Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Seven Stages of Road Racing

The Seven Stages of Road Racing..

1. First time out - your goal is to not get dropped. You get dropped and hopefully find someone who also got dropped to finish the race with. When you get back to the car your ride already has his bike in the rack and is looking at his watch.

2. Seeing your first sprint - you don't make the break, but do manage to stay with the pack and actually see someone sprinting at the finish. It is not known why they are sprinting as the break finished well over five minutes ago.

3. Your first sprint - you make the break, but get dropped, get collected by the pack. You are still close enough to the front to actually be one of those trying to sprint, even though the break did finish five minutes ago. But it does seem like the right thing to do.

4. You stay with the break - at the final turn the first ten or so riders sprint away. But you do get to see it. And you finish within a minute or two of the winners. You are now officially a road racer, your immediate family refuse to acknowledge this though.

5. In the sprint - you stay with the break, keep to the back saving your matches, get to the front in the last lap, in the top six or seven around the last turn and actually get to participate in the sprint. Possibly finish in top 10. A significant milestone, fellow club members are envious.

6. Podium - you lead the break, in the top three around the last corner, get a perfect lead out and sprint into a podium finish. You have arrived, life is good, you get mentioned on the club website.

7. Upgraded - The race organizer tells you that you have been upgraded, which is not as good as it sounds. The race is 30% longer at with a 5% higher average speed.. You hope that at least you can finish in the pack but you'll be looking for someone to finish the race with. You are back at stage 1.