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18mph pace

Old 07-17-22, 12:26 AM
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18mph pace

Did a sprint triathlon in Long Beach this morning. 12.28 mile course in 40:45 = 18mph pace. My goal has been to break 20mph on a timed circuit. I was saving a little bit for the run, but not that much. If I had just gone balls out, maybe 18.5mph but I'm still a long way from 20mph sustained pace.

But that's still pretty good, right?
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Old 07-17-22, 01:13 AM
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If you're happy, it's good. Did you run well of the bike?



(also depends on how lumpy the course was, the bike you were riding, sneaky drafting 😉, your cDa, etc...........)
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Old 07-17-22, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
Did a sprint triathlon in Long Beach this morning. 12.28 mile course in 40:45 = 18mph pace. My goal has been to break 20mph on a timed circuit. I was saving a little bit for the run, but not that much. If I had just gone balls out, maybe 18.5mph but I'm still a long way from 20mph sustained pace.

But that's still pretty good, right?
If your goal was 20 mph average, you failed. Right?

Flat as a pancake with just a couple of turns? Do you use a power meter and have you optimized your aerodynamics to any degree? Do you know what power you needed to average 20 mph? 18 mph is pretty far off from 20 mph, it is probably something like the difference from 140 to 180 watts with mediocre setup and position. So, you might have needed 140 watts average to go 18 mph, for instance. With a dialed in position and kit, that 140 watts alone could get you 20 mph. Numbers are illustrative only.
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Old 07-17-22, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by tempocyclist View Post
If you're happy, it's good. Did you run well of the bike?



(also depends on how lumpy the course was, the bike you were riding, sneaky drafting 😉, your cDa, etc...........)
I'm pretty happy with it overall. This was my fifth tri and that's my fastest pace so far. Not by a lot, but still fastest. And it was mostly flat. The course was two laps that included a back-and-forth over a bridge.

As for the run, I gave it all back there. I ran right at a 10 minute/mile pace. I'm not exactly a speedy runner but in a single 5k or 10k event I'm generally around an 8:30-9 minute pace. I was just out of gas at that point. What I did really well (for me) was the swim. The swim has always been my worst event. Regardless of wave, I am usually one of the last ones out of the water. But about 9-10 months ago I started to incorporate some upper body free weights in my routine and I've been swimming at the public pool twice a week this summer. That has helped immensely. I got out of the water in the back of the pack, but I was still in the pack.
Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
If your goal was 20 mph average, you failed. Right?

Flat as a pancake with just a couple of turns? Do you use a power meter and have you optimized your aerodynamics to any degree? Do you know what power you needed to average 20 mph? 18 mph is pretty far off from 20 mph, it is probably something like the difference from 140 to 180 watts with mediocre setup and position. So, you might have needed 140 watts average to go 18 mph, for instance. With a dialed in position and kit, that 140 watts alone could get you 20 mph. Numbers are illustrative only.
My goal is to do 20mph pace at some point. So, I failed this time. As for power meters and watts and stuff, I have no idea about that stuff. I get on my bike and pedal like hell. As to the course, There were quite a few turns and I had to traverse a bridge a total of four times, so mostly flat, but not ideal.
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Old 07-17-22, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
I'm pretty happy with it overall. This was my fifth tri and that's my fastest pace so far. Not by a lot, but still fastest. And it was mostly flat. The course was two laps that included a back-and-forth over a bridge.

As for the run, I gave it all back there. I ran right at a 10 minute/mile pace. I'm not exactly a speedy runner but in a single 5k or 10k event I'm generally around an 8:30-9 minute pace. I was just out of gas at that point. What I did really well (for me) was the swim. The swim has always been my worst event. Regardless of wave, I am usually one of the last ones out of the water. But about 9-10 months ago I started to incorporate some upper body free weights in my routine and I've been swimming at the public pool twice a week this summer. That has helped immensely. I got out of the water in the back of the pack, but I was still in the pack.

My goal is to do 20mph pace at some point. So, I failed this time. As for power meters and watts and stuff, I have no idea about that stuff. I get on my bike and pedal like hell. As to the course, There were quite a few turns and I had to traverse a bridge a total of four times, so mostly flat, but not ideal.
If your goal is 20 mph, my suggestion is to focus on your position on the bike and aerodynamics as the quickest path. I am sure you can do it!!!
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Old 07-17-22, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
If your goal is 20 mph, my suggestion is to focus on your position on the bike and aerodynamics as the quickest path. I am sure you can do it!!!
I don't know about that. The goal of 20mph pace is kind of an arbitrary figure. I just used it because it was a round number. I'm working within the factors of age, strength and build. I'm not exactly the most aerodynamic person. I tell people I do these things, not because I have an athletic build, rather I do it in spite of it. Too short and too wide to be a good athlete.

I do what I can with my equipment. I know some people hate them but I have clamp on aero bars for my bike, not so much for the aero but to relieve arm fatigue. Still, I'm sure it's not hurting my aero either. Once I finish school, I'm going to look for a decent used tri bike. I have no idea if that would help at all but I'd really like to try one.
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Old 07-17-22, 09:12 AM
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Arbitrary goals are okay. But what matters is whether or not your data shows that you are improving when compared to past rides.

Or are you looking to see how you compare to any of us?
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Old 07-17-22, 09:38 AM
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The difference between 18 & 20 can be a lot of little optimizations. High quality, low rolling resistance tires *could* be a big piece of that equation. But, I don't think your issue is as much equipment, or prevailing winds, or luck.

The tell is the 10 minute run pace. At a 10 min/mile pace, I don't feel I'm running. Only jogging, & jogging poorly at that.

Poor form is what causes injury. The human body is designed to either run or to walk. The sort of half-between, neither that is jogging is begging for aspirations of long durations, long distance with poor form resulting in poor adaption, unnecessary muscle-skeletal stress & eventually injury. Un-coached people when new to running will often trade speed & proper form for distance & time engaged. It's only natural & it is because nobody has told them better. Running takes years to develop. It's hard. Any yahoo can step out their door & jog their way to injury in the hopes of attending an event.

In my mind, this is what you have done here. You have not developed the capacity to sustain the minimum energy expenditure necessary for a 7-7:30 or better pace that would be actual running. This "overhead" in your cardiovascular fitness & mitochondrial adaption would go a long way to feeding your cycling ability.

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Old 07-17-22, 09:44 AM
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Really difficult to say whether 18mph is a good pace, especially in the context of a triathlon. Wind is also a factor. For example there's a short segment that I do, and I can push 16mph against a 7-10mph wind. On the return leg with tailwind I average 20mph with what feels like way less effort. I don't know if I have it in me to get to 20mph against the wind and sustain it. I've also never had 12 miles of uninterrupted flat road to try these sorts of tests.

In general though, aerodynamics make a huge difference, regardless of the rider's body type. The goal is to get to a position that reduces the frontal area as much as possible while still being able to tolerate it from a comfort perspective, and maintain strong power output to the pedals.

A dedicated tri (or TT) bike will certainly be more aero and help you ride faster but there's a trade-off in comfort. But if your TT efforts are short that may not be a problem.
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Old 07-17-22, 10:10 AM
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Congratulations on utterly smashing the swim, doing great on the run, and still managing to do well on the bike!
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Old 07-17-22, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Arbitrary goals are okay. But what matters is whether or not your data shows that you are improving when compared to past rides.

Or are you looking to see how you compare to any of us?
I have no idea how I would even compare to any of you. Is there a thread where people post times or something?
Originally Posted by base2 View Post
The difference between 18 & 20 can be a lot of little optimizations. High quality, low rolling resistance tires *could* be a big piece of that equation. But, I don't think your issue is as much equipment, or prevailing winds, or luck.

The tell is the 10 minute run pace. At a 10 min/mile pace, I don't feel I'm running. Only jogging, & jogging poorly at that.

Poor form is what causes injury. The human body is designed to either run or to walk. The sort of half-between, neither that is jogging is begging for aspirations of long durations, long distance with poor form resulting in poor adaption, unnecessary muscle-skeletal stress & eventually injury. Un-coached people when new to running will often trade speed & proper form for distance & time engaged. It's only natural & it is because nobody has told them better. Running takes years to develop. It's hard. Any yahoo can step out their door & jog their way to injury in the hopes of attending an event.

In my mind, this is what you have done here. You have not developed the capacity to sustain the minimum energy expenditure necessary for a 7-7:30 or better pace that would be actual running. This "overhead" in your cardiovascular fitness & mitochondrial adaption would go a long way to feeding your cycling ability.

base2
former runner
Ya, I never had any training to run, but I did a lot of running when I was in the Marine Corps. Back then, my best time was a 6:20 mile. But that was 30 years ago too. About six months ago I ran about an 8:20/mile pace in a 5k. I'd like to be under 8 minute/mile, but I'm pretty happy with that. I've been trying to figure out why I'm so much slower now despite only being a couple pounds heavier today and what I keep coming back to is my feet. I have no spring in my feet like I did when I was young. I watch young people run now and I see how their feet land, absorb energy and then re-release it on the stride. I just don't have that in me. My feet hit like Playdough. I don't know if I can ever get that back. And my arthritis in my knees and hips gets worse every year so I limit my running. It's a trade-off. I run as much as I can to keep the muscles working, but as little as I can to slow down the damage.
Originally Posted by tFUnK View Post
Really difficult to say whether 18mph is a good pace, especially in the context of a triathlon. Wind is also a factor. For example there's a short segment that I do, and I can push 16mph against a 7-10mph wind. On the return leg with tailwind I average 20mph with what feels like way less effort. I don't know if I have it in me to get to 20mph against the wind and sustain it. I've also never had 12 miles of uninterrupted flat road to try these sorts of tests.

In general though, aerodynamics make a huge difference, regardless of the rider's body type. The goal is to get to a position that reduces the frontal area as much as possible while still being able to tolerate it from a comfort perspective, and maintain strong power output to the pedals.

A dedicated tri (or TT) bike will certainly be more aero and help you ride faster but there's a trade-off in comfort. But if your TT efforts are short that may not be a problem.
Ya, I'm worried about the position on a tri bike. I'm getting pretty arthritic in my back and neck so that doesn't help. I still want to try one though, if nothing else to see how I tolerate it. At some point, I want to get fitted to my bike. I have ridden a 54cm bike in the past but that's really too tall for me. My bikes now are 49 and 50cm and they seem to be a really nice fit. I think 52cm would probably be the biggest I could really ride, but all the more reason to get professionally fitted I guess.
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Congratulations on utterly smashing the swim, doing great on the run, and still managing to do well on the bike!
Thanks. Aside from the run, I feel I did pretty well.
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Old 07-17-22, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
I have no idea how I would even compare to any of you. Is there a thread where people post times or something?
I used to post my nearly-weekly tris over in Addiction. Write up a nice race report and post it there!

Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
Thanks. Aside from the run, I feel I did pretty well.
Triathlon is not cycling; you don't need should be happy (or not) on your own, not against someone else. You don't get pulled for being down a lap.

Did you make and execute a good plan? Leave it all out on the course? Learn some new things? Then you did great, not pretty good.
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Old 07-17-22, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
I have no idea how I would even compare to any of you. Is there a thread where people post times or something?
Yep, enjoy! https://www.bikeforums.net/triathlon/
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Old 07-17-22, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
That place is a ghost town.
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Old 07-17-22, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
That place is a ghost town.
Cue Cheap Trick:

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Old 07-17-22, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
Thanks. Aside from the run, I feel I did pretty well.

Ya, I never had any training to run, but I did a lot of running when I was in the Marine Corps. Back then, my best time was a 6:20 mile. But that was 30 years ago too. About six months ago I ran about an 8:20/mile pace in a 5k. I'd like to be under 8 minute/mile, but I'm pretty happy with that. I've been trying to figure out why I'm so much slower now despite only being a couple pounds heavier today and what I keep coming back to is my feet. I have no spring in my feet like I did when I was young. I watch young people run now and I see how their feet land, absorb energy and then re-release it on the stride. I just don't have that in me. My feet hit like Playdough.
What I see a lot of new runners do is high feet, high step, leaping with high arms against the chest or wildly flailing. Sort of like repeatedly re-enacting the overly animated stride the model did for the picture in the fitness advertisement.

The fastest runners conserve energy. Arms bent, wrists about belly-button, waist level with feet traveling a scant inch or 2 off the ground.

What fundamentally changed my stride was switching to zero-drop shoes. The absence of padding in the heel drives a more forward ball of foot type stride. My plantar-fasciitis disappeared. My foot actually grew a full size, my toes spread out & I can now use them almost like fingers. But also importantly the stride became much less impactful. All the helper/stabilizer muscles & other soft tissues/ligaments began strengthen as they were incorporated into the stride.

Those kids with the spring in their step; They're doing it wrong.

Anywho, I'm now inspired to get outside to give it a give it a go. I haven't had a good run in a while now.

Cheers,
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Old 07-17-22, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
I used to post my nearly-weekly tris over in Addiction. Write up a nice race report and post it there!



Triathlon is not cycling; you don't need should be happy (or not) on your own, not against someone else. You don't get pulled for being down a lap.

Did you make and execute a good plan? Leave it all out on the course? Learn some new things? Then you did great, not pretty good.
The only plan I have is to finish. I want to do as well as I can, but the whole goal is to finish. My plan is pretty general. I swim with my upper body to save my legs for the ride and run. When I ride, I try to only ride at about 90% so I still have something left when I run. The only plan I can say I have for my runs is to just keep my legs moving. Regardless of how fast or slow, how steep or flat, I try to push myself to never walk. On both the ride and run, I try to pick someone out that's faster than me and keep up with them.
Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
That place is a ghost town.
Indeed.
Originally Posted by base2 View Post
What I see a lot of new runners do is high feet, high step, leaping with high arms against the chest or wildly flailing. Sort of like repeatedly re-enacting the overly animated stride the model did for the picture in the fitness advertisement.

The fastest runners conserve energy. Arms bent, wrists about belly-button, waist level with feet traveling a scant inch or 2 off the ground.

What fundamentally changed my stride was switching to zero-drop shoes. The absence of padding in the heel drives a more forward ball of foot type stride. My plantar-fasciitis disappeared. My foot actually grew a full size, my toes spread out & I can now use them almost like fingers. But also importantly the stride became much less impactful. All the helper/stabilizer muscles & other soft tissues/ligaments began strengthen as they were incorporated into the stride.

Those kids with the spring in their step; They're doing it wrong.

Anywho, I'm now inspired to get outside to give it a give it a go. I haven't had a good run in a while now.

Cheers,
base2
What is a "zero drop" shoe? Never heard of that before. As for the other things, I don't run for looks. But I already have big feet. I don't think I would be really happy about them growing any more. Although I definitely think I need to strengthen them. I just don't know how to go about doing that.
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Old 07-17-22, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post

What is a "zero drop" shoe? Never heard of that before. As for the other things, I don't run for looks. But I already have big feet. I don't think I would be really happy about them growing any more. Although I definitely think I need to strengthen them. I just don't know how to go about doing that.
A zero-drop shoe is a lot like a moccasin or a pair of slippers. There is minimal padding (if any) any, little to no arch support, and critically, the heel & toes are the same height. The idea is to emulate not wearing shoes at all. The foot is allowed to operate like a foot always has since the dawn of humanity instead of an atrophied crippled stump that modern shoes allow.

Nike Free are Nike's attempt. 5.0 being the most like a conventional with the most padding. The 1.0 being the most like slippers.

My wife swears by Xero. Though she still has heavy feet, she is no longer a heel striker. She wears them 12 hours a day in a production science lab.

I used to wear Vibram 5-fingers, but now wear some $45 Amazon brand...Whttn or some such. I too am on my feet for 8 hours.

They do take some time months to acclimate to when converting from super cushy conventional shoes. But it is nice to have tactile sense & feedback of the ground in every step to adjust your gait accordingly.

If nothing else, they are low stakes & comfortable to wear around the house. So you've got nothing to lose.
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Old 07-17-22, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
The only plan I have is to finish. I want to do as well as I can, but the whole goal is to finish. My plan is pretty general. I swim with my upper body to save my legs for the ride and run. When I ride, I try to only ride at about 90% so I still have something left when I run. The only plan I can say I have for my runs is to just keep my legs moving. Regardless of how fast or slow, how steep or flat, I try to push myself to never walk. On both the ride and run, I try to pick someone out that's faster than me and keep up with them.
That's a good start. You can fold in nutrition and hydration (though I've done sprints with neither... not recommended though). You can also go above 90% for a sprint, if we're talking FTP. Test in the pool to see how much you gain with kicking in the swim vs not - a light kick might speed you up more than it costs you.

Also, if you have a few races, you can always push your limit and see how fast you can go before you blow up. It's probably faster than you think.

Oh and try to pass people on the run! Don't keep up. The second-to-last race I did was the 70.3 in Boulder and I was so shattered after that I couldn't think about talking without nearly throwing up. Was definitely blown up.

Zero drop shoes are often minimal, but not always - you can have a high-but-equal stack front and rear. Even Altra has different levels of cushion, though they're all zero. Most Hokas, I think, are low-drop at 4-6mm. Be careful trying though - running too hard or too much in them at first is a great way to strain your calves and Achilles.
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Old 07-17-22, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
Wow, that's a rude post.
I typed out a few rude replies and cancelled each time. Sorry about him; just ignore him. Easier said than done I know, but really. Come on over to Addiction if you want to chat tri - I used to be a hardcore tri freak and there are one or two others who dabble in it over there. It can be a bit rough around the edges but nothing like that.
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Old 07-17-22, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
That's a good start. You can fold in nutrition and hydration (though I've done sprints with neither... not recommended though). You can also go above 90% for a sprint, if we're talking FTP. Test in the pool to see how much you gain with kicking in the swim vs not - a light kick might speed you up more than it costs you.

Also, if you have a few races, you can always push your limit and see how fast you can go before you blow up. It's probably faster than you think.

Oh and try to pass people on the run! Don't keep up. The second-to-last race I did was the 70.3 in Boulder and I was so shattered after that I couldn't think about talking without nearly throwing up. Was definitely blown up.

Zero drop shoes are often minimal, but not always - you can have a high-but-equal stack front and rear. Even Altra has different levels of cushion, though they're all zero. Most Hokas, I think, are low-drop at 4-6mm. Be careful trying though - running too hard or too much in them at first is a great way to strain your calves and Achilles.
Not sure what you mean with stack and drop. My kick is absolutely worthless. One reason why I don't do it. But it's probably more form than anything. I do work on hydration and carb loading the week before. The first Olympic I did, I really didn't plan it well and I was wiped out, barely crossed the line before time cut off. I was literally the last person to finish before the race timed out. Last Olympic I did I carb loaded the week before and I did much, much better.
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Old 07-17-22, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
I typed out a few rude replies and cancelled each time. Sorry about him; just ignore him. Easier said than done I know, but really. Come on over to Addiction if you want to chat tri - I used to be a hardcore tri freak and there are one or two others who dabble in it over there. It can be a bit rough around the edges but nothing like that.
Ya, I can handle good-natured ribbing. I'm not new to the internet. But that was just unnecessary malice.

Is Addiction another section? I'll look around.
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Old 07-17-22, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
Not sure what you mean with stack and drop. My kick is absolutely worthless. One reason why I don't do it. But it's probably more form than anything. I do work on hydration and carb loading the week before. The first Olympic I did, I really didn't plan it well and I was wiped out, barely crossed the line before time cut off. I was literally the last person to finish before the race timed out. Last Olympic I did I carb loaded the week before and I did much, much better.
That's testimony to mental and physical toughness.

Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
Ya, I can handle good-natured ribbing. I'm not new to the internet. But that was just unnecessary malice.

Is Addiction another section? I'll look around.
It was indeed. Addiction is the thread below; there's a whole long story behind the name but it's turned into a long-running banter thread of a few of us keeping in touch over the years. They saw me go through a ton of dating trouble and two cities and getting married, going through stages of riding or not, and so on. It features kids, pets, woodworking, cars, coffee, kitchen gear, football, and even the occasional bike.

Addiction 2022.3
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Old 07-17-22, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
I typed out a few rude replies and cancelled each time. Sorry about him; just ignore him. Easier said than done I know, but really. Come on over to Addiction if you want to chat tri - I used to be a hardcore tri freak and there are one or two others who dabble in it over there. It can be a bit rough around the edges but nothing like that.
No mention of Slowtwitch.com?
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Old 07-17-22, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
No mention of Slowtwitch.com?
I stopped going there years ago because of the attitude. Most triathletes are incredibly welcoming and friendly people. Slowtwitch is... well, not that.
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