Thursday, December 04, 2008

Really Random

Missed it by That Much!

I had it all worked out. I'm riding the California BikeFest 100km route on Saturday, and I had a plan to win! Money in the bank, baby. Sure it's just a charity ride and all, but since I began 2008 with a glorious victory in the Solvang Century, I figured why not end 2008 on the same note? Bookends to an otherwise mediocre season. Just to be sure though, I needed a domestique. A super domestique. I needed a top roadie ...one with big-time international experience.

So I placed my bid on Kim Anderson. I've ridden with her enough times to know she is a motor. We would TTT those 60 miles in like 2:20, leaving everyone else in our dust. Nearing the end, our DS ...me... would choreograph the finish such that I crossed the line first. Yes, that's how it was going to unfold.

Until somebody snuck in at the last minute and out-bid me!!! Grrrr....

Now all I can do is hope the 8:00 roco ride crosses our path and I can hop on that train along hwy 150. We leave Ventura at 8:00 also, and the hwy 150 / hwy 192 intersection is almost precisely in the middle!

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All I Can do is Laugh!

Guess what! The City of Goleta raised the remodel permit fee from $380 to $1,490. They say the new fee better reflects the amount of work required to review the architectural drawings and inspect the construction. The change took effect on December 1st. I learned all this yesterday, December 3rd, when I turned in my permit application and wrote a $1,490 check. Sigh...

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Recession? What Recession?

That's what my 13-year-old son says. He signed up with Google to show ads on a few of his videos on his Youtube page and now every month he gets a check. And look, the amounts are going up. His October check arrived yesterday and it's $266! The amazing thing is that he hasn't made any new videos in months. He barely even looks at his page any more. But obviously a lot of other people do!

Disclosure: the account is actually in Gina's name, since my son is below the minimum age. I guess that means we'll do his taxes for him next April.


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Got Data?


TnA's dashboard. At one point he had a fourth device.

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The Hammer Is Back!!!

So now we know how to motivate Ben "The Hammer" Haldeman. Bet him a burrito that he can't do something. Actually, the bet can't be with just anybody... no, I think it only works if the bet is with Matt "needs a nickname" Dubberley.

Take today for example. Normal lunchtime ride up Old San Marcos. Only this time, a burrito was on the line between those two hairy-legged former professional bike racers. For Ben to win, he needed to: (1) beat Matt to the top; and (2) break 15:00. Now, no offense to Matt, but I was pretty sure Ben would beat him. Matt's got a huge anaerobic tank, which is why he's so fast for 2-5 minutes, but OSM is about aerobic W/kg and Ben's got that in abundance. But sub-15:00?? In December???

We start fast. Ben's got three teammates for support. Matt's got none--we should change that, btw--but he's locked on like a Sidewinder missile, not letting more than a centimeter of air between his front and Ben's rear tire. I'm on the point and shoot my wad to reach the first mile at 4:20. I peel off and Ben bolts. Only Matt can match the acceleration, so now they're mano-y-mano. We watch from behind as Ben eats up the road. His form is not pretty--head bobbing up and down, torso skewed left--but the power is undeniable. Ben doesn't ask Matt to pull through because, of course, he wouldn't. Matt's best tactic would be a slow cruise to the top and then a furious sprint which he'd undoubtedly win. But really, I don't think he could have pulled through even if he wanted to.

At the big left bend, it appears that Matt's on the ropes. He's off Ben's wheel by a couple feet. You've heard of the Seinfeld "close talkers"? Well, Matt's a "close wheelsucker", frequently buzzing the tire in front of him, getting maximum draft. If he's off by just a couple feet, it pretty much means he's cracked.

We lose sight of the combatants as they round the big left-hand bend. A minute later and we're around the turn also, but see no sign of them ahead. A few tense moments. Then, up beyond, through a clearing in the trees, we see a lone figure emerge. White jersey, unmistakably unique form, flying fast uphill... a solo Ben. A quick check of my watch shows he's on pace to smash the 15:00 barrier. As he enters the switchbacks, we won't see him again until it's over.

Our attention turns to Matt. Oh how sweet it would be if we three could catch and drop him, teach him a lesson for diss'ing our teammate. He's a wounded animal up there and we smell blood. Trouble is, he smelled us too. He would not be our prey today.

I finish off the climb in 15:38, my best time since the summer. As I roll up to the hairy-legged former pros, I see a look of content in Ben's eyes. The look of a person who knows he'll be enjoying a big fat burrito for lunch.

14:35

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And Speaking of Food...


Gina and I saw the movie Our Daily Bread last night at UCSB. Oh man, was it ever powerful. The viewer is immersed in the sights and sounds of industrial food production, and there is literally no dialogue at all. It doesn't need any. A DVD release is scheduled for January and anybody in the developed world who eats food should see it.

2 comments:

BEN HALEMAN said...

This is a biased account of the story,coming from 1 of the 4 platinum riders in the front. The real story includes intimidation: Matt was repeatedly head butted by gary. Seth took him to the ditch with a elbow to the eye. With Matt on the ground, Gary and seth held him down while Marc gave him a curbee. After all this, matt still got back up and chased back up to bens wheel. This with a flat tire, rubbing brakes, and broken chain. If it were not for ben's unmatched single-minded focus on free burrito, matt would have overcome the Platinum assault to claim the prize.

Marco Fanelli said...

Matt, you forgot the "D"