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The Golden Rules of the Transition Area


Rule #1: Confine yourself to your actual transition spot. 

Please, no chairs next to your bike and, ideally, no kiddie pools. Which, yes, I have seen.


Rule #2: An addendum to confining yourself to your spot: 

Leave space for everyone else. Face your bike in the opposite direction of the bikes next to it. You know what happens when handlebars overlap? Bad things. Put your dry clothes and backpacks off to the side too, out of the lane of traffic, or give them to a friend. Use your Type A personality here.


Rule #3: Headphones and chatting are fine before a race 

(more on that in our next rules), but not during.


Rule #4: Share information. 

Know when your wave starts, where the bathrooms are, or if it’s a no-wetsuit swim. Share that knowledge with your neighbors—but only as much as they’re asking for it. No one wants unsolicited advice before a race.


Rule #5: Share bike pumps. 

And anything else extra you might have that someone else needs. A borrowed pair of goggles from a stranger saved a race for me once.


Rule #6: Respect the vibe. 

I’ve been at college races where the transition zone could be mistaken for a party. And I’ve been in pro racks where no one spoke a word. If you’re a talker or, heaven forbid, a hugger, then find the other talkers and huggers. But stay away from anyone wearing headphones. They’re not wearing the headphones because they want to invite conversation.


The ultimate rule: 

Remember it’s your race, but it’s also everyone else’s race too. Do what you need to do, but let everyone else do what they need to do too—as long as what they need to do doesn’t involve being naked in public. Someone else has to sit in that seat after you, and volunteers have to stand around transition all day. Ask for what you want from them, but don’t yell. Transition is an emotional place. We understand. But let’s not let our emotions or nerves or game face get the best of us.


Above all else (and I wish I didn’t have to write this): Please don’t pee in the changing tents.


Hints were borrowed from

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