Saturday, September 11, 2010

Am I the 2010 Elite Grim Reaper?

Please listen to THIS as you read the post.

Everyone who races cross has their own personal Grim Reaper. This is the rider who you always beat by a healthy margin. They are usually a friend and/or rival. If you have a shitty race, for instance you go out too hard and implode, the Grim Reaper catches you and passes you, confirming your worst fears. The rotation of Grim Reapers change, as people's fitness and abilities wax and wane season to season.

For 2008, Kyle Smith and Yash Katsumi were my Grim Reapers. If I was losing places and I could see either of these guys gaining on me, I knew I was porked. This brings up a good point: merely the danger of getting caught by the Grim Reaper signals trouble. Once they appear on the opposing straightaway, you've confirmed your suckage on the day.

What makes this rider your Grim Reaper is the fact that when you see them gaining on you, you will dig in extra hard to stay away since you believe that you should ALWAYS finish in front of them. Paradoxically, the Grim Reaper has to have enough ability to be a threat. The Grim Reaper doesn't suck. But they generally finish several places behind you.

I got faster for 2009, so my Grim Reapers changed. Most of the time I was finishing top 10 in B races, Jeff Bramhall and Nick Mashburn became my Grim Reapers. These are both fast, capable cyclists, who were regularly finishing in the top 20. For 2009, they became my personal Grim Reapers because I was finishing in front of them, but they were fast enough to be a threat. Nick, was an obvious choice because of our long standing rivalry and Jeff because of our friendship (I hope Jeff isn't pissed that I outing the fact that I consider him a friend). While I got some great results in 2009, I also had some wild swings and both and Jeff romped me in one race or another.

I know that I served as Grim Reaper for Colin Murphy and Cary Fridrich in 2010. On the flipside, both Colin and Cary were riders who I made it a point to try to catch every race. I got each of them at least once. It was quite satisfying

I upgraded to elites. I will be racing against many of my faster friends. The other day at Wells I was talking to Colin Reuter and Kevin Sweeney and Colin told me that I am the 2o1o Grim Reaper. He inferred that other riders had also told him that I was their Grim Reaper too. The quote is "You are the Ryan Kelly for 2010."

Everyone knows that I am not as fit this year as I was last year. So I am not sure how to take this. Is Rooter pointing out that my impending suckage has been noted by the back of the elite pack? Or is he saying that I will probably finish behind him and his cohort but I am strong enough to be a threat when conditions are right? Either way, I accept my role as Grim Reaper and I plan on doing my best to bury as many of those motherfuckers as possible.

This leaves the question: who will be my Grim Reaper? Easy. Tim Johnson. If I am the very back of the elite field, I will be the first to get lapped.


dakylah said...

It should be noted that Kyle Smith doesn't give a shit about cyclocross! :)

Anonymous said...

I think you're my sexual grim reaper. If I'm creepin' on a girl and I see you coming, then shit, I know I'm totally blowing it.

RMM said...


Everyone who is anyone knows what you care about: winning field sprints, keeping it tight, clean bikes, immaculate clothing and good food. Did I get the order correct? And did I leave anything out?

RMM said...


This only happens when you are creeping on my woman.

Cary said...

You will always be my CX Grim Reaper. The most infuriated I was all season was when you made a sketchy pass on me early in the Providence race. I blew through several matches coming back around you on the pavement and spending the rest of the lap making sure it was inconceivable that you would catch me again. Finally at New Gloucester though, I lost.

I am hoping I am going to become the grip reaper for quite a few folks this year...

RMM said...

You may "reap" also, but I think that you'll be threatening a higher level of riders than I will.

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