After scrambling through the start of last years season with a temporary race license, I thought it would be prudent to get a jump on my paperwork for 2011. Interestingly enough, my pro-activeness came with an important decision… One I’m not sure how to handle.
Throughout the 2010 season I was often chastised of “sandbagging” by many ‘friends’ who realized I was still racing in the Novice category. Admittedly, I felt a little guilty, but the truth of the matter is that I had yet (and still have yet) to acquire the necessary points to haul my ass out of Novice. Near the end of the season I started to feel pretty good and started placing accordingly (2nd at the Canada Cup), but after a number of weeks off coupled with the addition of a bouncing baby boy, my results started to trail off – and though I definitely had fun during cross season, to say I shit the bed performance-wise is being kind ;-)
So with that said, I’m at a crossroads… Do I hit 2011 as a Sport or a Novice racer?
One one hand, I’m still, technically a Novice racer. During the 2010 season I was only able to amass 26 of the requisite 30 upgrade points. Plain and simple.
On the other, I’ve got two seasons of racing under my belt as well as two epic Transrockies. In my mind, while I may not be the fastest man out there, I would definitely not classify myself as a “novice racer” any longer.
So what’s a guy to do? As with most rules and regulations, it’s pretty black and white on the ABA site. With that said, I’m fairly certain that if I register in Sport I should be able to avoid the iron fist of the ABA reigning hell down upon me.
Perhaps I’m just lazy, or naïve, or both, but I’d prefer to not spend another season getting up at the crack of dawn to pound out 1 lap. I want to hurt for longer… Is that so much to ask?
In my mind the Novice category is for “new” racers. Those entering the sport looking to get their feet wet, cut their teeth getting some race skills and giving the sport a go.
Now, I understand that the best way to learn how to win races is to be at the front mixing it up – The few times I’ve been up there, this is definitely the case. But to be frank, I’d rather be in the middle of the Sport pack working my way up, than the top of the heap in Novice. I feel like I’m cheating the racers just getting into the sport.
Maybe I just think I’m hot shit and my slow ass should really just stay put in Novice. Maybe by upgrading prematurely I’m cheapening the Sport category… I’m not sure. Would I have preferred to get those last 4 points and legitimately move up? You betcha, but I really would hate to spend another season in Novice when I truly believe that I could be having a lot more fun/pain/suffering in Sport.
I race for fun. And doing 2 laps is more fun than 1 in my books. Simple as that.
What’s a guy to do?