An Open Letter to Elden Nelson Part 3: Calling you IN

Dear Elden,

I am going to be serious today, because well that is where I am.

You know that I have been writing some smack talk about Boggs. And you know that, that was all in good fun. (And I know that you know that was all in good fun.)

You also know that my fall and winter have been long and difficult. It started with being away from home for the year on sabbatical. While that should be a fun time, its hard to be away for extended periods of time from the people who are important. During the fall things became complicated with family medical problems. My uncle was diagnosed with cancer and passed in the fall. That was followed with more sabbatical traveling this winter and more being away from home. All that is to say, it’s been difficult to find the motivation to train and look forward to the spring.

About a month ago we had a second serious medical issue come up, this time with my mom. It looked bad, very bad. For about a month we didn’t know what was going on or how things would turn out. What little motivation I had kind of went out the door with just trying to get through the day to day grind.

Last week two things happened, both on the same day.

We talked a little bit off line about making a fun bet and you didn’t want to bet against any Friends of Fatty. You said you wanted to go to Boggs and cheer for all of us.

The other thing that happened is that we got word on what was really going on with my mom. We got some good advice from a doctor my wife works with and we were able to figure out the real problem. It turns out we hit a “best case scenario” and everything is going to be just fine. Now we are facing antibiotics instead of surgery, chemo and radiation. Yeah, best case there. And really a weight lifted.

I am really excited to go to California to ride in a couple of weeks. I get to travel to the West Coast and ride with an East Coast friend Jeff (who won the trip to race Boggs). I raced one year with Jeff at the Tour of the Battenkill. While that is the one race I truely hated and will never ever ride again, Jeff and I have kept up the friendship. I also get to go and ride with two West Coast friends who I met through your blog, Dave and David. I met both for the first time when I went to Davis to ride Live Strong. I remember meeting the Thompson Clan and hearing about Rob and the bike Dave built for him and Rob to ride together on. David has been bugging me to come ride in CA with him almost daily since then. So this is the chance to do that. (And to bug him hourly about some writing assignment that he has yet to finish. I think you may want to join me in that.) I get to meet Levi and to ride with you (with oxygen included this time). So yeah, I am looking forward to the trip. Its a chance to relax, race and more importantly to remember that bikes, even at races, are about riding with people.

I am officially calling you “In” instead of “Out”. I’ll bring the guacamole, you bring the brats. We can both bring bottles of Carborocket and pass them to each other as we race.

Doug

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