Today I am going to do a rare and dangerous thing that never ends well: ask people for their opinions. Six months ago I signed up for the Southend Triathlon. I chose this one almost entirely because of the easy cycle part, which was simply laps along the completely pancake flat seafront road. I’m sure you all know by now that I cycle like a five year old and planned to take around an hour to do the 20km on my comfortable hybrid bike, with the main goal of not falling off. Laps of the seafront do not require much concentration, even for me.
However today I took a look at the triathlon’s website and was absolutely horrified to find the route had been changed to a 20km single open roads loop through the Essex countryside. I didn’t really gauge the significance of this at first – my first worry was “hills” – but as I watched a video of the route I realised there was something much worse to face. TRAFFIC. Including tractors and big tankers and oh my god a right turn across traffic. Clearly the new route is not beginner friendly, and if I were to take it on the focus of my training would not be to improve my times but to work on my ability to cycle safely and confidently on open roads. Which is a useful skill, I suppose, but I cycle for fitness, not as a mode of transport. I have a perfectly good Travelcard if I want to get somewhere in a hurry!
I have looked into alternative triathlons and the one I liked the sound of most was one in Seaford where the bike section is laps on the seafront. The main downside of this is that Seaford is fucking miles away and therefore I’d have to stay in a hotel which would cost £££. An unexpected upside is that there is also a 10k (and a 5k and a half marathon) the next day so I could make a weekend of it, assuming of course I don’t break any bones in the bike section.
I am in a real quandary now: it goes against my nature to quit anything once I have started, and I was really looking forward to Southend and have several friends taking part. On the other hand, the Seaford triathlon looks so much more beginner friendly and if I do that I will be able to focus on getting fitter and not be consumed with worry about an accident. I can get a refund from Southend until March so I have a little while to think about it.
What should I do?
I will pre-empt the answers of “both” and “do an Ironman up a fucking mountain instead you big wuss for Christ’s sake it’s only Southend pull yourself together” and reply with “bugger off”.