Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Cat 6 racer...

Cycling, like all sports, has a hierarchy. You are measured based on what category you are in. In the world of bikes, there are 5 categories. If you are a Cat 5 racer, you are making a commitment to the bike, and you wish to try and make this something bigger than just staying in shape. Cat 4 you have succesfully won a few small time races and have qualified in some TT's to move on up the ladder. At Cat 3 you have gained sponsorship with the local bike shop and may not have had to pay for the jersey and shorts you are wearing. Cat 2 you haven't paid for any of the clothing you are cycling in and the bike you are on is some sort of Trek knockoff, yet it still only weighs about 15 pounds. Cat 1 you are training to try and be selected from your team to support the captain during the Tour de France.

But like many things, there is a grey area. An area reserved for those that don't quite want to make cycling their life, yet they sneer and scoff at those that buy high end bikes and then proceed to pedal them at a mere mortal 15mph.

These people, including myself, are the Cat 6 racers. What makes you this type you ask? If you agree with the following, welcome to the club:

1) You know that wearing a full team kit yet not shaving your legs is ridiculous. You vow never to wear anything that correlates nicely together, however it is acceptable to buy the Columbia team jersey if and when you find it on sale. But only if it is the model from 2 or more years ago.

2) You obsess constantly about food and drink choices for your long rides/events, yet not only did you have to pay for them, you didn't once look up what "Sodium Benzoalecylisate" does to your anaerobic capacity.

3) You know what "anaerobic capacity" means, yet you haven't been scientifically tested for it.

4) You know what the test for anaerobic capacity entails.

5) While training for the big event, you cut back on the snacks and completely cut out carbonation and what not, yet that slice of cake or donut is just too good to not eat.

6) You've never once thought about weighing the portions you are eating.

7) When people see you, they first notice that your tan lines are strange and foreign to them. Only when you put on your helmet, sunglasses, and jersey does it come crystal clear why the lines are the way they are.

8) Of course everyone knows Leipheimer, Armstrong, and Contador, but you are curious to see how Ryder Hesjedal does in next year's TDF.

9) 100 miles is "epic".

10) You vow to never, EVER, get passed on a hill climb by a recumbent rider.

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