I recently attended a triathlon expo, walked up to the USAT booth, and asked the question I asked on this blog a year ago: Can I do a triathlon on a tricycle? Through contacts made that day and further research online, I’ve discovered that I can.

A huge grin spread over my face as I read about USA Triathlon’s acceptance of paratriathletes in regular competition! As I read the rules, however, I noticed that the paratriathlon equipment modifications would not help a person with a balance disorder. But beginning in 2014 there is a new classification called “PC Open Division” (PC stands for Physically Challenged) that applies to ADA-disabled persons. These rules specify that stabilizing wheels are allowed on bicycles.

I don’t actually qualify as ADA disabled, so I will be invoking this rule:

5.12 Non-Traditional or Unusual Bicycle Equipment. Any unusual bicycle construction or equipment to which the specifications in Section 5.11 cannot easily be applied shall be illegal unless prior approval is received from the Head Referee before the equipment is used in the event. Any violation of this Section shall result in disqualification.

My hope is that because specifications are on the books for stabilizing wheels, I’ll be allowed to use them in a PC or other open wave. None of the local races I’ve looked at so far have a PC Open division, so I would ask to use the wheels in the Friends & Family open wave. (Many races have such a wave to allow buddies to race together. Since the wave is not eligible for age group prizes, it would be perfect for me.)

Now all I have to do is order my wheels, pick a race, and contact the race director!