Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Fastest Dork Wins

Leave it to the folks at Trifuel to come up with a saying to put everything in perspective. I was sitting her stewing over my recent purchase of an aero helmet and wondering whether I dare to even put the dorky thing on to take it for a test ride down the bike path, let alone wear it in a race, when I do a search to see what the folks on the Trifuel forums had to say on effectiveness of aero helmets and come up with this gem of a quote: Fastest Dork Wins. That about sums it up, doesn't it?

And with the weather looking worse by the minute for this half-Ironman in Washington state this weekend, my decision to wear or not wear the Helmet of Ultimate Dorkitude may have more to do with the fact that it covers my ears nicely from the cold wind than with whether or not it will shave 18 seconds from my bike split. It might be worth looking totally foolish just in order to not have my eardrums feel like someone is driving railroad spikes into them for 56 miles. Besides, any time savings from the helmet might be made up for by the quilted down jacket I'm planning on wearing on the bike course. I knew there was a reason I moved down here from Washington - fifteen degrees colder up there and raining! I miss having all the lakes to swim in during the summer, and oh yeah having a local triathlon to go to almost every weekend, I miss that too. But the weather is right up there with the Seattle traffic in my book, and I don't miss either.

But back to the all-important helmet decision... I wonder how fast you have to go to not look silly in one of those things. 20 mph? 22? 24? 30? I am reminded of the tragic story of a friend of mine who borrowed an aero helmet for a big race last summer, then got a bad foot pain on the bike course that wouldn't go away, ended up pedaling almost one-footed for the entire race, averaging about 16 mph and having everyone passing her sneering at the helmet. It makes me worry I'll jinx myself just by getting this thing out of its (ridiculously long) box. On the other hand, my bike splits have been improving steadily over the last few years, and I haven't gotten any real technological updates during this time. My frame is not very aero, but it's comfortable. I'm not in an extreme riding position, but my knees and back are still untouched by surgery, so I guess that's a positive, right? My race wheels are pretty low-end and I've never used a disc, but I've managed to pass more than a couple of people riding with them. So maybe it's time for The Helmet (and then maybe one of those faux-disc wheel covers next year...and then maybe a new frame.... well I won't get too carried away.

So if I decide to use the helmet, I'll let you all know if I see any super speedy effects on my bike split, if I simply feel really ridiculous, or if I'm just happy that my ears are warm.

1 comment:

Libor said...

Oh, you made me laugh. Good luck in the race Robin.