Those of you who read my feed or drop into the blog on a regular basis know that I’ve only had a couple of updates this week. That wasn’t by design but life does get in the way. My wife had a surgery this week to correct a problem in both joints in her jaw. She was expected to be in the hospital for three days but it turned out to be only one. That was a good thing. Once home, though, she was still in a lot of pain and being there for her has to take priority over anything I do. Because of that I have found zero time to ride this week except for a ride on Tuesday. I also posted an article on what you should carry in your seat bag that I’ve been working on for a while and only needed some polishing before it was ready to publish. So, that’s about all that’s gone on in my life but there’s still plenty of other biking news. Here’s some of the highlights:

1. Lance Armstrong. Unless you are living under a rock you’ve probably heard about this. There’s been a lot of positive and negative feedback on his decision to return to professional cycling in 2009 and I find myself undecided. Part of me is very happy to see him return because I think the sport needs him. I want him back because he was the one of the first cyclists I remember following. Another part of me doesn’t want to see him ruin the perfect retirement he orchestrated after winning his 7th consecutive Tour de France. Too many other athletes have retired and then decided to make a comeback tour only to leave the sport disgraced or disappointed. I don’t want Lance to do that. I also see another side of his comeback as well. His efforts in the area of cancer awareness and fund raising are legendary and is the main point in his video over on his website. Lots of speculation has been made as to which team he will join. He says he won’t be racing for money, which is admirable, and may make it easier for teams to sign him. Which of the teams will want to make a spot for him though? Only time will tell. I hope it will be one of the American-based squads of Garmin-Chipotle or Team Columbia. I wonder if he’ll ride in a LiveStrong kit? I’d be interested in hearing my readers thoughts on Lance’s return.

2. Mark Cavendish. Can anyone match this guy in a sprint? I think not. Foregoing his native Tour of Britain, he’s been participating in the Tour of Missouri this past week and has won three stages so far. That puts his yearly wins at 15. The man is a monster in the final 1 Km. A big head-nod has to go out to his teammates though because they are the ones positioning him for all these sprint finishes. They maintain such a high pace in the last couple of kilometers that the other teams have a hard time keeping near the front. Mark is always a class-act after the race when he goes to each of his teammates and thanks them for the work they did. I think we’re seeing the birth of the sprinter to beat over the next several years. Maybe we should just call him Speed Racer.

3. 331 Miles LIVESTRONG Challenge. Jeff Contreras of 331 Miles is participating in the 2008 Austin LIVESTRONG Challenge and needs your help in raising money for cancer awareness. He has a fund raising goal of $1,000 and is already more than 25% there. Do what you can to help out. Every little bit helps. You can donate to Jeff’s fund raiser by clicking here.

4. Team Climb On! MS Bike Tour. Arlyn Asch, owner of Adventures On a Bike and member of Team Climb On!, is participating in the 2008 Bay to Bay MS 150 next month. Team Climb On raised over $22,000 last year and have raised over $13,000 so far this year. The riders are doing what they can to get in shape for the 150 mile ride but need your help in reaching their fund raising goals. Here’s the link to make a tax deductible donation: http://www.biketofinishms.com/arlynasch. What I want to know is how to get one of this awesome looking Team Climb On jerseys.

The first two items are big news in the bicycling world while the later two are just as important and deserve recognition as well. I’m hoping that next year I’ll be in shape enough to be able to ride in some of these fund raising/charity events as well. These guys set a good example for all of us.

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