I took up bicycle racing at the advanced age of 47, and over the past three years I’ve discovered a true passion for the sport. Over the past twenty five years I’ve done a lot of what the guardrail crowd would deem “thrill seeking,” though I would dub it more “thrill avoidance,” but none of that so-called crazy stuff has yielded the excitement of riding at 27mph in a pack during a bike race. It’s a thrill, no doubt about it, and I seek it like a tweaker seeks a score. During a recent race, in the heat of the fight, I turned to my buddy Paul and said, “man I love this shit,” he nodded as a little spit rolled off his chin. I wish that I could say that I love bike racing because I win, but that isn’t the case.
Bike racing is a weird sport in that there is a lot of sneakiness to it. Some would call it “cleaver riding” or “racing smart” I just call it sneaky. Imagine climbing a mountain with a partner and you break trail all day and then suddenly ten feet from the summit your partner runs around you and starts dancing on the summit saying “I won I won.” Well that’s bike racing.I’ve decided not to sit in the back of bike races, not to suck wheels but instead to ride at the front, push the pace and be ready to support my teammates. This is what I call being a “player” someone who is actively in the race from the opening whistle to the final bell.
Reputation means a lot to me (my biggest fear is causing a crash and then being labeled as “that guy”) and because I’m not going to have a reputation as a winner I want to be seen as a guy who shows up fit and ready to race and goes out every time ready to work hard and ride a legit race.It’s all about being legit.