A hard labor day.

Just got back from doing 2 hours in totally gross high humidity.  Took the fixed gear bike to keep the legs turning on an easy flattish ride, just down the bay to Bristol and back.   Felt good, despite the need to put the rain cape on three different times.  You know, one of those old, clear plastic cheapo Italian rain capes.   Thing still works the gear.

The last 20 minutes were in a massive thunderstorm.  We've been getting them off and on for the past three days.   The big labor day holiday weekend, and all crap, soupy weather.   Not complaining though... most of August was beautiful.   I climbed a last steep local hill that the deluge converted into a flash-flood like river bed.  Out of the saddle up a raging stream created an illusion I was standing still.  

Time standing still: A good metaphor for today.  People want time to stop on Labor day, for tomorrow's the rientrato as they call it in Italy - the un-official end of summer.  Everybody back to business.  Maryanne's back to her work at the local school.  And Tommy goes back to start his junior year of high school.  Tomorrow at 5:30 am, things go back to reality - to a normal schedule again.

I 'm ready too. Longing for some normalcy.   Heard way too much bad news this past week:  Some well known, out there in the 'big world', and a little in my small, local one.

And to top it off I heard even more today.  I read that Dale Stetina suffered a terrible accident in Boulder, Colorado, and is in critical care.  Jeep pulled into the road descending a canyon, tried to miss it and went down. Smacked his face. I've been trying to get more details, hoping to hears he's ok or improving, but nothing new today.   All through the ride today, I couldn't get Dale out of my head.   These days, I find myself avoiding highly trafficked roads more and more.   His accident affirms and further entrenches my recent cyclisme danger-avoidance-practices adoption.   As time goes on, I love the physical effort more, but the speed and danger a lot less.

I don't know Dale very well, but did write a post about him here a year or so ago.   Mostly I recall seeing his rear wheel disappearing up the road... or praying I could hold his wheel in some New England criterium.

Today I'm praying he pulls through.   Fight hard Dale.

If that wasn't bad enough, I just logged a few minutes ago and saw a Facebook post by Bike Guy Bill Humphreys that said Jack Nash just passed away.   Said that he had some sort of an attack and died while out on a ride up in Stowe Vermont.   A founder of the Stowe Bicycle Club and Onion River Sports in Montpelier, Jack was a fixture in New England racing.

More horrible news.  Jack was a gentleman, and a quiet demonstration of class on the bike.   I can still see Jack Nash rolling off in the finale of the Maine International in 1980 with Robye Lalhum and Jimmy Fraser... three 40+ vets at the time... going after Louis Garneau, who had soloed away.    While the rest of us fiddled and diddled, those three quite rightly took the other top places from us younger and 'supposedly' faster guys who didn't want to hang it out and suffer as much that day...  
Jack Nash's Stowe Shimano team lines up at the Plymouth Race for the Rock, 1980:  L to R:  David Ware, Tony Chastain, Matt Rini,  Jack Nash, Chris Carmichael.  Pat Gellineau is in the GBSC Winsdor jersey on the right.
(And that's me in the CCB jersey to the right of Carmichael...)   RIP, and God bless and keep you Jack.  
This is how I'll always remember you.   (Robert F. George photo from 'The Jersey Project')
I didn't really know Jack any more than to say hello to him at the races, which I usually did.   But he always struck me as a quiet, very nice man, a total professional.   He did a lot to help out the best riders in the northeast back in those years:  Jack's stable of Stowe Shimano road warriors cleaned up virtually every weekend back then:  Dave Ware, Tony Chastain, Chris Carmichael, Spike Clayton, Louis Garneau...   A formidable phalanx of power.   As professional as it got.

Sincere condolences to Jack's family and friends.    The world needs more guys like Jack Nash.  

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