DNS v. DNF v. DFL

So I’m pondering stuff as I often do and I have come upon a random question.  In the world of cycling – other sports can chime in if the would like … how does a DNS (did not start) compare to a DNF (did not finish) compare to a DFL (dead farking last).  Now, this is a pointed question as I am pondering my poor performance last night.  I did finish a bike race (30 lap points race) but with 9 to go I came apart, lost my legs and just went backwards.  I pulled myself together over the next 4ish laps, grabbed the field when it went by and finished in the field … which was MUCH smaller than at the start.  Here are my thoughts – and I would like some feedback (blog comments, facebook, whatever … hell, call me if you want).

DNS: This one really has a lot of variables… but in my opinion, if you are at a track meeting and you don’t start one of your events for any reason other than a mechanical, I think it’s lame.  “I’m tired”, “I’m saving myself for the prom”, “I don’t have the right gear on”… man up and race your damn bike.

DNF: This one could get me in a spot-o-bother.  I’m a firm believer in “The key to finishing first is FIRST FINISHING!” I see a LOT of people on the infield way to fast.  I’ve been giving it a go for years … I think, post crash, I’ve not finished 1 race because I just threw in the towel and 2 because the officials determined I was out of contention (I was).  I look at people, like myself, who are in need of training, weight loss, general fitness who quit a 20 or 30 lap race with 10+ to go and say “Dude, sit up for a 1/2 lap and get back in!” or “Hammer it out – it will make you strong”.   I don’t advocate this behaviour if you are racing a big event, there are large crowds or large amounts of money on the line, but if it’s local racing, get your money’s worth.

DFL: So, you now know my opinions on DNF’ing… well, here is the conundrum – is it better to slog your bog and finish off the race, even if you finish DFL?  I personally hate to finish DFL, but when you see guys walking across the track – all packed up and heading home, while you are finishing – I take a little satisfaction/pride in saying “I finished”.   I look at my friend, Meatball Friedman who finished last at Paris Roubaix – but he finished the hell of the north!  That crazy cat that was racing with the “Lantern Rouge” in the tour – he got more press than Contador on several days … poor fella didn’t finish, but he tried for a long time.  They give you a prize for finishing DFL in the tour!

Really – there’s no right answer – no wrong answer and somebody will probably call me names and hate me for this, but that’s on you – not me.

Oh … and let me give you my race report from last night – I had fun, I didn’t crash, I didn’t go fast enough…. nuf said!