10.21.2007

get it off my back... get it out of your ears

cyclocross is a bareback event

cyclocross is very different than mountain biking in the area of repairs on the course
the short multilap race with its one or two pits is very different than the mountain bike racer having the option to carry anything and everything that a racer may need on their person or on their bike

cyclocross is a little closer to road in that regard

road where the racer raises their hand and support comes rolling up

for the paranormal I was figuring I would go bareback

no need for a camelbak
a water bottle mounted to the bike would do

then I forgot my seatpack that is filled with tube, tools, and mini-pump
luckily this worked fine for me

as I did not flat and I did not brake my chain

not much else to go wrong

not much else that could go wrong and could be fixed trailside

as far as the headlamp battery
I was wearing a jersey ontop of another jersey
so I put the battery in the jersey underneath so that there would be less bouncing around

there was no flat tire and there was no broken chain
I survived without my seatpack
I survived Murphy's Law


while I raced without a camelbak

I was frustrated at the number of racers on the course with headphones
mountain biking is an all senses experience

sure the headlamp approaching fast from behind works as a warning
but... I still am not sure about the use of headphones on the bike]
especially when racing
especially when racing at night

the multi-lap mountain bike race experience can be a glorious experience of nature
falling sun, rising moon, and then often the rising sun
all this action corresponds with the animal activity
the last minute feeding of the birds at dusk
the sound of the frogs at darkness
the activity of the nocturnal animals
so much of this is missed with an iPod stuffed in your ears

that said...
the real danger is the way that headphones takes a racer out of the game
they are not aware of the approaching cyclist
they are not fully aware of their bike
a stick in the spokes... a skipping chaing... a slowly leaking tire
so many things to listen to
the iPod prevents not only from listening to the world around you

the iPod prevents the cyclist from listening to their bike and their body
there needs to be a ban on headphones while racing bikes
it is common sense
but when people lack common sense
that is when rules need to be established

3 comments:

gewilli said...

there is a ban on headphones when riding.

One ear bud only... and that i think is only for radio???

check the USAC "rulebook"

if not a USAC race, well...
up to promoter/organizing body to make such rule...

i haven't seen that around here - folks warm up with them but ditch them before the race...

Scott T. said...

I agree completely. In traffic or anywhere, I use my ears to know if cars are coming, or other cyclists, or anything. So frustrating on the bike trail to pass a jogger or other cyclist with i-pod in place. You could give a screaming "audible warning" and it wouldn't help because they're clueless. I can't even imagine having ear/headphones in during a race. Insane.

Scott T. said...

I can't remember the exact rule, but they don't allow race radios below a certain catagory in USCF races (I want to say they are ok in Masters, but maybe it's only Cat 1/2; don't know).

I've seen all sorts of sillyness on the trail and road, as I'm sure have you.

Any inside info on the DCCX course?