I could easily dig up a few cheap laughs about triathletes and their habits on the bike, but I’m a classy guy. Sure, I’m a bit of a snob – I am a roadie, after all – but I’d like to think I’m above a lazy hatchet job.
So, I’ll avoid passing comment on their bike handling skills, choice of clothing, and weird desire to bookend every bike ride with a swim and a run.
There’ll be no mention of sleeveless cycling jerseys, Speedos, or riding sock-free. I will not, whatever the provocation, make fun of anyone who feels the need to call themselves an ‘Ironman’ (whilst underlining that point in tattoo form).
In many ways cyclists and triathletes are very similar.
Depending on who you ask, athletically speaking a triathlete equals approximately a third of a cyclist, or a cyclist equals approximately a third of a triathlete. Either way (the correct way, or the wrong way) we have things in common.
Having said that, were even a small child presented with a police line-up containing nine cyclists and a single triathlete and asked to pick out the one who likes swimming and running, they would have a simple task.
Although quite which cryptic crime has been committed prior to this does boggle the mind.
A fashion crime, perhaps?
Ultimately the combination of St. Trinians style knee-socks and muscles on the arms and shoulders is a dead giveaway. We cyclists are very happy to class ourselves among the fittest and toughest of endurance athletes, but ask us to remove the lid from a jar of particularly persistent mayonnaise and you’ll be in for a long wait.
There is another reason why I am avoiding tarring my triathlete friends with the comedy brush.
I ride locally from time to time with two or three of them. They usually turn up dripping with water, and I presume they pop out for a run afterwards, but I’m always back home nursing a cup of tea by that point. The thing about these chaps is that they are all capable of giving me a good hiding on the bike.
Which is inconvenient.
In terms of a mocking blog post it’s a bit of a deal breaker.
I can’t very well tear into them with my rapier wit if, in return, they will simply reduce me to a gibbering wreck the next time the road heads upwards, can I?
So, in summary, I have nothing but the utmost respect for triathletes whilst simultaneously agreeing to differ on their clothing choices. Once I’m fit enough to go pedal stroke to pedal stroke with them on my local roads I may revise this viewpoint.