Too angry for words (almost)

To the course marshal at Turn One at the Rio Strada Crit:

I saw no indication whatsoever that you understand how seious your negligence was in today's 35+ 3/4 race. While you were sitting on your behind, visiting, inattentive, with neither flag or sound to signal approaching riders, a child of three years ran across the street directly in front of a seven rider breakaway with less than two laps to go.

It was absolutely MIRACULOUS that we all managed to avoid hitting the kid, thanks to a variety of swerves, skids and near-pile-ups. Do you have any CLUE what I, a 200 pound rider on an 18 pound bike at 26 mph, would have done to the fragile body of a three year old toddler?!?

I am so angry at your negligence and inattention that hours later I am still fuming.

To the three podium finishers in the same race:

Shame on you three for attacking immediately after some of us were forced to skid to a stop to avoid hitting the child! The too-common practice of attacking upon a crash in the field is bad enough, but this was the fault of none of us, and the safety of a child, and a seven-man break, where we'd been working together, cooperatively and with a shared mission. You do not attack a break in such a circumstance! You neutralize and make sure that anyone who is not taken out by the foreign obstruction or hazard gets back on, then you resume the mission of the group. Period.

Now I realize that the heat of the race at times obscures our natural sense of fair play, but this was extreme. This wasn't a crash in the field, or a mechanical problem. This was seven of us together performing pack gymnastics and risking our safety to avoid killing a kid. This was not the time to be preoccupied with winning a race!

Okay. I think I've gotten that out of my system, and I hope that race directors and course marshals take heed and reconsider the dire seriousness of complete attention to the duties of keeping everyone safe as much as possible. And I hope that perhaps racers will plant a thought in their heads that many times a gesture of sportsmanship is a greater victory than a podium placing.

Sorry about the froth and bile. I'm sure the jesster in me will return in time for Morgan Hill.

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