As we walked up the hill at Tampa BMX I studied the riders I would be facing. I honestly didn't recognize any of them. One was my age, the other two were kids in their twenties. Then I spotted something odd. One of these kids was riding a Cruiser.
Why was there a Cruiser in my 20 inch class? It was a mystery. A couple other people noticed the oddity but didn't say anything. Personally I didn't care, at first. The truth is I wanted to watch him ride and see if he was going to be a threat on the track. If not then who cares but if he was fast, that's another story.
Before you assume me shallow for such a small slight, it is important that you know the details. In the SSA Florida Cup series I'm in a tooth and nail battle for the Overall Number One spot, an honor I have not yet had the opportunity to achieve. Last year I won the Championship race (Almost scoring a perfect) but I lacked the points to become the best in my class. In 2012 I was not going to make the same mistake.
I planned ahead, accumulated a huge number of locals and competed in 4 of the first 6 Qualifiers with decent scores. I'm currently Number 2 going into the High Springs Qualifiers, behind by barely 100 points. At this level every single point is going to matter.
So when this kid on the Cruiser inched away from me at Tampa I started to get a little peeved. Had he been in the proper class instead of being in mine I would have taken 2nd place to an Expert which is equal to 1st in Intermediate. This would have given me 1 more point towards my goal.
Do I complain about 1 point? I decided not to. I wasn't mad at the kid for being placed in the wrong moto, I was mad at the SSA for making locals so meaningless. All 20+ of my locals this year only adds up to 148 points. It is for this reason that lots of people fell behind in their locals and are scrambling to qualify for the Championships only weeks before the end of season.
Had this one race been worth 50 or 100 points then no one would have blamed me for protesting. I can only hope that next year the SSA corrects this problem. In the meantime I'll just have to prove my worth at the Qualifiers. It will take more than poor rule making to keep me from becoming top dog.