Monday, May 23, 2011

Not really a spectator's sport

I haven't written any blog submissions lately, because honestly, I haven't been biking. The weather is horrible in New England right now (10 straight days of rain!) so I've been stuck inside with the dogs (who are equally unhappy with the current conditions outside). Therefore, other than the occasional trip downstairs to just sit on my bike and pout, I haven't been playing with my favorite toy.

So since I have no riding stories to share, I thought I would write a bit about what it's like to go to one of Michael's races.


The people are wonderful. There's definitely something about biking that sets people at ease and makes them extremely helpful and friendly. You can talk to virtually anyone you see (and my mother-in-law and I usually do!) and receive the biggest smile and sincerest words of encouragement. The people make the whole experience (even the hour where you are stuck not watching anything -- See "The Bad") fun and positive.

And on the subject of people, Michael's parents are also a huge part of "The Good" about races. Just like the first race a month ago, Michael headed up early to register and warm up while I came later accompanied by Michael's parents, Carmel and Charlie. I was super pumped that they had decided to make the trip up from Connecticut to both support Michael and keep me company, once again. The three of us make up Michael's unconditional fan base, so the love is strong and the conversations are fun.

Finally, the other good thing is being out in nature. I'm really looking forward to his next race in August when the weather will hopefully be more pleasant, but even a lot of overcast and temps wobbling around 50 degrees don't completely take away from the fresh air and beautiful trees.


You can't really "watch" a mountain biking race. You get to see your loved one start with a group of other people then quickly disappear around a bend in the trail to not be seen again til he comes around for a second lap or crosses the finish line. Also, the two races I have spectated do not provide a trail map or any pointers on spots along the trail where you can stand (out of the way, of course) and snap a picture or provide encouragement to your rider. So, as someone who loves to embarrass encourage their loved one, this is really frustrating.

Luckily, Carmel, Charlie and I keep each other entertained, but one demographic that really isn't happy during race time are the kids. Unfortunately, I have to include children in "The Bad" simply because they have no patience or interest in standing around and waiting. There's a lot of crying, whining, destruction of trail markers, throwing of toys and simple wandering onto the race path during the wait. Although, I have to add that the cutest moment of the day was a little girl yelling "Daddy!!" to one of the riders as he approached the finish. He lit up like a Christmas tree and then sped up immediately to finish with some gusto that his daughter could be proud about. So I'm not saying the kids shouldn't be there, but bring something for them to do, parents!


Alright, I'm going to say it. Where are the girly bikers?? Yes the races have females in attendance all ready and chomping at the bit, but honestly, they could easily be mistaken for dudes with long hair...or just dudes. I'm not saying girls need to ride in high heels or anything, but there have to be females out there that are girly on the ground and fierce on the bike. Maybe that will be what I bring to the table? Or maybe I'll look like a dude too in my huge helmet. Seriously, it feels like I ride with a sombrero on my dome.

Just sayin'.


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