In order to get involved in the sport of road racing you have to get past certain things, like parental admonishments about not playing in the streets, or not standing up in the back of moving vehicles. While those seem like fine cautions, playing in the streets is essentially the definition of road racing, while standing up in the back of a moving vehicle is how one reports on it. Besides, most of what parents admonished us not to do is exactly what they ended up doing for fun once we were sent off to bed or shipped off to camp.
This is not to suggest that the entirety of Mom and Pop’s dictates were off base. As a rule one should not play in the streets nor stand in the back of vehicles unless there are a lot of people in short pants pinning on race numbers in the vicinity – or you see bulls trampling through the streets of Pamplona, Spain. Even then, I have a sense that if running weren’t the politically connected sport that it is, it would be laughed out of every parade permit hearing in the land. In fact, if the authorities took even a passing look at the situation, or more specifically the insurance industry understood what was going on, there wouldn’t be press trucks. (more…)