Monday, April 14, 2008

Sitting In and Bowing Out: The Art of Pass/Fail Racing

Cycling should be an enjoyable endeavor. However, sometimes despite our best efforts we wind up in situations on the bike that are simply no fun. Such situations include: having accidents; getting caught in severe weather; and, perhaps worst of all, becoming involved in an amateur road race. Of course, the first two circumstances can be avoided or mitigated with caution and preparation. As for the third one, though, chances are that if you find yourself in an amateur road race in the first place you’re the sort of person who seeks suffering rather than avoids it. If you simply must participate in amateur road racing, here are some tips to help ameliorate the adverse effects:

Know Your Limits

There is a fine line between ambition and delusion. The former is the fuel for success, and the latter is the way to ruin. I believe it was either Sheldon Brown or Ben Franklin who said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” This is especially true when it comes to road racing. Basically, if you’ve never won a race before, you’re not suddenly going to start winning them now. So settle down, pick a wheel to follow, and stay out of trouble.

Unfortunately, though, too many people fail to realize this, especially in the lower categories, where everybody stupidly sees him-or herself as a potential winner. When everyone’s going for the podium the result is a pile-up. It becomes like some moronic slapstick routine where eight people bend down to pick up the same $100 bill and just end up bashing their heads together as a gentle breeze carries the money down the street.

The reason the higher categories generally see fewer crashes is not because they’ve acquired better riding skills over the years; rather, it’s because higher-category riders have been psychically beaten into submission. Their wills have been broken, they’ve admitted to themselves that they don’t have a chance, and they ride accordingly. In real life, if more than like 50% of the country believes it should be running it, you’re going to have a civil war. In a race, if more than half the field thinks it can win you can expect carnage on wheels. So don't be part of the problem.

Race Pass/Fail

So you’ve admitted you’re a loser. Congratulations, and welcome to mediocrity! Please come in and make yourself comfortable. Would you like a Shasta? Believe it or not, embracing your inner “meh” is one of the most positive things you can do as a cyclist. And now that you’re coming to terms with this, it’s time to re-evaluate your goals. Clearly, winning is out of the question for you, so the next best thing is helping someone else win. Well, that’s all very nice, but what’s in it for you? More importantly, once your job is done and the winning break is up the road what’s your motivation for staying in the race?

In this case we can look to the halls of academe for an answer, and that answer is to race “Pass/Fail.” This simply means finishing=passing and getting dropped=failing. Over the years, I’ve learned that riding for a place is discouraging. However, if you treat simply finishing the race as success you can strive for—and attain—something close to perfection. Remember: success is how you define it. And when it comes to defining things in a manner that suits my own purposes, I’m like Robert Cawdrey with an Erasermate.


Employ Tactics

Road racing is all about tactics. Unfortunately, the tactical advice you get from books and magazines is intended for winners or for people who aspire to be winners. As such, it doesn't apply to you. Using that stuff for pass/fail racing is like trying to assemble a piece of Ikea furniture by following Mapquest directions to Chuck E. Cheese. You’re not interested in winning, you’re interested in surviving. Here are three key pieces of advice for the survival of the pass/fail racer:

Go Where The Most People Are

If you see a group of people go up the road that has less people in it than the group you’re in, stay where you are! What’s happening is that a selection is being made, and trust me when I tell you don’t want to be a part of it. The first rule of pass/fail racing is to avoid breakaways. Being in a breakaway is like going from a cushy job at a big company with a regular paycheck to a really hard job at a tiny company where you have to work 16 hour days on commission only and people are always yelling at you. And trust me—someone will yell at you. Every break has a self-appointed driver who is really mean and constantly shouts stuff like, “Short pulls!” and “Rotate!” and “Pull off into the wind!” and then gets indignant when you say “But I don’t wanna rotate!” since just want to sit on the back crying because you miss those fun cubicle days when all your friends were around and you didn’t have to do any real work. I mean, seriously, if you want to suffer do a cyclocross race.

Conversely, if you’re in one group and you suddenly realize the group up the road has much more people than the one you’re in, that means you’re probably being dropped. If possible, get back to the group with more people in it. (Shouting at someone else to “Close the gap!” can be helpful here.)

Savor the Slowness

There are times in the race when the pace will slow for no apparent reason. This is a good thing for the pass/fail racer, as it is an opportunity to relax and enjoy. Occasionally though, you may be tempted to try to lift the pace or “make a move.” But it is absolutely essential to always remember the first rule of pass/fail racing and stay where the people are. Because if you do go off the front, nobody’s going to follow you since you’re a pass/fail racer and they are too and they know better than to get mixed up in some fool’s errand with you. Then you wind up alone in no-man’s land. If you don’t know what no-man’s land is, it’s kind of like that period after you learned what the cycling-related jokes on the Primal jerseys meant, but before you figured out that it was totally uncool to wear them, so you just rode around alone wearing a Primal jersey and looking ridiculous. And that’s what will happen if you go off the front. You’ll wind up alone, between the field and the break, looking ridiculous.

Work Only Out of Craven Self-Preservation

There is only one situation in which it is acceptable for the pass/fail racer to accelerate or attempt to move up through the field, and that’s at the beginning of any sort of incline. This is a widely-known rule, but it’s one of the few that’s actually designed for the pass/fail racer and so it bears repeating here. What you want to do is move to the front of the group at the start of the climb so that as you continue up it you can slowly drift back through the group instead of struggling to stay on. Hopefully, by the time you get to the top of the incline you haven’t already been spit out the back. This is the equivalent of periodically selling something you own for quick cash so you can enjoy a few months of easy living instead of simply working hard all the time.


Premature Withdrawal

Road racing isn’t like other types of racing. In a cyclocross race, you stay in the race until you finish or until you’re pulled, even if nobody’s near you. In a mountain bike race, you keep racing regardless of your position as well, unless you’ve got an irreparable mechanical problem, or unless you’re me and you just wanna go home. But in road racing, if you find yourself dropped and alone, you stop racing. This is perfectly acceptable, and it’s because, unlike other activities, road racing is not done for fun. It’s done out of obligation. So once your race is over there’s simply no point in carrying on.

Of course, there are times you may want to leave the race even before you’ve gotten dropped. Technically, this is unacceptable. However, there are a few ways to do it while saving face. They are:

Get a Flat

Be honest: who hasn’t prayed for a puncture during periods of extreme physical duress? If you simply want out, try to steer towards gravel or bits of broken glass. If possible, ride in the gutter, where these sorts of things accumulate. Also, if there’s any kind of neutral wheel service, be sure to start the race on a bicycle that is incompatible with modern-day drivetrains. There’s no way the mechanic’s going to be able to cram a 10-speed wheel with 130mm spacing into your 120mm-spaced frame quick enough for you to get back in the race. And even if he does, it's not going to work with your Huret rear derailleur. Best of all, you can blame not only bad luck but also bicycle marketing and gimmickry for your failure to finish.

Unfortunately, getting a flat on purpose isn’t always easy, but you’ll just have to try your best until I start selling my Deflat-O-Mat 3000, which will instantly induce double-flats via a discreet handlebar-mounted trigger disguised as a cycle computer.

Have a Mechanical

There are innumerable ways to feign component failure. My personal favorite is the Hincapie ‘06. Remember the moment his steerer tube broke in Paris-Roubaix and he sat there for a moment studying his disembodied handlebars in disbelief before he crashed spectacularly? You can easily replicate this yourself by simply carrying a multi-tool in your jersey and subtly unbolting your stem. When it’s time to throw in the towel, simply slide the stem off the steerer tube and you’ll be out of the race in no time. (You can also do a Hincapie ’08—wheel failures can be induced by opening a skewer with your foot.)

And of course this all leads to the best but most dangerous way to leave a race:

Have a Crash

A good crash requires no explanation. Of course, it might require hospitalization, so this method should be used sparingly. If possible, steer towards grass or haybales.

101 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am the one! Yee-Haw!

mr.complaint said...

Joseph Bruno

Anonymous said...

Ballan!

techb3 said...

top 4! you all will be happy to know my friend rapped his bike up yesterday skidding down an enormous hill. see the gnarly footage at www.techb3.com

Bobbo said...

good post...again

Anonymous said...

there is nothing like the foreboding sound of brakes in a cat5/4 race followed by the inevitable sound of alloy and skin hitting the road...

Anonymous said...

First Post EVER!

Anonymous said...

Top ten... How 'bout that - it pays to sleep in.

techb3 said...

i did say, "RAP."

Anonymous said...

but BSNYC what are some good ways for novice road racers to make a crash happen?

Anonymous said...

and great post i laughed the library into awkwardness.

Anonymous said...

Such advice is worth it weight in gold. Let's see now, three races this year: PASS, FAIL, PASS.

I win.

Looking into the future, I see many more FAILs.

I participate.

Jewbeard said...

you haven't raced until you've crashed.

scott said...

like Robert Cawdrey with an Erasermate

Best BSNYC line ever? Certainly since the change to RTMS.

Anonymous said...

techb3

go away.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I second that. Techb3 should get off the internet! That video of your boy f-ing blew! Just another crap video taking up valuable bandwidth. Techb3, you suck!

g said...

anonymous 117,
if you are truly a novice road racer, you already have all the skills to make crashes happen, you may just not be conscious of it. Let your mind wander, your ass will follow.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

yeah! Down with tech3b. down with this person!!

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Tech3b = not interesting.

Anonymous said...

BSNY,

I wish you would have published this post prior to this past weekend. It would have saved me from sprinting to a 39th place finish after getting dropped in a cat 4/5 race.

Another great post!

H.

Golzy said...

Great post... 'if you want to suffer do a cyclocross race.'

ka_jun said...

I take full responsibility for watching that techb3 video. I would have preferred being rickrolled rather than watching some dude "at one" with his stem.

Anonymous said...

in case anybody is wondering about the bike that failed Hincapie, cycling news still has a nice review:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/road/2006/apr06/roubaix06/?id=/tech/2006/features/hincapie_trek

Fred said...

Thanks for the timely advice. I've recently begun planning my amateur racing career and this is the exact sort of wisdom I need for my future as Cat 5 pack-fodder. Any crit-specific advice? For example, should I always yell "INSIDE!" as I dive for the inside line in the corners? Someone told me I should always do that...

Jim said...

what are some good ways for novice road racers to make a crash happen?

1) Enter races.
2) Race.
3) Ride with others on training rides.
4) Ride alone.
5) Be squirelly. (Summarizes ##1-4).
6) Touch, or even stand near, a >$7k bike racked up in the local bike shop.
7) Most importantly, ride like you don't want to crash.

Any of these alone will guarantee a crash. Any of them together, will guarantee you have company when you make mad, passionate love to the pavement. Any of them plus #7, guarantees you will be injured, your bike broken, and your wife / SO will be pissed about it. The underlying paradox is that if you ride like you want to crash, you probably wont; if you ride like you don't want to crash, you are dooooooomed, doooooooomed I tell you. The physical law governing this is Hincapie's Rule, which states that You can't have what you most want, and what you don't want, you're most likely to get, in spades.

King Missile said...

And for your viewing pleasure.

wishiwasmerckx said...

I find that it helps to think of the Cat 4/5 field as a slinky. While the other Cats flow along in a smooth paceline, the Cat 4/5 field proceeds in fits and stops. One minute, you are putting the hammer down just to preserve you place while the field speeds up down the road, and the next, you are laying into both brakes to avoid the slowdown in front of you which has occurred for no discernable reason whatsoever. If crashing out is your preferred method of abandoning, these unexplained and unexpected changes of pace offer ample opportunity. Going over the bars and landing on your face is always a crowd-pleaser. Out west here, this is known as a "Tijuana Lip Slide."

thefutureofamerica said...

Pass.

Adam said...

Alright Techb3, you got me, I have no idea what you're trying to do. From the looks of your website, you take below average fixed gears and turn them into average fixed gears by adding different wheels and a leather seat. Then you reference death and being hardcore.

Now that's all fine, I'm sure there are quite a few people out there that like that kind of thing. But I don't think they read this blog too often. In fact, I think your website is the kind of thing Snob would make fun of, and everyone else would agree with.

So what are you trying to do? You're like Opinionated Cyclist, I'm not sure whether or not you're supposed to be one of those "this is funny because it's not funny" things, or whether you're serious.

yeagermeister said...

you are two days late with this one. Had I read this on Saturday, I may not have tried to respond to the early attacks in Sunday's crit. Ehhh... nevermind. I still would have deluded myself into trying.

mr.complaint said...

Buy a bicycle to meet your aspirations.

Be serious and concentrate.
REALLY HARD!

techb3 said...

im not really sure what website you are looking at, but last time i checked, a 3rensho wasnt considered a "below average" fixed gear, but based on your brilliant assumptions, et me ask you this: what was your first bike? did you have a $5000 frame or a shitty huffy? let me make an assumption. you probably had a shitty bike. people start with shitty bikes. so if people want to get into riding fixed gear bikes, they might want to start with a less expensive modle to test the waters. you are right, bikesnob would/will/has made fun of guys like me, but you are wrong on one count. Fixed gear riders do read bikesnob because they want to see what he is going to knock on next. we may even learn a little something from the stupid shit he sees on craigslist or fixedgeargallery or velospace. it's not up to you to decide who reads or posts. it's bikesnob's.

OpenYourEyes said...

RTMS, you forgot two of the best and most used tactics of the pass/fail-er for premature withdrawal (or PW), both of which could belong under the heading of Parade Courage.
Pass/fail-er gets dropped in a crit or circuit race and pulls out where there aren't any people, goes to a coffee shop until the race is over, comes back looking like a conquering hero to the spectators who didn't see him pull out on lap 2 and starts talking about how sweet that finish was!
Or the best one, drop out and start bitching about how the "fucking idiots don't know how to hold their line and they kept hammering me into the barriers, so I said 'fuck this'". "Plus," its essential to add, "I am rehabing my acl and I'm not about to take a header for a bunch of weekend warriors."

Anonymous said...

I think Einstein said that, not Franklin or Brown.

Sycophantic Backstabber said...

That Hincapie crash was spectacular! It really blooms in the slo-mo.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=gfwwMLD5dnQ

Anonymous said...

you have just very succintly summed up my racing career and i don't know whether to be happy or sad about it.

excellent post as usual.

Anonymous said...

"Fixed gear riders do read bikesnob because they want to see what he is going to knock on next."
-Techb3, bikesnob forum

"One minute you're in, and the next you're out."
-Heidi Klum, Project Runway

mander said...

Syncophantic Backstabber:

I'm just glad that wasn't a rickroll.

Pass

Sycophantic Backstabber said...

I don't like watching skateboarding accidents, but I just can't seem to get enough of bike crashes!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4eXkOqmesA

Fritz said...

I've used the last technique (crashing) a few times, which explains why I'm now a crippled and bitter ex-racer clinging to my guns and bikes and antipathy to hipsters.

Pass/Fail is a lie. Laurent Fignon got 2nd place in the 1989 Tour de France and who remembers him besides his fellow loser Frenchmen? The winner, on the other hand, is in the news even this last week as he works to sabotage lucrative licensing agreements.

bikesgonewild said...

...an erudite little treatise...if ya feel the need to go that far...
...i tend to employ the classic "why bother when bike races start so early ???" philosophy...
...energy not wasted on performance anxiety & equipment cost concerns offered me the forethought to invent the "premature ejectulator 120" for those who initially felt the need to prove they have no abilities...
...why use a "deflat-o-mat 3000" & incur the cost of a double flat ???...the "pme 120" uses simple air cartridge technology to mimic the high pressure "PSSSsssrrr" sound of 120 lbs of quickly escaping tubular air...drift to the back, hit the under THE saddle mounted button of the "pme 120" as you throw yer arm in air w/ the perfect excuse to say bye, bye to all that ego driven madness...
...pull off to the side, fiddle about w/ a wheel for a moment...mutter "hmmm, odd" & then just ride away...
...not sold in bike stores & discretely shipped in a plain paper wrapper...

Anonymous said...

Perfect post, Now if I could just get the guys on the local group ride to read them. They are all dilusional enough to think they can all win, yet they should know that there is only room on the podium for me and my ego.

Anonymous said...

Rip Mug (better than Torn Shot):

Excellent post!

Anonymous said...

RTMS, may we kindly address you by your first name? Rip?

OpenYourEyes said...

Look at RTMS when he was racing in Europe

I agree stabber. They are fun to watch from the desk chair rather than the saddle.

Anonymous said...

Fritz,
The Gregster is going beyond burning up licensing agreements

Sycophantic Backstabber said...

Mander,

Not to worry, I don't rickroll like that. However, I have been know to Roscoe Rap like this

http://youtube.com/watch?v=o9dBiw7xfVU

g said...

does anyone else find this referrence from anon 236's link a little uncomfortable?

"That sale fell through and all of a sudden he's looking around with his pants down."

Kind of a theme with Greg isn't it?

erik k said...

armature road race = over glorified group ride, so true

bikesgonewild said...

...said it before, i'll say it again...

...lemond AND armstrong...celebrated litigious "cycling personalities"...

Chartier said...

One great technique not discussed here is to re-enter the field by allowing it to lap you once dropped. It's a win-win: you ride one less lap and save the shame of rolling back to the start/finish alone. More advanced riders can use this technique to "bridge up" to the break!

Jim said...

Armature racers, Erik? Are those the guys with really big motors?

Anonymous said...

uh... best bike racing commentary EVER. you just described 96.8% of all bike "racers."

you could rename this as "The CRCA guide to Saturday Morning."

Anonymous said...

Just glad to finish.


/racing is ghey

roomservicetaco said...

Fritz, Fignon has actually won twice:

Fignon

g said...

If you're pro, you can lose but you have to make clever excuses:
[Fignon]
"...and his ponytail also created additional drag"
[Armstrong]
"my brake pad was rubbing."

Classic!!

erik k said...

Jim, good point, I'm not even sure what I was trying to say, but I did some research I think I found an answer, it may look something like this

AH said...

The pros truly have PW down to an art form:

In the 2005 Bermuda GP (either a bike race with a drinking problem or a party with a cycling problem...) the field shattered in the first lap of a 60mi circuit race. A pub was on the backside of the course. Davide Frattini and a few other Colavita pros pulled out on the second lap and ordered multiple rounds of beers. Meanwhile I suffered in a small group watching them get drunker each lap. On the final lap they joined us to roll in to the finish.

That was the most finely crafted PW I have ever witnessed. It is what distinguishes pros from amateur hacks like me.

bikesgonewild said...

...bsnyc/rtms...ya know, if you compiled a list of all the "best quote ever" commendations from yer fan's regarding various quotes you've utilized & then submitted them to the right authorities, you just might be in line for a 'pulitzer'...

...no guarantee's but just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

So it's a PASS then if you know not to enter?

Back to Bed

jimmythefly said...

Q: What do you call a race that's entirely made of Pass/Fail riders?

A: A "century"

leroy said...

Mmmm. Shasta.

Gotta try that in the water bottle.

Adam said...

Techb3: My bad. I guess this is one of those "if you have to ask the question, chances are you won't understand the answer type things".

I guess I should clarify a bit:

It seems like you're ultimately trying to get people to purchase your bikes from you.

What I didn't (and still don't really) understand is why you're trying to sell them on a website that mostly makes fun of similar examples. Especially since you don't seem to very well liked here.

It didn't make much sense to me, so I was just wondering if there's was a catch, like if you were being ironic or something.

I didn't mean to criticize entry level bikes, and since it doesn't seem like you're joking, I'm sorry for making fun of your projects.

Daniel! said...

so if people want to get into riding fixed gear bikes, they might want to start with a less expensive modle to test the waters.

Yeah, a dual-Arrospok 3Rensho sounds like a pretty cheap way to "get into riding fixed gear bikes". But the awesome drop stem with risers combination on the Maruishi and the gold Chris King "Chris King 1 1/8" No Thread Headset" on the Techb3 site are what really sold me. So how much for the bikes?

Sleepy Head said...

so I did I read this post right...is Our Beloved Blogger is racing somewhere that has $100 premes that people are grabbing for? If so, can you tell me where that place is? Its all dollar bills and maybe a five around here.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that techb3 is like a painful rectal itch: if you pay attention to it,it only gets works and no matter what, you end up with an asshole. just my $.02.

Anonymous said...

RR how about a Crit? ballan shoule have won, but he was a victim of cat
and mouse. ;-) cat/mouse get it?

crashing is a bitch and some like it
shit who knows, all i know is some
dudes have taken my ass out before in races. are they better then me for not crashing. nah!! some went with me,, haha

love,
Joe

Anonymous said...

i just started racing and i have avoided a couple crashes already you all are going to make fun of me but i accredit my moderate bike handling skills to polo and lots of city riding as well as knowing to keep a line, I thank the rollers for that. but now reading all this about people crashing, and not really racing until you crash makes me think its bound to happen before i move up to the safer categories, im shitting a brick. not because of the crash but because i can't afford to replace parts on my bike.

Anonymous said...

the worst is being upgraded in category without asking. talk about involuntary servitude!

Anonymous said...

dude parts? body or bike? its a
killer sport filled with blood/glory/guts and well the biggest, pain in the ass dudes that cant race regarless of how long they have done it!! LOL its simple :)

have fun
Joe
oh and upgrade whores EAT ME!!

T said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sd said...

Anon 6:36- Avoiding a crash and causing a crash aren't the same thing. Just because you aren't skidding across the pavement doesn't mean that you didn't cause it.

Jim, Erik- You guys are wearing different kits, but I suspect collusion. Erik opened up a gap that let Jim make his move, and when he came back Erik countered.

All you guys that can't wait to get out of the "dangerous cats" need to check out this guy.

A Godforsaken Wasteland said...

fred 1:33

"comin' in hot" works too...

BSNYC...great post, really.

pinchfinger said...

Ah, Snob, a take on my personal favorite philosophy:
"They said it couldn't be done, so I didn't even try!"
I raise my cup to you and to multi-slackers everywhere.
Carry on, chaps. One man flying low may make it through. That is all.

Andy Pandy said...

George Hincapie or George of the Jungle, they are interchangeable and I cannot tell the difference as both end up going “Watch out for that ……… ( INSERT TREE OR COBBLESTONE HERE) . Ohh arrh ouch

pinchfinger said...

Hey, Bikesgonewild,
Why just make a list of Snob's "best quote ever"...a man of Snob's talent could write an entirely new fresh blog made up of only "best quotes".
Kind of like, 'The Best of BSNYC', Vol. 1.

Anonymous said...

that was some of the funniest stuff i have ever read. As per usual, your analysis is just dead-on. The crash in saturday's local cat 4/5 was in on the same hill, on the same lap as the one last year. also right in front of me again. shoulda seen it coming...

Anonymous said...

Snob,

You are right on. From my pass/fail position I truly enjoy watching the podium pile-ups right here in the comments section of your very own blog.

Failingly yours....

bikesgonewild said...

...i tell ya, pinchfinger, it's almost mad-evil genius...a body of work composed of parts cut from bsnyc/rtms's other bodies of work...
...a frankenstein monster post of "best quote ever" parts stitched & pasted together to form a whole new living entity w/ an intelligence of it's own...
...absolutely brilliant, man...& the truth could be hidden from the villagers, whoops, i mean hipsters, under the mask of, as you suggest "the best of bsnyc, vol 1"...
...mmwwahahaha...igor, hand me my whiteout...

Frederick said...

Ah, anonymous Joe 6:27


Your post conjures memories of that oft heard phrase: "I was just getting ready to make my move and then some "wanger" took me out in the final corner!"

ChrisA said...

F**k me, 3 crits, 3 fails. Well, at least I stayed on the bike.

Hey, whining is more fun than riding! Maybe I should just be anorexic instead? It would save me sooo much money and time (all I'd need is bleach to clean the bathroom) and I could still play for sympathy. Or was that pay for therapy?

Anonymous said...

Wim Vansevenant

bikesgonewild said...

...fuck podiums AND lantern rouges...

Le Blaireau said...

I'd love to hear your tactics on cross or XC racing. Guess there' more space in the woods and booby traps for other racers is always possible...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the race story. I laughed 'til I cried. Mostly because I wasted so much money on entry fees. If only I had admitted to mediocrity sooner...

Chris Benten said...

Insanity definition was coined by Albert Einstein, the E=MC^2 dude.

John P. said...

You need Losers to be a Winner.

leroy said...

BSNYC --

Pass/Fail racing is the too often overlooked Cat 6 competition.

In Cat 6, we're all winners.

And sensible, baggy jerseys are de rigueur.

Steve said...

Genius. Absolutely genius.

mobygrape said...

From wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lanterne_rouge

The revenue that the rider will generate from his last place finish is much greater than had he finished in second to last place. Some riders intentionally try to put themselves in this position

If I know failing could be a lucrative option, I would have tried harder not to win.

Dr. Catherine C. Kleier / Will Stenzel said...

After your fine post, I tried to find a vid online of Hincapie's crash -- none to be found. Could it be that Trek the Great Bicycle Manufacturing Company has pulled strings, made vague threats and otherwise eliminated said vids.

Second, here's a bike for your craigslist reviews. Idiocy reigns in Denver as well:

http://denver.craigslist.org/bik/635159586.html

j_e said...

umm, wow. You wrote this with me in mind, didn't you?

GroupFitPower said...

Why is there a word-for-word copy of this post here? --
http://offthebackdave.wordpress.com/

Are y'all related or is something amiss?

Anonymous said...

After racing for as long as I have, the ways of dropping out of races have been perfected to a near art. But the general rule if you want to look like a real pro is if you don't have a chance of winning or making a good deal of money on primes or the like, drop out.

And to all you new racers out there, tan lines are not something to be proud of!

Koogler said...

Once again, awesome post. In case you're interested, my most recent PezCyclingNews.com Sport Psych column, "Putting Failure in its Place," is here:

http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=6885

Anonymous said...

You can be the pack dork that kicks the pack's a$$. Train all winter on your SRM equipped Madone until you are lean and ripped. Shun group rides so no one really knows you. Then for the race season, go full-on "Cutter." Sing obscure italian in the pack. Kick it on that '78 Botecchia with the Campy Record and high flange hubs. Wear a wool jersey with Phil Anderson-esque Peugeot flair. Clipless? Hell no. Dettos and Christophe clips, baby!Vintage Avocet saddle, fo-sho. Helmet, shmelmet - rock it with a bright yellow Skid-Lid!

And when you PASS, enjoy the dirty looks. Makes it all worth it.

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