We may not have soigneurs, masseuses, private chefs or team cars, but after completing half of our first year racing bikes, we are a little bit closer to knowing what riders in the Tour de France go through. Instead of getting paid to ride our bikes six to eight hours a day, we are forced to make compromises to our wives (or husbands) and kids, sneak out of work early, or find other ways to squeeze in a few extra hours of training every week. No longer do we buy jerseys to look like the pros, or conversely, plain ones to avoid being thought of as wannabes. We have earned the right to wear our own “kit,” a uniform that gives us an identity as members of a group.
Yes, Virginia (and Maryland, and DC), Revolution Cycles has a racing team. It started innocently enough, during casual Sunday group rides with a few light-hearted sprints and surges up our regular climbs. The subconscious racing itch began to burrow its way to the surface. A curious thought every now and then such as “how might I fare in a race against my peers?” The thoughts were easily dismissed at first. I’m too old. I’m not good enough. But despite ourselves, we were already training to become racers without even realizing it. All it took was one of the group riders to suggest starting a team, and that was it. We all knew we had to give it a try.
There have been growing pains. Being a group of newbie racers, that comes as no surprise. But as the number of races we’ve entered creeps higher, that excited saucer-eyed look we surely exhibited at the beginning of the season has narrowed into a precise, focused stare of grizzled veterans. Our goal is to get one of our guys onto the podium. No longer is it just about individual glory, we want … no, NEED to see one of our comrades raise his or her arms in victory to make us feel like a legitimate team. It’s closer and closer to becoming a reality. Consistent finishes in the high teens, lower teens, and now single digits. It’s just a matter of time.
Isn’t it time for you to scratch that itch? Don’t you want to wear a jersey that you actually “earned?” Aren’t you curious how you’d do? Could you be the one to finally put us on the podium? There’s only one way to find out….