This one's got a full scoop of left field in it. Cut me some slack, it's Friday and I've got to go get paddled on the behind up and down the hills of WV by Gunnar Shogren tomorrow. Yeah, that ought to be a real howl.
Some funny guy out there on the interwebs calls racers "racists," which is funny if it avoids offending you. Of course Bert got all tweaked at people who called "cyclists" "cyclers" a while back, which of course launched a recent car ride into a full discussion of why swimmers aren't called "swimmists" and why oboists aren't called "oboers" (where's that umlaut key when I need it??). The lovely bride commented that, in general, the "-ists" were acting upon an implement, which sounded good and legitimized Bert's beef, until of course we realized that that made the Nascar crowd "drivists." I told you, left field.
Anyhow, the community of cyclers, collectively hereinafter referred to as communists (or communers, whichever floats your boat), is a pretty funny and special one. Take shaving legs. It doesn't justify itself on any real measure - it's got no aerodynamic merit, none of us get massages that often, and most of us don't even crash enough to justify that argument for it. But it looks really cool when your legs are all cut and tan, and it marks you as a member of the tribe. Sure, there are some leg wookies out there whose tribe membership trumps mine, but Chuck Hutch used to ride around Hains Point wearing his Corn Pops jersey not too long ago. Lest you forget, my very own team raced in astonishing AC/DC jerseys in our first ever race. Doesn't make it right. Where was I going with this?
Oh yeah, so we've got this community of similarly minded people, who all spend what amounts to way too much time working way too hard so that we can compete in this game that's pretty freaking hard. You can go hit tennis balls and even "play tennis" a couple of times a month and enjoy the game and be pretty decent at it. If you rode your bike a couple of times a month, unless you've got some sort of gift, racing isn't going to be such a happy or pretty time for you. But at least it'll be over quickly. I think I'm off track again.
Sometimes, we get the chance to take ourselves a little less seriously. This fall, we'll be hosting a regular group ride. Details to be announced later. But the object is to take the serious-o-meter down a couple of pegs, and encourage people to get together and enjoy riding our bikes around, maybe a bit aimlessly (you see I'm pretty good at aimless), and just sort of have a good time with fellow communists. Maybe even encourage some would be communists to join the party, and indoctrinate them in a less high-pitched manner than might happen at more focused times of the year.
We're also planning our coming out party, which will be known as The Great November Ride. Part Gran Fondo, part competitive eating contest (Judd needs to earn his BAR points somehow), part keg stand, this will be a fun event, once again designed to spread communism.
Another great venture will be the Donut Hole, aka the Rockville Criterium. Cruelties of the calendar can work out in your favor, and as the great Young MC taught us, every dark tunnel has a lighter hope (so don't hang yourself with the celibate rope). Maple glazed premes never tasted so good. Mike's working furiously on that.
If I was more skilled and disciplined, there would be a lot more artistry and subtlety in how I make the great tie in to the November mission, but you can see I've already gotten off track several times, so I will get this one out there before some butterfly flies past the window and I lose my train of thought again. The community and the communists are seriously important to us. A big part of our mission is to take some of the sharper, more wallet draining edges off the the community, but also to be a positive force in strengthening the community, and having the community engaged in what we're doing. The community has helped us a ton in getting to where we are, as it was the community that drove all of the decisions to this point. The cold-war capital "C" Communists and their command economy gave the world such memorable products as the Lada, and with all apologies to Larry's car, we're aiming a little higher than that.