reason, do not have a $3000 bike, a carbon bike, a Zipp, an alloy bike,
or wheels that cost more than your education. For those of you who
have, read on and be very worried.
Here in Dunedin (NZ), there are two types of Triathletes (and for that
matter Duathletes): the haves, and the have-mores. I am a have. A lot
of the people who race consistently around these parts are have-mores.
Young Michael for instance - nicely polished custom 'Dale, titanium
bits and bobs, Zipp wheels, aero helmet that cost more than my mother's
hip operation. Similarly, young Paul - custom 'Venom' (one piece
carbon aero-frame), Zipp wheels, titanium bars and levers. Then of
course there's a guy called Mr X who has a Klein Quantum 2. OK so it's
not custom, but it's gotta be worth heaps, and he's a roadie anyway, so
he doesn't really count.
I ride a Columbus-tubed behemoth, with 105 components, and occasionally
get the loaner of a pair of Shamals, or Tri-spokes. The accumulated
weight of said machinery is approximately 2-3 times that of all of the
above put together. The cost...well, I could trade it in for a
titanium spindle. And aero qualities? Yup, absolutely and totally
surpass those of a brick in full flight. In Michael's words and in
only the kind of style he can manage to displace, (and I'm quoting
directly here) "oink, oink".
Weeeelllllll....the actual story (now that the scene is set). Three
Thursdays ago (consecutive ones) Michael and I found ourselves
head-to-head on a cycle portion of a team duathlon (a corporate one,
but that doesn't really matter). "Heh heh" says Mike, ching, clang,
clumsy gear change, off he goes into the distance. "Oh well, never
mind" sez I to me sez I, "better luck next time". Caught him, passed
him, held him at bay. OK, so everyone has bad days.
TWO Thursdays ago, I found myself at the head of the field after a very
strong run by my team's runner. At the cycle turn around, wondering
why I had not yet been caught by Mike, AeroPaul and RoadieMrX, I saw
all three closing on me DRAFTING LIKE THEY WERE RIDING A TRI-ANDUM (a
tandem made for three). Oh well, if that's how they want to play, fine
and dandy. Held them, put 10 seconds on them at the finish.
On Sunday last, having had a plain swim (as usual), I passed 13
carbon-framed bikes, 11 aluminium bikes, 1 custom one-piece (Paul, heh
heh), leaving only 1 aluminium bike (Michael - first out of the swim by
a couple of minutes), and one steel clunker older and heavier than
mine, in front of me.
The moral(s) of this story:
1) save your money for the kids' education
2) just ride 2km more at every training session instead
2) buy one of my bum-stickers ("Eat Steel, Techno-heads"). Subtle, but
I like it.
Yours in 'get-a-real-bike'-ness,
Dept of Preventive and Social Medicine,
University of Otago Medical School,
P O Box 913,
AOTEAROA (NEW ZEALAND).