#TBT – Old School Tri Products

Keeping with the trend of Throwback Thursdays, we’re going way back into the TriMadness vault for this post – and we’re going even farther back in the time machine for what this post is actually even about!

Today’s #TBT post comes from August 2011, and is all about Old School triathlon products!

Rewind to 1989.  I was in the midst of college, and home in Chapel Hill for the summer.  I needed a good summer job, and I was a cyclist – so where did I go?  Naturally, I went to the local bike shop to get a job.  Of course, it wasn’t any plain janebike shop.  I went to work for Performance Bike Shop.  Yep – the mail order bike shop that you may be familar with.  Only, I didn’t work that summer in the mail-order part of the business, I worked in the brick & mortar retail store in the next town over – Carrboro, NC.

Basically, during my time at PBS, I was counter help in the retail store.  I did some minor repairs and built more than a few bikes, but by and large, I was the equivalent of the dude at Abercrombie working the counter selling jerseys, shorts, etc.

In the late 80’s, triathlon was still a new, fringe sport.  And yet, we sold a TON of triathlon related stuff back then.  To share with you just how far we’ve come in terms of triathlon gear, I thought it worthwhile to pull some photos of some of the stuff we sold back in the day…

Enjoy!

This is one of the earlier aero bars – the Profile Aerobar

This is one of the original Profile aerobars, and note the vibrant neon yellow coloring!  This was a highly popular aero bar back in the day.  Notice the lack of shifter placement – most shifters were still on the down tube at this point.

Nike Sock Racer.  The ORIGINAL minimalist racing flat!

Why buy a solid-core disc wheel when you could buy a vinyl wheel cover that you add on to your wheel.  The material was similar to lots of the window shades you can purchase for your car windows.  Cheap speed!

Bolle shades.  Hardly anything better (except the original Oakley Blades).

Why DRINK your electrolytes when you can just CHEW them?!

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#TBT: A Dear John Letter to Ironman

Throwback Thursday is an internet phenom right now.  It’s fun to look back at pictures from days gone by.  Seems like a fun concept to apply to blog posts, too.  

Back in November 2011, I wrote the following blog post, and it turned out to be one of the most popular posts I’ve ever written.  It’s been read more than 600 times (from my blog alone), shared on Facebook, Twitter & re-posting on other blogs more than 100 times.  I received more emails and feedback on this post than almost any other post.  So…I guess the sentiment expressed below struck a chord with folks.

Given the popularity of this post, I thought I’d post it up again for you to enjoy…

Dear Ironman,

You and I, we have a history.

I’ve sweated and swam, biked miles upon miles, and ran like Forrest Gump. All in an effort to overcome the races you’ve lain in front of me. Not just once, but several times.

Orlando. Panama City Beach. Louisville. They are familiar territory. A few good memories have come from my pursuits there. More of them have been ho-hum.

Once I was pleased to hear Mike Reilly proclaim that I was an “Ironman”.

But I’m over you.

It’s not you…..it’s all me.

I’m tired of swimming with two thousand friends. I don’t like drafting when I’m supposed to be racing. I don’t like feeling like a customer.

Triathlon isn’t about those things. At least for me, it’s not. Triathlon is about the challenge. Feeling like you belong at a race – regardless of whether you’re the first finisher or the last. I like spectacle and boisterous finish lines as much as the next guy, and while you’re good at that, others are equally good – if not better – at it than you are. I want to feel valued as an athlete. Part of the family. Cared about. Loved.

And you, well, you don’t do that anymore for me.

I’m just a tick mark on your headboard. Another zero on the balance sheet. Another person to sell logo’d merchandise to for too high a price.

We’re done. I know you’ll find others. People will constantly clamor for the “notoriety” that comes from doing one of your races. Good for them.

I’m in this for something more now. Good riddance.

I’ve got a new sweetheart. She may be a little younger than you, but she’s better in oh so many ways. Her name even sounds cooler……Revolution3. Change. New. She’s all that.

So we’re breaking up. Have a nice life.