Who's stoked for Call of Lifetime Season 2?

I think there are other great personalities in the race, so the Keegan show is there because he’s winning. He also seems to be pretty approachable.

I’d like to see Alexy get some more airtime, especially after the one very distasteful question that was asked by the interviewer about Keegan.

I’ve raced a good bit of road in my cycling time and I can tell you that when a leading personality gets in the heads of competitors, it’s a hard thing to break out of that. I’m not telling a lot of you this, but racing can be very much a psychological game.

Hump

1 Like

I kind of agree with this in terms of them being very clear that it’s an extremely difficult race, but they really undercut themselves with the “Well, the 30% of people who didn’t finish complaining is very disrespectful of the 70% who did” bit. Holy shit, 30% of your race DNF’d?! And what percentage of those DNFs were purely mechanical due to the mud in a 6 mile section of a 200 mile course? With how many athletes paying thousands of dollars to travel cross-country or internationally?

Having to DNF because the race is just too freaking hard is one thing and is still meaningful, but having to quit because the conditions destroyed your bike just sucks. They had a bit about Paige Onweller going to Emporia a full month beforehand, then she DNF’d in the first 10 or 15 miles when her derailleur broke. Just awful.

Also, because we’re talking about Lifetime - good lord, does Pete Stetina bug the shit out of me. The excuse-making, the thinly-veiled insults to other competitors, the noblesse oblige. If you had a drink every time he said the words “World Tour” you’d be unconscious halfway through the first episode. It’s like he was designed in a lab to get under my skin.

14 Likes

It’s hard to know if it’s the producers driving the story line or what, but if I generalize the mens and womens stories, the women’s PoV’s are human interest and ‘how does the bike facilitate xyz part of my life’ and the mens PoV, with the exception of Brendan Johnston, is “I’m faster than ever but not faster than Keegan”.

I think they tried to get more of the riders motivations and the human interest side out of the men, and they got it with Brendan, a little with Lachlan, and then not much out of Alexey, Cole, and Peter. Which is frustrating because they’re all very well spoken and I’m sure insightful people, but I think you could look at those three and go ‘why do I care about these guys?’

@FergusYL
Weather and mud are staples of the course and the organizers want to lean into that as a way to increase the ‘epic factor’. I don’t think they’ve mislead riders or been disingenuous in anyway about the ethos of unbound.

“There is a MMR section around mile 11 that could be very muddy. If it gets too bad, we’ll reroute”

Rain gods dump water overnight

“Course is fine for racing, let’s go”

many riders proceed to destroy themselves and their bikes and express frustration

“Eff you, it it’s supposed to be hard, bro!!”

:roll_eyes:

13 Likes

Definitely. At this point, if you are someone that cares about your bike or dislikes walking in a bike race, you get what you clearly want by signing up for Unbound. Personally, I’m not doing it until someone sponsors me and gives me a bike to use. :wink:

1 Like

As far as I can tell, most of those interviews of Alexey, Cole, and Peter, were before the race. It’s no surprise that they are being protective of their own vulnerabilities, trying not to let in negative thoughts, keep a positive attitude, etc. It’s going to limit some of what you think they would say right after the race.

I totally get the focus and professionalism, but for a drive to survive style doc you’ve gotta have characters. Alexey gave a little bit with his response to the Keegan question, but at no point was I really engaged with their seasons, specifically from how they were portrayed in the series.

Maybe it’s the riders, maybe it’s the crew’s approach, but I’m hoping for some improvement for series 3

If you knew how to manage it, there was no reason to destroy equipment at last year’s race. Lots of folks managed that course fine with no bike damage. Then you have the riders (pros and amateurs alike) who simply didn’t have the experience to deal with it. It doesn’t surprise me that a road rider/racer who depends on others to maintain their bike would just ride it till it breaks and/or destroy the chainstays. But that’s on them, not the fault of the course or organizers. Keegan said it very well in the video - “If you weren’t prepared for the mud, you didn’t do your homework and that’s on you”. It doesn’t mean you can’t feel empathy for people like Paige Onweller (or all the age groupers) who invested so much into this race, but those people would be well served to prepare better and/or make better equipment choices next time (not just talking about mud, but having the skills/equipment you need regardless of conditions). Keegan really is the poster child for this mindset. Sure, it’s good to have luck on your side, but we mostly make our own luck. The people who destroyed bikes at unbound were not unlucky, they were poorly prepared.

2 Likes

That’s easy for Keegan to say. As bad as that section was, at least he was one of the first people through it. Do you think it was in better or worse shape for person number 1000? And look, I don’t care what Unbound does or their attitude towards it. I think it’s funny that they say it’s supposed to be hard, as if it wouldn’t be hard if they didn’t leave a mud bog on course, but okay. I wouldn’t do the race because it doesn’t seem fun to me. And yes, folks could protect their bikes by just walking that couple miles. I also don’t do bike races to walk with my bike so it doesn’t appeal. I know I can ride 200 miles, there are more fun ways to do it in my opinion.

5 Likes

Yeah, I think they are trying to replicate that “drive to survive” formula, but they are working with very different talent (both the racers and the production company) when compared to F1 or really any sport with actual media coverage. Most of those F1 guys are(and have been) global superstars and have been in front of a camera quite a bit. It’s pretty obvious that these bike racers are still getting their feet underneath them when someone sticks a camera in their face. That’s not a complaint (I think it’s actually appealing at some level), but I do think they will become more media savvy over time. And I expect the production company is figuring stuff out as they go as well.

Certainly it was easier for him (for lots of reasons), but do you think there is any chance Keegan would have complained regardless of how bad it was for him? Unless someone is speaking up about a safety issue, it all comes across as whining to me. There are people who look inward when things go poorly and there are people who deflect (not just racing, but life/business).

Kimo made the comment in the video that some years it’s really hard and some years it’s really easy. I’m not sure I’d ever call it really easy (personally), but none of this is that hard in the grand scheme of things. There are many races with much, much higher dropout rates than unbound. Some people want to do things where success/finishing is a long shot.

Agreed on both your points, There’s zero chance Keegan would have complained even if Lifetime had imported Godzilla and told him to attack the riders as they pass.

1 Like

What question was this? I must have missed it.

How many times has Kimo ridden the event?

From what I’ve read following it since 2014 it seems the really hard years are when it’s hot and windy, the walking sections didn’t seem to be discussed as much. The same section had similar bike walking time in 2015 but less blowback, perhaps different mud or more prepared riders, or just different vibe from the race organizers. I read rage comments on FB after the 2023 event about one thing being said at the race meeting and another happening race morning about rerouting around the mud.

Unbound does seem to have more than it’s share of riders who just love the event and whatever happens they love it so much and are so happy something happened.

These people are professional bike racers. What choice do they have? Skip The Unbound? Leave the Grand-Prix? Retire? I don’t think it’s fair to blame these guys and gals for racing it again, despite all the reasonable complaints they all had. We all raise concerns at work to make it a better place to be in, that doesn’t mean we should just quit every single time something goes wrong.

Also, many of the pros clearly admitted that for them personally it’s a part of the game, whether they like it or not, but they are a lot more worried about average Joes (us), who are paying big money and contributing their time to ride 10 miles, destroy the bike, and walk back home.

Speaking of season 2 episodes. They made it loud and clear: “we did this on purpose, we have zero regrets, and we’ll screw y’all again”. They have all the rights to do so, but my personal opinion: I never did Unbound, and after 2023 I’m not sure I ever will (I might change my mind, of course, but that’s where I am now).

1 Like

I don’t know if it’s related or not, but they kinda addressed that issue at The Rad Dirt later that year. I must say they did it a Life Time way - terribly bad, but at least they tried.

I was finishing my 70ish mile distance with a strong sprint towards the finish line (wasn’t sprinting against anyone, but that could be the case, right?). And top pros (Alexey and Pete) were about to finish in the next 5 minutes. Right in that moment the organizers were moving around the cones to create a 3 feet wide corridor for amateurs on the right side of the street, leaving the rest of the space for pros. And a race staff member almost stopped me in the middle of the finish spurt with his chaotic hand gestures trying to send me into that corridor that was still work in progress, hence I couldn’t even guess what he’s trying to signal to me.

Yeah - zero remorse from the promoter on the destruction caused by the mud section. It’s not a road race after all. I get that it’s supposed to be epically hard, but to wish that’s it so hard that there are guaranteed DNF’ers is pretty ruthless. Of course, in any event there will be those that just don’t have the fitness to make the time cut, or suffer a mechanical that isn’t repairable, or get injured do to any reason.

I guess at this point, it’s a well-known fact that you better be on your A-game to take on Unbound - no longer any reason to think you deserve to finish anything.

One thing I learned is that I will never try and power through mud on my bike during a race or ride.

Agree on the pros, but I was really thinking about the age groupers who complained loudly and then signed up for the exact same thing (after Lifetime made if very clear that they aren’t going to change). The work analogy isn’t really the same thing, but my perspective wouldn’t be that different in that situation. Management/ownership should be open to complaints and recommendations for change/improvements. But if the company honestly listens and still rejects the recommendation, it’s time for that employee to get on board or move on (at least on that point). If you don’t like how the bus is being driven and the driver won’t listen to you, get on another bus or start your own bus company.

Most of the complaining from the age groupers that got equipment trashed was only because the race director said they would re-route if it was too muddy. And then they didn’t, and then they were defiant about it. Had that option never been raised, people wouldn’t have been as upset.

4 Likes

Link takes you to the question

3 Likes