Friday, 24 August 2007
Am I Ready To Race?
Anyone who has read a cycling forum has "heard" the question. Usually it takes the form of "I can ride my bike about (x) mph for (y) long, so what do you think?" Well, here are a number of replies, all of which, in my opinion, are valid.
1. No, you're never ready for your first race.
2. Of course, get the first one over with and see what it's about.
3. Are you ready to get yelled at by a bunch of people you've never met about things you don't understand?
4. Can you ride in a freaking straight line?
4a. For miles and miles?
4b. When you're right next to 50 of your closest friends?
4c. With no hands?
4d. While taking a drink from your bottle?
4e. At 25mph?
4f. When you are seeing triple?
5. Do you look good in lycra?
6. Is your bike going to explode when you put it under extraordinary stress?
7. Are you going to explode under extraordinary stress?
8. When you ride in the winter, do you anxiously await the onslaught of numbness in your hands and feet so at least they stop hurting?
9. Are there sweat holes burned through the wood floor where you ride your trainer?
10. Do you enjoy driving an hour to warmup on a trainer in a parking lot for an hour so that you can ride in a 40 minute crit and then drive home?
10a. And get charged $35 for the pleasure?
11. How do you feel about being scared out of your mind?
12. Can you change out of your bibs, give your tackle a full baby wipe shower and get into shorts all while wearing a towel in a public parking lot?
13. Getting up at 6 on the weekend, do you just LOVE IT?
14. Have you been wondering what to do with that extra thousand bucks every year?
15. Can you puke at full speed, without losing your line?
16. Do you have entirely too much skin and need to lose some?
17. MOST IMPORTANT!!! Are you ready to make a ridiculous blog to announce all of the minutiae of your racing and training exploits, joys, hates, successes and failures?
There are as many replies to this question as there are people to ask and answer it. After one season of racing, I can say that there is nothing short of actually racing that will prepare you for racing. Riding with a fast group like the 10am rides or the goon ride will help you get the feel for it, but until you clip in a go over the line, you'll never know if it's for you or you are for it.