Posted by: forgingahead | August 27, 2008

Santa Barbara Triathlon – Part 2 – The Bike

We rejoin our novice triathletes during their T1 (that’s the transition from swim to bike) where you’ll find me sitting on the ground pouring water on my sandy feet and drying them with care. Oh, maybe that’s why my T1 took 12 minutes whereas the leaders did it one. C’est la vie. My feet were comfy and my bike shorts were dry. Made me a happy camper!

Allison was our resident photo documenter and she was rested enough from the swim to remember to pull out her trusty camera. This is us before the 34 mile bike ride…

That’s me.

Here’s Allison.

In the clinic the day before our trainer had explained many times that we had to walk our bikes to the start and he showed us the proper way to do so…pushing it along by the seat. This is the effective way to run next to your bike. I didn’t run though I did practice the pushing part. This no doubt contributed to my glacial T1 time.

Off we went on the “flat and fast first 2 miles.” That’s the SBTri marketing material description. Not sure that we were fast. Our legs felt surprisingly mushy all of sudden. I recounted to Allison something my good friend Nicolle (tandem owner) told me once. “Your mind spends the first 15 minutes of any physical activity trying to talk you out of continuing,” she said. “Just get through those 15 minutes and you always feel better.” And we did!

The ride took us 2 hours and 38 minutes which would translate into the world’s longest blog post so I won’t recount the whole thing. A few highlights…

* It was overcast THE. WHOLE. TIME. Can I tell you what a seriously lucky girl I am? I would have faded if the sun came out but it stayed away. At least for the bike ride.

* Allison and I pretty much had the whole course to ourselves. It was like Santa Barbara had laid out the red carpet for us, hired a bunch of CHPs to wave us through busy intersections and wished us well on our own private bike tour. Reality was we were SO FAR BEHIND. But that was ok. We missed out on the stress of riding in a pack.

* The big hills that I was seriously afraid of were completely doable. There were two. Gobernador Canyon Road (pronounced like terminator) was a more gentle incline than I remembered from our car tour 2 months before and the last scary incline was super short. The second hill, going back up Toro Canyon, wasn’t much different from my hill training in Half Moon Bay. My legs and my cool gearing that Bert added to my bike ROCK!

* Riding with Allison was a treat. We cheered the leaders as they passed on their way to the finish line (they didn’t even crack a smile – very focused competitors). We sang the theme from Rocky when the hills got tough. We let out whoops of joy whenever one of us was feeling triumphant. We reminded each other to Gu-up and keep hydrating. We said thank you and hello to all the volunteers. WE. HAD. FUN!

We came flying into the finish line and hopped off our bikes at the chalk line. My legs felt really strange and bit wobbly as I walked my bike to my transition spot. David and Bert were there to greet us which cheered us both immensely.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the last leg of the race!

fully rested and ready for my next event,

7:15pm Update: I just heard some tragic news…Barbara Warren, accomplished triathlete and from all accounts a truly amazing and wonderful woman, died today from injuries sustained during the biking portion of the Santa Barbara Triathlon on the downhill portion of Gobernador Canyon Road. My heart goes out to Barbara’s friends and family and the entire triathlon community. More details here at Sarah’s Triathlon Adventure



  1. Hey Kathleen!! You didn’t leave a blog address on my blog so I found it through Court’s blog. 🙂

    I’m so glad because I loved your comments AND I wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS on SB!!! That is so awesome and while I know we have Barbara’s tragedy on our minds, I hope it doesn’t deter you from continuing on with this sport. It’s a really awesome one that I’ve been doing for 4 years now and love. 🙂

    Anyway, I haven’t gotten to read your whole post so I will, but just wanted to say great job out there and glad you had a good time!

    p.s. I love finding new triathletes’ blogs – it’s great to relive the ‘new’ experience all over again through somebody else’s eyes. 🙂

  2. Oh and p.s. I used to ride horses, too. 😉

  3. Those hills were tough, but we knocked’em down! I’ll never forget singing the Rocky theme as we climbed the Toro…. What a great memory

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