Aqua Bike – finally a new alternative to relay!

Aqua Bike has now made it to Ireland – and no – you don’t have your bike in the water (surprising how many people think this)

For those of us who don’t run, or can’t run due to injury or long term issues , its a godsend because our only options if we want to compete is go relay (facing the joys of finding someone who wants to run – pay extra and hope they don’t drop out the day before) or be DNF, which means you don’t rate at all.

On the upside of Aqua Bike you get to lay it all out there on the swim and leave your kidneys at the side of the road on the bike, and then so long as you can get over the dismount line without getting knotted up in your bike, you are done!

Unfortunately a little part of you forgets that you don’t have to run, and you do still hold a little something back.  Its only when you are through the dismount and you realise with relief that it is over, that you could have pushed harder ….and then kick yourself with your one good leg!

Another downside is you don’t get your big finish line moment – no one to cheer you in. There is a mixed feeling of huge relief you don’t have to run combined with “oh…so that’s that then…right. Where’s the food?”

Having competed in the 2nd Aqua Bike in Ireland in Lanesboro, which is by far the warmest swim ever , the water in Lough Ree was rough enough making visibility of the yellow minion buoys poor at times especially with no landmarks behind them to use on 2 of them.
The bike was closed road (bliss!) somewhat flat – more gently rolling – with a very tight turnaround point but very nice to be smooth and car free!
The Two Provinces Tri put on a very well organised race, plus a kids event and Tri a Tri, complete with hot food post race.

Distance wise, 750 swim/2ok cycle is a little short but would be flat out, It would be more tasty with 1500m swim and 30-40k cycle if it were a stand alone event. More clubs could add Aqua Bike to their Triathlon race categories! It does not require any additional work or routes, just a prize for first home M and F – and maybe a wee fanfare for them as they cross the dismount line.

Some food for thought, in the same way there are dedicated races like Aquathon (Swim Run), Duathlon (Run Bike Run).. it would be interesting to try a purely AquaBike event – racing over the finish line while on bike like a mad eejit instead of slowing down to dismount.
For those who love to swim and bike – we can dream!