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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

RUA SANDBAGGER: The Test

Are you racing in a category where there really isn’t a higher category?
Yes (you can’t be a sandbagger)
No (you could be a sandbagger)

Did you pack a podium jersey in your bag the morning before the race?
Yes (you could be a sandbagger)
No (you still could be a sandbagger)

Can you easily recall your user names and passwords for all the cycling forums and websites, but have trouble recalling the name of your local USA Cycling Rep, their email address and exactly how many points are required to an upgrade to the next category?
Yes (you could be a sandbagger)
No (you still could be a sandbagger, but we’re starting to doubt it)

Have you won the last 4 or 5 races without wiping a single string cheese noodle of snot on your glove?
Yes (you could be a sandbagger)
No (if you still won, albeit a little booger-ish, or don't wear gloves because it wouldn't look pro at the finish line…you still could be a sandbagger)

When you won your last of those races, was there complete silence at the finish line, but roaring cheers for a slobbering soul who finished behind you?
Yes (you could be a sandbagger)
No (you still could be a sandbagger, if the person cheering was someone who promised they’d buy lunch or kick in for gas on the way home)

When you won the last time, did you have time to change into your “podium jersey” before the person behind you crossed the finish line?
Yes (you could be a sandbagger)
No (you still could be a sandbagger, and so could the person who finished behind you or if you eased up mid-race so you wouldn’t lap someone who might call you out as a sandbagger)

After you won the 4th or 5th race this season, did your car develop a flat tire before you left the race venue again?
Yes (you might be getting a subtle message that you could be a sandbagger)
No (you might have run-flat tires, and could still be a sandbagger)

Do you have a pit bike, pit wheels, pit wash kit, pit tools, pit mechanic, pit picnic basket and change bikes every lap because you have such a lead on the 2nd place rider that you thought you should get some practice on your other bike?
Yes (cough) Sandbagger. What?
No You still could be a sandbagger if the thought has crossed your mind

When you won, did you sort-of, you know, dial back the extension of the fist pump?
Yes (you could be a sandbagger)
No (you still could be a sandbagger and might also enjoy stealing candy from children at Christmas too)

While leading the last lap and you went through the particularly tough sand section of the course, could you have sworn you heard the word “sand” and thought for a second that spectators might not be discussing how deep the sand was?
Yes (you could be a sandbagger)
No (you still could be a sandbagger and your $300 helmet might be on too tight causing constriction of the ear canal)

When you won your races this year, have you pointed at your jersey, pumped your fist in the air, raised your hands, pulled out and kissed a picture of a family member, but the last time you won you realized you were fresh out of animated finish line celebrations?
Yes (you might consider getting an upgrade before your tires are flat again this weekend)
No You still could be a sandbagger, just not a creative one

Now that you’ve won four or five races this season, are you considering racing the next race say on platform pedals, without a saddle and with three cameras mounted on your bike to catch all the action of the extra challenge?
Yes (you might be a sandbagger and not even realize that it takes less time to email you results for an upgrade than it does to find the platform pedals in the bin on your home shop shelf)
No (you still could be a sandbagger with only two vanity cameras to record yourself riding your bike)

Did you feel that the above list of questions was not funny at all and hit a little too close to home?
Yes Get your upgrade
No Keep racing till you get enough good finishes to get the upgrade points. You don’t have to be winning races to be a sandbagger, because sandbaggers who take more than their share of wins breed sandbaggers who take more than their fair share of the lower steps of the podium. Seriously enjoy your few weeks at the front end of the lower category race. Feel pimp in your collection of free socks and swag. Then, get your upgrade, report to the next higher category for your beating and let someone else enjoy elation when they cross the finish line. Repeat until the answer to the first question is yes.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Spot on!! I wish I could be a sandbagger, but I'm not good enough. Hmmm... maybe the junior category.

Anonymous said...

Does your CrossResults look like this.
http://www.crossresults.com/?n=racers&sn=r&rID=6239

Yes - You might be a sandbagger.

Chris said...

Wow! I promise I didn't post that last comment, Keith! Anyways, it looks like maybe I'm being called a sandbagger too, without having won anything.

MTBCXGirl said...

The $60 UCI license makes one sandbag.

Joe Biker said...

Yeah that $60 UCI license is an issue. But, I think most riders expect to face super tough competition (a little bagging to go on) at those events. But, no matter what race you're in, even if a person who appears to be a bagger on paper isn't guaranteed anything at a UCI level event. If you remember, all the local 3's got schooled by a young buck who swept this year's events.

I think the "sandbagging" issue rears it's head more on the local race and series overall level. If it wasn't for the series prizes involved, I don't think there'd be as much percieved bagging.

I think it's been shown over the past few years that riders consistently finishing top 5 or so in a local lower cat race, can usually finish mid-pack in the next level.

However, it seems with such a long series like the OVCX and with the UCI races falling more in the beginning of the season, riders know that they'll get more points for their effort with the lesser competition at the local events in the last half of the series.

Unfortunately, that makes it really tough for the riders ruling the front of the race early in the season to "sew up" the series and move up. Can't fault strong riders for not wanting to win a series prize or plaque.

I've wondered how it would be if the UCI races were excluded from the OVCX series, but that wouldn't fix the issue of rider not moving up sooner.

Maybe coming up with some sort of system where a rider could "lock-up" a series win by amassing a certain number of points by a certain date. Either that or offer some sort of incentive for riders to eschew the series prize and cat up quicker.

If you get so many series points and amass your license upgrade points by a certain date, you'll win something cool (a plaque, some $$, free entry for the rest of the series) BUT ONLY IF you upgrade your license and move up mid-season.

PS...glad to see so many comments. And, I know it's meant as good natured ribbing and everybody's pretty chummy, but, you know what I mean.

MTBCXGirl said...

My gripe with the UCI license is that for me I usually only need it for like 3-4 races and then it quickly expires at the end of the year.

On a side note -
I'm glad to see the prize $ go way up this year for us ladies. Makes it worth all those puke in your mouth intervals.