It was a little past midnight as I stared glumly at the drug cocktail on the kitchen counter. The pills stared back at me, as if to say, “Go ahead. Make. My. Day.” A fly had somehow slipped in through the back porch, and was buzzing around my head. It paused for a moment on the bill of my cap, as if to rest, and said, “Do it.” And so I did, and I immediately felt a lot better. About life. About cycling. About running and trying to expand a rag-tag racing club. And so for the next several hours, through dawn’s early light and beyond, I poured carefully over our recent history. Our turnover has traditionally been very high, but that’s been a function of geography and demographics (being situated next to a university). We’ve had racers suffer serious burnout. We’ve seen some exciting talent come and go. We’ve had some folks demonstrate slow, steady improvement. We’ve tacked on an elite men’s squad. We’ve added some masters. And we’ve suffered from the types of growing pains every fledgling club goes through. This year these pains have been particularly poignant.
“But they’ll work themselves out, these problems” said the fly.
“Are you sure? I’m worried that we’re spread too thin.” I said.
“Just keep laying the infrastructure, and things will fall into place” assured the fly.
“OK. Maybe you’re right.” I said.
Our shift in recent years away from spirited club oriented riding towards an explicit focus on racing, I suppose, is a little surprising. There’s less wool on group rides these days, and fewer conversations about the history of Calvinism or rare Kenyan dialects, but these things, they’re still there. What’s new, I suppose, is that we now have folks actively racing in most road and cross categories, and some of them are even doing well. Admitting and recognizing this fact means running things a little differently – particularly as folks matriculate into higher categories, thereby shifting the foundation upon which the hierarchy is based.
“It’s a year round thing, recruiting” said the fly.
“I guess you’re right. It’s just a little distasteful” I said.
But the fact of the matter is that if we’re going to continue to race and train as a team, folks will upgrade… and they’ll need mates in their new digs. And we’ll need to replace them in the lower ranks. So if you think you’d be interested in coming on board, please drop me a line.
We are particularly interested in:
Men: Cat 3,4
Women: Cat 3,4
On the men’s side of the house, we’ve got a thin but talented pool of 3s & 4s – with four wins this season already. We’re trying to create a bridge to our elite 2s, and since we’re starting to see more teamwork occurring in these races – it’s not a lot of fun racing alone or with a single teammate. Our guys are young and very motivated to work together.
On the women’s side of the house, I believe we’ve assembled the best Cat 4 women’s squad in the region. Our plan is to matriculate half of the ladies into 3s by the end of the season, which means we need to fill in both categories in order to maintain the ability to race strategically, manipulate fields, and win using classical team tactics. I believe this is a very unique opportunity for women entering the sport or those who’ve hit a wall racing elsewhere. Our objective is to upgrade riders together, rather than focusing on a single talented racer, so everyone will have a chance to act the Patron!
Most folks on the team race road and cross. We have MTB and track dabblers. There are other benefits to joining the team, most of which you’re probably already familiar with if you are reading this.