5 Stages of Denial - Guest blogger

We have a guest blogger today. Reid Beloni, a collegiate rider for Virginia Tech and the Carolina Subaru Gary Fisher Road Cycling Team has a similar passion for all that goes on with the tail end of the pack.

Check out the following essay on the phrases, i.e. excuses that are muttered in the parking lot after a rider gets the ol' drop. We like how Reid relates getting dropped to the five stages of denial. Well done.

In addition to the phrases that are often spoken at bike races when someone is getting dropped that we talked about last week, here is one more.

"well that's racing" This is something that might be heard after the race, once all the stories have been told, after all the possible ways that you might not have gotten dropped are contemplated, you reach a state of complacency about your miserable weekend; "well that's racing."

These stages of getting dropped remind me of something. They are oddly similar to the five stages of grief. Your saga of getting dropped just like the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Denial: Often a stage associated with "Move up!" being yelled at you. You deny the fact you are on your way to getting dropped and you friends actually encourage the behavior. If you listen to them and keep going you're only going to get dropped.

Anger: This is a two part stage where people will yell "Good job man!" and "Keep it up!" Those watching are frustrated and angry that you are getting dropped. They tell you to keep it up and encourage you, which is intended to mean keep up the good job, but the effort sucks because its getting you dropped.

Bargaining: The'll tell you to "Work together!" This is pretty self explanatory, but this stage of grief is actualized by those around you trying to bargain with the other racers on your behalf by trying to get them to pull your dropped ass back to the field. It will never work.

Depression: "Finish strong!" The most depressing part of your bike race of grief is when you somehow reach the finish line. Reaching the finish line in bike racing isn't an accomplishment, bike racing isn't a triathlon where everyone who registers gets a finishing medal. Finishing off the back is depressing, and to rub it in they tell you to finish strong, now you're even more depressed.

Acceptance: In bike racing this comes in two stages: the "You looked good until..." stage which is immediately after the race. This is when you are talking to your family and fans who don't know anything about bike racing and who think that the whole time you were riding on the front you were winning the race. Them and you have accepted that "you looked good until" but still got dropped and lost.

The second stage of acceptance for a bike racer is when you accept that "well that's racing." This comes after you have talked to your buddies who tell you the truth about what actually happened and that while you probably could have done any number of things to keep from getting dropped, but you didn't, and will probably do it again next weekend, but that's bike racing.