Thursday, March 02, 2006

"Ted-terview": Carl Buchanan: Part Two

Today's installment of the Carl Buchanan interview focuses on Carlos' thoughts on cross country versus endurance racing.

G-Ted: What do you think about endurance racing as a force in America? Do you think it is something that is growing versus cross country racing? How do you view that?

Carl: I think that the cross country thing.....Some will tell you that the cross country thing is going to die off. I don't think it's going to die off, because that's where everybody can get a start at that. You know... Somebody that doesn't have any racing experience what so ever, diving in, doing a 24 hour race might be a little bit overwhelmed. So you figure getting into a beginner class cross country race is a good place to start. Kinda get your feet wet type thing. And then I feel that endurance racing is the way to go. You know...You just figure you start out with like...with a team, kinda figure what it's all about. Progress into racing solo and do just a standard 24 hour race on a loop course. Eventually work your way into doing the ultra craaaazy stuff, like Trans Rockies, Trans Alps, that kind of stuff.

G-Ted: okay....yeah.. So, you would say that, as you see it, cross country has it's place as a feeder for other bigger.....longer....

Carl: Well, you know....that's not a totally fair statement. I guess 'cause there are guys in the cross country field that will... that will smoke anybody in cross country, but their endurance for a 24 hour event might not be there.

G-Ted: So, would you say that......

Carl: It's a different type of racing.

G-Ted: So, would you say that cross country is geared more for a certain type of athlete versus endurance racing, which is geared for another type of athlete? There's really not a whole lot of cross over?

Carl: There is cross over. I'm not going to say that there isn't. But I would say, yes, that the person that excells.... You excell at one or the other. You don't..... I can't think of anybody off the top of my head that is a predominate, world class cross country racer that's also a world class endurance racer. You kinda.... You choose one path or the other, type thing.

G-Ted: As far as you're.... You're relatively new at the endurance racing scene How.. How has your experience been at events you've been to.

Carl: It's... It's a fun experience! It's cross country racing.... Like I said previously, I like it, I still enjoy it, but there is a totally different atmousphere there. You know, when you're racing beginner, everybody is really quiet, because you don't know what you're doing. Sport class- everybody's kinda your buddy, you know, it's like everybody's there to have fun. And once you start racing expert, it's a whole new ball game. You know? It's.. you're there to win and your results are number one. Numero uno. It's like, okay, there's Jeff Kerkove, there's Brian Eppen. These two guys I gotta watch, you know and that type of stuff. So, you really get alot more serious and the fun factor kinda dies off. Unless you're a top three athlete. Then, you know, you probably have that fun factor! ( laughter) But for a middle of the pack cross country guy, like myself, it's you know, it's..... You still try to maintain the fun factor, but it's at not quite the same level. You show up for an endurance race, man, it's just a big party! It's just a good time. Everybody's really supportive of each other. You go through the pits and everyone's cheering you on. The solo racers. The team racers, everybody. It's like, everyone there knows everyone else. It's kind of a little family.

G-Ted: So, you find the supportive atmousphere alot more...

Carl: Yeah.

G-Ted: ...attractive to...

Carl: Well, yeah.. Man, it's that whole support thing. If I feel like it actually makes it a little bit easier to get on the bike every lap and just keep going. You know, 'cause you wanna at 4 o'clock in the morning... you think about it, like can I take a break now? But, you know, you see Jeff take off again and you can't take a break, you know. He's not breakin' and if you break, he's guaranteed to beat you by four laps instaed of three laps, you know, so....... There is no rest if you want to be competitive with it.

That's it for today. Tomorrow, Carl talks about his biggest influence and how endurance race sponsorship has affected his life.

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