See the link to the right, or the link in the header! Let’s get some TT action ON!
“Hey HoS, what about my sponsor recognition? “. I doubt that cousin herbs discount bike warehouse cares if you finished 10th or 30th. Still no trophy..
It seems my post yesterday struck quite a chord with at least one of you, so I’ll clarify my intent, which I though was clear yesterday. It’s becoming harder and harder to promote races, find volunteers, find officials, get donations etc,etc, and we want to provide a good experience for all that lay down an entry fee so, I didn’t imply that you shouldn’t question the results once the officials post them on the barn door. Do so in a timely manner. What I was trying to convey was; Don’t sweat a couple places if you were hacking with the pack. And for damn sure, don’t call me up the week after the race and grill me on a mistake after you’ve had time to relive the glory of sprinting for 25th. Just let it go
I read an article years ago in the Wall Street journal called “The Trophy Kids go to Work”, which documents the move of the millennial kids (born between 1980-2001) as they move into meaningful careers with their inflated expectations for what the world can do for them. While reflecting back on the last 25 years as a cyclist, racer, and promoter I’ve come to the conclusion we’ve crossed that millennial threshold in bicycle racing.
You see, back before USA cycling, when it was called the United States Cycling Federation, my little group of friends would look forward to loading up the wagon for a weekend of racing. We’d go to some random so cal race, get our brains beat in, revel in the camaraderie, drink a few beers and head home. No thought was given to whether we placed 14th or 40th. We took the lessons learned; positioning, cornering, who to follow etc., home, trained our asses off hoping to someday finish in the “money”, which was top 5 at the biggest races we did.
At some point in time, racing your bike has changed. Don’t get me wrong, I believe the majority of folks still get a charge out of the camaraderie and I for one definitely revel in the beer drinking, but it seems more folks are now overly concerned about their placing. And not to point solely at the “millennials” but this phenomenon is prevalent in the lower categories. At all races, USAC builds in a protest period of 15 minutes to allow rider input to the overworked officials to help sort out the mess of upside down numbers and myriad of fred jerseys. But as a promoter I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been confronted by riders hours and sometimes days later contesting a 24th place, or 43rd place, both well out of the money or beyond upgrade points.
The point of all this? Go race your bike, have fun, do your very best, learn the lessons and move forward. If you finish outside the money, you don’t need a consolation trophy.
Finally, I’m able to sit down and , enjoy a nice farm house ale, and try to wrap my head around all the awesomeness that transpired today. Pursuing a major undertaking is undeniably a team effort, that requires everyone carrying a bit of the load, much like spokes in a wheel. One breakdown and the wheel tacos quicker than you can say carnitas. For the past 5 years I’ve been fortunate to surround myself with strong spokes in this wheel called “hell of the south”
First off, thanks to all of the volunteers for showing up in the pissing rain standing on a corner south of nowhere, waking up at 4 am to sort rider numbers, staying up late to drop safety pins in an envelope etc., etc. Without these folks we would not have been around for 1 year much less 5 years.
Thank you to the community, the volunteer fire department and the united Methodist church of Berlin, TN. Who knew this community would embrace us like they have.
Thanks to our awesome sponsors; MOAB, Castelli, Swiftwick, Darrell Waltrip honda, SVMIC and others I’m sure I’ve forgotten.
Finally, thanks to all of you, the racers. Your support is justification for the vision we had to provide a unique race and experience unlike anything we’ve had in middle TN.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten half the shit I wanted to say, but the beer is almost gone and I’m slipping into a coma.
Can’t believe we’re hours away from the 5th edition of the “Hell of the South” You guys have gone above and beyond with pre-registration this year, and all fields look to be very competitive.
Here are a few things to remember for tomorrow.
Parking is a premium in the little dot called Berlin, TN. We will have volunteers directing you where to park when you roll in, Please follow their directions, any problems the volunteers get will become my problems and my solution will be far worse than just following directions.
The updated start times because of the field split of the cat 3/4 are
P/1/2 – 9:50
Cat 3 – 9:55
Masters combined – 10:00
Cat 4 – 10:05
Feed zone is on Old Sowell Mill Pike, apprx 1/4 mile from the turn at Newcut. Park off of the roadway, and have your feeder stay out of the road prior to and after the peloton rolls through
We have one (1) wheeltruck per field. If you have a larger team, consider consolidating your spares down to save room. Additionally, it may be advisable to stage a helper on the gravel road with a spare or two. This will save time waiting on the wheeltruck, in an area that has historically produced many flats
PLEASE, PLEASE the helpers for feed, wheels, cheerleaders, picture takers, DO NOT park on or near the road so as to impede the local vehicle travel. These roads have steep shoulders, and are narrow and I don’t want to anger the citizens that have to traverse around a bike race to go about their normal routine.
If you haven’t done so, buy a lunch from the Volunteer fire dept and hang out for the awards. Castelli, Swiftwick and MOAB have gone above and beyond in getting some cool prizes for our winners.
Based on anticipated schedules the awards ceremonies should be
Cat 5 and Women ~ 10:30am
Cat3, Cat 4, Masters, P/1/2 ~ 1:30 pm
Thanks again and we’ll see you tomorrow
I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, at this point however it is little more than a dot off in the distance. For those who have already registered, thank you! You guys and gals are what makes my cycling world go around. For those of you who haven’t registered you have 4 hours to make it happen.
After careful thought and a lengthy run through, I’ve decided to split the category 3 and category 4 fields. 80 riders all shooting for a little patch of gravel going 25 mph sounds really cool, while in reality it would be carnage incarnate. Since we’re on a tight timeline, the effect of this split, is that we will combine the masters 35+ and 50+ fields into one group. Hopefully their collective experience will allow cooler heads to prevail when the shit hits the fan.
What does this do to start times, not much, but here we go;
P/1/2 start at 9:50 am
Cat 3 start at 9:55am
Masters 35+ AND 50+ start at 10:00am
Cat 4 start at 10:05am
If you registered you will see this again tomorrow, along with some pertinent info about feed zone, wheel trucks, awards etc.