Tuesday, January 26

What makes worth worthy of worthiness?

As much as Sunday may not have looked like fun, it was.

I only raced for about 45 minutes, but the cleanup lasted over an hour and a half. When I got home I threw the contents of my shit bag across my lawn and laid the Meatplow in the grass. I had to hook the hose back up since the recent cold spell forced me to disconnect and drain it to keep it from exploding. I blew all the mud off my clothes, the Meatplow, and my broken helmet (yeah, I wore my busted helmet so I wouldn't trash up my new one) and then liberally hosed my shoes before venturing into the house.

My trip to the washing machine left chocolate milk puddles strewn about the kitchen floor as I dripped my way from one end of the room to the other. I headed to the shower, rinsed out my chamois and knee warmers, cleaned the tub, cleaned the kitchen, and then cleaned the front porch. With everything in the washing machine and the house decontaminated I rewarded myself with a beer, and got to looking at my front brake....

"I'm not washing my bike dear Billy... I am merely presoaking it."

I forgot to mention that somehow early on in the race my front brake started feeling like mush. I stopped using it since I couldn't see through the mud in order to assess the problem. I wasn't sure if I lost a pad, was suffering from a bad (self) bleed, or perhaps I had a small junior rider who drowned in a puddle stuck in my rotor. At the bike wash several other riders complained of weird brake issues, so it wasn't just me suffering from the inability to slow down. I flipped the bike upside down, drove the pistons back into the caliper, reset the pads, and all is well... at least in bike room test conditions. I still need to test them in more real world conditions, like my driveway or front yard.

It has been eons since I rode my bike in a true mire. Back when I lived in Ohio this was a much more normal happenstance. I don't know how many times I went to a nasty Month of Mud winter race in P Yay or if I ever raced the Di Di Mau in anything other than the most drivetrain eating conditions. I didn't even think twice about it then, but Sunday I almost didn't even leave the house. Fortunately when I tried to call Big Worm to tell him I was thinking about bailing as I watched the rain come down outside my window he informed me that he was almost in the parking lot. Shit.

So I left the house with a bag full of clothes (nothing clean to wear on the ride home, just riding options), my bike, and a grimace on my face. Once I got over the fact that I was going to do some damage to my bike parts I had a wonderful experience. It was good, plain fun, and the only thing that woulda made it better woulda been if I had borrowed someone else's bike. Slopping around carelessly in the mud is good for the soul.

In no way am I encouraging anyone to go trash up their local trails. We are fortunate here in the Queen City to have a winter short track that was built specifically for us to abuse this time of year. The trail has been painstakingly covered in crusher run, and most of the trail was built for the specific use that it sees this time of year. Although I wasn't too sure I felt like throwing down my $25 to ride for 45 minutes ($20 entry fee and $5 USAC highway robbery*) it was well worth it to thrash about in the mud like a child for an afternoon. Call me stupid (most people think that's what the comments section is for), but I think I got my money's worth.

* Sorry, just a continuation of an ongoing rant. I used to buy my license thinking that part of my $60 was used to send our athletes to "Worlds" (don't know where I got that idea). I was sorely disappointed when I heard about Harlan's trip to Austria to represent the US and A ("USA Cycling will not be providing any logistical or financial support at this event so if you decide to accept your spot on the team you will be responsible for all your travel, lodging and support at this race.") Seeing the fees almost double in the last decade (or decade and half... I'm getting old) and not really knowing where all that money goes makes it hard for me to fork out the dough... even if it is just $5. I'm not sure at what price point I'd buy into another license, but at $60 for a year one has to enter 12 USAC races for it to be worth it (or I guess you can't race expert w/o one). I don't know too many folks who do THAT many USACycling events in one year, so who's buying these things?

What a shitty way to end a post. Who wants to hear me bitching about all this injustice in the world when I could be talking about bikes, bike stuff, bike races, and dangerous genital encounters at the Y?


Joshua Stamper said... day licenses from usac are $10

CB2 said...

Last year I raced enough to break even on the license, and hopefully will again this year. I look at it as the price to pay to to ride longer against stronger riders, but if you want to break it down monetarily, Cat 1 has better prizes, like cash.

AdamB said...

I throw my hard earned Jackson's at IMBA and the Humane Society instead. I feel I get much more for my money that way- and racing hundies doesn't require a silly USAC license.
But then again, my real race days are behind me...

Nerd On A Bike said...

+1 on the USAC rant.

Anonymous said...

whats a bad idea racing?

Ohio Robb said...

usa cycling is the worst race promotion organization in the usa. an endurance calendar with 5 races? a 24 race followed 7 days later by a 6? 2 of the 5 races are actually one day titles. Marathon nationals haven't moved from their high elevation location in 4 years even though their charter says they'll move it every 2 years. your money.