Sunday, March 29, 2009

The First Race of the Season

My first race was on Saturday. It was a training series that my club puts on at an auto racing track. It's a nice race to get your feet wet since the pavement is in pretty good shape, there aren't any sharp turns and if you get dropped or lapped, your car isn't that far away. They divide the race into A, B, and C categories. I chose to race in the B category.

Having raced MTB, 'cross and road, I'd have to say that road racing still comes out on top as the most intense. Cyclocross is a harder effort, but the high speeds and rider proximity of road racing make for one helluva' adrenaline loaded experience. Maybe downhill racing could beat it but I don't have the nerve for that.

Lining up for the race, I was quickly met with some of the, how shall I say, less favorable personalities of the sport... One gentleman looked my bike up and down and, with out so much as a "hello" or "hey", proceeded to comment on the relatively high cost of my bike compared to his and his teamate's. Let's get something straight. My bike is a Look 285, and it's about 8 years old. A lot of the parts and components on the bike have been discontinued and have been out of production for at least 4 years. So it by no means is something that should induce envy of any sort. Maybe it's because these gentlemen were MTBer's (a fact made obvious by the goatees and Time ATAC's they were rockin'...) and maybe in mountain bike racing the most expensive bike usually wins. Their compulsion to comment was influenced by the threat of the perceived value of my bike. Whatever the case may be, it's personalities like those two that lend credence to negative stereotypes...

Once we started, all that BS was forgotten. Nothing to think about except the race at hand. All in all, the race was pretty uneventful. It's was a really fast pace (ave speed around 25-30 mph) I sat in the peloton most of the time with a couple of short attacks off the front (short because I couldn't sustain them, it's still too early for me). It was fun just the same. One of my teammates took third, and I finished with the bunch somewhere in the top 20. As for the two that were scoping out my rig at the start, I beat one of them and finished a couple bike lengths behind the other - so maybe they had a right to feel threatened!


  1. The next time somebody starts commenting on your gear, just point them over to the unassuming guy with the cobbled-together frankenbike who is simply gonna kick the living crap out of everybody, especially the gearheads. On our group rides, it's usually the guys on frankenbikes who beat the snot out of the guys on pricey, big-name bike porn (or, as they're better known, "dentists").

    The simple fact that you had fun during the race means that you rode exactly the equipment you needed, no matter what the name or price, and having fun is the best consolation this side of winning.

  2. not sure whether they were commenting because they thought my bike was a lot of money or because it's so old but it was weird to make a statement like that either way. Any way, the race was a blast! I haven't done any road racing (consistently) in a good 6-7 years... Forgot how much fun it was!