The Trans-Savoie Enduro Race ( passed through Les Arcs today. I’d like to say it was a festival of colour and excitement but it seemed to consist largely of a group of self-referential individuals clogging up the lifts and trails.
Example: waiting to get on the Cachette chair with my mate Nick this afternoon and some way cool dude with female riding partner in tow turns up at the lift ‘queue’, which consists of three people.
“’Scuse me dude, mind if I push in?” he asks Nick. Since the queue is non-existent ‘pushing in’ seems a bit unnecessary but Nick steps politely aside. After all, Way Cool Dude is in a ‘race’ and as such must clearly be given priority, despite the fact we’ve all had to pay just as much as him for our lift passes.
Way Cool Dude then faffs around for half-a-minute trying to work out how to use his lift pass, in the process holding up everyone behind him. Having eventually negotiated the wonder of modern technology that is a hands free lift pass he sashays up to me and some fellow rider I’d been talking to whilst waiting to hop aboard the chair.
“’Scuse me dudes, mind if I push in?” he asks. Since Way Cool Dude is in a ‘race’ he must clearly be given priority etc., etc.
A few minutes later myself and Nick are at the top of the lift, whereupon we see Way Cool Dude, who by means of queue hopping has arrived there some thirty seconds afore us. This man in a hurry (for he is in a ‘race’) then proceeds to arse around on his phone, talk to his buddies and then gradually get into a panic about where he should actually be – which is not at the top of the Cachette lift, as soon becomes obvious.
For Way Cool Dude eventually hops back onto the lift (with female riding partner in tow) to download back to the very spot where a few minutes earlier he’d asked us lesser mortals to step aside so he could go ahead (for he is in a ‘race’).
Now we all make mistakes, and here are those of Way Cool Dude laid out in brief so he knows how to avoid repeating the above procedure in next year’s Trans-Savoie.
1. If you must push in to lift queues, learn how to use the lift first. And be prepared for someone to say no when you ask (although praise where it’s due – he did at least ask).
2. When you get to the top of the lift, try to at least look like you’re a man in a hurry, a man in a ‘race’, rather than passing the time of day with fellow dudes and hanging out on the phone.
3. When you eventually find you’re at the top of the wrong lift, don’t download with your partner. No, take this top tip, and it’s all for free. Ride down on your bike. It’ll be way quicker than riding down on the lift; and if it isn’t, then perhaps you shouldn’t be in a race at all…