i got an email today from USA Cycling. i’ve qualified to race the US MTB National Championships. Never mind, now, that i’ve raced my mt bike once this year, and got my ass handed to me. i’m semi-pro, baby, and anything goes. they want pack fodder. gotta make the start line look big.
The US MTB Nats are in Mt. Snow, VT this year. July sumpin-or-other. Shit! i better buy my ticket RIGHT NOW. ‘Cause my sponsors are gonna FREAK if i take my cash for travel and expenses and go to Mexico like i did last year.
Hang on, hang on. i was a serious mountain bike racer – i even did the NORBA “circuit” for a couple of years, and flew from Missoula, MT to Mount Snow. i know the ropes. and i’m still paying down the debt.
Does USA Cycling really think that i’m just gonna go run out and buy a ticket and plunk down the registration fee?? With what? the $$ i got from selling body parts? after the race, i can be interviewed by Sherwen himself.
Sherwen: “Sullivan, looked like you weren’t on form today…”
Me: “Well Paul, i had the lungs and the legs, but the descents were tricky – see, i sold my cataracts to get here, and my technique’s been a little sloppy since…but thanks to my MAVERICK American fork [camera pans to maverick fork, retail $799] i still finished in the top ten…”
WTF?? I could win the thing outright, going away, and no one would bat an eye.
Seriously, my bro Andy Schultz, a fellow expat Montanan, has taken two top 10’s at the NORBA series this year. Pro style. He’s the real deal. And why does he get in VeloNews? B/c Fred Dreier got wind that he was sleeping in his car at the races. It’s a JETTA, for god’s sake, and he had his bike in there with him, i bet. and Andy’s the future of NORBA racing.
And the semi-pros are supposed to show up in VT? To win a medal, and you gotta pay for your jersey?
It’s hard times to be a mountain biker these days. I was at Sea Otter for the OLN televised aerial coverage of the XC. I was at the landing when then-13 yr old Kyle Streit stuck his seatgrab with the left foot on the right pedal- by accident. I watched him make a living for himself, right there. That year the Deer Valley NORBA had film coverage and trail-side billboards IN THE WOODS. you’re riding along, and suddenly you’re on the outskirts of an athlete’s Vegas. Gatorade. OLN. Chevy Trucks. etc.
The next year there wasn’t even prize money for the pros.
At least now there’s the BC Bike Race. Which will only set me back US$1,645.66 (yeah i converted it) plus some lodging and airfare. and i have to get a partner with the same interests, cause it’s one of these two-person deals. that’s a relief. i’ll do that once i save up to fix the Headshok on my Caddy-dale.
Maybe i’ll be at Mt Snow. Or maybe i’ll just go for a ride in Flagstaff.by