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The Paul Mach Blog - How to be Amateur Amongst Amateurs
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Living life on the edge... of the road

How to be Amateur Amongst Amateurs
Friday, September 12, 2008 - General
Cycling is subjective. There are many variables and thus many excuses. It's not always clear that you're the better rider.

So how is one supposed to climb up the amateur cycling food chain? What if the course is never right for you? Then it's all about how you interact with the other guys, that and having an expensive bike.

To help you on your climb, I've compiled a list of some typical post race situations and how to deal with them correctly.
  1. Someone compliments you. Example: "Nice job today, way to stay with the lead group."

    Respond with, "It actually wasn't that hard." This gives off a bit of humble, but subtly you rub in the fact that he got dropped. Classic.

  2. You just lost a time trial.

    You: Innocently ask, "What was your time?"
    Him: Quotes time that is 20 seconds faster than yours.
    You: Yeah, I was like 20 seconds slower but I was only going 85 percent.

    You want to make sure he knows that you were taking it easy. I mean it's the truth right?

  3. Somehow you find yourself giving a compliment.

    Make sure to end it with "right now." For example, "You're riding good right now" or "You're stronger than me right now." The compliment makes him think you have good intentions. The "right now" lets him know you're just training for a bigger race or coming off a sickness, so he shouldn't get too hung up on it.
I've found myself on the losing end of these types of situations recently. I've probably been on the winning end too, sorry.

Oh, and everything in this post is in the male form, but the advice is by no means restricted just to men.

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Jesse Moore
Monday, September 15, 2008, 1:45 pm
Illuminating! Based on this I’d have to say cyclist’s conversations are about 70% excuses and 30% gear talk spawned by a having poor equipment excuse. Even the casual “how’s the family?” certainly must have the hidden agenda of directing all dialoged back to how many soccer practices you had to take your own “sick again” kids to last week. So I guess about 100% of the conversation must revolve around swapping excuses and perhaps providing new excuses for your friends who have become excuse depleted (late season phenomenon coinciding with “ego depletion” aka lack of motivation). It’s all so clear to me now! I feel so transparent!
BTW- Not that it’s actually that hard, but right now I think this is the best blog I’m reading. Of course, if I was reading more than one blog or Adam was trying harder than 85% you wouldn’t be able to count on that.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008, 1:10 pm
Sounds about right, I mean 100% of what I say is excuse related. Really its just me trying to justify that I never have been and never will be as good as some of the fellow amateurs racing around me. Of course if and when an amateur becomes pro, suddenly there is no need for excuses. A pro is by definition better than an amateur, so if you happen to somehow beat a pro in a race it is because they let you beat them. No excuse on the part of the pro is required.