Sunday, October 6, 2013

Scott 2013

So I read a rather entertaining soap box piece on Flow this week that questioned the motivation to race and why we are so dead keen serious here in Oz.  And of course it got me thinking.  Not everything in the article was entirely balanced but the writer had some good points.  So being just one week away from perhaps the biggest race of my life, and heading for the 3rd race in as many weeks, I needed to really turn down the intensity factor and just enjoy this one.  Here are some things I found helpful for not racing at a race.  Most of them are obvious and I hate writing obvious things but perhaps some of these will resonate with you and yeah, some of this is a little tongue in cheek, I know, you think I am probably the straightest guy you know.

1.) Take 3 teenage boys to the race
Nothing quite takes as much energy and focus and herding three boys to a race three hours from home and making sure they are fed and watered, then get them home in one piece with as much of their gear undamaged and accounted for as possible!  Not to mention listening to their music!  Fact is it was an absolute pleasure, these guys were awesome, and in Charley and Lewis' case they did OK for a couple of roadies!  Tommy you rock!

2.) Go for a ride before the race.
It's a bit of a saga, this one, so I'll give you the abridged version.  How hard do you think it would be to find a pair of bibs that will go the distance in a 24 solo.  So it was that I rolled down to Woden to take my pick from bike shops and I think I found some bibs up to the task.  Bellweather Axiom.  Time will tell but early signs feel good.  And man, you Martians have some evil Magpies.  I will never again smirk at the determined rider with cable ties tied onto their helmet!

3.) Wear baggy shorts
Look, I havent bought into the whole shorts/lycra debate, because for me there is no debate.  Wear what you like.  I love wearing lycra and I reckon any half decent cyclist looks good in lycra.  I cant stand the thought of the excess fabric flapping around in the breeze.  Lycra is comfy, practical and isnt going to get caught on anything.  I get the feeling that the baggy shorts brigade have something against the human form as it is clearly on display in lycra, and I admit there are some human specimens who probably should NOT wear lycra (oh dear did I just make a judgement, I know that is very non-PC) BUT riding in baggy shorts just gives it a whole different feel and you get treated on the trail differently too.

4.) Leave the Garmin in the bag.
Just ride and stop staring at your stem.  Yes I can see you all nodding and saying see I told you so.  I like the Garmin and everything that comes with it as a training tool including the evil Strava, but going "by feel" every now and again can be extremely liberating.  My last lap, in baggy shorts, I went for a cruise, absolutely no racing, no efforts, no chasing rabbits, nada, just ride and enjoy the wind in your face.  Still clocked a 38 on Blue, so it goes to show, slow is fast-ish.

5.) Enter a category where you know you wont be competitive.  When Fi had to hot foot it overseas, we enrolled good old trusty Greg to make up the foursome, but that put us into Male Masters 4, arguably the category best known for racing for sheep stations.  We didnt have to ride every minute of the 25 hours and we actually pulled the pin and got an early mark home before race end (heaven forbid!).  We had an awesome weekend riding and socialising, we got some sleep and I didnt have to do any soul searching at 3am.  Save that for a week from now.

So there you go, that was the Scott 2013.  Fine weather, good food, fun company, dusty trails, what more could you ask for?

Keep riding

 The three teens

Riders starting their Blue lap on dusk

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