No, I’m not talking about any run or bike ride, those are never “easy” for me. But a big worry was just alleviated for me once I changed my approach to solving a problem and found a wholly different solution.
It is now 30 days until my Olympic distance race in Clearwater Florida. In addition to training for the distances, I have to figure out how to get my bike to the race. Airline baggage fees are high, even though golf clubs fly free. Yeah, that’s right. They assume that a guy with a bike on a plane must be made of money, but golfers get a pass. Add in the cost of a decent case, or the risk of a cheap box or case. I’ve had a lot of anxiety over this, especially since I need to learn a lot of basic bike maintenance, so I can take it apart and put it together a couple of times. (I imagine myself up until 4am, doing it over and over, like the guy in Full Metal Jacket with his weapon.)
While I still need to know how to take the bike apart, I’ve solved my travel problem: renting. As it turns out, there is a bike shop in Clearwater that not only rents your typical beach cruisers for tourists, they also rent road bikes and triathlon bikes. The shop is only a couple miles away from the race transition area, and is directly on my route to and from the airport.
It gets better. When I sent a description of my current setup and size, I got a message back to let me know that the latest bike in their rental fleet is my bike. Not kind-of-like my bike, but my bike. It’s a 56cm frame Raleigh Revenio 3.0, black with lime green accents. All I need to do is bring along my pedals to swap out for the race.
Total cost to rent the bike and the car rack for three days? $100. It would have cost me that to carry my own bike on southwest airlines, without factoring in the case cost, or time and effort in dis-assembly and reassembly. And bonus, my race pictures will look like I have my usual bike.
Little things like this make me smile greatly. Now I still have to settle the juggling of bike check in and the wedding schedule, but thanks to bt.com, I have contacts with people in the area to help me.
On paper it doesn’t make sense for a BOP (back of pack) guy to go through all this effort to race a short course distance so far from home, but something about ending this season with an Oly really motivated me to keep up with the training, and I’m not looking to swim in PA in September or October. With the wedding trip coinciding with the 5150 series, how do I NOT do this race?
Of course, that’s all assuming I’m not left dead on the top of the hill at mile 11 at the Chilli Challenge this weekend. That appears to be a distinct possibility.