Support Vehicles, Races and Tours: I have issues...
July 16, 2012
Support vehicles seem far less savory and noble than self-supported anything.
Come to think of it, specialists seem less good than all-rounders -- and teammates seem less good than individuals simply cooperating. I'm thinking of the Tour de France with its sprinters, climbers and TT'ers...and coaches. And its team leaders and team workers. And of all its support vehicles.
I'm also thinking of bike tours that are followed by a van that carries the luggage. Or of support crews for long distance canoe races.
I'm also thinking of indie bands that ride bikes on tour but are followed by a van carrying all the instruments. Now, I can maybe see it more if there just isn't room in the vehicle for the musicians, or something. But really they should just carry their instruments on their bikes. And skip the big heavy stuff. Who needs it, anyway. Play less loud, play smaller venues. C'mon. I mean, it's cool to ride a bike but it's WAY MORE COOL to just skip the van.
At the same time...
...I'm perfectly fine with and even into multi-modal travel. A motorcycle, boater and biker could all go on the same trip together somehow and that would be great. Nothing's wrong with any vehicle per se. But I guess I have a beef when they ENABLE each other, that is, enable WEAKNESS in each other. At the same time... isn't that just being helpful? Why shouldn't the driver carry the stuff? Sure, but it IS still enabling. The BETTER biker wouldn't need/want the driver to carry their stuff. Not that a wimpy biker is a bad person. The less wimpy biker is just cooler.
But a boater could meet a biker at a water-crossing and help him out.
That would be fun, why not. That would be combining strongpoints to synergize. Maybe?
Certainly more SUSTAINABLE. More sustainable wins. Well, it gets huge points advantages. Sure, sometimes you just can't go so very sustainabily so you deal -- and might be doing something so cool that your bad sustainability is offset by other goodness factors. So there's that.
But a bike tour where everyone carries their own stuff is MUCH better than one with a sag wagon of ANY kind. Coz bikers should also carry their own repair stuff and know how to use it. Or they can hitch to a town with a bike shop, no biggie, really. Deal with it. Or be less cool and have a sag wagon.
Racers also are far more cool if they do all their thinking and hauling themselves.
At the same time... I see plenty of room for cooperative and team racing. For the buddy system. For sharing the load and sharing gear. Safety in numbers.
A wilderness canoe race with a support follow boat is less cool. It's also more complex and more expensive.
Lowest overhead is coolest.
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