In 2007 I did my first Ironman race. It was in Couer d Alene Idaho. I had arrived a few days early and as is the custom prior to an IM race I went for a morning swim in the lake. The water was super rough and I really struggled out there; apparently I was only one as the other two or three hundred competitors seemed to take the choppy cold black water in stride, they stood around under the giant inflatable Gatorade bottle laughing and flexing their muscles. I called my wife and said “I don’t belong here.”
Over time I became more and more confident in the triathlon world, but I never really felt like it was my scene. I could talk the talk, and to a certain extent walk the walk, but I always felt like an outsider. Bicycle racers seem more like members of my tribe.
Cyclists are a mixed bag to be sure, there is no “typical” cyclist, but what we all share is a love of the most efficient, elegant form of transportation yet devised by man. It’s like we’re all co-conspirators, like we’re all in on the same secret.