when you first get started into triathlons, the concept of 'gear' is pretty remote. you go with what you've got, what you've been given, or what costs so little you feel like the people who spend an extra £100 for 'carbon' are a little foolish.
the more races you enter, the more you start caring. transitions used to be about pretending like you knew what you were doing, now you're noticing what type of bikes everyone has.
you pick up a triathlon magazine. start recognising brands.
you go for a ride. going pretty hard, feeling good. then a bike whizzes past your old clanker and its one of the brands you've been reading about, and you understand what you're paying £3K for.
slowly but surely, you get sucked into the world of carbon.
after all, you're spending all this time training, trying to shave off a minute here and there - but you're still riding a mountain bike? there comes a point when you just start caring.
so here i am, caring. it's time to go clipless. that means something to most of you, for others it sounds like i'm going to de-clamp something. so here's visual explanation. currently my feet are cycling in this type of (very basic) get up;
but i'm loosing power, effeciency, all that jazz. so it's time to step up to a proper cycling shoe where i'm actually attached to the bike, voila;
so yesterday i'm sitting in London's biggest tri shop. they've got the biggest range of tri specific cycling shoes; and the shop dude brings out the options. all two of them. rubbish, but it's end of season i guess. the first option is the wrong size, but luckily the other one fits like a glove. i love it.
then i notice the sole. it looks rather... plastic. i ask the question; how much are these? £70.
i know they're an entry level shoe, and i've got to a point where i figure it's a waste of money going entry level. the next model up is mid/high range but they don't have it in stock, so i size myself up in store and head home to order over the net (cheaper this way anyway).
so my quest to go clipless continues, until my carbon-ised shoes arrive and i get my pedals fitted. i've got the duathlon next month and am hoping i can get in enough practise before; otherwise i'll be falling off my bike in public, at a race, possibly taking other more experienced cyclists with me. could be very ugly.
in other news; here's how my week of training has looked;
saturday: 25 minute run
sunday: 35 min run
tuesday: 2 x 35 minute cycle
wednesday: 38 minute run
thursday: 1 hour run
saturday: 1 hour cycle
and fingers crossed this time next week, i've gone clipless, and have fallen off my bike not too many times ;)
p.s. for those of you wondering what i might look like in that moment; here's a couple of tasters
and just a really funny video of how NOT to cross the finish line