Thursday, December 29, 2011

Life - Home Work, Team Meeting, Promoting

There are cycling goals and there are just goals.

We're busy working on the house, basically doing maintenance and slight updates throughout the house. Our goals include updating the exterior lights, put in new flooring upstairs, put new paint in a couple rooms, complete a still-unused room upstairs, furnish the den (which is really a master bedroom suite with its own bathroom) into something more like an extra bedroom/guestroom, stuff like that.

(I also have this fantasy goal of putting in a floor splitting up our 2+ story high garage, one ideal for a bike workshop, slot car track setup, and whatever other space-eating hobby I might have. But this is a super long term goal.)

With the power outage in the Halloweeen storm I also need to get my act together on using our transfer switch. Instead of an extension cord into the house (and directly plugging in the fridge, microwave, and a few lights, not back-feeding the house), I need to put the correct generator back on the deck, use the new twist-lock cable to feed the secondary panel in the basement, and have a fully functional backup for the house.

In that little week-long HTFU experience, we also put in a window pellet stove, replacing a wall-mounted air conditioning unit we used for all of about 2 seconds (we tried said AC unit when we first moved in, it blew out leaves and debris, and I shut it off as fast as I could). It heats the house so well that we can't leave it on overnight. Although the fire department checked it out, it's still a bit precariously installed. We need to fix it in place, make it a bit more permanent.

Bella likes warm spots.
(She also camps out in front of the humidifier, which blows warm air.)

Recently SOC came over and helped out with installing flooring in that second upstairs bedroom. The Missus and I had struggled through finishing the hallway - it was quite exhausting for the both of us. She called in reinforcements and SOC and Mrs SOC responded.

It worked out well - I'd been thinking about this whole downgrade thing, about what makes racing fun, and I got to talk about it all with SOC. I basically left him stranded in 2011 when I upgraded out of the 3s - we rarely raced together, and when we did, it was so infrequent that we didn't work well together like we did the prior year. I hope that in 2012 we return to that fluency we had when we raced together in all our races.

Mrs SOC and the Missus caught up on all the news too. They made a supply run to pick up more flooring, and with the additional supplies SOC and I were able to finish up the second bedroom.

Last corner of flooring done, thanks to an emergency run by the Missuses (sp?).

Then it was off to the team meeting.

This was Expo's first meeting since the Salvage Cross race so it became as much a wrap up meeting of 2011 as well as a kick off meeting of 2012.

Teams vary so much in structure, goals, and formality that I've been working on a post trying to summarize the basic teams I've seen, but with Expo the structure's been simplified a bit from prior years.

This doesn't mean the team structure is worse, or that the team is suffering at all. In fact, I'd argue the team is stronger than ever.

I think it helps that our illustrious leader, David H, has gathered a good group of people. I had made an observation at the 'cross race about Expo - it seemed that we had a LOT of people there helping out.

At some point I turned to SOC and vocalized a thought that had just solidified in my head.

"You know how every club has one or two people who do everything? You know, the ones that do the clothing and get the sponsors and whatever? Like if they left the club would kind of fall apart? Well, I think that Expo is made up of all those doers. We're a club of doers. Even I feel like I don't do that much compared to other members, and I've felt in other clubs that I'm the only one doing anything."

I paused, thinking this one through.

"It's not how you motivate club members; it's how you select them. And David got together a good group of people."

I thought about it a bit more. It's possible that if David disappeared that the club would fall flat on its face, but I think that the people here are such that the club would still continue on.

Knowing that Expo has about 60 members, I was curious about how many showed up to help out. And, in fact, David revealed during the meeting that there were over 40 members present and helping.

Pretty cool.

We tried on fitting kits for the 2012 Expo kits, to be made by Verge (a favorite of mine). I reluctantly ordered size L jerseys, not size M, and size M shorts (which is what I've always worn for Verge).

I want to be down to about 160 when Bethel starts, but I hate building expectations. Therefore I ordered a kit for a 170-180 lbs me.


It's been a sprint to the end of December. With holidays, family stuff, some final bike race business stuff (called taxes), and trying to stay in touch with friends, our dance card has been very full.

The Missus and I will be traveling tomorrow to meet with our friends that help make Bethel the fun race it has become; we'll be discussing the 2012 Series. We want to go over procedures, we'll work on the finish line camera rig, and we'll brainstorm to see if there's anything we need to change for the 2012 Series.

Although this is the first time we're having such a formal meeting (normally it's been some emails and such), I guess this is one of those things that help make a good race a good race. There's a lot of thought, a bit of planning, and a core of people who give the event a solid foundation.

It's up to the racers to support the race; they should support it only if they think it's good.

9 weeks to the Bethel Spring Series. Can you believe it?

Yeah, I can't either.

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