"He doesn't want to pay to be a real racer. He just wants to blog about it." Aaron Casey aka jiminimnimnimninii or something like that. This quote was taken from my local mtn club website. The thread was about a new spring race series that was titled training series. I'm not really sure which it's supposed to be but I love it when people talk smack, it gets me fired up and pumped about racing.
A "real" racer huh, what really makes someone a REAL racer? In my opinion a real racer is someone who enters a couple of races a year, enjoys it and is somewhat competitive. I feel like I fit this bill well enough. I'm not paid or sponsored and as much as I would love to be I realize it's probably not going to happen and that is probably for the best in my case.
No I didn't get to race as much as I would like to this year but that's part of working full time, living on your own and having a few priorities here and there.
Racers who boast that they are pumped about inflicting a bunch of pain on themselves or brag that they enjoy it are full of it in my opinion. Yeah pushing yourself to the point to physical discomfort is what it takes to win and get stronger but there is a limit and once that line is crossed the fun is lost. Some can take way more than others but nobody likes it, they are just willing to deal with it.
There are a few things I look for when I'm signing up for a race.
- Races that are fun.
- The people I'm racing against are there to have fun as well.
- The entry fee is not ridiculous. I like to get a little something for my $$$ even if I don't podium.
- The course is fun (singletrack), I can deal with gut busting climbs.
- Promoters who are more interested in putting on a quality race rather than making a buck.
If I can't find at least two of these in a race I'm probably not gonna be interested. In my limited experience, USAC races are the only races where I have ever been cussed for not getting out of another racer's way fast enough, I hate people like that. Those are the folks who take it waaaay to seriously and loose focus on the fun aspect. I've seen it first hand in my small cycling community and some of those folks burned out so bad they quit riding. Everyone of them competed in a USAC backed series. Coincidence?
The USAC races require a license which I guess is worth it if you crash really bad and put the insurance to good use. I for one have never done enough USAC races to make buying a license worth the $$. I haven't actually done a USAC in over 2 years and I race as much as possible. I looked around the USAC website trying to find another good excuse for buying a license but there was way to much reading to be done and I got bored and went elsewhere. I'm sure there are plenty folks who can rattle off several reasons as to why it's worth the $$ but I doubt any of them really apply to me but I will listen. I'm forced to buy insurance through my employer so why would I want additional?
This all stems from a comment about having to pay for a USAC license to race. If I really want to race this series and it jives with my schedule I will probably do it.
I am excited about the fact that someone local has taken the initiative to put together a series of races and I hope the course is awesome and the turnout is huge.
I hope to see you there.