As I embark on a new chapter and immerse myself with an entirely new species of human beings, I am sure all of you are wanting the inside scoop on the transition from triathlon to cycling. If there was any question whether the stereotype of triathletes being “bad cyclist” in the cycling community was true or not, I can definitely confirm it to be true. Immediately upon entering my first cycling race, I became a “bad cyclist”. The jokes flew from all directions and ironically many of them came from people that were or still are triathletes. It is common in society to add “that’s what she said,” to the end of any sentence. Well, when you are a triathlete and change over to cycling, every sentence ends with “you must be a triathlete!”
- Wear bright colored clothes? “ must be a triathlete.”
- Would rather walk than drive? “You must be a triathlete!”
- Train before 9am in the morning? “You must be a triathlete!”
- Eat healthy and avoid alcohol prior to an event? “You must be a triathlete!”
- Ride a bike trainer? “You must be a triathlete!”
- Don’t have any tattoos? “You must be a triathlete!”
There has definitely been a change in the culture and types of people associated with the sport. From the culture that psychologically and emotionally depends on getting their workout session in every day, I transitioned to the culture that sips on their cup of coffee or beer casually and then decides whether they will ride their bike. Each personality has their stereotyped profile and below is my interpretation of these profiles from “Through My Eyes”
I AM A TRIATHLETE
I am a triathlete. Everything in my life revolves around me getting in my training session. If I don’t get to train, I am cranky, irritable and anxious. My coach is my God. Whatever coach says I do I do without asking questions. Don’t try to ask me to do anything on Wednesday as this is when I do my brick workout because it will get me one step closer to getting my Pro card. When I am not training for triathlon, you can typically find me on SlowTwitch.com reading reviews on the newest Garmin watch or stalking my Tri Crush to find out where they will be so I can choose my next race. The answer to whether I have an “M-dot” tattoo is “Yes”. In fact, I got it tramp stamp on and have added the dates of all other Ironmans I have done around the original tat.
I am a triathlete. I am also a doctor but if people as what I do for a living I am definitely a triathlete. I don’t make much money in the sport but I am definitely a triathlete. When I did my first triathlon, I planned on just doing one but I got hooked and now my phone alarm alerts me of my next Training Peaks workout and I always have my compression socks on. I used to be self conscious about shaving my legs but now I love it because it saves me 10-15seconds. I’m really not that great of athlete but I figure with the excess spending money from my “side job” I can at least buy my way a few places in my age group. My $10K Cervelo P5 TT bike weighs only 14lbs and I have been going to the local cycling club’s training rides and keeping up with the group easily at 25mph. I am pretty proud of myself.
I AM A CYCLIST
I am a cyclist, my bike is my car, my pet and my significant other. My favorite things in life are beer, coffee and my cycling bib which also serves as my diaper. I hate triathletes but for no apparent reason because I actually used to be one. My personality is low key with some arrogance and my personality is often very hard to read. I live in a small house with a big garage that holds all my bikes and my mechanic shop where I spend most of my time drinking a beer while getting my hands greasy fixing bikes.
I have a job but it just barely pays the bills and to be honest my bikes comprise the majority of my financial self worth. My body is covered in tattoos and I have a few piercings as well. Some say I am kind of hipster but really I am my own breed. The majority of my conversations involve talking about past crashes and battle wounds that have came as a result of these crashes. I have loved shaving my legs from the day I became a cyclist. I have also loved that numb feeling that I get from sitting on that two inch wide pointed board for over three hours.
When others mention Lance Armstrong, I turn off my hearing. Just because I am a cyclist everyone wants to get my viewpoint on Lance. I don’t know how i am supposed to respond, “Yes, he was a doper? Everyone in cycling dopes?” My real viewpoint is that there is a systematic culture of doping in all sports and Lance was just the first major icon to get caught. My other response is, “Did you know that Lance started out in triathlon?”
I hope you have enjoyed getting to know The Triathlete and The Cyclist. Now you know what you are getting your hands into the next time you meet them. They both have their own way of thinking and both probably think it is right. They both could be considered odd ducklings in their own way. I wouldn’t ask either of them to catch a ball or move quickly side to side in y way, shape or form as they may fall flat on their face or get hit in the face. They both get yelled at by “Rednecks” to get off the road and have both probably been labeled as homosexual at some point because of all of the lycra and spandex they wear. The both actually have a lot in common although you won’t get either to admit it!