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2008-12-29

My secret endurance bicycle racing obsession

Last week, Jill Homer's blog linked to this little article posted in the New York Times, and it got me pondering my secret obsession with endurance bicycle racing. I suppose now I've posted it on the interwebs, it's not so secret...(insert forehead slapping sound). It started shortly after I got back into bicycling, specifically, transportation cycling. Funny that I would latch onto racing when what I was engaging in was about as similar to endurance racing as apples are to oranges: they're both fruits but they taste and look nothing alike. Despite this, I was hooked after I read Kent Peterson's account of the grueling Great Divide Race. I've been following the Iditarod Trail Invitational, the Arrowhead 135 and the Great Divide Race ever since. When those races are on, I'm checking the leader boards and trail updates several times a day, and I often find myself drifting off thinking about who is where, what they're seeing and experiencing and what it would be like to do it myself. These are self supported races: there's no "support team". There's no sport network covering these races, there's no multi-million dollar endorsements, no professional video crews, no screaming fans, no prize money, just dedicated people pitting themselves against the trail and nature with their wits and their velocipedes to get them across the finish line. It's compelling and inspiring and I encourage all my readership to check it out. Many of the riders write about their accounts, my favorites of course being the aforementioned Kent Peterson and the lovely and talented Jill Homer. I just purchased a copy of Jill's new book and I look forward to reading it. I'll post my review here.

1 comment:

inappropriateoutburst said...

Note to Ian: not a secret if you blog it ;) Thanks for the post. I always like reading about things that are totally new to me! Cool! :)