Asheville-Buncombe Senior Games 2019
by TREVOR WALLIS
Its that time again. Unlike the real Olympic Games or the Guinea Pig Olympics, which are every four years, the Asheville-Buncombe Senior Games (AKA Senior Olympics) are annual.
This year's A-BSG bicycle time-trials are scheduled for Thursday evening, April 25 on River Road near Marshall on the same course as last year. This is your only chance your prowess locally this year because there will not be a Lung Buster series.
Entry forms are at www.ashevillenc.gov/parksregistration. Scroll down and click on "Adult/Senior Programs", then select "Senior Games 2019". The "List of events" link will have further links to registration form etc. Please ignore the stated closing date, April 2. I have been assured that entries will be accepted up to and including April 25. If you do wait until the last minute though, please have a completed entry form ready to hand in.
Entry is open to all athletes aged 50 and over during the year, regardless of residence, and all age-group medalists in 1-mile, 5k and 10k qualify for NC Senior Games in Garner (near Raleigh) on September 22. There are 5-year age groups ad infinitum i.e. 50-54, 55-59, etc. Officially only open to 50+ age groups, in the past, the organizers have allowed under-age rider participation, but for training purposes only. Under-age riders will not get awards or qualification.
A-BSG TT rules are different from USA Cycling. Participants can enter for up to four distances, 1-mile, 5k, 10k, and 20k, but it is combined into one ride with split times determining the results. The course is out-and-back so most riders, having completed the 1-mile, 5k and 10k to the turn-around, continue their race back to the cars at 20k.
NC Senior Games do not have a 20k TT, so A-BSG medalists only qualify for the shorter distances.
Note that these races are time-trials, which means no mass start and no riding in close proximity to other participants in a peloton. With staggered, individual starts the competition is really against the clock. Nobody faces embarrassment or humiliation from being dropped or lapped.
Any questions about the games should be addressed to Max Cherry, firstname.lastname@example.org, 828-259-5555, or Zach Stewart, email@example.com, 828-350-2058. If anyone would like advice about participating in bicycle time-trials, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please put these TTs on your calendars. They are fun, with little pressure, and are a great opportunity to test your speed endurance in a friendly, competitive atmosphere. My first bicycle race was at the 2003 A-BSG, in which I rode a Trek 1000 with no aero equipment, and it proved to be the start of a successful and enjoyable time-trial career.