Sunday, September 13, 2009

The monster wins again

We found out several months ago that a good friend of ours in Arizona had been diagnosed with a particularly nasty form of cancer.  Jeff and I last saw Doug at Interbike last year and it was shocking to think of the rapid changes we were hearing about in contrast to our last meeting with him.

Doug was hands-down, one of the nicest people I have ever been privileged to know.  Every time you saw him he would give you this crooked smile that was a true and genuine sign that he was happy to see you.  Doug had a remarkable way of making you feel like you were his best friend, even if you just barely knew him. 

Doug passed away earlier this week.  It was sudden and shocking.  To be honest, it hurts like hell knowing that Doug is no longer with us.  I do not ever espouse any religious or spiritual viewpoints, but I do sincerely and whole-heartedly hope that Doug is in a place that deserves him.

Every morning when I ride to work, I think about Doug.  I know that lots of others are doing the same and Doug will live on in our hearts and thoughts.

Monday, September 07, 2009

A few moments to spare

A month is a  long time to go without writing.  In the past month, school has started and since the beginning I have been hanging on for dear life.  I have felt inexplicably flat-footed so far; my sense of creativity has been massively blocked, but I think I might be peeking around it.

As for cycling, the past month has been pedal to the metal at the shop.  Floods of repairs and lots of business have made my absence from the trenches difficult for all of us.  An extra set of hands is always useful!  We have done lots of events, too, in an attempt to gauge where we are at in terms of the early cyclocross season.  I did my first mtn. bike race in I don't know how many years and felt like I would like to do some more of them in the near future.  Golden and Lara Cassady did the 50 mile Mountain Bike Marathon race at the National Whitewater Center in Charlotte as a relay team and came in 2nd place.  A great result that they both agreed could be improved upon.

The Lenoir Triathlon was Saturday.  Jeff and I provided tech support (which primarily consisted of installing handlebar plugs).  Chris the Fish, Shelly and Golden competed as a relay team and won both the coed and overall relay race, besting Team Manly Men by some 4 minutes.

Yesterday, I had to get out in the woods.  After working hard to get both Golden's and my 'cross bikes ready, a dirt road ride won out over a mountain bike ride.  Jeff called up Sunday morning and asked if we were down for a Maple Sally Rd. ride and thus we set out from Hard and Flossie Clark Park in Collettsville.  I must admit that Maple Sally Rd. has never really been my strong suit, so I always approach it with a tiny sense of trepidation.  However, yesterday I felt good - strong even, owing probably to the fact that for the first time I was riding Maple Sally in temperatures above 40 degrees and without bulky winter clothing.  It was a blast!  Golden enjoyed her new 'cross bike and Jeff had a good shake down ride on his new bike, as well.