I hate what the concept of free speed has become.
Back in the day, the term “free speed” covered all aspects of racing better. Focus on technique, developing faster transitions, having the cajones to rock a descent without touching the brakes, that kind of thing. Now, it has become the very definition of an oxymoron. Rather than finding speed based on improved skill, now you see advertisements, testimonials, and twitter posts touting “free speed“, all the while being tethered to an image of the latest $10,000 tri bike or $500 helmet.
This is most definitely NOT “free speed“. This is a ton of money for something that saves mere seconds to a few minutes at best over a several hour race. This is buying speed, and I am not a fan.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against the evolution of tech. However, most of the people throwing down literally tens of thousands of dollars in hopes of making up the hour and a half deficit they have to their cherished Kona Qualification are being taken for a ride. But, hey, buyer beware eh?
Let ’em throw money at their dreams and continue to slack on that second to last interval and their Sunday long run. That is part of why I love this sport, it rewards hard work and commitment. What I hate is the use of the term free speed to justify their materialistic desperation. Free speed deserves better than that.
The fact is, free speed doesn’t come for free. Rather it is the seemingly effortless improvement that comes with hours of focus and hard work. We need another term to cover what people are trying to call free speed.
I suggest Tech Viagra.
Luckily this is something we don’t have to deal with too much in the dirtTRI world. When your race format requires you to actually race the bike, without drafting playing a significant roll, yet demanding true fitness and skill the concept of buying speed doesn’t have nearly as much influence. Off road multisport is much more straightforward and pure, and after several years on the road, I can tell you its one hell of a relief. Now, time to go find myself some free speed.