Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Hi. How are you? I am fine. Sorry for not writing sooner, but things have been really busy here. Thank you for the $20 bday gift ...I will put it towards our remodeling project (more below). Also, please read this letter to Grandpa as I know his eyesight won't allow him to read it himself.

We are in-progress on our home remodel. I have been helping a little bit (abating asbestos, installing insulation, digging dirt) but the major work is being done by a group of real pros. They work hard and we are pleased so far with the results. You can see a chronology of the first three weeks in these photos here:

Despite losing functionality of half our house during the construction, we are managing fine so far. My office has become our living room with couch, TV, and multiple computers. We assembled a makeshift kitchen/dining room in the garage which has actually been very comfortable. Cozy but comfortable.

I don't bike much anymore. I have lost all my fitness but what I miss more is seeing my biking friends on the rides and at the races. I do still get out twice a week for the lunchtime group rides, but I use every ounce of energy just to hang on to the last wheel. On the Thursday climb, I am the last one to reach the top.

Earlier this month there was a bike race in Ventura and I went with Gina to watch. The criterium was right downtown on a really nice looking course with a short hill and a fast final corner. All I can say is that those racers were lucky that I wasn't competing! Haha. (Sorry for the arrogance Grandma... that was just some bike-racer bravado. We're all really fast and strong in our own minds!) Anyway, I really hope the race happens again next year because I want to do it. Maybe you and grandpa can come watch. There's a really good announcer named Dave Towle. I was invited to go onstage with him for the Masters races but I was too scared.

I did take some pictures of a couple of the races. Here are a few:

The 35+ race (that means, all the racers are over 35 years old) looked fast and many of the riders fell out of the group. Past the half way point, these two riders broke away (that means, they rode in front of the group).

This man is from England. He chased after the two riders in front but he didn't catch them. Do you wear Rock-&-Republic jeans grandma?

By the end, one man rode away from the other one. The other one almost caught him by the end, and he probably would have passed him if the finish line was just a little farther! By the way, the man who won is your age. That's why he won I think, because he has had a lot of practice. It also helps that his team picked many of the best players.

Now for the pro race. Why do people call it the "pro" race? Only two or three riders have pro licenses. Anyway, this is a young rider named Eric and he does have a pro license. He won the field sprint but only got 3rd place. Last year he won an exciting race in New York City.

This rider almost bumped my camera. Maybe I shouldn't lean out into the road. Anyway, he got 2nd.

This rider won. Surely he is the fastest.

My teammates raced too. They all did well, finishing toward the front of the pack. My teammate Ron won his race and so did my friend Jane.

Do you remember my little red pick-up truck? I sold it to a nice man who needed a truck. He doesn't speak much English so it was hard to communicate. The truck wasn't running and I was worried he didn't understand that. I gave him a really good deal anyway. His cousin took out the carburetor and rebuilt it and now it runs. Good for him.

I have some sad news also. Our kitty Rocky went missing a week ago. He loved exploring all the construction and he escaped one night after dark. We couldn't lure him back in so we let him stay out, thinking eventually he would come back to the door. He never did. We looked all around the neighborhood and put up signs. We checked the shelters and the vets and put a message on craigslist. Nothing worked.

We are all very sad. Brian has cried himself to sleep a few times. He and Rocky had a special bond; both young men learning about a vast and exciting world. I really miss the way Rocky would come running down the driveway to meet me when I got home from a ride. Apparently he knew the unique sounds of my bike. We all miss him at the dinner table where he would sit with us, hind feet on a chair with his torso and front feet resting on the table, while taking in all the wafting aromas of human food. I miss him following me around the garden with his fluffy tail up in the air.

Wherever you are Rocky, I hope you have a place at the dinner table and a big slice of tri-tip on your plate.


Anonymous said...

I'm really sorry about Rocky and hope he'll show up well and healthy again. I know how close we get to our little animal friends. Thanks for updatng your blog. I kind of "depend on it" since I don't "do facebook" and all this other trendy stuff. See you out there.

Marco Fanelli said...

Thanks Michael, I appreciate it. No Rocky... he's moved on and we're left with fond memories. I'll be riding (and writing) more I think so will definitely see you out there.