Tweed Ride, etc.

Last night we celebrated Memphis’s 2nd foray into cycling culture past the comfort zone of spandex, asphalt, and/or singletrack. In other cities, tweed rides are a big deal- lots of people show up, the dress is fantastic, and the bikes are unique (just check out photos that pop up on a Google Image search). Last night, about 15 very dapper and dashingly dressed individuals showed up at Peddler Bikes for the leisurely ride to Celtic Crossing.

Odd, I thought… because the first Tweed Ride back in March seemed much less publicized and much more attended. More on that in a minute.

The ride and the company were great, of course. I managed to win “best dressed,” the prize for which was a shiny new Brooks saddle. If I can scare up a seatpost with more setback than my Thompson (not too hard- the Thompson is pretty mild), then it’s going on the One9.

Speaking of bikes, the decision has been made (thanks for all the input!). I will get an Air9 carbon sometime in the next couple of months. It will be mine… oh yes, it will be mine. I love Niner too much to mess around on them with other bikes.

So, back to the low turnout of the Tweed Ride…Â Last night was also the showing of the 2010 Race Across the Sky documentary (about the Leadville 100 mountain bike race). I am reasonably sure that it took away from the attendance of said ride. What I’m about to say might upset a lot more people than that time I dropped an F-bomb or posted a gangsta rap song.

To Hell with the LT100 hype.

There, I said it.

I’ll preface this by saying yes, it is a hard race. If you’ve finished this race, you’ve done a great thing that a lot of other humans view as “impossible.” By no means am I calling it easy or saying what you’ve done isn’t a great accomplishment …but NO 100 mile race is easy.

The media has hyped this race sooooo much that people are viewing it as the end-all, be-all endurance race of a lifetime. Newsflash, people- there are other 100s out there that are harder. You wouldn’t know about those, though, because they don’t have their own movie, and L*nce has never entered them. In fact, I’d venture to say that without a film crew that are both very capable bike handlers/hikers and in excellent physical condition, a large portion of races more difficult than the LT100 couldn’t have their own movie because you couldn’t get physically get to most of the trails that make up the race course. I recently realized that most people (even some very accomplished riders) don’t know that the LT100 easily lends itself to filming because most of it is on jeep roads (except for that couple of miles of singletrack between Pipeline and Twin Lakes). The altitude is a factor, as are the 1500 people that show up to race (many of them accomplished pros), but the course itself is generally run-of-the-mill when compared to other 100 mile courses.

I’m not going to blow smoke here- I will likely race in the LT100 some day… it’s a 100 mile race, and I like racing 100s. And yes, being the vain and self-centered person I am, I will probably then go to that year’s showing of Race Across the Sky in hopes of seeing myself on the silver screen. But I encourage any of you reading- if you are wanting to set a lifelong goal of finishing a 100 mile MTB race, then do a little searching. There are others out there that are more, less, or equally challenging. Read. Look for past race reports. Look at photos and course maps. Think for yourself and don’t just go with the one that’s on the front page of the magazines.

If you’re an LT100 finisher and this makes you mad, then please refer back to the above preface to my rant. You’ve accomplished something great, and I’m not trying to take that away from you. But now that you’ve done that, how about branching out?

5 thoughts on “Tweed Ride, etc.

  1. leadville is where all the roadies live out their mtb dreams. ha. but yes that race wouldn’t be as big without former tour de france guys trying to show their off road abilities. and to the tweed ride. i always love how the bigger cities do rides like this. we attempt something on the “different” side of riding and all the spandex folks stick their nose up at it.

  2. It was massive years before Lance decided to try it. Leadville is one big long party and has always been so. An expensive party, that hurts the next day… like an especially high altitude Mardi Gras. Go to it in that spirit, and race it as such. Anyone who does otherwise is an idiot.
    The “easy/hard” thing is meaningless, since if the terrain is less technical everyone just goes faster. Exhibit A: Cohutta 100.

  3. DC’s tweed ride is sunday. Sunday? seriously? Im sorry, but I will not be wasting a fine fall afternoon for a 15 minute leasure ride followed by some kind of fashion show. Im guessing it wasnt planned by an actual cyclist who waited all summer for this wonderous weather to ride in. I feel the same way about cross, but who am I anyway? And yes, I am with you on the Leadville thing. I am kind of interested in checking out the movie, but will most likely be sickened by the Lance hype. I think it would be cool to start a hundred late and interview the slummers. Those stuck out after dark sans lights. Those coming in with barely a bearing bouncing around in the bottom bracket. You want to talk about heartache, struggle and the drive to finish? Sure, these folks arent putting out as many watts as so and so, but being out on the bike for 12+ is a big deal for anyone. Can you say “ramble?”

  4. Not that you asked, but seat post suggestion: might check out Truvativ posts. They are available in 25mm offset and the clamps are similar to Thomson. I have a Stylo Team and it’s amazing; I don’t wish for a Thomson at all. (The Ritchey I had prior squeaked and creaked like crazy but the Stylo is blissfully silent.)

  5. The good thing about the movie, it is mostly NOT about Lance:) That’s nice……

    Anywho, I’m new to the whole 100m races, so I enjoy learning via your blog and links. Keep on postin….

    Tweed is cool

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