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Trikes For Tikes Success
Dec. 23, 2007

Trikes for Tikes was a success! Triple Sports and its customers donated 14 trikes to Toys for Tots this year. That was four more than last year, which doesn't seem like much until you think about each of those four kids that hopped on a new trike Christmas morning.

Thanks to the good folks who donated. And thanks to Triple Sports employee Patrick Warnholtz for a terrific job assembling all of these three-wheel wonders.

Trikes for Tikes We will again be back next year. And yes, Triple Sports will again offer trike for trike donation matching next year.

Here Come The Cops
Dec. 20. 2007

As bicycle riders, we all know the dangers of mixing our hobby with the general motoring public. Just think about Dick Tomlin, the Gages, or some hundreds and thousands of other cyclists killed or injured every year in the United States. Many times, automobile drivers are at fault. Other times, cyclists themselves are to blame. Well, cops in Paradise Valley and Scottsdale are trying to put the brakes on both sides of the problem.

Both departments have been cracking down on scofflaw motorists and errant bicyclists. Of particular interest to police officials are stop sign and traffic signal runners. I've seen officers staked out at 128th Street and Via Linda. I've also seen a group of four riders - who, by the way, raced by while I was stopping at the sign - being pulled over. But also be aware that staying as far right of traffic lanes as possible is mandatory and be mindful not to ride more than one or two abreast, depending on the roadway. It could cost you a couple of hundred dollars or, worse, your life.

Triathlon: The Fifth Season
Dec. 17. 2007

Everyone who lives or has visited Arizona knows about summer. Same goes for winter. Fall and spring are in there somewhere as well. But many folks have never considered the fifth season: Triathlon Season.

In Arizona, triathlon season generally begins in April and ends in December with the Anthem Holiday Classic. Some in Arizona really pull the plug after SOMA. Nationally, the triathlon season generally ends after the World Championship in Kona in October. Some would say it's after Ironman Florida or the 70.3 Championship in November.

This season business may sound strange at first. But think about it in general terms of sport. There is a season for professional sports, such as baseball, football and golf. There is a hunting seasons, a fishing season and a ski season. NASCAR even has its own season. There are a few good reasons, well, for the seasons.

One of the greatest benefits to a season is that it ends. The off-season allows time to evaluate past performance, find consistencies or trouble spots in training and racing, mentally regroup or try other sports. It's a time to plan for the coming season, catch up at work or get more involved with the people who miss you, like your husband or wife and kids. In the end, every season needs an off season. And like many other sports, triathlon has both.

The High Cost of Expos
Dec. 15, 2007

The other day I mentioned that we were a sponsor of the Anthem Holiday Classic triathlon and it reminded us of a topic we get asked about a lot - race sponsorships. Visitors to our store sometimes ask whether we will be at one race expo or another. The answer many times is "yes". But unfortunately, sometimes the answer is "no".. Why? Read on.

If we had the money, time or other resources to staff events, we would be at every race expo that we possibly could get to. The fact is we don't have unlimited resources. Big event expos such as P.F Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and Half Marathon costs $2,300. The expo for Ironman Arizona is $2,000. And then there are staffing and set-up costs. More limiting, however, tend to be the restrictions of race directors themselves.

We simply are not allowed to participate at some event expos. Many Red Rock events are off limits because a local bike chain demands exclusive access. DCB Adventures offers up nearly every one of its events for sponsorship. Triple Sports, the small shop that it is, simply cannot swing sponsorship of every single one, though. Trifamily Racing events also are off limits because its main sponsor also demands exclusive access. Same goes for Ironman Arizona, which has both a national and local sponsor who want and pay for sole rights to sell triathlon goods at those expos. Many clubs have similar policies. The Phoenix Triathlon Club simply will not even discuss the possibility of a Triple Sports sponsorship because its leaders signed an exclusive sponsorship contract with an online retailer. Same goes for Tri Scottsdale. The sad thing is that such restrictions hurt the clubs, events and athletes.

As a retailer, we certainly understand the desire to be the only one on the dance floor. All eyes are on you, which generally means better expo sales and improved company brand retention. We also understand that we haven't been around forever and some pretty solid relationships had already been formed when we opened in June 2005. But a fear of competition is not a great starting point for addressing the issue, in our humble opinion. Nevertheless, we have worked within the system and some folks (you know who you are) have been polite and have tried to quietly work around the situation.

In the end, if you're at a big expo and wondering why Triple Sports or another retailer is nowhere to be seen, it's not because we don't care or are missing a great opportunity. At least for the time being, chances are better that we simply were not welcome.

A Carbon Christmas
Dec. 14, 2007

On top of many people's list this holiday season seems to be carbon, rear-mount water bottle holders. Triathletes and cyclists are looking to lighten the hydration load with these rail-mounted products.

The Hydrotail ($93.95) from Beaker Concepts has been the most popular followed by Xlab's Carbon Wing ($116.95). The Hydrotail sits lower, providing more aerodynamics for shorter riders. The Carbon Wing offers less movement and bounce and is a little easier to install.

The Carbon Wing boasts add-ons, such as the X-Nut, Tool Bag, and straps. But the beauty in it all is that the Xlab products also work with the Hydrotail because its designer used to be an Xlab hack.

Buying In to Ironman
Dec. 12, 2007

As long as we're on the subject, there are still spots available for both IM AZ events as well as for Ironman Coeur d'Alene. It'll cost ya, though. $500 for race registration and another $500 for the Community Fund gets you in to an otherwise closed event. You get a special gift, recognition in event literature and a tax write-off. So, where does all the money go?

By all appearances, grants are given to many different groups in the areas in and near Ironman host cities. Last year in Arizona, grants went out to: Tempe Junior Crew , ASU Sun Devil Paddling Club, ASU Campus Recreation, Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, ASU Foundation, Arizona Repeater Association, Native American Connections, Arizona Thunder Girls Basketball, Rio Salado Swim Club, The Phoenix Police Foundation, Arizona Community Church, Rancho Feliz Charitable Foundation and Desert Sky Middle School, among others.

The Numbers: IMAZ 2008 I + II
Dec. 11, 2007

So, the addition and successful sellout of a second Ironman in Arizona in 2008 got us thinking around here, which is always dangerous. Talk has been about the timing of both events. Arizonans, especially those in the Valley of the Sun, have been groaning about training through the heat of the summer. Though, training in the cold of winter (yes, in the Valley) wasn't that enjoyable either, as we recall. But what do the numbers say?

For IM AZ April, about 17 percent of those registered are from Arizona. That number drops to 7 percent for IM AZ November. Registered Arizonans make up about 14 percent of the total field of both events combined. Even more interesting, 43 Arizonans have decided to take on both Ironman Arizona events in 2008, brave souls that they are.

IMAZ II: Closed Course
Dec. 10, 2007

It didn't take long for Ironman Arizona II to sell out. Registration for the first running of IMAZ in November closed to general entry today just a few weeks after opening. Ironman Arizona, which has run in April each of the three years since its inception, usually takes months to sell out.

Rumors have swirled for many months about the possibility of moving Ironman Arizona to November. High winds and heat have created less-than-perfect conditions in the first three runnings of the event. Training for the April event also was challenging for people coming from cold-weather climates. Additionally, there is some speculation that the World Triathlon Corporation is planning a springtime Ironman event in the Las Vegas Area. WTC is the owner of the Ironman trademark and tradename as well as the operator of Ironman Louisville and other Ironman events. Nothing official has come out announcing such a plan, however.

There is no official word on whether the Ironman schedule change will have any impact on the SOMA Half Ironman that is traditionally held in late October. There has been some talk of moving SOMA to April. Again, these are just rumors, which we spread with obligation.

Anthem Holiday Classic
Dec. 9, 2007

Dark skies and cold wind didn't seem to dampen any spirits at the Anthem Holiday Classic on Saturday. Young and old, tons of triathletes (including Brian's parents Mary + Jerry Anderson) and relayers took to the streets in this beautiful city.

Plenty of people came by the Triple Sports booth, which, incidentally, was nice and warm inside the community center. It was great to see Tyler + Tracie, Andreas and some of the other good folks of Team Anthem. And what race would be complete without the costumes and antics of Russell, Nicole and the other freaks of Freak Factor?

This was our second time as a sponsor of the Anthem Holiday Classic. We sponsored the evening Anthem Triathlon back in September, too. It's always nice to come up into the foothills of Anthem. And David Benjes of DCB Adventures does such a great job with the unruly animal of event directing. we'll be back for sure.

Welcome: Another Blog
Dec. 8, 2007

Welcome to the Triple Sports Blog. This is a new feature of TripleSports.Com and hopefully a regularly updated one. Not that W3 needed another blog. In any event, stay tuned for random musings, product reviews and tips as well as updates on what's happening in the Triple Sports and triathlon world.

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