>This past weekend, I wet to visit family on Long Island and spend some time with my sisters baby. Little Jack is so cute and filled with wonder about his new life on planet earth. During dinner he sits in this baby seat that swings lightly from side to side with a cute little smile on his face. I think he is already enjoying the busy and loud Long Island dinners we have.

Little Jack 

It was nice to be back on Long Island for a visit. Maija and I left New Jersey early around 6:45 so I could get dropped off in Queens at the Triangle ride. We took the B-Q-E (Brooklyn, Queens, Expressway) instead of the Belt Parkway because it’s easier to hop on the 495 LI Expressway to Queens. Only bad thing about this route is the horrible traffic the BQE has 7AM in the morning. I guess it’s expected considering it’s the 6th worst trafficked road in the United States. Add in some crazy drivers, stop go traffic, 1ft deep pot holes, and you have a disaster area for anyone who suffers from motion sickness. This morning Cooper (our dog) won that award. As we were sitting in some bumper to bumper traffic I opened the window for Cooper to look out but I suppose he thought this was his Que to start throwing up. Luckily we had a plastic bag on hand so most of it got outside the window, in the bag, and on my backpack. Aside from Cooper getting sick, I too had a bad case of food poisoning and stopped three times to go to the bathroom before we made it to Queens. Somehow I still managed to do the Triangle Group Ride even though I probably lost 5lbs. Sometimes I tend to forget how busy LI really is. Even while in a pack of riders on a Saturday morning you are always accompanied by traffic.  

The next day Maija and I woke up at about 4:00 AM to head out east (Suffolk County) to an Xterra race in Wading River. This 600+ acre retreat is owned by the local boy scouts group. We pulled into to small parking lot and both Maija and I realized this was not your everyday Triathlon. The atmosphere was relaxed, the people were more “outdoorsy”. It was a nice feeling to be around. 

I’ve had more experience in Triathlon spectating than in Triathlon racing. Spectating enables your perspective to broaden as you watch the athletes ready themselves for the upcoming event. A lot of road triathlon competitors seem to have their strict rituals and somber facial expressions. I didn’t see any of this at the Xterra race. The athletes seemed a bit more mild tempered and graciously loquacious. Granted, this was not your everyday triathlon, nor was it a popular one but it still posed as a good example of triathlons I would like to race (If I ever do) in the future. 

Here is Maija and I at about 5:00 AM at my parents house having breakfast.

The T1 and T2 Transition area was smaller than other transition areas I’ve seen.
Maija getting her transition area ready for her 1st ever Xterra.
This place is on Long Island? How beautiful! 

The race start was called by the guy in the red shirt in the above picture. A lot different than most other Triathlon starts. He just started talking about random stuff and then sent the first wave on their way. Maija had a great race and ended up winning it even after taking a spill on my $45 beater of a mountain bike. 

I might have an Xterra pro girlfriend!! 
Maija and I took a dip in the lake after the race was over. 
We swam all the way out to the pelican on the wooden plank and back.
(Please excuse my 90% untanned body!) 
I’m a cyclist! 

I was impressed with the feeling of Xterra triathlons. They are less strictly organized races off the beaten path which gravitates my interest. My future of endurance racing is still strongly connected to bicycle racing. I cannot see myself giving up the hard work I have put into my competitive racing career so far, but you never know what the future holds. I’ve always told myself to remain opening minded when it comes to endurance racing and I if I ever move into the Triathlon scene it will be for Xterra racing. 

Get a little mud on the tires!