Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bicycle Racing

I'm not a generally competitive person. I just don't have that drive to win at any cost, that is required (or at least is super helpful) to be good at sports. I enjoy a good pick-up game of soccer, ultimate Frisbee (yeah, I said it), whatever... but beyond that I've found that teams like to have people on them who actively try to win the game, so I steer clear of team sports. Individual sports aren't really any different. People like it when you try to win. Despite my lack of competitive drive, I raced the Massasoit Lung Opener this weekend

It was actually my second MTB race of the season. I also raced the King of Burlingame TT last month. I'll admit that before that race I called my better half while sitting in the parking lot to say something along the lines of "I'm nervous. This isn't fun. Why did I sign up for this? Wah." Don't worry- I got a nice helping of tough love. "Stop being a whiny baby and ride your bike." After being a big baby, I did get on my bike and race. And I enjoyed myself overall. How did I do? I don't know, because my results got lost. I know I didn't win, and I also didn't come in last. Beyond that, I don't know that I care to know how I did.

So if I'm not trying to win, I don't really care about my results and it's not 100% fun 100% of the time- why race at all? Good question.

Two reasons, mostly. One- it's a great learning experience. This weekend I learned that I'm much more motivated by staying ahead of the people behind me than trying to keep up with/pass the folks in front of me. I learned that warming up is a very important thing to do. I learned that Novice Women mountain bikers don't like the descents and that's a good place for me to make up for my lack of fitness and competitive drive. Two- it feels really good to finish. There's nothing like pushing yourself to ride hard to help you really enjoy not pushing yourself. Sitting down is much more satisfying after you've been racing than, say, if you've already been sitting down all day.

In conclusion, bike racing is good for learning things and appreciating not bike racing.

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