It was “Wheels off a new bike”, that finally bought my motivation back and passion and drive for the sport. I had started the sport some 33 years ago as a spritely 16 year old and had a endurance race resume that would make Mark Allen blush. I had been lacking motivation for the last 18 months, struggling to get out on the road and get the job done. As I am over 40 and my back is not what it used to be. I tend to do all of my training on my road bike. I had been experiencing a bit of equipment neglect of late mainly in the wheel department. My wheels were shot. Hubs worn, bearings rough, spokes stretched and out of shape. My wheels were about as true as a potato chip. It was just a horrible ride to sum it up.
I had a bikefit last year for the first time ever and found out I was completely on the wrong size. If I was ever to race again I would have to get a new TT bike. I ended up buying a Focus TT bike complete with Fulcrum wheels and ceramic bearing hubs. I had a arsenal of race TT wheels, being a 80’s triathlete I was still partial to Tubular tires .
I ended up putting the “New wheels” on my road bike to rekindle my dream and enthusiasm for the sport once again. If I was going to commit and go forward in the sport. I had to be comfortable.
I still remember that first ride. It felt deadly fast . I was close to 10kgs over my race weight but it didn’t matter. The breaking, the cornering, the descending, Climbing like a mountain goat and the beautiful purr of the free hub. It was heaven on a stick. I was back. My heart and soul was once again reborn.
After a few weeks and several more blissful rides. It was time to commit . Cairns 70.3 in June 2020 became my goal with possibility of a Taupo worlds start. I had 20 weeks,5 months to get my act together. It was time to pull every trick out of the bag. The triathlon bag of tricks that is some 33 years old.
The next 20 weeks went past like a blur. The swimming ,biking “on the wheels from a new Bike” and running. The weight naturally shed itself and I was finally back to a shell of my former self. I even passed the wetsuit test. I was terrified being over race weight it wouldn’t fit. But luckily it did. Even my cycle clothing fit better than before. For awhile I looked like the Michelin man and a not so attractive MAMIL love handle look.
Race week, I drove up to Cairns from Townsville (Clownsville) a couple days before. For me it was only up the road some 350k. it was not a big deal. It’s funny when you travel to a race, the dawn of reality catches up with you. Have you done enough? Are you rested enough? and equipment choices for the big day, mainly what wheels do I use for the Cairns course?, Do I go with tried and trusted Carbon tubular Disc and deep rim? Or do I go with my “wheels off a new bike”?. The ones that have served me so well over the last 5 months?