I did my first bicycle race in about 7 months on Saturday. It was a fairly flat 4 corner crit.
Racing is a total pain in the ass. This was the easiest race to get ready for, a crit. I threw some clothes in a bag, threw a bike in a car and did it. No mud. No clean up. No gluing tires....
I rode with a dude the other year. I think he was probably a fairly legit pro dude at some point. We rode for about 5 hours. He was surprised when I outlasted him on a hill halfway through the ride. He didnt talk about racing much, but just said that it got in the way of riding.... I can see where he is coming from. The time that I spent driving, warming up, racing and then driving home could have been spent doing a long ride on new roads. I could have driven half the distance that I did to the race and done one of probably one of the most epic day rides I have ever done.
Then there is training. Instead of going out and enjoying nature or farms or the sun, I end up on a bike bath or a hill not too far away just turning myself inside out for an hour.
THEN there are bike racers who sometimes can be the worst people alive, after real estate agents and lawyers.
I am not going to "make it".... Im on my decline physically at the old age of 33.
All this said, after racing on Saturday I was super pumped to start training and getting in shape. So weird.