Tour of Kansas City, and Other Life Lessons

We are proud to have an athlete and person like Brady Murphy on the team. A class-act both on and off the bike…an exceptional athlete and person, who truly completes the Harvest Racing team and its values. This article is a repost from Brady’s blog that we just had to reshare.

My teammates joke with me that Harvest Racing has become my personal U45+ (uber 45) development team. In many ways, it has been, both in terms of my physical and character development.

I learned a lot about racing at this past weekend’s Tour of Kansas City, but it wasn’t all race tactics. What I learned most was how to conduct myself when presented with temptation to take what wasn’t mine.

At least, that’s the hope for next time.

As I mentioned in my race recap, I was not proud of how the weekend finished. My omnium win was only the result of taking advantage of a mistake that went unprotested. It was dirty, and I was wrought with personal disgust afterwards.

I’d like to say that my pre-motivation to take the win was due to the tempting lure of category upgrade points. But I’d be in denial to say that standing on the top step of the podium after several recent second place finishes wasn’t also a strong factor. And of course, cold cash brings its own motivations.

But a motivator that I wasn’t aware came to my attention the day after the race. It was from a story I heard on NPR, about how researchers have linked feelings of disgust to unethical behavior.

Research finds that people respond to feelings of disgust by trying to protect themselves from it — and this can quickly translate into self-interested behavior and cheating.

Hearing this after personally experiencing it resounded strongly within me. In short, the research suggest that because I felt disgust from feeling cheated out of a chance to win on Saturday, I acted in my own self interest by cheating on Sunday.

Wow! I wasn’t aware of the connection to this behavior previously.

By the time I heard that, there was nothing I could have done to take back what happened on Sunday. That had all passed. But what I have done since was to contact the Tour of Kansas City race promoter to ask him to re-review the omnium results, and if for nothing else, to award the first place check’s payment to JJ Shepherd. The promoter thanked me for pointing it out, and said he’d follow up with the primary official to see if the official results could be straightened out as well. As of this writing, I haven’t heard back from either of them.

I am ashamed by my lack of sportsmanship this past Sunday. I offer my apologies to JJ Shepherd, the peloton, and to my teammates for accepting this fraudulent victory.

One of the things that I appreciate about cycling is the lessons I’ve learned along the way. As I mentioned above, the team has chided me about the U45+ development program I’ve been a part of. Ribbings aside, I do believe that I am a work in development. While my fitness and skills are being refined, I hope there’s been a healthy dose of character development mixed in as well.

Thanks for reading. Happy Friday.