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Aug. 15, 2007

People ask how the clavicle is. The clavicle is fine, I tell them, it's the rest of the body that has gone to shit.

I've been back on the bike for five weeks now, equal to the time I was off it, but I haven't been training well. I've been eating junk. I haven't gotten enough sleep.

Most of the sleep has been lost to the Web site, which has an endless to-do list. People have offered to help, but I want to keep it under tight control for now, and managing helpers would probably be more work than doing it all myself.

This weekend there were big, international-caliber races in Elk Grove. Because Ellen is still in Venezuela and thus not here to tell me go to bed, I stayed up until 2 a.m. each night editing photos and posts.

I could just dump my photos online, but I like to adjust each one individually and make sure they all have enough information to be useful. People don't realize how much labor goes into this. Taking pictures may not be easy, but at least it is not time-consuming. It usually takes only about 1/250th of a second. It's the post-capture production that kills a guy.

Fortunately I love what I'm doing, and the response from readers has made everything worth it.

Yesterday I took a half-day off work and went down to the practice crits in Matteson. I could tell the fitness was lacking and considered dropping out during the first two races. In the third race, however, I got in a three-man break that took off from the whistle.

There's nothing more beautiful than a successful breakaway. Andy from Clif Bar was in it, as was a kid from South Chicago Wheelmen whom Andy had told me was strong. Coincidentally, the last time I was at Matteson I was in a three-man break with Andy. He won that time, but afterward told me the secret to winning a three-up sprint. Here we were again -- and for the life of me I couldn't remember what he had said!

Sure enough I could only get second. Afterward he reminded me: Gap yourself and then start sprinting from off the back, thereby passing the others with too much speed to be caught. Of course!

Photo taken: Aug. 12, 2007