Thursday, November 12, 2020

A Few Thoughts In Reaction To The C.O.G 100 Update

 I wanted to first say, "Thank You", to all who took the time to weigh in with a comment regarding the post yesterday. N.Y. Roll and I really appreciate the support and the suggestions that you provided us. And if you read that and didn't comment, that's okay. No worries. 

Secondly, a suggestion we received yesterday, a comment I saw on Twitter, and an email I received yesterday all had a common thread which forced me to take a moment or three to think. There are a lot of opinions and statements flying about regarding COVID-19, the pandemic, and its effects upon all of us. But I think many of us, myself included, are being negatively affected by the fall-out from this pandemic, the election season, and how we've all been dealing with that as a society. Beyond the obvious, there are effects upon us as cyclists. has a LOT to do with the C.O.G 100 too. 

You see, there is an underlying side effect of all of what has been going on this year and it has to do with depression. Mentally I am worn out. I am sure many of you are as well. Maybe some of you are beyond what you can take? Please reach out. And we should be reaching out to those around us we care about as well. There has never been a more necessary time to be a community that cares than now, I feel. 

And so how does this affect the C.O.G. 100? Well, for one thing any sort of 'getting together' of we cyclists is maybe so desirable we'd forfeit common sense to somehow make things work. I mean, we'll be okay, right? We're a mostly healthy, younger, stronger group, yes? Well, maybe this isn't overtly said, but I get the feeling that many in the cycling community are secretly feeling this way, and again- who can blame them with the darkness of the pandemic and how we've dealt with that? How can all this grinding down of decency surrounding the elections be countered? A little cycling get-together, maybe. Something take our minds off things and bring a feeling of 'normalcy' again. We'd all feel that same feeling we have had while riding/racing together. 

But I am afraid that's pretty selfish, and yes, privileged thinking. There has to be a way to see through our desires and all of that to begin to see that- right now anyway- that whole scene has to be dealt with very carefully, or in alternative ways. We need to report racing and events, which aren't necessary to be having now in my opinion, in a way that shows we are really conscientious of the possible ramifications of our actions. And I've seen race reports that have totally ignored any reporting on COVID-19 protocols or things that have resulted from holding these events. That's ignorant and dangerous. 

But we also need to have balance. I am not saying we all should be hiding in our homes wearing masks while no one is around us out of fear. I am saying that we need to be a bit more reasonable about this. We can still be a community, we can still find ways to be caring for each other, and we really need that right now. But racing and holding events? Maybe......probably not. 

So yesterday I said we were leaning pretty hard toward not having a C.O.G. 100 next March for various reasons, but I also want to say today that we need community. We need to reach out to each other. There are a lot of people feeling weighed down right now and we cannot wait for "normal" to come back to "save us" from that. So, do me a favor if you are so inclined- Reach out to a friend today and commit to staying connected. It'll do a whole lot more for the world right now than a silly little single speed gravel event ever could. 


fasteddy said...

Easily the best insight on the intersection between cycling and the pandemic I have read. Thank you, Mark.

MG said...

Well said, Brother… I appreciate your perspective and honesty. It's been hard for me to accept things as they are today and the depression that's caused is some of the most intense I've experienced in my life. So, know that you're not alone and that you're loved. Love ya, Mark.

youcancallmeAl said...

Our parents and grandparents went from the horrors of WWI, followed by the Spanish Flu into a worldwide depression and then straight into the slaughter of WWII and here we are complaining about being depressed because weve been forced to ride our bikes all alone for less than a year!!!???

Guitar Ted said...

@youcancallmeAl-Yes, here we are in our times with our trials. Our past generations had their own trials not to be compared to today’s and vice versa.

To do so would be to belittle what our ancestors dealt with and make a trifle of what our generation is dealing with.

Unknown said...

I need to read that; I have noticed that my usual enthusiasm for riding has decreased. I enjoy "community"; need to reach out to my friends. - thanks