Aah, an interesting thought provoking question. I'll have a go.
I started doing triís in 1984. The first year was on a bike reconstructed from parts belonging to bikes from my three brothers, an amalgamated 40 lb Ross ten speed that still had about three pounds of sand in it from a year and a half at Newport Beach peninsula. But, I was hooked.
Next year, it was a Bianchi Nuova Racer. I still have that bike and I still love it too much to give it up. After four years I got talked into buying a new bike, a Cilo road frame with Campy (by a friend who was buying either a new Kestrel or a Trek every year). I road that bike off and on for almost 16 years and it never fitted me properly. I was not seriously doing triathlons in the 90ís due to graduate school work, so I just fiddled with the bike to make it work.
Last year, I returned to the sport, 30 pounds over race weight, 49 years old, and with the notion it was time to tackle a full IM. I did five races last year on the Cilo. I lost 20 pounds by October 2003 (10 months). I did a HIM in June in just under 6 hours, and a marathon in October in a poor 4:16. I also got signed into the 2004 IMC via the lottery.
I lost most of the last ten pounds this winter, and I decided it was also time to get a new bike, more specifically a tri-bike. My thoughts included: This will be as fast as I will ever be again in my life. If I donít get a really nice tri-bike now, when would I? Of course, it was also time to get a bike that actually fitted me. My purchasing research led me to the Cervelo P2k. My wife (of all of two years) talked me into the P3. I ordered it in February. I got it in March. I have transferred the Shimano SPD pedals from my old bike (which I still train on), I have gotten a Zipp 404 with a Conti tubie on the front, and I have a Renn 650c tubie disc on order (for some 12 weeks now). The full price of the bike will easily exceed $4500.
Am I a poser? I donít think so. I have trained my butt off this winter, not in some small part because the thought of being called a poser did cross my mind. I am also extremely competitive. I love to compete, even if I donít have a snowballís chance in Hell to win.
Years ago, I occasionally placed in smaller races. Last year, I was doing good to finish in the top half of my age group. This year, I have placed once, winning my age group and finishing 28th out of 650 in a local sprint race, and 6th in my age group at the Tupper Lake HIM, but 18 minutes faster than my PB from 1986. Yet, even if I was not doing as well position-wise, I still love the bike. It is extremely comfortable as compared to the Cilo, it is far more aero than any position I could obtain on the Cilo. It is also red ;-), but I digress. The new bike really does make me happy.
One last point, at Tupper Lake, I noticed well after I passed the turn around, two guys bringing up the rear, but still well separated from each other, still on the outward bound portion of the bike. Both of these guys had discs. My thoughts: 1) Why are they so far behind everyone with disc wheels? 2) I wonder if they are really slow swimmers and they are playing catchup on the bike and run? 3) I wonder if they flatted earlier? 4) Iím glad I have a decent swim. 5) Iím glad I havenít flatted. 6) Get your focus back on your race.
I didnít see any posers.
Behold the turtle! He makes progess only when he sticks his neck out. (James Bryant Conant)
GET OFF THE F*%KING WALL!!!!!!! (Doug Stern)
Brevity is the soul of wit. (William Shakespeare)