Category 6* races (aka commuter races, or simply Cat 6 races) are those impromptu races that spring up between bike commuters on otherwise sedate commutes. You know the drill: you’re cruising along, when suddenly you see another rider, either up ahead or gaining from behind, and you kick up the pace to either pass or avoid being passed. The other rider does the same, and the next thing you know, you’re off to the races. That’s a Cat 6 race.
Even though I think they’re kinda’ silly, I have to admit that I’m not immune to the temptation of a little fun competition. Here’s a play-by-play of a Cat 6 race I took part in earlier this year:
So, this morning I’m cruising along, whistling a happy tune, noticing the birds along the trail, when on my left a bike rider whips around me like a sprinter going for the gold in the Olympic Velodrome. As he passes, he gives me a look back, not unlike the look Lance gave Jan Ullrich in the ’01 Tour. I was seriously tempted to kick up the pace, but I kept lazily rolling along to keep from perspiring in my work clothes. I caught up at the next stop light where I flashed a nod and smile that was met with a steely-eyed, racer-like grimace. When the light turned green, he bolted like Mark Cavendish off the front of the peloton in a final sprint, leaving me in the dust.
When I arrived at the train station a few minutes later, I noticed my rival on the platform, covered in sweat, but basking in the glory of perceived victory. But alas, it was not to be. I stowed away my bike in my bike locker, then I flashed a little grin as I slipped on the train ahead of him and grabbed the prime seat next to the exit, stealing victory from his clutches at the line.
You’ve gotta’ love commuter races… :-)
How about you? Have you ever been drawn into a Cat 6 race? Do you enjoy a little friendly competition once in a while, or is the whole idea just too silly to comprehend?