Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Fine Print

[Apologies in advance to those who already saw my facebook status and got the punchline of this post. That's what you get for stalking me on the web. Anyway...]

The monthly newsletter is a staple of MTB stage races. While you're obsessing over the event for six months, the organizers take the opportunity to sell you as much crap and inflate their facebook group size as much as possible while you're listening. For the most part the whole newsletter thing is pretty useless until the last one when all of a sudden there are a whole pile of logistics to take care of.

BCBR dumped a pile of forms and manuals into this month's newsletter, which I--being the studious and obsessive character that I am--read thoroughly all the way through. Of particular interest was the "Race Fit Guide", the goal of which was for you--the racer--to figure out whether you're gonna survive 7 days on the Canadian west coast.

As I'm opening up the PDF I'm thinking, "cool, maybe they'll be a fitness test" but to my disappointment, all you need to finish BCBR is to get your seizure disorder under control, avoid head trauma shortly before the start, and get checked to be sure you're not at high risk for cardiac arrest. Here I thought we were going to be bad-ass, but apparently as long as both of my feet are planted firmly outside the grave everything should be fine.

Why'd we even bother training?

"BC Bike Race is not a rehabilitation program; it is neither a place to quit smoking, drinking or drugs nor to deal with behavioural or psychological problems"

Aww, crap. I was totally going to stop the EPO this week so as not to raise red flags when we fired out to a podium finish in stage one, but now I guess we'll have to add the whizzinator to our gear list instead. Hopefully there will be beer at the BBQ tent or we might have to drop out before stage 2. Most would argue that the behavioral and psychological problems are what got us here in the first place...

Similar language must have been in le Tour's pre-race literature, judging by the confessions of the now retired Berhard Kohl:

“Apart from the caffeine, pseudo-ephedrine, painkillers, EPO, human growth hormones, insulin, I took all that before, not during (the Tour)... The cycling milieu was persuaded that this EPO (CERA) was not detectable. I obtained the product from another cyclist and I injected myself three days before the start of the Tour. In my mind, I was tranquil.”

Reminds me a little of a certain stand-up routine (not work safe, explicit lyrics):

He and Boonen might do well to have a listen...

Back on the bike.

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