A special guest post from Dr. Brad...
It's been more than two weeks without a posting here cafesupporters, perhaps an unprecedented pause in the past 26 months since our Flandria Café patron raised the bar with his more than 250 posts...
The silence is perplexing given the time of year and all the action in the Ardennes. Where's our targeted prose to help reconcile the seclusion of the Manxman since being dropped at La Primavera... the tardy arrival of form for last years’ spring giant Philippe Gilbert on the eve of Liege... and the early season carnage of the peloton – F. Cancellara at Flanders, Schleck and Sagan at Brabante Pijl, Leipheimer and Tony Martin blindsided by motorists while training? We've seen some fresh faces on the top step of the podium this week at Amstel (Gasparatto) and Fleche Wallone (J. Rodriguez) but no sharp Irish barbs as to the whereabouts of the Spaniards (Friere or Sanchez), the Luxembourgers (Schleck x 2), or the Norwegians (Bossan Hagen or Hushovd).
Understand I am writing this a few days after Fast Eddy dispensed a pain lesson out on the road to a few of us...charging south along the Taunton River into a 25 knot headwind (verified at NOAA), in time trial mode he dragged three of us for 5 miles as he torched along with a heart rate that barely topped 152...in another zone.
The 2012 slenderized Eddy was reaping the results of a 4 month mission to find this form circa-1983. Global warming has provided southern New England a winter devoid of snow - an alignment of the stars for training in these parts. Combined with a career adjustment a year ago that allows multi hour midday rides, my cell had been buzzing with midweek texts recounting new hill finds in Northern Rhode Island and weekly tallies of 18-20 hours in the saddle! A sub 152 lbs. physique has him impersonating a Columbian in the hills of Medellin. And our lion of the Flandria Café was eager to be unleashed for a revenge-fueled assault on Battenkill...
But a few days ago, Eddy had not touched his Flandria Café keyboard, and his red carbon Flandria frame has been resting for two weeks now. He'd had a different time trial to test him, a pain cave cycling cannot match. Eddy’s 84 year old father Tom...his first supporter...was suddenly blindsided by a large cerebral hemorrhage.
Riding, writing, and consulting were all set aside 10 days ago, as Eddy and his family concentrated on the uncharted vagaries of a major neurologic brain injury. Somehow the cycling gods were looking down on the situation, for without anguish or pain, Tom passed away peacefully with Eddy and his siblings at his side last Friday. Yesterday's wake was a gathering of friends and family - many from the cycling world - who shared memories of Tom as 'always there' at the side of the road, supporting not only his son, but many, many other good friends and teammates over the years.
From another Irishman Cafesuppoprters may know, James Joyce, I believe we might all agree –
“THE ACTIONS OF MEN ARE THE BEST INTERPRETERS OF THEIR THOUGHTS”