Monday, March 12, 2012

Life - The Day Before The 2012 Ris Van Bethel

I suppose the time to start the report on the promoter's side of the 2012 Ris Van Bethel is about 11:58 PM on Friday night. That's about the time that the Missus, after a second check, realized that her water broke. She leaned over me on the bed, nudging me awake.

"Honey, I think my water broke."

Instantly awake, although unable to see because I was squinting against the bright-to-me light in the room, I turned towards her voice.

"Did you do COAT?"

COAT is an acronym for what to check when you think your water broke - Color, Odor, Amount, Time.

I guess the child birth classes helped.

We packed our bags, which, ironically, we'd unpacked just days earlier. We had already been to the hospital for two days, the prior Thursday and Friday, because they thought they needed to induce. After a pretty stressful 30 hours or so they decided the kid wasn't ready. As friends in the know put it, he wanted to sit in just a bit longer.

That made for a very stressful first Bethel, but that's already in the past. For this one we thought we'd be clear. The doc had told us that they'd induce the day after the due date, March 19th, and we kind of took it for granted that that was when she'd have the baby.

Extremely late on March 9th little Koichi decided for us. He'd arrive just a touch earlier.

We got to the hospital about 12:40 AM.

"Hi, I'm having a baby, can I come in?"

The powers that be wanted to verify that the Missus's water had in fact broke. Unlike my idea of water breaking (until that point) it's basically a non-event. It's not like a huge water balloon popped, leaving everything in a two foot radius soaking wet. It's more like you left your bottle in your gear bag and it slow leaked into your clothes, finally getting the bottom of the bag a bit damp, something you discover only when you get home from the race.

"Daggummit, the bottle leaked Powerade everywhere."

At some point they did, indeed, confirm that the water had broken. In absence of an exploded water balloon, they did a simple check - see what's left inside. If the balloon was still full, it didn't break.

It was empty.

So they started to induce labor. For the second time.

I should point out about this time that we're both Cat 5 parents. We tried to be good. We spent time going to child birth classes ("COAT" etc), we went to a nursing class (no live models, but they do show videos and pictures), took a tour of the maternity ward, and went together for a bunch of ultrasounds and such. We read some books. We perused websites. The Missus showed me some graphic birth videos, knowing how squeamish I can be, and hoping that such previews would help prevent me from fainting when the little guy popped out.

But just like driving, sex, or even racing a bike, you simply cannot know until you do it.

Therefore we were and basically still are Cat 5 parents.

The Missus in the birthing room.

I have to admit this picture is from the prior visit, the week prior. We developed an afinity to that room so we requested it the second time we came to the hospital. They let us have the room, and we settled in like we were pros.

Before things got too crazy the Missus told me that if Koichi popped out earlier than later, with no complications (no c-section, no other weirdness), that I had to go to Bethel. There was a sense of finality in her proclamation.

In birthing class they said that you can't count what a woman in labor screams or yells because she gets a pass due to extenuating circumstances. For me, though, the Missus just said it in her normal voice.

I guess it counted.

During the birth process, after the doc arrives (they arrive late in the game, for those of you who don't know, like us at that time), the Missus asked him something we never asked before.

"How many babies have you delivered?"

His paused made me blurt out something.

"Don't tell me this is your second."

He laughed.

"5,000. Maybe 6,000."

Properly appeased we continued on. After some edited events (birth stuff is very biological and not really a public thing), Koichi popped out just before 10 AM.

I did not faint.

In fact, my first instinct was to reach out and catch his left arm, but without a sterile blue glove on my hand, I held back.

And the doc handled it for me.

I will say that I got to cut the umbilical cord (this is apparently a thing they do nowadays - it was news to me when the Missus mentioned it during one of our many birth talks months prior). It was touch and go since said cord was wrapped around Koichi's neck, but the doc, quick as a flash, clamped two clamps, jammed my hands in a third clamp (which ended up being scissors, not a clamp), and said, "You can cut now."

Everything focused into about two square inches. I could see the ends of the scissor-like clamps, the scissors I held, and the very thick (to me) cord.

A couple snips and it was done. We now had a son independent of our own bodies (her body, to be precise).

They cleaned up all the stuff you never knew about until you're in a birthing room, cleaned up the baby, swaddled him in they way only a Cat 1 nurse can swaddle a baby (swaddling is where they wrap the little tyke up like a buritto, the kid loves it for some reason), and handed him to the Missus.

Cat 1 swaddle.

I took pictures. The Missus's mom (MM?) took pictures. No helmet cam since no videos allowed, just pictures.

We moved to a maternity room (now that the Missus suddenly became a Mom), which meant me dragging all the computer stuff for Bethel over to another room.


Yeah. See, it was Saturday morning, barely, when we left for the hospital. And because the next Bethel was Sunday... yes, I grabbed the computer bag with the laptops (finishline and registration) and all the various electronics we use to try and make the Bethel Spring Series a good race.

Missus's bag, check. My bag, check. Bethel bag, check.
This was just after midnight March 10th.

So, once settled in the maternity room, early afternoon Saturday, the Missus and I had to have a little discussion.

"You should go to Bethel."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes. You should go. The baby will be fine here. My mom is here. You can come back Sunday."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes. Is everything ready? Did you get the spreadsheet done? Numbers?"
"Um... let me work on that."

My last shot of him before I left. He's about 6 hours old here.

I called my dad's house to let them know I'd be down in that area about 6:30 PM (it's a 1.5 hour drive down). As usual they wanted to meet up at Kazu, my dad's favorite Japanese restaurant, one that introduced our first nephew to the outside world (I think he was two days old when he first visited Kazu).

I headed home and packed the car with Bethel bins and hit the road.

On the way down the adrenaline of the day started to wear off. I'd gotten to bed about 10 or 10:30 the night before. I woke up basically at midnight, and other than an hour in the birthing room and maybe 30 or 45 minutes in birthing triage (where they checked balloon status), I'd been up since then.

I had to really focus on driving. I was a dad. I couldn't be careless. I called my dad's, told them that I couldn't make it to the restaurant, that I'd just head straight to the house. With three nephews living there they understood.

I got to the empty house (my childhood house - in fact we sleep in "my" room when we go there) and set up camp in the kitchen, plugging in the radios, finish line cameras, my helmet cam, laptops, cell phone, power meter, wireless broadband, and I don't know what else.

The family arrived home shortly after and I couldn't help but stay up a bit to tell the stories they already knew so well, the worries, the excitement, the wonder of birth.

I set the alarm for 5:15 the next morning, daylight savings robbing me and everyone else of an hour of sleep. I hoped adrenaline would help get me up. It'd be a long day, but at the end of it I'd be able to go back to the hospital and visit the Missus and the little tyke.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

2012 Ris Van Bethel - Results

Results here.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Life - SprinterDellaCasa Junior

So I can now reveal all the non-cycling stuff that I was thinking of from the latter part of 2010 until now.

Our son was born this morning, a little peanut at 5 pounds and 8 ounces.

The Missus insists I be at the race tomorrow. SDC Jr obliged with a quick and trouble-free birth, after a midnight wake up call.

I'll post more about it as I've been biting my proverbial tongue for a while, but for now I want to spend some time with Junior.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Racing - 2012 Ronde de Bethel

As race time approached I found myself getting nervous. I think this happens every year but this year I was already a bit jittery and so the upcoming race just amplified what was already there. This made me one nervous, twingy kind of guy.

I kitted up and rolled out, just in time to roll past everyone already lined up. This year I had some more expections than last, for two reasons. First I downgraded from Cat 2 to Cat 3. And second, I had a lot more teammates.

Last year's winner, Bryan H, had joined our team over the winter, bringing along with him a trusted lieutenant Jeff M. Together they added a huge amount of firepower and experience to the team. Combined with a number of notable upgrades (from Cat 4) and the already competent cast of Cat 3s, Expo could field a huge squad of riders.

But, with a field close to 100 riders, even Expo had hard time controlling things. Yes, they pulled things together. The field was just overwhelming in strength, riding along very quickly, instantly chasing moves, and as a whole just vacuuming up everything ahead of it.

I haven't been training much at all, doing I think one hour in the prior week, and not really training much for the last few months save a couple 8-10 hour weeks.

This became painfully obvious as I struggled to hold wheels on the hill.

It might have been a lack of warm up too, as SOC kept saying before the race, "I don't know how you do this." He warmed up with me, which consisted of wheeling our bikes outside Panificio Navona, throwing a leg over it, and soft pedaling for 20 seconds to the back of the lined up field.

Bryan H came up to me, asking me how I was feeling. I'd just pushed away the thought of dropping out, but I wasn't feeling much better, and I told him so.

"Don't worry, you'll come around. I have faith in you."

I did start to feel a little less terrible as the laps wore on. In reality I think what happened was that the other racers were starting to tire, and the hill became a bit easier for riders like me.

Vassos, a fellow racer and former Carpe Diem teammate from the mid 90s, rolled up next to me. He'd been living overseas for a few years.

"It's so good to be back. I've been reading your blog and your race reports and I really missed this place!"

It's good to have you back too.

Someone else rolled up to me, someone who'd watched me stress out earlier in the day.

"How are you feeling?"
"This is the most relaxed I've felt all day!"

Lance J, one of my faithful teammates from 2010, came up to me just before two laps to go. He looked over and asked me if I wanted to be moved up to the front.

"No, I don't know how I'm going to be."

And with that he eased.

I really wasn't sure how I was going to feel, and I didn't want to get brought to the front only to explode spectacularly and shoot backwards through the pack.

Then I started moving up anyway.

I rolled up to SOC, who was really intent on helping me set up for the finish. He knew my inclination to stay buried until the last moment, that I hated trying to maintain a front position for the last lap.

At the same time we needed to move up. Sitting 50 back wasn't going to help my chances any.

Going into the hill before the bell we were probably just holding that position. At Turn One we were probably 30 riders back.

We stayed there going into Turn Two, just behind Jeff.

SOC moved up on the inside, tried to drive forward a bit, and found himself blocked. He dropped back a bit, then moved up again on the backstretch. I could see his pedaling style change - he was really starting to drive the pedals, ready to make a huge effort to get through whatever hole appeared in front of him.

With so many riders in front of us, once again he couldn't find a way through. I went left, seeking a gap, Jeff letting me in front of him, and moved forward inside the field.

Behind and to the right of me SOC ended up getting ridden into the curb. He hopped it, rode on the grass, and got back onto the road.

But I never saw any of that.

Bottom of the hill, just before the sprint.

I slipped into a gap between two riders, asked frantically to let me through, and then spurted through that gap. As we hit the bottom of the hill another gap opened to the right so I dove into that.

We streamed by someone sho0ting backward, squeezing a bit on the right shoulder. I got on the wheel of a TeaNY rider just as one of his teammates shot backwards past us, exploded from his leadout duties.

This brought me to the right curb, the only place I thought I could go as we hit the hill. The left side will never be clear in a big sprint, leaving only the right.

Right I went.

Starting the sprint, far left.
Picture courtesy Mobile Bici

Moving up but not enough. Bryan is center right.
Picture courtesy Mobile Bici

I managed to clear the bulk of the field, but a half dozen or so hovered just in front of me. I'd hit my peak already and, unfortunately, I wasn't gaining on them.

One guy did blow through, and he closed up to get something like 2nd or 4th, but the basic front group finished together.

I managed to snag an 8th.

That's 8th.
The power meter is saying 730-something watts.

I saw Bryan with his left fist up.

How the eff did he do that?

He'd timed his effort just right, basically stopping at the line. Other guys went streaming past just after, but he'd reached the line first.

I'd commented a long time ago on one of my own finishes, where I was going so slow at the line. I had to throw my bike to take the win. The others swamped me right after the line.

A salty veteran pointed out to me that it didn't matter who passed me after the line - it's what order we hit it that counted.

And so it was for Bryan.

I was fourth into the first turn after the race ended, so I was going too fast at the line. I need to start my sprint earlier.

For those of you interested in numbers, I only peaked at 1031 watts in the sprint, and I held below 650 watts for 22 seconds. It's a far cry from the summer, where a good sprint for me means 1000-1100 watts for 19 seconds.

After my paltry 650 watt effort I was absolutely maxed out as far as heart rate went.

I rolled into Panificio Navona, unpinned my 3-4 number, and, after a second and third thought, grabbed a vest. It'd obscure my number but I didn't think I'd be going too far in the P123s on my legs so scoring wouldn't matter much.

I had a GU, hid a Clif bar in my pocket, and took my first sip of water from my previously untouched waterbottle.

I rolled up next to SOC at the back of the field, waiting for the start. He looked positively miserable, shivering. I glanced over. He looked at me.

I gave him ten laps before he pulled out.

The P123s started off steady. With 46 laps ahead they weren't in any rush, and the temperature dropped what seemed like a degree every lap.

The day's, week's, month's events started to catch up with me. Suddenly I felt overwhelmingly tired. I couldn't think right, couldn't really focus. I didn't want to do anything.

My legs felt hollow, a steady low grade of pain but no bonking, no cramping, just this uneasy "not right" kind of thing.

I realized my day was over.

I moved towards the front, flying the colors, seeing if I could take a 100 meter pull for the boys before I dropped out.

Nothing doing.

I signaled at the bottom of the hill that I wanted to move right. The guy behind me told me to go ahead. I know he meant it politely, as a courtesy, but it was also maybe 10 laps into the race, and frankly it didn't matter.

I pulled to the right, kept moving right until I was clear of the field, and eased.

Dizzy, my breath catching once (that was new to me), I almost rode into the curb. I carefully made my way up the hill.

"DNF", I said to the officials as I rolled into the parking lot.

I sat down, without changing, and started working on the race stuff. I figured SOC would show up shortly and I could go over things with him. He took his time though, and I pictured him shivering in his car, trying to warm up.

He finally showed up, after the race. He was still shivering, still in his kit, and still had the "ten laps on his legs" look.

I looked at him, looked at the other racers milling around, and thought about it for a second.

"Did you finish the race?" I asked.

He nodded.

So much for that ten lap look.

With that I had to get back to registration duties.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Promoting - 2012 Ronde de Bethel

Yeppers. The beginning of the season, as far as I was concerned. With no Red Trolley in early February (in SoCal), my first race would be the Ronde. Not that Ronde, this Ronde.

I brought the van down a week earlier, the Missus following me in my car. We dropped off the van and headed back together in the car. Lucky for me, because I couldn't make it down in time for the Sweep Day sweep.

I did make it down a couple hours late (leaving the Missus behind, very unusual for the first Bethel), met up with some guys, discussed some of the aspects of running the race, and headed over to my dad's house.

Of course, without the Missus to gently remind me on things I forget, I showed up with no toothpaste, no toothbrush, no shampoo, no this, no that. Luckily the family hooked me up with what I needed, but I have to remember that for next time I need to bring all that stuff.

I was a bit more careful with my bike stuff - with limited space at the newly created Panificio Navona I can't store stuff onsite anymore - we go in with everything and we leave with everything. I had my gear bag, carefully packed, and my electronic stuff was socked away in my computer bag. Helmets (two of them), check. Helmet cam, check. Shoes, check.

For the race itself I had a stack of plastic bins, a couple for the start/finish line, the rest for the indoor registration tables. Laptops (one for each side), cameras (a new camera setup so we can pick every finisher), and a slew of cables.

I looked a few times and realized I bought a pair of HDMI cables (primary and backup) and, by accident, a second pair of HDMI cables instead of the powered 25' USB extension cables (again, primary and backup).

Throughout the day I kept chiding myself about the USB cable screw up - the guys doing the finish camera would have to pull the camera down each time they did a race. Not good, and it was my fault.

I set up camp on the kitchen table, recharging the radios, charging three Contour cameras (helmet cam plus two finish line cams), two laptops, my Sportsiiiis, and I forget what else. Oh, my phone.

I skipped my SRM, figuring I just charged the thing.

My dad came in a few times to see how I was doing. I think it was a bit perturbing to see half the kitchen table covered in cables, bins and computers.

Sunday arrived all too quickly. I was up at 5:15, dwaddled a bit, and got to the race only at 6:05 AM.

Unpacking for the race ahead.
Those tires are from a tire swap I did with a teammate.
Folding hand cart is nice.

Frank and his crew were already hard at work, setting up signs, getting our spot ready for us. I think a few racers got there within 20 minutes, before I even got everything out of the car.

From there the day just accelerated. With the warm weather, a canceled series in New Jersey (due to road construction), a crazy early morning race in New York (massive crashes), the racers flocked to Bethel.

Outdoor Sports Center was there for the day. Scott, one of the owners, was there, helping out, taking pictures, and basically soaked up the atmosphere.

Training wheels, with the race wheels in the bag behind.
The bars are still level. Heh.

With a lot of people seeing each other for the first time since the last races in August or September, it took a while to walk through to registration, with people pausing to say hi or catch up on the latest.

A new thing for 2012 are the Cat 5 clinics. I'm requiring them for every Cat 5, every week. Every rider will take the beginner clinic first, covering some boring stuff and setting some basic ground rules for racing in a group. After that we'll have a more interesting clinic each week, ones that cover more technique stuff and less safety stuff.

Any rider doing his first Series race will get to take a beginner clinic, regardless of the week. All others will get to do the "Clinic Du Jour", whatever that may cover that week.

I went out to the 50 riders waiting for the clinic, a bit late kitting up as I had to answer some questions just before. I could feel all the heads turning towards me, expectant, waiting for me to say something. I forgot what I said, but it was something I didn't plan on saying, it just sort of went out before I could stop it.

"You guys psyched??"

I went over the Chalk Talk bit, the "lecture" if you will. I went over the ideas of responsibility for yourself and your equipment. As part of it I talked about the concept of results versus "by the book". As an example I mentioned the idea of tightening stem bolts to spec but still having the handlebars move a bit.

Therefore, I said, you should check your bars, your levers, your stem, your saddle, and make sure they won't move if you hit a bump or something.

To demonstrate I yanked on my own bike's lever, tried to turn the bars back and forth, and loaded some weight on the hoods.

My bars slipped down.

After a moment's hesitation I looked up.

"So, um, you should make sure everything is tight."

I discretely checked the bars - they weren't moving any more so I could do the clinic on them, just carefully.

We rolled out to get used ton parallel riding, trying to keep gaps closed, and looking down to look back. After a couple laps we stopped to talk about pacelines, went back out, did some pacelines, and then everyone lined up.

I wanted to stay and watch and yell advice from the sidelines but after a lap some race thing pulled me away. After the races I got a lot of compliments on the clinic, that it was fun and educational and the humor (I don't think of myself as a humorous kind of guy) made it an enjoyable thing.

Score one success for 2012.

As the races played out Jonathan, running the camera, reported that they were working out great. You can see by the results that we were getting a lot of numbers, and we were getting them quickly. We had more delays just finding time to type them into the computer (which we were also using for registration) versus getting the actual results. For next week I hope to have a faster, more integrated system for getting results up.

Score another success for 2012.

I raced the 3-4s and P123s, but that's for the next post.

Afterward the girls and I worked on registration. I tried to think of all the things I forget about when I do this. The Missus is the expert, but she wasn't here. Arianna, one of the girls, is also an expert, but she wasn't here either. So it was me and Erin and Delaney working on it.

We finally finished up the (virtual) paperwork while other race folks (women, to be totally clear - when I tried my hand at it they had to do my work over again) cleaned the bathrooms. We had to do ours, but the other one was so bad they cleaned that one too.

I asked if there were things I could do for next week. I noticed the scattered, stacked numbers, something we deal with every year. A portable six drawer cabinet would work great to help organize this, and the girls concurred. I want to get a better set up for the folders too, but I think much of that will happen as a result of putting the various category stuff into the six drawers.

We ran out of pens because I forgot to tell the girls there were a few boxes of pens in one of the bins.

I thought about, and decided against, breaking out the release forms by category. With limited registration staff it would be hard to keep track of license and minor (Junior) signatures. So we'll stay with just one master list of releases.

A P123 racer, working with me on the overall and team GC spreadsheets, reminded me to send him data. I probably had a snarl on my face by that time (I was exhausted) but that was meant to be a smile and a thanks.

I thought about all the waivers I forgot to print before this race, mainly ones that were corrections and additions during Friday and Saturday. With no printer set up Saturday I couldn't print, and by the time we were set up Sunday we'd been slammed by racers, questions, and such. Next week I had to print the additional releases earlier.

With these notes and others in mind, we started packing up. We loaded up my car with everything, everyone pitching in. Frank sent us off with some baked goods, all the race staff rolling out at about the same time.

I called the Missus to let her know I was on my way home.

A very long hour and a half later, I rolled into the driveway. Snow sat everywhere on the lawn, I couldn't get into the right rear door because of snow. It felt a lot cooler, well below freezing, in the upper 20s. What a change from the almost balmy Bethel conditions just a few hours ago.

I hauled out the bins, a good eight or ten of them, laboriously dragging them into the house.

The Missus came out to give me a hug and a kiss. It'd been a long day for her too, and it was good to see her again. She helped with a few things, light ones, but otherwise let me handle the bins.

Home sweet home.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

2012 Ronde de Bethel - Results

Results are here.

I have no race reports, but if people can email or even post comments on their race experience (if you ask that I not make the comment public I'll delete it after I read it), I'll be able to piece together some stuff.Link

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Promoting - Bethel Spring Series Build Up

One lonesome Bethel Spring Series van.

It's been a long winter, and although I really like the picture above, it's been unseasonably warm. I heard, I think, that this winter was about 6 degrees warmer than usual. Or maybe it was 16 degrees. Whatever, it's been one of those winters that had I been 27 years old, I'd have put in massive miles in optimistic preparation for the season ahead.

That was then, this is now.

Things have been pretty hectic here, and, believe it or not, the race is the least of it. Still, though, the race is the race, and it's not like it's going to wait for whatever else happens. With that in mind I've spent the last three days cramming Bethel stuff whenever I had slivers of time in my "real" life.

Contrary to popular belief (heh), I don't live just to blog and do helmet cams, although I sometimes wish that was the case.

With the first race of the year, with the first year of racing for many racers, I get inundated with all sorts of basic questions. As a teammate pointed out to me, stuff that I (and maybe you) take for granted, it's foreign to a new racer.

Where do I register? Is there a parking area? Do I just show up? Do I need to bring anything? How long is the course? Where is it?

I saw all the standard questions and then some. It's all good. They're all standard, and I feel like there's got to be a way to address this in some reasonable manner. In other words I should include them in the Bethel Spring Series FAQ.

I often found myself typing an email (with a few more to respond to right after that one), texting someone on the phone, and trying to talk to someone sitting near me. In more than one instance I would be writing an email response to someone when said someone called me on the phone. Other times I'd be driving, texts rapidly rolling in, with no way of responding safely for an hour or two (and of course I was already trying to get somewhere quickly).

I don't think I was abrupt with anyone, well, except one guy. The Bethel Police Department called me while I was talking to someone else, and frankly I virtually hung up on the racer. If the PD are calling, I answer.

It was all good (they were confirming there'd be a police officer with a patrol car), I used Caller ID to call the guy back, and I got to answer his questions.

I've also seen all the standard mistakes. A typical one is when people register for the Series but they don't specify a category (or two). A related one is they register for the Series but select a race (to specify category). So that means they register for the Series, don't specify a Series race, and register for the first Cat 4 race (for the second time).

All this is confusing, right? It is to me, and I'm the promoter. So for 2013 one of my goals will be to clarify the registration process. The only person it really hurts is me, as I wade through the variety of errors, misunderstandings, etc.

Okay, there are some benefits - I could easily take all the extra registrations and call it a day, but I've been diligently refunding racers for their duplicate (and in one case, kind of triplicate) entries.

I worked on the spreadsheet two days ago (Thursday) at length, with more work Friday. I still have some things to fill out, data to find (or receive), and so I'll stop tonight with the spreadsheet only 90% done. Tomorrow we'll have to manually enter some stuff, but then we'll be set going forward.

Most of my work this year had to do with protecting the precious formulas in the spreadsheet, ones that calculate everything. I also wanted a flag to pop based on rider age (below 18 or above 44) so we could quickly see if a Masters 45+ was a Masters 45+ or if we needed a parental signature for a Junior racer.

Surprisingly there are a bunch of Juniors scattered through the various categories. If we can get another dozen Juniors to show up, they'll warrant their own race.

There is one major improvement this year. I finally have a way to get the overall calculated, at least at the individual level. The team thing still has some work but the individual, although I have to do some footwork, seems like a reality. This won't be in place for this week but I hope to have it there for the Ris Van Bethel on March 11th.

Today we had our Sweep Day in some miserable rainy conditions. I headed down after a surprisingly snowy last couple days. I wasn't optimistic to say the least.

Near home base, on the way to Sweep. That's Heublein Tower.

The rain dampened the turn out, but the trade off for getting wet?

An hour long Sweep Day.

By the end of the hour riders were walking along, picking up pebbles. I thought of aircraft carriers and FOD walks, where personnel look for foreign objects to prevent "Foreign Object Damage".

And then the sun came out.

"Look, the sun!"

And all was better at the course.

The beautiful results of Sweep Day. Incredible.

At that SOC, commander in chief of Sweep Day, called it done. The crew headed in to race supporter (we have registration in here) Panificio Navona for some pizza and coffee.

I managed to arrive just before the last of the crew left. I caught up with all the gossip, checked the course myself, and had some of the pizza and coffee before heading out.

My second stop (after picking up supplies for the race) was at major supporter Outdoor Sports Center, where I went over some of the race details with the folks there. They're providing a whole lotta cool stuff for the race, prizes and such. I'll have more on the Bethel Spring Series site as time goes on.

I'm working out of my car right now.

Okay, okay, I'm just kidding. It's parked in the driveway and I'm parked in the kitchen.

At the table.

Not eating.

Although that's what I seem to be doing a lot of lately.

Incidentally, parking in the driveway doesn't make sense. Why park in the driveway and drive in the parkway?


Yeah, I guess I'm about done for the day. It's been a really, really tough last few days, quite chaotic, and I can only hope that I didn't forget something for Bethel along the way.

I guess I find out tomorrow.

Anywho, this giddiness can only mean one thing.

But that's how it goes...

Millions of people...

Living as foes.


It's not too late...

To learn how to love

And to forget how to hate.


For some reason that song's been in my head recently.