As our faithful readers no doubt know, the stationary 3,000 mile Race Across the Window begins Thursday at noon. Our team of eight riders will ride 24/7 until we've finished our virtual cross-country ride to raise funds for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. We're thankful for all the support we've gotten already. So far our sponsors include:
Kuota will provide us with three bikes for use by sponsors, CAF athletes, celebrities and other guests to ride along with our team.
Craft Performance Wear is giving us some great gear to wear for the ride.
Zensah is providing compression sleeves to help us recover between rides.
Chomper Body is giving us their chamois cream to keep our personal regions happy.
WIN Detergent will help us keep our clothes clean and smelling good despite 3 hours of riding per day.
NUUN is giving the riders their active hydration tablets to keep our electrolytes up.
Don't forget to follow us on facebook and twitter, and stay tuned to the blog for RATW specific updates
At noon on Thursday, June 3, our team of eight riders will begin a simulated 3,000 miles ride on Computrainers in the store window of JackRabbit Sports' Union Square location. We'll ride 24/7 for a week or so, until we complete the task.
This year there are a few changes. First and foremost, the event will benefit the Challenged Athletes Foundation. CAF does great work to help people with physical disabilities pursue an active lifestyle through physical fitness and competitive athletics.
Don't forget to follow our progress on Facebook and Twitter. We'll post updates on the ride as well as raffles, discounts for donors at JackRabbit, and other incentives.
Thanks to our sponsors - Nuun for portably electrolytehydration, WIN for sports detergent, Zensah for compression sleeves, Craft for clothing, Chomper Body for providing chamois cream and Kuota for supplying loaner bikes for guest riders.
Congratulations to Bobby Dweck on a PR at the Jersey Man Half Iron this weekend. Bobby's in training for Ironman Lake Placid, and his training is right on schedule for a strong IM debut. Keep up the good work Bobby.
There was considerable debate on this one among our team of judges. Ultimately, the subject of the photo and the self-proclaimed shlub representative won out, and Tom Buffolano is once again the winner for his entry, "HE WENT TO JARED!!!!"
I often hear people comment about how few minorities compete in triathlons. It's especially striking here in New York. With the diversity that this city has, the homogeneity of race entrants really stands out. The common, knee-jerk explanation you hear is an economic one, but I think that's a huge oversimplification. Sure, minorities on the whole have less disposable income, but if you wake up early enough to watch a bike race in Prospect or Central Park this summer, you'll see a far greater Black and Latino population than at a tri. And those road bikes are no cheaper than tri bikes. Admittedly there are other costs associated with triathlon that you don't encounter in cycling - pool access, wetsuits, higher race fees, etc. - but I still don't think that economics alone account for the differences. Even the whole "Black people don't like to swim" argument doesn't hold water [get it?] because it's not as if anyone's going to mistake a duathlon awards ceremony for a Howard University reunion.
Thankfully, we've seen a couple of notable examples of diversity at races this season. At the Brooklyn Biathlon, there were two (presumably Orthodox Jewish) women racing while wearing traditionally modest clothing including skirts below their knees. Not only was it great to see them out there participating, but it was equally impressive to see the reception that they got from the spectators and other racers. Most were totally unfazed. Those who noticed, cheered for the ladies and encouraged them. Sure, they didn't look quite like the rest of the racers, but no one cared. They were just two more athletes out there giving it their best and participating in a healthy hobby.
At the Lions Spring Sprint Tri in Marlborough MA we encountered a group from the Sudanese Education Fund. They grouped Sudanese refugees and staff from the SEF into relay teams for the race.
Plus there are lots of other groups - including Tri Masters, Tri Latino, Tri Unify - that are promoting minority participation. Triathlon is a great sport, and hopefully we'll continue to see more and more diversity at the races.
I realize that I'm rapidly becoming the curmudgeonly old man who sits on his front stoop and screams at kids for walking on his lawn, but some things are getting out of control. When I'm King of the World, there will be a few changes, including (but not limited to) the following:
Before being allowed race entry, all competitors must familiarize themselves with the verb win, and show the ability to use it properly in a sentence. Please note definition number one; to finish first in a race. As such, "winning second place" is oxymoronic and will not be accepted.
Finisher's medals will not be distributed to able bodied adults after completion of any events shorter than a marathon. Some folks who completed Saturday's Brooklyn Half Marathon who are disappointed that they didn't get one and aren't shy about complaining about it at NYRR's facebook/therapy page. What's with the need for constant affirmation? Did mommy not show you enough love as a child?
Read the damn course description before you enter the race. Saturday's Harryman Triathlon took place in Harriman State Park. Here's a sample of the whining going on at message boards. "The water at 55-degrees was much too cold, the bike course was unbearably tough with one giant hill and the run while OK necessitated runners go on the grass for a time where it was quite uneven and could trip or sprain an ankle." Seriously? The course description pretty much told you to expect this stuff. And exactly what color is the sky in your fantasy world in which you thought the lake would be warm in Rockland/Orange County in May? You seem like the kind of guy who would visit the rain forest and complain that it's too wet. Next time cinch up your pink, frilly tri suit, slap on a neoprene cap and race. Or don't. But don't act surprised when it's cold and hilly at Harriman.
Along with today's confession, Floyd Landis accused several other prominent riders, including Lance Armstrong, of doping. And Armstrong's defenders immediately jumped in with their usual refrain; reminding us that Lance has never tested positive. Unfortunately, in a world where doping and masking techniques are a step ahead of detection methods, the lack of a positive does not make for a negative.
As Exhibit A of that statement, I present Marion Jones. In the photo at the left, Ms. Jones - who never once failed a drug test, and who has now admitted to using performance enhancing drugs - is shown in the 100-meter dash, winning by the largest margin in the Olympics in decades. Two of the women way back in her rear view mirror - Ekaterina Thanou and Merlene Ottey - are known drug cheats. At the time, I pointed out that it seemed rather implausible for dirty, world class athletes to be dominated by a clean one. Still, with quotes like I AM AGAINST PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS. I HAVE NEVER TAKEN THEM AND I NEVER WILL TAKE THEM [caps from her autobiography], perhaps you believed her despite the pile of circumstantial evidence including her performances and the fact that she was surrounded by known cheaters. But now it's obvious that she was a liar, and that negative tests mean nothing.
Personally, I never believed Landis. And my disdain for him grew when he whined about getting busted, and suckered cyclists all over into donating to his legal fund. None of that means that he's lying now. People want to believe that Lance is clean. I want to believe that Lance is clean. Because he is American, he is a cancer survivor, he has done tremendous charitable work, and because we want to think that the sport still has some clean riders. In my heart of hearts, I hope so. Maybe Lance, Levi Leipheimer, George Hincapie and the others mentioned by Landis are clean. But simply calling Landis a rat (as so many already have) is obfuscating the real problem, and pointing to a multitude of negative tests is meaningless.