Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Catch The Train Home And Watch Eastenders.

Our correspondent from Stanford, Cam McKenzie, chimes in with some thoughts...

The prototypical BMXer is a 14 year old with torn jeans and a penchant for whatever music their parents don't like, some jacky D mixed up in a coke bottle and a doobie between their lips. You wouldn't think there is a lot of overlap between them and the strava-segment-racing, power-meter-having roadies that ride crits, is what I'm saying. You'd be wrong. We can learn from these kids. How to win crits, as told by BMX videos...

1. Finesse

It's a hard race, but not a stupid hard race. Just annoying hard. Little breaks have been forming and getting swallowed back but nothing goes anywhere. Forty-seven minutes in, one sneaks away and this time it takes a little longer to come back. And then it's still not back. And now it's out at 12 seconds. It sits there and sits there and then slowly pulls away. People are still chasing. Some guy has snuck in there who hasn't really pulled hard all day, but he's pulling now. Two laps to go, he rides away from everyone else with a litttle acceleration. Still in the saddle, not even really a full blown attack. Next thing you know, you see him receiving a cash-filled envelope as you cross the finish line in 14th place. How can it be so effortless?

2. Creativity

You didn't even think to jump that traffic island and pull 4 seconds out in the corner. You especially wouldn't think to do it while the biggest team in the race is leading out. But this guy would. He knows it's kinda silly. But he also knows how to confuse people. And once they think too hard, they look at each other and slow down. And once they slow down, he notches up another race win, even though you always beat him in training. He's not better than you. He's just way more interesting.

3. Being much better than you

I hate those racers who can jump higher, sprint faster and climb better. Sure, it's because they train hard, but it still doesn't seem fair. They don't really need to think. They just wait until they are bored and then ride away for the win. They probably have more success with the opposite sex than you or me. And more satisfying jobs. And better relationships with their parents. Whatever, I'm happy being me.

4. Being way fucking crazier

Like the jelly belly pro I saw riding the far right gutter on the hell ride, or the guy who got banned from racing at st kilda, or any of the gnarly sprinters who win without training. They eat deep fried food, they drink on weeknights. And race nights. They probably couldn't climb with a B grader unless you told them there was a prime at the top of the hill. When you crash going 40km/h you get in an ambulance. When they crash going 55km/h they take a lap out. And damned if they didn't just pick up $200 out at some industrial park in Mulgrave on Sunday morning. It isn't clear that you couldn't do what these guys do. It is clear that you wouldn't though.

5. The rest of us.

We put in as much effort as the next guy. Unfortunately, the result isn't always so good. Was the issue not working hard enough, or did we do the wrong thing? Maybe if the van pulled us in a little quicker it would have been a good idea.


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Cam McKenzie said...

I'm actually the correspondent from Stanford now. Berkeley was a long time ago.