Tuesday, April 29, 2008

SF Entrepreneur Challenge

The SF Entrepreneur Challenge is a contests in another aspect of my life that I want to win. Getting voted to the finals will be my success metric. In order to win, I will need your support by voting me into the finals where I will get to present my business to the SF entrepreneur community and a great panel of judges who might be able to open some new opportunities.

Checkout my profile and help vote for me - http://community.sfentrepreneur.com/member/steve_pelaez

Thank you for your help!

Friday, April 25, 2008

April - Hi*Baller of the Month (Headwind Award)

In 2007, both my son, Payton and I raced Burlingame. He did the kids ride, came in last, but in style. He took his jolly time and soaked up all the cheers on the straightaway to the finishline. The photo above is from the Ryan's Ride Ad for 2008. It was a surprise to see his photo with the caption about the ice cream. It's actually appropriate. No kid enjoyed his ice cream more than Payton that day. He's a true Hi*Baller.

The Hi*Ballers for the Month of April are Shawn Hatfield and Jenny Oh. Shawn got a PR on his 200m tt (11.75 sec.). I think the coolest part about his PR was that he actually really enjoyed it. I know cuz I shared some beers with him that night and he said he wasn't thinking about tom. or a future goal. What mattered was that on this particular day, he hit his PR. He was living in the moment, a rare and special feeling. That's a great attitude. Jenny wins the women's award b/c she's a bad ass. She's always at the races and working towards finding improvements measured against her own standards rather than who she beats to the line. Ballers for sure! As part of the award I will be giving them each a $50 gift certificate, a cool Baller shirt, and a case of Hi*Ball energy drink.

Btw, instead of making the award a weekly contest, I think it's best to have a Hi*Baller of the Month. Who'll it be for May - I'm voting for Elliot Logan.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I was in a sales interview the other day and the VP of Sales asked me what is one of my weakness. This is one of those unnerving questions cause no one usually likes to talk about one's weakness. But I've learned that awareness of your shortcomings is definitely what helps you grow. My answer was simple. I think my weakness is that I want to Win everything I put my mind into - seriously.

Why is this a negative, right? In sales, it sometimes leads to win loss situations where the deal is no longer proftiable. In real estate, you end up paying too much for a property. Like today, Jenna and I were shopping for another investment property in SF. I was pretty luke warm on a property that my wife really likes. Then when I went back to see the property the 2nd time around, I saw all the potential that Jenna saw in the property. When this happened, a trip wire went off in my head, and I made up my mind that I wanted to Win this house. In SF, buying a house is cut throat competition and you have to overbid significantly to win a deal. When I overheard one other couple saying that they really like the house, I got all fired up. It just added fuel to my desire to win the house. I thought of telling them, "Sorry, you're going to lose, and I'm winning this house, whatever the price." Obviously, it's not advisable to invest this way. You need to find your walk away position. Otherwise, you'll lose your shirt.

In cycling this Winning attitude can easily become a negative for a number of reasons. First of, it's impossible to win all the races. In fact winning is a very difficult thing in cycling and wins are usually distributed to a select few. Moreover, I think there are times to burn the matches and when not to. I only have a limited number of bullets and when I use one up for a training race, then that's a wasted bullet. I did this before the LA world cup and dug a little too much at an early bird crit, where I tried to close a 30 sec. gap to a strong break of 8. I almost caught the break, but I dug myself a hole and was flat in LA. Finally, winning as an absolute thing like who crossed the line first, is the wrong way to look at bike racing. I've learned that it will leave you feeling empty and demoralized since as discussed above, the winning moments are few and far between. Better than absolute is to define your win. I was talking to Roman about this. As a pro for Healthnet, he defines his win in terms of how well he is progressing towards being a great team domestique and personally, if he's continuing to improve as viewed objectively by his coach and training data. How you define your wins can help you enjoy racing better.

This reframing and redefinition of what it means to win is a lesson I have to continually remind myself when I get on a bike. Believe me, everytime I get on a track bike I want to kick everyone's butt - right Warren? My chilled out demeanor belies an internal rage. I hate losing even if it's a training race and I'm grossly out of shape. I don't care about the excuses. So it's especially hard for me. But then, I'm reminded of my friend, Craig's story. Craig finished the Wildflower triathalon long course close to the bottom of his age group. On paper, he was 2+ hours down on the guy who crossed the line first. But to his friends and family, who knew that 5 months before Wildflower, he had undergone chemotherapy and radiation to batttle an aggresive lymphoma cancer, Craig was the Winner. But, if you only measure winning in absolute terms, then the guy who crossed the line first, won. However, if you defined winning as living and courage against the face of death, then my buddy Craig is a Winner.

In terms of the Headwind Award, look for each riders' silent evidence - the non obvious, the next time you want to observe a winner. Everyone has a story and I encourage you find it and share it to the track community.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Friday, April 18, 2008

No Country for Old Men

Actually, the Hellyer track IS a country for Old Men =). I think we have more successful masters racing compared to any other category. But that's not my point in talking about No Country For Old Men, a movie by the Coen Brothers based on the book by Cormac McCarthy.

When I first read the book, I'll be honest, I wasn't really a fan of it. There were unresolved conflicts, jumps in points of view, irregular punctuations. In short, it didn't make a lot sense to me. 6 months later, after reading books on risk, randomness, chaos theory (nonlinear), I finally understand what Cormac was saying in his book. The book is brilliantly original because it is written to reflects the unstructured randomness of life. Sh*t happens, and sometimes there's no rhyme or reason for it. It's hard for many of us to comprehend this since we're rational thinkers. We need an explanation even if there isn't one.

In cycling, when things don't go our way in a race, we second guess a lot of things we did to try to make sense of what happened. What went wrong in our training, what did we drink/eat, or not etc? We want a reason for the cause -a narrative fallacy. But life is not that simple or always controllable for that matter . Things happen and you just have to say brush it off. Beat it and bounce! Seriously, there's no sense second guessing yourself .
There's a lot of unstructured randomness in life and cycling, too.

I had a great conversation with Roman during our drive down to the track on Wednesday night. I brought up the idea of randomness and nonlinear progression to him. He's a really smart dude. And I have a lot of respect for what he's achieved, on and off the bike. He got his law degree from Hastings while he was racing as a pro for the top domestic cycling team, Healthnet. He was telling me a story about how he placed in the top 10 at the Sea Otter Road Race while riding for a small DIII pro team McGuire. At the time, Sea Otter was an NRC race and attracted a lot of the best pros. His ride was a break through result and caught the attention of some bigger pro teams. He re-calls thinking how he was flying. But then the following week at a much easier race with less competition, he got dropped at the Wente Road Race. He didn't even finish the race and drove home, bewildered. WTF? It didn't make sense why he had such a bad performance a week after a break through result. But then the following week, with no expectation at all, he won a difficult stage race back east.

When things don't go your way, just remember that progress is nonlinear. There's a lot of chaos and randomness that we can't account for or make sense of. But regardless, keep trying and it all works out in the end. Good luck racing this weekend!

Monday, April 14, 2008

HiBaller of the Week - April 7-14

Please submit your vote on the comments section and give your reason (if you want)! Anyone who is not a Cat 1 or District/National Champ is eligible for the award.

The weekly award is a 4 pack of HiBall + something else. Weekly votes count towards the overall prize of:

$250 cash minimum
$500 worth of HiBall products

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Mind of a Tiger - Great interview

When you hear him talk you can understand why he's the best. There's something in the way he thinks that sets him apart. I can't wait to watch the Masters and Paris Rubaix this Sunday. It's the best Sunday in sports!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Headwind Award presented by Hi*Ball

I read once that you should never dream like a bank manager, who assesses your worth based only on your REALIZED potential. The greater part of all of us is our UNREALIZED potential. Therefore, this award is for the male and female Hellyer Trackies who are trying to make the leap and breakthrough the winner's podium, but haven't yet done so. I personally want to encourage these riders to persist as they strive to achieve their goals. As I've finally realized, progress is nonlinear. A lot of times it seems there is nothing but a headwind, but keep trying, and never give up. Inevitably, you'll catch your tailwind. In the meantime, have a Hi*Ball-- it's good energy (way better than red bull).

Overall Prize:
  1. Cash award (minimum of $250 - max - tbd)
  2. Headwind Winner Jersey
  3. Cases of Hi*Ball Energy Drink ($500 value, enough drinks for a kick a@@ party)
  4. Schwag - Tires, Shirts, Caps, etc.
How it works:
There will be 1 Male and 1 Female winner for the season long contest. The season will run from April to August. The winners will be voted in by your Hellyer peers on a weekly basis. The overall winner will be the top male and female trackise who receive the most votes over the entire season. But, the weekly winners will be rewarded with a nice cold Hi*Ball 4 pack + other goodies.

This award is only for those who have not YET made the leap. Cat 1's, district, or national champions are NOT eligible. Let's give others a chance to win.

I hope everyone from Hellyer participates in this contest. I'll setup a weekly voting link on my blog every Thursday morning. Post your votes in the comments section by Sunday before the next weekly series race. I will keep track of all votes and will announce the weekly winners every Monday night on my blog and the Hellyer/NCVA google groups.

One last word:
This Award is for every person who keeps spinning his or her wheels against a headwind but is still dreaming of one day making the leap-- no matter what level. Winning is not simply about who crosses the finish line first. The victory line can be anything and for this award, it's for those who persist.