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Monday, January 29, 2007

luckily, it's not a "contact sport" ...

now, there is no frickin' way i'd wanna be tackled by one of those 300lb behemoths of the NFL.

but, shyte on a shingle ... cycling is a sport for the brass-balled.

- - -

when the unitiated-americans tilt their nose up at the sufferings of cycling ... i always agree with a shrug and a nod, admitting ~ "yeah ... it's not like those other sports at all."

but then i reply ...

drive your car 40 miles an hour sometime -

open up the door,

and just fall out.

just fall out.

- - -

... cuz' it's just like that, brother.

only, you've got to be breathing as hard as you can while you do it. exerting every ounce of strength, finely balanced skill, and raw determination while you do it.

just fall out.


lauren said...


it's amazing in those pics, how the rest of the pack stays so perfectly upright. they're just going to ride right over him.

road racers, are tough as nails. i love watching you guys all race. but, yeah, as you said, driving your car 40 miles an hour and falling out...

i like dirt.

Hick said...

Well said my friend, well said.


Jen said...

My oh my. For some reason that picture reminded me of something.

Road racers are a crazy bunch of fools.

Flandria said...

taming the shrew...

stampede, it'a amazing no one else was taken out - incredible at that speed and split second

Jen said...

Oops, this should work

velogirl said...

I witnessed up close & personal the most traumatic crash I've seen in a race (and I've seen some doozies). In the inexperienced W4 at EBs, a little tiny junior kissed wheels and went down sprawling across the road. 4 riders rolled over her, the last over her head. At that point, she had been laying on her back and her head was turned face down while her body remained almost prone. It's the first time I've screamed when I saw a crash. I was certain she was dead. It took 5 minutes or so, but she regained consciousness and was taken away in a bus. And surprisingly, I think she's going to be okay.

Amazingly, only one of the riders who hit her went down.

Nome Agusta said...

SHYTE with a capitol S, I didn't know that much happened after I got Groovy T off to the side and safely out of the carnage. Good thing I have taken her off road and teaching to her find lines. She escaped from the heart of that crash by just rolling over the edge of the downed bike's wheel.
Riding with the newbies out there really makes one appreciate the level of skill in the upper categories.

BTW: VG is looking pretty hot these days!

PAB said...

geez, cycling seems kinda dangerous and foolish all of the sudden.

how about we play a nice quiet game of cards instead...

diskzero said...

The Early Bird crash was terrible. I was riding next to the group and the crash happened on the lead up to the prime. There were two people way up the road and the group actually seemed in control and together when the rider went down. I also saw the riders behind her rollover her body, the last one going over her head. I feared the worst.

That particular group has been the most crash prone this year with wheel touches and we talk about it before every race. As for the prime in an EB Cat. 4 training race, I think it is probably some unneeded tension for a group of inexperinced racers.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

you just hate hearing about stuff like that.

but, it's bike racing. crashes happen.

- - -

let's just hope all are well and want to continue giving it a try.

marian said...

I like how in the second photo you see the spandex ripping off of the thigh.

Fear of crashing is what's going to get me practicing my ninja skills.

Little known fact: Ninja's crash 37% less and suffer 68% less road rash when they do go down.


Olaf Vanderhoot said...

"ninjas are so sweet that i want to crap my pants."

velogirl said...

I have an opinion about yesterday's race (does that surprise anyone?). juniors have no sense of mortality. My experience when in combined women/junior fields is that the juniors have no fear and don't think about repercussions when they make moves. the junior boys are a bit crazier (and typically larger) but the junior girls yesterday were a bit all over too.

in addition to this crash (2 junior victims), there was another junior who crashed as she was rolling to the start. all the women were standing at the line and two girls rolled up late. the girl in question was a bit of a hot dog and pulled a silly move. she was unclipped with both feet and had her legs extended out to either side of the bike (moving her weight forward on the saddle). she hit the brakes, endo'd and landed right on her face.

juniors just don't think about pain or fear or death. they seem to take more risks that middle aged women do. in my oh so humble opinion, it's unfortunate that they combine the "new" juniors with the women. of course, without a junior race at EBs this year, there aren't many other options for the girls to learn.

I'm glad I was watching from the sidelines and that my racers were in the "experienced" group.

velogirl said...

Oh, and thanks, Nome! I feel great and it's so nice when folks notice.

trac said...

i have to disagree about the juniors thing. Sure, a lot of them are a bit more fearless perhaps. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be able to ride with the women. Fearless and stupid are two different things. There are plenty of grown women who make bad decisions in bike races - not because they're fearless but because they don't know any better. We don't seperate them out of our races, nor should we. Early Bird races are all about skills and learning, and is a perfect opportunity for people like those juniors to ride with more experienced women and in a larger pack which they otherwise would not be able to because if they were seperated out into a "junior women field" they would be riding by themselves.

Nome Agusta said...

Actually VGs statement is supported by medical science. Intelligence has nothing to do with her point, it is quite simply that the adolescent brain is still in the process of developing the area that is responsible for critical thought.

What that means is that the youth act more on instinct and impulse, which can sometimes lead to disaster.

The part of their brain that would make them consider the consequences
of their actions isn't fully developed yet. It's not an indication of intelligence or lack of, it's simply a part of natural development.
It's somewhere between the age of 22 to 25 that this process is completed.

Anonymous said...

"It's somewhere between the age of 22 to 25 that this process is completed."

or not completed...... :)

velogirl said...

correct, nome. Tracie, that totally wasn't a slam on juniors. I love kids. I was a girl scout leader for many years and one of the things I learned is that young people don't have the same sense of time (history or future) that we do as adults. life is much more about the here and now. consequences don't mean much. it's one of the reasons that HIV/AIDS has spread so rampantly among youth in this country. young people don't have the sense of mortality yet because that part of their brain hasn't developed in that way yet. teenagers are invincible, at least in their own minds. again, that's not a slam -- just an observation (although it is supported by medical science).

and, I will agree that there are some very smart, safe junior women. but there are also a lot of juniors who are risk-takers -- not because of any ill-intent, but rather because they don't understand the consequences the way the adults do -- they just don't think that way.

I bet your pov has already changed, Tracie, now that you're out of school and have the responsibility of a job and an apartment. it's a different world for you now than it was when you were a junior.

shawndoggy said...

As I said in a thread a few months ago, there's a reason why we send 18 year olds off to war.

But then again, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit wistful for that impetuous rush of youth. In fact, I think it has more than a little to do with why I like charging into a corner shoulder to shoulder at 25mph. Sure it's about fitness and strategy and fitness and skill, but at its core, bicycle racing is, well, balls out. Nobody wants to crash, but we all keep coming back even though people do.

bbElf (a.k.a. Panda) said...


What's with the fadey Lotto kits?

Chico Cyclist said...

uhhh.....I need to go throw up now.

monk said... guys got all philosphical and shyte.

isn't it just about riding your bike and keeping
it upright?

maybe I missed something

banks said...

I can just imagine the uninitiated american's reaction to your comparison of crashing in a sprint and jumping from a car. Following a brief pause while his morbid brain processes this new and exciting information, an enthusiastic "Cooool" exits his lips.

funkdaddy said...

It's no secret in some parts. There is a promoter in Georgia, Gene Dixon, who is notorious for putting on Nascar-style crashfests for the masses. The Athens Twilight Criterium is known for massive fields (I recall 225 Pro/1/2 racers one year) and HUGE crashes - the college students would come out in droves just to see us pile up...and cheer us when we did.

the threat of disaster definitely adds some sadistic appeal to it all...

ginmtb said...

Another reason why you won't see me on the road...

When I crash, I want to be responsible for it.

MoJito said...

spoken like a true mtb-er, Gin.

I always figure I use up all my crash-points on the dirt. Get out there and get it over with. That way when I'm on the road, I've already had the fear of god instilled in me. But with the cushions of trees and dirt and stuff. Oh ya, rocks too.

As long as it's not asphault.