Friday, February 26, 2010

Uh Oh... OSM Closed Soon

Forwarded from MM:
RE Construction Project
Attached please see the notice to send to bicycle clubs in Santa Barbara and Goleta areas. We advise bicycles not to use the road during the project. Please post the details of this 2 month project on the website and distribute to known riders. There will not be any work during the weekends and both lanes will be open. One land will be closed during weekdays.

...and here's the attachment:

...and if you're not sure where that is, it's here:

Thursdays at lunch-time won't be the same for awhile.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Training Week -- 2/15 - 2/21

Continuing steady high-aerobic-zone work.

Mon: 1.5 hr; Elings Park & back; 0.5 hr run also
Tue: 2 hr; around Goleta & lunchtime hammerfest
Wed: 3 hr; OSM-PC-ECC-Stagecoach-PC, tempo
Thu: 1 hr; OSM, tempo
Fri: 0
Sat: 1.5 hr; Figueroa Hill Climb
Sun: 3.5 hr; Worlds + a bit extra

Total: 12.5 hours


- In last year's Gibraltar Hillclimb, I was beaten by a kid named Menso De Jong who I'd never heard of. I remember thinking it would have been nice to start together to see if I could have hung on to him. Well, this year at Figueroa I had that chance... theoretically anyway. He started a few seconds ahead of me and within the first mile he'd already opened up a minute lead. I was hoping to do a time in the low 50-minute range and Menso was way ahead of that pace. I figured it was unsustainable since top pros go up the mountain in the mid-40s. Sure enough, he slowed down in the middle and I got pretty close about a mile from the finish. Unfortunately he rallied and pulled out a minute in that final stretch. With better pacing, he would have been well under 50 minutes. That kid is a talent. Oh, and he weighs 190 lbs! And speaking of talent, keep your eyes open for Derek Iverson. He's brand new to riding and has a huge aerobic engine.

- I'd planned to ride the Cal Poly crit on Sunday but the forecast called for rain and the field sizes looked tiny so I bailed. Turns out it didn't rain and the course was really fun (but the fields were small, like 10 riders in 35+ and p123). Hopefully it will be on the calendar next year for another chance.

- Lots of deserved grumbling about the group's behavior on Sunday Worlds lately. The usual stuff... running stop signs, blocking cars, riding in the oncoming-traffic lane, etc. Tim Johnson made a nice speech to the group this week about being more responsible and considerate. I hope people take it to heart because I'm worried somebody will get seriously hurt if things don't change. Yes, I'm a worry wort.

- And on a lighter note... Could it be that David "Pops" Larsen has come over to the dark side??? I hear he enjoys riding with us on the Ventura bike path...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Mumbles

I really did start this post on Monday, but I soon lost my focus ...sorta like my training lately.

So, waddup??

Super Teams

Entertaining discussions going on about a few of the Elite and Masters teams around California. Some folks have strong opinions... read here for example, where the subject is the Amgen/UBS masters team. It's true that their roster is a who's who of top SoCal geriatric talent, including many ex-pros, etc., but it's not like they're the New York Yankees playing against Little Leaguers. A quick check of results posted on scnca as of this writing reveals they've won half of the 35+ and 45+ races thus far in 2010 (including a podium sweep in the Red Trolley 35+). Not bad, but not totally dominant either. Other people will win plenty; races will still be fast and enjoyable; the sky is not falling...

...except in NorCal p/1/2 racing. Four "real" races so far this year, four victories by the new Yahoo! Cycling Team. Complete podium sweeps each day in the Cantua/Pine Flat/Dinuba weekend! Of course that kind of dominance is less likely when the bigger races roll around, but certainly Yahoo! along with Cal Giant will be major forces in NorCal racing. Maybe some opportunist up there will remember Clint Eastwood in "Fist Full of Dollars" sitting pretty between the Rojos and the Baxters "...the heart Ramon, shoot for the heart!"


Running ...huh?!?

I am 100% committed to running the Santa Barbara International Marathon on November 7th. That's 100% farther than I've ever run in my life, and about 99999% farther than I've ever run comfortably since childhood! I ran a tad over 2 miles on Monday, and I still feel it 5 days later. Gina says she thinks it's only 40% likely that I'll follow through, which oddly enough makes it more likely. I don't really know what I'm doing, but continuing with the numbers theme and a bit of math...

I hear the rule-of-thumb is to increase your running mileage no more than 10% per week. OK, if I can run 2 miles now, and need to run 26 miles eventually, then we have:

2 * (1.1)^N = 26 ; . . . where N = # weeks of mileage increases

(1.1)^N = 26/2 ; . . . simplifying

N * ln(1.1) = ln(26/2) ; . . . take log of both sides

N = ln(26/2) / ln(1.1) ; . . . simplifying

and so we have: N = 27 weeks!

Add onto that 2-3 weeks for a taper, plus a few weeks of rest and/or flakiness, and it means training starts ..... NOW!


Born to Run

No, not Bruce Springsteen, I'm talking about the Tarahumara in Mexico from the book Born to Run -- A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall. Half way done and loving it.

I strongly resonate with the book's key theme, that the human animal needs to run. (And by run, I extend the meaning to include any sort of substantial aerobic exercise.) Not only do we need it, but we should love it. We're wired to love it. A bunch of millennia ago, running was essential to our success as a species --eat or be eaten-- and nature has a way of making the important species-survival activities pleasurable. We're still good on one of them, procreating, but somehow the other one got lost along the way.

Or should I say, our society squashed it. Every kid loves to run. If you're a parent, you know this. First mobility is a few months of crawling, then eventually standing, followed by about a millisecond of walking, followed immediately by full-speed-ahead running. That lasts until about the middle of elementary school for almost all kids. But then something happens; running is no longer fun. Why? I don't know, but I speculate it has to do with how our society turns it into a competition. That innocent fund-raiser jog-a-thon at school? Clearly your child sees it as a competition -- how does it feel to not win? Or get last? Why would a kid like to run if it instills a sense of mediocrity or worse? Then there's Junior High PE class many kids emerge from that experience with joyous feelings about exercise? (Not to dis any PE teachers out there, but that's how it is for most kids.)

To be sure, plenty of adults get back in touch with their inner animal and take up running (or cycling, swimming, etc). Many will compete again, and almost all of them will not be winners, but age brings the wisdom and awareness to not equate self-worth with a placing in the local 10K fun run. I think the majority of adults who take up aerobic exercise generally stick with it for the long haul. They reestablish that connection between exercise and mental/physical well being. Unfortunately, they (we) represent a very small minority of the entire population.

I'm wandering here so let me wrap-up with one thought: If all people exercised and ate right, our world would be so incredibly better than it is today on all fronts. It's so obvious.


More Randoms...

Ever wonder what it costs to put on a bike race? Check this out.


I crack myself up... When I saw the picture below (Sunday Worlds ride getting lectured at by Officer Rodriguez) all I could think about is how funny it would be if all the cyclists had on kits that resembled the CHP uniform, complete with shiny badge, helmet, and glasses.


Next up: Figueroa Hillcimb TT (last of the SB Triple Crown) and Cal Poly SLO crit on a supposedly technical and topographically-challenging course. Both in the rain apparently.

Training Week -- 2/8 - 2/14

Some good threshold climbing, which is starting to feel really comfortable.

Mon: 1.5 hrs; OSM-PC-ECC; 40:41 to the intersection
Tue: 0; rain
Wed: 1 hr; OSM, tempo
Thu: 1.5 hr; OSM, 14:94
Fri: 0
Sat: 4 hr; to 2nd Casitas & back w/ Gina & co., climbed hard
Sun: 3 hr; Worlds, couple hard efforts

Total: 11 hours

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Clean the Pan, Dammit!

One day last week went like this: Gina got up at 4:40 AM, made lunches for herself and the kids, went to the gym to teach spinning, showered, and moved on to her real job helping important people with software problems. I got up at 7:00 AM, saw the kids off to school, then rode my bike for five hours, with a brief coffee stop in the middle. Next I ate lunch, read the paper, read email, and puttered around the garden until Gina got home in the afternoon. Pretty sure she made dinner that night and also did the dishes.

What's wrong with this picture?

Even a dense clod like me knows this isn't an acceptable scenario, even if Gina is too sweet to protest. I've been underemployed the last few weeks, and by "under", I mean I haven't worked a single billable hour of time. Not sure how long that will last, but as long as it does, I need to be more productive in other ways. Every homeowner has an infinite To-Do list of repairs, maintenance, and improvement tasks ...and ours is twice that long.

Gina reads my blog ...willingly in fact... so this is as good a place as any to make a promise: Every day I don't work, I will make substantive progress on some household-related task. As long as Gina's gonna bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan, well, at least I can help clean the pan.

What are the Odds?

Three flats in short succession last week. I finally got around to looking at the (second) one from Mothballs:

...and plucked out this chunk of wood:

What I'm wondering is, how exactly does one get a flat like this when riding on the pristine pavement at Research Park? And what are the odds I should get it? Figure around 20,000 laps had been completed in earlier races that day ...8.5 hours of racing, 1:20 per lap, 50 rider field size average. And somehow after all that, a little dagger-shaped piece of wood pops up straight and I ride over it. I can only laugh at the improbability!

Training Week - 2/1 - 2/7

Quite fatigued after last weekend, so I couldn't hit the intensity I was hoping for early in the week, but recovered enough to enjoy a nice climb on Saturday at threshold. Thinking I need to do more riding like that right now, improving aerobic power and such. But really, it just feels so good to get in that comfortably rhythmic climbing zone where the higher you go, the more world you see.

Mon: 1 hr; Recovery around Goleta and Hope Ranch
Tue: 5 hr; Past Carp, return through hills + lunchtime sufferfest
Wed: 2.5 hr; OSM-PC-La Cumbre peak; tempo climb
Thu: 1 hr; OSM easy
Fri: 0; Rain
Sat: 2 hr; Hill Climb TT, PC-La Cumbre peak (50:08)
Sun: 3 hr; Worlds, sat in the back, tired

Total: 14.5 hours

Saturday, February 06, 2010

OSM from Another Perspective

Wow! View full-screen to fully appreciate. Thanks Jane for finding this.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Jim Rogers 1957-2010

It's with sadness that I learned today of the passing of Jim Rogers. He was struck from behind by a car and killed while out on a ride Sunday near Auburn, CA.

Jim was one of the best bike racers in Northern California when I was just entering the sport as a young teenager. Despite his lofty status (in my eyes) he was very humble and kind, always ready to offer a helping hand or bit of friendly advice to a dorky newbie (me). I've had no contact with him since those days, but from what I read here, it seems he continued to be a wonderful person and a pillar in his local cycling community.

I took the above picture of Jim as he rode in the Senior (Elite) Road Race National Championships. I have no idea of his result that day, but I do remember one funny story. The junior race had just finished, and Greg LeMond had been beaten in a sprint by Jeff Bradley. Jim and a few others were standing near Greg when he ripped off his numbers and threw them in a garbage can with disgust at getting 2nd place. (Greg had worn the #1 indicating he was the reigning champ entering the race.) Jim cracked a little smile and went over and dug those numbers out of the garbage. I wonder if he kept them all these years.


Monday, February 01, 2010

Poor College Kids RR & Mothballs Crit 2010

Normally, I'd twiddle away a few hours on a Monday writing a blog post about the weekend races and sneaking in a recovery ride before my weekly business meeting. (Not sure which should be higher priority among those three things...)

But, with much rain on the way later this week, I cannot sacrifice the time for carefully crafted scribbling, so you're gonna get a blast of brief bullets and a few random pictures.

Poor College Kids RR

* First off, congratulations to a great group of "kids" from UCSB for putting on such a nice race. I hope they realize how much their effort is appreciated, and what a good job they did.

* P/1/2: Platinum had the largest team and so we immediately went on the offensive with Ben "The Hammer" Haldeman taking off from the gun in this two-lap 67-mile race. We adequately annoyed the rest of the chasing field (about 40 riders) allowing Ben to reach a couple minute lead. After 20 miles or so, ex-Platinum C-Walk got clear with Chesta-san along in tow and they bridged up to Ben. A little oopsy in the turn around took out Chester, so a fatigued Ben spent most of the second lap alone with the fresher Vampy, who eventually got clear on the hills heading back to the finish. Congrats to a strong Chris for the win. Meanwhile Matt had gotten clear and made it up to Ben with several other riders, including an inspired Craig Nunes from SLO and always-aggressive Mark Shimahara. A km out from the finish, Craig surged and only Mark could match him and they finished 2nd and 3rd, with Matt and Ben close behind for 4th and 5th. Gary D'Velo came in 9th surround by pros and such, and the rest of us Cookie, Adrian, HeyRon, and me rolled in clustered around 20th.

* Masters races: KK won the 55+, solo, and Platinum had Kim Bleth and Jon Miller in the field. Dave Worthington won the 45+, solo, from a strong field. The 35+ looked like a real war, with the first 3-4 riders coming in solo after hand-to-hand combat (Rudy Napolitano won, DeMarchi 2nd; Mark Noble 3rd). Jamie Paolinetti won the field sprint, and that was the only decent picture I took:

* Women 3/4 -- Awesome race by Chicken Ranchers Susie Willett and Jane Faulkner for going 1st and 2nd!! This, even after Jane had to bridge back up to the front after the hill. So cool.

Mothballs crit

* Masters 45+: So fun to have a large group of teammates to race with. We were active early and often, and worked well together. I had hoped to be fresh near the end and help keep our sprinters up front, but when a nice move by Chris Black and Tom Anhalt got caught, I had to counter. (You've got to attack after a teammate gets caught!) So I shot my wad for a few laps and was no help in the finale. It turned out that HeyRon and Choo-choo stayed up front just fine and sprinted to 5th and 8th among some very fast and accomplished company (Glenon 1st; John Walsh 2nd; Dave Lettieri 3rd; Peter Sullivan 4th).

* Masters 35+: More powerful riding by Platinum with Cookie in almost every move of the race, and still he and Gary drove the final couple laps to keep Keith in nice position to sprint for 3rd. DeMarchi won a close one.

Brian leading a split in 35+:

Final sprint in 35+:
As always, click on the pics for a larger view.

* Junior 16-17: Are we seeing a juniors revival in bike racing? The fields are getting bigger and they are racing fast and smart. Local boy Taylor Clements got himself out there and looked great getting 2nd: front of a quality field:

...Echelon junior Ben Barthel rode strong:

* Also notable, Taylor's brother Tosh got 3rd at Mothballs and 6th at PCKRR in the cat 5s in his first-ever weekend of racing. Nice start!!

* Mothballs p/1/2/3: For this one, I'm going to steal Adrian Gerrits race report to the team list. Hopefully his copyright lawyers won't come after me!
Team Platinum lined up for the 75 minute crit along side notable pros Rashaan Bahati, Hilton Clarke and Cody O'reilly. Our plan was to try to cover moves with two guys and make aggressive attacks to get a break going so we didn't end up trying to outsprint the aforementioned riders. The plan went very well. We had a couple of riders at the front at all times covering attacks and blocking for teammates. At one point or another I think most of the team was in a some sort of break. Dubberley covered some good moves and started a couple of breaks, Chester, Ben, Mark and Gary were always up there covering moves as well. The rest of the guys were doing a superb job of keeping the pack in control. With about 20 minutes left, I made an attack after the first corner and before I knew it, 4 other guys including Clarke were hammering away. I was pretty shot but managed to hang on and do my share in the break. We managed to get 30 seconds on the field and I got 5th out of 5...I'll work on not getting last next time. Good race guys. Thanks for the write-up, Adrian.

I was disappointed to flat with 5 or 6 laps left because I felt good and would have liked to help one of our sprinters get in good position. My second flat of the day on brand new tires! But until then, the race was a blast. I even had Hilton Clarke on my wheel once or twice ...obviously he feared my speed. Haha.

Dang, even that took too long. Now it's time to ride. Later I will add more pictures perhaps, or maybe they'll go on Facebook ...I'm a spaz at this 21st-century computer stuff.

Oh, I forgot... some links for other peoples race pictures (much better than mine):

From John Goodman

From Michael Krauchi


OK, I'm sure soon enough that results will be on scnca and SoCalCycling, but since they're not posted yet, I'll put put these up temporarily. Click to enlarge for reading. Sorry I didn't get them all, but I had a camera fail (or brain fail more likely...)

PCK RR results (partial):

Mothballs results (partial):

Training Week -- 1/25 - 1/31

Yay, racing has started! That's what it's all about.

Mon: 0
Tue: 1 hr; OSM, 16:50
Wed: 3.5 hr; Solvang loop, good tempo ride with Ben
Thu: 1 hr; OSM, 15:51 ...finally!
Fri: 0
Sat: 3 hr; Poor College Kids RR, p12
Sun: 2.5 hr; Mothballs, 45+ & p123 & warm-up/cool-down

Total: 11 hours