So, I’m sure you read my last post about how I can’t seem to put together a cycling wishlist this year (and about how oddball that is, since I’ve had a constantly expanding list for the past seven years). I was thinking, at first, that the reason is that I’m losing interest. But the more I look at this, the more I’m realizing the real reason: Every time I get excited about a race, it disappears off the schedule.
Or, if it doesn’t disappear completely, it gets moved to a date that is simply not going to work for me. Take the Teton Pass Hill Climb. I got all psycho about that race, and in my third year of cycling, it was moved to a Sunday. Do mormons participate in cycling events on Sundays? Well, this one doesn’t. So that was that.
Then there was the E-100. I kept thinking one year I’d give the 50-mile race a try. Then one year, the race just didn’t exist anymore.
But wait, this also happens with local races. Let’s not forget the White Knob Challenge, the Kelly Canyon Challenge, the Sasquatch Snowshoe race SERIES, and now the Wrun for Wray! Ridiculous!
In fact, just this week, I was chatting with a co-worker about a particular cycling race in Utah. “You would love this, Caloi [okay, I’m substituting my anonymous blog last name—so what?],” he told me. “You’re such a billy goat, this race would be right up your alley.”
So what happened? I got online and started looking for information, but I couldn’t find it. Still, the prospect of doing this race was starting to sound kinda cool. Lots of climbing, only 100 miles (rather than the 200 I’d get racing LOTOJA), four steep mountain roads … whoopee! So I looked on the event schedule websites and scoured my usual sources of great information, but I still couldn’t find it. That’s okay, I’d have to learn to descend down from gorgeous tree-lined mountain passes with narrow European-style switchbacked roads before turning on to that final 3,500-foot, 10-mile climb to the finish line … (wipe the drool off my keyboard) … Next I browsed cached websites and found something related, but really there nothing about this year’s race. Well, that’s fine. Who wants to do a race so epic anyway? AAAAH! There had to be something I could do to find it!
“Oh, hang on, I know that one former pro cyclist who has the info,” I realized. “I’ll just drop him a Facebook message.”
And sure enough, he got back to me. What luck! The race, I discovered with sheer enthusiasm, would be happening … oh, the same date as the ONLY business trip I have to take this year. Seriously? I mean … seriously?
So I scratched that one off the calendar. And who cares, anyway? After all, this past Saturday I’d have a short snowshoe 5k to race, something I’d been looking forward to all year. I’d checked the website to double check the race time. I’d talked it over with my wife. I’d even recruited my brother in law to come jog it with me. I wouldn’t be taking it too seriously; it would just be a little fun on a winter day.
So I drag my family up early in the morning and load them all in the van. We drive an hour to that mountainous region where the race would be piggybacking another event, and my brother-in-law and I march up to the registration table. I ask the lady at the table, “Where do we sign up for the snowshoe race?”
“It’s just for kids,” she says.
“The snowshoe race?”
“Yeah, it’s just for kids,” she repeats.
“You’re going to make a bunch of kids run a 5k? Your website said you’re holding a 5k.”
“No,” she says, sensing my frustration, “the guy who used to organize that moved away. We don’t have anyone to do that anymore, so we aren’t holding one.”
(Oh, and it was still on their website when I got home later, and it said “ADULT 5k race.”)
So I’m going to make a request of race organizers: if you’re going to have the audacity to promote a race, get me all excited about it and then cancel it or stick it on a rotten calendar date, the least you can do is announce that somewhere on your website.
And as for the rest of you bums: Get with it and start matching awesome races to my schedule already!