Thursday, June 23, 2011

Butt head

For those looking for a Wilmington/Whiteface post, here is one that I wrote for a sponsor and our "official" team blog:

It was a great race. Not the most technical, but definitely hard for a guy that is used to racing an hour at a time. The ride/hike a bike up Whiteface was cool as well. I know that there was a little grumbling, but it was a Leadville qualifier for crying out loud.

This post has been rattling around my brain for a few days. I tend to write positive posts for the most part. Sometimes sarcastic, sometimes with dark undertones, but positive or humorous none the less. This post will be less positive.

The fact of the matter is that sometimes there are butt head's in races. That's not really the term I'd use on the streets, but . . . butt head will have to do in this case.

By and large I find racers to be decent enough people. There are the stories of doping in the pro's and even in the amateur ranks on occasion. It's a fact of life that people cheat. Just watch the news. It isn't a cycling specific phenomenon. Frankly I don't give it much thought. I'm racing my own race and for the most part, I trust that the guys I'm racing against (or at least the guys I'm concerned with competing with) are racing clean. I know a lot of these guys. We've ridden many miles together and done a lot of racing together. I particularly trust the CX and MTB guys. The pure roadies always weird me out a little, but I'm sure they find my lackadaisical attitude toward road racing equally vexing.

. . . crap, I'm too nice. I can't write the rest of this post. Suffice it to say, sometimes people don't need to dope to cheat. I wasn't planning to name names or anything, but it's too specific of a story to not end up creating a problem. The internet is a big place, but we're in a microcosm of the internet here. Someone almost cheated. They tried to down play it. Thankfully someone else talked them into letting the promoter know and their results were removed, but it took a lot of talking to get them to see the light. Cheating on purpose or cheating by accident is still cheating once you know you did it.

Concessions to "sportsmanship" like that go a long way to explaining how people justify cheating in other ways. As a guy who finished in a lowly 86th place, I'm glad I didn't finish in 87th. 99 people were going to be awarded belt buckles as awards. It would have been a bummer if the guy who came in 99th didn't get one because someone wasn't man enough to do the right thing, or to be more specific, someone wasn't man enough to tell that person they were a butt head if they didn't do the right thing.

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