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Triathlon Innovation
May 27, 2008

Ever wonder why braking and shifting on triathlon bikes are not integrated? Here you are in an aerodynamic position, going full bolt down the road with little ability to stop. Stanford University student David Baggeroer was curious, too. It was that curiosity that led to Splitstream, Dynamic Triathlon Handlebars.

splitstream bars use hinges, of sorts, to transform a cowhorn basebar into an aerobar all while on the move. We were skeptical, too. But see for yourself at http://davebags.com/blog/ on his website. He's got a video showing actual transition between bar uses while riding. Pretty cool, actually. But as you will also see, this guy's a shoe-in for this type of thing.

Earlier this year, he unveiled the LAST Running Shoe, which allows users to replace parts when needed rather than throwing away worn out shoes. Users can also monitor shoe wear and mileage through a USB insert in the heel. Shoe giant Nike showed a similar idea, their ACG Lava Dome CI, for the same Volvo Sportdesign contest. Keep an eye on this guy.

2008: Summer of Tri
May 21, 2008

Another summer is upon us and triathlon racing comes to a halt in the desert. Traditionally, Tempe International brings to a close the first part of the Phoenix Valley's triathlon season. Yes, there are a couple of other events. But for most, the heat is too much to tolerate. So, local triathletes begin looking elsewhere to get their racing fix. There, of course, is Mountain Man in Flagstaff in July. This is an old one in Arizona and one of the best. But we've come up with a few other events that you just might not have thought of.

Ironman 70.3: BoiseSome of our customers have signed up for this June 1 race in Idaho. A swim in the cool spring runoff waters of the Lucky Peak Reservoir will kick start your heart and, hopefully your summer racing season.

Cache Valley Classic Triathlon on June 21 in Hyrum, Utah offers a sprint and Olympic distance with a pleasing swim in the Hyrum Reservoir. It's a bit of a drive, but take in Bryce Canyon National Park or Zion National Park on the trip home and you've got yourself a nice little vacation.

Donner Lake Triathlon on July 13 in Truckee, California offers both sprint and Olympic distance events as well as a little history. You see, in 1846 George and Jacob Donner along with James Reed made their way west to California, but got caught up in a Sierra winter. They camped at what is now Donner Lake and remained there for months before being rescued. At this elevation not far from Lake Tahoe, perhaps you will have your own bout with survival before crossing the finish line.

If you haven't been to Telluride, Colorado, the Tellutri would be a good excuse to get there. The bad thing is, though, that it may not even happen this year. Last year, road construction buggered up the bike course and this triathlon has the designation of being the "highest" such event around. Remember, when an event claims to be the toughest, longest, highest, etc. believe it and beware.

If the Tellutri doesn't work out, take a look at the Steamboat Springs Triathlon on August 24. You'll get a .75-mile swim in Lake Catamount, a 20-mile bike ride and a 4-mile run. Nice, huh?

New Club: Rusty Spur Triathlon Team
May 16, 2008

Believe it or not, cowboys have some things in common with triathletes. Both ride on their trusty steeds. Both work very hard outdoors. And, in many cases, both like to cut the dust at a fine local watering hole. Perhaps that's why Clint Sparks's new triathlon team sponsor makes so much sense.

The Rusty Spur in downtown Scottsdale has been serving up suds to cowboys, tourists and, apparently, triathletes for quite some time now. Sparks, who lives just down the road, is a regular there and wanted to support the owners, Sue and Ron Anderson, who in turn wanted to support him and teammate Greg Hawn. Voila, the Rusty Spurt Triathlon Team was born. In an email interview, Sparks filled us in on the club, its origin and future.

TS: Why did you decide to start your own club?
Clint: Triathlon has been a great way to meet new people who share the same interests. Having a team is just another way to engage in conversation, and possibly meet more great people to train and travel to different races with. Teams definitely do not go unnoticed around the races. They always raise curiosity among others, which seems to create a fun, competitive environment.

TS: Was it difficult to do?
Clint: Not at all, just a couple guys with a great spirit, that love to train and race together. We have considered ourselves a team since we started racing. Now I plan to drag some of the bar patrons off the stools to participate!

TS: Are you planning to become a certified USA Triathlon club?
Clint: Possibly, with growth. Having just getting started, that seems a bit far on the horizon now.

TS: How did you decide on the sponsor?
Clint: I've frequented the Rusty Spur for some time. The staff always makes visitors, locals, and me feel like a family. I became friends with the owners, Ron and Sue Anderson. They work very hard to make the Rusty Spur a very successful, and fun environment. I can't think of another bar in the country I would rather frequent.

I was talking about an upcoming race and Sue asked if I needed a sponsor. The wheels started spinning. There is no other name I would rather have on a jersey than these guys. Reminds me of the fun times I've had there. And hopefully it will bring new people the same fun. Plus, were gonna have the coolest jerseys in Arizona!

Triple Sports: USAT Certified
May 14, 2008

We here at Triple Sports take pride in our store and the services that we perform. We don't claim to be HUGE like some of the other stores out there. And, really, we don't want to be. What we do strive to do everyday is bring product knowledge, selection and a great shopping experience to the people who want such things. That is, in part, why we've signed on as USA Triathlon Certified Multisport Retailers.

Currently one of only about 40 shops in the country, Triple Sports has been recognized by triathlon's governing body as a great place to shop for your triathlon needs. But officially, becoming a USAT Certified Multisport Retailer meant meeting certain criteria, including:

  • Have a USAT Certified Coach formally affiliated with the shop
  • Sponsor at least 1 USAT sanctioned event per year
  • Provide at least 2 beginners clinics per year
  • Have a certified bike fit specialist on staff
  • Provide gait analysis for shops that sell running shoes
  • Be an authorized dealer of triathlon specific products
  • Provide USAT members benefits
  • Provide USAT membership and educational program information

For us, though, it doesn't end there. (Sorry to sound like a late-night infomercial. "But wait, there's more!" Don't be surprised if you see Frank Poncherello at the register during your next visit). It's important to note that everyone at Triple Sports works hard to meet high expectations, both yours and ours. We try to offer the best answers, even if that means sending you somewhere else to buy a product we don't have or telling you that a certain purchase you are contemplating isn't really needed. We try to explain triathlon and encourage more people to take up endurance sports and the healthy lifestyle that comes with them. We do not deal in arrogance and ego. We do not claim to know everything. And we try to make things right when they go wrong. At the end of the day, we not only want to be worthy of our new USA Triathlon accreditation, but we also want to be worthy of your business.

Google: Bike
May 6, 2008

You already know that Google is a great resource for finding all kinds of useful and useless information on the Internet. Google Maps, in particular, is one of the most popular features of this Web giant. Now a group in Austin, Texas wants Google to add bike route overlays to its online maps.

Sounds cool, huh? Google already uses overlays to help find public transportation and driving directions. And then there's that cool Street View feature. There are countless websites that utilize Google maps to chart running routes or triathlon locations. So, why not bike routes? Made sense to us, too. That's why we signed the petition.

And here's a little gem we discovered while perusing the petition site: Lance Armstrong is planning on opening his bike shop on Saturday. Perhaps he's getting a little bored with retirement. It's hard to imagine Lance in a shop apron fixing flats. Two words of advice, Mr. Armstrong: customer service.

Gilbert: A Bicycling Friendly Community
May 4, 2008

A few days ago, Gilbert in the southeast Valley became the latest Arizona community the League of American Bicyclists deemed "bicycle friendly." While there still is a ways to go, Gilbert was awarded bronze status for its work to bolster bicycling there. Specifically, Gilbert was called out for including cycling in its master transportation plan, which means city planners have openly thought about and included bicycling as a mode of getting around. There are four others sections - education, enforcement, encouragement and evaluation - that must be met to receive platinum status, but Gilbert is off to a great start and joins only a handful of other Arizona communities to be designated Bicycle Friendly.

Only seven Arizona communities - Chandler, Flagstaff, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe and Tucson - have been recognized as friendly places for two-wheel travelers. Though, that doesn't mean other cities and towns aren't worthy. Phoenix, for example, might fall short in some areas, but the city has miles and miles of bike paths, lanes and a number of programs that encourage people to get on bikes. That also doesn't mean that the places recognized have fallen head over heels for bike riders. Take Scottsdale, with all its bike lanes and fine riding. That city still needs stars in encouragement and enforcement categories, and, if you've ridden around Scottsdale, some work educating its older population that people who ride bikes have a right to use the road. Although, Reed Kempton's work over there should make the encouragement designation a done deal.

While offering designations and recognitions goes a little ways in acknowledging certain qualities of a city, it doesn't protect one person from the dangers found on the road. Time and again we are reminded of the challenges we face as cyclists in a world that belongs to the car. So, the next time you see one of those Bicycle Friendly Community signs, think about what your city is has accomplished and what still has to be done.

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