There is so much advice on the Internet about how to race your bike, but where’s the advice telling you to give up?
Because most of the time that’s the best advice possible. Your coach and your super light bike and your Strava KOMs don’t mean shit when you’re buried 26th wheel with 200 yards to go in the sprunt.
You are gonna lose.
You aren’t gonna make the podium.
You aren’t even gonna make top ten by a lonnnnng shot.
You are gonna be a faded blur that no one cares about in a “sport” where no one even cares about the winners.
People gonna be scrolling so far down the results sheet that they get a migraine trying to find your name.
Why is this important?
Because although it’s certainly worth dying for when you have a tube of Butt Butt’R on the line for first place, it’s certainly not worth dying for when you are any of these wankers:
MAN ALMOST FALLS OFF BRIDGE AND DIES IN STUPID CAT 3 BIKE RACE (note quadruple redundancy)
When I say “almost dies” what I mean is that he almost ended up at the bottom of a ravine with his bicycle, which was photographed here:
I think from this photo it is obvious that either:
a) The bicycle fell a long way off that bridge, or
b) That dude rides a really tiny bike.
Everyone’s to blame but only YOU are the one who gets killed!
Of course the easiest persons to blame are the promoters who put a mad-dash finishing sprunt on a bridge with a centerline rule, and of course the race officials who signed off on this suicide mission. Still, with all due respect to the incredible Cat 3 dude with mad Spiderman skills who not only hit the wreckage at Mach 3 but managed to use his spidey senses and spidey strength to hang onto the edge of the bridge after being flipped like a pancake onto a concrete rail on his back and avoided falling to his fucking death, a set of skills that make him ready for every Hollywood action film ever made or that ever will be made and that will give him bragging rights until the day he dies, the fact is that a whole bunch of riders were riding way to fast way too far away from the finish way too late in a way too meaningless race for way too little reason.
That’s because no one bothered to teach them Rule One of Race Survival: Quit early.
No matter how good a racer you are, and most of us suck, you’re going to last a lot longer in bike racing by learning to recognize the point at which you’re no longer racing to win and you’ve started racing to live. In other words, it’s key to be able to shift from “Can I win?” to “No, so quit pedaling and live.” We’re all so glad the Cat 3 Spidey dude made it, and I’m hoping to get his autograph.
He’s inspired me, a lifelong quitter and early-giver-upper, to start quitting even earlier. Like, before even getting out of bed. Because Spider Man I’m not.
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