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Alan Turnbull

Alan Turnbull


Where do you live, what do you do for a living, and how old are you?

I live in Fultonville, N.Y.  It’s a small village of about 800 people and sits beside the Mohawk River in the Mohawk Valley, 10 miles west of Amsterdam, N.Y.  I am retired.  I was employed by the Montgomery County Department of Public Works for 36 years, the last 10 years as the general supervisor in charge of the highway system.  I’ll be 71 in December and compete in the 70-74 age group in triathlons.

What kind of bike(s) do you ride? What are the features you like about it?

I own two Treks, a hybrid for easy riding on bike trails and a Speed Concept for Ironman competitions. I ride the Speed Concept 7.0 probably 95 percent of the time.  It’s lightweight, and its nearly flawless shifting makes it a joy to ride.

How long have you been riding, and how did you get into cycling?  

I ‘ve been riding bikes for fun or exercise my whole life. However, I bought my Speed Concept and started Ironman racing after I was a volunteer at Ironman Lake Placid.  My job was to check in bikes on Saturday before the race. There were 3,000 athletes there for the Ironman and probably just about every make of bicycle. I checked out a lot of bikes. Then after a winter of research, I ordered my Trek in March 2015 from Blue Sky.

How do you typically put the miles on your bike(s)? Do you keep track of your miles?

My bike riding is typically to the south of Fultonville, toward Cooperstown, Cobleskill, or Schoharie. Lots of hills, climbing out, but also lots of speed coming back. I rack up a lot of miles, from a quick 20-mile ride to a 50-, 70-, or 100-mile outing three to four days a week. This is not work. This is challenging and fun for me. I also have a Forerunner Garmin 920XT that downloads a lot of info, including all those miles. In 2016, May to September, I rode 2,500 miles.

Do you have some favorite routes?

I enjoy all the routes I ride. There is one, however, that has a long, straight roller coaster-style hill where I hit 45-48 miles per hour. That is a rush!

What are your long-term cycling goals?

I have many goals in my sights.  This past July 29th at the Ohio Ironman 70.3, I won my age group and qualified for the World Championships on September 8th, 2019 in Nice, France.

What are your proudest moments as a cyclist?

In 2017, at the Lake Placid 70.3 Ironman, my wife (who is always with me) and some close friends came to cheer me on.  The best surprise was my daughter and her boyfriend showing up at 5 a.m. after driving all night from Boston to be there for me. This was my first-ever Ironman.  I won my age group that day and I was on Cloud Nine.

What tips would you offer to less experienced riders? 


What’s your favorite cycling product/accessory?

I have a water reservoir set up on the front of my bike that’s easy to drink from. I have a food holder on my top tube for energy products. I have my Garmin that I always wear. But the one accessory I won’t ride without is a rearview mirror that I adapted to my handlebars. When training/traveling on the roads, it’s important to know what is behind you.

Any funny or unusual experiences during your riding/racing career? 

Nothing funny comes to mind, but I do seem to have an unusual connection with deer that like to cut me off.  Thank goodness, I’ve only had close calls so far. I hope to have a lot of racing ahead of me!

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