* Please stop in over at Elden Nelson's (Fat Cyclist's) place and give the boy a kind word. His wife is going through some dark days right now in her fight with cancer, and as a good loyal husband, Fatty is suffering right there with her. They could use a kind message, and maybe a prayer too if you have it in you. Fatty has been kind to me and this blog, but even if he hadn't, I'd still ask you to go over there and leave some encouragement and good wishes.
* If you haven't read Kyle Jones' story - how he turned from racer into unhealthy fatboy into really sick dude, into a big boy you don't want to challenge on a fast course - you need to go read it. He has a pretty amazing story to tell, he tells it well, and the only way I could sum it up is, "Racing? Hell. He could be dead instead right now." Part 1 is here, Part 2 is here.
* Gwadz makes a pretty good point. If you are riding with music, you need to do it responsibly. I was in a big hurry to get home tonight because I had no lights and was stuck late at work so I was flat hammering chunks of the Cap Crescent (no reason not to do some interval work, just 'cuz I'm in a hurry). I was trying to be safe and believe I mostly was, but a couple people - solo riders - nearly crashed me out because they were zoned on the beautiful music. They just didn't seem to hear my "passing" and drifted left on me. One woman had on fairly large headphones, so I really shouted "on the left." Hearing something, she looked to her right and swerved left, pushing me into the grass. It's okay to ride with tunes as long as you preserve situational awareness. But that means you ride with just one earbud in, or you keep the volume so low that you can hear cars and shouting riders approaching.
* Finally I apologize to anybody I cut off (like an ass) on the Cap Crescent this morning. My handling is rusty after a week off the bike, not to mention my judgment. I could attribute it to the nice ankle-related drugs or the unusually heavy traffic, but the bottom line is I'm personally responsible and should have sussed out sooner that my usually impeccable depth perception wasn't working. Mechanical breakdowns are freebies, errors in judgment (particularly overestimating one's own abilities) are not. No, there weren't any truly close calls, but I passed closer to a couple people than I would normally want to do, and since I play Full Contact Cycling, I presume that means I was closer than they would like too. So if some fat Coppi buzzed you, Southbound this AM, particularly down near the G-town boathouse, I apologize and will try not to do it again.