The Bill Bone Racing Team is composed of competitive cyclists and triathletes who come together to improve their riding skills, enjoy the beautiful South Florida weather, and unite in their love for cycling. The members of the team consist of males and females from all different backgrounds and cycling experience. In the next several weeks, Bill Bone Bike Law will be interviewing members of the team to provide a personal connection to the cycling community. We had the recent pleasure of speaking to Carol Hassell, a longtime member of the Bill Bone Racing Team. Let’s take a moment to get to know Carol.
- As a cyclist, what are some of the challenges that you face on the road?For the most, people aren’t paying attention. Drivers on the road are often oblivious to those in the bike lane. It is important to always be a defensive rider and assume that they do not see you. In addition, even people walking on the streets and sidewalks as well as loose dogs are potential hazards. While cars are typically the largest issue, cyclists should always be extra aware of their surroundings.
- Has anyone you know been involved in a cycling accident? Where did it happen?Yes, almost everyone that I know who rides frequently has been involved in a cycling accident. My husband was hit by a vehicle in Palm Beach and luckily only suffered from a few bumps and bruises, although his bike was pretty damaged. A friend of mine was also hit by a taxi in Lake Worth and was lucky to have suffered no injuries.
- What would you recommend to other cyclists to help keep them safe on the roads?
Wear something very visible, I prefer to wear bright orange or any bright colors. Also, riding very defensively is critical. I like to always assume that a car won’t stop in order to avoid accident. I’ve had a lot of close calls in the past that I was able to avoid by paying attention to my surroundings. In addition, cyclists must remember to ride with traffic and always follow the rules of the road. Far too many riders think it is safer to ride against traffic, but this is not the case. Finally, do not listen to music while riding, it is dangerous and distracting.
- What would you like to see changed to improve the cycling community?
I’d definitely like to see more bike lanes. There are certain areas on Palm Beach where the bike lane ends and I do not feel safe. In contrast, Boca Raton has much better bike lanes. From the south of Delray all the way down to the Boca Inlet there are really nice bike lanes and I rarely have issues with cars down that way.
- What are some resources that you use to help make your cycling experience even more amazing?
I like to train by myself for triathlons. When it comes to cycling, I like riding in groups and being a member of the Bill Bone Racing Team. For most cyclists, it’s good to be with other people, good to ride with more experienced cyclists in order to pick up their habits and share knowledge that helps make riding safer.
- What encouraged you to join Team USA? Have you enjoyed your experience thus far?
I wanted to go to London and compete in the world competition. While I prefer the Iron Man Championship because they allow you to set own plans, I am looking forward to competing.
- Are you excited to compete in the ITU Short Course World Triathlon Championship in London? How have you been training for that?
I am incredibly excited to compete this year, as the triathlon takes place in Hyde Park, which is the same course used in Olympics last year. To train, I hired a coach, who happens to be the same coach that my husband and I have been using for a few years. The coach gives me workouts to keep me on track, so my swim, bike, and run schedule is set.
- How do you balance work, life, and training for this major athletic event? How hard is it to train around your demanding schedule as a nurse?
For me, this race is a shorter distance than training for Iron Man, so it requires less hours of training. My husband is an athlete, so he understands the importance of training and dedicating time to it. In terms of work challenges, I work in an area with x-rays and I have to wear lead aprons. These aprons are heavy and take a toll on my back. Unfortunately, I must wear them for the most part of the day. In addition, as a nurse I am moving and pulling patients, so it is a physically demanding job with long hours. Sometimes it is difficult to wake up and train the next morning when I’ve had a hard day at work, but I manage to do what I can.
Be sure to keep checking the Bill Bone Bike Law blog to hear from more members of the Bill Bone Racing Team!