a posting on the MORE forum by a fellow Clydesdale Doug brings up the discussion of the classes...
the question of the classes...
so much of the classes in mountain biking is self selective
there is the basic breakdown of beginner, sport, and expert
the expert/pro category being the big daddy of them all
more specifically... the male expert/pro category is the big daddy of them all
the winner of that category should be the fastest racer on the course for the day
not only riding the fastest but also being forced to do the most laps or ride the longer course
but what about these other classes?
the single speed, the vets, and the clydesdales... are these legit categories?
of course these are legit categories
but... these racers are not fighting to be King for the Day
they are looking for a subgroup of racers who they can have a competitive event with
but... when should these racers move from the sub-categories and rejoin with the main categories?
should race promoters always meet the racer's need to have these other categories?
if the winning Single Speed racer would place high in Expert...
should they remain in the Single Speed category
it the other Single Speeders are significantly slower than the winner of the SS Class for the day...
should they still race Single Speed?
the same would go for a mega fast Clydesdale or even a super fast 35+ guys
when should this individual abandon the self selection sub category
and enter the race with the big dogs?
when does this self categorization become SANDBAGGING?
there are people who choose to race on their Single Speeds... but choose not to race in the Single Speed Category
just as there are plenty of Experts and certainly some Pros who are over 200 pounds... none of which slum it in the Clydesdale Class
why do they race where they race?
they race in a situation that offers the greatest race experience
it is not about winning
it is about personal best
it is about putting in the best effort that each individual can
it is not about creating a class so that everyone wins!
at the Shenandoah Mountain 100 the race is essentially without categories
it is a mass start
the first person to finish is the winner
then everyone files in behind him or her
there is mention of categorizations
but... that is just an after thought
this week I had some friendly emails back and forth with race promoter and all around good guy, Jim Harmon of EX2 Adventures
there were discussions of the classes at the Cranky Monkey Series this year
there was some confusion on my part on how he decided to split up the Expert field
Jim had made an young and an old Expert field
which sort of broke up my King for A Day feeling about the Expert field
it gave a King and Prince award for the young and old fast guy
while making the Men's Vet Category an Expert field... which is not how most Vets see themselves
as we tend to see ourselves as being faster than Sport, but not