Everybody’s secret non-secret debut

January 19, 2013 § 27 Comments

It’s January 20, almost, which means it’s SoCal’s first “real” crit of the year. All the teams will be there in force to showcase their new kits, their new glasses (some poor sods will still be wearing Lancewear, the cool kids will be wearing SPY), and most of all their secret non-secret training.

Secret non-secret training is what everyone except the Wankmeister does all winter. Diet. Visits to the doctor. Intervals. Gym work. Specific work on sprunting, clumbing, flailing. Building power. Sending outrageous amounts of money to the coach. More visits to the doctor. Lindberg Nutrition. Fancy recovery drinks. In-ride protein drinks. More gym work.

It’s all top secret except for the posed easy days showing the happy masters professionals cruising down PCH on a sunny day with their friends. “See? I don’t train hard in the winter! Not me! No, sir! I pedal easy, quaff coffee with Knoll in Santa Monica, and crack jokes with my buddies. I whip your ass during the race season because I’m just naturally better.”

Why Wankmeister is naturally not better

I have so many things working against me that I can’t even begin pretending. Fat. Unfocused. Unmuscular. Undisciplined. Overly fond of ice cream. No sprunt. No clumbing prowess. No time trailing skills. Lack of perseverance when the going gets moderately hard, and a complete quitter when the hammer of death comes down.

Each winter I completely reinvent myself and acquire a whole new closetful of skills and abilities that are tailored to catapult me to the top of the podium. Then, after the first climb on the first lap of Boulevard, I get sent off the back with a note pinned to my collar saying “Dear Mrs. Wankmeister: He’s not ready this year, either. Please try again next season.”

Of course 2013 is no different. I’ve lost 27 pounds, then regained about 7, and am now hovering at a tininess quotient of about 151, the lightest I’ve been since I was in my twenties. My shorts are baggy and saggy and ride up my legs like a thong, they’re so loose. I’ve interpolated a bit of acceleration with a bit of big ring work, and can now drop the overweight hobby bikers in and around PV at will. Sometimes I can, anyway.

So tomorrow’s CBR crit will be the first step in a triumphant march to the podium. You can take that to the bank, although if past performance truly is the best indicator of future results, the bank will likely be Countrywide.

So what’s your excuse?

Whereas Wankmeister freely admits to big investment, nonexistent return…what’s your story going to be? You’ve done all that I have and a lot more. I’m still riding the same bike I had last year; you’re on a brand new rig. I still only have one wheelset, and it’s 32-hole aluminum; you’ve got a different carbon wheelset for every wind condition and race type. My excuse is that I’m just not very good and never will be; you still tell your significant other that you’re the “real deal.”

And since only one person is going to win your race tomorrow, it’s going to be devastating to find out that after all you’ve done you’re still pack fodder.

But don’t despair! Below are a list of handy-dandy excuses to prop up what’s guaranteed to be a sagging ego come nightfall on Sunday.

  1. “It’s just the first race of the season. I don’t have my race legs yet.”
  2. “That was just a CBR crit training race. My real target for the season is Boulevard.”
  3. “I’m not used to my new ride yet. It’s different in the turns from my last bike.”
  4. “We’re still working on our team strategy.”
  5. “I got 38th, which is almost top third, which is pretty good and even better when you consider all the people who never even bothered to show up because they were too scared.”
  6. “The guys winning now will be tired out no-shows in June.”
  7. “I’m one of the oldest guys in my masters category by almost three years. At my age, one year makes a huge difference.”
  8. “Hell, I’m racing against a bunch of ex-pros.”
  9. “I’ve been sick.”
  10. “Work has been craaaaazy.”
  11. “I’m taking a more relaxed approach this year.”
  12. “I do better in hot weather.”
  13. “I’m sorry, January is just too early to be racing.”
  14. “Nobody would work with me.”
  15. “The racing was just too negative.”
  16. “I wasn’t going to chase that break. I had a teammate who was going to bridge up to it.”
  17. “I never sprint in crits. Too dangerous.”
  18. “The course isn’t selective enough.”
  19. “The course was too technical.”
  20. “I didn’t train all winter.”

So now you really are ready for the first race of the year. Go get ’em!

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§ 27 Responses to Everybody’s secret non-secret debut

  • teamblack3 says:

    I’m claiming 3 & 10 right now. It’s ok to do it the night before, right?

  • dan martin says:

    I hear theres gonna be a couple good football games tomorrow and its going to be sunny and warm out on the patio. There will be a beer or two involved as well. I will be thinking about how much fun it is to be an overweight hobby cyclist and not some suffering crit packmeat. But I am working on loosing those last pounds
    …just not tomorrow. Go 49rs and Ravens!!

  • Usta Befit says:

    Great list! In light of recent events you should add” Since I’m now racing with women I was taught that ladies always go first.”

    • Admin says:

      I refuse to race with women. With the men there’s at least a mathematical chance I won’t be last.

  • MQ says:

    21: I am training to get through the first lap of Boulevard; sorry can’t make the “crit” or really circuit.

  • ohmannuel says:

    1&9 For me please. Good luck Sunday.

  • ohmannuel says:

    Oh and don’t forget #21, without pack rats like me it would just be 3 fast guys racing for top 3.

  • Dear Wankmeister,

    Though you don’t know me, I want to be just like you when I grow up. (minus the poverty bit). I don’t have a lot of time though as I’m approaching 60 so it may too late. In honor of Dear Abby passing this week, can you give any advice on how to care less about the outcomes of cycling? How did you achieve Dali Lama like status of not caring? I happen to live in Austin so the environment has a part to play in this dilemma. Hey, it’s not SoCal but its close. The giant sucking sound of not caring here in Austin was exasperated this week by some tv show, but I want hear it straight from the master.

    • Admin says:

      Poverty is an integral part of achieving cyclightenment.

      Do not be fooled by Austin’s feigned indifference. Beneath every retro hippie lies a scratching, clawing, materialistic professional who claims every exemption on his 1040 and sends his kids to the best schools he can afford, plus cello lessons.

      There is, fortunately, a simple answer to your question. Its implementation can be problematic, and for that you’ll need extensive coaching and lessons from the Wankmeister Inner Peace and Harmony Video Set and CD Singalong (monthly subscriptions start at $9.95 plus shipping and handling).

      However, here’s your answer, my friend: The ride is inside you.

      Now, go forth and pedal.

  • A-Trav says:

    It’s all true.

  • leo says:

    #22: someone in front of me farted and i had to fall back
    #23: i pulled something on lap 3 and had to pull out

  • Nealio says:

    I can claim 14 and 18, that’s about it, no excuses this year! Well not from that list.. I’m sure when the time comes (season starts 17th Feb here) I’ll rustle up something…

  • Tom says:

    You finished 3rd in the 50+ , literally “in the money” !
    That’s impressive — a hearty atta’ boy!

    So the blog entry above — that was all just clever, reverse psychology for those racing against you?

  • steven says:

    You seem to have neglected the part of the list YOU actually needed. Namely, excuses for why you took 3rd…I humbly submit:

    1. Everybody knows me, and figured I was being lapped, so nobody chased.
    2. Nobody recognized me in the new kit, so they thought it was a non-wanker off the front. You know, somebody who could actually sprint.
    3. Actually, I was the one who thought I was off the back, so I was really digging to get to the finish before all the Depends and Geritol were gone.
    4. Everybody else was sick.
    5. I coasted the whole last three laps, waiting for somebody to trade pulls with, but nobody showed up.
    6. Nobody wanted to take the chance that they would chase me, but not be able to bridge up. Who could live that down?

    It’s a public service, man…

  • steven says:

    Crucial…yes, that is the kernel of the thing…CRUCIAL!

    After a certain amount of time, success NEVER follows automatically. But a “crucial excuse” makes it go down easier…

  • Peter Gohzinya says:

    Actually the official first race of the season, SoCal season that is, happens in that little trailer park at the end of Main street in Ventura. Every year there’s a bunch of Canadian snowbirds who show up to put the hammer down while their skates are being sharpened back in BC.

    There’s about 5 of them and all the ladies are aged around 60. Ok, ok, I know it may seem like easy pickens, but I prefer to think of it as a major confidence builder. They get their confidence by duking it out with someone studly like moi and I get to crush their grandmotherly egos like an elephant crushes a pile of rotten mangoes.

    Oh yeah, no testing there, either. So I got that going for me, too.

    Sign me,
    Petey G.
    M 35+ 4,5

    • Admin says:

      The day they start testing in SoCal masters races is the day the leader boards change forever.

      • steven says:

        You know, there is a rumour going around that puts USADA and SCNCA in the same sentence. Naught but rumour at this point.

        Sort of like putting “rats” and “sinking ship” together?

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