Sunday, September 14, 2008

My coach is telling people my numbers...

People kill me sometimes. I had to slog my way back to the cars after (kind of barely) finishing the Giro de Coppi road race. I found my way to the water cooler and plunked myself down on a chair next to the free water. There are two guys talking. Guy #1 is the future of cycling... he knows how many watts/kilo he is putting out even while standing and talking. Guy #2 is everybody else, he just didnt seem to get it.

Guy #1 is certain of his future as a cyclist.. based on his numbers and what his coach is telling him. He is asking about teams for the next year, and all but bragging about "his numbers." If you are a DS of an elite team, his coach may be calling you right now telling YOU his numbers.

We have all heard this before, but numbers are not a determining factor of success. Think about intelligence, think about the smartest person that you went to high school with. Is that person now also the RICHEST person that you went to high school with? I am guessing 9/10 times he or she is not. One is not an indicator of the other. This also brings up the point of entitlement. A person is not entitled to results based on power numbers, if this were the case we could save money on gas and race computrainers. (Except maybe time trials? that dude that flatted seemed to be able to calculate his "would have" time.)

Have you seen zoolander? Is a cyclist standing around talking about his power numbers the same as models standing around talking about how handsome they are? When I played chess, I dont remember people sitting around talking about their IQ's or their GRE scores or anything. Why do people think it is socially acceptable to underhandedly brag about their power numbers? By the way, the dudes who rode away from us and crushed the race, I didnt hear any of them talking about their numbers afterward.

Maybe I am harshing on this guy, I dont know him and I am judging him based on 5 minutes of conversation he had. I am just kind of tired people looking at that chart and deciding they should all be domestic pro's based on their 20 minute time trial numbers.

My advice to this guy was going to be "talking about your power numbers is only going to make people notice that you are a braggart, getting race results will get you noticed as a cyclist." I have raced with dudes who were CRAZY strong, but not smart, and visa versa. Try to get your race smarts as high as your power numbers and see where you end up.

Speaking of racing smart, I did not do this yesterday at Coppi. A good rule of thumb is "know the course before you attack." Halfway through the first lap, I was redlined trying to get up to the initial break. The course was relentless and it took me like 2 more laps after being caught to recover from that. Ouch.

Last lap our "field" split into two and I tried too hard to bring it back. There were teams with more than one guy, and I was doing too much work. I got gapped on a climb and they sure as hell didnt wait up. I had to do a last slow lap to show up on the results (possibly as last place).

THE LAST LAP WAS LIKE A BATTLEFIELD. Ramon and I passed 2 freaking guys on the side of the road that looked dead. They both cramped and had to just lie down. That is crazy. It is fitting that the last road race of the year was also one of the hardest.

Next weekend = 2 uci cross races.
Oh man.

10 comments:

Jon Chodroff said...

Oh, they will change there attitude... I know I did. If not, they will quickly quit the sport. Just see how those power numbers fly over here in belgium. If I only had this new attitude, I don't know, a year and a half ago...

Hope all is well.

Spice said...

Focuing on wattage alone is gay.

Lenore said...

lol power numbers. it's really sad when you go on a date with a cyclist, and all he talks about is how much wattage he pushes.

Anonymous said...

I know I changed my tune too. I used to just talk about my power numbers, but now I talk about how hard it is where I race and you guys don't. Here in Italy/France/Spain/Belgium it's hard. You guys don't know. Power doesn't make a difference. Just my indomitable will to win, and my natural talent which rips yours to shreds.

Jonathan Chodroff said...

I don't know if your just trying to be a dick or what... I was just trying to point out that I made those mistakes in the past, and, since then, have learned from them and changed my way of thinking. No elitist, or whatever you want to call it, bullshit whatsoever... Hey, maybe next time, you won't post anonymous...

Anonymous said...

...& maybe next time i`ll rip your legs off

Burt Friggin' Hoovis said...

Jon - not to be a dick, but you were kind of begging for that response. Go back and read your comment from the perspective of some guy whose NOT in Europe racing.

Hey, you fuckers should see MY numbers. I busted out almost 5 whole miles on the YMCA treadmill on Tuesday in WAYYYY under 40 minutes. I WAS MAKING ALL THOSE FAT OLD DUDES JOGGING ALONG DOING THEIR LAME 12 MINUTE MILES MY BITCHES! First time I ran that far back since my days on the Shaler High Cross Country Team back in the 80s...!

Thanks,
Burt

Jon Chodroff said...

OK, thats fine. Obviously, I didn't want my comment to be taken like that. I apologize for any disrespect. Anyways, I can get my ass equally kicked both in the states and europe. I was givena n amazing opportunity to race over here, and I am grateful for that. My point was that with the type of courses I have been doing over here, usually, the best bike "rider" prevails, no necessarily the strongest. Very similar to lancaster races, it is tactical game or "art" that I did not pay enough attention to in the past. Again, sorry for the previous comment...

Jon Chodroff said...

Also, what the fuck are you doing up so early?

Burt Friggin' Hoovis said...

I dig man. I knew that's not how you meant it. Not sure Anonymous did, though.

The old lady got up to take a piss at 3:30 and woke me up, so I just go up.

So make sure you have fun over there...and don't let any of those Euro trash try to intimidate you.

Thanks,
Burt