Sock Series: Cats & Whiskey

The cats roared and the whiskey flowed. Actually the whiskey gushed and then ran out.

I’m sitting here thinking about last weekend’s races, cycling, and sponsorship. All of this in a random and rushed order, just on the edge of my conscious, while I’m working on something else. It’s more of a distraction.  My thoughts, not the work I was supposed to be doing.

The cats roared, but maybe only in my head. There’s been a few articles recently that refer to the development of mental tenacity for better results in sport and racing. One by amateur CX racer, Cait Dooley writing for a Cyclocross Magazine article.  Cait Dooley’s tactics may not be a scientific study, but they are her own invention to race better. She channels unicorns.  And two other articles  in the New York Times last year and this year about lying to ourselves to race better. Apparently “The Sock Series” is on the right track.

So like I said,  “The cats — they roared.”

They roared, leapt and frolicked their way to what I thought was a decent finish in the Women’s 35+ at Colorado Cup #2 – Blue Sky Velo.  And then left me in a heap trying to figure out how to do it again the next day.

I got up the next day  humming “Whiskey for Breakfast,” and pulled out a pair of  socks from last year’s collection.  In retrospect maybe channeling booze instead of maybe pulling out the “Dragons” wasn’t the best choice, especially as not one person commented on my socks.

I wasn’t tired precisely, my legs felt fine, but my mind wasn’t sharp, which made it tough on a twisty-turny course.

So what happend was Whiskey charged to the front grabbing the holeshot, and for a brief moment I think it might have looked like Whiskey was trying to win the thing.

I briefly savored the front and then I was overcome.

Whiskey struggled to hold each position but slid continuously to the back in a stupor. Fortunately in a four lap race I managed to stop the slide at the finish in 6th place. Those socks were empty.

And honestly, I’m feeling a little empty too.  I made the decision to not re-join Tribella next year.  It’s been a good run. And I had some great fun along the way, with an added bonus of designing this fantastic plaid kit that has had a completely unanticipated popularity.

Anyway, this is why I was thinking about team cycling and sponsorship and their place in amateur cycling. Sponsorship is a calculated marketing contract between two or more parties, that hopefully reaps rewards for both the athlete and the company. It can be very successful when done correctly. Velonews considered this conundrum, in an article earlier this year.  And more recently Nicole Duke, YetiBeti, and Brady Kapius, retweeted a blog/rant from a small business owner about sponsorship.

So I wonder, “Should adult, master category, cyclists, be sponsored athletes?  Or should we leave it to the pros?”

Anyway, I’ll pocket that thought for now and think about tomorrow’s sock selection.  It looks like Socks (aka me -CB) will have some company.  Rumor has it that there will be a few more of us out there tomorrow.  And if you want to join the club too visit Sock Dreams.  No sponsorship or dues required.

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© Images Courtesy of Mountain Moon Photography

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