Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I'm Out

I regretfully submit to my followers the letter which I just sent to the Commissioner of the MoMiles 2013 Challenge.  :-(

Honorable Commissioner,

It is with a heavy heart that I am notifying you of my withdrawal from the 2013 MoMiles Challenge.  Plainly, it is no longer fun.  When we initiated this Challenge, I had envisioned double secret centuries and stealthy commute over Mt Tam.  I imagined weekend rides with my buddies and truly embracing the love of cycling - stopping to chat over coffee and guzzling down beers after a long day's work in the saddle.  While I have done my part in maintaining the Purity of the Challenge, it seems that my competitor has another vision of 'success'.  What began so elegantly has deteriorated into a classless endeavor to accumulate miles for the sake of mileage - riding in circles in the dark just to keep up.  My competitor has destroyed the spirit of the bet in the name of the letter of the law.

You may ask why I would withdraw from the Challenge being ahead in the bet hundreds of miles.  Again, I simply cite that the Challenge has lost its purpose.  It is no longer fun.

I digress to admit that I, too, once got sucked into this worthless mile trap.  I did the famous 10pm Butterfield ride on the last day of April 2013.  This was done to prove the point that a) I, too, can play at this game and b) I can be equally impure.  But with the benefit of hindsight, I should apologize to the cycling gods for sullying the purity of the bet.  I admit, on April 30th, I had fun and I was pretty proud of myself.  But now I am ashamed.

I present to you the following two examples of ridiculousness that have led me to take this position:

Exhibit A - The 'Normal' Commute

One rider plugs along every morning, 21 miles.  Every once in a while, he adds a trip up Hawk Hill or a roll over Tam.  Remember those 50 mile rides to work that included 5,000 feet of climbing over four hours as we chatted and talked smack?  Those days are a distant memory for the other rider.  Now, when he leaves before 5am to ride, it is to ride by himself, in circles, flat as a pancake, just to add a few miles. 

Take today for example:
Same as always - 21.5 miles (an extra 0.3 miles to meet a friend at his house), 814 feet of climbing.  There was even a 45 minute coffee break to socialize with friends.

45.7 miles, 1,024 feet of elevation
The ride starts with 16.2 miles over an hour and twenty minutes ... to ride in a circle - Peets to Peets.  The ride ends with another 12.7 miles past the office, over another 50 minute period, climbing a mountainous 163 feet of elevation.  To top the nonsense off, at mile 40, he doubles back another mile and a half, just to accumulate 3 more worthless miles of flat land.  Seriously?!?

Adding insult to injury, the offending rider has the audacity to comment publicly on Strava, "My commute more than doubles your miles today and beats your elevation as well."  Are you kidding?  You are proud of this?  In a ride more than double the distance, your elevation exceeded mine by less than 25%?!?  You spend three hours riding in the dark to brag about a trip down 3rd Street in San Francisco?

Exhibit B - The Weekend Ride
60.6 miles, 1,338 feet of climbing, 3:33 ride time
56.1 miles, 4,193 feet of climbing, 3:49 ride time

Note how the two competitors spend a recent weekend ride.  One rides with a friend over a beautiful, car less West Marin road, soaking in the beauty of nature, attacking one of the steepest climbs (17 plus percent) stopping to see the waves crash on the the beach.  The other rides solo on the flattest course imaginable, in car traffic on Foothill Expressway and Stevens Creek Road.  Note the thousands of acres of open space immediately to the west of the urban ride (with hills, I might add) which go completely ignored.  Note the mileage and the ride time of the two rides within percentage points of the other yet, somehow, they seem to be two polar opposites of  rides.

In closing, I will continue to ride my bike and accumulate miles as if nothing has changed.  I will ride with purity.  I may yet win this bet, but the bet has lost all meaning to me.  As a man, should I lose the bet - which I won't - I will fulfill my obligation to the winner.  Following the letter of the law, which my competitor has famously abused, I will take him out to dinner with his wife and children.  But I will not disgrace myself or my family by being present for the victory celebration.  Should my competitor have more miles - any miles - on Strava than I do, my credit card is as follows:  5424 1809 2453 1524, exp 08/16, code 729.  Have great dinner on me,  You sure earned it. 

I am sorry to take this stance.  But I must stay true to myself.  I ride with purity and I seek fun at all costs.  This bet is neither pure nor fun any longer.


Wheel Destroyer