Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"Race Face" is No Excuse For Bad Manners

I was pretty spent, halfway through the third and final lap of a Winter Park Race Series cross-country race.  "Cross-country" was something of a nisnomer, actually, since we were riding multiple laps of an 8-1/2 mile loop.  We weren't really crossing anything, if you think about it.

Anyway, I was riding along on a flat straight portion of the course, up on the mountainside, looking forward to the big, curvy downhill back to the Start/Finish are.  I was slowly catching up with a female racer in front of me, and no one had passed me for a while.  But, I could hear a rider approaching from behind, so I moved slightly to the right, and he squeezed by me on the left.

"Hey," I said as he went by.  I have a bad habit of talking to other racers in the middle of a race.  Some people think that's a sign that I don't take racing seriously.

Those people are right.

The other rider gave me a glare, and continued on his way.  "Race face", they call that.  The pros exhibit it due to their intense concentration on the task at hand, and I understand that.  Those guys are racing for money, making a living. 

I'm not, and neither was the guy passing me. And, he really wasn't that much faster than I, the guy who doesn't take it seriously.  We both caught up to the gal in front of us, and she was obviously struggling.  She was a little slow, but not because she wasn't trying.  It looked like she was probalbly in mid-bonk.

I don't want to type what he yelled at her about getting the F out his GD way, before referring to her by a 4-letter word which begins with C.

She moved over, and he muscled past her, still hurling obscenities at her.  That took away a lot of the tiredness from my legs., and I stood up to sprint around the girl.

Mr. Pottymouth was heading for the downhill, a few yards ahead of me, and I poured on the coals.  By the time he reached the point where the trail headed downhill, I was right on his tail. 

The trail dropped steeply for about 25 yards, then went around a switchback turn.  As he entered the turn, I dove in under him, pulled beside him, and bumped him off the trail with my shoulder.  He rolled and tumbled down the steep slope outside the turn, and I continued on.

Later on, after the race was over, I went into the ski lodge to use the bathroom.  Who should be coming out, as I walked in, than Mr. Pottymouth, himself.

"Hey," he said.  "Are you the guy who bumped me off the trail?"

"Yeah," I said, tensing for the fist fight.  "I didn't like how you talked to that girl."

"Yeah, I guess I was a little out of line," he said, and I relaxed.  "I just really get into the racing."

He headed to the door.  "Nice pass, though," he said to me, over his shoulder.

We ended up having a couple of beers at the beer tent, and talking bikes.  He was a pretty good guy, without the Race Face.


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As always, sorry about the word verification. It's a necessary evil, unfortunately.