A moral dilemma. Of the cycling variety. In 10 days time I'll be riding the Dartmoor Classic for the 8th time. Way back in 2010 when I first rode it took me 7 hours and 44 minutes, I was relatively new to sportives and road riding, so was fairly pleased. It's now the only sportive I ride, I prefer Audax to be honest, but the DC is a fabulous ride, run by great people, in countryside I consider to be my homeland.
Over the years my times got a bit better, and allowing for blips due to terrible weather & bad form, till in 2014 I did my best ever time of 7-09. I got a silver medal - wow! I know sportive medals mean jack, but still I was pleased, and I figured that as I was about to move into the 50+ age group in 2015, with more generous time allowances, the 6-48 required for a gold could be on in 2015.
Alas, bad weather again, and the after effects of a few long Audaxes, saw me slip to an old man's bronze. After a break in 2016, last year I came back with a 7-10. Although pleased I kind of gave up on the idea of ever attaining gold. To do so would require building the whole season around training specifically for it, and all that seriousness of peaking at the right time. I couldn't be bothered.
So this year when I entered I looked forward to simply a good day out on Dartmoor.
Today The DC organisers announced they have revised all the medal times. Upwards. Apparently they want the times to reflect a 33% split for each category, based on the times people have actually ridden over the last 6 years. Essentially serious riders no longer ride it and more people like me probably do.
The time now for a 50+ Gold medal is 7 hours and 14 minutes.
Now I know this devalues the award. I know sportive medals are meaningless. I know riding a bike for me works best when I am enjoying the carefree nature of the ride.
But what am I to do? Goals and targets are one thing, but does it matter?