I’d Like to Ask You a Few Questions

08.3.2005 | 8:22 pm

One week from today, I’ll be packing my gear up for the Leadville 100. From this point until I write my race report, you’ll have to forgive me if I obsess about this race to a degree you would have heretofore thought impossible.
Biking in to work today, I was thinking about one of the things I always enjoy about riding the Leadville 100: talking with other racers before, during, and after the race. People come from all over to do the race. They’ve got different and interesting reasons for doing it. They’ve got incredibly diverse goals for when — or often, for whether — they’ll finish. Many of them have big concerns about some of the obstacles.
And that’s when I had the idea of bringing a little digital recorder along for the race. At the start line, during the race, and at the finish line, hand different people the recorder and ask:
  • What’s your name and where are you from?
  • Why did you sign up to do this race?
  • What was your goal for this race before you started?
  • Now that you’re racing, do you think you’ll reach that goal? If not, what has your goal changed to and why?
  • What’s the hardest thing about this race?

It’d be interesting to see how answers change as I get later into the race and people are at different stages in the racer’s mood cycle. And then, when I get back, write up these mini-stories. Abracadabra — a composite profile of endurance cyclists.

Good idea or dumb? If, during a race, would you resent someone handing you a recorder and asking you a bunch of personal questions?


One Little Problem

I can envision one potentially fatal flaw in my idea right off the bat: my own attitude. As the day goes on, there will be times when I’m unlikely to want to talk to anyone about anything. So, at some of the most important stretches of the race, I’d be likely to go completely dark, or — worse — possibly throw the recorder into the bushes as an expression of my disdain for the race, myself, other riders, and the world in general. Hey, I can get like that.

Anyone got a digital recorder they don’t mind lending me? I promise to sweat all over it and get it real dirty.


Today’s Weight: 165.6


  1. Comment by kris | 08.3.2005 | 8:47 pm

    Good idea. I’d love to know people’s reason for doing it, even though I have no clue why I participate myself.

  2. Comment by Unknown | 08.3.2005 | 9:09 pm

    i have a sweet mini sony digital camera i bought for my heli-skiing trip this last winter.you can’t use it. i saw what you did to ricky’s bike when you used it last year.

  3. Comment by Unknown | 08.3.2005 | 9:51 pm

    I like the idea. It’s fun to see and hear about stuff that goes on during rides. That’s why I like taking photos on rides.

  4. Comment by Robert | 08.3.2005 | 10:22 pm

    I think you ought to wear a video cam on your helmet, and you should set up your website with streaming video via satellite. It’s a costly setup, but if you’re mechanically adept, you can rig the whole system from a transistor radio, a camera, and two coconuts.

  5. Comment by Unknown | 08.4.2005 | 4:40 pm

    I’m planning on bringing a disposable camera and havin fun with it. Make sure you ask me halfway through if I still think it a good idea.

  6. Comment by Sue | 08.4.2005 | 6:44 pm

    I think it’s a great idea to record and capture what people are thinking IN the moment. When you look back at those moments, it’s really hard to completely capture what was going through your head. I say go for it – however looks as though you may have to get your own equipment. I’m sure you can get a cheap digital recorder with lots of space for recording – especially with MP3s being all the rage. Good luck, Elden!


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