Sidebar: If you missed reading my Snake Alley race recaps, go here.
After the Snake Alley cat 3 race, I rolled up to congratulate the winner, Andrew Schmidt (Hincapie Development). Several of the riders from the peloton rolled up to do the same moments later.
As I took my helmet and sunglasses off, one of the juniors suddenly said to me, "Dude -- I thought you were a junior -- are you also a Masters racer?"
That kid made my day.
You see, I wasn't feeling so young and spry the day before, when passenger Dillon McNeill (Midwest Cycling) basically called me an old man as I drove us to the race. At the particular moment, we were somewhere along I-80 and Dillon was looking at the race flier's schedule. I asked him to lookup when my races were while he had it open.
"Are you a Masters 50 Plus?" Dillon asked.
Boom -- 50 plus? He might have well slugged me in the arm. It probably would have felt better.
"C'mon Dillon! 50? Do I really look 50??" I retorted sharply.
(Truth in disclosure: I'm 45 (race-age 46). As such, I'm not far from 50s. But that pip-squeak Dillon should know better. Honestly.)
Fast forward again to the scene at the cat 3 race above, when I was mistaken for a junior. Ah, do you see that? Woo! As I said previously, that kid made my day. In less than 24 hours, I had my vindication from Dillon's 50+ charge.
But hang on, it gets better. Just a few minutes later, at the cat 3 podium presentation, the promoter was gushing about the performances of the several juniors in the race, including the winner, who was only 15 years old. The promoter was quite proud of all the young riders there, and made several references to the youth on the podium. As he wrapped it up, he called out our names one last time, then concluded by saying:
"There you have it folks -- the future of America's cycling in front of your eyes. Congratulations young men!"
Sweet. 45 is the new 15.
Thanks for reading. Happy Friday.
|The future of America's cycling|