Monday, January 11, 2016

The NeverEnding Story—The Challenge Continues

Shortly after the Ironman Western Australia (IMWA) last month, my friend, Teo Chen Lung, threw out yet a new challenge to me. He said we should bet on dinner for the 113 Sabah Triathlon on 13 March 2016. I was then still recovering from the torture of IMWA and wasn't quite sure how to react to that challenge. Originally, the IMWA was supposed to have been the ultimate challenge according to Teo, because he said he was going to "retire" after the IMWA. He explained that all future races would be strictly for medal-collection only. I was, like, OK, so yet another challenge, I suppose I could still play along just for one more race against Teo. 

After we were done with the IMWA, we decided to visit Tasmania and Melbourne, and it was in Melbourne when Teo surprised everybody; he bought himself a new tribike—the Cervelo P5. Never mind the price of his new bike; let me just say that it's very expensive. I'm guessing that very few average Malaysian wage earners can save up for the cost of the Cervelo P5 within 3 years, maybe even 5 years. The bike is an awesome piece of modern technology. Here's what it looks like:

Notice that the brake and gear-shifter cables are concealed. I'm afraid I'm not an expert on bikes; I know just enough of the very basic stuff. Of course I know how to fix a puncture reasonably fast these days. When I started cycling a few years ago, I tried to help a friend to fix her puncture, but it was a horrible and embarrassing failure. I blogged about that experience here.

Anyway, one of the main reasons for the concealed cables on the P5 is that that can help to reduce air resistance when the bike is in motion, i.e. the attempt to make the bike as aerodynamic as possible. In fact the whole design of the bike—the frame, the wheels, the fork etc—is in such a way to make it aerodynamic so that, according to Teo, the bike can slice through the air with minimal air resistance.

That word aerodynamic has a kind of magical effect on Teo. I fancy that he spends at least half of his days trying to figure out a way on how to improve the aerodynamics of his bike. For example, for the IMWA, he actually designed his own bike pouch by diligently cutting out a cardboard model and then sending that to the tailor to custom-make the pouch; all for the sake of aerodynamics. Needless to say, even his bike accessories such as water bottles and helmet are all carefully chosen on grounds of aerodynamics.

I'm thinking maybe if he searched hard enough, he would be able to find a size XXXL condom in the market, so that he could wear that over his head when racing since that can surely help to make his head more aerodynamic? Umm... I'm talking about the head on his shoulders, of course. This is on the assumption that he has a convincing explanation for his wife. The only downside of that plan is that he may just die from suffocation, but hey, it's worth it for the sake of aerodynamics, you know! Knowing that he is a professional civil engineer, I carefully refrain from reminding him that the human body is very un-aerodynamic. Come to think of it, I never did pay any attention on his legs. It's entirely possible that he shaved his legs too.

So now the 113 Sabah Triathlon will be yet another epic race between Teo and me. Since this will be a Half Ironman distance triathlon, he said he will go "all out from start to finish". The funny thing is that both of us are not very strong triathletes, and our speed is perhaps just average and nothing to shout about. But we behave like we are pros! And that makes us even more entertaining than the real pros!

I think it will be an uphill task against Teo in the coming 113 Sabah Triathlon, because it's a much shorter race than the IMWA and of course the P5 factor, but I'm sure as hell not gonna let him win without a fight! Win or lose, it doesn't matter much to me; I'm happy with whatever outcome as long as I've given it my best shot. Just that winning will come at a cost—chances are Teo will then delay his "retirement" once again and will challenge me to yet another showdown somehow. This kind of NeverEnding story has been going on for far too long, and physically I'm just getting very tired. I just don't know how much longer I can keep it up! I really need a break!

No comments: