Friday, June 19, 2009

Alternative Livlihood

I had another TDD post queued up for today, but this velonews article where a wildly successful ex-downhill racer was caught with 400lbs of marijuana was just too good to ignore.

As racers we're always looking for ways to get ahead--in the singletrack, in life--and as every good downhiller knows, the line most taken is often not the fastest one. I'm not really sure it's a statement on the rider or the state of the sport that an athelete with 14 national titles can't have a more resonable existence based on her athletic success than on driving around with a van full of illicit drugs, though selling drugs is not unlike downhill racing: 6 days a week you smoke pot and ride bikes, 1 day you do about 5 minutes of high-risk, high-reward "work" and are set for another 6 days.

Take the 6 off, 1 on strategy to the meta scale and naturally you wind up at spending a couple months procuring and selling off 4oolb of drugs (street price roughly $2.56M), then proceeding to smoke the profits on the chairlift for about a decade. Right?

A day doesn't go by when someone doesn't write a book expounding how [insert sport here] is a metphor or training exercise for something of greater importance--life, globalization America--I can see the book deal now, "Moving the QP. A Downhiller's guide to the quick sale." ...applies to used cars, drugs and ponzi schemes of all varieties.

By analogy, XC endurance racing must train management consultants. Like your typical McKinsey employee, endurance racers spend hundreds of hours repetitively slogging away at something that isn't really that difficult, but few people have the endurance and careful patience to succeed at themselves. When we're done we party for a day or two and then compulsively jump into the next project for fear of getting behind. If only we could bill ourselves out at $300/hr. We'll work on our business plan next week...

Wish Eric luck on his thesis defence in... 71 minutes!

BCBR starts in 9 days!!!


Anonymous said...

So true!

Andrew said...

Spot on with both the analogy and correlation between downhilling and smoking. Few sports can so carefully combine being in the woods with minimal exertion.

I wonder if XC racing could also be analogous to academics: spend years dedicated to difficult, tedious and inexplicably enjoyable study only to be punctuated with jobs that require too many hours and pay far too little.

Anonymous said...

4 more days. What can we loyal readers expect in terms of reporting/blogging? Something like a Lance video message per day or previews like John & Kate Plus 8 (without the separation stuff, of course). I am getting the popcorn and beer ready guys...

Anonymous said...

PS: Forgot to say, if you do not manage to blog before, good luck and have an awesome time!