my bad... I did not mean to push you over.

it happens...
the world is crowded
the science is simple
there is something about saturation... super saturation... and the occupation of space
maybe something about only one molecule can occupy that space at a time
the same goes for people

it is true
I can be bossy... not my intention... being fair is my intention
but sometimes my request can come off abrupt
especially if I am oxygen deprived

on the escalators in DC there is a notion
not everyone abides by this
but it is the way it is done
it is civil
it is the best way to share the space

I like to move fast... sure there are others that move faster
but I like to move fast
no... I am not demanding that others move at my pace
but there are times when their actions are such that they dictate my pace
as in the case of someone standing on the escalator
forcing me to slow and stop my momentum
making me go their rate of speed

well... Wednesdays at Wakefield can involve a similar sort of situation
a case where someone is blocking the path
when others want to progress forward
I try to make safe courteous passes... I try to avoid any unnecessary contact

a few weeks back there was a situation with a racer who did not let me pass...
I asked... I asked nicely... I made several requests
but the racer accelerated and made it impossible for me to make the pass
then on the singletrack this racer continued to speed up
still going slower than I wanted to go... perhaps faster than they felt comfortable

this racer crashed...
I slammed on the brakes and avoided piling up on this racers
behind me Will and Robert also braked hard and came to a stop
seconds later Will and Robert passed me
I lost my spirit and finished 4th on this day... was it that racer's fault?
well, it did not help
it was part of the equation... when it did not need to be

well... earlier this week at race number 4 at W@W I was in a similar situation
in the lead with my fellow Clydesdales nipping at my rear wheel
I was working to stay ahead
trying to control the race from the front
not sure if it was lap one or lap two... maybe one

it was the tail end of the lap...
just after crossing the dry creek I hustled on the single speed up that little climb that finishes the lap
there was a racer in hard packed fast line
they were snailing along in the granny gear.... GRANNY GEAR? REALLY?
I tried to take the loose gravel non-line
well... I was torking it pretty good... my rear wheel slipped out

I lost traction, I lost momentum, I lost my balance
as I started to go down my body took its natural puffer fish position and inflated large... elbows out
I contacted the racer in the Granny Gear... my elbow to his shoulder
my rear wheel regained traction... I regained my balance... I apologized... I rolled on
I think that this other racer fell over

I said it then... I will say it again
sorry... sorry that I knocked you over
hard to convey that at the time... especially with all the urban cyclists heckling me

well... I do not have the photo to tell the tale
but there was a woman with a camera snapping some shots
she was there and I think she recorded the moment
a photo that will not capture me in a favorable light

no matter... I do not think that this other racers was hurt... I hope that this contact did not alter their position in their race
but I know that slowing and trying to climb that little non-hill at their pace would have changed my race
going at that rate would have had the trailing Clydesdales catch me quickly
and well...
I was intent on not letting that happen

it was not my finest moment... but it was not my worst

contact happens... even if mountain bike racing is not a contact sport

maybe I will run into this racer on another day and they can tell me how it happened for them
in the end... if you are pedaling slower than you could walk it... then maybe you should dismount and run
and if you hear faster racers coming up the trail behind you
well... be ready
anticipate their approach and make space for them if possible

previous rants on PASSING AT WAKEFIELD

Wakefield is a "training race"
there are lessons to be learned
lessons in passing and being passed
in my years of racing I have had to pull over and let the faster racers pass plenty of times


Grizzly said...

Well at least it did not get to this point:


dhposer said...

I eye witnessed described crash (fellow clydesdale nipping at your wheel) - I dont think it was out of the realm of the world where "stuff" happens...it was clearly not intentional.
From a competition stand point - I thank you...because it much easier to pass that guy when he was off the trail. :)

I also said sorry for you - shortly after saying "one more coming through"