Anyone who has ever really looked at a triathlon bike has – either consciously or subconsciously – thought: “Dang! That thing looks like a death trap.” The bike, in an effort to be as aerodynamic as possible, shifts the rider’s center of gravity over the handlebars while simultaneously requiring the rider to balance on the teeniest, tiniest wheels possible (wheels that can be popped simply by hitting a crack in the pavement at the wrong angle). If you ask me, it’s a terrible and dangerous design. If you ask the founders of companies like RoadID, it’s a great (and lucrative) design. I basically live in constant fear that Sam will be seriously injured while out training or racing.
At the second race of the season (the Buffalo Triathlon), Sam was hoping for a podium finish. The weather was terrible, so I hid out at a coffee shop after the race started and planned to be at the finish line in time to see Sam cross. Alas, when I arrived at the finish line, Sam was already there. At first, I thought I had miscalculated his times. Then, I saw the road rash down one side of his body, the ripped tri suit and the look of disappointment on his face.
Even though he was standing in front of me (and clearly in one piece), my heart skipped a few beats when I saw the blood dripping down his knee. I rushed to his side and he explained to me that another, more novice, rider had cut him off. He was fine (though a police officer who had witnessed the crash was disturbingly surprised by that fact), but one of his Zipp wheels had surely seen better days.
Replacing an (outrageously overpriced) wheel was a bummer, but the cost of this crash could have been SO much higher. As the spouse of a triathlete, my focus (and frustration) is usually on the time and money spent training and racing. This was an unneeded reminder that there are other things to worry about.