Accidents, particularly bike wrecks, are an unfortunate fact of life in triathlon training. Several team members have been involved in wrecks, so we’ve compiled their advice and information on what to do if you or someone you’re with is in an emergency situation.
First things first : ALWAYS CALL 911 (or UCSD campus police at 858-534-4357)
Almost half a million people a year are taken to the hospital unconscious with no identification whatsoever. This is a serious slowdown to your medical treatment generally and a life-or-death problem if you have any medical conditions. When you bike, bring along your ID and insurance card. If you have medicine allergies or other conditions, we also recommend Road IDs, which are a relatively cheap, unobtrustive way of notifying emergency responders, and increasing your own personal safety. Road IDs are easy to keep on you while running or swimming, and also have your emergency contact information.
It can’t be said enough: get police on the scene, get an ambulance if you need (or might need) hospitalization: if any insurance complications come up later, this step is crucially important.
At the very least, you’re going to want , a name, phone number, and auto insurance policy info. The police, when they come on the scene, will do this as well, but you also should get the information yourself.
At the hospital, fill out the forms and get treated: take care of your health first. Have the bills sent through whatever insurance information you have on you: forwarding those bills to the appropriate channels can happen later as you work with an agent from whatever insurance company the driver has.
In a state of high adrenaline, it can be hard to remember who might be willing to pick you up and bring you home. Think right NOW about 2 or 3 trusted friends who could come get you and wouldn’t mind being called at a random ridiculous hour. Remember that we’ll make team contact information available to you via Google Doc, should you need somebody’s number (most hospitals can get you internet access if that’s what you need).
This may not apply in every situation, but it is very often the case that, if you were doing the right things (e.g. in the bike lane, under the speed limit, and respecting traffic signals), the driver will be found at fault, and their insurance will pay for your health bills and insurance. One of the most important tools in dealing with insurance companies, though, is the police report. Which is why you dialed 911 first thing after the accident.
You’ll want to call the insurance company and make sure there’s a claim on file: the information you collected from the driver should be enough to do this. Talk to team leadership if you have questions, and they will point you to someone who has had experience in this area.
You’ll want to check out a at least one bike shop to get an estimate for the damage done to your bike. If other valuables were lost or damaged (e.g. a cell phone), make sure that you get estimates on those items too. Insurance companies will most likely want to see both an estimate and your replacement value for everything before they cut the check. Make copies of everything!
Joining the team is easy! Here’s what needs to happen.
As a member in good standing (you’ve paid dues), you receive a team uniform, access to our workouts, coaches, and athletic trainers, and reimbursement for most of the races you do with UCSD Triathlon. Additionally, you are entitled to the numerous sponsorship deals that the team has negotiated with various companies (see the list of our sponsors).
YES! While having your own bike is a big advantage, we realize that it can also be a big investment. Entry level road bikes that are suitable for training and racing start around $700. Fortunately, the team has sponsorship deals set up which allow team members to purchase bikes at significant discounts. In addition to new bikes, senior team members can help new athletes purchase used bikes through various classified services. Until you decide to take the plunge on a bike of your own, you are welcome to come swim and run with the team.
There are a number of upfront costs when starting out in triathlon. However, once you have invested in the equipment, it does not cost much to continue doing the sport from year to year. Our team tries to make entry into the sport accessible by keeping our membership dues low and by seeking out sponsorships from a number of well respected companies. We currently have a number of arrangements in place to get most of the equipment that you will need at significantly discounted prices.
Here is a list of essential gear that you will need to start training and racing with the team.
Additionally, there is no shortage of fancy triathlon equipment, which will make you go faster, look cooler, stay more comfortable, or all of the above. Once you get into the sport more, you should consider some of the following items. Again, we can usually get the following things at good discounts from our sponsors.
YES! While having some experience in each of the sports is a big help, it will not keep you from practicing and racing with us. Every triathlete has their strong and weak events. Our practices seek to develop each person’s weaknesses, while honing their strengths. As a team, we strive to create well-balanced, competitive athletes.
Our team is open to all students at UCSD and is composed of a wide range of athletes – from complete beginners to decorated elites. As such, we have athletes who train at many different speeds and intensities. Chances are good that there will be someone you can train with. It is also very common that new members are intimidated by our sport and under-estimate their own potential. If you are uncertain of your fitness, we recommend coming to practice and taking things slow. With some time and dedication most athletes improve far beyond what they ever thought possible. In addition, our team strives to be inclusive of new athletes – ask around at a practice if you have questions, and we promise you’ll find a lot of helpful people.
1. Go to the race website: historically, we have gone to an early February race at UC Irvine (the Zot Trot), an early-March race at UCLA (the Ironbruin), and the WCCTC championships hosted by Cal Poly SLO (the March Triathlon Series), so search for these if you don’t have a link!
2. Click on “REGISTER” – this will most likely take you to active.com or eventbrite.com.
3. Select the “Collegiate” race
4. You will need your USAT number and a credit card number. (If prompted for a WCCTC number, this is just your USAT number).
In general the collegiate races do not sell out as quickly as most races, but we suggest registering early to guarantee a spot. Races like Wildflower, will have price increases as the race nears, but we will let you know when this occurs. Also, the team will only reimburse the cheapest entry option.
No, but we recommend buying an annual membership for $40. Otherwise its $12/race for one-day race permit and you run into problems like you can’t score points for the team, or compete in nationals with a one-day pass. Plus, you get a cool keychain tag and list of things to bring to every race. Info is available at usatriathlon.org
In short, Nationals team selection is up to our coaches and captains. Their decisions are based on race performance, practice attendance, team commitment, and overall attitude. This means you can’t show up at the conference championships after not being a part of the team all year and expect to race nationals. However, it also means you can’t just be at all practices early every day and volunteer everywhere and go just based on that, either.
It’s normally fairly clear who has earned the privilege to go, but if there are equally qualified candidates then the final decision is up to the coaches.
There is a long list, and we highly recommend packing your race bag the night before.
Extras (but they help):
Our main practices are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings, and our Sunday group ride starting at 8AM from the UCSD Bike Shop.
Besides our official team practices, people also workout on their own throughout the week. The team email list is the main forum for announcing workouts and finding other people to workout with.
Team practices are not mandatory, but you should attend as many as you can. Of course, we are all students, so we understand if you have conflicts with school or have a big deadline.
For turbo practices (Mon and Thurs), we’ll put our bikes on stationary trainers and focus on interval training. Monday’s Turbo practice will also include a run workout after we get off the bike.
Track practices (Weds) will work on speed and pacing using shorter intervals.
Swim practices will train technique and endurance.
Long rides (Sun) focus on group-riding skills and bike handling, as well as endurance
For a turbo workout, you will need to bring your bike, as well as, shoes to ride and run in. Most people wear bike shorts and t-shirts (or some sort of athletic top). Additionally, you will want to bring a water bottle and, if you sweat a lot, a small workout towel. The team will provide the stationary trainers.
For running workouts on the track, just come wearing clothes to run in and your running shoes. You may also want to bring a water bottle.
For what to bring on the Saturday ride, please see the Bike FAQ.
For the swim, you need goggles and a swimsuit, and (usually) hand paddles, size S or XS.
Swim practices last about an hour, but some people will stay in and swim longer.
Monday and Wednesady practices can last between an hour and an hour and a half, depending on the workout.
The Sunday bike rides typically go from 8am to 11am, which includes times to stop for breaks and to let everyone regroup. Occasionally, the group will split up and people will ride shorter or longer.
To find people to train with, join the team email list and look for announcements. Also, if you want some company on a workout, send an email to the list and invite people to join you.
Note: all this stuff will fit nicely in the back pockets of a cycling jersey + a small saddlepack- there’s no need to bring along a backpack.
The team ride on Saturday can follow any number of routes, depending on how far people want to go and how adventurous people are feeling. However, our default Saturday ride is a 40 mile route that starts at the UCSD Bikeshop in the Old Student Center. and heads North through Del Mar and Rancho Sante Fe before heading out to the coast and back along Coast Highway. This is typically referred to as the “Rancho Ride”. There are a several variations of the this ride for those wanting less or more mileage. You can see a map of the Rancho Ride and couple variations here.
During the week, people will do short aerobic rides in the mornings. Look for email on the team list to find out when these are happening. Typically these rides are about 25 miles long and often go up and back along Coast Highway
Additionally, here are some of the longer routes that the team does from time to time:
The team has sponsorship deals in place which allow team members to purchase bikes at significant discounts. New entry-level road bikes that are suitable for training and racing start around $700. In addition to the bike, you should also expect to spend another $100 to $200 dollars for other bike-related accessories (helmet, bike shorts, shoes, etc)
For a good summary of road bike features and components you can look at the UC Cyclery buyers guide. You will want to find a bike that has at least “enthusiast” level components (the gears and other pieces that make up the bike’s drive train). This will ensure good performance and longeveity for your bike.
Many people on the team are happy to help new members learn about and find bikes. If you are looking for a bike, please ask one of the captains or senior team members for help.
Three big things:
Here’s a good primer: http://www.jimlangley.net/
In general, Google is your friend! Learning to fix your own bike requires only a little bit of special equipment, but it can save you a lot of money, and will make your races and group rides go much more smoothly.