Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Gold Sprints

I finally made it to indoor bike racing last night and even competed, although I got smoked by Wreyford Senior and ended up with the second-slowest men’s time of the evening.

Still, it was good fun; better than expected; the racing part was tolerable; what I really liked, though, was crowding around other racers during their heats and screaming encouragement in their ears.

Free vodka from 42 Below was a plus, too.

I think the sport could really take off if only there were more and better gambling. I’d like to see the software designed for pari-mutual wagering so that as more people put more of their money down on one of the two racers, the favorite would be handicapped in some way, thus making it a better bet to put more down on the longshot.

That way, when some freak of nature like Patrick was competing, there could be incentive to bet against him, although if it were me on the other bike, he’d have to get about a 12-second penalty over 500 meters to make it interesting.

I talked some with Ryan from GoMeansGo and he told me about these mechanical systems they have in the UK; I think that type of system would be more exciting than the electronic version in play last night; something about virtual nature of the computer display creates a sense of distance between riders and outcome.

And I guess the skeptic in me can’t help but doubt the authenticity of the results when the potential for affecting them via software seems so great.

On the other hand, maybe if there were a more interesting display than just bar graphs—why not little cyclists?—it could be more compelling.

I didn’t realize until I just did some web-searching how popular Gold Sprints have become among the hipster crowd; and while I still prefer outdoor bike riding, I’m sure I’ll be back, especially if we get the gambling angle worked out.


Anonymous lm said...

This post reminds me of the animated film Les triplettes de Belleville.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Deb's Lunch said...

You being you, I mis-read the title of this one as "gold spirits" until I followed the link to the Wikipedia def. of Gold Sprints. Old eyes, I guess - cheers.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The system is accurate!

8:09 PM  

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