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Despicable Behavior During a Race

Old 05-13-10, 07:16 AM
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jfmckenna
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Despicable Behavior During a Race

What is it about some people that don’t understand the ‘amateur’ in amateur bike racing? Ok $150 is on the line big deal, not a big enough to go on ranting like an idiot and pushing people around.

Long story short… The last lap of a 70 minute crit I move in to take a spot that was clearly mine only to hear this guy yelling and carrying on. Next thing I know I get shoved out of the field from by this guy. My natural instinct was to defend his advance so I blocked his push with my left arm. After that lots of words were exchanged and I have to admit I was saying some nasty things which in hindsight I wish I didn’t it. At that point I just dropped out and let the sprint go. I was sure bet for second place in the omnium but whatever. Not important to me.

So now I am facing a one year suspension because I took a hand off the bar and made contact with him even though witnesses said that this guy instigated the whole thing and he is looking at a 20 day suspension WTF!

My other mistake was in confronting him after the race. To be honest I was just going to go up to him to apologize. Even though I know it was his fault sometimes being a good sport and offering an olive branch can dramatically change things around. In fact for all I know the guy could have just been having a really bad day, I know I was, I had to euthanize one of my pets that day. That’s another story. So I ride over toward him and he looks me square in the eyes and calls me a “fa66ot!” I was shocked. I mean guys, this guy has got to be like 40 years old you know. I went ape sh1t on him at that point, only words mind you but the official was right there.

So I now need top prepare a defense to USACycling against a suspension. If anyone has any tips and or advice I’d appreciate it.
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Old 05-13-10, 07:35 AM
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You broke the rules. So did he. Circumstances may mitigate the severity of the suspension, but both of you put others at risk with your behavior. I'm sorry the other rider put you in this situation, but ultimately you are responsible for your actions. Protecting yourself and the wheel you're on is totally understandable, but you're safer doing so with both hands on the bars.
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Old 05-13-10, 07:39 AM
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sounds like the suspension is partially due to the after-race love-in that you had.
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Old 05-13-10, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
You broke the rules. So did he. Circumstances may mitigate the severity of the suspension, but both of you put others at risk with your behavior. I'm sorry the other rider put you in this situation, but ultimately you are responsible for your actions. Protecting yourself and the wheel you're on is totally understandable, but you're safer doing so with both hands on the bars.
Yeah I know what you mean. It sucks because no matter what it's a lose lose situation. If some one goes to hit you the your natural instinct is to defend yourself almost to the point where there is nothing else I could have done about it.
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Old 05-13-10, 08:14 AM
  #5  
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If there were other people around afterwards when you went to apologize, I would've continued with the apology even after the name calling. It would've made him seem like an even bigger d-bag to most everyone else. And probably the official that overheard things as well.
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Old 05-13-10, 08:36 AM
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I think at this point your best bet with USA Cycling is to try to be as apologetic as possible in your response. Acknowledge your understanding that you violated the rule,and that it was the wrong thing to do (but explain that your motive was to protect yourself, but you now realize that keeping your hand on the bar would have been the better answer,and you will always do so in the future)

I would also apologize for the verbal altercation. I would however make it clear that the other rider did use an inappropriate slur. Then acknowledge that with hindsight you realize you should have not reacted to it in the way you did, and will not do so in the future.

The difficult balance you have to strike is acknowledging responsibility for your actions, while still setting forth the mitigating circumstances.

In other words you're owning responsibilty, and not offering the mitigating circumstances as excuses, but simply as factors that should be taken into acount in determining any punishment.

When the facts of the case put you in a hole, being contrite, apologetic, and sincere, usually works better than trying to mount an agressive defense.
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Old 05-13-10, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
.

When the facts of the case put you in a hole, being contrite, apologetic, and sincere, usually works better than trying to mount an agressive defense.
I'd take this route as well. I can totally understand how you felt and reacted. It amazes me how some people will risk everything to win $50 or a plastic medal/trophy. Even in the weekly training crit people get out of control and take big risks even on lap 2 of a 30 lap race. When people do something stupid and puts me in danger, I sometimes get angry, I have confronted people after the race, I usually stay calm and start by, "Hey, I'm not trying to be a d!ck, but..." usually it goes well.

I've seen pushing and shoving after a race once, involving my teammate who is a monster, thankfully he just walked away laughing. Really it's just amateur racing, people need to relax a bit.

Hope your situation works out for you.
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Old 05-13-10, 08:51 AM
  #8  
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sorry about your pet. shudda punched him in the head
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Old 05-13-10, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by WCroadie View Post
I'd take this route as well. I can totally understand how you felt and reacted. It amazes me how some people will risk everything to win $50 or a plastic medal/trophy. Even in the weekly training crit people get out of control and take big risks even on lap 2 of a 30 lap race. When people do something stupid and puts me in danger, I sometimes get angry, I have confronted people after the race, I usually stay calm and start by, "Hey, I'm not trying to be a d!ck, but..." usually it goes well.

I've seen pushing and shoving after a race once, involving my teammate who is a monster, thankfully he just walked away laughing. Really it's just amateur racing, people need to relax a bit.

Hope your situation works out for you.
This completely baffles me as well. As if it's not dangerous enough already to be moving so quickly in such close quarters, people have to go and be jerks on top of that.

I had a girl being needlessly aggressive to me a few weeks back, bumping and leaning into me at what seemed like random times. Maybe she was just a squirrel, but it sure seemed intentional at the time (my "yelling" at her consisted of me politely saying "can you please stop bumping into me?"). Quite a few people went down that day and I'm glad I wasn't one one them.

Good luck getting it all straightened out, jfmckenna. Merlin's advice sounds like the right approach to me.
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Old 05-13-10, 09:01 AM
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Was this in NC? Inconceivable.
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Old 05-13-10, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by wanders View Post
Was this in NC? Inconceivable.
I thought you Southerners were supposed to be polite.
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Old 05-13-10, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna View Post
Yeah I know what you mean. It sucks because no matter what it's a lose lose situation. If some one goes to hit you the your natural instinct is to defend yourself almost to the point where there is nothing else I could have done about it.
When it comes to sports....defend yourself, but do not retaliate, escalate or propagate - unless of course it's worth accepting the consequences.
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Old 05-13-10, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by GirlAnachronism View Post
I thought you Southerners were supposed to be polite.
Not so much now.
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Old 05-13-10, 09:24 AM
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I was waiting for the "then I learned I'd broken my pelvis in two places" which is what happened to me at an unscored Tuesday night training race after someone cut across the front of the field and took out most of the 15 or 20 rider field (he first threatened to knock whoever it was in front of him out of the way).

The potential 20 day suspension for your friend is probably from the in-race thing. The year is probably because of the after race thing.

It's a hard way to learn but you simply cannot, just cannot, remove your hand from the bar when defending territory. Just cannot. Especially in that kind of a situation.

Interesting choice of "word" for that guy to use. It's not something you hear in a sport where guys go around shaving their legs, wear lycra shorts, ride right behind one another, and go commando for their events.

In this case I'd just state the facts, accept what happens. The worst would be to come back here and say "I can't believe I got suspended for a year! USAC sucks!" (or whatever).

And in the future I'd wait a bit to express things. If you do express them, express them to the officials.

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Old 05-13-10, 09:41 AM
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I actually know the officials quite well. I stated my case, they stated theirs. No hard feelings at all. I accept it. I know what I did was not right but it's hard to stay in control when confronted like that. So basically I am more mad at this guy not so much for pushing me but by placing me in a situation that I simply lost my cool. I don't argue with people usually I just let it go which in fact is exactly what I did in this case. I didn't want to sprint next to some one who just tried to take me out so I pulled out of the field and just rolled in.

The thing is too I was actually enjoying the competition from this guy, he's a strong sprinter and I am not. Even though I dropped my chain in the TT I got 2nd so I was ranked high going into the two dead flat crits so it was a real challenge for me to try and wear him out or get away. Several people came up to me after the race and told me that this guy was calling people all kinds of names and riding dangerously so... whatever I guess.

This was in Virginia BTW.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 05-13-10, 09:53 AM
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He did not place you in a situation where you lost your cool. You were placed in a situation where you could lose your cool, and you did.

I've walked up to riders who yelled at me or got pissed off at me after a race and apologized, and we've joked around about it. That was because I took their insults and laughed them off and said, oh yeah nah don't want to do that came here to apologize for almost cutting you off. Their faces turn from angry to shocked. They seem ashamed about it after.

Take responsibility for your own actions.

Have the officials made their decision final? Even if they keep the sentence, send an email thanking them for their time and telling them that it won't ever happen again ("I realize how dangerous what I did was, and I do this for fun so there's no point blah blah blah").

Edit: And here I was thinking that Virginia was for lovers.
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Old 05-13-10, 09:57 AM
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Give me a break. You're mad at him for ex posing your inability to control yourself?
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Old 05-13-10, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
He did not place you in a situation where you lost your cool. You were placed in a situation where you could lose your cool, and you did.

I've walked up to riders who yelled at me or got pissed off at me after a race and apologized, and we've joked around about it. That was because I took their insults and laughed them off and said, oh yeah nah don't want to do that came here to apologize for almost cutting you off. Their faces turn from angry to shocked. They seem ashamed about it after.

Take responsibility for your own actions.

Have the officials made their decision final? Even if they keep the sentence, send an email thanking them for their time and telling them that it won't ever happen again ("I realize how dangerous what I did was, and I do this for fun so there's no point blah blah blah").

Edit: And here I was thinking that Virginia was for lovers.
One of my best riding buddies was someone that I did that with..he and I got into a pretty heated argument during the "Sat Morning WC" ride...elbows were thrown and threats made...at the next stop light I rode up to him and apologized and we laughed it off.
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Old 05-13-10, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
Give me a break. You're mad at him for ex posing your inability to control yourself?
Break given, go ahead and ignore the rest of what I said too. I am admitting that I was at fault, bad choice of words I guess. You just wait till you are 500 meteres from the line and some one shoves you out of the field and see how you react. If you just laugh it off then you are a better man then I am, I wish I did.

El Diablo Rojo that is exactly what I was thinking, a simple apology and then friends for life *sigs* oh well.
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Old 05-13-10, 10:12 AM
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Ive seen stuff. My record can stand for itself.

You're backdooring justification. "I was wrong, but he was really really mean."

i've been pushed off the road on a field sprint at 43, won the race and still had the offender dqed. That's what protests are for.

Last edited by gsteinb; 05-13-10 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 05-13-10, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by GirlAnachronism View Post
I thought you Southerners were supposed to be polite.
not by nature. that's why they all have guns.
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Old 05-13-10, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
not by nature. that's why they all have guns.
Quit generalizing you old, crotchety, pompous Euro tub o' goo.
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Old 05-13-10, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by GirlAnachronism View Post
I thought you Southerners were supposed to be polite.
There is Southern Hospitality and then there is Southern Justice...
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Old 05-13-10, 11:07 AM
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Well I'm a Connecticut Yankee in the south, maybe that's what it is
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Old 05-13-10, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by substructure View Post
Quit generalizing you old, crotchety, pompous Euro tub o' goo.
generalizing?

when i was in memphis i knew more people with handguns in their glove compartments, than people without.

i was also one of the few people not to carry a knife.
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