Advice: Celebrate good times? Come on. Jun16


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Advice: Celebrate good times? Come on.

We recently received an unsolicited request for advice. Weird. I know. But the editorial staff discussed and agreed to answer. Because we’re obviously knowledgeable about all kinds of shit. Like boners. And Burt Reynolds movies. And… mostly boners and Burt Reynolds movies. But it’s a crime to keep it to ourselves. We have so much to give.

Dear SosoVelo Staff,

As a faithful reader of, I have tried to become more aware of the socially acceptable ways of racing bikes. I have stopped shaving, started being nice to messengers and even might do some ‘cross racing this year. As you all know, a while back, the powers that be in OBRA made some vague rule about keeping your hands on the bars at all times during a race, especially during the finish, unless you are a certain distance off the front of the, at which point they may have made a complicated algorithm in the photo line camera software that determines if you get the red flag or not. My math skills on the bike are usually limited to me knowing how many points I have in a points race unless it is hard or I am tired, which is most of the time. When this rule came down, I was told by a local pro cyclist (he is a PRO, so he must know what is best) that it is BS and I should stick it to the man and celebrate with a bike dancing and fireworks on the finish line next time I win a race so the fans have something to be excited about. Seeing how complicated this algorithm is, I knew that I would never be able to know just how far I would need to be off the front in order to keep the masses of Oregon cycling fan happy. So I decided to train really hard (for the fans) so I would be so far off the front that there would be no question about my celebratory rights. Recently I was in Seattle, where they have no race solute rules, doing a race and happened to find myself on the front of the race at the finish line during the last lap. At this point I realized that I had been focusing my training so hard on beating the algorithm that I had failed to practice, or even thing about, the real end goal – the finish line bike dance. I crossed the line with my hands off the bars with no game plan for celebrating. So, in an effort to keep things PC (unlike Mr. Cavendish), while at the same time keeping the Oregon race fans happy, I would like to know the appropriate celebratory solute, if any, for the amateur bike racer in Oregon. Any tips you have in how to properly train for these instances would be appreciated too.

Your wisdom is greatly appreciated,
SOSOVELO reader #5

Dear reader # 5,

Why yes, there is an algorithm one can apply to determine the pose needed in victorious race finishes. Please get out a pencil, paper, graph paper, and calculator of at least Ti-83 power.

First take the radii of both your bicycle wheel and the arc of your arms thrown in a victory salute and average them. When using the standard 700c wheeling system and the armspan of the average champion, you should get a number somewhere near 37.

Multiply this by ?r². This formula has been used for decades. In fact, this is the very formula that gave the races at PIR their name and frequency: PI x R-squared, giving us PIR and the exponent 2, which was used to decide that racing would occur two days a week, Monday and Tuesday.

Now, once you’ve determined the radius of your victory, you must divide it by the true value of winning. This is represented as i(i). Both of these represent units that are not real and that are negative. These are i= hubris and i=being out of breath. As most of you readers know, that when you multiply these two negatives together a positive outcome is created: true sportsmanship.

For example:

w+w/2 + (a+a/2) x ?r²


When I programmed in my own numbers the result was that I should start my salute 8 feet from the line and brandish both thumbs in a double thumbs-up. But the outcome and specific salute-style will vary depending on your calculations and personal arm-arc.

Reader # 5, I hope this sheds some light on a problem that many cyclists and winners across the globe struggle with. I look forward to seeing the results of your equation at future finish lines.