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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,546

    Not into racing as much as I thought . . .

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    Yesterday I made a last-minute decision to do a local-ish xc race. It was inexpensive, close to home, a good chance to test out my legs. And the Sport race started late enough I could still go to church with the family, which was nice. After church, I cranked up AC/DC's Highway to Hell and cruised on over to the race.

    I didn't know anyone at the race, which was not a surprise as I am out of the racing scene loop. I lined up with everyone, minding my own business. Before I know it, I have a swarm of women around me, all wanting to know what AG I was in. What other races I have done, what my finish times were, etc. And it wasn't in a friendly chatty way, it was in a "I'm sizing you up" way. There was a LOT of smack talk. Call me odd, but I didn't feel like talking to anyone, I wanted to focus on the race, center my thoughts, enjoy some quiet. Sheesh.

    I know its a race and I'm as competitive as the next girl . . . but the smack talk just seemed weird and annoying.

    The racing part I did enjoy

    But then after the race all the kids were getting ready for the kids races and beginner races and I terribly missed my family. We briefly talked about going as a family, but it was a rainy day and DS is just 2 yo so we decided against it.

    The whole experience made me realize that I should not be racing more. Doing 2-3 races a year is enough for me. And in the next few years we will be able to start bringing the kids. Perhaps making it a family event will make the "entire" racing experience more enjoyable
    2005 Giant TCR2
    2012 Trek Superfly Elite AL
    2nd Sport, Pando Fall Challenge 2011 and 3rd Expert Peak2Peak 2011
    2001 Trek 8000 SLR
    Iceman 2010-6th Place AG State Games, 2010-1st Sport, Cry Baby Classic 2010-7th Expert, Blackhawk XTerra Tri 2007-3rd AG

    Occasionally Updated Blog

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Posts
    92
    Thanks for sharing your experience. Glad to hear you enjoyed the racing part!
    --Nick
    2012 Santa Cruz Juliana R xc (blue)
    Vintage Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo 24 speed (red)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    1,972
    I'm not even all that competitive, so that kind of stuff just gets old fast. When I race on foot, I'm going for time. Sure, it's fun to pass people, but they're just carrots - I'd be just as happy to congratulate them on beating me afterwards. So, it's nothing personal. And nothing is more fun than encouraging a new runner.

    I don't get how crazy competitive some people can get at mountain bike races. Especially for a culture that has such a laid-back reputation off the starting line!

    I think the kids races are so cute

    "I never met a donut I didn't like" - Dave Wiens

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    I don't "get" the smack talk. That's just poor sportsmanship. Go ahead and crush the competition on the field, but keep your comments ahead of time to yourself.


    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,546
    One of the weird things was they all wanted to chat-it-up at the start, but at the finish everyone avoided each other. I was the only one that went around congratulating people. It just seems like good sportsmanship to me. I went up to each of the women, told them I hoped that they had a great race and good job, etc. They barely acknowledged me and quickly turned away. Sigh. Looking back at the handful of races I've done, not one of my competitors has come up to me to offer a handshake or "job-well-done."

    I had not actually seen a kids race before, so that was fun. And a lot of the parents rode the laps with their kids. That is good know for future reference. I had kind of wondered about that. I didn't really want to send DD out on a course by herself.
    2005 Giant TCR2
    2012 Trek Superfly Elite AL
    2nd Sport, Pando Fall Challenge 2011 and 3rd Expert Peak2Peak 2011
    2001 Trek 8000 SLR
    Iceman 2010-6th Place AG State Games, 2010-1st Sport, Cry Baby Classic 2010-7th Expert, Blackhawk XTerra Tri 2007-3rd AG

    Occasionally Updated Blog

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,546
    Quote Originally Posted by Veronica View Post
    I don't "get" the smack talk. That's just poor sportsmanship. Go ahead and crush the competition on the field, but keep your comments ahead of time to yourself.


    Veronica
    hehehehe. I did I got second. I demoralized the woman that squawked the loudest.
    2005 Giant TCR2
    2012 Trek Superfly Elite AL
    2nd Sport, Pando Fall Challenge 2011 and 3rd Expert Peak2Peak 2011
    2001 Trek 8000 SLR
    Iceman 2010-6th Place AG State Games, 2010-1st Sport, Cry Baby Classic 2010-7th Expert, Blackhawk XTerra Tri 2007-3rd AG

    Occasionally Updated Blog

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    Quote Originally Posted by limewave View Post
    hehehehe. I did I got second. I demoralized the woman that squawked the loudest.
    Nice!

    And congratulations!

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,645
    good story, congrats on the 2nd place WOW.
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

    Davidson Custom Bike - Cavaletta
    Dahon 2009 Sport - Luna
    Old Raleigh Mixte - Mitzi

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    583
    Quote Originally Posted by limewave View Post
    hehehehe. I did I got second. I demoralized the woman that squawked the loudest.
    You go girl! They can talk all they want but the proof was in the pudding!
    LORI
    Pivot Mach 4 / WTB
    Updated Vintage Terry Symmetry / Bontrager InForm RL WSD

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    around Seattle, WA
    Posts
    3,250
    I kind of get the smack talk, so long as you know those you're talking smack to, i.e. friendly trashing among buddies. But among strangers, you better be prepared to follow all that smack with a win! And if you're so good that you can win, then the smack seems to be arrogant.

    So Veronica, congratulations on the 2nd place, especially beating the loudest mouth. I don't get the lack of good sportmanship either - what will the kids learn? Seems to me that the kiddies will notice the mixed message if they're told to congratulate others after their race but the adults don't bother.
    Beth

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    You would love the Texas race scene. It is like a big old family. I ride with girls I race against, my husband rides weekly with his closest competition. We congratulate the person that handed our arse to us.

    When I wrecked hard at my last race I had about half a dozen people I race with (various age groups) start taking me to find my "mojo" and get my confidence on the 29er. Because of them I am excited to race this Sunday and the best rider I have ever been.

    After the races we stay for hours, one of our friends brings his little grill and we all bring stuff to throw on it or share. We have a beer or two, there will be some smack talking to each others face but it is more just ribbing our friends. BUT the road scene in Austin is how you described, very catty. Bizarre really when this should be for fun. It isn't like any of us our paying our bills this way.

    Congrats on the second place!
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
    Posts
    1,822
    I have the same experience as Aggie - we are all riding buddies off the bike as well as on, and while there may be some friendly smack talk, that's all it is. We welcome ALL newcomers to the sport, and everyone is included. Sounds like you aren't as lucky, Limewave. Sorry to hear it.

    The social aspect for me is what makes the racing fun.

    SheFly

    p.s.
    Good on you for taking 2nd after all that smack! You certainly showed them!
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
    http://twoadventures.blogspot.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    332
    My experiences here in Cincinnati are the same as Aggie's and SheFly's. Our racing scene is great. I race Expert mtb and Cat 3 Cylcocross and it's all a bunch of chitter chatter on the line catching up on everyone's lives. If a new girl shows up we welcome her.

    I don't think I've ever heard anyone ask anyone else what their previous lap times, etc were.

    We stay all day too. I bought a motorhome this spring so we could travel more for my endurance races (12 and 24 hour solo mtb stuff) and we arrive early enough that all of our teammates can throw their crap in the camper. Now that Cross is here, the camper has been out FIVE weekends in a row. lol

    Sorry you haven't had that same experience Limewave. One of these days I'm going to get back up there and ride with you. We thought about coming up next weekend but it just didn't work out. I'm missing the fall colors this year.

    Jeni

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,546
    Rereading this I'm starting to feel bad that I've given MI XC racing a bad name. I know a handful of women who race and they have been very welcoming and friendly, inviting me to train and ride with them. Of course, none of them were at THIS race. And I only do about 2 races a year, so this race did leave me with a bad impression.

    As luck would have it, I'm actually going to race again this weekend! Fingers crossed it goes a little better. Last race I was in the Sport cat and this one I'm in Expert. The Exp. race is later in the day and I couldn't get a babysitter for in the morning . . . so Expert it is! I'm right in the middle, I place well when I do sport and I will most likely bring in the rear at Expert. It is what it is. I'm just hoping there's not too big of a gap between myself and the women in front of me.
    2005 Giant TCR2
    2012 Trek Superfly Elite AL
    2nd Sport, Pando Fall Challenge 2011 and 3rd Expert Peak2Peak 2011
    2001 Trek 8000 SLR
    Iceman 2010-6th Place AG State Games, 2010-1st Sport, Cry Baby Classic 2010-7th Expert, Blackhawk XTerra Tri 2007-3rd AG

    Occasionally Updated Blog

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Posts
    92
    Good luck!
    --Nick
    2012 Santa Cruz Juliana R xc (blue)
    Vintage Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo 24 speed (red)

 

 

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