I’d hate to say that I’m getting desperate, but I really expected this to be easier. I’ve had at least two or three guys in my apartment complex stop me as I rode by on my road bike and say, "Hey, I mountain bike; you wanna go sometime?" Which, I realize, doesn’t always mean that they like to race as well, but I do know a few guys who like to put in the speed too. One even specifically told me, "I wanted to do the 24 hours of Moab last year, but we couldn’t get a relay team together." I hear ya there, buddy (this is the guy who’s moving to Alaska).
Okay, so now I’m down to my ‘B’ list. These people aren’t on the ‘B’ list because they’re bad; they’re on there because I seriously doubt they’ll do it. I have a cousin who races the Intermountain Cup each year, and usually places pretty high, but the fact that he does so much racing probably means he won’t have the time in his schedule to come do a relay with little ol’ Caloi. I have another cousin who grew up mt biking at every opportunity but has since increased in waiste size (that doesn’t stop some of you). His response, "It sounds like fun, but I’m too out of shape for that stuff." (Nonetheless, he told me he’ll be spending a little more time on the trainer this year to get rid of that mid-section.)
I feel like an Amway peddler or something: "Hey, this is your cousin Caloi, I’m just calling to let you know that there’s this one really cool race I’m trying to get a team together for, and I thought maybe you’d like to joi–" (click followed by dial tone). "Hey, this is cousin Caloi, has the road rash healed up from the last time we went for a ride together?" (repeat above-described reaction) "Hey, this is cousin Caloi. You know how when we were kids I let you beat me up and steal my favorite lego pieces? Well now’s your chance to pay me back–"
Ah, but then there’s my co-worker, D, the recent purchaser of the new Trek 5000. D has done his fair share of mt bike races in the past and just this past year caught the Lotoja bug (and you were worried about bird flu), which means he’ll be looking for some distance and speed training. Perfect. Even better, D has brothers (and brothers-in-law) who mt bike, and they’ll likely join in. So it’s time to don the plaid suitcoat, grow a cheezy mustache, and practice my pitches–I’m hoping this kind doesn’t elicit any bat-swinging, but you never know.