Thursday, May 03, 2007

Thursday This-'n-That

The highly anticipated show-down in Silver City may prove a disappointment. There had been much local smack talk about the Chris-Walker-vs.-Lindsay-Blount battle in this year's 40+ Tour of the Gila in New Mexico. I fanned those flames as much as possible ...keepin' it interesting and all... but, apparently former 7-Eleven Pro Michael Carter didn't get the memo, and has wrecked it all by destroying everyone in yesterday's TT by 2 1/2 minutes and more!!

I got a bit of an update from Lindsay yesterday. He had the unfortunate starting position just a minute ahead of Carter, and got passed before the turn-around. That shows how freakin fast Carter must have been going. The wind was howling and Lindsay lost some morale, finishing three minutes down, but still came in top-10. J-Boyer (C-Walk's teammate) snuck out a couple of seconds from Lindsay, but I have confidence Lindsay will get those back and more. The biggest surprise (and disappointment) of the day was C-Walk's TT which was very, very sub-par. He lost six minutes to Carter. He has been saying recently that he feels tired, but there must have been something else going on. The TT was in the afternoon and I'll betcha he didn't eat or drink all day. For a dang smart bike racer, he sure does a bad job of fueling and staying properly hydrated. I've got a call into Doug Knox who's playing the DS role for Chris and the Time crew.

Anyway, now we should see some combines and aggressive riding from our SB boys. Stay tuned...

[add/edit: just got an update from the Simply Fit boys after stage 2. Sho 'nuf they went on the attack... first big Kim went out with John Verhuel for a couple hours, eating up the time bonuses. Then when they got caught, Mike Carter's teammate shot out of the group and Mike "Rocks" Wracher went with him, and they had a substantial lead upon hitting the final climb to the finish. Lindsay attacked on the final climb but Carter countered HARD and dropped him and passed Mike too. Stage placings: Carter's teammate 1st; Carter 2nd; Wracher 3rd; Lindsay 4th. Lindsay moves up into 3rd on gc, and Mike moves to 10th! Unfortunately, C-Walk is feeling really bad and was dropped from the main group and really suffered. He's been racing non-stop hard all year and it seems to have wrecked him temporarily. In my opinion, he should bail out and come home and recharge for the second half of the season ...but who asked me!]

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Check out the new links over on the right side of the page. Mostly new blogs, and now grouped a bit better. Hey, some more local blogs too!! Follow the exploits of teammate Gary, Echelon's new racers Steve Weixel and Kimberly Turner, and SB's favorite son Cody.

I added Luis Zamudio to the SoCal bike blogs. He's a good racer with an attacking style (on the bike, that is) and he updates his blog a lot.

I added Dr. Nick (Nitro) Theobald's blog in the NorCal section. He raced at a high level in the early 90's and provides yet another example of the addictive nature of this silly sport. It was dormant in him for 15 years but now he's back at it, fighting week in and week out in the Masters races up North. Give him a year or two's worth of training and racing, and he'll be crushing it. Bank on it.

Also added wine-dealer-bike-superstar Mike Hutchinson. He updates a lot too, so take a look.

Finally, one of the most level headed and talented juniors you'll ever meet, Grant Van Horn, is off to Europe with the USA National Team, so he started a blog to keep in touch. Follow his adventures.

I'd love to add more blog links, especially local and SoCal, so if anyone knows of some, please drop me a note. (In a comment to this post would be fine.)


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We stopped paying for the Santa Barbara News Press in January because the paper is just so bad now that it hurts to read it. Why has it gotten so bad? It was bought by Wendy McCaw who is a kooky Libertarian billionaire (divorced from cellular pioneer Craig McCaw) and she has been using it as a mouthpiece ever since. When the writers on staff complained about interference from ownership and the editorial side, they were summarily fired. Subsequently, the quality and trustworthiness of the paper has spiraled down into the toilet. The latest example was a deliberately misleading article full of innuendo and half-truths about former executive editor Jerry Roberts and porn that was found on a computer he used. The fact that the computer was purchased used by the SBNP, or that three other people had used it at the paper, didn't stop the paper from implying that it was Roberts who was responsible. Nor was there any mention of the paper's pending lawsuit against Roberts.

I couldn't do justice to all the terrible happenings at the paper, but for those interested, the depressing saga is covered well by Craig Smith and other local bloggers.

Gina and I are sad about all this because reading the local paper together in the morning, with our breakfast and coffee, had been an enjoyable ritual for twenty years. But we will not support the News Press until it regains some integrity and quality.


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It seems oddly appropriate that I segue from talking about the SB News Press into a discussion of compost. But there is a key difference...

I love compost!!

I'll admit to being a little weird, but it warms my heart to have a nice pile of compost "cooking" in the backyard. We put all of our plant-based kitchen scraps in there, along with much of the yard waste, and when the mix is right it's simply magical how quickly it turns into the richest, dark and sweet dirt. There are times when I can dig into the pile and the warmth from the middle is intense--like well over a hundred degrees. Other times you can find a massive orgy of earthworms wriggling all around within the moist decay.

I used to think how cool it was to recycle some energy and nutrients back into the yard for the plants to use, rather than sending it off to the landfill. Ideally, I'd never need to buy bags of Super Soil type stuff, because they often contain additives that I don't really want. But of course I draw the line at putting our own bodies' waste back into the yard, so I figured that there is still a net loss in the energy cycle. That is, until I really thought about photosynthesis. If I am diligent in making use of all the kitchen and yard waste, then I am actually adding to the energy and nutrient content of my soil. The plants are converting the sun's light energy--along with carbon-dioxide and water--into chemical energy, some of which we consume as fruits and vegetables, but most of it going back into the soil to feed a entire ecosystem of bugs, worms, birds, and plants. Keeping that ecosystem healthy and thriving is the key to successful, sustainable gardening. That's my goal.

4 comments:

Kimberly Turner said...

thanks for adding my blog to your links! I'm not racing this weekend..and already in withdrawal! Ack! It really is an incurable disease...

dr-nitro said...

C Walker, a smart racer? The man has always raced on pure grunt force.

Thanks for the plug, though. Now the pressure is one.

Marco Fanelli said...

Nick-Nitro, CW has changed quite a bit in the last 15 years or so. Yes, he still races a lot on grunt force, but he is also much better at reading the race situations and his competitors. He has to be... like all of us, he's fighting a losing battle with age!

Linnea said...

Compost is the BEST. Of course, being from Berkeley, this opinion is nothing new... but when I'm away at school in Davis, we have no compost bin, and I swear HALF of the trash we throw away is compostable. Drives me nuts.