“10 Things Triathletes Do that Piss Cyclists Off” (A Rebuttal)

Posted: August 11, 2015 in Bike
Tags: ,

(Disclaimer: More often than not, I think cycling purists are great people and I’m proud to consider them as my friends and peers. So this post then is more a response to those few “cyclists” who might feel the way the author of this particular article feels. And for the record, I believe they are in the extreme minority.)

I have become aware that there is a rift that exists between triathletes and cyclists.  I’m not really sure why or how this rift ever developed exactly but it’s definitely there.  More correctly, the rift seems to be mostly directed at the triathlete specifically by cyclist “purists” who don’t seem to like us much.  I’m not sure why really. We both ride bikes (probably a lot), are dedicated to the sport we love which, in both cases, involves bikes.  Why all the negativity then?  I don’t get it.

Most recently I came across an article posted by Tri Swim Coach on Facebook entitled “10 Things Triathletes Do that Piss Cyclists Off” that was originally posted to the “About Boulder” website which proudly advertises “Your One-stop Shop for Everything Boulder”  which, I guess, includes hating on triathletes, but I digress. I find it weird you would find a ‘cyclist vs. triathlete’ post on a tourism website but, hey, not much else about the post made any sense either so, yeah, you just knew it was going to be juicy.

The author (Ryan Petry) starts off by stating:

“Triathletes try to be the master of three sports, and I get it, that is annoying. We are like that girl you went to high school with who was the president of the student government, captain of the basketball team, and voted homecoming queen.”

Annoying?

Really?

Maybe we do tend to be a bit ambitious given we’re trying to master three sports at once as he puts it but, clearly, Ryan was too busy playing with himself under the bleachers at lunchtime in high school to ever accomplish much and he’s a bit bitter about it.  That’s not our fault.  His lack of ambition or drive is not our problem is it?  Anyway, he then goes on to list his 10 grievances to validate his ridiculous claim which, I would like to go on the record here and now in addressing.

  1. Riding with a sleeveless jersey.

Really?

That’s your first and major complaint: what we’re wearing?  Are you really that shallow?

I guess you are.

He states that:

“sleeveless jerseys are acceptable under two circumstances: You are in a race and just got done swimming, or if… actually there are no other acceptable times”

Does he have a problem with bare shoulders or something?  Hey bud, this is North America not Afghanistan, so when it comes to what we choose to wear we have full freedom to decide for ourselves.  So what I decide to wear is my choice and should be of little consequence to you.

Maybe we should wear a burkha?  Would that make you happy?

  1. Talking about the other workouts they that day

First of all, if you have a genuine gripe you should at least put the effort into articulating yourself correctly so that the rest of us can understand you.  Oh, that’s right.  You were under the bleachers in high school.  I forgot.  Maybe I should just assume then that all cyclists are born morons who can’t string an intelligent sentence together to save their lives?  I don’t, of course.

Anyway, assuming you’re bitching about our discussing our other workouts that (we) might have had  that day, is this any different than listening to you wax on about your endless hill repeats, wattage output or the last century ride you did last week?

Oh, and by the way, you could try  to “smack us” as you suggest but be aware that any triathlete is just likely to smack you back into the Stone Age given that your wimpy arm strength is probably akin to that of an uncooked spaghetti noodle. Maybe you should quit resting on the laurels of your sole workout that day and take up swimming or running yourself.

Just sayin’…

  1. Riding their triathlon bike on a group ride

Okay, so I’m giving Ryan a pass here as I actually agree with him but not because “triathletes are notorious poor bike handlers”  as he suggests.  Actually, one has to wonder if he has ever ridden a time trial bike at all.  You see, you actually need to be a decent bike handler in order to ride a time trial bike efficiently and since we’ve likely spent a stupid amount of time them we’re probably pretty good at it. It doesn’t sound to me like he has so I won’t beat this one to death.

I do agree with his statement though that “triathlon bikes are built so that you can ride alone more efficiently” , so that doesn’t make them 100% safe to ride with other cyclists in close proximity since we cannot respond to changes in the group as quickly and efficiently as if we were upright on a road bike.  And seeing as I have ridden with a lot of shitty road cyclists, I do not feel safe riding my tri-bike on a group ride and would never do so.

  1. Not wearing socks

Again, our choice of “fashion” is your major complaint here?  Are you that obsessive compulsive about what other people prefer to wear?  For the record, not wearing socks doesn’t automatically give you blisters or athlete’s foot, not washing properly does.

But, seriously, why does this even matter to you at all?

  1. Brick workouts

“Running after biking is an important part of training, but knowing that after your 4 hour bike ride you are going for a 10 mile run makes even the hardest working cyclist feel lazy.”

That’s our problem, how?

  1. Riding dirty, poorly maintained bikes

Umm, anyone who has ever wandered through the transition zone at a triathlon will already know that those bikes are typically spotless.  And since triathletes probably spent more money on their bikes then they did on their own vehicles, they’re usually pretty meticulous in keeping them maintained.  Conversely, how many “cyclists” have you met that will shown up to a group ride on a bike their grandmother probably used to ride back and forth to market?  Even this isn’t really an issue, mind you, providing it’s been maintained properly, but I think there are more self-proclaimed “cyclists” on farm bikes than there are triathletes on poorly maintained bikes.

Likewise, given Ryan seems to have a very particular idea of what cyclists are supposed to wear, so isn’t this gripe a bit hypocritical anyway?

Oh, and while I’m on the subject, I have another semi-related comment to make here to.  I absolutely LOVE when other cyclists judge me for what I ride – a Trek 1000 that is about 20 years old meaning it’s not the lightest, sleekest, fanciest or mechanically advanced bike on the road.  In fact, it’s about 10-12 lbs heavier than anything else most other cyclist purists are riding.  But you can’t buy speed, can you?  So don’t roll your eyes at me when you see my bike.  Its design or worth have nothing to do with how fast it goes…I DO.  And I love nothing more than dropping “cyclists” on their fancy $10,000 carbon fiber rocket ships to make that very point.  Every time I beat one of these judgmental cyclists up a hill or in a sprint on my heavier, less “pretty” dinosaur of a road bike I steal a bit of their soul.

Judge not you egotistical bastards.

  1. Posting swims on Strava

“Strava may offer options to upload your swim workouts, but it is pretty silly when you think about it. All you are saying to your cyclist followers is “look how much I work out”. Don’t go taking their KOM’s either or they will really freak.”

So using the provided options is “silly”?

Okay.

Whatever you say, chief!

But, again, if our workout schedule upsets you bud, maybe you should consider getting out from in front of the boob tube and – you know – pick it up a bit, especially if we’re stealing all your KOM’s.

  1. Using weird bike accessories

“Mini aero bars on your road bike, special compartments to hold your gels, water bottle holders behind your seat, and other race specific items. So not pro.”

Umm, it kinda is.  Especially since we’re probably riding 5-6 hours and we typically don’t like to stop at Tim Horton’s or Starbucks every 15 minutes for a “pit stop”.

  1. Compression socks

“These socks are great for recovery, but going to dinner or riding your bike in them is frowned upon by pretty much everyone.”

Again with the fashion?

That’s almost 1/3 of your bitches about triathletes being about what they’re wearing.  Who named you the Ralph Lauren of cycling anyway?  Or are you just like the little boy in grade school who torments the girls with whom you have a crush on?  I think Ryan is beginning to display some deeper issues here.

  1. Ironman tattoos.

I earned my M-Dot and I’m proud of it (click HERE).  Maybe you should consider getting a Starbucks tattoo on your calf to commemorate your many stops for coffee during your own cycling workouts?  I find it interesting though that you apparently spend a lot of time staring at other dudes calves.  Maybe you should spend less time bitching and take your turn at the front of the group.

Again, just sayin’…

What this all boils down to for me is that I don’t really consider myself a “triathlete”, but instead a swimmer, a runner and a “cyclist” exclusively of one another.  I also recognize that haters are gonna hate, hate, hate, hate so I’m just going to shake, shake, shake, shake it off.  Why can’t we all just get along?

Happy riding, Ryan.

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