I'll admit I've been cautious about ordering any kit - still wondering at the moment, for all I've now been here for a year or so. I'm one who found tri independently of Mr. Holgate's book, but found this forum because of it.
I've met a few pirates at races now, I comment occasionally, and I've certainly had some good advice from those who have been there far longer than I have (and hopefully occasionally given some to newbies who are making mistakes I still remember making!). All that is the business of joining a group and getting to know people, as far as I am concerned. It's something I'm hoping to do more of.
There's also the question of whether putting on a pirate top is a commitment to the longer distances of tri - I've no idea whether myself or the wife will make it up to the big one yet. We'll see how the Vitruvian goes this year.
So yes, I'm one of the new influx. And no, there's no commitment to Iron distance yet. Am I enough a part of this to pull on a pirate top yet? Dunno. Still wondering that myself!
Also hunting a new bike, but was very disappointed with the options at the Sandown 220 tri show - only the highly specialist bike boys who assume you have 2 grand to spend, and then add "plus bike fit" if you haven't collapsed by then. Wasn't too impressed with the list of exhibitors at Manchester, as much as I could work them out from the logos - has anyone been before, and is it likely to be better?
Looking at finally updating my second-hand Ribble, which is starting to show signs of age. One local bike shop yesterday was raving about the German Focus bikes, and trying to flog me a Culebro. Anyone any experience with Focus - pros and cons? Any comments welcome. Preferably before I hit the tri show on Friday and get even more confused!