Monday, September 10, 2007

All Good Things...

...must come to an end sometime. We had a great group of people for our 2007 TGI/Hazard's racing team, top notch every one of them, but for a wide variety of reasons, folks are going their different ways for next year. To some extent, I think people just need change for change sake ...to keep it interesting ...new people and new dynamics. I haven't figured out my path yet, but I won't take long and I won't flip-flop. Decisiveness--that's how I roll! (No comment allowed from you Mrs. Fanelli!!!)

But let me rant a bit. Or maybe it's not a rant, because I won't knock anybody or anything; perhaps it's more of a whine...

I really wish that someday we had one large bike club in the Santa Barbara area--or even wider, let's say the whole 805. And said bike club's primary mission would be to encourage and promote competitive cycling in all forms and it's membership would be a diverse cross-section of the cycling population. Young and old, men and women, all colors and economic strata--anyone can join with an interest in competitive cycling.

Within this large club, there would be smaller teams focused on some particular aspect of racing. A women's road team, a men's cat 1/2 team, beginner and expert MTB teams, etc. You get the idea.

I believe there is strength in numbers, and what a force we could be if all the cyclists in the 805 were united. Cycling advocacy, mentoring new riders, race promotion, racing logistics (travel, feeding,...), and camaraderie!

Further, am I just naive, or would such a group be really attractive to potential sponsors? Surely the SB-area demographics would have industry sponsors excited!?!

There are examples of what I'm talking about. Alto Velo in the Bay Area and LaGrange in the LA area. Both huge clubs with smaller racing teams.

Why doesn't a club like this exist here? Lots of reasons probably, some of which are too inflammatory to post here, but I worry there is a big one that may be a show stopper. SB cycling is a bit like a microcosm of the bike-racing world at large. By that I mean specifically that many riders here only see to the horizon of the south coast. It's a small fishbowl. Instead of real races, we have Saturday and Sunday worlds. Mothballs crit is the big championship event. How boring would those "races" be if everyone from town rode for the same club/team? I still hear conversations occasionally about who beat whom at Mothballs ...last year!! BFD

Personally, I'd rather think that we're all together from the 805 neighborhood, and when we venture out to the wild lands of LA or the Bay Area, we're all bonded in person and/or spirit. It seems like too many SB cyclists are thinking cliquish about who's friends with whom locally, which bike store they patronize, or who hangs out at the coffee shop. Dumb examples probably, but hopefully you see what I'm trying to say.

Think about it differently... consider when you were in high school or college. Certainly you weren't close friends with all the kids, but you still had a strong common bond with everyone from your school. Especially when you were out in the world. That's kind of an analogy for how I think a large local bike club could be. SB is your high school, and when we go down to LA to play our rival, we're all true to our school.

Alright, enough whining. I'm in desperate need of a recovery ride...

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Way to address the bigger issue Marco. I cannot believe a town this size has so many bike cliques just among the racers. It's silly, but is totally the result of people focusing so micro (Sunday Worlds) vs. macro State-wide or Regional racing. How many of our local "stars" even bother to race outside the 805 let alone go to Master's Natz? Thanks...

Druber

Anonymous said...

Instead of accepting our differences and building upon them, or even learning about ourselves from them, I find it sad that we can only group by our similarities.

dr-nitro said...

The California Riviera cliquey? Really?

Hey, I'm part of the 805 area code. Are you looking to bring in us SLO folk into your mega club? Interesting thought, but y'all too SoCal for me. How's that for cliquey?

But hey, if you're tired of Saturday worlds, I think that I'll be heading down to head up Gibralter on Saturday. It's not set in stone, since I'm feeling a bit of the beginning of the quarter anxiety, but there is a fair chance that I'll be heading down to check out your horizon. I'll keep ya posted.

Anonymous said...

fennel, you are a hypocrit or else you would be in echelon. practice what you preach or better yet dont preach.

Marco Fanelli said...

Druber- When I first started riding here 20 years ago, there were two clubs/teams: SBBC and Equipe (morphed into Echelon). And I would say there were more people from SB racing around California. I guess maybe I should be so judgemental, but I can't help but think there are advantages to being more consolodated.

Anonymo #1- Yeah, what you said...

Dr. Nitro- Definitely let me know if/when you come to town. I'd love to join you for some climbing if you promise to enjoy the ride and not hammer the whole time!

Anonymo #2- Hmmmm, I was a member of Echelon in the late 90's and early 2000's and it is a great club. But when I went to races, which wasn't too often those years, I was often the only one from Echelon. What is your point? And "don't preach"!?!?! How about you don't read my blog instead. Have a nice day.

Marco Fanelli said...

uhhh, that should have been: shouldn't be so judgemental...

Anonymous said...

Marco,

Please let me know the new destination address for you blogg. I really enjoy the read..

-dano

Anonymous said...

First off, if you're going to bash someone, man-up and add your name.

Secondly, it's unfortunate that a group of really strong riders/racers like the TGI/Hazards team has to explode because of one person wanting to pursue other options. I don't claim to know all the details and motivations for each of the parties involved, but as an outsider who's trying to get back into shape, it seems...well...childish.

I also hope the Tuesday/Thursday lunch time rides continue to kick my ass and give me something to look forward to.

James Morgan

Marco Fanelli said...

Hey Dano- New? Not new. Maybe you got here from the TGI site? Anyway, the real url is:
http://marcofanelli.blogspot.com
I guess it was linked into a frame on the team's site. I didn't know you checked it out! Please continue, and comment any time you want.

James- Can't say as I really know all the in's and out's of the team's history and the relationships, and really, it doesn't matter that much. The thing I take away from 2007 is that it was a great group of people and we had a fun time. That's it. I appreciated the chance to be a part of it.

And what's this about the Tue/Thu rides kicking your ass??? You're the one dealing out much of the pain to everyone else!

TnA said...

James,
It's true that it's pretty unbelievable that the implosion occurred because of one person deciding to pursue other options.

But, that "one person" may not be who you think, or what you've been told.

No matter, as Marco says, it was a great experience and that's all done with. Onward.

dr-nitro said...

Me promise not to hammer? Hey, I'm in coffee ride mode. Full on jacked up on coffee ride mode.

Anyway, I got confirmation that there will be at least two SLO boys coming down on Saturday. We're looking to roll about 9ish from a yet to be named park (absent minded academic is putting this together). I'll shoot ya an email when I get the details.

Anonymous said...

Oh Lord! The island is running out of coconuts! Please help us!

Kum bye yah and all

Chester said...

Marc, Its funny you mention the one big bike team. Last race I was at I was talking to a guy from legrange(sp?) We spoke for a breif period about the size of the club and he said it was amazing. Having riding partners and team members at pretty much any race. Theres a distiction between their 'club' and their 'team' as I was lead to believe but either way I couldnt agree with you more. I think we'd be uncontested in the california scene if all the SBers united under the same colors. And like you said... What could be more apealing to sponsors than that kind of exsposure.

kweixel said...

I guess when you have lots of little bike shops, you're gonna get lots of little teams.

Or you pretty much need the CEO of a non-biking-related company to have a passion for cycling in order to fund a big team.

But, what if there was just one big team in SB and it was no good? (Absolute power corrupts absolutely & all that).

There's a lot to be said for having the freedom to pick from lots of teams.

Anonymous said...

Amazing that you can preach like you do and yet go from one exclusive team to another.

Marco Fanelli said...

Anonymo said:
> Amazing that you can preach
> like you do and yet go from
> one exclusive team to another.

Thank you! Yeah, I'm talented like that. Hypocritical and two-faced. Maybe I should try politics??? Naaah, I'm too ugly...

Anonymous said...

Anonymo said stupid things. Sounds like anonymo got got his/her feelings hurt. Get over it anonymo! People make decisions to meet their own needs, not yours. Why are you taking other peoples decisions personally?