53“I was just trying to stretch my legs.” Betty Tyrell, multiple Masters National Champion, describing her style for solo wins
Betty personifies the relaxed approach of a dominant winner in age-rated races. By the time of life that knowledge and experience should be leading to wisdom, veteran riders gain mastery in cycling. Some make it seem easy.
Hundreds of races into it, one would hope that fitness and finesse characterize performance. This isn’t always the case. The hardest racers to be around are excuse-driven masters who believe years invested make them experts but are unwilling to change to improve consistently mediocre results. Read internet boastings and you’d derive that because these weekend warriors watch a world championship on trainers in the basement, it means vet racing is like pro racing. Having raced both categories and levels, the two do not resemble each other much at all.
Notable differences exist in tactics, team work, etiquette, distance, and courses. So why do some masters racers behave like arrogant Little League parents? Compassionately, there is a legitimate transition process into accepting limits related to aging as an athlete. It’s doubtful that, unless a superstar phenomenon, after mid-20’s an amateur male cyclist is going to obtain a pro contract. This is reality. Instead of being a dour reality check for what will never be, a bout with mid-life crisis can be a transforming period. Progress can be made. A joke with truth in it concerns Brits on the dole – retirees with pensions who set personal bests in 25-mile TTs. They have time to train and money to fund it!
Another perspective is gratitude for the incredible health and energy advantage one has within one’s non-athletic generation. Play may continue throughout a life! Rather than proving one’s worth through performances, temper perspective and play hard as a lifestyle!
Prayer for Masters/Veteran Riders
“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.” 541 Corinthians 9:25
We rejoice that cycling rewards effort over time. We confess we don’t temper insecurities especially facing hard realities. We ask for body and soul mastery and blessing on masters/veteran riders.
Ponder Which is my obstacle – lack of confidence or not facing reality? Affirm I pick the right category to be competitive. Watch a mastered attitude lead to more relaxing rides and better results.
53Conversations with Betty Tyrell. Betty is super strong and despite her years and amateur status has placed in elite women’s category races. However, she knows she is not a pro. She has won 20+ national masters titles for road, criterium, time trials, and track racing. She is also very encouraging to her peers and young racers. She is a model masters racer.
54Holy Bible, King James Version public domain