Friday, May 20, 2011

THE CLAW!!!

ALLLLLRIIIIIGHT! HEEEEERE COMES THE CLAW!!!!!
I don't know who this guy is, but BE AFRAID OF THE CLAW!

You'll all remember THE CLAW don't you? WELL YOU SHOULD!

You should because THE CLAW is awesome!

IT'S GOT A TIME TRIAL!
AND A CRIT!
AND A ROAD RACE!


And officials so strict they felt the need to pre-empt any nonsense regarding race numbers. And I quote from an e-mail all the racers received tonight, the eve of the TT:

1. Riders will be assessed time penalties for improper placement of numbers or not having both numbers and frame number displayed (numbers may not be folded, trimmed, crumpled, or otherwise defaced). The first incident is an automatic 20 second time penalty, second incident will have additional time added on to the 20 second penalty.

GOT THAT? NO FOLDING! NO CRUMPLING!  BOTH NUMBERS! FRAME NUMBER TOO! PENALTIES GALORE!!!!!! Clearly in the spirit of the radio-banning, TT-bike-rule-inventing, no-fun-shall-be-had-at-a-bike-race UCI that we all know and love. I'm sorry -- while I don't agree that three, unfolded numbers are necessary for a time trial, I understand how that argument could be made -- but honestly, warning us not to crumple our numbers is utterly ridiculous!

Which brings me to tonight's confession (tomorrow is the rapture after all).

Seeing as how today was a good day for cyclists to admit things (--cough--Hincapie!)....I might as well get something off my chest.  Honestly, I feel somewhat responsible for throwing fuel to the number placement fire, fanning the flames of the ever-escalating police state of numbers at the Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race. I actually caused quite a stink last year with my heinous violation of the "no number folding" rule. It's true. I folded my numbers when I took to the line at last year's Enumclaw TT. I was caught, and punished right there. Time was added to my result. I sobbed and sulked, and begged for forgiveness. "I'm a changed man," I pleaded, "I'll never fold numbers again!" But the officials heard none of it, and held their ground. I was so overwhelmed with the reality of my crime (I really am a bad person, I thought to myself), the only thing I could think of to make things right was storm off the front of the race the next day and win the overall. And that's exactly what I did.

So here we are, one year later. The number police are even more serious than last year. They will be on the look out for violators, and my guess is that they'll punish early, and punish often, and punish severely so as to set an example. I really don't want be that example. It's tough times like these that I look to Floyd for what to do. When I was struggling with my guilty conscience, Floyd showed me the way. When I was struggling up the climb at the Cascade Classic, Floyd showed me what to eat. And when I struggle with silly rules, Floyd shows me what to wear.
 

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