Lust: One of the B-school marketing basics is STP—segmentation, targeting, and positioning. Apparently the Scottsdale travel council has done a bit of this and determined that tourism revenue will be maximized by positioning their town as a luxury destination for attractive rich people who like candles and very small islands in their swimming pools, and this attractive rich people segment can best be reached through targeted advertising in the New York Times.
I would have been more enticed to make another visit had they shown a picture of some buff singletrack or maybe the mountain bikers with a backpack full of booze who kindly offered me Tecate and shots of tequila* at the top of a lung-busting climb.
*Which, had I accepted, I was certain I would have promptly thrown back up from the effort I had just made. Nevertheless, it was a nice gesture, especially considering the challenging, technical descent I had before me that required every bit of skill and coordination I could muster.
But then again, they’re trying to maximize revenue, and all I bought in Scottsdale proper was a bottle of coke. I drove to the trails from my (less-expensive) hotel in Phoenix.
Gluttony: After Lotoja, I ate pretty much everything that wasn’t bolted down. I put on two kilos in as many days. Since then, I’ve made a half-baked effort to watch what I eat, an effort that in the spring probably would have been enough to take the weight off. It hasn’t. Wonder if that has anything to do with my weekly training volume going from 12-15 hours per week to 2-5?
Envy: Daren told me not long ago that he was a bit envious of the success I had racing on the road this season. Well the tables have been turned, my friend. I have suffered more than I thought possible on the bike for mid-pack finishes in cross races, while Daren has two wins in two races. He has been bagging those wins in an open category, while I’m struggling to find the front of the race in the B flight. But instead of smiling and asking “how do you like them apples?”, he shares training, racing, and technique tips and endless encouragement to try and bring me along as quickly as possible.
Sloth: I sent Steve a link to this photo of him from UTCX#2 in Ogden. His response: “The beauty of still photos is that nobody can tell how slow* you are going.” Wise words from a man wearing a skinsuit that epitomizes my mantra “if you can’t be fast, you should at least look good.”
*Which is not to say he was going slow, just slower than he would have liked for someone accustomed to being at the front of the race.
One of those was Jonathan Lozon, to whom I gave a shoutout in my wrapup of UTCX#2. What I didn’t know at the time was that in addition to his top 10 at Weber, Lozy went on to win the C race in the Raleigh Cross series. It was his first win ever. How can you not be proud of him for that?
Greed: I’ve mentioned before that Utah is a great place to live if you like to race bicycles. If you include MTB, there are as many as six options for mid-week races during the summer, a full calendar of weekend MTB and road races, and now two series of cross races, conveniently scheduled so as not to conflict with one another.
Which is not to say our races aren’t quirky. USAC rules state cyclocross courses are to be a minimum of three meters wide throughout, yet the Draper course is at least 60% singletrack*. Perhaps even more quirky and annoying than the singletrack is that we have handlebar-mounted number plates. And the Raleigh Cross series even chose to follow the UTCX lead in this regard. Seriously? Is this a MTB race or a cross race? Jonathan from Revolution Wheelworks summed it up nicely:
*Singletrack apparently composed of equal parts dirt and goatheads.
Strange and fascinating indeed. Still, I’m happy to have the opportunities to race, whether the courses include singletrack or we have turns in the final 200 meters or not.