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Why I Won't Tri (Plus My Big Confession)

I'm a runner. There, I said it. Plus...the idea of a triathlon scares the living daylights out of me. You guys, triathletes have to be awesome at THREE sports. At the same time. Plus all the changing in between? Craziness.


No, I can't.

I can't tell you my one flaw. (Promise, there's just the one. I'm basically perfect.)

Alright, fine. But no laughing, ok?

I. Can't. Ride. A. Bike. 


Hey! I said no laughing! Somehow throughout my life I never mastered the art of biking. Have I ridden on a bike? Yes. Here's when:

1) When I was about 11, I rode my grandmother's bike with no problems. P.S. It had 3 wheels and a nifty basket.
2) On a trip to Europe with classmates, everyone decided on a bike ride around Salzburg. Rather than tell them I couldn't, I just got on and pedaled. And crashed. Repeatedly. For hours. I ended up walking it back to our hostel.
3) When I lived in Germany at 16, I finally decided enough was enough and tried to go on a bike ride with my mom. Once I got on, the seat broke. Sign from God? I say yes.

So there you have it. My long and distinguished cycling career. I could handle the running in a tri, could train to get my swimming up to par, but then....? Well, if I can push the bike the whole way, I'd be fine.

P.S. When people tell me "it's as easy as riding a bike," I cry a little inside.

Fess up. I need confessions from each and every one of you to make me feel better about myself!
I'm not kidding. Spill, people. 

What's something you want to learn?
I'd love to learn: to speak a new language, to ride a bike, and to grow an amazing garden!


  1. Oh dear. Sweetheart, I can't swim. All we need is some biker/swimmer who can't run and we'll make a fantastic relay team.

  2. They have events called aquathons and splash & dash, which there are just the swim and run without the bike part, if your looking to switch things up, maybe those can be an idea.

  3. I cannot swim at all and have a slight fear of the water. I even took swimming lessons as a child and since I sucked so much the instructors gave up and made me use a paddle board. I then proceeded to go backwards when I used the paddle board. I think they really gave up when they would just let me ride around in the canoe with them.

    When I hear about open water swims I want to shrivel up and die. I will never do a tri for that reason.

  4. Ummm yeah I can ride a bike but not in any sort of coordinated fashion. I may be the worst swimmer ever...I would LOVE to learn to swim. This post is totally a legit confession. No shame needed!

  5. I have thought about duathlons just because I can't TRI either.... I can't swim.

    I took lessons before we bought the sailboat in 2001 - I was the worst in my class. Float? Yes, I can do that but swim, not so much.

    I don't even really like being in the water... other than a hot bathtub!

    I agree with Julie. No shame in your post! :)

  6. Oh gosh! I imagine it would be so terrifylingy Difficult to learn how to ride a bike now. :)

    My confession is that I am not excited to be training for the Chicago marathon and 2 other half marathons I have in the next 3 months. I love running, but I'm not loving training and doing these events- at least right now. I'm scared I'll get re injured. :(

  7. I am seriously awful at riding a bike. I can do it but it's not pretty.

    My confession is that I do not know how to dive. It always ends up being a belly flop. So yeah no tri for me either. :)

  8. I can't swim either. Other than an awkward backstroke. I am determined to learn though.

    It makes me feel better I am not alone!

    And I was 20 before I learned how to ride a bike.

  9. I can't swim, I could kill it in a doggy paddle race, maybe a treading water competition - but in a Tri - no way...oh and I learned to ride a bike, and had a pink one with unicorns all over it, but road bikes (the racing kind) scare the Sh** out of me! I tried to ride my moms, wobbled a lot and cried a little before walking it back to her (I only made it down a quarter of my street).

    So I am out of both duathlons and spash & dashes!

  10. Girl, you've gotta learn! Riding bikes is so much fun!

    No confessions from me- I'm wayyy to insecure about that. ahahaha

  11. I can "swim" but I am terrified of trying to do it in a tri...I would be super slow, have poor form (doggie paddle is a form of swimming right??) and probably get kicked in the face.

    You should meet a swimmer and a cyclist and do a team relay!

  12. I'm from Hawaii but terrified of open water swims! I can swim, but prefer to not be in the open water... freaks me out! Maybe because I'm fully aware of what's out there and what could happen.

    And I have a fear of dogs. All of them.

  13. Oh no!!! Are you willing to try again to learn to ride a bike?? Hmm.... I don't know what to confess... I can't really cook. Does that count?

  14. I won't ever do a triathalon because I'm terrified of being kicked in the face during the swim. I've done lap swims where I've shared a lane and have gotten kicked and smacked into, it's just not fun. Open water swimming would surely kill me, or at least knock out my teeth.

  15. I would never attempt one either. Maybe a and run. I am a HORRIBLE swimmer!!

  16. I'm sure you could do it! You seem to be able to do what you put your mind to + athletic! But, there's no shame in not riding either!

    I just ditched my marathon goal for the easier 1/2 marathon because my heart isn't in it. That's technically quitting...which I hate. Make you feel any better?

  17. Along those lines: I can't rollerskate/rollerblade/ice skate. I fall and fall and fall some more. When I'm able to catch some speed and stay upright, I can't stop without falling. I don't know what it is, but I just can't do it.

  18. I'm training for my first tri right now but biking is BY FAR my most hated sport and I still feel really nervous and a bit shaky on my bike. Hopefully I'll get used to it soon because I only have 6 weeks till my tri!

  19. Girl.. I am training for my first tri right now, but it's SWIMMING that I am worried about! The only reason I'm attempting to do this one is because it's done in a POOL! I JUST learned how to go underwater without plugging my nose. I've been paying someone to give me the basics, since no one thought it was important for me to learn how to swim as a child! lol

  20. Hmmm- I cannot for the life of me place things in history. I don't know when things happened- I could mix up the 1860s and 1960s...
    There, I think that's way worse than not being able to ride a bike :)

  21. "P.S. When people tell me "it's as easy as riding a bike," I cry a little inside." are beyond awesome. Here's what we'll do.. we'll go to costco, get a couple beach cruisers, and we'll start with the basics. Baby steps, girl!! =)

  22. Let's do a team tri. I'll bike and swim, you just run :D I think it's doable. Plus we'll totally win.

    I am awful at geography. I've been through (DRIVEN through no less) 27 states but God help me if I have an unlabelled map of the US.

  23. At least you tried to ride multiple times!!! That's all that matters! :)

  24. Not to make fun, but--it's really funny that you can't ride a bike! So here, make fun of me: I can't use chopsticks. Never mastered it and am always embarrassed if we eat at an Asian restaurant.

  25. SO here's 2 thoughts I have for you:
    Option 1: Be part of a Tri relay (my training partner "L" did the swimming leg while one of her friends did the run and one of her co-workers did the run - totally a great Tri plan!!)

    Option 2 - and seriously this idea is THE BOMB (Probably don't say that post 9/11 huh, well, you get the ideas - it's a GREAT idea!!!):
    Ride your grandma's tricycle bike during your Tri (I also vote for knee and elbow pads). I vote you wear a badass shirt and just do the tri like you have no idea why people are looking at you strangely!!!!

    Okay, seriously here's a confession about bike riding. I hadn't ridden a bike for 9 years and decided I would ride to work - UMMMM, I truly have to tell you that I was incredibly out of breath and felt sooo wobbly! How do you "forget to ride a bike?" Well, I'm here to tell you - it's possible. I think my epic bike commute was cut short after 3 miles.

  26. Ahahaha sorry, I'm not laughing that you can't ride a bike. I'm laughing at the hilarity of this post. You are so funny,

    I am the same. I would totally do a tri but I can't SWIM. I mean I could survive in a swimming pool by treading water or pretend to surf because the board is like a huge floaty device...but to actually open water swim for a long distance? That terrifies me.

  27. I bet you feel lighter already after getting that off your chest!
    I can't swim more than a pathetic dog paddle, only until I laugh so hard I sink. I needed to be fished out of the water slide area at Disney by a lifeguard with a long pole. I was in my 20's.

  28. I can ride a bike, but I just didn't for like 10 years and forgot how. After a major fall in the middle of Michigan Ave. here in Chicago during rush hour where I flipped over my handle bars in front of a huge crowd of people and caused even more traffic while I was bleeding all over the place, I started back at square one. You can do it. It just takes some time to get used to.

  29. I haven't been on a bike since junior high - don't feel bad! Same goes for rollerblades... though I'd really like to master them!

  30. Ah! I can't swim either! Glad I am no the only one! What's pathetic is I even took a class in college and STILL can't swim!

  31. After 6 summers spent in swim lessons....I can tread water & that's it. I *might* bust out a doggy paddle if in a major water crisis. However, my limited skilz pretty much rule out a tri....and/or the olympic swim team. lol

  32. girl you are hilarious i love you!
    my swimming skills lack..when i was younger and at camp i was always put in a swim level below my little sister. she is 4 years younger than me :(

  33. oh man i love this post because people are always saying i should try a tri and i tell them: the last time i got on a bike my butt hated me for days (my mistake i wore running shorts and got major chaffage) and i've also had way too many dorky bike accidents. i also hate the water, and that sums my feelings up. lol

  34. i forgot if it's okay to laugh or not? lol!

    truth: i USED to be able to ride a bike but, it's been a very, very long time. supposedly you never forget how to ride a bike. or swim. or drive a stick shift. these are imperative life skills. i think.

    i have no interest in triathlons but mostly because i can't afford all of the equipment and do not have enough time to train for three sports. running is good for me.

  35. awwwwwwww "I cry a little inside..."

    tri's scare me too!! but mostly for the swimming part. Maybe you should try to ride again, but in a less pressured not with a big group of people in another country!! Or you could always do a dualathon if you wanted!!!

  36. I have always wanted to try a tri as well, but to be honest there is really only about two that are offered in the area where I live during the summer, and they are pretty pricey so I have never really had the desire to commit to one.
    Something I have always wanted to learn how to do is Surf!

  37. OMG!!!! I am JUST like you!! I have never really ridden a bike. On our honeymoon my hubby decided that we should rent bikes and ride them along the beach. Hahahahaha, it was a DISASTER!! He still makes fun of me today about my lack of bike riding skills. I haven't been on a bike since. I stick to the stationary bike at the gym ;)

  38. i have no rhythm none whatsoever. check out my post on me "dancing" uhh yea...and i totally thought the site for was utube and got totally scammed

  39. I don't think I will ever do a triathalon either, my boyfriend is doing one in September. He really liks swimming as exercise. I'm not a real big swimmer, so that's why it doesn't interest me.

  40. oh my goodness. i'm sorry - I did laugh a little. lol.

    confession: I can't whistle.

  41. So, you don't really have to be awesome at three sports. You can muscle through it if the distance is short enough. I'm kind of awful at running but it's ok! :D

    Also, I didn't learn how to ride a bike until I was 11. Then, I rode for a year. Then, I picked up a bike last year, sucked terribly, had to learn how to ride again, and I'm doing a tri now. I know you can do it :))

    Seriously, there's way too much I want to learn, haha. I'd like to learn how to better my mental game. :)

    Confession: I can only whistle inwards, but I can't blow air out. I'm kindof a loser. lol

  42. I couldn't swim to save my life. That's why I haven't ever done a tri, but someday I hope I can learn to swim. I think it's cute that you can't ride a bike. :)

  43. I have no intentions of "TRI"-ing since
    1. I don't have a pool to practice swimming
    2. I don't have a bike to practice biking
    3. I just don't feel like it.

    I applaud those that do because it is something to be proud of! I enjoy just the running, that's it.

    My confession has nothing to do with the above but I hate the dark. I am terribly afraid when the power goes out. Argh! And I am claustrophobic. Not cool when you combine the two.

  44. "I cry a little inside" - hehe, so cute!

    I can't swim well at all. I can doggie paddle just fine though. {facepalm}

  45. haha, well I guess the phrase "it's like riding a bike... you never forget" will never apply to you!

    It's okay... I'm afraid of roller coasters lol

  46. Love it. I can't drive a manual car-I would have no idea. I also have a really hard time saying No.

  47. haha... just sub the word "swim" for bike in your post and i could have written this post :)

  48. I'm not alone!
    I thought that I was the only grown woman in the known universe who would love to do a tri except for the whole bicycle thing :)
    Perhaps we should all band together and petition that we be allowed to put training wheels on triathlon bikes. That might work!

  49. Love this!!

    I haven't rode a bike in ages. I would probably die if I tried again!

  50. swimming = side stroke or backstroke. I'm REALLY good at picking apples and putting them into my basket (how i was taught how to do the sidestroke) and I'm AWESOME doing the backstroke (thank you super long arms), but swimming is the reason I wont' "tri" -- you are not alone :)

  51. Aw, that makes me sad! I'll teach you how to ride a bike!!

  52. this is so cute. trust me, no one laughed, and everyone knows someone who can't bike/swim/whistle/snap.

    I can't think of any appropriate secrets for myself. Oh:I don't know how to play chess. or monopoly. I've never seen gone with the wind. Or pulp fiction.


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