Over in the world of running there’s a bit of an exchange regarding the relationship between the penguins and the cheetahs. The cheetahs being the elite racers and the penguins being those who ‘participate’ in running events.
David Torrence, an elite runner, wrote a rebuttal to the accusations raised by the Exalted Ruler of the Penguins, John Bingham. It seems that John makes a point of standing at the finish line of running races to celebrate the finish of every participant. He directed criticism at the elite runners for ‘rushing back to their hotels after the awards ceremony’, and promised that if they’d join him in cheering all of the Larry Lardasses, and Sammy Sweatpigs…the elite runner would become a hero overnight.
Well, David Torrence, the elite runner, has done an admirable job of relating to the masses…signing autographs, starting a running club for non-elites, doing exactly what John does along the course after finishing his race, along with a host of other efforts to ‘give back to the running community’. And he is not a hero overnight, and he doesn’t appreciate being on the receiving end of the Penguin’s pointed
As an aside, I’d like to point out that the Penguin had better stand at the side of the finish line cheering on the masses. After all, he makes a living championing the common participant. He writes for running magazines, does speaking engagements, and is a pseudo-celebrity solely based on being a champion of the Larrys and the Sammys. He has nothing to offer running other than waddling along on those short, weak legs and cheering on other penguins with his sardine-tainted breath.
So stand there and cheer John, and be thankful that you make a handsome living doing it!
Elite runners don’t achieve fame (and most runners didn’t get into running for the fame…(after-all, when runners start running in high school, it’s the sport of geeks) for anything other than running fast…so run fast they do.
Back To The Subject…Do Penguins Race Bikes?
I was thinking…are there Penguins in bike racing? Not so much. There’s not a lot interest in limping a Huffy to the finish line, or wobbling along on a cruiser in a week-long stage race. In cycling, races are for racers.
Participants in cycling are welcome in the activity, but don’t pretend to be racers. They commute to work, they do tours to appreciate the country from the saddle of their bikes, or they get into the back-country on their mountain bikes.
Cyclists don’t pour into races by the tens of thousands and then expect Greg Lemond and Levi Leipheimer to stand for hours applauding their efforts.
Maybe part of the cycling sanity is dictated by the fact that you don’t get into bike racing at any level without a tremendous amount of overhead. There are thousands of dollars to be spent, and hundreds of hours to be invested in training before even racing on a local level.
In running, the investment is a $100 pair of running shoes and a hundred miles of shuffling down the road to shed some excess
lard fat. And woohoo…you’re in a ‘race’.
So there you have it, cycling has a lot fewer pretenders than does running. Just another reason we’re better!
You don’t see cyclists going down the street wearing pro cycling jerseys…racing from stoplight to stoplight. You don’t see fat men on bikes that cost half the price of their cars…pretending that they’re in the Tour de France. No, you don’t see wanna-be’s in cycling, do you?
And I applaud that…standing here on my short, stubby legs.