I was talking to a fellow triathlete the other day and he said something that resonated with me. He said, " Every time I go into a Road Bike Shop I feel like an outsider, I just don't seem to belong- they treat me like crap". Since I have experienced the same feeling - I decided to ask other triathletes about their experiences. One after another they shared related experiences and very similar stories.
I then started thinking about the "FLAT" triathlon market. Soon after I decided I would do the opposite of what I had felt at the bike shop in an effort to create our own “Triathlon Feeling” - make people feel welcome.
I started asking how people were doing and if there was anything I could do to help. But really, I wanted to do something more tangible.
I decide I would do free "fits" for any new athlete that wanted to do a
triathlon. During the fit I would ask, “would you like me to just help with a fit or would you like to learn about the process, about the bike” – 100% asked to learn. Then I started showing people how to fix flats, then basic maintenance.
As a community, each one of us can help welcome new people, help grow the industry and create the “Triathlon Feeling”.
It’s been a year now and I actively look for people to help. They may think its’ for them but – its’ for us and it makes me feel good.
Next time you’re at the pool – share a lane, give a kid some pointers or encourage a high school swim member. If you have some time – show a new rider how to fix a flat, adjust a brake or give them some old spares lying in “that corner”. Just try and smile and welcome a new person to the sport. You will feel good about yourself and help spread the “Triathlon Feeling”.