The Chronicals of Moynihan: Criteriums, Crushenation and the Romance of Racing.
OH. MY. GOD. I am so glad that the cycling season has started again. It’s because of that guy, who went on that talk show, it’s because I need cyclingnews. I need the constant news stream that is created by racing nearly every day from January to October. In the offseason there is only occasional interview articles with anonymous riders who are hoping for a better next season, chances for themselves, spots on the team for bigger races, their first grand tour etc… Obviously these riders would crushenate me with their wattage, it’s just that I would prefer to read about how many school girls Boom Boom Bonen plans to do the no pants dance with after winning every race held between the seasons of winter and summer, or what moderate weight savings I could achieve with a new groupset for only a few thousand dollars.
Obviously this is actually pretty hypocritical of me as my articles are the only ones on the Brad Hall Cycle Training site that aren’t enthralling race reports. I am the anonymous domestique, trying to increase his contract value with a cyclingnews article promoting my potential…except I kinda suck at bike riding. Not bad at doing accounting though (a blessing and a curse, hit me up if you need an accountant).
I’m sorry, that’s enough shameless self promotion. Now let me tell you about my racing. Don’t worry, even the most artfully worded and optimistic report of my performances could not be viewed as self promotion. Obviously it’s cirt season, so I have done some crits. Here are my race reports: I sat in the bunch and went in a circle. Now that is out of the way I can get on with interesting anecdotes.
The first anecdote comes from my first crit back after a significant hiatus; it was at the ‘ol tech park circuit in south Perth. I convinced my girlfriend to ride down with me, I would like to say that she had come to watch me, but that would be a lie and I promised not to unrealistically promote myself in the prior paragraph. She had come to see two of the ladies from the British Olympic Track Team. Obviously I raced B grade, held on with an appallingly high heart rate for 45 minutes and was very happy to grovel across the line somewhere towards the very back of the bunch. If I were to be completely candid, the only reason I finished was because my lady friend was watching, and I am quite vain.
Post race I took a lap to compose myself before proceeding to where my significant other is sitting on the lawn to tell her in a casual tone that the race “was just training”. Walking up on the the lawn, there is some guy sitting next to my girlfriend, he is clearly attempting to woo her. As it turns out, Romeo has just done C grade and he obviously hung around to soak up the atmosphere at the local Sunday morning crit, which is obviously where all the keen single ladies hang. My response to this at the time was pretty much nil, as I was exhausted and stunned with rage. Anyway, here are my tips for any guys looking to get some digits at their local Perth bike race…and there happens to be a girl there who is not a) some kids mum, b) a girl watching her boyfriend race, or c) some kids sister and off limits due to state and federal legislation.
1) Look good, cyclist good: This means shaved legs people (yes, the guy from my story had hairy legs), correct sock height, a colour co-ordinated outfit. The lady is looking for a cyclist, so make sure your image lets her know you are one.
2) Tell her you race A grade: You wouldn’t use the fact that you got a C in your last maths test as a pick-up line. Now, obviously it’s best if you actually race A grade, but if you are smooth enough you might be able to divert her attention during the race which you have just told her that you are almost definitely going to win and you won’t have to suffer an embarrassing fact check.
3) If her boyfriend does saunter up, looking sweaty and fantastic, don’t ask repeatedly to ride home with them: Seriously, this guy wouldn’t take a hint and I doubt I had the legs to drop a nugget in the porcelain, let alone another cyclist. (I’m sorry if that’s graphic but I was very tired).
So, that’s my take on criterium racing, its fast, everyone does it, everyone whinges about it, I enjoy it. I will leave you with a photo taken by Steven Lloyd at another crit a few weeks ago. I am actually on the front of the bunch and going very fast, as you can see by how blurry the background is. I’d have to rate that moment as one of the most painful of my life, considering I have watched two of the Twilight movies, that’s a great deal of suffering.
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