Too Many Triathletes

This weekend was sunny, hot, gorgeous and in February! Of course, I headed out for a bike ride. Of course, everyone else who ever owned a bike in the greater Bay Area did too.

It looked like this:

OK, not totally. But, still.

I spent the first two hours thinking ‘my god, there’s too many goddamn triathletes out here.’ All these beginner triathlete, team-in-training, trimore/trinow/tri-harder/tri it now/whatever training groups were out.

That wouldn’t be a problem, except these large, large groups filled the roads, without the requisite skills to do so. Cars would have to swerve wide and nearly hit bikers in the oncoming lane. When you passed these groups, you had to swing wide too and be careful. Sometimes, when you passed a person, you’d look back to find some random guy, who hadn’t said anything and clearly didn’t have the handling skills that you would want anywhere near you, on your wheel.

About 45 minutes into my ride, I hit Nicasio. (Which, fyi, is not an unbusy road. People do get hit while riding out here.) All these cars of all these stupid triathletes were all over the side of the road, half-on/half-off. People were gathering in the street on their bikes. Two women ran in front of me on a transition run.

Besides the fact that working out is my time to not have to pretend to be nice, to not have to make small talk, I was surprised at how territorial I got.

Stop driving into my backyard from San Francisco and taking up the roads. Stop pissing off local residents, who hate cyclists now, by parking in their yards and peeing in their bushes. (I could never figure out why these people had all these signs up about cyclists being quiet while riding, then I figured it out.) I’ve been out here in shit weather — where were you then? I should get a nice day out here too without having to deal with some woman with fake flowers taped to her helmet trying to challenge me when I pass her.


On the other hand, it’s raining again, so I’ll probably be one of like 12 people out. And it’ll be cold and miserable again. Wish granted?

(This is why the best days are really the mid-morning, mid-week, when it’s a little cold and foggy out. And, as you head out, the fog burns off or you get above it, and it’s just you and the all that space.)


6 thoughts on “Too Many Triathletes

  1. “my time to not have to pretend to be nice” – good to know there’s set-aside time for that. You should publish a schedule.

  2. Now I remember why I love reading your blog. And I miss riding with you.

    I can’t tell you how many times these types of groups of people have pissed me off in an unbelievable way. They are the ones who make cyclists look bad. They are the reason people in cars hate the rest of us on our bikes. I feel like you shouldn’t be able to ride your bike on the road unless you fully understand how to do it, what the rules are and how to not look like an ass-wipe and almost get yourself and/or others killed.

    I don’t really understand why everybody wants to do a triathlon. I get the cross training. I love cross training. But it doesn’t mean you should all go out and do a triathlon and buy a shiny new tri bike that you can’t really ride that well. Ugggggh.

    Anyway, thanks for echoing my sentiments all the way and making me laugh. 🙂

  3. Kelly,

    I’ve noticed those groups too, and I really do wonder why they think that taking up the entire road will not get them killed. Haven’t these people ever heard of drafting? They seem more out there for chatting while on the bikes, than actually paying attention to the road, and their safety.

    As a Mom now, I’m seriously freaked about road cycling in Marin, and I will only ride my mt. bike on the fire roads now. It’s just different after you have kids… I really don’t trust cars on our local, winding roads, so, sadly, I won’t go unless I’m positive there won’t be a lot of traffic.

    As for the “Cyclist be Quiet” sign… I have a good story for that one… I used to live at the very top of Bolinas-Fairfax Road, just before the Meadow Club. I lived there for 7 years with my ex. Every Thanksgiving, 800 cyclists/mt. bikes passed our deck outside, and we heard every single thing they were saying, whether they were talking about their girlfriends, their bikes, the way they smelled, or were cussing at their uncomfortable seats. It was LOUD… I don’t think cyclists realize that when you are exercising, and you talk to your buddy, you are actually YELLING. Because you are huffing and puffing and pedalling fast, you automatically YELL to hear over your huffing and puffing. It was so funny that my ex and I thought we might make a recording of those passing by, and make a book from it. : ) FYI….

  4. In LA there are people who ride on the wrong side of the road. at night. without a light. I don’t know who decided that was a good idea and then told other people in the city, but that’s what they do here.

    (and yes, I’m a little behind on your blog)

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