April 3, 2013

Triathlon Season

I haven't even run my second half marathon yet (it's on Saturday) & I'm already switching gears to triathlon season.  And by "season", I mean the one tri sprint I'm registered for.  I competed in my first triathlon last August, which you can read about here.  That race was the Girls Tri It On hosted by Team Magic.  Sticking with Team Magic, I'm now registered for the Cedars Of Lebanon Tri on May 18, along with Mary Katherine, Lana, Heidi & Alicia.  It'll be a birthday triathlon for me & Mary Katherine.  Team Taurus!

I didn't buy any tri gear last year because I wasn't sure I'd ever do one again.  I borrowed my husband's old, college mountain bike (y'all) & I borrowed a tri kit from Lana.  John bought me a road bike for Christmas, so if I ever learn how to ride it, I'll assuredly be 1,000 times faster.  Here's a picture of my new bike:

Okay, let's list this out.  First list:  questions.

  • I bought my bike in Nov & it's been sitting in my garage ever since.  Do I need someone to check it out and/or give it a tune-up before I start riding it?
  • Can one of my bike friends do this or do I need to take it to a bike shop?  Marshall?  Andy?
  • Can one of my patient girlfriends teach me how to shift?  Like next weekend?
  • I also need to learn how to clip-in, but I'm thinking about keeping the toe cages on for the race & learning how to clip-in after the race.  I bought the pedals, I just haven't put them on yet.

Second list:  things to buy.

  • Swimsuit
  • Tri shorts
  • New bike helmet
  • Clip-in shoes (to fit Shimano R-540 road pedals, size 7 - 7.5)
  • Race number belt

Third list:  to do.

  • Buy tri shorts & race number belt.
  • Get bike checked out.
  • Learn how to shift & start riding bike.
  • Start swimming & hopefully remember how.

I'd love to hear from my tri & bike friends on this, particularly in regards to tuning up my bike & learning how to shift, but any & all advice is welcome.


Kristine Mylls said...

No, you don't need to have anyone check it out - you probably just need to put air in the tires. If you feel better about having someone look at it - have a bike-savvy friend do it. You do not need to take it to a shop. After riding it for a month or two, you should get it looked at again and get things checked out. Cables stretch and what not and/or you might need some sizing adjustments.

You have time to learn how to clip in before the race, but I would get it set up this weekend so you have PLENTY of time to get used to it. If you don't feel comfortable, then go with cages on race day.

If I have time this weekend, I'd be happy to ride with you. We can discuss at Oak Barrel! :-)

becoming me said...

This is great- love that you'll be at Cedars. I'm at all the mid TN races for TM as the Volunteer Coordinator so when you come out the the site I can walk you through the set-up.

Before then, I'd suggest getting your pedal situation figured out...it sounds like a big deal, being "clipped in" and all; but its not. Best way to learn is to stick your bike on a trainer and practice clipping in and out quickly. It becomes second nature and you only have to clip in and out once during a race ;-).

You will learn how to shift in 10 minutes once you start riding your bike. The right side typically moves the back gears and the left moves your chain from the big ring (by your pedals) to the small one and back. Just play with it- you can't break them, worst that will happen is you'll drop your chain and it pops right back on. Just remember to keep pedaling when your switching gears, it will change much smoother that way.

Anyway, sorry for the book, swing by the store anytime if you have questions....I'll be glad to help steer you in the right direction.

Kate S said...

And me! I seriously keep forgetting that I signed up for this madness.

I'm probably going to stick with the cages until after the tri (mostly just b/c I have very little time to train between CMM and the tri). My hubs also says that the best way to learn clip in/out is to put it on the trainer or put your bike between a doorway to practice.

Yikes! nervous!

The Blonde Mule said...

Kristine - thank you! I had a bike savvy friend check it out & you were right, it just needed air put in the tires. Let's def ride together soon!

The Blonde Mule said...

Thank you, Season!!!

The Blonde Mule said...

Kate - girl, you'll be fine. Just ride!


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