Fools Rush In

12He only attacks early. It’s his one strategy and you can’t tell him any different. Elite Amateur Racer speaking of a teammate 

A Fool who thinks he's rushing

Every village has an idiot, so in our cycling community, we have a few who are regularly foolish. That rider who always attacks into the downhill and then barks at everyone for racing negatively when caught. Or that one crash expert who seems to enjoy bragging about road rash. The reckless attempt what the wise avoid, rushing in…where angels fear to tread. Or that one who always makes the same mistake.

There are some riders that trial and error does not seem to teach. They just grow older but not wiser. They ride in the same way and expect different results. They cling to the same techniques and strategies. They never seek outside help and resent it when it’s given. They refuse to believe that how they ride is stupid.

Every sport has its armchair expert: the couch potato who criticizes the professional coach from his living room. Our armchair experts may be svelte since cycling’s participation and endurance favor age, but they are just as vocal and annoying. These are the riders who spend hours justifying why their race didn’t go as planned and have their list of excuses – all external of course involving flats, terrain, road debris, weather, other riders and all the other variables champions also confront and overcome.

It’s usually not a fitness issue but a blatant refusal to change up techniques, seek advice instead of indulging in narration of unsuccessful race reports, or admit they may not know everything or even very much. Group rides are full of these prognosticators who watch a few taped euro races and suddenly become experts but can’t seem to win a local championship. Don’t be mistaken, the pro peloton has a joker or two in it as well – a big talent who launches the same caper again and again, proudly justifies it but doesn’t change anything. What does change is the jersey – during late season contract negotiations.

Prayer for Strategic Insight

“Fools never do get it.” 13Psalm 92:6

We are thankful for strategic insight. We confess we are sometimes too proud to admit that our situations are our own fault. We pray for insight to perceive and understand what’s really going on in a race.

Ponder Am I stuck in a rut? Affirm I admit I need advice. Watch a world of possibilities open up as insight is gained.

11Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, a quote by Alexander Pope in “An Essay On Criticism.” Pope’s contention was that erroneous judgment was caused by pride.

12Identities are protected so as not to foster animosity. Conversations with an anonymous racer frustrated about a very strong teammate. The guy beats very good pros in prologue time trials, but in mass start races, he rarely places. He is not coachable and impossible to direct. He has never reached his potential as a professional. It is very frustrating to watch a diamond in the rough refusing polish.

13The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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