Monday, March 05, 2007

Monday Morning Musings

When the boss is away, the bloggers will play... Actually, since I work at home (when I do work, that is) I can blog at will. The issue is usually more about what to say/write than it is about getting time to say/write it. This morning I've got some odds and ends rattling around my empty skull, so allow me to spew forth...

Group ride redux. For the first time in many months I was able to make both group rides this past weekend. What a treat! Back-to-back, it really put into focus how different the Saturday and Sunday rides are, even though it's mostly the same cast of characters.

Saturday's ride is usually more social, which was good because we had a nice couple from Fresno join us. Coby rides for Central Valley Cycling, the promoting club of next weekend's Central Valley Classic stage race, and Heidi, who I assume is his significant other, is a Velo Bella. That latter fact actually brought out Jen See (another Bella) and hubby John Parsons, the stealth couple we usually see out riding just about when we get back to town. It must be that they enjoy sleeping in late... it couldn't possibly be they don't like our company, right!?!

Anyway, to be completely accurate, Saturday wasn't entirely social thanks to Matt Dubberley's pulls out past the highschool, and then once we hit Casitas... well, you know some of us can't resist going hard there. I mean, there's still ToC KOM markings and fans' writings on the road. In fact, I swear I saw a "GO COREY!!!" chalked along the way. Anyway after regrouping at the top, 15 of us continued around the lake with a friendly and chatty two-abreast paceline for the next couple of hours. Rockwell flatted, and we all waited. We all shared the load in the headwind and soon enough we were back in town. I continued on home the long way to Goleta, ending up nicely bonked with 100 miles.

Satisfied...your basic group-hug ride!

Sunday is different. This ride--our version of the local "World's"--has been going consistently for thirty years. It's had some real cycling luminaries: Lance himself came out a few times during his recovery; also Phil Anderson, Trent Klasna, Malcolm Elliot, Hilton Clarke, Julian Dean have all ridden out there. Yesterday we had Lyne Bessette who is hanging out in SB while husband Tim Johnson does the California NRC races this month.

Yet it's not this collection of celebrities that give this ride its character. Rather, it's the decades' long rivalries; it's the smack talking between four or five different local teams; short leg-burner hills, and sprint locations steeped with rough-and-tumble histories--Javier's crash into the avo trees, Vinnie the Hack's wicked hooks of Ghengis Hahn and Christian and resulting crashes at 35 per, and of course the classic Brawl-in-the-Bushes betwix DK, Daniel Ramsey, and UCSB Nick. Just to name a few.

Thus I don't think it was just my imagination on the Goob-to-Bates portion that there was a bit of extra oomph and testosterone flowing. Guys were digging deep to hold on, others were pulling really hard, and still others were fighting for wheels to stay near but not at the front. No conversation. No group hugs. This fun stuff climaxed in a back-and-forth drag race up the Bates Rd. hill between Lindsay and me, in which I felt every muscle fiber pop and burn, yet still couldn't beat him. I know when Lindsay turns the pedals in anger (so to speak) and this was one of those times. Good stuff.

Next up, the Polo Fields sprint. A mile to go and Keith Horowitz had two of his trusty 2007 boys in front of him and everything looked as it should. I'm sitting on Keith and I thought Cookie was on me, only it turned out he got bumped off by Hecky who took a short-cut through the dirt and gravel. Enter Hans up the side--back out there after a fifteen year hiatus--and he thinks he wants Keith's seat, so he starts moving in on him. Huh?!? Didn't you get the memo Hans? Keith owns this sprint, besides which, if a team want's to line it up, then you should let them. It's better for all of us. I'm the one you should have been worming in on... the physics would be much more in your favor. So of course Keith body slams him a couple of times, and Hans quickly retreats. By now, at 300m to go, the only problem is that we're going just 30 mph which means the inevitable opportunists come up looking for glory, and this time it's Jacque Benny and Carlos, both Jedi Masters of sprinting chaos. One of them slammed the door on Keith resulting in much brakage, bumpage, and deceleration. Natch I backed out so I could report to you here today that nobody went down and it was just your typical SB Sunday ride Polo Fields sprint.


As far as I know, Cody and MarkZen were the only two locals up in Merced at the Merco Classic this weekend. I heard from each, and it doesn't sound pretty. In the Pro/1 crit, Cody was top-ten with a lap to go, sitting comfortably on a teammate or two, when he was taken out from behind. Dang! With his sprint, he might have made the podium in his first NRC event as a pro. The 2's race that Mark did also had a big last-lap crash that ruined Mark's chances but fortunately he didn't hit the deck. Same story in the RR apparently. Judging by the names at the top of the board, most races ended in big field sprints.

[add edit: read Hernando's reportage about Merced. Especially the comments.]


Speaking of big field sprints, Dave Lettieri rode the Long Beach Circuit Race last weekend which was probably his first race outside of SB county in ten years. Despite not really training--yes, I'd call what Dave does as just riding, not training--his incredible depth of experience allows him to work his way up to finishing high in crazy field sprints. He got 4th (see photo) in a sprint which also unfortunately claimed SB's Mondo in a crash. BTW, the winner Mark-Paul Gosselar, is once again looking back at the field. Hmmm.

A few other local folks--Ron, Blinger, Boelter, Choo-Choo, MarkZen--raced down there but nothing too noteworthy to report. Blinger won a couple $100 primes. Choo-Choo crashed but is basically ok.


Darn if Eric Forte is not only a phenomenal climber, but it turns out he's also a pretty fast runner! He did a local fund-raising 5K this weekend and ripped out a 17:00! And that was with absolutely nobody around to push him. Tell Todd Booth to watch out if Eric actually puts some focus on running. The irony is Todd was expressing some worry about Eric as a MTB competitor a few months back. You go Eric! Take him on in all disciplines!


Some things are too funny to go unreported, even if it involves a slight bit of embarrassment. Not mine of course, but at others' expense. Yesterday was another installment of the Fillmore-regionally-famous Piru Time Trial and a few locals made the trek down there. One of them was big Steve Boeltero. TT's are worse than real bike races from many standpoints, one of which is all the weird crap you have to bring... multiple wheels, goofy bike, space-invader helmets and assorted strectchy clothing and shoe covers. Oh yeah, shoes too... Steve? You got that Steve? Oops... big Steve Boeltero forgot to bring his bikie shoes.

But he did have his flip-flops. So he raced wearing them. That in itself is mildy amusing, to me anyway.

But here's the better part. Pops Larsen was also down there to race. And race he did! So fast in fact, that he put a whopping 25 seconds into the flip-flop-clad Boelter!

But it gets better still! Dano and Bermant were also there ...oh stop me please... AND BOELTER BEAT THEM WEARING HIS FLIP_FLOPS!!

Now I know I will never go to Piru, lest such a thing happen to me...


TnA said...

Awesome! The legend of "Santiago Boeltero, TT ACE" will only grow and grow... :-)

Flip flops...cracks me up every time. This just gives Blinger some new ammo to use on the FCRs.

Marco Fanelli said...

> This just gives Blinger some new
> ammo to use on the FCRs.

Well, not really. One important detail got left out... Chicken Ranch blew them all away and put a minute into Larsen! The annual SB smack-talkin' tt fest is gonna be hot this year!

Jason said...

Lots of good stuff. Definitely need to make it down for a Sunday sometime. I would love to hear more about the sprint hooks and bush brawling. Eric Forte is a stud. I'm dying to race against the FCR 3s team (Chicken Ranch, Cody, and Eric).

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

flip-flop flapdown ... classic.

Anonymous said...

Keith Horowitz is a dick

croykey said...

"Dear Anonymus", be nice.

Maybe it's a joke, but if not it's pretty wimpy on your part not to have the guts to put your name behind your comment. Probably wouldn't dare to say it to his face either.

cook said...

Cook writing:

That was one of the more sketchy Polo field sprints I've experienced in some time. Way too slow. Marco, I was on your wheel and when Hecker decided to ride in the dirt and someone's driveway to move up, I didn't want to see him end up in the ditch so I let him in. With that being said, if he's going to make moves like that then he must be willing to accept the possible disastrous outcome. I won't be as accommodating next time.

While Keith has a reputation, his actions on Sunday were not out of line. It was a dick move on Han's part and he happened to pick the wrong person. This was good, now Han’s may not try that on the next person who would either let him in or bring the rest of us down. Keith was pretty amped afterward but not mad or upset.

The funniest thing about Santa Barbara Sunday Worlds (for those who don't know) is it's only about 35 miles and there are numerous points to re-group. Where is there a "worlds" where you can choose your own route, re-group, rest, then sprint, "win" and tell everyone how great you are. Go Race! Now I sound like DK.

Anonymous-not leaving your name? Lame.

Fanelli-Sorry for turning your blog into my blog

Marco Fanelli said...

At first I thought the anonymous comment above was from Carissa (Keith's wife), but then I realized she wouldn't be shy about signing her name! So then I decided it must be from one of the hundreds of guys Keith waxed in a field sprint (before he got old and slow, that is).

btw, I love comments. All kinds, anonymous or not. Let's me know someone is reading this drivel.

cnhorowitz said...

Dear Anonymous,

Too bad you can't sign your name. My husband may be a dick and as his wife I can admit that, but you're a puss. If I were you I would cowher behind anonymous too, just like you probably do in the sprint.

Sorry Fennell, but it ain't cool to call my husband a dick just because you can't beat him.

TnA said...

Hmmm...let's see, the "dick" comment was posted at 5:20 in the morning...

Well the only person I know who's up that early is Pops. But, then again, that's assuming he'd be able to figure out how to post an anonymous blog comment...

Just my speculation. Who knows...and who cares, really?

BTW, Cookie, from my house, the "worlds" ride is almost 60 miles total...and I agree, you're starting to sound like DK. Stop it.

Jason said...

You're all dicks.

Dave said...

Any chance you have a higher res picture of Mark-Paul Gosselar winning in long beach? I think I see myself in the back of the finishing field... Thanks.

Marco Fanelli said...

The Long Beach pics are from Kenny Brant. I just linked to one of his pictures, so I don't have access to the originals. You can see all his work here: and I think somewhere on that site is his email. Good luck!