Thought for the Day

Monday, April 6, 2009

No Tour for You!

Since I did the Tour de Cure Phoenix a few weeks back, and the 62 mile ride didn't seem too tough, and I've done some riding since, I thought I could do all right at El Tour de Phoenix on Saturday. It's a 72 or 74 mile ride (depending on which part of the web site you read), and it has some good climbs in it. I knew it would be a challenge, but I thought it would be good for me.
Man, i feel stoopid.
I went down to the expo to register, payed my money, got my chip, went to the orientation seminar. Five minutes into it, the race official says, "No aerobars," and keeps right on talking.
Duh. I raise my hand, "What's that mean, no aerobars? Is it all right if they're on the bike, but I don't use them?"
Apparently everybody but me already knew this. I got a very bad vibe from everyone there.
No aerobars in the tour!
I have only one bike I'd be willing to ride 70+ miles, and it has aerobars on it. So I got my money back and left. They weren't happy to return my registration fee. I mean the woman handling it didn't argue, but she didn't smile either. And she didn't waste any words on me. "Where's your receipt?" "Where's your chip?" "Here's your money."
I had no idea there were such rules.
Later, talking with more bike-savvy friends, I was told there is some conflict and even hostility between triathletes and bike riders. Triathlons usually don't allow drafting. "Tour" type rides usually don't allow aerobars.
Who knew?
In my defense, the Perimeter Bicycling web site that has the El Tour information on it is a labyrinth.
Anyway, I ended up not doing much of anything over the weekend, a 10 mile run and a swim class.


Marcus Grimm said...

Yeah - I've come to believe that runners are friendlier than most people, bicyclists are grumpier than most people and triathletes run the spectrum all the way.

Then again, that's just a runner in me talking. :)

jpnairn said...

I blame it on the seats.
The more time you spend sitting on one of those torture devices, the more surly you become.

Saci said...

Your post made me laugh. Before I agreed to register for the Tour de Cure in Michigan, I asked my wife to scan the website with a fine toothed comb to make sure aerobars, or in my case a tri bike were okay. She didn't find anything and I posted it right on my fundraising page that I'm training for an Ironman... I don't know what the big deal with the aerobars is in the first place. As long as you can handle the bike and you stay off the aerobars while among other riders... I have terrible carpal tunnel - I could never ride in a bike race that didn't allow aerobars...

Mike Fraser said...

Man, that sucks in a rediculous way. I just have to laugh at that kind of petty bird poo. Marcuss is pretty much on spot with the attitudes of each group. I don't even know which group I'm in. Sorry you missed the mileage on a nice sagged ride. Sounds like some folks at that event need to learn to be nicer.

PJ said...

Roadies do not like triathletes as we're not known for our stellar bike handling skills. Couple that with the fact that we ride aerobars and you get the mindset that we're all a bunch of hacks who should be on training wheels.

I guess I can see it from both sides. I most certainly wouldn't want to be in close proximity to someone riding their aerobars in a tight group of riders and if you have aerobars on your bike, people will assume you're going to use them. But if this is just a charity type ride where you're not on someone's wheel the whole time, I don't get the banning of them.