Rad Fondo is Feeling a Little Down Today
Third time is a charm.
I was right in the middle of a blog on our first attempt at judging a competition (that will have to wait a few days) When I was reminded for the 3rd time in a week why I stopped doing something that I really enjoyed.
Prior to joining the ranks of the competitive BBQ cooking I used to spend a lot of my free time riding and racing bicycles. I enjoyed the training, the camaraderie and the excitement of racing. There are a lot of parallels to BBQ just less on the aerobic side. You have to put in a ton of time and effort and if all goes exactly right you might even have the opportunity to contend for a win.
As I got older (and more fragile) I stopped racing criteriums. These are usually 4 to 8 corner 1 mile courses raced at high speed for around an hour. It’s a lot of fun when it goes right but it can be really bad when things go wrong. You and 80 other guys ripping around at 30mph can be exhilarating. So where am I going with this story? I said I had 3 reminders of why I no longer compete. I would like to share them with you.
Reason #1. Doping. Once you reach the tender age of 35 you are able to compete in the ‘masters” ranks. These categories were created to allow older riders to race against their peers. Makes sense as you don’t have to race with a bunch 20 year old kids who are squirrely as hell but can rip your legs off too. Just like BBQ, it’s the same group of people regardless of what race you go to. Most of the time it’s the same select group that tend to dominate the racing scene. That’s ok though because if you train hard enough and keep your wits about you eventually can be part of the select group. I was lucky when it came to racing. I wasn’t necessarily the fastest guy out there but for whatever reason when things got really hard I could still think pretty clearly. That helps because for a lot of racers it’s the exact opposite. You get their heart rates up and they tend to switch off the brain. Just like in BBQ you can screw up a perfect race in the last minute by making some dumb decisions.
Ok, you just wrote an entire paragraph and did not even support your topic sentence. I guess I need to apologize to my freshman English teacher. Sorry Mr. Youngerman. Doping. Oh yeah. You would think that a group of old men racing their bikes in large circles for a prize purse of $300 that pays 10 deep wouldn’t have a doping problem. Nope. Just the opposite. Over the last 5-7 years it’s gotten to the point where a clean rider has a hard time staying competitive. I bring you the first example of reason #1 in this fine blog by Seth Davidson. Kayle Leogrande Doper https://pvcycling.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/he-seemed-like-a-nice-doper-at-the-time/
Reason #2. Scot Harvey Not Doping. https://www.usada.org/scot-harvey-accepts-doping-sanction/ Just as bad as being caught doping is failure to submit a sample in an out of competition test. For those that don’t follow cycling I will explain. When you join USA Cycling you agree to give a urine sample upon request. Typically they rarely test masters at races and an out of competition test is like coming across an entire herd of unicorns. So to get a surprise visit from the USADA squad means that multiple people have called into the tip line with some damning information. Now Mr. Harvey may have some reason beyond doping for not submitting to the test but frankly if you have nothing to hide it only takes a minute and they are standing at your door with a cup.
Reason #3. This tool. https://pvcycling.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/felony-battery/ Once again Seth writes a great blog about the incident but more importantly describes what it’s like to be in his vicinity. Skip ahead to the 3:00 mark and watch. The problem with people like this is that they seem to be reproducing at an alarming rate. Almost any group ride has at least 3 or 4 of them. This brings me back to the doping thing. In the past when you had a rider like this you just either had a quick word with them and they calmed down or you could just open a gap on them and spit them out the back. Problem solved. Well that was the past. Now days we have a large (or small depending on the context) group of dopers using testosterone. It’s easy to get and it works very well. I have seen guys that couldn’t finish a recovery ride one month to hammering on the front of an 80 mile training ride for the entire time two months later. That’s not normal.
So break it down Rad Fondo. What’s this all mean? Just sum it up for us, please. We really don’t like reading about cycling. Easy. I am sad because I no longer enjoy something that used to be a large part of my life. I still like riding my bike and seeing my friends but the competition side of it is over. I was lucky enough to win several National Championships in my first few years as a master and I always figured once I got into my 50’s I would try for a few more. A long term goal of sorts. Now the unfortunate reality is that it’s not going to happen. This past week just reinforced that fact. Wow thanks Rad Fondo. Now I’m depressed from reading your shitty blog.
There is a silver lining in this raincloud of a blog. I did find another outlet to channel my competitive juices and luckily there aren’t a bunch of dopers to contend with. When BPS or Rooftop kick our asses it’s because they trained harder and performed better. Not because they had a better doctor or were willing to cheat to win. What’s even better is knowing that we still have a long way to go and a lot of training to do but it will pay off at some point. We will get there, it’s just going to take some time. It’s time to end this blog. I have some training to do.