Bike Racing is important just because it’s bike racing.
That sounds silly but it’s true. I’ve been trying to look at bike racing like it was a two-wheeled human-powered version of NASCAR. That just doesn’t work and while watching a NASCAR race this weekend I realized why.
Where did NASCAR race two weeks ago? I don’t know either and I watched the race. The problem with NASCAR is that there are so many races, and except for a few, they are almost identical. Cycling has nothing like that problem.
Each bike race has a distinct personality and a unique place in the calendar. While I can’t really argue that the Tour de France isn’t the biggest dog in the kennel, for me the Tour of California is the most important race, cause it’s the only major race I’ve seen in person.
I now realize that everything I complained about in my last few posts are exactly what makes bike racing so exciting. I have to change my thinking from season-long championship to a group of events that are interesting on their own. Yes there’s a world tour and points and rankings but from a fan’s point of view maybe those aren’t all that important.
Back to this weekend, even before I realized it, I was more interested in the Dauphine than NASCAR. I still love car racing but there’s something special about a breakaway that actually succeeds in staying ahead of the big group. Watching actual human beings struggle with their very own muscles to climb mountains. Wonderful.
My new hobby, and probably the topic of my next blog post, is to reverse engineer why what teams use what riders in what race. The focus of this will be the Tour de France prep races. Should be interesting.