There is a certain self-sufficient mentality that has grown in me, whether it comes from my upbringing or from a necessity of life, I do not know. I can’t feel secure unless I can get myself out of trouble should the need arise. This appears in all aspects of my life from riding a bicycle to carrying a pocket multi-tool everywhere I go, just in case. This self-sufficient nature is something that appears to be missing from most (not all) triathletes in the G.C.C. But why?
To myself and many others, owning a bike is like having a puppy. It is a large responsibility, it must be bathed, loved and taken to the vets when it becomes sick. It will pee on the floor occasionally and will, of course, eat your slippers when you leave it alone for too long. You enter into ownership knowing these things and aware that you must try your best. If you were an irresponsible dog owner then the animal protection league of justice would come and save the poor beast before you hurt it. With a bike there is no such organization, there is maltreatment happening among the villas and apartments of Dubai.
Trixie is a 3-year-old Cervelo P5, she was owned by a young runner who converted to triathlon in order to compete in some amazing events. Trixie had never been serviced, was covered in some unknown sticky substance and had lost almost all of the paint from her hindquarters. She was abused every morning for 2 years straight and had almost given up. Her spirit was almost broken when she was replaced by a new model. Can you offer Trixie the love and care she deserves?
Maybe this phenomenon has something to do with triathlon itself, the participants compete in 3 sports rolled into one. They spend 3 times the amount of time training so there is almost no wonder they cannot look after a pet/bike. Tri-junkies are focused on their body and the training of this machine so much that they often forget the joys of just going for a bike ride, or maybe they never knew it. There is no such thing as a casual triathlete, you either compete or you’re not one of them.
This is obviously my view as a cyclist from the outside looking in but I believe I can now see the difference. The bicycle of a road cyclist has a soul, it has feelings and needs attention to give the most. A triathlon bike is more like a pen knife, a tool to be used for its functionality and therefore cannot feel in the same way. Triathletes should however take note of the best mechanics who regularly sharpen and clean their tools in order to facilitate flawless function.
To anyone reading this who may be guilty of bike neglect, remember that every time you miss a service interval, god kills a kitten. That may not be completely true but it will affect your bike split times!! a much worse fate.