The Intent to Race
HELLO. I AM YOUR NEW PROJECT.
This velo is tired of being mellow, but I have decided that I need to enlist some help. Real help.
Here’s the deal: I am a totally mediocre cyclist. Sure, I rode my bike across the country last summer, but there were many days I didn’t finish (Rocky Mountains, anyone?). I generally average 15 mph over flat terrain, and am nervous about doing some rides with my new bike, since it lacks a baby gear up front. (Work with me here; that was hard to admit.) Other than the slow, steady endurance I gained from our long days on the bike trip, I lack the speed, strength, balance and skill to race. I also do not have an addictive personality…
But, believe it or not, I really, really want to race. Why? I love cycling. And I love fast. But I don’t want to do this alone, yet I think I have to for a while. Please don’t tell me to join a club. I am not fast enough or strong enough to hang with any of the area groups. Because of that, I need YOU.
Over the next few weeks, I am going to start interviewing amateur racing cyclists about how they got into racing, how they motivated themselves in the early days and whatever else led up to that first race. If you are one of those cyclists, now is your chance to become an expert.
Reading each new issue of Bicycling pumps me up temporarily, but glossy magazine stories about inspirational riders rarely tell of those early months, when getting out of bed early was a death march, when averaging 17 mph over rolling terrain for any great distance was impossible, when the rider couldn’t balance well enough to ride with no hands, when taking a corner too fast guaranteed a wipe-out, and when one sprint or big hill climb meant the rider’s juice was spent.
The project is intended to turn me into a road racer. With the help of experienced riders who have gone before (but who aren’t too stuck up to look back and remember when they were in my shoes), the blog will become a storyboard of those unheard-of early days, when it sucks more than it rocks. Hopefully it can help and inspire other slugs in my dreamlike position. I promise to be as entertaining as possible.
What’s in it for you? Not much, really, other than recognition on this site and perhaps the chance to connect with other amateur racers. And you get to watch me grow up. And you get to critique me. (It’s OK; I dig constructive criticism.) But the more people who know my story – and, more importantly, who have shared theirs – the more I can use to motivate myself and the more fun it will be when I kit up for my first race.
Can something like this be done by someone who isn’t predisposed to athletic greatness?
Zero to race in however long it takes!
Send your stories to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to say something, but no more after that, leave your comment here on this post and I’ll leave you alone.