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Is amateur racing legit?

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Old 10-20-18, 11:30 AM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
The hair splitting aside, there need to be other reasons to race on all levels other than winning. You don't think so? cool. I'm older and wiser and promise that position has shortfalls.
No, I agree with this. I win maybe 2-3x a year on a good year. Winning is too hard for it to be the sole denominator for myself, but I'm still results-oriented. And I'll for sure stop racing when I feel I can no longer be competitive. So maybe I'm not quite where you're at.
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Old 10-20-18, 12:03 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
No, I agree with this. I win maybe 2-3x a year on a good year. Winning is too hard for it to be the sole denominator for myself, but I'm still results-oriented. And I'll for sure stop racing when I feel I can no longer be competitive. So maybe I'm not quite where you're at.
Not sure. We might actually be really close in perspective. I gave up the mass start stuff. Spoke to my good friend and main domestique yesterday about what he might do next year without me. We both agreed we probably only race for a year or two more anyway. For me being competitive has always bee part of it, but I've had masters teams built around me for the last 15 years. If wasn't winning things were bad. Outside that paradigm I need to find other things to focus on. And indeed, I really use my racing and training for other aspects of "self improvement." Before I broke my 76th bone, if we could have found a faster younger guy to build our team around I'd have been happy being a worker bee.

Though on a long enough time line I want to be happy taking walks with my wife.


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Old 10-20-18, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post

On the boycott bit - I call that the great “Masters Bluff”. We had a couple of local teams imply the same thing. I believe they skipped the first year. Then they came back.

I have always seen it like this: I was putting on 3/5’s of our Illinois cup series - if they wanted to be the “best masters racer in Illinois” they had to show up. There aren’t enough actual races left to boycott - they’re only screwing themselves by missing one of the handful of races left on the calendar.

.....and finally and most importantly- racing a bicycle is an self-absorbed ego driven endeavor. They couldn’t stand NOT racing. As soon as the races happened they forgot there wasn’t a payout. Precedent set.

In reality there here is always a vocal minority of masters racers that get upset about no payouts. They are usually the ones that were winning those payouts. The rest of the field never cared (they didn’t win them anyway). So if you pull the payouts and the “top” guys don’t show then it gives the rest of the field a chance to win - which they love. Those top guys end up either coming back immediately (because they hate the idea that whatshisname won) or they become a footnote to amateur racing and we all move on.

Seriously there are no ends to the positives of eliminating them.

Oooooo.... and if they totally disappeared then you can move that time slot into having/adding a masters women’s race!
chapeau on calling on their bluff
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Old 10-20-18, 09:18 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Oh and we were asked to share with all promoters to keep an eye out for racers that show and then ditch when they find out that USADA is there. We were told that the "rat a rider out" drop a dime phone line is 100% used to help target riders for testing and that all reports are investigated more thoroughly than we would think. "If we show up to test - it isn't because of some random reason. We have a reason to be there and we are going to be sure that the riders we want to test are going to be selected for testing among the other random riders tested."
This is a really interesting nugget
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Old 10-20-18, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
If you're over the age of 25 (even out of the U-23s) and still trying to be a pro, you're pretty delusional.
This should be some kind of “I agree” checkbox you’re forced to initial when you sign up for a USAC license every year..
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Old 10-22-18, 09:06 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
If you don't have something shiny for the hands or around the neck, and a few peanuts for a snack on the way home.........doesn't matter the amateur sport......if there's nothing on the line at all, people won't show up.
Plenty of people show up to Sunday league soccer and even pay for the privilege, even though nothing is ever on the line. Doing a sport (any sport) at the amateur level for 'something shiny and a few peanuts' sounds a bit sad to me.
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Old 10-22-18, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post


this should be some kind of “i agree” checkbox you’re forced to initial when you sign up for a usac license every year..
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Old 10-22-18, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post


This is a really interesting nugget
I thought so as well. I had always believed in the past that they were supposed to make it look or seem like it was always totally random. I was thinking at some point they were going to say, "but of course we never said that these aren't random...wink wink". Nope. They basically said that they have employees that have a background as investigators in law enforcement that specialize in quickly determining the motivation behind the individual reporting and whether or not there is validity to the claim. If there seems to be and/or they receive a lot of reports that are seemingly valid from a lot of different people then those individuals are put on the list to test. They will try and determine where those riders will be and then they show up. If the rider jets then they want to know about it as soon as possible. They feel "fleeing the race" is a highly suspicious activity and they will investigate it.
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Old 10-22-18, 11:48 AM
  #84  
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Man, you really have a lot of great insights in this thread!
US Cycling should take some notes

I also read that all the out of competition drug tests for age groupers are call-ins.
Glad it works to some extent.


Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post

On the boycott bit - I call that the great “Masters Bluff”. We had a couple of local teams imply the same thing. I believe they skipped the first year. Then they came back.

I have always seen it like this: I was putting on 3/5’s of our Illinois cup series - if they wanted to be the “best masters racer in Illinois” they had to show up. There aren’t enough actual races left to boycott - they’re only screwing themselves by missing one of the handful of races left on the calendar.

.....and finally and most importantly- racing a bicycle is an self-absorbed ego driven endeavor. They couldn’t stand NOT racing. As soon as the races happened they forgot there wasn’t a payout. Precedent set.

In reality there here is always a vocal minority of masters racers that get upset about no payouts. They are usually the ones that were winning those payouts. The rest of the field never cared (they didn’t win them anyway). So if you pull the payouts and the “top” guys don’t show then it gives the rest of the field a chance to win - which they love. Those top guys end up either coming back immediately (because they hate the idea that whatshisname won) or they become a footnote to amateur racing and we all move on.

Seriously there are no ends to the positives of eliminating them.

Oooooo.... and if they totally disappeared then you can move that time slot into having/adding a masters women’s race!
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Old 10-22-18, 04:56 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
I thought so as well. I had always believed in the past that they were supposed to make it look or seem like it was always totally random.
A couple good reads:

https://cyclingtips.com/2016/04/the-curious-case-of-oscar74-how-usada-nabbed-a-masters-doper/

https://www.velonews.com/2016/06/road/totally-amateur_408457

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Old 10-23-18, 04:45 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
I didn't realize she'd won a world championship, but it makes my facebook feed a little more contextual.
Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
I think there are a few transgender cyclists who are in the national spotlight. It wasn't my impression that canukbelle did anything particularly world stage worthy.

As to the money issue -- oy -- indeed it makes me want to take up a simpler sport at times. For sure it's one of the things that made me punt away the 'become a time trialist' idea.


I totally missed the news on this, and was wildly off the mark. Indeed she did have what it took to win. I don't have much cycling related content in my life anymore. Like @Doge said, not cheating. Did read a whole host of articles, and see the typical refrain that any discussion of it is transphobic. My wildly left wing progressive buddhist cred aside I feel like I'm farting a big red streak across philosophical discourse.

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Old 10-23-18, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
My wildly left wing progressive buddhist cred aside I feel like I'm farting a big red streak across philosophical discourse.
translate?
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Old 10-23-18, 05:15 PM
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When you're about as far left on the spectrum as one can get and the mere insinuation that the issue may warrant further discussion brands one as transphobic it creates a cognitive dissonance.
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Old 10-23-18, 10:11 PM
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I see. couldn't tell if you were sharing an opinion on it or not. Yours I would be interested to hear.
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Old 10-24-18, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
I see. couldn't tell if you were sharing an opinion on it or not. Yours I would be interested to hear.

I think it warrants further discussion.


I don't think athletic competition is a right. I'd have trouble interpreting anything in the bill of rights to align with that, as such I believe one can be supportive of a person's right to live how they choose and say simultaneously they can't compete in a particular category or type of racing. That isn't to say that women can't be as good or better at certain endeavors. As I pointed above a woman rode me right off her wheel on Whiteface, and at 2017 I rode a significant portion of the Mount Washington race with the 1 & 2 women's finishers, who eventually shed me. I've yet to race in a crit where a woman was a factor, and I've done a lot as in NY the popular format it to combine the women with the masters. So in my experience it depends on the type of event. Women can have better w/kg ratios than men, which is one of the reasons that some of the best rock climbers have been women. I think some of that obfuscates the issue though. Transgender people can race in the category they identify. Women have the added stipulation that they need to show their testosterone levels are low enough to be in a particular range for a woman. That's the rule. Things don't get less complicated here though.


Rachel make's an interesting point in that women come in all shapes and sizes, but to start this debate with the 6 foot 200 lb outlier in a match sprint race doesn't help. I believe Rachel said she transitioned at 29. For whatever reason the debate about doping comes to mind. The one that says if you've trained on doping products, some of those advantages never go away. You've had the ability to train at a higher more powerful level. That's in the background of the individual. It just is. It's probably the same thing that allows some ex elite racer show up at he local race and factor in despite the fact that he hasn't ridden his bike.


I'm not smart enough to understand the science of all this. I do know it offends me to be treated like a climate change denier because I look at a podium photo and can't help go "but, but, but...she's HUGE, of course she won." And this is perhaps where the discussion gets most interesting. Philosophy and science aside a lot of this comes down to the PR game. And Rachel was never very good at that here, and she's not very good at it out there. When the discourse brands anyone transphobic who wants to explore the issue it's going to be tough to win allies. And without allies it ultimately doesn't further the trans cause, but hurts it. Pissing off people who are really on your side, because they question the relative fairness of an athletic event is not a very good way of playing the long game. And this is a long game. Women aren't even treated the same as men in this country yet, and they were given the right to vote in 1920. We're making incredible strides socially, which are highlighted by the attention destructive behavior is given. Still there's a long way to go. So even if the science of allowing trans women to compete in the women's categories is solid, the movement needs a more nuanced and deft spokesperson. "You can't erase my identity" might be the worst argument in the whole thing. It's philosophically unsound. It assumes that people are (and indeed some are trying) trying to erase her identity because they question the fairness of the competition. And that's just not necessarily the case. This is a case of athletic fairness. To make it the poster cause for trans rights isn't an astute PR or political move.

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Old 10-24-18, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
I think it warrants further discussion.

...

Rachel make's an interesting point in that women come in all shapes and sizes, but to start this debate with the 6 foot 200 lb outlier in a match sprint race doesn't help. I believe Rachel said she transitioned at 29. For whatever reason the debate about doping comes to mind. The one that says if you've trained on doping products, some of those advantages never go away. You've had the ability to train at a higher more powerful level. That's in the background of the individual. It just is. It's probably the same thing that allows some ex elite racer show up at he local race and factor in despite the fact that he hasn't ridden his bike.
This is something I struggle with as well. I don't want to treat someone differently because of their biology but it really can feel to many people like how a user of anabolic steroids can come back after a suspension still huge and still getting the benefits from the training they did on the drugs even if they have been clean for the last two years. On the other hand, even if I trained night and day my whole life, I'd never have the fast twitch muscle fiber density of Usain Bolt, and that kind of sucks too (but we all agree that it's fair because it's nature).


Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
I'm not smart enough to understand the science of all this. I do know it offends me to be treated like a climate change denier because I look at a podium photo and can't help go "but, but, but...she's HUGE, of course she won." And this is perhaps where the discussion gets most interesting. Philosophy and science aside a lot of this comes down to the PR game. And Rachel was never very good at that here, and she's not very good at it out there. When the discourse brands anyone transphobic who wants to explore the issue it's going to be tough to win allies. And without allies it ultimately doesn't further the trans cause, but hurts it. Pissing off people who are really on your side, because they question the relative fairness of an athletic event is not a very good way of playing the long game. And this is a long game. Women aren't even treated the same as men in this country yet, and they were given the right to vote in 1920. We're making incredible strides socially, which are highlighted by the attention destructive behavior is given. Still there's a long way to go. So even if the science of allowing trans women to compete in the women's categories is solid, the movement needs a more nuanced and deft spokesperson. "You can't erase my identity" might be the worst argument in the whole thing. It's philosophically unsound. It assumes that people are (and indeed some are trying) trying to erase her identity because they question the fairness of the competition. And that's just not necessarily the case. This is a case of athletic fairness. To make it the poster cause for trans rights isn't an astute PR or political move.
There's a good chance my comment is going to come out very paternalistic or transphobic (and I hope I'm neither), so I'm sort of hesitant to make it. One of the recent articles about her makes a quote about how she is taking drugs to lower her testosterone. I don't know enough about the science, but that seems to imply to me that maybe she hasn't surgically fully transitioned (or maybe she has and her adrenal glands are still making enough that it has to be regulated - or maybe ..., I don't know and I don't really want to know)? I'm not saying that anyone should change their body in any way that they don't want to or aren't ready to do, but I do wonder if a lot of people (and yeah, I've seen them on other threads, they do exist) who are saying, "oh she just did this change so she could win some bike races because she was only a Cat 3 and not successful as a man" (as if someone would completely uproot their lives for 10 years and start living full time as a member of the opposite gender just to win some amateur bike races) would be less vocal if there were a surgical and permanent transition. Maybe not, I don't really know. I just remember a couple of years ago when bathroom access was the top thing on the national conversation, there were a lot of less-than-open-minded ex-classmates and extended family members on my social media feeds posting about how transgendered women were still men because they had all the parts and were just perverts trying to sneak in to molest or daughters. Obviously, bull****, but I wonder how many of those complaints would have gone away had the discussion only been about fully surgically transitioned people (lets say we lived in a magical world where anyone who wanted to transition could automatically and freely surgically transition, but it only could happen once). Like I said, I don't care what this particular individual has done and I'm not trying to tell anyone what they should do, but there seem to be a lot of people who think someone will switch one way to get some sort of advantage and then switch back at a later time once they've gotten what they want. As a purely academic exercise, I wonder if the discussion would change at all if that changing back was not something that could be a physical option. Would it change things at all? Probably not, but I do wonder.
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Old 10-24-18, 08:09 AM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
but there seem to be a lot of people who think someone will switch one way to get some sort of advantage and then switch back at a later time once they've gotten what they want.
the problem with modern internet discourse is people head straight down the slippery slope.

while it's possible it could happen, the idea that it's the main issue is obviously ridiculous.
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Old 10-24-18, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
the problem with modern internet discourse is people head straight down the slippery slope.

while it's possible it could happen, the idea that it's the main issue is obviously ridiculous.
It truly is, but there are so many people who just shout, "but she's still a MAN" and that drowns out any attempts at a more nuanced discussion. I don't know how to resolve that. It'd be nice to take that off the table, but I know it's not possible.
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Old 10-24-18, 08:48 AM
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Well I am pretty politically liberal and also have the training and education to read and critically evaluate the scientific literature, I can say the science is in no way settled and fully supportive of transgender women racing with cisgender women. I’ve already hashed that argument out here on BF with Rachel, so there’s no need to repost all that.

Suffice it to say that I almost never agree with a conservative commentator but one described the UCIs position on transgender women in racing as “febrile madness” and that is spot on. Its lunacy.
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Old 10-24-18, 12:00 PM
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In her VN interview, Rachael points out that the differences between athletic performance in men and women is not solely due to testosterone levels; there is a lot of overlap between the sexes in terms of T levels. Then she concludes by saying it is unfortunate people say her competing with cis women is unfair even though she has shown her testosterone levels meet the requirements. In my opinion, an elite trans women will clearly have an advantage over an elite cis women in some sports. The question is whether the right for trans women to compete in the women's category outweighs the need to try to keep the competition as fair as is practical. And I also think the bar to keep sports as fair as possible should be higher for world championships than it is for your usual weekend race.
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Old 10-24-18, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
For whatever reason the debate about doping comes to mind. The one that says if you've trained on doping products, some of those advantages never go away. You've had the ability to train at a higher more powerful level. That's in the background of the individual. It just is. It's probably the same thing that allows some ex elite racer show up at he local race and factor in despite the fact that he hasn't ridden his bike.
yeah, this is exactly the point where I get stuck as well. It feels unfair to the other cis women in the field that never lived or developed on male hormones.

not cheating, but rubs me as inequitable.
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Old 10-24-18, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
It truly is, but there are so many people who just shout, "but she's still a MAN" and that drowns out any attempts at a more nuanced discussion. I don't know how to resolve that. It'd be nice to take that off the table, but I know it's not possible.
Culturally we've moved past nuanced discussions. For that one really needs to pick and choose their places and people for them. I went out with my brother and a friend of his the other night for a dinner. Spur of the moment thing since my wife was out of town. This guy was pitching for a fight from the moment I got there. But he exemplified the lack of nuance we're talking about. Everything was painted with a broad brush. And I can imagine how that's frustrating for Rachel, but it's also frustrating to watch her or her supporters do so as well. We're not going to make much cultural progress shouting into echo chambers or at walls.
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Old 10-24-18, 04:47 PM
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Congratulations to her, not getting the credit for the work put in is the worst part of the whole thing. I'm honestly not qualified enough to have an opinion on the issue of fairness, and most people that are have their own biases going into it. Of course if I was in that race my opinion may be different had I been on that podium. I don't even like racing against people who already have points to upgrade....
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Old 10-24-18, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
Congratulations to her, not getting the credit for the work put in is the worst part of the whole thing.
Maybe from your perspective her not getting credit for work done is the “worst part of the whole thing”.

But from the perspective of her competitors, the “worst” part of the whole thing might be the fact that they put in the work too, and then had to compete against someone with a likely physiologic advantage that made their chances of winning a gold medal slim. Sucks to be a female track sprinter if that’s your paradigm.




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Old 10-24-18, 07:44 PM
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Location: Northern NJ
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just to play devil's advocate (and @Heathpack knows my actual views on this), but could this be partially due to lack of quality in the competition? Dr. McKinnon is 36 (low end of her master's age class), and many European may not be flying over... She did say that she wasn't able to podium at Canadian Nats.

Last edited by echappist; 10-24-18 at 07:59 PM.
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