Monday, August 08, 2005

European Dreamin'

American cyclist Nathan Diebert provides a brief guide to racing in Europe, courtesy of Pez.

To say that racing in Europe is a dream of mine would of course be an understatement, as it would be for most lowly, savage American cyclists. The logistics being what they are, for all but a very scant number of us, a dream it will remain.

Diebert mentions in the piece that there are no criteriums in Spain, just longish road races with at least one serious climb included. That's interesting considering that most US domestic racing is criterium-based. Perhaps because they are easier to organize and officiate (and watch), criteriums are all the rage here. Too bad they're dangerous, discourteous and generally unfair to anyone weighing less than 170 pounds. Come to think of it, maybe the heavy influence of criterium racing---high speeds, sharp turns, extreme competitiveness---is the cause for American racing's cut-throat reputation.

Maybe if all we did were 130 "kilometer" (what's a kilometer, bro?) road races consisting of slow speeds and friendly chit-chat for the first three quarters, American racers would be friendlier and less animalistic. As of right now, a lot of guys, even here in Louisville, are downright assholes.