Triathlon Coach Janet Wilson: USAT Certified Triathlon Coach for athletes from beginner to Ironman

Triathlon Coach - Triathlon Coach Janet Wilson - Tulsa, Oklahoma -

I have 30 years of experience in Multisport events and training, ranking nationally in my age group for several years. I am a Level One Certified Coach with USA Triathlon and a Certified Masters Swim Coach. I reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where I do personal coaching. I also coach athletes online. I have coached people at all levels, including many first-time triathletes and can help you achieve your triathlon and fitness goals. Services I provide for clients include:

Develop distance-specific triathlon training plans
Get you started on your first triathlon
Sharpen your skills in the three disciplines
Oversee triathlon-specific weight training
Provide triathlon-specific stretching exercises
Give you pointers (triathlon gear, triathlon transitions, and triathlon race strategy)
Oversee and coach speed work
Provide swimming instruction and swim tips

Contact me at 918-760-7167 or email me:

How To Pack a Bike Case for Your Next Triathlon

Heading out of town for your next race? Here are some tips for packing your triathlon bike.

Is your next big race halfway across the country? Traveling a long distance to a triathlon adds a lot of additional stress and potential problems before the starting gun even goes off. Here are some tips on how to pack your bike and gear so that everything gets to the transition area – including you – in good shape and ready to race.

Step 1: You start with a good bike case. If you travel a lot you should buy one. If you don’t, go to your local bike shop and see if you can rent one (that is what I usually do). When you open up the case you will see three layers of foam. You sandwich the bike and wheels between the layers of foam (that is my wetsuit on top – you can safely ship your wetsuit on top of the top layer of foam and against the top plastic case):

Here is the “before” picture – to fit the bike into the case you will have to remove the wheels, aero bars, seat, and the pedals. You will also need to loosen the handlebars so that they can fold under the frame.

Step 2: Take off your aero bars – make sure that you pack whatever tool you use to loosen the hex nuts. Also watch for things like where your brake cables are situated (you might want to take some digital pictures of your bike setup as you are taking it apart to remind you when you go to put it back together at your race site). Put all the hardware into a ziplock bag. Here you can see I’ve got one of the two elbow pads off and am working on the second one):

Step 3: Loosen the handlebars where the handlebar stem attaches to the bars. You don’t want to remove them – just loosen them enough so you can move them to the left or right (here I have moved the bar to show you how it looks after loosened):

Step 4: Take off your seat. IMPORTANT – mark where your seat meets your frame with some electrical tape. This makes getting the correct seat height easy when you are putting the bike back together at the race.

Step 5: Remove the pedals using a pedal wrench (if you don’t have one you’ll have to buy one to take with you so you can get the pedals on at the race). Put the pedals into their own ziplock bag.

Step 6: Take off both wheels. Once you have them off, be sure and let the air out of them (that way they don’t blow while in transit). You will also need to take the skewers out of each wheel (just unscrew each skewer – be careful to keep the springs on each skewer). Once you pull these out, store the skewers in a ziplock bag. Just set the wheels aside when you are done:

Step 7: You may need to tie your derailleur closer to your bike frame for it to fit properly into your case (this is especially true if you have one of the smaller cases like the one I’m using here). I just use an old shoelace, although you could also use a small bungie cord.

Step 8: Now you start packing the bike. Put one of the layers of foam on one of the two sides of the case. Then you put the bike frame on top of that layer of foam. Turn the handlebars so they are flat against the foam and rotate them under the top tube like in the picture below:

Step 9: Next you start putting in everything you took off. These parts are normally in their own plastic bags (this will prevent them from accidentally rubbing up against the frame and scratching it). You may have to use a little trial and error here, but the key is to place things in a space where they aren’t on top of or right next to the frame. In this picture you can see the aero bar is in the space between the seatpost and the corner of the box. The seat can fit between the downtube and the bottom bracket of the bike. Fit the pedals, elbow pads, skewers and other gear in some of the other gaps.

Step 10: Once you get the bike itself packed you can also pack your tools, bike helmet, empty water bottles, etc. in the same level as the bike. Here is an example of how you want things to look when the first level of your bike case is fully packed:

Step 11: Next, put the second layer of foam on top of the bike. On top of this layer of foam you put the two wheels. Put the back wheel in first. Face the cassette on the back wheel down toward the bike so it doesn’t damage the front wheel. Here is how they look when they are packed:

Step 12: Put the third layer of foam on top of the wheels. If you are packing your wetsuit in your bike case put it on top of this third layer of foam. Put the top part of the case on top of this and latch it. You will want the case to compress everything some, so that nothing is moving inside the case. However, if it requires more than a push to get the case closed you might want to check to see that the bike is laying as flat as it can in that first layer.

I hope this is helpful. If you have any comments or suggestions for other “How To” guides, please let me know.

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