This Guy Used a Bikeshare Bike to Complete a Triathlon

"A good tri bike can weigh about 18 lbs. with 18-plus gears, whereas a Bikeshare bike weighs about 40 lbs. with only three gears."

If you don't know what a triathlon is, it's (typically) an event encompassing a long swim, a long bike ride, and a long run. In other words, a real workout. The Nations First Triathlon in Washington, D.C., involved 1.5 km in the water, 40 km on two wheels, and 10 km on foot.

It's hard enough with proper equipment—and Jefferson Smith, who describes himself as a risk management professional from northern Virginia, knocked out the cycling portion on a bike from Capital Bikeshare, Washington's bike share program.

GOOD: How many triathlons have you finished?

JEFFERSON SMITH: Let's see... one. (Counting the one last weekend).

GOOD: Are you a regular Capital Bikeshare user?

SMITH: Not really, more of an occasional user.

GOOD: For readers who aren't triathletes, would you mind explaining why using a Bikeshare bike in a triathlon is pretty unusual?

SMITH: The heavier the bike, the more energy it takes to move. Elite triathletes try to go as fast as possible and win races. So lightweight, high performance gear meets their competitive needs. A good tri bike can weigh about 18 lbs. with 18-plus gears, whereas a Bikeshare bike weighs about 40 lbs. with only three gears.

GOOD: And so why in the world would you do it?

SMITH: To me, winning was less important. My goal was to get the best workout possible, have fun, and support two great organizations (the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Capital Bikeshare).

I am more of a swimmer. I haven't had a bike since I got my driver's license. I meant to get one for this race, but I guess I ran out of time. Then, I figured that the Bikeshare bike would provide a better workout and challenge me, so why not? It seemed like it would be fun.

GOOD: Was there a point at which you regretted it?

SMITH: I don't know which was more awkward, riding it or walking it around through the transition station. I didn't regret using it, but during the race, I swore to never do it again. I did get an emotional lift from all the smiles and comments that I got along the way though, and cheered a few folks up with my bell.

GOOD: Head-to-head, in a triathlon, do you think you could take Paul Ryan?

SMITH: In the water? Yes. In a bike race? Possibly, but only if we were both on Bikeshare bikes (I'm probably more experienced than he is with those). In a foot race? Not a chance. End result? Unlikely.

Photos courtesy of Jefferson Smith.


Four black women, Engineers Christine Darden and Mary Jackson, mathematician Katherine Johnson, and computer programmer Dorothy Vaughn, worked as "human computers" at NASA during the Space Race, making space travel possible through their complex calculations. Jackson, Johnson, and Vaughn all played a vital role in helping John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth.

They worked behind the scenes, but now they're getting the credit they deserve as their accomplishments are brought to the forefront. Their amazing stories were detailed in the book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, which was later turned into a movie. (Darden was not featured in the movie, but was in the book). Johnson has a building at NASA named after her, and a street in front of NASA's Washington D.C. headquarters was renamed "Hidden Figures Way."

Keep Reading Show less

Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News
Courtesy of John S. Hutton, MD

A report from Common Sense Media found the average child between the ages of 0 and 8 has 2 hours and 19 minutes of screen time a day, and 35% of their screen time is on a mobile device. A new study conducted by the Cincinnati Children's Hospital published in the journal, JAMA Pediatrics, found exactly what all that screen time is doing to your kid, or more specifically, your kid's developing brain. It turns out, more screen time contributes to slower brain development.

First, researchers gave the kids a test to determine how much and what kind of screen time they were getting. Were they watching fighting or educational content? Were they using it alone or with parents? Then, researchers examined the brains of children aged 3 to 5 year olds by using MRI scans. Forty seven brain-healthy children who hadn't started kindergarten yet were used for the study.

They found that kids who had more than one hour of screen time a day without parental supervision had lower levels of development in their brain's white matter, which is important when it comes to developing cognitive skills, language, and literacy.

Keep Reading Show less
via KTVU / YouTube

The 63-year-old Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, currently branded the RingCentral Coliseum, is one of the most decrepit sports venues in America.

The home to the the NFL's Oakland Raiders (until they move to Las Vegas next season) and MLB's A's, is notoriously known as the Black Hole and has made headlines for its frequent flooding and sewage issues.

One of the stadium's few positive aspects is its connection to public transportation.

Keep Reading Show less
Hero Video
via Anadirc / Flickr

We spend roughly one-third of our life asleep, another third at work and the final third trying our best to have a little fun.

But is that the correct balance? Should we spend as much time at the office as we do with our friends and family? One of the greatest regrets people have on their deathbeds is that they spent too much of their time instead of enjoying quality time with friends and family.

Lawmakers in the United Kingdom have made a significant pledge to reevaluate the work-life balance in their country.

Keep Reading Show less