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Events.

Of all the weird aspects of the bicycle world, they are perhaps the strangest.

Perfectly reasonable people create them. Usually driven by a love of the sport, or that splinter of the sport that most excites them, they endure all sorts of privations and personal cost so a bunch of people they generally don't know might enter. Some of them try to make a living out of their events, and a precious few actually do.

The industry ‘sponsors’ events. Inverted commas signify the difficulty of defining the commercial interests gathered behind any event, and the many novel concepts they come up with to get their logo somewhere visible on the day.

They do that because the way to a customer’s heart is through his or her love of … what? Camaraderie? Humiliation? Despair?

That brings us to the third leg of the event triumvirate, and the one that is the most important: participants. A psychologist could perhaps tell you why anybody would ziptie a number to their bars in exchange for the equivalent of a week’s groceries, but for the life of me I can’t. Taking my personal case as an example, it certainly isn't because I think I will win anything. Unless they have a category which precisely defines my station in life I will make up the numbers: out of contention, out of water, out of breath.

And yet I am a repeat offender. We organise eventswe sponsor events, and I am a recidivist entrant.

I have no idea why I will be lining up for the 2W Enduro on Saturday, but if it is at all possible I heartily endorse it to you. The chance to bang down the same trails as I normally do on a Saturday, but with a different look on my face (race face!) is impossible to resist. As if to confirm the general mass hysteria events produce, you will have to get in quick, it usually sells out.

Even worse, we are now only three weeks from the Nzo Whaka 100. That we would invest in an event that represents the three worst days of my bike racing career (that is how many times I have entered it) mystifies me more than the fact that part of our sponsorship arrangement is an entry for me to have a fourth crack at it. As the name suggests, it is one hundred kilometres of mostly trail, and includes a preposterous amount of climbing. Most events can be entered ‘for fun’. You know what I mean: turn up, climb on, hope to win a spot prize. Not this one. Even if I arranged for somebody to push me up the last two climbs in a wheelbarrow, the one before them would more than likely break me. Am I selling it well? Doesn't seem likely to attract anybody with any sense, yet it is rapidly approaching selling out too!

Events. Strange things. Get in to one.