Thursday, December 27, 2007

-6 Degrees F

That's how cold it was this morning when I got up. No, not in Santa Barbara. We're up by Truckee for an extended-family gathering and some snow fun. A month ago there was no white stuff... now it is falling non-stop. Here's the view out my door across a frozen lake...

Much warmer in the lodge with xmas cookies and drinks!

A bit more skiing and snow play and then back to reality (well, as close to reality as can be in SB!)

Rewinding a bit... What a great three days of riding last weekend, starting with the Saturday group ride in SB. As I met the gang heading down State St., I spied one skinny black-and-red-clad rider whose economical pedaling could only be that of Christian Walker. Indeed, it's been at least ten years since Vampy did a group ride but it seems that even he eventually tires of solo daily Solvang loops. We were all grateful that he set a just-right tempo up the Casitas hills.

24 hours later I was meeting the Alto Velo "A ride" where it was nice to reconnect with old friend Kevin Merritt (emphasis on old! ...just kiddin') He leads a great ride and Sunday was no exception. 70 miles on beautiful roads across the SF peninsula to the coast. (I think we did the Pescadero RR course in reverse, but I can't say for sure.) It was also nice to climb the world famous Old La Honda road which is very similar to Old San Marcos in grade and distance. Lots of famous riders have climbed OLH for time and I hear the records are legend in NorCal. Anyway, the group (~20) was very controlled and the tempo was perfect. That was partly due to superstars James Mattis and Kathryn Curi who were both riding a very methodical power level.

And then Monday I had a really pleasant ride up Mt. Hamilton with Craig Nunes, leader of the Rock Solid Cycling team in SLO. It's amazing how easily you can climb 5,000 ft when chatting non-stop. The wind was howling and freezing at the top and we wondered about the Tour of California making it over in mid-February. Would a snow-storm force a last-minute reroute, or would we have our own local Gavia Pass stage ala Andy Hampsten's Giro? We'll see in two months!


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Mt. Hamilton and/or Calaveras Rd. Monday?

Anybody want to ride up at a comfortable tempo on Monday morning? email me (address over on the right). Will have spotty internet access but will check sometime Sunday.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

How Do You Lean?

We all know that one dimension (Left v. Right) doesn't even come close to fully characterizing a person's views. 2-D is a nice improvement, although the best choice of axes is debatable. I found a quick online test that works to characterize people based on their economic and social views. Here's the result of my test:

Go here to take the test yourself. Its free and anonymous.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Procrastination, or Throwin' it in the Dumpster

Of my many character flaws, the one that annoys me the most is my tendency to procrastinate. It's so illogical. Things that I know need to get done... things that, if not done expediently, will only get more difficult and/or expensive.

Take my latest, for example. This van being towed away is one we had for over ten years, and for much of that time, it was a good vehicle. Lots of trips to bike races, some camping trips, NorCal family visits, and uncountably many kid carpools. Last winter we upgraded to something newer. Now, a normal person would have been rid of the old van within a week via craigslist, the classifieds, or a donation. Not me. I figured I could use it as a utility-type vehicle for hauling stuff (because my little pick-up truck doesn't run right now, but that's a different procrastination story).

In actuality, the van just sat unused in front of our house and died a slow neglected death. The paint peeled, the tires rotted, the battery corroded, and all manner of insects and spiders took up residence inside. Registration came due, and it needed to be smogged. How to get to the smog station? I registered it as non-operational. Check that ...I called Gina and had her send in the registration because I was out-of-town the day it was due! sigh...

Gina gave me an ultimatum: one way or another, be rid of that van by Christmas.

So I decided the lowest hassle-factor approach was to donate it. Amazingly, places like Cars-4-Causes will haul away your vehicle, running or not, and sell it so that after their expenses you get a small charitable-donation tax write-off. In my case, I'm sure it will be very small. Or zero.

What's the point of this story? Well, this van cost around $20K new, and had I taken care of it properly and not neglected it, well then as either a donation or a sale, it would have been a useful vehicle for somebody. As it is--or was--I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up in the junkyard being scavenged for parts. It's kind of a waste.

But let me tell you my all-time most embarrassing procrastination story...

Way back in the early-to-mid 80's when I was an undergraduate Math student at UCSB, I had a part-time job as a Reader. For those that don't know, a Reader is a person who corrects homework. After years and years of teaching, the last thing a professor wants to do is correct 100 sophomore math homeworks every week. So instead they hire some poor upper-division student with good grades to do it. I fit that description, especially the poor part. As I recall, I was allocated something like five hours a week per class and was paid, oh I don't remember, maybe $8 per hour. That'll buy some beans and rice for sure.

The first class I got (Intro Differential Equations) was taught by one of my favorite professors, kooky old Dr. Rosenfeld with Albert Einstein hair and everything. Our arrangement was pretty simple: he'd put the weekly homework from his 30-40 students in my department mailbox on Friday, and I would correct them and return them by the next Friday morning. I took my responsibility very seriously, carefully correcting every problem and providing detailed comments to the students. When they were totally off base, I would do the problem for them and explain the logic. Often the problems were hard for me too. I put more time into that job than any of my own classes, by far. It meant a lot to me to do a good job for Dr. Rosenfeld and it didn't bother me that I was putting in two or three times more hours a week than what I was being paid for.

I was given Linear Algebra the next two quarters, and despite the slightly larger class size, I continued to provide detailed comments and corrections on the homeworks. Again I liked and respected the professor and cared about doing a good job. It also helped that Linear Algebra was a strong subject for me at the time.

Then, in the last quarter of my senior year, I was given a big Freshman Calculus class, maybe 100 students. I met with the instructor at the beginning of the quarter to discuss our arrangement and for some reason unknown-to-me, our meeting was awkward. He was a grad student, only a couple years older than me, and this was probably his first teaching assignment. I wished I liked him, but I didn't. But this was business and our agreed-upon arrangement was typical--weekly homework and I'd correct and return it by the time the next batch was due.

I was floored when I saw the first batch of homework in my mailbox. The stack must have been over 200 pages, sloppily bound together with a thick rubber band. Uh oh.

Side note: perhaps only fellow procrastinators will understand this, but isn't ironic how the bigger the job is, the more likely it is that you'll procrastinate on it?

I really wanted to get that homework corrected, really I did, but I couldn't reconcile the amount of work with my allotted hours. Of course, the department expected you to scale down the detail of the work with the quantity, for example, only correcting every other question or something similar.

The stack sat on my desk all week and I probably started working on it Thursday night. Most likely I got about half way through and realized I couldn't finish. OK, no big deal... I'd just go explain that I had a busy week and couldn't finish it all. I'd have it done by Monday for sure.

Friday morning I walked into the Math department ready for an awkward conversation, and the first thing I saw was another huge stack of homework in my box!! I lost my nerve, scooped up the new stack, and quietly slinked on out of the building.

Now I had two piles on my desk. I don't really remember the details, but I probably made some more progress on the week-1 homework but I did not finish it. You see, not to make excuses, but I was a UCSB senior living on ocean-side Del Playa and I had just met my sweetie Gina. It was pretty easy to ignore those piles on my desk.

All week I expected a phone call from a somewhat-perturbed instructor, but it never came. When Friday rolled around I found yet another stack in my mailbox. I couldn't believe it. What could those students be thinking, and what was the instructor telling them?? Hmmmmm.

By this time I was pretty sure I wouldn't be finishing all the work, but tried to concoct a scheme to possibly save the situation... my dog ate the homework... I lost it... somebody stole it... I turned it in and you lost it. I couldn't come up with anything plausible. Needless to say, I wasn't turning in my timecard to get paid. At least I was still honest.

The next two weeks brought two more homework stacks, and still no phone call or note or any attempt at contact from the instructor. Truly bizarre! The stack of homework from 100 UCSB Freshman now exceeded 1,000 sheets of paper. God only knows how many hours of work it represented.

I stopped going into the Math department.

The mind of a pathological procrastinator is a strange place indeed. I'd see that stack of homework on my desk every single day, and it would invariably bring on a dull sense of dread and embarrassment... and then I'd ignore it and get on with my day.

And then I finally decided to deal with it...
...that's right, I threw the entire stack of homework into the dumpster outside my apartment.

Until now, the only person who knew about the Dumpster Incident was Gina. ...well, I suppose all those Freshman probably knew something was amiss too, but hey, they were just faceless names on 1,000 pieces of paper to me.

But seriously, I was (and still am) sincerely sorry for my lack of responsibility in that situation. I have no idea whether or not procrastination represents a real psychological disorder, or perhaps it's a symptom of something else, but I for one live with it as a constant challenge. Whenever I start letting something important slip too long, I think back to the Dumpster Incident, and then try to make some progress.

Training Week -- 12/10 - 12/16

Slipping backwards a bit... sickness and motivation problems. Hard to believe the first race is in 6 weeks time!

Number of rides: 5
Riding time: 8 hrs
Time in mid/high aerobic zone: 2 hrs
Best ride of the week: Saturday group ride
Other: nothing
- Had a flu-like sickness that started immediately after the Tuesday lunch-ride sprint, and then ebbed-and-flowed (literally) through Sunday. Seems to be gone now.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

News Flash from Kold KC!

Gary D'Velo got the silver in the CX nationals this morning, 30-39 B race! Results here. Good job Gary--can't wait to hear the stories!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Well Shut Me Up!!

Seems perhaps my stupid rollers tricks inspired somebody with real skills.
Warning: if music full of F-bombs offends, then you might want to mute it.

Now I gotta get me a fixie and try it.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Weekend W-w-w-wrap-Up

Some people need their weekends for recharging physical and mental batteries. Rest and relaxation... sleep-in late... big greazzy breakfast... guilt-free afternoon couch time.

Not me. I prefer the Sunday-night sensations of a light buzz, muscle-twitchy, total-body fatigue ...yet with neurons still firing full blast as your brain tries to catch up with everything it ingested the prior 48 hours.

This was one of those weekends.

Saturday: out the door at 7:00 AM to catch the 8:00 roco ride. Road-master Gary was hoping for a big team turnout, and the Platinum boys didn't disappoint. We rode with the group to the second Casitas climb, and then split off for some photos and some more serious climbing (kids, that means Gibraltar). Despite knowing we were in for 5+ hours, I decided to do some big-gear strength work on the hills which left my legs a bit wobbly. Only seven of us continued all the way up Gib, and the higher we got, the nastier the weather became. The top was wet, windy, and cold. Instead of feeling sorry for myself (and my companions) because of our frozen hands and bonking bodies, I was struck with the following thought: If you gnarled up the pavement even worse along E. Camino Cielo, dropped the temps another 10-20 degrees and cranked the wind up to a gusty 30 mph, added 2+ hours, and upped our speed 5-10 mph, well, then you'd have your basic spring classic in Europe. We better not be complaining!

Big thanks to John Goodman for snapping some pics along the way, a few of which are shown below.

Sunday: again out the door at 7:00 AM, only this time it was three of us (Gina, Brian and me) heading down toward Malibu for the......Lasse Viren 20K trail run. Well, to be more accurate, Gina did the 20K and Brian and I cruised in the 5K f-un run. I'm really proud the little dude can crank out the miles non-stop now. We didn't stick around for the results but Gina probably did well since her time would be an age-group winner in earlier years.

Continued on down to Santa Monica on a quest (per Brian's insistence) to see as many high-performance sports cars as we could. Results: one Lamborghini, two Ferraris, one Lotus Elise, and more Porsches than we could count on the 62 digits we had between us.

After a nice lunch, we headed on over to the Encino Velodrome to check out......the Winter Challenge 100 km scratch race. 100 km!! That's 400 laps! For some serious cash: $5,000 for the winner, down to $500 for 5th. Nothing for 6th other than some good speed-work.

We missed the earliest laps but arrived just in time to see the biggest boys (e.g., Mike Creed, Roman Killun, Curtis Gunn) rip some brutally fast attacks that shredded the pretenders and left only the contenders. Our boy Cody was, and is, a contender!

I snapped some pics...

with 350 laps to go, this guy attacked hard and quickly got a half a lap lead. He strained desperately to make it around and attach to the back of the field but the field didn't want anyone going up a lap this early in the race. They toyed with him. After he got to within 70 meters of the back of the field, they ticked up the speed just a tad and it was enough to crack him.

Hernando (#212) was going good early and had his harem of honeys yelling enthusiastically for him. Here he follows track star Roman Killun of the Healthnet team.

Unfortunately, Hernando's carburetor seemed a bit clogged (LA air??) and he had to abandon after the first 10-15 km.

Rory started the race but was cooked by the high-speed attacks in the early going. He settled into the infield to support Cody. In the two pics below, Cody is followed by Mike Creed.

We left to do some shopping with about 300 to go and there were maybe 15 guys left on the track. We returned with about 50 laps remaining, and there were only five riders left. Convenient--the race only paid to five places.

Curtis Gunn was a lap ahead. Mike Creed and Chad Hartley (I think) were a lap down, and Cody and Rashaan Bahati were two laps down. What followed was pretty interesting, considering they could have mailed it in. Hartley and Creed started tag-teaming Gunn. One would attack, forcing a chase from Gunn, and then the other would go. Gunn looked solid in closing down the first couple of volleys but he seemed to be weakening. Plus, Creed was forcing him up the banking to take the long way around him. Then Cody stepped up and helped the chasing. Now for a second I thought, "why is Cody helping Gunn? Shouldn't he be trying to shed Bahati or perhaps rest for a sprint (4th vs. 5th?" Then it hit me... Gunn rides for SuccessfulLiving. Cody will be riding for SuccessfulLiving in 2008. Voila!! Teamwork on the track!

Cody and Bahati in the closing laps...

Gunn wins!

1st Curtis Gunn
2nd Chad Hartley
3rd Mike Creed
4th Rashaan Bahati
5th Cody O'Reilly

Training Week -- 12/3 - 12/9

Starting to get some longer rides and some time in the upper aerobic zone.

Number of rides: 5
Riding time: 13 hrs
Time in mid/high aerobic zone: 5 hrs
Best ride of the week: Saturday, group ride and then Gibraltar loop in harsh cold wind.
Other: ran twice

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Still Skeptical About a Power Meter

The geek in me wants one, but he's voted down by the rationalist and the cheapskate.

The rationalist says, "Dude, if you get one you'll waste even more time on the computer than you already do. Magilla Gorilla (famous rbr protagonist) and Chuckie V are correct--better to spend that time training than reading wattage forums and staring at graphs."

And the cheapskate chimes in, "Dude, you've got way more important things to spend $2K on than a toy that is too finicky and will probably break within a year."

Seriously, how exactly is a power meter going to make me a better bike racer?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Baby Greens

My babies get an afternoon shower.

Training Week -- 11/26 - 12/2

This week's running was harder than the riding.

Number of rides: 5
Riding time: 8 hrs
Time in mid/high aerobic zone: 1 hr
Best ride of the week: Friday night rollers party!
Other: ran three times (inc. once for 1 hr 20 min)
- ran 10K in 40:37
- OSM in ~18:00 (39x25 seated)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Stupid Roller Tricks, and Other Stuff

It rained yesterday. A lot. Probably a full 0.05 inches! That was early, true, but clouds hung in the sky all day long. One never knows when they might open up...

I didn't ride outside.

But I'm not a total slacker... Last night I dragged out the rollers for the first time in a long while. I dig the rollers ...way more fun than a trainer.

Let's back up for a second for some context to this post. A few months back I ran across the video below. If you've got a few minutes, give it a look-see and then continue reading...


People went nuts on the internet forums. "Mad Skillz" ... "Wow" ... "You're a god!!!"

I'll tell you my reaction: Big F'in Deal. I'm sure he's a nice guy and all, but come on... (Yeah, I know what you're thinking... Fanelli's just jealous of his long hair blowing in the artificial wind.) Well maybe.

So, with a glass of wine, I figured I'd give it a try myself. No hands and one leg, along with some other silly stunts. Got a few minutes? Then give my video a whirl...

I still have to perfect the track-stand, obviously, and next I'll work on bunny-hopping off the rollers. Will that hurt a carbon frame?


Pros, pros, and more pros. SB has always been a nice winter training ground for bike-racers of the professional variety. Decades ago, we had Andy Hampsten come to town. He did more than a few trips up Gibraltar. Then Phil Anderson paid a visit. Phil would do the Sunday ride around Casitas--that was the default back then--and then he'd do it again. More recently we've had Tim Johnson and Laura Van Gilder hanging around in Jan and Feb.

Now we've got Ken Hanson hanging out in SB with his girlfriend. He's been doing all the group rides and has been very restrained when us local knuckleheads ramp it up. Don't worry... When he's ready, he'll light us up like few we've ever seen. He'll put the dial well past 40 mph for he polo fields sprint.

I only did one or two races with him in '07. One of them was Mt. Hamilton and when our group came into the finish we were going for 9th, and he and AJM blew by me in the sprint with so much speed it dang near knocked me over.

I think Ken won a few races in 2007 but probably his biggest was at the Pro/Am International Challenge in Downer's Grove.

He's got a spot on the 2008 BMC team and they're stepping it up a level. A great opportunity for a speedy young sprinter.

[add/edit] On yesterday's ride Ken mentioned that he, in fact, will not be riding for BMC in 2008 because they have become almost exclusively focused on stage races. He's a sprinter, and would not get many chances. So, instead, he's planning on riding with Cal Giant Strawberries.

And now we hear that T-Mob couple Aaron Olson and Kim Anderson will be staying here through the springtime. Aaron has left T-Mobile for the Bissell domestic team (formerly Priority-Health) and I don't know what Kim's plans are for 2008. A few years ago, Aaron was Jake Erker's teammate with Schroeder Iron and I think they've remained friends. That's a good sign, 'cause surely J-Erker wouldn't have a jerk for a friend. BTW, Mark Bissell, head of the company, is an old friend of Mark Mittermiller's ...small world, eh?!

Kim and Aaron riding down the coast


I did another running race today. Sheesh it hurt! Not a physical injury sort of hurt, but rather just a really sore muscle kind of hurt. It was only a 10K and I ran a mediocre 40:34, but the muscle soreness is reminiscent of my post-Everest Challenge pain. I can see it taking a long time before running feels as comfortable as cycling.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanks for a Perfect Weekend, and Other Running and Riding Randomonium

I guess it helps that the weekend was five days long, but over and over I found myself thinking, "Dang, life doesn't get any better than this!!"

That's ridiculous of course. My house is junk, my to-do list is a mile long and growing by the day, I haven't worked since the summer, and holiday stress is just around the corner. Some things could indeed be better. And I won't even start on all the real problems in the world that get me down if I think about them for more than two seconds...

But, for whatever reason, I was awash in feelings of contentment and ease over the last few days. Sometimes you just have to go with it. Probably an extended endorphin trip brought on by good runs and rides every single day. Plus an incredible Thanksgiving feast hosted by my brother and sister-in-law. They are top-notch foodies with creative cooking talent, so we were treated to a wonderful dinner and dessert. My bro also makes some mighty fine wine.

[all-day pause doing mindless chores, recovery riding, shopping, and cogitating on the subjects above...]

OK, there was something I wanted to verbalize but the verbiage isn't flowing so let me bang this out and move on...


Thanksgiving 4-Miler

Flat and fast course using Goleta neighborhood streets and a big chunk of the bike path:

Any thoughts that this would be a relaxed and mellow Turkey Trot were dashed immediately when I saw one Eric Forte high-stepping out the the car parked next to us. And he wasn't even close to the fastest runner at this pre-feast race. A Cal Poly kid ran sub-5:00 miles to win easily, and our own Todd Booth battled the other fastest guys in town to take the silver. Yours truly started slow and then slowed down. I think runners call that "positive splits" which is actually considered a negative performance.

I jerked some pics from various corners of the internet...

This is the kid (21 years old) who won. He went out fast, as in, 4:45 mile pace, and never looked back. His pace for 4 miles is faster than I can run 800 meters. Somebody said he's a collegiate x-country champ.

This is Todd, the big cheese of my new team. He's an excellent runner and a top expert-class MTB'er. I know he knows how to suffer, so he could be a really good road rider too if he put in some miles on the skinny-tire bike. Maybe I can teach him to ride if he teaches me to run. (That sounds pretty arrogant, huh?)

Anyway, the pic is at about Mile 3 and Todd is surging to try and drop Carl Legleiter and Eric. He put a few seconds into Eric but had to sprint from behind to nip Carl at the line. Surprisingly they had dropped Mike Smith who's been one of the top short-distance runners in SB for decades. BTW, how unfair is it that Smitty had a full head of wild blond surfer-hair, and he decided to shave it off??

This is me limping home a few minutes behind the action, after being dropped by a coupla teenagers. Like Smitty, I shaved my head too ...only I just did the top so I could look like Chris Horner and Levi.

These women are way faster than me. For that matter, most likely they are faster than you too. If I was a caveman chasing them, my genetic code would die off. Fortunately, my sweetie isn't faster than me, but she did run a great race to win her age group in 27:01 (actually, Mariann was a bit faster but she got the Masters prize so Gina was awarded the age-group win.)

The Woman in Red is Annie Toth and here is her blog. Sounds like she's doing a bit of bike riding too. If she gets serious, she obviously has the aerobic engine to be a top cyclist.

Speaking of women runners and top cyclists... New part-time SB resident Kristin Armstrong did the race. It appears she's having more fun than those three above. Since Lance was in town recently, and Kristin has gotten herself a place, I was going to start a rumor that they've reconciled and would be living here. Alas, only part of that is true. They both have (or will have) a house here, but separately. According to highly placed sources, it's only to make the kid-handoff easier. Either way, I'm eagerly awaiting the day Lance shows up to a local running race and Todd kicks his butt!

And more speaking of cyclists and the running races, Joe White did the 4-miler. That's him in blue on the right in the pic below. He made the classic cyclist-newly-turned-runner mistake, i.e., going out too hard and then cracking because his legs can't handle what his heart and lungs can dish up! He still ran a good race. Sadly, Joe's days back in SB are numbered as his wife will be doing her residency up in Palo Alto.

Steve Bertrand, on the other hand, knows exactly how to run a race. And I've also figured out why it seems he enjoys going to running races more than bike races, but that's a subject for another day...

If there was a prize for the runner with the biggest and bestest heart, it would go to this little guy for sure!

Todd and I pay close attention as Mariann instructs us on the finer points of running. She's also been doing some bike riding and she said she'll do a few mountain-bike races for our team this year! Now I need her to work on pressuring Gina into a few races. All part of my grand plan. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Results of the running race, if you care about that sort of thing.


Also got to do both group rides this weekend. 50 or so riders showed up for the festivities on Saturday and a nice time was unfolding until CHP officer King and a fat cohort pulled us over for running a stop sign in Summerland. Well, in fact, some in the group ran it BARELY (read: ~5 mph or so) and others of us really stopped. Really, we did. I executed a perfect trackstand for a solid 0.3 seconds at least. Yet California's finest pulled us all over and threatened to write us all tickets. But once again, after demonstrating their power and authority with a profound lecture, they released us with no tickets this time.

I wonder what would happen in court if I was contesting a ticket, and produced a video showing that I did in fact stop... I wonder what it might do for any other riders who get ticketed in the future when part of a group ride. How ludicrous that Officer King can claim he saw EVERY SINGLE RIDER run the sign. We're often a pack of 50 or more... some stop and some roll through.

And let me be clear: most CHP officers I come in contact with are very professional and seem to genuinely care about the public's safety. Officer King is not in that group.

Dang... why'd I go and write about that negative stuff???

Sunday was awesome! I went out early with Gina, Mariann, and G-Max as they were doing a loop around Casitas. Here's the view out across the ocean from East Beach. I think smoke from the fire in Malibu contributed to the pretty sunrise.

It was a brisk 40 degrees at 7:00 but the air was fresh and the roads almost empty. Once we were rolling, it wasn't too bad. Besides, after discovering this blog I feel it would be wimpy to complain about SB winters.

I left Gina & Co. at the Ventura County line and turned back toward SB. I cannot express in words how happy I am that Gina is riding a bike. Not just riding a bike, but doing BIG rides. Around Casitas?!? There are lots of so-called real cyclists in town that don't do rides that far. As time goes on, our interests and activities grow ever more entwined.

Time-trialed back to East Beach, comfortably making the start of Sunday Worlds. Here's what we see every week as we roll out. Hunky guy volleyball players are also out (on the far courts) but I didn't take any pictures of them.

No pics from the 28 mph charge out to Goob, mostly because my nose was on my stem. I made it over with the front group but then had to bury myself to regain contact after STOPPING at the STOP SIGN at hwy 150. Too blown to go around Bates so I decided some more pics were warranted...

Cookie unleashed a wicked attack that nobody, I mean nobody, could match. He remains: the MASTER OF BATES.

Despite three weeks away in the high Andes Mountains of South America, M-Dubb continued to attack the ride like he always has. Is there anybody so aggressive on the group rides as Matt? I love it!!

Daniel in his new colors and Joe incognito.

Yackity-yack-yack... winter riding at its finest!

Rory forgets more about bike racing in a single day than most of us will learn in a lifetime. Among his many accolades, he is one of the few Americans who have beaten Greg LeMond straight up from a two-man break.

The ride back was a schizophrenic frenzy of social pace intertwined with 30+ mph blasts from the legs of Cody. As has been the case every Sunday for at least 20 years, there was a sprint for the sign at the Polo Fields. I can't tell you who won because my eyes are not that good. (Read: it was really far up in front of me.)

Training Week -- 11/19 - 11/25

Feeling good. Trying to resist going too hard. Not sure why, since the weather will undoubtedly NOT cooperate when it is time to go hard.

Number of rides: 6
Riding time: 13 hrs
Time in mid/high aerobic zone: 2 hrs
Best ride of the week: Friday recovery ride w/ Gina around Goleta in the warm sunshine.
Other: Ran three times.
- Did 4-mile running race in 24:30

Wednesday, November 21, 2007



I only have two questions...

Do the boys wear cups?

Does anybody with contact lenses race 'cross?

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Internal Debate

"Hey Fanelli, this bike racing thing is a pretty selfish pursuit ...especially the way you do it!"

"Huh!? What are you blabbering about now Fennell? Give me some reasons why it's selfish."

"How much time you got?"

"Seriously dude, what's your point?! Give me some reasons!!"

"OK, for one, you spend way too much time with it."

"Too much time?? I only do 10-15 hours a week, check my training entries on this blog you idiot!!"

"That's just your riding time. What about all the other stuff... checking the weather, getting ready for rides, packing for races, traveling to races, cleaning and fixing your bike, looking up race results, chatting on email, reading blogs,... the list goes on. Add it ALL up Bud, you're probably doing at least 30 hours a week with that stuff."

"Big deal, what else am I gonna do with that time!?"

"You're kidding, right? How about WORKING, as in, MAKING SOME MONEY!! When you jumped off the career ladder for this silliness, you left a million bucks on the table. What a moron! But if you're too lazy to pursue a career, then at least work on the house and make dinner once and awhile."

"Well, OK... but Mrs. Fanelli spends a lot of time exercising too, what with running, swimming, spinning, aerobics, etc. Shouldn't I get to do my thing too??"

"She goes out at 6:00 AM fercrissakes. And she still makes lunches for kids before leaving on a run! And I can't believe you brought up spinning and aerobics... SHE GETS PAID TO DO THOSE THINGS YOU DORK!!"

"Hey, I made some prize money this year. Maybe a thousand bucks."

"And how much did you spend Einstein??"

"OK, give me another reason."

"How about, you look like an emaciated concentration-camp survivor ...ya think that's what Mrs. Fanelli wants in a husband??"

"Better than a flabby butt and a beer belly."

"So instead you have NO BUTT and pencil arms."

"But I'm healthy... think how much we save on medical expenses."

"Remind me again... how much did that clavicle surgery cost??"

"Shut up and give me another reason."

"Bike racing is not very friendly to the environment."

"You're on crack. Bikes are GREAT for the environment."

"Sure, if you commute by bike. But that's not what you do, is it? Instead you load your bike into a van and drive several hundred miles just to ride around in circles for 90 minutes."

"Look, this is what I do. It's part of my identity... been doing it since I was 13 years old."

"That's the problem! Normal people grow out of these things. It's time to move on. Face it, you're a middle aged has-been, or more accurately, a never-was. You are declining physically and will probably make a total fool of yourself if you continue."

"Well, thanks for your opinion but it's time for you to go now."

"Hey, don't do that! Put that down!! What the..."


Now, where were we... Oh yeah, check out the just-released 2008 calendar. Time to start getting ready!

Training Week -- 11/12 - 11/18

Getting back into it slowly.

Number of rides: 5
Riding time: 9 hrs
Time in mid/high aerobic zone: 1 hr
Best ride of the week: Sunday, went out early w/ Gina and then did worlds.
Other: ran three times
- OSM in ~17:20, mostly seated in low gears and got my heart rate up to 172

Friday, November 16, 2007

Borrowing Some Funny Stuff...

Just ran into Mondo and James "working" at the coffee shop, and James busted my chops for not updating...

but, but, but... I got nothin'

Hmmm, what to do??? Hey I know, how about borrow some scribblins from somebody else!!

So, without permission, straight from the Mike Jones archives I give you:

What kind of Cyclist are you?
Take this easy quiz and find out.

A roof rack on a car is.......

A: Very Functional
B: So Cool Looking especially with a fairing with tons of stickers
C: Only to be put on when absolutely neccesary
D: would make my car double in value

USCF and NORBA stickers ..............

A: are Cool to put in your shop, on your workstand or toolbox.
B: always go on my bumper or back window of my vehicles.
C: still sitting in the evelope they came the landfill
D: Are holding my bumper of my car together

You get a flat tire on the a group ride...........

A: and you fix it in within 5 minutes and have all the tools neccesary
B: Fix it in less than 2 mintues with your co2 because you have flat changing time trials at home
C: Play it cool, tell the group to go ahead,Have all the tools, change it with frame pump and then chase back on to the group.
D: ask the group: "Hey man, i am fresh out of tubes, can I bum one?"

You believe that riding without a helmet is...........

A: totally stupid but up to the individual
B: Totally ridiculous because you have the same helmet Lance wears and want to show it off
C: Not the best thing to do but 30+ hours in the saddle its nice to not wear one.
D: Cool, cuz your last one got top dollar on ebay and havent owned once since.

A 6 hour ride consists of........................

A. a super fast century
B: 1.5 hours of getting ready, 1.5 hours to the coffee shop, 1.5 hours at the coffee shop, 1 hour hanging out at the local shop, .5 hours in the car after your wife came to pick you up.
C: 3 hours out to a store, turn around and come back.
D: 25 minutes up a ski lift getting stoned, 5 minutes back down, 12 times

You use Internet cycling sites to......................

A: Look for group rides and chat with fellow cyclists
B: Get the latest on new gear, find out what gear lance is riding, and look at pictures of Lance for your screensaver
C: Look for pictures of yourself, articles that mention you and read others diaries for accuracy
D: nothing since you dont own a computer

You think Light lycra shoe covers ........................

A: are Nice, but too expensive for what little benefit they give you
B: the coolest thing ever and wear them all the time, and are certain they reduced your Time Trial personal record by over a minute.
C: are only to be worn during time trials
D: are good to clean the mud off your chain.

Your State Time trial Championships are coming up, you.........

A: volunteer to do the turnaround for the local club
B: Take a week off from work, Travel to Boulder with your frequent flier miles and train at altitude, take a MPEG of the course and watch it nonstop and carbo load the night before
C: Go and get beat by a Local Master
D: Volunteer at the turnaround as part of your Court Appointed Community service obligations

The last bike related part you bought was...................

A: On sale at the local shop
B; a smoking deal on ebay
C: Over ten years ago
D: stolen

There is a regional bike race about 70 miles from your home on saturday............

A: and you will miss all your group ride buddies cuz they will be there
B: Go get a hotel room next to the start line friday night and pre ride the course.
C: Do 100 miles on friday, drive the morning off, not preregister and expect to get in, race with pump and seat bag and try to win, but not care if you dont.
D: Go three nights before and camp in a tent in the national forest down the road.

A car passes you on the road with bikes on top on the roof rack.................

A: Give them a friendly wave
B: Check out the equipment on the roof out of the corner of your eye.
C: think of how your car looks so pro without a roof rack
D: wave at them from the bus stop.

If you answered mostly:

A, then you are a pretty normal cycling enthusiast and are probably not reading my diary so i will not go on with this one.

B, then you are a total bike dork, there is nothing bad about that, but just beware that some people dont get as excited about bikes as you so please dont bug everyone with bike talk. But please keep buying stuff, Especially things like Giant bikes, Maxxis Tires, Shimano Dura Ace, Descente Clothing and Reynolds wheels.

C: If you are not already pro, you should be. Send out a resume to every pro team director immediately.

D: You are a dirty Mountain biker or a Mountain biker that has just converted over to the road. There really isnt too much bad about being you, but i just wont allow you in my house, my car or on any group rides I organize. If you answered mostly D, then you believe that a great cheap date is the girl not showing up. Mountain biking is you, stick with it.

Lots more of his good stuff here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

#10 Wear Sunscreen When You Ride

On your face, ears, and neck. Also your legs and arms if uncovered. Don't forget the backs of your hands, just sitting there on your bars perpendicular to those killer rays.

I wish somebody had told me this when I was younger...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Rules-of-Thumb and Other Nuggets (of Nonsense?)

Descending the final 10 miles in a 40'ish degree drizzle today, I was comfy, warm, and relatively dry in my booties, full leg warmers, long-fingered gloves, and three torso layers. Not so for my mostly novice companions, two of whom were bare legged and miserable. So, as a public service worth exactly what you are paying for it, here are some random rules-of-thumb and other tidbits to consider...

#1 Clothing: If it's below 60 degrees, wear full leg warmers. 60-70 degrees wear knee warmers. Above 70, bare legs. Except in a race... knock down those temps 10-15 degrees for a race. And if there's any hint of cold, bring arm warmers and long-fingered gloves (the thin kind, not ski gloves). Why not, they roll up really small and fit perfectly in jersey pockets.

And on the subject of pockets, make a base layer out of your old tight-fitting jerseys by cutting off the sleeves. That way, you double your pocket volume to carry all that clothing if it warms up. And even then if you fill up your SIX pockets, then you can stuff additional clothing inside the back of your jersey and look like a camel.

Bottom line: always err on the side of bringing too much clothing on a ride. If you don't need it, most likely somebody will.

#2 Food: Less than one-hour ride, all you need is water. 1-2 hours, bottles with Cytomax-type drink. More than 2 hours, bring some food. Why not, you've got lots of pockets now, right?! More than 5 hours, bring money!

Bottom line: always err on the side of having more than enough calories. Again, if you don't need it, somebody probably will.

#3 Spitting and Snotting: Put some velocity into it, and know where the people are behind you. The point is to not hit them with your spit or snot. If you're about to launch a big one, please signal. If you want to be Pro'ish, then do the single-motion sweeping downward arm signal with your snot following directly in your arm's wake. Personally, I'm too much of a spaz for that approach 'cause I'd surely snot on my hand.

#4 The Wind: Figure out where it's coming from, and ride accordingly. That means pull off into the wind. When you're in the line, follow the wheel in front of you on the opposite side of the wind direction. Obviously that's where the best draft is. Also, if you're riding with a group and you're on the front, don't force the people behind you to echelon out into the vehicle traffic (or into the gutter). If the wind is from the right, try to be close to the right edge of the road. If it's from the left, be out into the lane as far as is safe (which might not be very far at all).

Can't tell the wind direction? Look for environmental clues ...flags, branches, batman kites, etc. Otherwise try this: following the wheel in front of you closely, move a bit right and then a bit left, and feel the wind on your arms. When you're in the sweet spot generally each arm will feel the wind equally. Plus, it should be easier to ride. If that doesn't work, spit (see #3).

#5 Tubes: Bring one, or better yet, two. And what's with all the CO2 cartridges these days? Why not carry a little frame pump? The modern ones work really well, certainly good enough to get 100 psi unless you're a weakling little girl like me, and even then you can get 80-90 psi. That's good enough. Also, after you change your flat, fully deflate your old tube and then tie a knot in it. Nothing worse than forgetting the tube is flat and trying to use it later. Well OK, lots of things are worse than that but still...

#6 Hmmmm... Surely I've learned more than five things in all these years of cycling... Or maybe not. Hey blog reader, feel free to offer up any nuggets of wisdom for the rest of us!

Training Week -- 11/5 - 11/11

It's easy to get more hours if you go slow!

Number of rides: 4
Riding time: 11 hrs
Time in mid/high aerobic zone: 1 hr
Best ride of the week: Today's Gibraltar loop in the cold and wet
Other: One friggin hard run. Shoveling a few tons of dirt.
- Surprisingly, my fat-burning metabolism is still working pretty well. I can do 3+ hour, easy-to-moderate intensity rides without eating much.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I'm Going to Stop

From now on.

You can do whatever you want, but when I ride up to a stop sign, and there's a car nearby, then I'm going to stop. On the local group rides, I'll try to get out of the way, but know that I'll be stopping. Please don't ram me from behind--I don't want to be violated by a brake lever.

If you witness me break this vow, then please call me a hypocrite.

(Note: one exception... Over the next couple months I want to do some other group rides, e.g., Simi, Swami's, Spectrum, and since I don't know the way, I'll probably do whatever the group does. When in Rome...)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Running, Riding, and a Bit of Both

2,000 runners started yesterday's Santa Barbara Half Marathon under a deep and wet marine layer. Mrs. Fanelli was hoping for a good time because this would be the first year in many that she wasn't coming off a recent marathon and feeling a bit burnt. Also looking to do well was my new team's boss, Todd Booth, who is one of the top runners in SB.

I think they both achieved their goals: Todd got 2nd place overall with a fast 1:14 (5:40 mile pace!) and Gina got 4th out of 106 women in her age group with a 1:36 time. Congrats to both Gina and Todd!

A couple celebrities did the half marathon on Saturday. Kristin Armstrong (ex of Lance) raced with a bunch of friends from Austin. She ran a 1:56, which is slower than she is capable of going, but she stuck with her posse. Apparently she gets out to SB pretty often and occasionally does some local running races. (BTW, Lance ran the NY (full) marathon today in 2:46.)

Also running the SB half on Saturday was Julie Foudy of USA womens soccer fame. Not sure what her connection to SB is exactly, but it was cool she was there.

A 5k was run in parallel with the half marathon and my son and I did that one, along with one of his friends from school.

I took a few pics and jerked some others from the interwebs (including from DJ's site and from Edhat).

The men's winner is a star runner at UCSB. Doesn't he look a lot like Steve Prefontaine in this picture?

The womens winner in 1:21 (6:15 mile pace!).

Todd ran comfortably in 2nd place the entire race.

Gina out on course at about mile 6.

These two were the early leaders in the 5k. The San Diego kid blew big time and lost a couple minutes to the SBAA guy.

And three of us were hanging about 10 seconds behind up to the half-way point. BTW, I don't know the etiquette about sharing pace in running races. I drafted these two for 1.5 miles into a slight headwind. Am I obligated to pull through? Anyway, when we hit the turn around, the guy with the UCSB shirt surged and dropped me and the other guy fell off even worse. (I finished 3rd in 18:33, which I can't complain about having not run fast in a few years.)

Brian's friend from school, Lauren, ran a good race to get 2nd place woman. She's 12 and can run a 6:20 mile!

And Brian ran the entire distance and set a PR. He's actually starting to enjoy running and is beginning to push himself a bit into that slightly uncomfortable, higher aerobic zone. Makes me really happy.

Julie Foudy posing for a picture with Lauren, who might just be her biggest fan!


Did the Sunday Worlds today for the first time in a month or so. Glad people weren't hammering too hard. I love the ride when there's a big group of old-timers like today. Chris Hahn, Hans, Mark Mittermiller, Paul Thorson, Karl, Hecky, Johnny O... on and on, a bunch of bike-ridin' addicts!

Crappy camera phone pic from the regroup at top of Bates...

Interesting to hear some team switching news (maybe old news, but I've been out of touch)... D-Ramsey is leaving SuccessfulLiving and heading over to race with the Time Factory Team, specifically, the flavor of Erik Saunders group. Daniel, along with Jon Hamblen and Adam Hodges-Myerson will be mentors for the younger riders. And of course, he'll be teaming up with C-Walk when the two of them are in a race together.

Also, interesting to hear that Cody is signing with SuccessfulLiving. Should be a good move for him with a lot of opportunities just like this year with KGSN.


After the ride, Gina and I headed over to Lake Casitas to watch some 'cross action. All I can say is, "Dang, those guys got skillz" ...the fluidity of the dismounts, barrier hops, and remounts was just beautiful to behold. I had delusions of doing 'cross but after seeing how good these guys are, it would be a joke. Do they have a joker race for guys and gals with no skillz?

I took a few pics...

Instructions from CBlackRide at the start of the elite race. There's some kind of season-long point series and Brent Prenzlow is leading it but he wasn't here today. Mark Noble is also high up but he wasn't racing since his clavicle is broken. The top dogs were Chance Noble and Mike Easter. Teammates Gary, Steve Smith, and Jamie Goldstein were also in the mix.

Chance flying over the barriers. Look at his elevation!

Mike Easter is really smooth, just like on the road.

From behind.

Gary looked good here too. I wanted him to show off and do a double bunny hop, but he didn't want to risk a face plant!

Chance and Mike Easter had ridden away from the group and a mano-y-mano battle was forming when, unfortunately, Chance flatted. He got a wheel but spent the rest of the race chasing. Mike won comfortably and Chance worked his way back up to 3rd.

Gary was going good in the top ten but a crash and some mechanical issues hampered him toward the end. Still, I was impressed. Steve Smith's race ended early when he wrapped his chain around his crank and front derailleur in some bizarre topological configuration that took 5 minutes to unwind. Jamie rode a good consistent race and looked comfortable the entire time, but was also taken out by a mechanical problem at the end.