...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...