Back in the early Penticton Ironman days, biking naked or at least near naked was pretty cool. We didn’t have all the fancy triathlon clothing to choose from like there is today.
I guess I’m dating myself but when I was in Penticton doing book-signings for the 2009 edition of the Penticton Ironman Triathlon in August, I overheard a conversation that brought back a lot of memories about biking naked. Well almost!
This one guy said to his buddy, “can you imagine? There were guys who used to do the entire Ironman with just a Speedo swimsuit and a running top on. They were damn near biking naked“.
“Hey”! I thought. “That’s me they’re talking about!”
It’s completely true. Except for that little Speedo and a flimsy running top we were darn near biking and running with next to nothing on.
One year was particularly ugly that the temperature turned cold almost without warning and there was a driving rain. We were still hitting speeds of 50MPH(80k) going down the Yellow Lake Hill in the final portion of the bike course.
I can remember stopping at a roadside turn-off at the bottom of the hill because I couldn’t feel my arms or legs anymore. I wasn’t alone.
There must have been about 15 of us who had pulled off the course. Talk about biking naked. When I look back, you probably could have the clothes all of us were wearing and they wouldn’t have filled a plastic grocery bag.
For all the good our Speedo’s were doing that day we might as well have been anything on.
I guess those would qualify as the good old days of the Penticton Ironman Triathlon when dressed pretty much the same.
I have to admit that it had it’s good points. Our wetsuits fit much better with just a swim suit underneath as opposed to a tri-suit. Except for a few really bad years like the one I just mentioned, it was normally pretty hot. Except for the early stages of the bike and you really didn’t need any more clothes and biking with next to nothing on was not so bad.
Actually it was great in the run to be wearing as little as possible. In later years when I switched to a tri-suit they would actually become hot and constricting. I should also mention that those particular Speedo swimsuits were made for triathletes and had padding for the bike in the important areas.
One thing I can tell you though about those years of biking and running near naked was that I could never get enough of all the women spectators along the course who would whistle at us. Yes sir! Biking naked. Those were the good old days.