Last night’s crit was yet another disappointment for me. Actually, it started off quite well, as I was able to slip on the team kit with no discomfort and minimal stretching (I’m now actually a bit nervous it will be too big if I get my weight where I want it to be).
The pace was fast on the first few laps, but sustainable. Not something I could get away from though, as my heart rate was pegged. As we progressed and the field got tired, things slowed slightly. I tried making a move but got nowhere, so I sat back in.
With three laps to go, I got myself in position 4-5 riders off the front and thought I’d be in a good spot for the sprint. Somehow, though, other riders kept crowding me out. I ended up in no position to contend and finished with the main bunch but back far enough that it didn’t matter.
Steve, on the other hand, stayed right near the front throughout and ended up eighth out of a very large field. Afterwards, I asked him how he always manages to maintain a good position. “You just need to be a dick and not let anyone in.”
As a side note, I’ve noticed over the last few weeks I’ve been doing these races that the C flight has not only gotten larger, but more competitive. Last night’s pace would have fractured the field early in the year, and the sprint would have been down to about seven or eight racers. Instead, the field never broke up and there were at least 20 people who could have won the sprint.
Now I’m not the nicest guy in the world, but I do believe that the only thing in life that really matters is how we treat other people. I guess I need to watch out for number one a little more in the peloton.
The problem I have is that so many of us (and by us, I include myself) take sports so seriously. Sure it’s nice to post a good result, but at the end of the day, it’s still the C flight of a weekly race. And if you win, you and maybe three of your friends are the only ones who will care. Well, a handful of others may also care, but it won’t be in a good way, because they are fellow competitors who are pissed it was you and not them.
People come out to race because they feel like they’re fast enough that they want to see how they measure up. But there are ways of doing it that don’t involve foul language and animosity towards the other competitors.
As a sports fan and a competitor, I love to win. I love to see my team win. My brother defines a true fan as someone who believes when his team wins, they couldn’t have done it without you, and when they lose, it was somehow your fault. So of course, I’m always disappointed when I or my team loses. But let’s not take the wins and losses so seriously that we put lives and health in jeopardy, or worse, take our own, as one Arsenal fan did yesterday after the Champions League semifinal loss to Manchester United.