#So #much #content

If you don’t want to read what I have to say about my bicycle riding (which is Very Important Stuff) you should go read some other blog that is less masturbatory (does such a thing exist???).

Anyway, last week was crap because it was sales meeting at work (GUYS LOOK AT THESE BOOTS, RYAN HELP US FIGURE OUT HOW TO SELL THESE BOOTS) and then I announced/quarter-promoted Exeter on Tuesday night and other things so I didn’t ride.

This Thursday is the 200 on 100 (for real this time, on route 100), and the last time I did a ride of this magnitude I was in substantially better shape.

For example, going in to the first ride (in 2011), I had ridden 5611 miles (297 hours). This year, I’ve ridden 1646 miles (217 hours, because my whole winter was spent on the trainer playing Gran Turismo 3). My longest ride in 2015 has been 69 miles (awww yeah), usually I’ve done a few 100+ mile rides by this time of the year. I only have 90 minutes of fitness in me (see: where I exploded at Sunapee and Purgatory, and oh yeah that time I got SUPER COLD and things got FUZZY at the 90 minute point of the Exeter Ride).

WHAT I’M GETTING AT is that there is a good chance that somewhere around the midway point of the ride this year I am going to single-handedly increase the price of balls in Vermont because I will be tripping all the balls. There will be no more balls to trip.

If you are a fan of me looking exhausted, then YOU MY FRIEND are in for a treat! Because yeah I’m gonna be real tired from all the pedaling.

However, I am mentally stronger than any of the fuckers on this ride, so there’s no doubt I’m going to finish the ride as, if I have to, I will do so through sheer force of will. As it is only a bike ride. Though I will be tired.

You should come do the bike ride! Just meet us at the North Troy, VT border crossing at 6 am. Or just see us somewhere along Route 100 on Thursday. We will be the three or more people on bikes, I will be the one with a beard screaming obscenities.

AND THEN if that wasn’t enough of a “fun time” on Sunday I’m gonna do my first mountain bike race since 2006 (Pretty sure there is a blog post in a WordPress database backup about that race) at Gnar Weasels,  because Colin is my friend and I like to give my friends gifts. In this case the gift is “reading my blog post after the race”.

I have been mountain biking a bit in Hampstead, so I am approaching the race as “a mountain bike ride in Rhode Island I paid $25 to do”. And it will probably be fun, and Paully will be there too and he will be equally miserable and then he and I will conspire to make Colin’s 2015 Gloucester as terrible as possible (aka not playing “Battleflag” in the Elite race).

Oh holy crap a blog post about a bicycle race

FIRST: PLAYLISTS.
– Women
– Men

WHAT????

It’s Friday, and the bicycle race in question was on Tuesday, so at least this isn’t timely or anything.

SO HERE’S THE RUN DOWN of what happened leading up to the race, and the race itself. If you’re a friend of mine I’ve probably told you these tales through many Google Chat conversations, or maybe you could piece it together from Twitter like assembling really boring Dead Sea Scrolls. I’m writing this run down because Drew is just now getting good at using the Internet, and he uses exclamation points way to much.

Drew and I have been involved with the race since we were in college, as it supports a scholarship at UNH and was previously promoted by Ed Spuler, former UNH coach and fan of Eddie B’s cycling tactics. We’ve worked at the race, raced the race, announced the race and I even sponsored the race one time.

This year, Ed wasn’t able to handle promoting it, and Drew really only took over promoting it in mid-April. I was unable to help with any of the actual “work” of promoting the race – getting sponsors together, finding hay bales (thanks Dodge’s Agway!), putting up fliers, getting city and USAC permits, getting volunteers, getting the worst of the potholes fixed, getting fencing, all the other shit that’s needed to run a bike race – basically I was just Drew’s good-looking friend who couldn’t commit to anything other than shouting on Twitter, sending some emails and reminding him that he is a wonderful man.

(This last paragraph is in here because I think a lot of people didn’t know that Drew essentially did everything by himself. It was a tremendous amount of work, and he managed to do it all without choking me.)

Early on we decided it was important to have a women’s race with equal prize money, and Drew expected 25 racers in that field – because that’s roughly what is reasonable to expect from a women’s field in New England. Colonial Bicycle Co. came on board pretty early as the title sponsor of the women’s race, Exeter Cycles sponsored the men’s race, and WE WERE OFF with a high likelihood of the race not making negative dollars (positive dollars go to the Barrow/Bogart scholarship at UNH). Also Todd Rowell was a sponsor (seriously).

NHPR did a little story about the equal prize money, and it’s awesome to hear there will be equal prize money at Portsmouth!

Soooo fast forward to race day. 40 something women pre-registered (holy crap). There were a couple of day-ofs, so we had a women’s field of 50 (holy crap)!

HEY OTHER RACE PROMOTERS IN NEW ENGLAND – you can have a big women’s field. It’s possible. Some things that worked in our favor:

  • Equal prize money. Doesn’t really cost that much to do, but it shows that you’re committed to the event, and that you do actually take it seriously.
  • It was a women’s open, so if you’re doing a Women’s 1/2 your numbers will obviously be different. I think a Pro/1/2/3 is a good way to go to keep numbers healthy. Also, the women’s race winner was a Cat 3, and with the few opportunities to get upgrade points, there are a good number of strong Cat 3 women that wouldn’t be around to animate the race if it was a Pro/1/2.
  • I politely emailed friends who are women racers, or are on teams with women racers, and said something along the lines of “We are absolutely not going to cancel the women’s race – this is not this kind of email. I just want to say that if you’re on the fence about racing, if you could make it out to our race (with equal payout), that would be totally awesome!”.
    • I used to be a big fan of the “HEY BUTT HEADS PRE REGISTER FOR THE RACE OR ELSE YOU ARE A BUTT HEAD” school of thought, but JD said “hey try not doing that”, and he was right.
    • So what I guess I’m saying here is do not make the women’s field contingent upon registration numbers, but do try some polite encouragement/reminders that aren’t BikeReg auto emails.
  • It is part of Crit Week, so people are stoked on racing anyway.
  • I took playlist requests. Most of the playlist for the Women’s race was requests.

I was announcing, Alan Cote (of Longsjo/New England Crit Week/Announcing sans Sonic references) joined me which was great because this was the least prepared I have ever been for announcing a race. Probably because this week was Sales Meeting at work, I was spending time helping Drew (NOT THAT MUCH TIME BECAUSE SCREW YOU DREW) with final things, and a third excuse.

(oh shit I just realized I didn’t have the NBA Jam soundboard at the race what the hell ryan your shit was not tight)

The women’s race was friggin AWESOME. Gabby Durrin came out and took a bunch of the early primes. There were a LOT of primes – probably $500 up for grabs in the women’s race. People were also just walking up to me and handing me money to give out as primes. We had a problem because there were TOO MANY PRIMES.

It was very active, not much “big bunch” riding – field was strung for most of the race.

Then Gabby and Becca Fahringer got off the front in some business, Becca took a $100 prime out of that move and then ground her way off the front to take a solo win!

The men’s race had 105 riders, and about halfway through Connor Jennings (TEAMMATE), Bobby Bailey and Cole Archambault got off the front and did a bunch of impromptu teamwork to stay away and take a ton of primes. Bobby won out of the group, with Cole in second and Connor in third.

This poorly written race recap was pretty pointless. You should scroll through the @exeterclassic timeline to see the fantastic live tweeting by @necyclingexpert.

Some how the Exeter Running Club was at the race and helped us marshal and take down hay bales? We had a lot of great volunteers.

This post isn’t supposed to serve as a recap/thank you post, so, um, yeah, sorry I guess? I don’t know, I don’t really blog any more. Also I haven’t had any lunch today.

I sent out a survey about the race, and have already gotten some great feedback (which echoed what I knew we needed to do for next year). Now that Drew and I know we’ll be promoting the race with a bit more lead time, things will be better planned and his blood pressure will be healthier. Also I can actually help him on it as my life is less chaotic now than it was three months ago.

Okay thanks for coming to the bike race.

A thing I thought of about doctors

Amongst your coworkers, there are people who:

  • suck at their job
  • are competent at their job
  • are great at their job

So when you are working on something, you may be working with someone who sucks (“gah frig”), who is competent (“okay, this is fine”) or who is great (“BOOYAH I DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING CAPT GENIUS PANTS HAS IT UNDER CONTROL”).

Doctors are just people at work. Some suck, most are competent, very few are great. So when a doctor tells you something, just pretend it is coming from a shitty or AT BEST mediocre coworker, and then react as you would normally (calling them useless? getting a second look from someone else who is actually good at their job?) to a coworker – and don’t automatically assume that just because they have the training that they are good at their job. Plenty of MBTA bus drivers have training, but a whole lot of them are terrible at driving a bus.

The kids

They keep (or, maybe they just had one but my memory is bad and I think they had more) having workshops and seminars about how to manage millennials at work – aka “break these kids spirits and fit them into the corporate form”.

This came up in a meeting with my team at work, and my boss (or someone) pointed out that it’s silly that corporate is trying to make the new workforce fit what it needs, instead of adapting to what the workforce has to offer. Though it is good for people to get a little more “corporate” as they become adults…I’d also argue that some corporate mentalities are just there because “it’s how we do things”.

It’s also funny that the office “problems” with millennials – always expecting praise, everyone gets a trophy, etc – are a product of the way they were raised, how society at that time said they should be raised. And that parenting/societal mindset was created by the same generation of the corporate leadership. So when higher-ups are all “friggin millennials! what the crap!”, do they not realize it’s basically their kids that they are hiring, kids who are a result of the parenting strategies of the previous 25 or so years? (obviously they don’t)

[obligatory snapchat/emoji “joke” that i’ve made a thousand times]

You guys can’t see the numbers but they’re…really bad numbers

Because the weather is shit and my legs are shit and I want to un-shit them before I race Sunday, I’ve ridden the trainer at work for the last two days. I did this a lot over the winter, too.

Anyway, it wasn’t until today that I realized the trainer is pretty quiet (compared to the general din of the fitness center TVs blaring HGTV show designed to trick people into buying homes to keep their advertisers in business why yes this is a tin foil hat), so when I am flogging myself during some interval, sweating all over the fucking place and trying to pull in air through my big dumb mouth, people probably just think “damn, that guy sure looks like he’s dying but he’s just…pedaling a bike…inside…okay”

Hello, Internet

For some reason today (well, tonight, for like fifteen minutes) I had this grand plan of nuking this website and making a new one to reflect the different person I am right now – a person whose web publishing activity has changed almost as much due life circumstances as changes in web 2.0 internet technologies (tcp/ip, nasdaq, intel, http, ram, itt tech, etc).

So my plan involved some new site and some other such shit, and in this fifteen minute fantasy I though I’d share with the world all of the things that I’ve found interesting in the one year I’ve just spent hanging out with a new human being, and the very special anger I have towards basically everything and every one, and maybe some stuff about bike racing because that’s why so many of you are here (anyone here? maybe? fuck it, I don’t need an audience to shout nonsense, I will yell nonsense into the void goddamnit).

Tomorrow will be the 30th anniversary of my mother squeezing me out of her vagina, which means tonight is the last night of my 20s, which also means today I reflected on the experiences of my 20s, which is the decade that modern Americans have crazy growth and go from idiotic post-teens to idiotic proto-adults. The early parts of this decade of existence were focused mostly on consuming alcohol and ignoring responsibilities, the middle part on learning how to not be an asshole, and the last part on saddling myself with responsibilities and trying to keep it together.

I didn’t remember what I did on my 20th birthday, so I checked an old localhost.sql file for this site (a back up from before I nuked the database because also in this decade I learned how to be a web developer – thanks coffee and Google and Colin) and there was nothing. But in my Lightroom library (migrated from iPhoto because iPhoto didn’t like the 25,000+ photos I had) I found photos of hanging out with high school friends, so that is what apparently happened.

I also had some grand idea to tie this all in to technology, and to this screenshot of Flickr, but I’m tired so I’m not going to try. Figure out some connection yourself.

The last photo I uploaded to Flickr was from 2011
The last photo I uploaded to Flickr was from 2011

Raika lives with Amanda’s mom, and the photos from July 13 were from three days or so before the 200 On 100, which was also the same day that I sold my car and became a member of a one car couple. Which lasted until this summer.

I’m not getting at anything here, sorry if you were expecting that.

I did fix it so I can post to this from my phone, so, um, hoooray? But it’s still on a site that I’m hosting so when I stop paying the bill BOOM everything is gone.

I’m talking an awful lot about the production of having a website right now, huh? I’ve had a website since 2002, I’M KIND OF A BIG DEAL. Pretty sure I wrote my website address in people’s yearbooks in high school – and that site still exists, with a link to this one, so perhaps Jenna Robb will find me and we WILL BE FRIENDS!!!!

Thoughts I had on the trainer

I posted some of these on Twitter already on Thursday. But then my site was being dumb and I wasn’t able to post them on this here blog BUT HERE THEY AREEEEE.

1. Take the live power data from road races (like upcoming classics), send it to the CLOUD (?????), then send it to your computrainer (via the CLOUD), and make your computrainer demand that you put out 650 watts for two minutes or something until you quit bike riding forever.

2. Enter into your Garmin (or maybe on Strava or Trainingpeaks or whatever) food kilojoule units, so you can see your ride in terms of “bags of BBQ potato chips”. Not that you should feel guilty about eating an entire bag of chips, but maybe this will make you feel better (need to talk to therapist about this one)?

3. A klaxon that goes off any time Tim Mitchell shifts down three gears, warning everyone to get ready to party or get out of the fucking way.

4. Shut up colin

“Choking on dicks forever”

I love this.

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 4.46.46 PM

I’ve started reading “Hark, a vagrant” after having followed Kate Beaton on Twitter for a while (she is at her best when she as at home in the Maritimes writing quick comics about her family), and it’s totally super.

You may also be thinking “Hey Ryan, this seems like a thing that you should be posting on your Tumblr!” (no, you are most certainly not thinking this, because who the hell thinks “this guy is posting this content on the wrong media platform”), that is because I think my Tumblr is cursed.

Selling crap on eBay, finding weird old Sega promo stuff

As the title says.

Over the last month or so I’ve been going through the bins of video games and other crap that I have in the barn, getting rid of things that I haven’t used in several years. Like Kolibri.

When I opened up the box, I found that it still contained a subscription card for Sega Visions (which I do recall having a subscription to at one point in my life), as well as this TOTALLY SWEET PAMPHLET FOR SEGA GEAR!!!!ryantkelly_2015-Feb-08 ryantkelly_2015-Feb-08 1

 

OH MY GOD I WANT A SLEEVELESS SONIC AND KNUCKLES DENIM JACKET!!!!!!

I should probably scan these at work (because nothing screams professionalism in an office than a man scanning a 20 year old Sega merchandise pamphlet) before they get mailed off to the lucky winner of the Kolibri auction on eBay.

NOTE: I bought Kolibri at some point after the 32X went bust, so the game was probably $10 at Electronics Boutique (in MY DAY, it was called ELECTRONICS BOUTIQUE). I think I’ve played it once or twice, it’s really weird and not that fun.

I checked eBay before I posted it to see what I should set for a Buy It Now price, and holy crap it’s going for at least $100 when it has the box and manual. Not worth hauling the damn thing around in a bin of other games for the last seven years, but interesting.

 

Answering my own question

(Updated with info on veteran racers)

Sunday morning, I shouted this out into the void of Twitter:

And with the magic of pyquery and putting additional loads on the road-results servers, I have somewhat of an answer!

I looked at the 2013 edition of the race. I basically grabbed the rider profile URL, and then grabbed the rider’s race history by year, and dumped that into a .csv file. It looked something like this:

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 11.42.41 AM

I wanted to see how many people were first time riders at Battenkill in 2013, and how many of them went on to race in 2013 and/or 2014.

(alternate version of the sentence above: A CYCLIST WHO LIKES EXCEL CHECKED OUT THE RACE HISTORY FOR THE TOUR OF THE BATTENKILL. WHAT HE DID NEXT WILL MAKE A FRIGGIN RAINBOW LAUNCH OUT OF YOUR SKULL)

I didn’t look at who upgraded, because that might take more time? Or something. But I guess I could. I was primarily focused with what first-time racers did in the rest of 2013 and in 2014. I looked at race results as far back as 2008 to determine who was “new” to bike racing.

2013 New Cat 5s:

  • Total Cat 5s: 584
  • Cat 5s whose first race was Battenkill: 212 (36% of total)

What those new 2013 Cat 5s did afterwards:

  • Did a non-Battenkill race: 89 (15% of total, 42% of new riders)
  • Only raced Battenkill :  123 (21% of total, 58% of new riders)
  • Raced something in 2014: 107 (18% of total, 50% of new riders)
  • Only did Battenkill in 2014:  69 (11% of total, 32% of new riders, 64% of those who only did Battenkill in 2013) (GIANT FRIGGIN ASTERISK – it’s early April, so I’ll check back later and see what happens with this)

What about “veteran” Cat 5s (people who had raced once before) in 2013?

Requested by “someone”

  • Veteran racers: 372 (64% of total)
  • Did a non-Battenkill race: 244 (42% of total, 66% of vets)
  • Only raced Battenkill: 128 (22% of total, 34% of vets)
  • Raced in 2014: 190 (33% of total, 51% of vets)

Veterans + Noobs in 2013:

  • Did a non-Battenkill race: 333 (57% of total)
  • Only raced Battenkill: 251 (43% of total)
  • Raced in 2014: 297 (51% of total)

2014 Cat 5s:

  • Total Cat 5s: 602
  • Cat 5s whose first race was Battenkill: 223 (37% of total)

WHAT DOES IT MEAN???

For 58% of the new Cat 5s in the 2013 race, Battenkill was their only race of the year (or, at least, the only race of the year that was on road-results, which is  kind enough to include most things that have results posted – training races, gran fondos, that sort of thing. So lots o’ events).

In 2013, that’s 123 Cat 5s that did one event and then hung up their license for the rest of the year. If were promoting an event and I wanted a ton of Cat 5s – or at least one race-field worth – I’d figure out how to reach out to those 123 dudes that didn’t race again. Get a booth in the expo area, have an airplane flying over the course towing a banner…something.

On the other side of the coin, maybe it’s good that 42% of first-timers went on to another race in 2013? I don’t know what the attrition rate of newcomers to cycling is, and where this falls in comparison to that.

Also, even though the 2014 cycling season is still very young in the Northeast, 50% of those people who were new to racing went on to do some race in 2014 – and it wasn’t limited to just Battenkill (64% just did Battenkill). Though it is clearly a majority.

It’s also interesting how close the percentages of new Cat 5s are between 2013 and 2014.

And over a third of the Cat 5 field was totally new to bike racing! That’s pretty cool, actually. Battenkill is an interesting event that scratches an itch that a lot of people have, and apparently it’s compelling enough to get so many new people out racing their bike.

So, to answer my question – roughly 50% of Cat 5s do other races.

UPDATE!!!!!!

I was asked to look at non-newbies who raced (which you’ll see the data on above).

More veteran riders did a non-Battenkill race in 2013 than new riders (66% vs 42%), and adding veterans into the mix certainly raised the percentage of riders who did a non-Battenkill event in 2013 (57%).

Even still, in 2013, there were 128 veteran racers who only raced Battenkill! So, yeah, spending money on that airplane towing a banner for your team isn’t that terrible of an idea.