Question Should triathletes be allowed on bikes?

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Yes, crits are dangerous and there are a-holes everywhere. Especially in crits. Certainly the overall vibe in Triathlons is generally very supportive and congenial. It's a stark difference from the testo-fueled local crit scene in my experience, and really quite a nice thing.

Doesn’t change the fact that triathletes are horrible bike handlers. I could sadly list a dozen examples just from my own limited experience. Almost got taken out in Escape from Alcatraz last year by some fool on a full carbon, disc wheel TT bike. Drifted 5 feet over, right into me while reaching for his bottle. I yelled and yelled, but no matter, crashed right into me. Luckily a forearm shiver made sure he was the one who went down
All true, especially the bike handling bit. But their sport doesn't require pack riding so of course this is completely normal and a predictable outcome.

Of course they struggle in crits which is the greatest test of bike handling. But road cyclists in general would also struggle if asked to run a full marathon in under 4 hours after riding at over 36km/r for 5 hours non drafting.

I can speak as I did tris for 12 years (1986 to 1997). During this period I did some club racing in my off season (winter). I had great pleasure beating some of those roadies and reminding them it wasn't my normal sport. Do triathletes make fools of themselves? Of course. But a little mutual respect wouldn't go astray either. Triathletes show a lot of ignorance which can be hilarious as per some of the embarrassing photographs in this thread. But the ignorance cuts both ways albeit less funny when roadies get it wrong.
 
I competed in 2 biathlons on the team side. We were the last wave released which was insane as two athletes would definitely be faster than the rest of the field. My runner buddy (who talked me into this "it'll be fun...there are prizes") had no issues. Mine began almost at the first pass. Approaching a rider that sounds like the twin to your fool at 10mph faster I called "left". The jerk promptly swerved left and had enough energy to yell "you can't pass until you do it legally..." What he said faded behind me as I went over the center line with a Marshall moto behind me. They must have agreed with me. The really really entertaining point was at the bike turnaround that occurred at the top of a long 4% grade. I could see a string of riders approaching the turn. The first rider attempted to make the turn in his aero position. Failed. Rider #2 panicked, clicked out of his pedals while still going uphill and hands nowhere near brakes. Failed. Riders #3-6 rode into the mess in slow motion. The all made a neat pile close to the turn and leaving a wide apex for me to ride around with none of them in the way for the 4% downhill which could have been less amusing. I was still smiling halfway to the finish.

By the way...we beat the solo pro for fastest time and got the #1 amateurs' prize: a $15 Timex plastic watch. The entry fee was $200.
That's a great story, love it. Congrats on the Timex! :D

Similar vein, I was doing the Donner Pass tri in Tahoe, and the turn comes at Kingvale, at the bottom of a shallow, 7 mile downhill, maybe 3% or so. I literally passed HUNDREDS of triathletes on the downhill, because they were apparently afraid to open it up on a relatively straight, shallow descent. I was totally bemused at what was happening, it was my first Tri. Nothing like your story, but I passed 3 people DURING the turnaround, they were going so slow. I just couldn't get my head around it.

Going uphill I got passed a fair bit, some of those folks are really strong. Going back down the steep side of the pass, descending at 8% to Donner Lake was another amazing experience. I just don't get the fear.

All true, especially the bike handling bit. But their sport doesn't require pack riding so of course this is completely normal and a predictable outcome.

Of course they struggle in crits which is the greatest test of bike handling. But road cyclists in general would also struggle if asked to run a full marathon in under 4 hours after riding at over 36km/r for 5 hours non drafting.

I can speak as I did tris for 12 years (1986 to 1997). During this period I did some club racing in my off season (winter). I had great pleasure beating some of those roadies and reminding them it wasn't my normal sport. Do triathletes make fools of themselves? Of course. But a little mutual respect wouldn't go astray either. Triathletes show a lot of ignorance which can be hilarious as per some of the embarrassing photographs in this thread. But the ignorance cuts both ways albeit less funny when roadies get it wrong.
Well actually it does require...not pack riding,..but the ability to ride with others all around you. And you need to make turns. They're just not (I think) a group who are passionate about the thrill of riding, who try and get better at it. They do it for exercise in a weird, perfunctory way. I've been riding since I was a kid, BMX, Mountain, Road...I just learned how to ride a bike a long time ago, pack riding came easily for me.

I doubt riders would struggle not to run into one another doing the marathon. :D

I respect the talent of those who have it, and those who learn to ride. The others really do need to up the game a bit. They're flat out dangerous. I don't expect them to be Mathieu Van Der Poel, but I was really shocked the first time I did a Tri.
 
I respect the talent of those who have it, and those who learn to ride. The others really do need to up the game a bit. They're flat out dangerous. I don't expect them to be Mathieu Van Der Poel, but I was really shocked the first time I did a Tri.
Yes they should up their game but I don’t think it will change. It’s how they are. A lot of swimmers and runners who can’t ride or just don’t care much about cycling. It’s how it is unfortunately.
 
Yes they should up their game but I don’t think it will change. It’s how they are. A lot of swimmers and runners who can’t ride or just don’t care much about cycling. It’s how it is unfortunately.
Red Flanders and you noted the fear of speed that may play into all of this. It took several years of descending twisty, sh*tty Napa roads to make my Wife confident. Now she likes it and killed on the TT section of tri/bi events.

We've seen some pretty poor pro cyclist descenders (Woods) and some improve greatly with training (Pinot).
 
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Red Flanders and you noted the fear of speed that may play into all of this. It took several years of descending twisty, sh*tty Napa roads to make my Wife confident. Now she likes it and killed on the TT section of tri/bi events.

We've seen some pretty poor pro cyclist descenders (Woods) and some improve greatly with training (Pinot).
Sadly, I will confess I am an ex triathlete but I enjoyed the cycling aspect as it was my strongest leg.

I recall I raced with the local bike club one off season in 1994 (winter for triathlon) and came into spring in great shape. I had my best Tri season in nearly 10 years. Not just my cycling leg but also my running. Best part of that was after winning one or two club races telling the clubbies they just got beat by a triathlete. LOL! Yes some of us actually can ride a bike :)
 
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Sadly, I will confess I am an ex triathlete but I enjoyed the cycling aspect as it was my strongest leg.

I recall I raced with the local bike club one off season in 1994 (winter for triathlon) and came into spring in great shape. I had my best Tri season in nearly 10 years. Not just my cycling leg but also my running. Best part of that was after winning one or two club races telling the clubbies they just got beat by a triathlete. LOL! Yes some of us actually can ride a bike :)
I salute your skills and wonder why more tri folks don't realize the largest gains are to be had cycling. More and more are Zwift labrats and spend less time outdoors.
 
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