Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Blow Up Your TV

Things got a bit spun around in the last few days. Monday's post, which was all about what a charming day Saturday was, turns out to have been retrospectively inaccurate based on things heard and seen afterward. Then came the decision announcement on Murad, and that sort of sent me over the cliff a bit. As far as I was concerned, that race had been done and gone, and in my head the whole thing had turned into a non-event, a hole in the time/space continuum. Then of course we got the decision which found that I had in fact been in a group that was dropped and chasing back, and that the people who screamed by when I was locking up the brakes because, you know, there was a fucking horse going psychotic in the middle of the race, which horse had a rider struggling (eventually unsuccessfully) to hold on and regain control of the horse. And the ref was trying desperately to get people to stop. And then didn't know that there was a group which hadn't stopped. It was a shitty situation, I know this and I appreciate it, and I STILL accept it. What I don't accept is the explicit endorsement of a bunch of people who did the markedly WRONG thing, figuring maybe they'd send flowers later and make it all better. Why couldn't we just call a spade a spade and say "shit happens, a situation beyond any reasonable control of the refs happened, we tried to get things sorted and the best solution we came up with was to let the results stand. Call it what you will." And yes, I realize that you could easily call my saying this in this venue chicken shit, as well indeed it might be. But who wants another 50 email battle on the MABRA list? Add to that some offensive moral flexibility on some very black and white rules (even to the point of people stating that their moral flexibility - oh f it let's call a spade a spade - their intention to just plain cheat - is pre-conceived), and it turned into something of a trip through the looking glass for me. Things clearly weren't what they seemed.

So, following that, I decided that the relatively shiny happy tone of Monday's post was false, and that the expedient solution was to just pull the post. And I think that there's been some measure of false shiny-happiness to my posts for a while. Racing's wicked fun, that's why I do it. Despite some breaking in pains, the team I'm on is the balls, and even if we've yet to get our system clicking and pull in results like we'd want to, being on the team is the shit. And our new arm warmers are the most balls sexy things you've ever seen. But racing brings out the worst in a lot of people (fortunately they aren't team mates of mine), or maybe just the normal in a lot of people, and a lot of times it pisses me off. Not just the normal "man, that's some some f-d up shit going on" type of deal, but pretty substantially beyond that. And there's every reason to conclude that the physiological gyrations that I cause myself with these responses is both making racing less fun than it should be (duh) and also hampering my performance. SERENITY NOW!!!

Leave it to the Krauts to have a perfect expression for my situation: weltschmerz. So what we're going to do is turn up the filters. Facebook account? Blown up. I never posted anyway, but the incoming noise I no way needed. NPR? Off. There's nothing I can do about most of the crap I hear about other than get upset, so I'll take a scoop of that blissful ignorance, thanks. List servers? If I need to know something I can look at the groups page, no need to have any of that crap - even in digests - shoved into my grill. Goldman? Who gives a shit? My main 401(k) account is up 27% trailing 12 months and 10 and change annualized over the 4 years that I've been working on that account. My strategy's working great, fuck Lloyd Blankfein. Greece? Let's face it, we're all in the coal mine, expecting shit that we aren't willing to pay for. What can one person do? I guess if you can live with yourself and don't feel like you're getting screwed any worse than anyone else, what else can you expect? Root for your teams, do your intervals, don't chase your team mates, kiss your wife and tell her you love her, and step out into the wide wide world. But listen to me on this last one - wear sunscreen.

By no means do I expect any switches to respond to this. The patient may be in recovery for quite some time. The sanguinity (I think I made that word up) with which the patient may choose to respond (or not) to the actions of people who probably should have a little harder time living with themselves is no endorsement of their actions. I'll just try to do right by the people who merit it and get along from there.

This morning, I earned the significant honorific of being referred to as "ras" by the Jamaican electricians, and really, what the hell else do I need? Oh, and any reference to Sunday was indeed accurate, it was a wicked fun mountain bike ride and just the kind of thing I need in order not to be such an obvious roadie in mountain bike races.


GamJams said...

Thank you for your product testing services. I've concluded that the blend of GamJams Coffee you've been sampling is too strong for public consumption. Please expect your GamJams Camomile Tea prototype to arrive in the mail shortly.

TerribleTerry said...

"the team I'm on is the balls"

Can I be the cue ball?

dropped said...

this is good!! but what are you so pissed off about? Who pissed on your cornflakes?

Poolesville is this weekend. Wait to get even more frustrated.

Chuck Wagon said...

MM - Two in a row for you. But perhaps a Humboldt County blend would be more appropos.

TA - You're the corner pocket, didn't you figure that out by now?

YGD - Ask your bagpiping teammate, I'm just generally ornery. But Mike's debut YGD pictorial (really I only look at it for the articles) was a smashing, righteous and deserving moment. To be told retroactively that my inaugural 2010 droppage had come in a race where I'd had a profoundly more than adequate handle on things, just so there could be an nice, neat and "acceptable" explanation? All that the refs needed to say was "Murad Masters got f'd up, no one expects the Spanish Inquisition, there was no good solution to that so we're just letting it stand, have a nice day." EVERYONE would have understood that - NO ONE thinks the officials did a bad job, they (literally) had a pile of horseshit thrown at them. They prioritized well, the girl got attention first, the race getting further out of hand was prevented. Great job to them, I hope I would have done it as well. Just don't paper over the situation with bullshit that obviously came from the guys who thought "you know what, I won't stop THIS time, but the NEXT TIME a horse runs into a race, well I'll almost definitely stop then." And then we find out that people think the play book doesn't need to fit within the rule book. Candidates for YGD should not be seen at the head of breaks, right? And then we go into the free lap rule. But really, as long as we all get our upgrade points, who gives a fuck what the rules say, eh?

You aren't racing Poolesville. Afraid of your own camera?

dropped said...

god this is good.

so you are upset with the ruling at murad. got it.

you are also upset with free laps at fort ritchie? what happened there? was there droppage we don't know about? did somebody break rules? that's what blogs are for.

GamJams said...

YGD, you need to learn the first rule of poking tigers with a stick: don't.

dropped said...

we like it when you refer to each other as tigers. sexy time.

Jim said...

The advantage to cyclocross is that when ****ed up **** like that happens, nobody gives you a second glance if you work it out by working over a half case of Three Philosophers.

The advantage to MTB racing is you can do it stoned (so I'm told) so you, like, probably didn't notice the ****ed up **** to begin with, man.

As for your weltschmerz... my weltanschaung allows me to enjoy a bit of schadenfreude over this. Germans have as many variations on the idea of dread, as eskimo's have names for snow. I'm learning a lot of them by reading roadracing blogs.

fpg said...

you are a tiger? are you toight like a toiger?

Chuck Wagon said...

Dropped -
You ALMOST got it. I'm not upset about the Murad ruling. I'd ceased to be a stakeholder in the decision when I gave the last lap a "no, thanks." So whatever they came up with for a ruling was all the same to me. I disagree with the explanation for the decision. People accept that fucked up things happen. I don't agree with the choice that many racers made to ignore the extraordinarily fucked up thing that was going on and hit the gas, and I disagree more with the mass of dudes who blew by those of us who'd already stopped. There were plenty of those. But even with that, it was just a weird thing that happened that fortunately had a reasonable ending (the girl was okay). But what I most disagree with is the choice to fabricate a story to justify a decision that needed no justification, a story which gave the racers who made a bad decision the "factual" justification for what they'd done. I 100% know that there were multiple people who BLEW by a girl, on the ground, in the road, because I'd been pulled over (I was very near the front at that point - for fooks sake I'd only launched about 13 attacks so far in the race and was greedily anticipating the next series) long enough to have a well developed perspective on what was happening. I'm pissed at myself for not having responded quicker and not been one of the three guys who basically skidded to a stop to attend to the girl. Assholes exist and great people exist, we know this, and nobody's exclusively one or the other. The inappropriate thing was finding "facts" that ignored the fact that some people who were in a very good position to do well in the race instantly responded in the BEST way (stopping post haste to attend to the girl), and more people who were in a position to do well in the race at least responded in a way that mitigated further escalation of a fucked up situation? Sure, why not just come out and say, "well, they were dropped anyway." I think the officiating crew - especially John Krawczyk and most especially the cops on scene - did a great job on the scene, which is the far greater issue. I didn't know any of the guys who were attending to the girl, if I did I would be anxious to laud them. But to come up with a cockamamy story about some fictitious mass droppage prior to the incident is farcical. I watched Andreas get second in the race, and know he's done about that well in that race before. Matt, who won, has certainly won sprints before. I certainly don't recall either of them being in the group that clearly should have stopped bt didn't. Neither am I sour graping the thing, I probably would have rolled in for my usual unspectacular finish. It would have been nice to have fun and keep trying to get away, but I don't begrudge that either, it's a long season and I'm going to do whatever I can to get rich or die trying this weekend.

To make it very clear, I was upset that a fictitious and unnecessary story was made, in my estimation, to cover perceived inaction or improper action on the official's part. THEY DID THE RIGHT THING, AS RIGHT AS IT COULD BE DONE. But by bringing that story out, they needlessly compromised their credibility to a group of guys, and far more importantly made it all right for a pack of guys to have done something really REALLY stupid, inconsiderate, unsportsmanlike and whatever other tags you want to put on it. Get it?

Chuck Wagon said...

2 of 3

On the other stuff, yes, it disappoints me that I spend from March to September with a left arm covered in bruises from the shitheads who cram back onto the correct side of the road when they hear the moto ref coming up from astern. It disappoints me that I've spent as much time and effort as I have trying to learn how to move through a field the right way, while a whole bunch of people haven't bothered to do that and think it's appropriate to move from 50th to 5th by going up the outside lane. Jesus, if you're going to do that at least have the good common decency to get on the front and attack. And yes, it disappoints me that people have explicitly told me and written - for very public consumption - that they think a very clearly written free lap rule is malleable based on their ambitions and sense of entitlement. But railing against that shit has burned too many matches, so I'm going to tune out and sip Humboldt County tea (not really), and try to do a better job of letting that noise be the noise it is, and help my team win some races. M'kay?

Chuck Wagon said...

3 of 3

I don't see this as a confrontation in any regard, quite the contrary. On the other hand, I'm not going to be baited into dishing a bunch of shit. It's mostly otherwise quality people who let their ambitions cloud their judgment, and to belabor it is, for me, counterproductive to what I'm trying to do. Almost every bit of it is out there on the internets.

If I should happen to be in other than the lead group this weekend, even through mechanical, flat or other non-"wasn't fit enough" circumstance and am NOT featured on YGD by the time I have lunch, then I will see THAT as a confrontation.

Thanks I feel better now.

Chuck Wagon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim Rugg said...


John(ny) said...

At least the Jamaican electricians honored you by calling you one of their own. One of the carpenters at the jobsite today looked at me quizzically when I told him that I used to race bikes--"No way man, not with that paunch..."

Chuck Wagon said...

Jonny - Ouch!

Ricardo Ruggo - the Poolesville road guards called. They asked me to ask you if they need to wear their rain ponchos this year?

Tim Rugg said...

HAHA! Maybe?