Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I like racing. Particularly I like road racing. Not to participate, mind you, but to follow. Sure, I'm saddened by the doping, et al, but I really don't let that get in the way. But, and I'm being brutally honest here, I could train like a mad man--sacrificing family and career, such as it is--and never bust into the domestic pro ranks. I might, if I worked really hard, race at Cat 2 or 1, heck, maybe even semi-pro, but I'm just not Pro material. So, the question is, how do I participate if I'm not racing?

Why, using a motor, of course. I am currently training to be one of these guys:

Tonight I am heading up to Portland to attend a USA Cycling Motoref clinic. This last weekend I was able--thanks to USA Cycling getting me the material, post haste--to get my Official C license, a prerequisite to attending the Motoref clinic. That's right, I'm offic... er... I'm an official. One of many. I won't let my power go to my head, honest.

Go ahead, try and cross that double yellow.

The idea for this was hatched about a month ago. I was out on the motorcycle and T. was racing in a local road race. The courses aren't closed, so I thought I'd see if I could spot him*. What I discovered was that this was a great way to see the race, to see the tactics and see how it's unfolding. As an official, you have to pay attention to where the racers are--both on the course and in relation to each other--but that is what you pretty much do as an avid spectator, too. That got my wheels turning and when the clinic was announced--and close too!--I contacted USA Cycling to see what I needed to do in order to attend. They sent me the material, I took a test and passed. Oddly, though, I missed some easy ones and got most of the harder questions. Hmmm.

Whether the officiating from the back of motorbike is fun or not, this whole process is interesting. Who knows how it'll play out, but I'm hanging on for the ride.

*I did spot him... on the sidelines. Rough day for T., that one.


Ed said...

James - I am impressed. This is a step beyond average and that is good. Ed @ NiteRider.

-p said...

I'm not trying to burst your bubble, I think being a race moto would be cool, but I think you used a photo of an AP press photographer.

James said...


You are correct. I was hoping no one would notice. In my defense, there are precious few images of motorefs on the ol' web. And they can pull duty as photog shuttles.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

mattg said...

NOT PRO MATERIAL!!! come on, maybe you could just try harder, or get a better bike? That does sound like a lot of fun, good for you.

mattg said...

NOT PRO MATERIAL!!! maybe you haven't found the right bike yet? That sounds like a lot of fun, good for you.