Monday, March 2, 2009

New Racer's Guide to the ECCC

The ECCC season opener is just one week away, and with this post I'd like to make a few recommendations to our ever growing fields of new riders. So please reading the following tips and you'll be ready for the oncoming onslaught of early wakeups, hours of car travel, sleeping on floors, eating health foods and racing for a whole 20min after 6 hours of transit. Bear in mind all may not apply to you, but it doesn't hurt to read them all.

1) Shave those legs! There is nothing worse than a rookie shoing up on race day with thick layer of fur caressing your pair of pistons powering your bike. Aside from your orange number, it'll be the number one indicator that your new to the game and if you're not going to be fast, you should at least look fast, Kyle has got some great tips for you.

2) Relax! I know that you're anxious and scared heading into your first event, but calm down. If you head to the start line all twitchy and nervous, you're already causing problems. It is imperative for your safety as well as the riders around you, that you hold your line and ride those turns smoothly. So keep down that vomit, strap up those toe clips and get to the start line with a staredown for the pathetic weaklings you're about to destroy.

3) Clean up that Old 10-Speed. First of all, if you're riding a ten speed with downtube shifters than you are awesome, much respect. But if you must be riding that old ten speed, be sure to check the brakes, replace that rusted out chain and lube up those shifters. Because, while you've got miles of style, you still need that bad boy to be race ready.

4) Don't Bring Aero Gear. You don't need it, you don't want it, you need the car space for other stuff and it's against the rules. I would hate to see you be called a sandbagger like this guy.

5)Learn the Vocab. Take some time to memorize these terms and you'll sound like a seasoned ECCC veteran:

  • Sandbagger-A punk who races in a category well below his skill/fitness level. Also, see James "Slim" Patterson, (UVM '08).

  • Cipollini-Possibly the greatest human to ever dawn spandex and ride a bicycle, a man known for style and grace. A man with amazing hair and an affinity for garish, yet attractive, skinsuits. Simply put, a god among insects.

  • Joe Kopena-A skinny man who runs the travelling circus that is the ECCC. Often seen in a light blue Prius, (don't worry it's his girlfriend's car).

6) Throw lots of stupid attacks. Why should you wait around in the pack until the final sprint? Attack! Go of the front with a burst of speed. If you get caught, attack again. If you get dropped, at least you'll have had a few moments of glory.

7) Cheer on your fellow racers. So often during ECCC events, racers do homework before or after their race. So what if you have a 50 page paper on how Voltaire influenced Darwin, who influenced Keynes who influenced Obama's Economic Package. Put that off for the late hours of Sunday night and spend the day Saturday and Sunday screaming your head off at the other lunatics who decided it would be a good idea to race their bikes in 30 degree (F) weather.

So, for now follow these tips and you'll be right as rain..... So long as you've been training.


  1. This thread is from bikeforums

    It may not be as simplified as your post, but it answers most first race questions.

  2. A traveling circus indeed. However simple it is, it's taken 3 years for me to hear anyone come up with as good of an analogy to collegiate racing in the ECCC. Touché Steve. Touché

  3. 3) riding that old ten speed, be sure to check the breaks.

    anyone riding a bike with "breaks" should be very careful.