Sunday, July 13, 2008

Everything I need to know about "Tri-ing" I learned in Rhode Island

This past weekend I spent my time in Providence RI continuing my adventures on the IM expo circuit. Flights were on time, weather was pretty nice, so on and so forth. Things were looking up. For the most part. While the weekend was relatively uneventful I did quite a bit while in the Ocean State...

1. Never believe the Internet estimated travel times. Sure I'll stay in Massachusetts, it can't be that far from Providence. 9 miles? No problem. Until the local bridge (the ONLY bridge) that takes you from Providence to MA is under construction. So suddenly Mapquest's 9m estimation isn't looking so do-able.
Side note: Don't be ashamed to pull our your GPS and admit you have no idea where you're headed. Without that handy little bugger I may still be stuck driving in circles on various RI interstates.

2. Make a list and check it twice. While I escaped the curse of the forgotten item this time, it never ceases to amaze me how may athletes arrive at a race to realize, in s state of panic of course, that they forgot that item they just can't live or race without. From gels, to goggles, to cycling shoes, they've all been forgotten. And at the very least, don't wait until you arrive at transition to first open your gear bag and double check that you have it all. If you really can't squeeze it in before you leave your home town or state, do as soon as you arrive at your race. At least that way there's a chance to replace that missing of the puzzle.

3. Pay head to the "Low Clearance" signs, they're there for a reason. I'd be lying if I said my heart didn't go out to the racer who drive his $4000 tri bike right into the cement girder of the parking ramp, but come on dude! What were you thinking...?

4. Don't wait until race weekend to fix that rub, clank, wobble, etc. That's right my friends, plan ahead. Like when the rub starts. Or you first notice that clank, why not head to your local shop then? You won't always have the rockstar tech staff of Inside Out Sports there to save the day.

5. If at all possible, partake in Friday's packet pick up. Lets do the RI math. ~1700 total participants, ~200 checked in on Friday, which leaves.....1500 participants to stand in line on Saturday. Yikes. Suddenly relaxing and staying off your feet the day before the big race is less and less of an option. And after you've stood in line for 4hrs to pick up your packet, weigh in, etc, you still have to make you way to bike check in. BUT WAIT!! Half of the interstate is closed due to an accident...

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