Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday Frivolity

Climbing: Had four great climbing days so far this week, and man am I glad because the rain has finally started so rides may get a bit less frequent. The weather gurus keep insisting it will be an El Nino year--a bummer for us cyclists, but not for the surfers. Spending all that time climbing got me wondering again why more SB riders don't go up there. I mean, we must have 100-200 "serious" riders here in town but I see only the same 10-15 people up there. I'm not one to preach, but they are really missing out on one of the best things about living here and riding a bike. One who definitely does not miss out on the climbing is Lindsay, and he conveniently left town before the rain for a nine-day bike tour in Cuba. I didn't know Cuba had mountains.

Snow-Bird Bike Racers: I've been seeing a lot of strange jerseys out there lately. SB is to bike racers as Florida is to old folks, a great place to escape the snow. One dude around town now is Brad Huff of the TIAA-CREF team, or now the Chipotle team. He's not really here just for the weather, but is seeing Ernie Ferrel for some body work. Ernie must have a helluva reputation cause guys come from all around to see him. I remember Julian Dean came here from NZ to get worked on a couple years ago.

Psycho-cross: I really wish I had tried some 'cross this winter, but alas I'm too cheap to buy a bike and, realistically, probably too fragile and wimpy for all the dismounts and running. Plus, I'd probably get mud in my contacts and cry. Good luck to Mark Be-Luke-ie if he makes it down to the District Championships this weekend. It's gonna be a wet one.

Another New Teammate: I'm happy to report that former Gumby Warrior and all-around nice guy Ben Haldeman will be flying our colors next year. Not sure how much he'll be able to train and race but when a guy has an aerobic engine like he does, you take whatever you can get and can expect it to be good. He's a former winner of the NorCal end-of-year Cal Cup series of races, and that's a big deal up there.

NCNCA: Speaking of the land up north, NorCal Grand Poobah Casey Kerrigan sent out an email this morning stating that there are now more than 4,000 licensed racers in the NCNCA district! That's got to be tops in the good ol US of A. I can see why. Take one look at their calendar and you'll understand it too. Great races from January to October (not even counting 'cross), often with several choices on a weekend. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about SoCal at all--it's great down here too--but I'll always have an attraction to races up there since that's where I started this silly sport. Those races up there have a permanance we don't seem to have here. Other than Manhattan Beach and on-again-off-again Acton RR, I don't think any of our current races were around when I was a junior oh so long ago. But up there, we've got: Pinole ttt, Santa Cruz crit, Land Park crit, Cat's Hill crit, Berkeley Hills rr, Mt. Hamilton rr, Nevada City, Burlingame crit, and Davis 4th of July crit--all races that were around 30 years ago and that I raced as a junior! Whatever those promoters and clubs are doing is working. So yeah, we should go up there some this year.

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