So, as some of you may know, I like bicycling. No, really - I do. I really really really really do!! I work in the cycling industry, I cycle, I talk mostly cycling, I live and breath cycling(as most people can attest to). And you know, there's not much that can crack my enthusiasm for the sport of cycling. Crashes - yeah, maybe, but not really - I still love the bike. Pro cycling drug scandals - big deal - it has no intrusiveness on my morning solo ride. Broken bicycles - well, as much as I dislike them broken - I still love them.
But, after yesterday's Paskenta Century here in Chico - where I was working one of the ten sag vehicles out there - my enthusiasm cracked just a tiny bit.....at first. But as the Super Bowl wore on yesterday afternoon, my anxiety about working a sag vehicle at that Century yesterday grew. And last night, I had a hard time sleeping. The reason???
Working a sag vehicle can suk. When you consider that this is an "unofficial" 100-mile road race, things tend to happen out there that you don't expect. It's one thing to have closed roads for the Tour of California and the drivers of follow vehicles driving like crazy people(in fact, more than one team was cited at last year's Tour of California for reckless DRIVING!). But, these roads for Paskenta aren't closed - they're open to traffic.....both ways. I look at the situation, and....this is just my opinion......I think that if the sag vehicles had been taken out of this ride, there would not have been an issue. OR, if there was an issue, it would have been small. Instead, we got tons of complaints from the Highway Patrol.
My enthusiasm....well, it took a hit. I saw what was happening. I, myself, was driving one of those lunatic sags. And today, I feel.....both anxiety and regret. Bonehead move. No, not just my driving - although that was bonehead too. The bonehead move was not riding it. Not riding my beloved bicycle in the Century. I contributed to the problem by driving. If I had done what I live for - cycling - I would not be feeling this horrible weight. It just doesn't feel good.
It'll never happen(although it use to every single year), but I wonder what it would be like on that Century with zero sag vehicles.....none at all. Would riders have been so bold to NOT take that short-cut back to the finish line at Black Butte Road? No sag, no food or water - except what ya brung, or get at the Paskenta store. Flat tire?? Better be prepared. Lose the lead group 'cause you had to take a pit stop?? Well....no motorpacing back up or hanging on to vehicles, so you're on your own.....hope your time trialing is going well.
You know what I wanna see?? The Tour - with no sags, no follow vehicles. How's that for fun??? Who's gonna win then???
We all ride without a sag. Even that Lance guy trained most of the time without a sag. We bring the necessary items needed for the ride, if we run into a problem, we find a solution to it......many times alone. Got a cell phone? Well, bring it just in case you run into a jam or something. You have a fast 100-mile group ride over country roads on the first weekend of February? Come to it like you mean it - prepared.
Yeah, I'm ranting. I feel ashamed. And my enthusiasm, although a bit less than normal, will return....eventually.
Shoulda ridden that bike yesterday........