(Embarrassing) Lessons From The Pros

  • By Julia Polloreno
  • Published Aug 3, 2011
  • Updated Nov 10, 2011 at 4:13 PM UTC
Dede Griesbauer at the 2011 Ironman 70.3 California triathlon. Photo: Paul Phillips

Sarah Haskins

Photo: Delly Carr/

Back in the summer of 2003, I was gearing up to compete in one of my first triathlon races. Not having any mechanical experience, figuring out even the simplest modification on my borrowed bike was quite the challenge. I had to take the front wheel off of my bike to fit it in my car on race morning. When I got into transition, I was not quite sure how to put the wheel properly back on my bike. Probably the smart thing to do would have been to ask someone to help me put the wheel on instead of me attempting a haphazard job. Once I started the bike portion of the race I noticed that the front skewer was spinning around and yes, my front wheel was falling off! Only a mile or so into the ride, I stopped at the side of the road and in a panicked state saw a cop who was monitoring the traffic. I asked if he could put the wheel back on for me (I can’t imagine what he thought), and he put the wheel back on and I was on my way. The entire rest of the ride, I was terrified it was going to fall off again and even asked a few triathletes during the race if it looked as if my wheel was okay. Let’s just say I had a huge weight lifted off my chest once I got my feet on the ground running.

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FILED UNDER: Features / Getting Started / Training TAGS: / / /

Julia Polloreno

Julia Polloreno

Julia Polloreno is the editor at large of Triathlete magazine. A Stanford University graduate with an award-winning track record in publishing, Polloreno is a two-time Ironman finisher and has been a competitive triathlete for more than a decade.

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