Archive for April, 2008

My bicycle racing season started off pretty well and I felt that my training was going reasonably well. However, after a month of vacation and business travel, my most recent races have not gone well. Most recently I competed in the Devil’s Punchbowl Road Race (Masters Men 50+) on Saturday, April 26th, and the El Dorado Tuesday Twilight Training Series last night.

Now I’ll preface my lack of results at Devils Punchbowl by saying that after competing in two races at the Torrance Criterium on Sunday, April 20th, I did not ride at all until I got on my bike to warm up for the race. This was because of my Boston business trip. After my warm up I felt like I could have a good race. Unfortunately this was not the case. I got dropped on the first climb on the first lap! I was with a couple of other guys over the top of the climb and I worked with them on the big descent. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay with them on the false flat. I ended up finishing alone and was classified 31st out of 32 finishers. I am guessing that about 50 guys started the race.

I had a good (not great) training ride on Sunday and I was hoping for better things at Eldo on Tuesday. Well things didn’t go as hoped. I attacked once on the lap leading up to the second prime and for the first time in ages I couldn’t get back into the peloton when I got caught. I ended up sitting out a lap and then finished the race sitting at the back. Definitely not satisfying.

I’ll see how things go on Sunday at the Mark Reynolds Memorial San Luis Rey Road Race. I’ll then decide on whether or not to race the district road championships in Bakersfield. I hate to think this, but I’m not optimistic.

Boston Finally!

Posted: April 30, 2008 in Miscellaneous

I grew up on Long Island and went to college in upstate New York, but somehow, I never visited the “fair city” of Boston. Well that all changed when I got to attend the Lean Advancement Initiative (LAI) Annual Conference last week.

I had the opportunity to walk a good chunk of the Freedom Trail with a colleague and I took a number of photos (some of which may appear in an upcoming Photoblog post). The skyline and architecture of the city is impressive and the food — especially the stuffed lobster — was good.

The most amazing part of my trip was running into my oldest friend who is a pilot for American Airlines. I was unexpectedly on a flight from St. Louis to Boston as my Dallas to Boston flight got canceled. We were on an MD-80 and since I know that my friend flies that aircraft type, I generally peek in the cockpit to see if he is in there. Well getting on to the plane I wasn’t paying attention and forgot to look inside the cockpit. However, when I was deplaning I looked inside and guess what? Yes, Harris was the 1st Officer (right-hand seat).

So I ended up chatting with him coming off the airplane and we had dinner one night. I told him which flight I was taking out of Boston and he said that he would try to get that flight. Sure enough he was there. I got to watch him do some of his pre-flight stuff before I took my seat. It was all very cool. Between a good conference, a fun, first visit to Boston, and getting to fly with my friend as one of the pilots, this was one of the best and most memorable business trips that I have taken.

Glass on the Road

Posted: April 19, 2008 in Bicycling

I know that this sounds like a trivial subject but I believe that it is a symptom of something more insidious. Of course, I may just be paranoid.

Regardless, the has been an inordinate amount of glass on the roads in SoCal as of late. A couple of weeks ago, my club members had numerous flats on our Saturday Social Ride. Personally, I have been having to swerve around too many patches of freshly broken glass over the past month.

Why do people need to throw bottles out of their cars?

Back in the 1980s, California did not collect deposits on bottles and cans. My cycling friends and I supported the adoption of a state law to start collecting deposits and to establish recycling centers. Of course we supported the proposed law to help the environment, but we also supported it to try to decrease the amount of broken glass on the road.

The first proposition failed to pass in the land of propositions, but the second time it passed. When the law went into effect it really did seem to help. However, over time, the positive effects of the law seemed to diminish. Over the past 10 years or so, there seems to be a cycle of increasing and decreasing amounts of glass on the road. Unfortunately, this latest spate of broken glass seems worse than ever.

What does this mean? I’m not sure. It might be the economy. It might be a declining social consciousness. It might be that people are out to get cyclists. Who knows?

I’m not happy and I’m concerned about the core reason for all of the glass.

Catching Up

Posted: April 8, 2008 in Miscellaneous

Obviously I have not been a prolific blogger. As one of my self improvement projects, I have decided to spend 15 minutes per day (either during lunch at work or at night at home) writing something for this blog.

So with 15 minutes per day, six or seven days a week, my goal is to have three posts per week. I will try to have these post rotate through three topics, bicycling, Lean, and photography. Of course, I will reserve the right to have other topics that are topical or strike my fancy.

Part of why I haven’t been posting to this blog is because I have been posting to or lurking at several forums. But as has happened in the past with my forum experiences, things start to get stale for several reasons: repeating topics, member familiarity breeding contempt, too many “personal” problems, etc.

I also have seen that forums seem to follow this kind of anthropological evolution:

Tribe => Village => Town => City => Urban Blight

When a forum hits the Urban Blight phase, you start to see posts whose subject is essentially, “I’m Leaving.” If enough of the original members leave, the forum sometimes reverts back to the village or town phase where the cycle starts again.

So, as Urban Blight has started to creep in to yet another forum that I used to enjoy immensely, I will re-allocate some of my energies back to my blog. Oh, and I won’t create an “I’m Leaving” post on any of those forums. I’m not quite that dramatic.