In a previous post I explained that I was going to put stabilizing wheels on my bike and ride it in a triathlon. It has been quite a roller coaster since then!  I have had a series of successes and failures with this endeavor, and my emotions have peaked and plummeted accordingly. Here’s the scoop:

I found two brands of “adult” stabilizing wheels (i.e. not the tiny training wheels meant for kids’ bikes): EZ Trainer and Bike USA’s Stabilizer Wheels. The latter brand is the one mentioned in the USA Triathlon rules, although they do not go so far as to require that brand.  I suspect they favor the Stabilizer Wheels because they are firmly bolted on the bike frame, and that would definitely be a plus for safety over the course of a long ride.  However, I was keen on the EZ Trainer because it has a quick-release that enables me to remove the extra wheels. This is crucial because my house and car both are not big enough for me to store and transport a bike with stabilizing wheels permanently attached. I can see that this could be construed as a safety issue, espcially for long rides, but since I only do sprint distance tris, I was willing to take the risk.

Ez trainer adult training wheels

Photo from the EZ Trainer website

Over the course of a week, I tinkered with the EZ Trainer. I took it for a spin in a parking lot before I realized that the rear axel wasn’t tight enough. I tried adding washers as spacers, but ultimately I realized that the product wasn’t designed for a frame like mine. I described the problem to their customer service, and they refunded my money after I sent it back. I was crushed!

At this point I thought I was out of luck. First I was moping and sad, then I got mad and determined. I would ride a regular bike!! My main problem with riding is that I can’t look over my left shoulder to check for traffic, so I bought a bike mirror. I asked my wife to drive around an empty parking lot with me so I could experiment with riding without turning my head. It worked! And I was amazed at how steady I felt on the bike. There’s hope for me on two wheels!

So to start my season, I registered for a “splash and dash” — just a 0.25 mile swim and a 3.1 mile run.  My goal is to work on cycling and do a triathlon by the end of the season.