September 18, 2000

Beauty and the Beast>>>

Life has lots of ironies. The day after Cathy and I broke up, I signed a contract to buy a house. The motivation for the house was her, and with her favorite movie being 'The Wizard of Oz' it's ironic the house was on Dorothy Drive. The next week I moved to a new office, a cushier job. I worked straight day shifts, Mon-Fri, with a Staff Sergeant named Michael (he went by Scott). Scott and I quickly became friends. After my breakup I wanted to devote myself to my church and Scott wanted to start cycling. I was an accomplished cyclist and Scott was a born-again Christian. Ironic?

I prayed and asked God to guide me. One day I felt he wanted me to write a nice letter to Ha. I had questions about my website. To my surprise, for the first time in two years, she answered. She was pleasant and said she'd moved to Texas. It blew me away. For months all the good feelings came back. I felt I was in love all over again. Feelings make no sense do they?
On June 3rd I drove out to the Blue Ridge Parkway with a plan to ride 40 miles. I ran into two gentlemen in the parking lot who invited me to join them on their ride. I said okay, and they took me over a 75 mile route that included a category 1 climb up Montebello. One of them seemed especially good on the climbs (they were both better than me on the climbs) and I asked him how much he weighed---he said 125 pounds. I was 45 pounds heavier--no wonder he was a good climber! I could still power away from them on the flats, but after 75 miles I felt like someone had grabbed each leg and made a wish.
Then when I went back to the parking lot to load my bicycle, I saw a Japanese guy with some women around him and they were calling him 'Yoshi'. Miimii had worked at Canon of Newport News, Virginia with a man named Yoshi who was so hard core he made me look like a softie--he would ride twice as much as me and compete often. I never met him, but I went up to this stranger, confirmed his name, and asked him if he worked at Canon of Virginia with my ex-wife. He said yes. So I finally got to meet Yoshi, 3+ hours away from home on top of a mountain! What are the chances of that?

Cathy had a few short relationships immediately after we broke up and after a while, seeing how easily she went in and out of them, I wondered if I was just another guy to her.

The summer was very wet. In July there were thunderstorms daily, and I hardly rode. I attempted a race in July but after being lost in Washington D.C. for an hour and driving four hours, I arrived late and the organizers said,"The race is full". The next day, for the first time, a year after my divorce, I met my first in-law. Miimii's sister Yukari Yamoto visited. Yukari thought I was funny. I crawled on my elbows most of the time chasing Lunch and Moo.

My Crib Kitchen>>>
Crib Couch>>>
My kingdom>>>

On August 19, I did my last big ride on my 1988 red Klein Quantum bicycle. We'd been through a lot. It's funny how a 19-pound chunk of metal and rubber can make a boring, mundane life something extraordinary. I rode the Blue Ridge Parkway and although I thought I was out of shape, that day my bicycle sang! Ten miles from the finish a line of cars trailed me on a descent and rather than move over to let them by I took the road and gave them a show. I blasted around the turns at 42 miles an hour, faster on the straights, and no one honked or ran me off the road--either they were polite, realized I was already exceeding the speed limit, or just wanted to see how long this nut would go before he rode off the mountain. After the ride I bought Cathy a sweatshirt at the Afton Inn, drove by her place and surprised her. She'd been sick and down with the flu. She was surprised to see me. We sat on her bed and had a nice, warm talk. It was good to see her bright eyes and watch her lick her lips as she tried not to laugh at me. I so

missed the wonderful feelings we shared. And I could tell, she missed them too.

The next week, while tightening my seat post on my bicycle, the frame cracked. The state time trial was a week away and I needed a bicycle fast. I'd wanted a Trek OCLV carbon fiber frame for eight years, and when I desperately drove to my bicycle shop saying,"What do I do now? States are next Sunday!!!" I looked around and this Trek OCLV frame was hanging by the window...and it was my size (cut to the race)....
It had poured down raining all during warm-up. It was like God was pouring a lot of water on me (that's the best illustration I could come up with). I had to urinate and needed to carry water but hey...I could drink from the air and pee on the bike and no one would be the wiser. What a great plan! Unfortunately I'd forgotten one fact...the muscles in that area tighten up during high-intensity exercise. So I was just in pain for the entire ride, oh...and the rain stopped about 5 kilometers into the ride, so I was thirsty too! I took 4th in the state with my fastest posting ever... 57 minutes, 31 seconds for 40 kilometers. I thought I was out of shape, having hardly trained all year, yet, in the last 5K I gave everything, maintaining over 30 miles an hour. I collapsed on my car choking, hardly able to breathe.

Testing to see if the mirrors work>>>