This Christmas I really struggled what to give to the triathlon world. I can’t give away my good looks, charming personality or laid back demeanor. I’m not able to give my superior driving skills away to others. I give out enough training advice that anymore would actually cause a black hole in the coaching world (which may not be a bad thing necessarily). What to give? What a head scratcher this has turned out to be. But slowly, very slowly I realized what the triathlon world needs, really needs. If only I could take the credit for coming up with this idea. But it’s the thousands of triathletes out there though that inspired this gift. Throngs of triathletes, trying to look cool but failing miserably. Trying to be stylish and at best coming up as a fashion disaster. In particular, two chance sightings of triathletes inspired this. How did I know they were triathletes? How could they not be?
I give to you triathletes around the world a sense of fashion. Not the color coordinated, designer fashion that makes one runway model eligible. Not the let’s match my arm warmers to my leg warmers to my seat color to my wheel logos to my shoes to my jersey and shorts fashion (btw – all the matching – Super Gay). Instead of looking like you got your fashion sense from Garanimals, read on before you go out the door for your next workout.
I’ll give you two of the many inspirational examples I’ve seen.
The first is triathlete out running dude. And yes I realize that when you visit Tucson it may be much warmer then where you came from. It’s not an excuse to violate common fashion sense. I’m running along the Rillito River path. I see what is clearly a triathlete heading toward me. How did I know you ask? It’s simple. A visor (and there is nothing wrong with a visor btw), sunglasses, sleeveless shirt and arm warmers. Yes, he was wearing a sleeveless shirt and arm warmers. It wasn’t even 40F yet. Please whatever you do, for your own sake and the sake of normal triathletes everywhere. DO NOT run in arm warmers and a sleeveless jersey. WTF are you thinking? Seriously? What inspires someone to think its cold out so I’ll run in a shirt with no arms then put something on over my arms. Arm warmers? Really?
Just stop and think before you leave the house. Is it cold? If so, do I need gloves? Do I need a long sleeve or short sleeve shirt. If you put on a tank top and arm warmers you need the long sleeve shirt. Turn around, head back inside, and take off the arm warmers and the sleeveless shirt. Reach into the drawer and grab the long sleeve. It’s that simple. Trust me.
Next scenario. Sleeveless cycling jerseys and tri shorts. Save them for spring and summer, at least the sleeveless jersey, see the next section for the tri shorts. Just because your wife got you a sleeveless jersey and matching tri shorts, doesn’t mean you need to go ride in them in December. Look honey, I loooove my matching kit so much I’m going to ride in it first thing tomorrow! It was under 60F when you were riding. Did you even step outside before you left the house to see if maybe you needed a bit more on? Did you think to turn around after 10 min and grab another layer? No, I guess you didn’t, did you? At first, as I rode up to you on the climb I couldn’t tell if your arms were sunburned or if they were pink from you being that cold. Judging from how goose pimpled your flesh was, I’ll go with option B. Did you see all the other cyclists out on McCains Loop today? Did you even glance at them (and I know you did). What did you see? Lots of shoe covers, arm warmers, leg warmers, gloves and vests. Why do you think that was? Because it was fucking cold that’s why. A little common sense would have saved you a lot of misery. I know why you were riding back and forth on the backside of the loop. You were trying to figure out how you could get back to town without going down a 2-4 mile descent. Whoops, poor planning there eh?
Finally, do not ride in tri shorts, the only exception being if you are actually in a race. They suck for riding. There is a reason no pro cyclist rides in tri shorts, ever, unless they are in a triathlon, and even then it’s 50/50. You want numb balls? Do you like a chafed vaginal area? You want your ass to be sore so when you sit down tomorrow you are reminded of every bump you rode over today? Look, invest in a couple of good pair of cycling shorts. Trust me, this is not the place to pinch pennies.
So my gift to you is a bit of fashion sensibility. Invest in some arm and leg warmers, a vest, booties and gloves for riding. Buy yourself a few long sleeve shirts for running. Don’t go out of your way to match your kit. The first jersey you grab coupled with some black shorts is fine. Finally think about the temperature and conditions outside, then dress accordingly.