I’ll probably end up spending my entire life uncovering all the nuances that pull me toward the sport of cycling, but at the core of my love affair with cycling is the element of total honesty. Lining up for a race and measuring yourself against your peers is like asking advice from a trusted friend that you know will always “tell it like it is”.

Nevada City: I Love You

Perhaps that’s why I love races like Nevada City, University RR, etc. (both of which have made me feel like a “worthless steaming pile of cow dung, figuratively speaking” — credit Liar Liar. If a typical office park crit is like a boss who never looks you square in the eyes, always avoiding conflict, Nevada City is like Jim Carrey in Liar Liar, physically compelled to tell the truth. Here are a few exchanges to illustrate my point…

The Interview

You: Hey Nevada City, how do you think my fitness is coming along this season?

Nevada City: Are you kidding me? Over the past 3 months your training has been sporadic at best. To be completely honest, your genes aren’t good enough to be able to compete without training smarter and harder than your competitors.

You: But maybe today is different. I was racing in last week’s office park crit series and was sitting 15th wheel heading into the final sprint before I got “boxed in” and ended up sprinting for 35th. I could have won that race.

Nevada City: “Boxed in”, I like that…cute. You’ve been getting “boxed in” at every crit for the past 3 years. The longer you use that excuse, the longer you will fail at bike racing. You’ve got 3 choices to compete in a flat crit. Get in a break, reconfigure your genetic make-up, or train smarter and harder than you are now; take your pick.

You: All right fine, point taken, but what about rider X? He never trains, and is still able to consistently land on the podium.

Nevada City: That’s nice, good for him. Come on out to Nevada City and step on the scales, let’s see how you measure up…


That’s the gift of a bike race like Nevada City, unfettered honesty and clarity. No BS, no drama, no egos to sort out. Pin on your number, step on the scales, and get a rare unfiltered glimpse at your strengths and weaknesses. It’s what I love most about cycling, honesty…