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No more 'ifs' and 'buts'

As of now, it has been 20 days. A very long time to be absent from what helps define me. It's bizarre how a lingering injury to one finger — that ended up getting infected — keeps one off of a bicycle.

But I'm tired of dwelling on the "ifs" and "buts." Believe me, I've gone over in my mind a thousand times what happened at the gravel grind in Rangeley and what I could have done differently — or better. However, it doesn't change the actual outcome.

Jon at last year's Cadillac Challenge.

The proverbial saying "every cloud has a silver lining" can definitely be applied in my case. I've already mentioned meeting Colin, a new cycling friend from Mount Vernon. But there were additional positive points.

The break from riding may be a benefit to my body ... both physically and mentally. Nearing 5,000 miles for the season means a ton of time on the saddle, no matter how you justify it. And while I'm currently stuck pedaling my stationary bike — which keeps my legs and cardio in good form, but is especially boring — the thought of returning to the real thing is extremely exciting. I should feel refreshed, eager to put on a big surge to finish out the year.

Also, because of my injuries, I've been unable to work at the bike shop. Nonetheless, I find myself "hanging out" there anyway, just like I did before I was employed by Mathieu's Cycle. The visits remind me that it's a fun place; a magnet for the camaraderie of cyclists.

And lastly, my Specialized cyclocross bike — thank goodness — came out of the crash in pretty decent shape. Much better than my body. A bit of paint is missing on the seat tube where the front derailleur bracket let loose, the front wheel has been trued back into alignment, and the right shifter has a few scuff marks. All that's left to do is bleed the hydraulic disc brakes and replace the pads, and rewrap the handlebars. I'm surprised more paint wasn't left behind on the hard road surface, plus the fact my saddle didn't get ripped to shreds.

Missing the Cadillac Challenge this weekend, but I may try to accomplish a short pedal — mindful of keeping that one finger out of harm's way.

'Thought for the day'

"When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race." — H.G. Wells, English writer

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