Monday, January 21, 2013

Triathlete's Dream

Close your eyes.  Ok open them just a bit so you can keep reading.  Imagine yourself walking into a locker room.  It smells funky.  The floor is sticky and surely fungus-infested.  It’s crowded with naked people you have zero interest in seeing naked.  There are no empty rows, so you slide past two people mid-change and head towards a locker.  You open the locker door, only to discover it contains a half-eaten banana and a dirty sock.  The next one has a mystery stain.  Third time’s the charm, so you begin to change with laser-like focus, avoiding eye contact at all cost.  It’s awkward.  Heaven forbid the person next to you strikes up a conversation while you’re cheek to cheek.  You get changed and throw your bag in the locker, but of course it won’t fit.  “Oh… you will shut,” you think to yourself.  You jam it in, slam the door, and slap a lock on it.  That was a terrible experience you’ve had many times.

enter at your own risk

I want to contrast that real-world locker room experience with a virtual locker room created just for triathletes.  You walk into a room free of unwanted sights and smells.  You open several lockers, only to discover that they all open up into a room, similar to a walk-in closet.  Each one is full of all the gear that that particular triathlete uses in training and racing, which you are welcome to peruse and ask questions about.  You’re not in a rush… in fact, you want to hang around and check out every locker.  It’s a triathlete’s dream!
This is the world of a new company built by triathletes for triathletes called Triathlete's Choice.  I was recently in contact with the CEO, Jeff Stein, who introduced me to the company.  As part of our conversation, I told him I’d potentially write about the company if I found it interesting (note: not receiving compensation in any way). 

Their website states:

"Ever wanted advice from your friends about what bike, or wetsuit, or watch, or whatever, to buy?  Technical reviews don't really help.  Neither do ratings. Especially not those anonymous forums.  Don't you wish you could just see what other people like you use, and then ask them about whether they like it?  That's TriathletesChoice.  Members on our site build gear lockers to show other athletes the gear they have.  Some of the athletes are professional triathletes who you may recognize.  Most of the athletes are age groupers.  You can search for a product and then see who has it in his or her gear locker or you can browse athlete gear lockers and see what products they have that you like.   Find a gear locker of an athlete whose opinion you value and then ask them about it!  After all, who knows more about a product than someone who is using it!"

I created a profile for myself, which was a snap, and began adding stuff to my locker.  They’re still building out every single item/brand/model you could think of, but I found several items to add.  It was fun, and I think it’s a great way to learn about new triathlon gear.  Go check it out, create a free profile, and add me as a friend.  Virtual or not, it’s sure to be the best locker room experience you’ve ever had!

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