Monday, November 22, 2010

From Hell's Heart I Stab at Thee

I must prepare myself for 2011 and the inevitable pain and suffering I will endure. And what better way to do that than with a little Stanglepacing? Well, Dear Reader, let me warn you that Stanglepacing is not the power building magic it is marketed as! Nay!

You see, the pushers of Stanglepacing forget to mention the inevitable Stanglecracking that will leave you limp and weak out in the middle of Snohomish. Nor do they mention the Stanglemares-- those night terrors that will grip your fevered mind leaving you begging for someone, anyone, to save you from his villainousness clutches.

On the otherhand, I will be faster next year.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mi Casa Su Casa

Cause we need a good laugh now and again. And this makes me laugh.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Summer Crits coming to a town near you

Look for the KR Masters Squad and Cupcake Royale Cupcake Garden at the highlights races near you. Or not near you if you are one of the 15 people who live outside Seattle. How weird!

Anyway, I will be reaching out to organizers to see how we can synergize us some cupcakes and kiddy races. Grow Sport Grow!

A full schedule for you

I was surprised by how many races are on the schedule next year. I am extra happy that there will be actual races in July & August as both Boston Harbor and Glenwood moved to August. Sadly for OldShell that means the Banner Forest Kermesse did not make the schedule cause I can only stress out about two races in a month but he'll survive. Or maybe promote it himself? Just suggesting.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Banner Forest Kermesse

Super Old Pilot Guy has come through with a new Kermesse course near Gig Harbor.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Seattle Kermesse

Anyone know a good kermesse route in the greater seattle area? Bothel is ok.

The first rule of ride club

Any interest out there in a 7:20 commuting group from SBUX Wedgewood (35th) to Redmond?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Why I have a hard time taking Nader seriously

I had the misfortune of hearing Ralph Nader speak about our corrupt two party system this weekend and it brought home, once again, why I have learned to hate Ralph Nader.

I don't deny all the good Nader has done as a consumer advocate. And while it's easy to blame him for the 2000 election (if Nader hadn't been on the ballot all those votes would gone to Gore!) but I am skeptical; most of Green Party supporter I have met either vote Democratic in the general or refuse to vote for either major party. My guess is that most 2000 Nader votes would have stayed home rather than vote for Gore.

The point of winning elections is to control the levers of Government so you can effect change you support or prevent change you don't like. Unless you can offer a viable alternative party that can win enough elections to create an influential voting bloc and be a real, viable election threat to major party candidates then denying Democrats electoral victory only ensures more conservative outcomes.

Nader isn't doing either. Instead, he's running around trying to deny presidential votes to Democratic candidates, complaining that Democrats are overly influenced by business while admitting that they are better than Republicans who are indistinguishable from business. He's supporting Green candidates in areas where the Democrats are actually liberal while doing nothing to build a national party or recruit candidates for the less glorious elected offices like the House or State Government. In other words, he talks a good game and invests a lot of time. But not in a way that actually will drive change.

The WSBA is the worst governing body except all the others

I am pretty unimpressed when people respond to critiques of bicycle racing with "you don't race" or "you aren't don't race enough/well enough" for me to care about your opinion. I think this is a lazy argument: most people who make the critiques do, in fact race or have raced and are still involved in the community. Otherwise they wouldn't even be in a position to make a critique to begin with. And the racing community is quite diverse, we all get older and with a few exceptions can't dedicate our lives to some ideal participation in the sport.

On the otherhand, I am sympathetic to frustration various members of the WSBA Board may feel about the relentless complaining. After all, while most of us have raced enough to actually have insight into racing, very few of us have actually put much effort into making the WSBA better. There are many reasons for this. I personally don't have the time; I could offer to help and I suspect that I could have a positive impact on how the WSBA operates but that impact would be weighed against long periods of time where I would not be able to do whatever job they gave me because I was busy with other stuff.

So, before you complain too loudly ask yourself if you would be willing to do the job and if you could do it better. And I don't mean could you improve some specific aspect of WSBA. If I where King I am 100% positive I could improve Masters turnout by 50% in two years. Great you say! But the flip side is I would do it by mandating one 35+ category and one 50+ category and implementing a minimum distance on all Cat 1/2 races. And I would probably ignore every single other important intiative. So, you know, maybe having me as King would be a bad idea.

On the otherhand, I do think that the WSBA could approach decision making in a slightly different manner that is percieved. Specifically, I see a lot of threads in various places about proposed changes to Masters races, WSBA taxes, BARR/State Championships that, as a stakeholder in the process, don't make sense to me. The reason is that I don't understand what the changes are trying to accomplish. My guess is that I am not the only one who feels this way.

My practical sugestion is for the WSBA to focus less time on making decisions and communicating them to stakeholders like myself. Instead, focus on identifying goals and communicating those. Then, let those who are interested in working on those goals offer their time and energy into creating workable solutions. In otherwards, define the what and then let people contribute the hows.

Obviously, there'll still be a lot of pet suggestions. You'll still get push back. But then you always will. But those of us who do have positive contibutions and a desire to help will know what the goal is, be able to identify areas where we have somethign to offer and have criteria for offering input and suggestions.

Just a thought. On the otherhand, maybe I should just g back to racing.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Our weird media narratives

My impression is that the media tends to look at the act of governing as a lead into the real important act: the elections (as opposed to being elected as the prelude to governing). This pairs with the observation that pundits and media seems to have little interest in policy and but a lot in the theater and drama around policy.

So maybe I am reading too much into today's Time's headline :
King County votes may tip scales in Murray's favor

Just above this you see the graphic showing Murray already leading and just below the lead graph reports she is ahead by 25,000 votes. Which would indicate that the scales tipped have already tipped in her favor. Is this just bad English (Martha?) or perhaps an indicator of the Times desire to keep the drama alive b making it sound like Murray is trailing?

Ronde Ohop for State Circuit Race Championship

I have submitted the Ronde Ohop for Masters State Circuit Race Championship. In general, I think the idea of a circuit race championship is kind of stupid because it isn't sufficiently different from the Road Race (it's not like we have a 120 RR Championship like they do in some places).

Given the popularity of cross and the relative homogenization of local racing I think this will do a lot to both bring new riders into cycling and balance out the type of racing. After all, we used to do these kind of races back in the day so it's not like they are that new.

So who is man/women enough to support me?

Double Standards or OIWRLY

To answer a question I was asked privately but am going to answer publically: no, on the surface it does not seem fair that Zirbel gets to race while Kenny doesn't.

So no, it's not Okay If We Really Like You.

Qualification I: I don't know enough about the Tour of Gruene to know if it's really a race or not. There's a grey area between Seward Park and the Rocket Ride and sometimes it's hard to know where an event falls if you're looking in from the outside. Caveat aside, it sure looks like a race, with riders sporting full on aero-gear and they obviously are scoring the thing.

Qualification II: There is a lot of misunderstanding about the ban on racing, even among those who should know better. The rule is not prescriptive in the sense that it describes races you can't do and by omission you can do the rest. Rather, describes what enforcement of the ban looks like. If you are banned they can enforce it at the event listed. And if you violate your ban they can extend the band but only enforce it at the events listed. The only matters if you want to race those events again and as a result want your ban to end.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Amazingly, the world is still here

Before everyone jumps off a bridge for fear of the great Republican Wave that just overwhelmed us let me remind everyone that this is election 2,034 in a series of Most Important Election Ever (tm).

Just as the Republicans survived 2008, the Democrats will rise again (likely in 2012). It's true that the economy probably won't improve, that extend & pretend will continue (although I am assured the house of cards that is MBS is about to implode) and you'll probably lose your job and/or fail to get a new one. But you know what, that was probably gonna happen anyway.

At least you still have your $15,000 race bike you got back when life was good and can race Seward Park with RoboIan and our team of trained Robolions.

PS: I promise to make fun of Tubbs more. Not Mrs. Tubbs. I like her. It's Mr. Tubb I am not so sure on. Discuss.