no one line


The Consensus Line
November 18, 2009, 4:42 pm
Filed under: no one line

A recent post by Joe Parkin reminds me of something that I recently learned in a handful of cyclocross races: the consensus line is not always the fastest line. There may be a faster way through a turn than the line worn into the muck and matted grass.

Parkin wasn’t talking about cyclocross, just amateur racing, when he said that there’s a lot of bullshit that passes for conventional knowledge, bandied about by people with little experience. Edward Abbey quips that folk wisdom is nothing more than expedient stupidity; like the line in the ‘cross course, conventional knowledge can be flat-out wrong.

Some people yell “Hold your line” like it’s a Tourette’s tic without ever knowing what it means. Some people buy Zipps before they buy Friel. Some people scoff at racing in the lower categories in an attempt to distance themselves from newbie-status, but nothing says mediocre more than a Cat 3 asserting superiority over a cat 4. And to me, the best part about racing is that it can be incredibly fun and fulfilling at any level, and while I look forward to moving up in the ranks of this sport, I have no intention of deriding where I started from.

What do you think: what gets bandied around as conventional wisdom that you would readily discard?

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2 Comments so far
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A great post, applicable to any area of life.

I did a post that dovetails a bit with this one, especially in the last few ‘graphs. It’s one of my faves:

http://velophoria.blogspot.com/2008/06/karen-smyers-those-who-could-really.html

Comment by Velosopher

Yes! I like that post of yours, and I mentioned it to this fella in response to a post about a somewhat grandiloquent rider he knows.

Comment by nooneline




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