Sunday, April 10, 2011

Looks Fast

This year's New Orleans IM 70.3 is just a short week away.  As a special tribute to our out of town guests, the temperature has quickly risen to the mid-80's and the humidity is a cozy 80%.  If you are coming down our way to race, you should probably start hydrating right now.

As I have said before, I am by no means an elite triathlete.  My race times are only the envy of the 75-and-older crowd.  Based on my present potential, I believe that in a sport where time can quite literally be "bought," (particularly on the bike) one should always follow the adage that "it is far better to ride up grades than buy upgrades."

Don't get me wrong, I have a pretty nice bike.  I bought it off of Ebay as a replacement for my original bike - a Schwinn fastback that I spent as many hours fixing as riding.  I knew that if I bought a nice tri-bike it could be a final purchase, as I would spend the rest of my triathlon career upgrading the engine to the level of the rest of the machine.

With that said, my good friend Dustin offered to loan me his race wheels for next week's 70.3, since he is not participating this year.  At first I declined, but in the end it just seemed silly to refuse free speed.  So I swapped out my normal wheels for a Zipp 808 and disc (and changed the brake pads) last night.

I took the Kuota out for a test-run this morning on the levy and was amazed at the difference that race wheels make.  Convinced that the wheels themselves were boosting me up 5-7mph above my normal pace, I barely noticed that my heart rate was teetering around 170bpm.  Yes, the wheels were making a difference, but enthusiasm was probably playing as much a role as aerodynamics.  Now, my only concern is that come race day, I might find myself pushing too hard on the bike - trying to match my speed to that of the machine and ending up leg-less on the run.  Will I be able to fight the intrinsic pressure that tells me that this bike won't be happy unless it's going at least 30mph?

It is a matter of concern.

But not enough concern to take those wheels off - they look frekin sweet!


  1. To paraphrase an old proverb: "its not the bike that makes the rider, but the rider that makes the bike."

    Regardless, goodluck, and remember FUN is the name of the game.

  2. Quite agreed, that bike looks like something Batman might ride. And if it boosts your speed a little without any extra effort, double bonus!

    Best of luck! Can't wait to see this race report.

  3. That is awesome that you got to borrow some race wheels. I am hesitant to even try them for fear or liking them too much.

    Wouldn't it be sort of awesome to not be any faster with race wheels though? That way you could say, "I don't need race wheels, I am just as fast without them" :)

    Have a great race!

  4. Sweet wheels! Good luck this weekend! I will be thinking of you and Heidi that day!

  5. Best of luck this weekend! A good friend of mine Patrick Grosserode is traveling from Nebraska to take in the New Orleans 70.3. We're proud of you all!

  6. drool drool.... you better beat my bike time or else....


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