Friday, July 23, 2010

Reverse Psychology

A persuasion technique involving the advocacy of a belief or behavior that is opposite to the one desired, with the expectation that this approach will encourage the subject of the persuasion to do what is desired: the opposite of what is suggested.

It was reverse Thursday at Buck this week. After the start there was a rush to get things sorted out because the revised course had us filing into the single track just 1/3rd the way up the hill. After a bit of charging I was able to get around some guys and up to Brendan and Chris, but burned more than a few matches doing so. Once Brendan slipped into the darkness of the woods, we never saw him again. Chris went down on a wet root, and let me by, only to stick to my wheel for the next 3 and a half laps. This course set-up was tough. Basically the only recovery came on the paved decent on the back side of the hill. It lasted about 5 seconds, and actually raised the heart rate due to a precariously placed patch of gravel on the asphalt where we had to turn into the wooded singletrack at 30 mph. Well it seemed like 30 mph.

The difficulty of this set-up showed in the amount of lapped traffic. I think there were a number of racers out there who weren't used to getting lapped, and thus were a bit reluctant to let folks pass. After the race, Brendan told me he called, "race leader" to a particular racer a handful of times before said rider let him by. Upon passing, the rider said to Brendan, "Some leader... It's only Buck." Apparently it's easy to win this race since it's "only Buck." It's not like it's a tough race like Hillside or anything. Seriously though, it seems the guy getting lapped was actually using a complex method of reverse psychology known as sarcasm as a means of ensuring Brendan's victory, encouraging him to prove precisely the opposite of what was suggested--that he was in fact "some leader," going on to win by over two minutes.

Meanwhile, Buck had me suffering, suffering its punchy climbs, its 120 degree corners, its no-recovery, its reverse mind games. I'm glad I didn't have to ride it alone, however. I might have got lost in the reversidness (yea, I made that up) if Chris hadn't been back there navigating for me. But I lost him on the last lap when he called out something that sounded like, "Alright, Cody. I've had enough of a workout." Well put, Chris. I think all of us who showed up this week got worked. Even though it's "only Buck."

No comments:

Post a Comment