Monthly Archives: November 2008

Safe for now

Despite the news about layoffs at the Pilot and the elimination of our Business section starting sometime in January, I am still employed. The management still wants business news and I will continue to lead the team that produces it. The news will simply appear in either the A or Hampton Roads sections.

A valued mentor was not so fortunate in this round. He will be dearly missed. He possesses the best news mind I know and I count myself blessed to have worked for and learned from him.

Hopefully the economy won’t turn much worse and advertising rebounds later next year, otherwise I fear we may be in for more news like this.

The Southern Cross

Endurance cross racing is catching on. In the spirit of Ironcross in Pennsylvania and Three Peaks in England, an Atlanta race organizer has put together Southern Cross in north Georgia. It will be about a 50-mile race starting and finishing on a cross course at Mulberry Gap, an outdoor camp in Ellijay, Ga. After riding the cross course, riders will have to do one giant 45-mile lap of gravel roads and climbing. The race is Jan. 24, so who knows what the weather will offer. The first year it’s only open to 50 riders.

I figure it’s about a 9-hour drive. Who’s in? Did I mention there’s free beer?

Tis the season for cross!

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Spotted this image of Sven Nys in the CyclingNews‘ coverage of the third stop in the World Cup in the Netherlands. It just screams cyclocross. Nys, who has dominated the international cross racing scene for several years, seems more human this year, facing stiff competition from young rising Belgian Neils Albert and current world champ and Sunday’s winner Lars Boom of the Netherlands. And American Jonathan Page seems on better form this year, placing high in some midweek races, but hitting bad luck in the big races. He flatted and fell way back in the field.

And me, I can’t ride, let alone race as my hip pointer heals and my form flees. At least it sounds like my teammates had fun at the Urban IX cross race in C’Ville.

Hippy Halloween

Halloween served up a nasty little trick for me, yet another turn in what’s turning into an ugly second half of this year.

I got off work early thanks to the good work of the Pilot‘s Business team and made it home in time for trick-or-treating with my girls. Audrey is the leopard on the left and Millie is the pirate, second from right:

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Ellie was off on her own as a sorceress with a group of older girls. The girls had a blast, running from house-to-house and gathering enough candy to last us until Easter.

After, I hopped on my fixed gear and ran over to Kurtz‘s Scaredy Cat alleycat. A good crowd of about 40 riders showed for the scavenger hunt, the best turnout since last Halloween’s race and many wore costumes. I rode as Angus Young from AC/DC in shorts, knee high socks, shirt and tie and a sportcoat. It was not my best race as I made several tactical errors, including forgetting which street Harrington was, spending too much time in the graveyard trying to get the etching I needed and stopping at Total Wine for the required liquid refreshment rather than 7-Eleven. So I finished 4th or 5th, breaking my streak of wins, not that it mattered since it’s all about having a good time. The finish was at Kurtz’s apartment where we enjoyed a few beers and I spent a while getting to know Rob from Team Blue. A few more pics here.

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I left early since Ellie had a soccer tournament the next day. As I was walking down the narrow hardwood steps from his apartment carrying my bike, my hard-soled bike shoes slipped and I fell hard on my right hip. It knocked the wind out of me and hurt like hell, but I popped up and pedaled slowly home. I took a painkiller and went to bed, but couldn’t sleep. Around 3am, I took another and drowsed a little, but not much.

When I woke in the morning I could barely move without excruciating pain radiating from my hip. I skipped Ellie’s game and took myself to Sentara’s ER. They took an X-ray of my hip and screened my urine for blood – a sign of kidney damage. No cracks, no blood: that’s good. The doc said I badly bruised my hip, gave me a scrip for hard-core painkillers and sent me home.

I later looked up “hip pointer,” a classic football injury, and the diagnosis describes my injury and pain perfectly. Recovery should be two to three weeks. I can’t ride. Followed up with my primary care doctor yesterday. She wants me to see an orthopedist to look at a bone spur on my hip from where they harvested for my spinal fusion in 1991. It now obtrudes significantly and is rubbing the inflamed muscle quite painfully, perhaps aggravating how long my recovery will be. Argh.

The strong painkillers proved a small blessing this week, providing a mellowing effect during a week of relentless bad news at the office. The Pilot, which has been for sale, is facing some significant changes in the coming months whether we’re sold or not.