqualified because of you riding too close. And the slowest racers are often the ones who race with the most intensity. I'm not fast but I race at 10/10th's and would be looking for a race marshal to shut you down if you rode up to me without a race number and started to "encourage" me.

The racers pay money and and have a right to expect a closed course. I'm sure that you are a good rider but someone not trained and unfamiliar with the rules is dangerous to the competitors. The second time you entered the course was no accident and you had no business being there.


-Tim-

This.

Racing is challenging enough when you just have to race. You don't need looky-loos meandering around the course and potentially causing problems.
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Old 09-06-15, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels View Post

3) Any encouragement was just a small "You're doing great!" as I passed them. Nothing more.
Not sure I'd be encouraged getting passed.
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Old 09-06-15, 08:44 PM
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I dunno... I did a century last month and went by some fella on his tri bike with sleeveless jersey all down in his aero bars. I don't know if he would have been encouraged by me passing him while sitting up riding no handed, so I didn't say anything. Wouldn't want to accidentally annoy anybody.

I did get stuck in the middle of a tri on a river trail near me last summer (SGRT) and it was plenty annoying. It WASN'T a closed course and those guys were riding like jackholes, which is understandable since they were in a race and the rest of us weren't... plenty of zipping around people on roller blades, kids on bikes, you name it. Oh well. I didn't encourage any of them either.
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Old 09-06-15, 09:06 PM
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Like I said, I entered into the group near the middle of the pack, so well away from any serious racers. If I had come up to the event and there was a taped off course, or someone telling me to shove off, I would have done so. And furthermore, if I did roll out onto the course only to be met by death stares from very serious looking folks with TT helmets and no personality, I would have absolutely found the next road to take my exit. Most everyone I passed and said hello to was all smiles. For most of them, it was a (gasp) fun event and hardly any of that part of the group were on aero bars. If someone looked like they were really working for it, or just "in the zone," I didn't bother them one bit. I only gave encouragement when a person looked like they were sitting up quite a bit and not feeling the return leg. A few of them even thanked me for it.

I knew this thread would probably get a few folks pretty peeved. I guess that makes me a troll.

EDIT: Quite specifically, when I re-entered the second time at what was their turn around point, I came to a near full stop, even though the officer was waving me on to go ahead knowing full well I wasn't a part of the event. The reason I nearly came to a full stop? I didn't want to encroach on the approaching riders and block their turn. I didn't see any race marshals making a fuss at that end, either.
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Old 09-06-15, 09:23 PM
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IMO it was up to their course workers to keep their course clear, not you.

Anyway, as far as the triathletes go, why the bottles behind the saddle? Is it that much more aero? And if so, why don't pro roadies do that during TTs?
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Old 09-06-15, 09:28 PM
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This thread reminds me of this prank: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqwdvZy_7iM
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Old 09-06-15, 09:50 PM
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What we've got here is... failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it... well, he gets it. I don't like it any more than you men.
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Old 09-06-15, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
This thread reminds me of this prank: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqwdvZy_7iM
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Old 09-07-15, 07:02 AM
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I had something like this happen to me once... My wife was doing a tri, and I went with her for support. I had the idea that I could get a good ride in while she was racing. I didn't ride their exact race route, but there was some overlap, especially at the end. I knew the race route and the start time for the advanced guys, and planned it so that I would be back before the first racer got back from the bike leg. Well, there was really only one road in and out of this place. Everyone got really excited when I came thru about 5 minutes before the first racer arrived! Almost debated starting tri's after that...
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Old 09-07-15, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
This.

Racing is challenging enough when you just have to race. You don't need looky-loos meandering around the course and potentially causing problems.
Around here they'll use popular parks and commuter routes to stage their Tri events. I am not so accommodating to these for-profit race coordinators if I have my own plans for the morning. Live and let live, but get out of my way please.

I have volunteered as a course marshal, but my duties did not include prohibiting members of the public from access to the course on either the public road or public trails. It was understood that the 'race' did not trump the public's right to access public space.

I accidentally ran into a trail run course of a Sprint one morning, I was just trying to get back to my car. It was my regular weekend 10 mile run, and I was pretty fresh coming back. The Tri participants were pretty cooked, hard morning for them I'm sure. I turned it up the last .5 mile until I by-passed to the parking area; felt sorry for the guys and gals that tried to pace me...oops, they had a couple more miles to go. Should have noticed I wasn't wearing a number.
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Old 09-07-15, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
This.

Racing is challenging enough when you just have to race. You don't need looky-loos meandering around the course and potentially causing problems.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO3QoPIHTbA
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Old 09-07-15, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by cydewaze View Post
IMO it was up to their course workers to keep their course clear, not you.

Anyway, as far as the triathletes go, why the bottles behind the saddle? Is it that much more aero? And if so, why don't pro roadies do that during TTs?
You mean like in the Grand Tours? I don't know for sure but those Time Trials are for very fast rides at sustained velocities. Each rider is trying to beat the lowest time over a distance which is probably short.
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Old 09-07-15, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
You mean like in the Grand Tours? I don't know for sure but those Time Trials are for very fast rides at sustained velocities. Each rider is trying to beat the lowest time over a distance which is probably short.
UCI rules mandate that bottles be on the downtube or seat tube only, they can't be located behind the saddle.

Also, like you were saying, most UCI stage race TTs are shorter, maybe less than an hour, and most people wouldn't drink much during that time. Triathlons at the IM distance are much longer and you need to stay hydrated for your run that follows the ride.
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Old 09-08-15, 12:11 AM
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When I was younger, it was my job to travel around and work on bike courses for IronMan, and I can promise that based on what you've said, you didn't harm anything or affect the race at all.

We kept our courses very clear, and took it very seriously. But, we also had people like Crowie riding the course with quite a bit on the line.


If OP could get onto and off of the bike course a couple of times, my guess would be that it was a smaller, local triathlon.
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Old 09-08-15, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by cydewaze View Post
IMO it was up to their course workers to keep their course clear, not you.
Any kind of distance race is notoriously hard to keep people off the course. We're not talking a crit course. Olympic distance triathlon's have a 25mile bike segment, not sure how you'd expect the race marshal's to completely police the barriers for over 6+ hours as the elites though age groupers make their way through. There's a level of common sense NOT to enter the "blocked off road" and influence the race besides cheering.


Originally Posted by cydewaze View Post
Anyway, as far as the triathletes go, why the bottles behind the saddle? Is it that much more aero? And if so, why don't pro roadies do that during TTs?
Roadies tend not to ride that far with 40km TT's as the defacto standard. You just don't need much fluids during that time. Triathletes on the other hand need to top off the fluids/energy from their swim and iron mans have a 180km bike ride segment. So a bit different fueling needs along with the fact that in most triathlon's you're fully self supported.
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