Can we send James Taylor to London for another appeasement song please? We have made another diplomatic boo-boo. This time it is in the cycling world. Last year British Super Randoneur Audax extraordinar Steven Abraham (aka Teeth Grinder) lobbied the UMCA to monitor riders attempting to set the most miles ridden in a year. Steve’s goal is to beat the long time standing record of fellow Brit Tommy Godwin. His
79,065 75065 miles have stood since 1939. Well, the UMCA agreed and on the 1st of January Steve set out upon this adventure. Ten days later across the pond American Kurt Searvogel (aka Tarzan) had the nerve to do the exact same thing. (The record is based on 365 days, not the calendar year.)
Herein lies the problem. Teeth Grinder fans, of which there are many, are insulted that someone else has joined the fray. To make matters worse they feel Tarzan is doing it in a climate that is more advantageous than Steve’s. The British boards are alit with threads wailing over Tarzan’s dastardly move of starting ten days later so as to “spy” on Teeth Grinder. It doesn’t help that Tarzan is also logging some of his miles via recumbent. Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. I wonder what’s next? Will they complain their man has to negotiate around the Birmingham no-go zones while Birmingham, Alabama doesn’t have these zones?
I see this whole thing as a positive development. Surely this provides more incentive for each rider than if they were to slog out their miles solo. In the end, the rider with the most miles wins. It’s as simple as that. Those who are not already following the race can do so at this link .
I hope all of our British friends whose panties are still in a wad can sit back and enjoy the race. A lot can happen between now and January 10th, 2016. Both racers are logging some amazing miles and the contest between the Ultra Racer (Tarzan) and a randonneur /audaxer (Teeth Grinder) is an intriguing one. Whatever the outcome, I would like our close friends, the Brits, to know, whatever happens we still love them and in the spirit of diplomacy 2015 style, I offer up this song: