The Bikegame

Or maybe this should be titled – The Mindgame? Or how about – The Excusegame?

So as you probably know I’m home from a weekend of ‘cross racing in Toronto. Some decent fields out for the M1, elite women’s and elite men’s fields. Cool. Just what us bike racers want – lots of tough competition. The deeper the field, the better I feel about my result. Sure it is nice to get a “top result” but this for me feels somewhat diluted when the depth of field really isn’t there. My 11th place results this year feel much better than the 7th and 9th place results I had at these races last year.

Okay, so why The Excusegame? Well it seems to me that if you ever want to hear a list of excuses as to why you competitors aren’t going so well, simply sign up for a bike race. I’ve never heard so many excuses for why people didn’t get the results they expected this weekend. I might sound a bit callous here, but common people – everyone has stuff going on in their lives. No one is living the “ideal bike racer” life. The bulk of us work full-time, juggle family life, and race our bike at the elite level every weekend. It is a small margin that are actual “pros” – getting paid to race their bikes and train.

This weekend I was treated to a litany of excuses for poor results – a lot of times before the race had even started. I was so tempted to speak my mind. But I’m polite and I don’t want to come off as sounding rude and unfeeling. But if I hear one more person tell me how hard it is to work, train, travel, and race, I’m going to vomit in my mouth. (Yikes that is harsh – but this is how I feel.)

Maybe next time, I’ll whip out some excuses of my own. How about: hmm, I started racing my bike three years ago and as a Masters racer (now I race elite), I work 50 plus hours a week (usually M – Th because we are driving on Fridays), I’ve had four herniated discs, I’ve dropped 20 lbs this past season, oh and my knee is still quite sore. Do you think these are valid excuses? How about adding in – this year my cat died very suddenly, I was run off the road by an eighteen-wheeler, and my iron levels are really low.

I know this is stretching things a bit – but this is how I feel when I hear people rhyming off all the reasons why they didn’t do as well as they think they should. Really, people – are you a bike racer? Yes – okay then get on your bike and race. Stop talking and get pedaling. Everyone has crap going on. No one – not even the pros have it easy. Just be thankful that you can travel all around North America and Europe to race your bike. Lots of people out there would love to do what you’re doing. Get over yourself and think about your situation. I mean really think about your situation and how good you have it.

(Okay this ends the rant. Sorry for the negativity – I really try not to be negative on this site, but sometimes I need to let it all out.)

Check out the photos page. I posted a bunch of links to photos from the racing action this weekend. If you have pics from the Toronto races – send me an email – I’ll post a link to your site. Thanks to all the photographers out there. Along with the fantastic cheering, the photos help a lot as well.

On deck for today – recovery. Sweet sweet recovery. 90 minutes of rolling, pedaling, and listening to my iPod. The weather is decent – dry, sunny, light wind. Perfect for a spin. Tonight I’ll round things off with a solid hot power yoga session.

This weekend we’re racing in New Jersey. Cool. Talk about deep field. It will be a tough one. I’ve got lots of little changes I want to make to my racing this weekend. I think they can pretty much be summed up with one word: aggression. Better start. Attacking the course all the time. Fighting for lines. Drilling the legs and lungs. Looking ahead on the course. Turning the legs over faster – no more grinding. Stoked to race.

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