A thousand years ago, I started racing while attending college in Utah. It started at a local crit held in the huge football stadium parking lot. I won a few, and winter came. I purchased a trainer and rode it 3 days a week when it was too cold and snowy. I skied on the weekends. Every effort was planned around becoming a 3 before I moved back home in the Spring.
The work paid off, I got the points and I applied with the local USCF rep. He asked what was my hurry, and I said I was heading home. They’re a lot faster down there, I’m not going to upgrade you.
It ticked me off, and chip on shoulder I quickly attained my goal of becoming a 3. Back then, we’d have 80+ guys on the line. I’m not saying it was harder than now (yes, I am), but it was very hard to navigate all that humanity and grab points.
Was the guy in Utah right? Maybe, probably. Either way, it reinforced a valuable lesson I apply to this day.
For example, today I stopped by the county offices to get a new course permitted. “No.” I’ve learned that’s a pretty standard answer from public officials, and I’ve learned what it means to me. It means, other race promoters are going to have a hard time and most likely get discouraged and quit. I’ve learned it means this public servant sees some flaws in my plan and that by improving my plan the event will be that much better not only for the next race, but for all future races.
For me, hearing “no” now makes me smile… No => less competition + better product. It also means we’ll soon have a new venue.
We learned this as children, about the same time we learned to ride bikes. Some of us haven’t forgotten the lesson.