Writer. Warning: opinions. My lawyer advised a disclaimer, but didn't include any jokes to go with. Damned if I can think of any either.

Talkin’ Points

There is something truly great about accumulating points. I get points for flying a certain popular airline, for instance, and while some other carriers may have a less expensive flight in certain circumstances, I usually choose my usual carrier’s flight because then I conserve my points. I do this even though having collected them thus far as gotten me absolutely nothing.

I must have the points!

Then there are the points I am earning at the track. As you can see, on my first night of racing I got 4th in my first race and 5th in another, thus earning a total of 3 points. In my road races, I currently have 36 points for the series, after a first place and a third place in the first two races.

The problem with this is that there’s a great disparity in the levels of points. True, I shop or race aggressively with them in mind, but I’m left without a concrete sense of what they’re really adding up to or how the different point values relate.

To earn frequent flier points I have to pack up some underpants and my traveling gun, then belt on my ceremonial scimitar. Next I call for my subjects to hitch up the team of steeds that pull my wheeled menagerie and we all trundle down to the airport where I finally attempt to board a flight.

To earn race points I had to buy a bike, pay to register, travel an hour or more to the site, and then ride like a man possessed nigh unto the point of evacuating my stomach’s contents. Those points are hard won, and as you can see from the track, I only have three of them.

Three precious little points!

Contrast all that with video games where I earn ten bazillion points every time I do this:


That one little button press makes this sort of thing happen:

Damn it we just GOT that water tower! Son of a...

No wonder so many people stay home and play video games instead of racing bicycles. You don’t get enough freakin’ points!

I hereby formally suggest to the powers that be in cycling that they raise the number of points you get for races. Sure, it might become unwieldy to mark down that a certain rider has 1,000,000 points for a win each week rather than 20, but we might be able to get a few more people to come out and race who would have otherwise been drooling on their Snuggies and pressing buttons.

Also they should think about including some explosions. When I cross the finish line at my next race I want to see a pyrotechnics display that would put the band KISS to shame. In fact it’d be great if the members of Kiss were there to actually perform as well.

I hope you are listening, USCF and ATRA (cycling governing bodies). This could be the ticket to taking bike racing to the next level here in the US.