When Wolf, the Golden Eagle and I started kicking the idea of the Knife Fight’s around last year, it developed out of a discussion about the ‘Privateer.’ That guy who is doing it on his own, week in and week out. In the last 10 or 20 years of extensive cat 3 racing, there has been a noticeable change from a bunch of guys riding around in circles together on loosely affiliated teams of 3 or 4 to an emphasis on being on some monolithic team that can’t be denied its recognition based on the shear number of matching jerseys, bikes, helmets, after-race gear, significant others in matching lounge wear, pop up tents and even some wrapped cars here and there. The days of black shorts, a jersey and a run-what-you-brung mentality have been usurped by custom painted bikes from the local shop or from the latest Chinese knock-off factory, full kit orders and social media campaigns. Yep, I get it. I totally do. It was fun while it lasted. The culmination for me was years ago, being on a team so dominant in just membership numbers that when you raced locally, the team took up half of the field at least. The personal goal then was to be in one of the early attacks, otherwise, your gas money just led you to a controlled group ride in some other town and $50 split 12 ways. That said, in the last few years a number of pretty great teams with equal talent and resources have formed such that the parity makes for better racing, but that still means the race almost always comes down to a handful of larger teams and their pre-race strategies. So yeah, I think racing is less competitive in this post-privateer environment, not more. And it makes me sad. And mad.
With that in mind please consider this to be a letter of intent. I’ve decided to leave behind the methodical, structured, self-sacrificing, controlled, strategic and predictable manner of racing on a team in favor of racing for myself. I’ve decided to become a Privateer. I don’t care about the result, I care about freedom and the chance to throw some punches even if those punches suck. I love chaos and racing at the moment. I want to be more Jacky Durand than George Hincapie. More Claudio Chiappucci than Cadel Evans. More animal than the robot. Plus, the freedom to think about ONLY yourself is liberating. Your approach.
Your strategy. Your needs. Attack when you want to attack. Ride what you want to ride. Wear what you want to wear. Have the fun you want to have. Race the race you want to race.