I’m sure there are many SS’ers out there that consider me to be some sort of sandbagger since I started racing SS a few years ago. And while I’ve lost count of my wins and can count all my losses on both hands, I still don’t think it is a fair accusation. Hell, T. Brown got branded a few years back at SS worlds and he was one of the top pros in the world…even after retirement he still kicked (kicks) ass. Lots of fast guys are racing SS now. Some to be a pain in the ass and others because they like the SS. I like it because it suits my style of racing. I’m a big guy. I can generate a lot of horsepower. I can go really fast on descents without pedalling, which definitely favors a SS’er. Another bonus is that I have yet to be able to build up a geared race bike under 25 lbs. It’s kind of tough to compete against some skinny ass little pipsqueak that can spin his tiny little legs off on his sub 20 lb. geared bike when there is a bunch of vert. I hate those bastards and if I could get away with it I’d crush them way out somewhere on the backside of a racecourse and throw them way out in the desert to be eaten by coyotes….that’s if I could keep up with them.
Over the past 3 years I have definitely seen the SS categories grow in size. Nationals last year had over 30 guys. The girls had over a dozen. Local races are seeing more and more as well.
While some events have LOTS of SS’ers, I still don’t think Team Big Bear should try to stick their dirty dicks into the SS category like they did for this weekend. What did they do you ask? They fucked it all up! Just like they did to the women’s pro category and the men’s amateur categories back in the late 90’s.
A little bit of history. In the early 90’s Team Big Bear held the largest race series to grace north america. Huge categories! The amateur men’s age groups (5 year gaps) would have 60 guys or more. The pro field wasn’t very big. Same for the women. Not many pros, but lots of amatuers. The women amateur category was 19-29, 30-39, 40+. Good size fields. Then TBB along with the geniuses at USAC decided to add new categories. They added the Semi-pro to the men’s field and even had U-23 pro for a couple of years. This shrank the AM fields quickly and caused a bit of growth in the pro field. They split the women’s age groups into 5 year gaps. Now you had a women’s expert field with 5 girls. A girl would win a nationals and immediately upgrade to pro. It was a sad time.
Last year USAC dissolved the semi-pro category….which I was a member. I actually thought it wasn’t a bad category as it provided a good place for older fast experts and fast kids that didn’t have much sponsorship. It definitely drew down the size of the expert fields though.
Today’s bad news? TBB has categories for SS. Funny thing is there are only 3 dudes pre-reg’d (as of this morning) in the Cat 2 SS.
Those sad sacks (TBB that is). Message to Tom, Frosty, and Pat….get your shit together. Stop fucking up the sport! Leave the SS category alone. Stop trying to make everyone happy. You just make it worse.