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.

Training Week -- 10/29 - 11/4

Just cruzin'

Number of rides: 4
Riding time: 7 hrs
Time in mid/high aerobic zone: 1 hr
Best ride of the week: Friday up 101 at steady 20 mph
Other: Ran four times
- did 5k race on saturday in 18:33
- OSM in 17:15, all seated in low gears

Friday, November 02, 2007

Out With the Old, In With the New

Here we are again... Yesterday I started training for the 2008 bike racing season. Six weeks of slacking off flew by real fast! But it served its purpose because I feel refreshed and reinvigorated, so it's time to make goals and plans for next year.

But, as they say, you can't figure out where you're going if you don't know where you've been. So I have to review my 2007 season. (Note: the remainder of this post will be a lengthy and self-absorbed treatise, so the reader is free to move on to some other more-interesting website at this point, such as this one, and I won't be offended.)


On the whole, I'm happy with my 2007 season. I raced often and met a lot of nice people. I particularly enjoyed the races that Cookie, MarkZen, and I did together. Although we were usually outgunned by bigger teams, I think we represented ourselves disproportionally well.

I entered the season with one primary (personal) goal: upgrading to road category 1. Kind of a strange goal to have for somebody my age--it's not like I'm expecting to go further in this sport--but I always had some regret for not focusing on it earlier in my bike-racing life. Despite winning some races and getting a handful of podiums, I was never disciplined enough to train and race an entire year. I wanted to give it one last go before the physiology door slammed shut on me.

I had some upgrade points lingering over from April and May of 2006, so I needed to get some decent results by springtime 2007 before the prior-year points started expiring. Fortunately the SoCal calendar has lots of good road races and stage races in the spring. I think I raced every single weekend from early March to the end of May, and had just enough placings to get the upgrade. What a relief.

For posterity, here's the list of my 2007 results and some are linked to my race reports:
(placing, race, category)

DNF - Boulevard RR - p/1/2
3rd - Mothballs crit - 45+
pack - Mothballs crit - 35+
DNF - Mothballs crit - p/1/2
7th - Pine Flat RR - p/1/2 and pics

6th - Central Valley Classic RR - cat 2
29th - Central Valley Classic TT - cat 2
10th - Central Valley Classic crit - cat 2
19th - Central Valley Classic GC - cat 2
11th - San Dimas SR TT - cat 2
34th - San Dimas SR RR - cat 2
61st - San Dimas SR crit - cat 2
12th - San Dimas SR GC - cat 2
8th - Orosi RR - p/1/2

2nd - Garrett Lemire GP - 45+
10th - Garrett Lemire GP - 35+
26th - Garrett Lemire GP - cat 2
5th - Copperopolis RR - 35+ and corrections and pics
16th - San Diego Omnium TT - p/1/2
2nd - San Diego Omnium RR - p/1/2
24th - San Diego Omnium crit - p/1/2
8th - San Diego Omnium GC - p/1/2
22nd - Conquer the Canyons SR TT - p/1/2
23rd - Conquer the Canyons SR crit - p/1/2
21st - Conquer the Canyons SR RR - p/1/2
19th - Conquer the Canyons SS GC - p/1/2
4th - Devil's Punchbowl RR - p/1/2

15th - Barrio Logan crit - 45+
8th - San Luis Rey RR - p/1/2
10th - Valencia GP - p/1/2
10th - West LA GP - p/1/2
13th* - Mt. Hamilton RR - p/1/2 *DQ'ed

10th - SoCal Championship RR - p/1/2
3rd - Nevada City crit - 45+

pack - Manhattan Beach GP - 45+
pack - Manhattan Beach GP - cat 2
11th - La Mirada GP - 45+
pack - La Mirada GP - p/1/2

3rd - San Luis Obispo crit - 45+
15th - Ladera Ranch GP - p/1/2
21st - San Ardo RR - p/1/2
DNF - University RR - p/1/2

5th - Everest Challenge GC - p/1/2

No wins, but a handful of top-tens. I feel pretty good about the late-spring/early-summer races. Ability to suffer has been the only thing that's improved with age, and that played a key part in many of those races. My climbing was also going well in the spring, and I felt confident and competitive in the road races. Not sure why exactly, but my form dropped a level later in the summer and fall.

There were a number of aspects that didn't go so well in 2007. Although I improved some at time trialing, it was still a major weakness and really hurt my stage-race results. I also struggled with repeated over-threshold efforts such as the hills at Nevada City and the University RR. And, as per usual, my sprint was not too good, which shouldn't surprise me because I could count on one hand the number of dedicated sprint workouts I did in 2007.

So, preliminary* goals for 2008:

- Win a Masters race
- Place top-10 in GC at a p/1/2 stage race that has a tt
- Place top-6 in a p/1/2 road race
- Lead out a teammate to a top-3 in a p/1/2 field sprint
- Break 15:00 up OSM again
- Break 16:00 up OSM, seated using no bigger than 39x23
- Race a NRC event and don't embarrass myself
- Have fun

* Subject to change

Soon I'll make a training plan to accomplish these goals. Clearly, it must include more time tt'ing and some more sprint days. I also think it'll be important to get above 15 hrs a week by early spring. It's the only way to feel good at the end of a 80-100 mile road race. And, as usual, a lot of just-under-threshold climbing will be the cornerstone of my plan. I've always found that to be the best bang-for-the-buck.