Local Racing

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by Byron on May 23, 2010 at 8:51 AM

As I said on Twitter

We’re covering local racing this weekend because we’re done with Pro racing and this era of dopers, bitterness, and controversy.

We love the sport itself and when Landis was first accused I wrote, “I don’t believe anything about professional cycling anymore. I just believe in the bike,” and enjoy how the sport is thriving at the local level.

I raced earlier in the week in Portland at PIR with 85 guys – we were there for the Mobile Social – and then onto the Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race with over 500 racers.

Pro 1/2

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The majority of those racers are spending their weekends racing because that’s what they love to do. Fitting in the training while working and sacrificing their free time for a prime in the crit or a good overall result.

Women

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Women racing hard

Masters Men

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Old guys that go fast

Off the Back

mutual_of_enumclaw__offtheback.jpg I felt like crap in the TT and the Crit. Didn’t know it until the start, but was sick and just rode through it. Andrew asked us to support him cause he’s going good and his win in the crit last night should put him on the podium today. I chose to support my bros that weekend, feeling-like crap or not, cause that’s what we do. The support wasn’t much.

On Tueday, at PIR, I felt awesome. Yesterday not so much and worse today. I’ll take a day off then back at it next week. It’s crit season now.

Kids Race

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Always fun for the kids

Richter

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Part of racing in the Pacific Northwest, is the weather and Mutual of Enumclaw usually has a storm roll through on one of the days, sometimes both. You spend a lot of time looking at the sky and reading the clouds. The crit isn’t one you want to do in the rain and if so, just keep the bike up right to survive without crashing. Richter, a long-time local pro reflects on the decisions to race or not:

A half hour before the start of the crit it started to rain. It was already cold & windy. I was not excited to race. I’m simply tired of racing in crappy weather. Also, there are a bunch of races coming up in the near future that I want to stomp…and I’m recovering from a crash last week in training. Now, old Rocket would have suited up and suffered. New, older, wiser, retired Rocket realized he did not have to race to keep his job.

As bike racers, it’s natural to try & not be a “pussy” when it rains, gets cold, etc. But I know that I’m tough. I don’t need to prove it. I’ve suffered. It takes a true baller to do what he/she wants & not care what everyone else thinks. I’m proud of myself (and TH & Flash) for keeping my joy joyful. Besides…I won that race last year.

So, don’t forget that bike racing is fun…keep it that way. Ball.

It is fun at the local level and when it’s not, it’s time to re-evaulate. We have had a few cases of doping and when Landis did come up yesterday, the general consensus was, “ready for this era to be over. Whatever, here to race my race.”

And we’ll do it again next weekend.

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Comments: 3

This wikipedia article makes it sound like this era of doping has lasted from the late 1800’s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_doping_cases_in_cycling
Was there a time when pros didn’t dope? Will there be a time when they don’t?

It’s true and we start our days with caffeine or with aspirin and I use asthma medication (banned on the UCI list). What’s happening now is there’s more money in it and Lance brought pro cycling real media attention. Locally when Kenny got popped and showed up to race he was confronted straight on by the racers. Landisgate is emails and PR spin and press conferences. Back in the day, Discovery chased down Simoni when he broke the code, today they let their handlers deal with it. The emails Lance put out to show how distrustful Landis is, of course, didn’t show his responses to Landis or his doctor. So the teams’ PR stance is to race along until something blows up and then circle the wagons. That makes it all worse and the entire sport suspect.

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