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Bella Boards > Velo Bella Fun Stuff - Public > Velo Bella CHITCHAT > the relationship between bicycle racing and alcohol?

the relationship between bicycle racing and alcohol?
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beth h
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 Posted: Thu Nov 5th, 2009 12:52 am

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Last weekend at our 'cross series Halloween Doubleheader, there were numerous confirmed incidents of adults getting drunk and unruly; underage riders having access to beer; and riders getting hit with water, beer and even beer cans on the course (for refusing to race in costume on the designated costume day, according to eyewitnesses who watched it all and did nothing to stop it). A friend of mine who raced on Sunday confirmed that even she got a can of beer tossed at her during her race, and she WAS in costume.

Much has been made of the weekend by folks on all sides of the discussion. This has included warnings by organizers to please not jepoardize the event by drinking to excess and behaving badly; and some name-calling at the organizers for being so "uptight" about it.

In previous cyclocross races I've attended as a racer OR spectator, folks who end up at the back in callups (because of the enormous start fields -- Beginner Women alone numbered over 70 at the Washington Co. race!) are instructed to report to the beer truck afterwards to get their reward for having to start at the back. The reward? A free six-pack of beer. (I assume that Juniors get schwag instead.)

I am befuddled. So much emphasis on beer, and on drinking, at these races. I have known for a long time that off-road racers are a rowdy bunch, but suddenly I am noticing the HUGE amounts of alcohol in evidence at my local 'cross races. The stuff just FLOWS at these things and I worry that one of these days, someone will get hurt badly enough to warrant shutting down a venue, maybe for good. I recognize that beer companies are often sponsors of these races, and I appreciate their willingness to pour on the support, as it were. (And before anyone wonders, I enjoy a beer myself now and then. But never before my race, and certainly not during it.)

Since I am a new racer, I dare not comment to other racers about it too much, except to say that I hope people will behave responsibly. And whether or not it makes me look wimpy, I admit I'm glad I didn't race last Sunday. I wouldn't have taken kindly to being pelted with beer cans on the course.

There are two more 'cross races for me to participate in this month, and I hope that no one will behave too badly. Still, I am amazed at how much booze flows at these things and I guess I wasn't prepared for that. Not looking for answers here, per se; just needed to express my surprise at the whole thing. Thanks --BH

Nancy Tranzow
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 Posted: Thu Nov 5th, 2009 02:13 am

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Last edited on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 02:14 am by Nancy Tranzow

connie
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 Posted: Thu Nov 5th, 2009 07:47 pm

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Interesting.   I race DH, and you'd think that would be the rowdy bunch...   Though I'm also in Utah, so that probably mimimzes things, but even when I travel to races there's always some beer drinking and such but it doesn't seem anything like that.   


Honestly, the idea of people throwing things at racers is shocking to me.   I really can't imagine...

Last edited on Thu Nov 5th, 2009 07:54 pm by connie

velolist
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 Posted: Sat Nov 3rd, 2012 03:25 am

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At the velodrome championships this year, a beer stand was there for spectators. It seemed unsafe to have inebriated spectators so close to the track where track bikes without brakes are speeding over 40 miles per hour.

Last edited on Thu Dec 20th, 2012 01:15 am by velolist


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