Friday, May 27, 2011


We spent the day lounging by the beach, trying not to get sunburnt. It's one of those beaches that is so perfect it seems as though it has been manufactured for Disneyland - the sand is so fine it actually squeaks under your feet. We had lunch with Carlos and his extended family in a Picanharia where you eat what you like and pay what you weigh (the food, that is).

Of course, the very first thing I did on arriving to the pousada was put the bike back together. The idiotic baggage handlers hadn't been so careful after all and had bent the quick release skewer of the front wheel. Just as well that I had used a couple of spare skewers for exactly that reason.

It was time to try out the bike and it seemed fine except that it wouldn't shift up to the big ring. I took it to Kona Bikes at the Expo and it turned out that it had taken a little knock after all. They noticed that the small ring had actually been installed backwards!!! That explains why it was sometimes slow to catch on when shifting down.

If the muscles on the transit bus were intimidating this was nothing compared to the pure sex of the bikes blatantly on display. I think mine is the only non-triathlon specific bike of the lot! Although it is a damn good one at that.

It's hard to put my finger on but there is something about this event, the organization, that just puts it on a different level from anything else I have ever done. Maybe it's just that everything is so damned expensive! No, it's more than that, this is The Ironman. Everything is branded, down to the various plastic bags you fill before the event with the things you will need at the transitions and at the "special needs" stops along the bike and run courses.

It seems like everyone on the island is competing - every hotel room has a bike poking out of it, people are running and cycling up and down the main drag, others are wandering about in wetsuits. It's a shame that the roads are not better quality - I can just envisage my water bottles being ejected on every bump. Also, it doesn't look as though it is quite such a flat course after all - the map is very misleading - but at least it's the same for everyone.

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