We’ve had the pleasure of watching 2 triathlons in the past 10 days, at the first (BustinSkin’s “Race to the Bill”) we were marshalling the Mount line and at the second in Cardiff we stood at that point for a while. I can recommend it for entertainment value…It’s an eye opener for sure!
Here are some random observations:
- Make sure your bike is working properly after its journey, we had a chap at the RTTB who had fitted 25mm tyres and had failed to adjust the rear wheel to give enough clearance from the frame, he did complete the course but not without three false starts and lots of fiddling about. I’ve failed to do so myself. Many years ago I had to complete the (hilly) Fareham Triathlon on the big front ring as it wouldn’t change down after being bashed around on the way!
- Take the time to learn which way you will be going, and then even if you didn’t, listen to what the Marshal tells you
- Make sure your bike is left in the correct gear for the conditions you will face in the first 20m or so! We have seen people spinning way too fast and going nowhere and those who can barely turn the gear at all. The consequent weaving across the road gets in other people’s way and potentially causes accidents.
- Look up and not at your feet as this may save you riding into the curb and going over the handlebars.
- If you are going to leave shoes clipped on your bike then there is time to be saved if you can mount and get your feet in or on your shoes seamlessly but a whole new set of issues arises:
a. PRACTICE! We saw more people waste time than gain it at Cardiff, Including one athlete who stopped and then decided to try to rip his shoes off the pedals by hand to get them on.
b. Don’t forget to undo your shoes to give you half a chance to get your feet in!
c. It may be an obvious thing but some cycle shoes are designed as Tri shoes and to be easy to get on in a hurry…some really aren’t.
d. If using elastic bands make sure they are short or thin enough to actually break and not leave you permanently attached to some other part of your bike for the whole race.
e. You don’t have to get your feet in and the straps done up in the first 10m. Get going first with your feet on top of your shoes (if you can’t slip them straight in) and wait for a suitable moment, if you watch the Brownlees and co. they will often ride some distance before attempting to put their feet in the shoes or doing the straps up.
f. If trying a “flying mount” really don’t do it unless you have practised and are competent, I guess the bruises of the guy that tried it and went sprawling at the RTTB might have healed by now but I doubt his ego has….
g. There probably isn’t much point in doing it if you’re going to insist on putting socks on in transition and then faffing about when you get to the mount line.
Think about carrying your shoes and putting them on once you reach the start line if you don’t want to run in them.
Have a great race at the weekend wherever you are.