This was my first time volunteering for a triathlon, and it was a blast. I was directing traffic for the “bike out” and was lucky enough to hear the line of the day.
A guy, and what looked to be his daughter, came walking by the bike transition with like 40 minutes until race time while Jim and I were busy getting instructions. They were stopped and literally standing next to the bike mechanic when his daughter says, “Do you think we should put some air in our tires?” And without missing a beat, the guy sympathetically responds, “Sorry honey, we don’t have enough time.”
My job was basically to stand there and tell people, “Turn right, and watch out for bikes coming up on your left.” I think I said this at least 300 times and it never got old!
It was a two loop bike course and I watched awkward bike mounts in front while racers whizzed by behind my back for about two hours. But while the anonymous gentleman had the line of the day, my thought of the day was, “People who live in the area versus triathletes trying to have a little fun.”
Somehow, a few cars slipped through onto the bike course and we’d have to politely walk over to their window and ask, “What the fuck is going on with your brain? Can’t you see you’re right in the middle of a bike race?”
Well, we didn’t really say that, but it’s a bit perplexing to see someone driving into a garden of orange cones with dozens of bikes blasting directly at their windshield. Like always, I tried to put myself in their shoes. How would I have handled it before I was in triathlon? I kept coming up with the same answer. I would have respected the course.
One guy literally just stopped in the road where second loop bikers were merging with T1 virgins. One of the Team Magic bosses patiently listened while spectators warned racers to “watch out for the car in the road.” I would have given anything to hear the conversation she had with that guy. Eventually he backed up out of the way, but it took about 15 minutes. Seriously, are you that bitter or anxious to get back to your trailer park?
Oh well. I guess triathlon is something most people will never understand, and oddly, that gives me great comfort.