Reshuffling the Deck, Part I

Bike racing around here is just like bike racing everywhere else.
You have people that have actual talent and ability. Genetic gifts passed down generationally since their ancestors crawled out of the ocean. Monstrous capacities to circulate blood and oxygen. Muscles sculpted out of granite. Eating habits that no dietician could find fault with. A lifetime of near-constant activity. When it comes to athletic ability, they won the Tri-State Powerball jackpot and then invested wisely. Like lottery winners who don't declare bankruptcy immediately after winning, they are extremely rare. Call them the Elites.
The Elites are always going to eventually gravitate to the upper echelons, because to do otherwise just wouldn't cross their minds. Sure, they may start at the bottom, but their progression usually results in them rising to the top. The cream always does.
The Elites make up a very, very small percentage of the population. Their numbers are so small microbiologists discuss them only in the theoretical sense. They provide an extremely valuable service to any race organization, because they provide perspective. Brutal perspective. Think you're fast? These are the guys that slap you down with a yawn. However, placing the emphasis on them on the local level is like giving a winning $2 scratch-off ticket to Bill Gates- it just isn't an effective use of resources if your goal is increasing overall participation.
Then there's guys like me, who may or may not have once had capacity or ability, but chose to squander it in favor of simple carbs, bacon fat, and inactivity. Then, at a late stage and for myriad reasons, decided their whole identity is wrapped up in a sport they are no longer suited for (if they ever were). With dedicated training, lazer-like focus, and huge investments in go-fast equipment to squeeze every bit of performance out of a flawed machine, we might be able to hang onto the draft of the demi-gods for a little while before being cast aside like an empty water bottle. We can be refilled, reused, and cast aside again for amusement. I can think of no better characterization of this group than the Delusional Fucktards™.
Delusional Fucktards™ sometimes will play with the Übermensch, bashing their heads against the superior genetics of the Elites. Sometimes, through sheer will and dumb luck, they might even get the odd result. Depending the depth on their delusions, they may continue using their head as a battering ram for some time. They'll watch their diets religiously, hire coaches to chart performance, ignore all other aspects of their lives to ride their bike as much as they can, and even inject random substances into their bodies in the off chance it might lead to glory (subjective). Eventually reality or life will intrude. They'll gain a few pounds. Their coach will tire of their endless excuses. They'll find they can't ride a bike 20+ hours a week. Their dealer will get busted. Burned by flying too close to the sun, they'll descend in a fiery mass and take up a comfortable residence in the middle tier of racing, where results are easier to come by. If they're old enough, they'll race Masters, where they won't be subjected to young Übermensch on their inexorable rise to the top.
The Delusional Fucktards™ (like me) are far more numerous than elites. Every bike race, gran fondo, charity ride, and group ride is swelling with Fucktards™, to the point that we prop up the crumbling façade that is U.S. amateur road racing. Problem is, we're a very, very small minority of the bike riding public, which is a very, very small percentage of the general population. Look around at the field at any race, and you'll find the majority of the sagging packs are in their 30s and 50s and aging rapidly before the gun ever goes off. Eventually injury, old age, or cold reality culls the MAMIL herd. Delusional Fucktard™ youngsters? A novelty. Most millennial delusions revolve around becoming a professional video game tester or a personal shopper for Katy Perry, not puking their guts out in some god-forsaken office park crit for a pair of socks. The Lance-effect has long turned negative, cycling has fragmented into countless subsets (not that there's anything wrong with any of them, except triathlon), and we just don't make as many Delusional Fucktards™ as we used to. We need to make Americans Delusional Fucktards™ again (in the cycling sense), with trucker hats and everything.
If Delusional Fucktards™ aren't growing in numbers, we need to figure out how to make more to ensure the continued viability of the sport. The manufacturing capability has crumbled in this country and production has moved overseas. However, I still believe the raw materials are still out there. We just have to figure out how to efficiently extract them and process them into new Fucktards™. As with any refining operation, some waste is expected. However, as the resource becomes more and more scarce, we have to minimize production losses as much as possible. In this sense, we need to put in place a system that maximizes yield while retaining overall Fucktard™ quality. No small task, for sure, but one that is worth putting our full (and often considerable) weight behind.

There is a larger population of riders out there sharing a lot of the Fucktard™ characteristics, except without the performance delusions. They have actual lives that revolve around things not made of carbon fiber. They ride for "fun". There's only so many hours in the week, and they include a wide variety of activities in their schedules. I don't understand these people, but apparently they comprise the majority of the cycling public. Let's call them Normals.
Normals are the raw materials that are most readily mutated into Fucktards™. Utilizing time-tested cult indoctrination methods, a structured system can be crafted that will progressively brainwash them without their knowledge. Newly-minted Fucktard™ drones will spread out through the community, spreading the word of their new faith and convincing friends to attend meetings (or crits, as we call them). These initiates will simultaneously make large purchases of carbon fiber at local bike emporiums, convincing the owners that road racing is on the upswing, thus ensuring a steady supply of socks and water bottles for primes.
In the process of creating new Delusional Fucktards™ we will likely uncover some with more ability than others. We may even discover an unnoticed Elite, ensuring the proper balance of "you're fast" to "you suck" is maintained in the future. However, unless you get the Normals to show up, pin on a number, and come back again and again, your chances of discovering and subsequently nurturing this potential are reduced to non-existent. We need to get them through the door, show them a good time (see the unofficial NCAA recruiting handbook for more information), and then make wild and highly-inflated predictions about their future in the sport. 
In part II, we'll get into more specifics about my master plan to warp impressionable minds and create legions of Fucktard™ pack fill. Trust me, it's foolproof, as long as I'm not the fool implementing it.


  1. I'll take that as a compliment, although the bar is set pretty low if we rate posts in "Wankys". I better shut this down before anyone else reads anything else, because it all goes down from here.


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