I’ve been sitting silently waiting for some new perspectives to arrive on this topic, but alas like most things, opinions are slow to change. A year has gone by, Lance has been caught and triathletes remain the focus of ridicule and disgust. I’ve had some interesting comments on my previous WDPHT post including some very funny and some very stupid. The wonders of the internet eh? All sorts of people out there with all sorts of views of the world. A few of those comments I’ve deleted from my site. I figure you have to be smart enough to understand my tongue in cheek approach before having an opinion on my writing. So why do people STILL hate triathletes?
I think at this point I can back off the swimmers as purveyors of tri-abuse. I haven’t heard a swimmer complain about a triathlete in quite some time and I think there is a unified front against anyone that overlooks the etiquette of lane swimming. Yes, some of these abusers may be triathletes, but in the mix of chlorine it doesn’t seem to matter. I did read a thread recently where some triathletes were being outted for peeing in public pools (sorry, couldn’t find the thread). Ever watched a long swim practice and seen a swimmer get out to use the bathroom? Probably not. As my swim coach used to say; there are chemicals in the pool for a reason.
Let’s move on. Probably 30% of the runners I train with are fellow triathletes. Can we always keep up to the pure runners? No, but carrying around this stuff called upper body strength probably has something to do with it. I have been witness to more than a few conversations about course distances in triathlon however. I’ll admit that I’ve been in more than one race where my run time seemed too good to be true. Does it really matter? As long as everyone races the same course, not really. I’ve heard my running buddies say that there’s no way the 10k at the 2012 Olympic Games could have been correct. Well it was a looped course of 4 x 2.5km. I can’t say for sure, but I’m guessing the IOC would have sufficient enough equipment to accurately measure out 2500m on closed streets in London. I guess if they had measured in the middle of the road and the racers ran closer to the edge (and rightly so) that it would come up short. So how bout you just look at some of these athletes stand alone 10k times. Ohhh, is that what you are getting at? They are still faster than you even though they train for two extra sports. Yes, that is hard to take.
Yet the hatred burns hotter than ever from the cycling community towards the triathletes. I’ve been oh so honored to have my previous “Why do People Hate Triathletes” post mentioned in the “Should Triathletes be allowed on bikes” thread on Cylclingnews.com. I’ve spent some precious napping time getting sucked into the “arguments” these cyclists pose towards triathletes, but I haven’t yet made it through the 49 pages of over a years worth of people bickering. I can’t help but surmise that all of these cyclists would be fitter and happier people if they spent their time actually riding rather than belittling triathletes. A few of my favorite quotes:“TRIATHLON IS AGAINST GOD & NATURE” “Triathletes see a bike as a big, expensive, pair of shoes” “I would rather poke my eye out with a fork than go to a moderately large triathlon, but I am sure that there are plenty of triathletes who are faster than me in a race where you have to ride at a cadence of 60rpm and wear budgie smugglers.”
At a few points in the thread the all great and wondrous cyclists start turning on their own:“From the perspective of a cycle tourist (solidly in the dork category), watching racing cyclists demean triathletes is kind of like watching dweebs insult geeks.” “I love the sport of cycling, on road, off road, cross, whatever, but I’ll tell you, while there are many, many good folks in cycling, the sport harbors some of the biggest holier than thou snobs of anything I’ve ever been involved with.”
From my own experience there are a few cycling enthusiasts I’m associated with that love to give me a hard time about my aero-bars, bento box and single strap shoes. Well I have two words for you guys: man boobs. If you’re so damn fit, why can I see your little man boobs through your t-shirt? Perhaps a little swimming and running would do you good. Ouch, that makes me sound bitter eh? Or you guys that have let your upper-bodies shrivel away in an effort to save weight. Ick. Heroin-chic is super hot in the cycling community.
I don’t under any circumstances think that what I write will in any way influence the cyclist tri-haters out there to change their minds, so continue to call your friends in the morning to coordinate jerseys and enjoy ridiculing triathletes together. It would be nice if you actually try a triathlon before taking a stand against them, but I know that’s wishful thinking. Heaven forbid you enter a swim start as there would be a good chance your arm warmers wouldn’t get on with the logos perfectly pointing outward and your precious yak leather shoes get a bit of grass in them. Then to put in all that hard work holding a perfect 90RPM just to get blown past on the run by a guy with elastic laces. Better to just stick to cycling.
Can we all just get along? Probably not, but that’s ok. Each to their own.