Monday, April 20, 2009

Attacking Across the Yellow Line

I love collegiate bike racing. No two ways about it, it is great and it really gets my heart thumpin'. I love collegiate bike racing like a grizzly ma loves her cubs. Stuff that puts my cubs (shown here as: Collegiate bike racing, UVM Cycling and Maggie) in jeopardy really piss me off.

I know that this weekend was the first 'real' road race of the year. Kudos to Dartmouth by the way. Everything about this RR was super BA. So maybe people weren't sure what Joe and the officials meant by 'the yellow line rule.' This rule means that you should act as though there is a wall of daggers that start at the first of the yellow lines on the road. These daggers are so sharp and so fierce that they would pierce through to your spleen and bile would come oozing out all over the road. (this isn't sexy, and being sexy is why we all wear lycra. Right?) It has also come to my attention that it is very temping to cross the yellow line. It is just so much easier than weaving through the pack or even waiting for the field to shift so you can move. This is probably true.

This weekend in a few different races I either saw or heard of something that is dangerous for people and the sport. I think that even the most self absorbed people can realize that this is potentially dangerous for themselves. Having watched what can happen to another person following a bicycle/car collision, let me tell you it isn't nearly worth it. It is unlikely that everyone in the pack has though about what this practice can due to either their cohorts or their sport.

When a motorist comes whiping around a corner at mach 5. They don't have a lot of time to react, and probably are not planning on a bike race going on. Even if they new a race was going on (and cared for your safety) they probably did not plan on people being all across the road. In any event they do not have a lot of time to make a good choice. Do you trust motorists enough to garentee that they will do the right thing. I sure as hell don't.

This practice can also really endanger the sport. I know that you think this might be a stretch, but that is because you are a bike racer. As a subset within a niche of society we are very self absorb, self important and self gratifying. Be that as it may, if either the right person or the right person in town government see this and realizes that by the town granting permits for this sort of nonsense they are potentially opening themselves up for the types of lawsuits that could sink a small town, they probably aren't going to let the race come back. Is this extreme action. No way, town managers and bureaucrats don't care if our tiny po-dunk race happens at all, especially if their citizens get too pissed off or if they get sued.

In the end I want bike racing to happen, and I think this is a menace to the sport. Play clean and race to win.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Aplause for Big Green

After reading their flier I am real excited. They are doing what a lot of other races have been too scared to do. Let the women's b race for more than 40 mins.

"Why would Sully Care?"

Good question. Emily and my sister Maggie both race Women's B and think it is real sad when they race for 20 miles and womens A races for 60. Good Job Big D!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

God Hates a Coward

It is true, she does.

On the other hand some folks don't have enough fear. I loved the first few B races of this year. They were fast and totally safe. If people were crashing they were doing it on the parking lot to and from the race. Not in the pack with a ton of other people. During our crit this weekend I was amazed at the idiocy and poor bike handeling that I saw. Some of the kids I have been plagued by since I first joined the ECCC a year ago. I keep hoping they will learn to ride a bike, It hasn't happened. There were some new kids who seemed like they were riding with the sole purpose of taking the whole pack to the tarmac. I don't know where these kids have come from.

IF you want to race bikes:
1. a.
Learn how to corner
b. Learn how to hold your line
2. Shave your legs the way the pack moves. (i.e what to do with strong headwinds, and way the pack moves to the outside for tighter corners)

I was real mad and a little put off after the Army crit cause of other kids, not how I like to be.

ECCC Overall
I am really torn. The last two weeks have shown that I was right (I love being right) MIT and USMA are certainly of the caliber to race as DI schools (at least this year). However, I also really like winning. Sadly I haven't gotten to have both, but I think my luck might change.

Why are those schools beating us? I have a pretty good idea of why. I blame it on a doped up 22 year old you decided to run a red light. Really though, Army and MIT have benifited from strong Women's A teams while ours has been rehabilitating from another set of surgeries. With Women's A riders coming back to fight for Green and Gold Glorly, I sense that the tide might once again shift in our favor.

The MIT women are certainly a force, with another one joining the ranks of the A racers (pretty elite). They will be able to score 3 women in every A race. A huge advantage! I wouldn't be supprised to see MIT being able to up 50s on almost every womens event from now on. So really the question becomes, can UVM's Women's team out score MIT's Men's team.

Boy am I excited. I love bike racing.

Oh, by the way. A super Props to MIT for their sign up system. If this works the whole conference should adopt this. I think it would be really cool if MIT structured their system so that (in the future, not for their race) the conference would get $.75 of every dollar of registration and MIT would get $.25. This would be super awesome because it would generate roughly

$600 for the conference per weekend
$200 for MIT per weekend

I am truly stunned by MIT's cleverness and brilliance. This could be a great oportunity to funnel some of the wasted (bike reg is a Waste) dollars in the ECCC into something constructive. Like a motorcycle for Joe that has huge speakers. So he can announce the races while driving in front of them. Or maybe even compensating Joe and Catlin. I think that it is totally unsustainable that we expect that the conference director would be a volunteer, and with USAC doing what it does best (being useless and making dumb rules, rather than helping make racing better) I think that this is a great chance for our conference to lead the way. By offering a salary to the CD we might see an even higher quality of races in the ECCC than ever before imagined (hard to do, but I am from UVM, daydreaming and wild schemes are my speciality)

See you all in Yale. I think this is going to be one of the greatest races going this year.