Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Race Pesos

Last Sunday I finally made it out from under the rock I've been living under for the past few weeks. Since I didn't catch a glimpse of my shadow, I ventured out to to see Baltimore, MD. And I'm not talking about my primary care physician, but Charm City; home of a really important hospital, that show about the cops and drugs and such, and most pertinent to me- a cyclocross race. I went down with my partner and some other folks who are quite interested in this 'cross racing business, which as I can gather involves pedaling bicycles around a narrow, grassy obstacle course for an hour or so whilst hoards of others try the exact same thing at the exact same time and aren't very nice about it.

Since I have the attention span of a goldfish I vacillated between watching some racing, playing with my dogs in an adjacent field, and riding my own bike through the woods. When my dogs were too tired to entertain me any longer, I loaded them up and proceeded to sit down to watch the final race. I think the category was "Men's #1&#2", but since I don't have a potty-mouth, I prefer to simply refer to it as the "major babes race". (But not out loud).

There weren't too many of them starting out, and apparently this is called having a "small field". Although the grassy field it was held in was indeed pretty big, whatever. They started out at a speed I can only describe as mega-fast, with the field effectively bottle-necking and dispersing throughout the course. I could tell the six or seven leading the pack were serious cyclists; they must have been been bike riding for at least a year or two, maybe even more, in order to get to that level of strength and speed. It was so inspiring to watch the first lap that i had to get up and leave and ride my bike some more though the park.

I came back to the race at mere two laps to go, or as I learned-when it gets surprisingly very exciting. People were screaming, ringing bells, and imbibing alcoholic beverages all to show their unwavering support. The two finishing first had a huge, and hence boring, lead on the next three. The showdown between the next three was exhilarating to watch. I laughed, I cried, I was anxious for their safety and for the safety of their livers. My partner got a stellar fifth place, which I immediately took some of the credit for from my consistent show of support.

Because at this point, so many people know how sad I am on the bike, or S.A.D. (Serious Amateur who is Dedicated) they ask if I race or tell me that I should race. This is because when people think of serious cyclists, they assume some kind of test is needed to determine current standings with others of their same sex and experience level. This is completely untrue, and as of yet I have no desire to compete in something I merely do for fun and fitness. I mean, I like cooking, I'm not about to enter a chili-cook-off or something, right? Besides, I have the emotional fortitude of a small child, and would be seriously upset by people yelling at me while I was dry heaving and covered in dirt. I don't want to pay money to entertain people, that's why I have a free blogger account. And this blog notwithstanding, I'm really not an exhibitionist, and am totally not sold on nor am I even ready for any type of racing.