by Scott Martin
At a recent race, I spied a guy warming up on his trainer while his girlfriend (wife?) pinned on his number.
“That won’t last long,” said one of my teammates.
“Whaddya mean?” I said.
“My wife used to come to races. Now when I invite her, she just laughs.”
Added another teammate, “I wish all my wife did was laugh.”
People, please. It’s not inevitable that your significant other will grow to hate cycling. You simply need to educate him or her using this guide to road-race spectating:
Because of traffic issues, these events always take place early in the morning in remote locales. That gives you and your life partner 3 hours of quality alone time while driving to the race at 4 a.m. This is a great chance to talk, unless your beloved is nervous, in which case he or she will babble nonstop or not say one word.
Once at the venue, find a good vantage point near the starting line and wait for the gun to sound, which will happen roughly 45 minutes after the scheduled start time. Then, return to your car because it is too cold, wet, hot or dusty to stand around for 90 minutes while the riders complete lap 1. You brought a good book, right?
If you’ve been asked to “feed” your life partner, stand in the feed zone with a waterbottle in hand and sprint when the pack flies by at 25 mph. If you accidentally miss the feed, look forward to some hilarious post-race banter about how you “ruined my @#$% race.”
If your snookums gets dropped, don’t say, “It’s just a bike race.” In fact, it’s best not to say anything.
If he or she does well, relax. You only have to wait 2 more hours for your champion to collect the prize: a T-shirt.
Scott Martin has been writing about cycling for more than 15 years. He worked as an editor for Bicycling magazine for 10 of them and wrote the “Scott’s Spin” column for RBR from which this is republished. He has also covered cycling for several national magazines.