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« Sending Best Wishes | Main | David vs. David »

May 05, 2008



Well put Sara. I too spent those two days weeping in front of my computer. I wish I had a gift for words so that I could express my sorrow. Thank you for saying what I wish I was able to. I read your blog and Fatty's daily and feel such a part of an intimate community. I believe the internet will someday be what unites the human race, I see evidence of that here and at Eldens site. Thank you agian Sara for all you said and all you do. Your gentle spirit is a balm.
And Cat your words too were eloquent.


Thanks for the writes Sara. I hope you guys all check out his entry tonight. Say what anyone wants about Lance but that photo is awesome! Friends are everywhere and it's nice to see all friends and fans coming together to wish Susan the best wishes ever in this time.

I've had teary eyes more than once this week from reading up on cycling. I hope we all take some time to cherish life and remember its not for granted. I for one am thanking you all for this space as its been a treat and total pleasure! If you guys ever need anything, never hesitate to ask!


Very nice post, Sara. Perspective is so difficult to keep in focus through the mundane everyday annoyances of life, but is ever so important.

*Perfect* last paragraph.


sara, once again you have brought perspective and clarity to devastating news. my heart is so sore for that family.


You got it exactly right, Sara.


Sara, this is why I love to comehere, why I am so glad you decided to sty with the blog (even if onlyfor a while). I love your wit, sweet but occasionally sharp, insights into cycling, your reports...but this is what I love the best. Your compassion. I think all of us need someone to put words to inchoat feelings, and you are that person.

Isn't it amazing how someone can change you or touch you even when you only read their blog? You and Elden and a handfull of others fit in this catagory.

susie b

That was perfect, Sara. And ditto what Cat wrote.


And Lindaloo, I agree with you about one of the best aspect of the internet - it is responsible for "modern" versions of "communities". I was thinking last night that at least in olden days, people in a community banded together in a crisis. To help defeat what was threatening them & also just for comfort, both psychologically & physically. In our modern society, many of us no longer experience this in the housing developments where we live. Sociologists have even written that this will be the cause of "civilization's downfall". Well, the existence of the internet & blogs/forums/chat rooms has given birth to 'virtual communities'. I'm sure some sociologist somewhere is saying that this is "civilization's" way of adapting & trying to stay 'alive'. Whatever, but I do think that just as in "real-life" communities, there can be nasty people & incidents but also touching examples of unity & support. I suppose this sounds trite, but when I read the comments at Fatty's the last few days, I feel literally like I'm joining in a massive group hug & I'm just praying it gives some comfort to that family. And although I have wept every time I've gone there this past week, I've also felt connected & privileged that Elden has let all of us into his family's life.


Ahhh Sara...nice post. I just checked back in after getting home from my month away...(SO much to do, so little time). I hadn't been over at Fattys for some time now (not sure why)...just checked in and man oh man...sitting here (at work no less) all weepy at my computer...dang, that does indeed put things in perspective. I can't possibly FATHOM what they are going thru, and truth be told, hope I NEVER AM able to fathom it! Between your site and his, really give us all things to ponder. After being gone so long, I realize that I am so lucky to come home to the 'same ol, same ol'...seems things can change in an instant...and you don't get to pick what and when either. Just gotta live every day like it's your last...I don't do that often enough..but sure do need to try to do that more often! My heart goes out to Elden and Susan. Hope to get in a good road ride tonight...that always helps clear things up. I survived a divorce many (years ago via) mt biking...seems like the bike is a grounding rod or something...helps channel my negative thoughts/energy to the earth, and all of a sudden I'd find myself NOT thinking about my problems, and smiling and enjoying the ride. Bikes are funny that way. OK...Have to get back to work..starting to get all weepy again...have a GREAT day everybody! Get out there and do what makes you happy!


I've wanted to tell you the day you posted, Sara, what a beautiful post this is. But, I was shook up by the news, and couldn't comment....I hadn't caught up on comments from the previous post where Barbara and you, mentioned it.
The funny thing is, I can't read it right now....I will soon, but I'm just not ready yet. Cat sees the patients die, and I've lost enough people around me, that I know it takes time. Sometimes you wonder if accidents are "easier"? Because the people go so quickly. I hope that doesn't sound flip. It's just that sometimes you don't realize that you are losing someone until they get close to the end, and with my mother that was like getting part of my soul cut out.

Okay, I want to stop now...I'm depressing the hell out of myself! I'd rather talk about the Navy, and the Marines, (my young cousin Casey is in boot camp now!!) Or bike racing!!!


Oh, and Matt, I just thought of another thing, I saw a officer(I'm sure) with his bike, getting off for liberty in Perth. I figured only an officer had enough space to have his bike on the boat!

See, nice diversion....don't want to cry right now!


Hey...was browsing the usual cycling sites during lunch....I must have missed it if anybody brought this up already, but Astana WILL RIDE the Giro! I found this article at daily peleton:

Here is the planned roster:
Assan Bazayev
Antonio Colom
Alberto Contador
Vladimir Gusev,
Maxim Iglinskiy
Andreas Klöden
Levi Leipheimer
Andrey Mizurov
Dmitriy Muravyev
Sean Yates and Alexandr Shefer will direct the squad.

Let Levi Ride WORKED! How cool is THAT! (at least for the first Grand for the TDF invite!)

And T, maybe, maybe not...usually officers DON'T get their own stateroom (depends on the size of ship I imagine)...they are 2-up on most ships I believe, and that room is still more than likely the bike was stored somewhere else...I know enlisted guys who would bring bikes on the ships sometimes too...kind of a 'who do you know' just have to find a 'safe' place to keep it.

susie b

You're right Matt, yeah Astana! Even IF the invite was a bit like a guy calling you on Friday night for...right then. *I* wouldn't know, but I heard that's called a BOOTY CALL... ;) ;)

Anyway, I'm still happy they will be there, even if not in the best prepared shape. Awww, they'll probably STILL kick butt. And Cathy - you must be thrilled! When Phil & Paul 1st mentioned it last Sunday during the Tour of Romandie coverage, I thought I misheard! I didn't believe it til I got here Monday & checked Velo & cyclingnews.

And Matt, thanks so much for answering more of my questions last week! I have even MORE, but like Theresa, I've been a bit traumatized over the Nelson family situation. I think I may be recharged by Saturday. I did finally go to the 'Carrier' website & printed out lots of interesting behind-the-scenes info. PLUS, they listed all the ranks & gave a rundown of the various airgroups (?) on the ship. I need to watch the whole thing as I didn't even realize there was more than ONE Navy pilot squadron & one Marine pilot squadron on board!

Let me ask you one dumb question now. I asked you last week what a person does while waiting for the next deployment. And you said there was lots of work to be done. Are they working ON the docked ship? And when I looked at the website's blurbs about several of the people spotlighted in the series, I was shocked that even with 10 & more years of service, there didn't seem to be that many deployments in their service histories. I guess I thought they just kept going out to sea repeatedly! Does anybody actually do that?


Yes! Very excited that the team will race the Giro! And it totally cracks me up to read forum comments that said we knew all this time and were just pretending we didn't! Yeah, right....that's the way it works when athletes are trying to peak at a certain time! Anyway, we're probably kind of screwed for going for the overall with the late notice (intentional?) but there are 4 time trials and we have a very motivated team, so who knows! Stage wins would be great, too. Truthfully, we're just happy to be invited to the party. Hey Frenchies, are ya listening? It's okay to change your mind! We'd accept the invitation!


Hey I just wanted to make everyone aware of this comment left on Fatty's blog by his friend Kenny.


Dear Readers of,

This last week has been truly tragic learning of the down turn of Suzan’s illness. As I read these comments left by all you good people, the over all theme is the same. “What can we do for Elden, Susan and their kids?” I decided it was time to stop wondering and time to start doing. I set up a bank account in Elden’s name at a local bank here in Utah. It is linked to pay pal. The pay pal account is . If you don’t have a pay pal account you can also donate by going to my business’s website and clicking on the link in the middle of the page, where you can donate with the credit card of your choice. Please know that all funds collected will go directly to this bank account and after a two month period will be given to Elden, Susan and Family. Elden is unaware of this account, until now, of course. I’m not sure how he will react to this comment, but if he removes it, I’m going to continue to put it back on his blog and I invite you as fatcyclist readers to also put this on your own respective blogs. I truly believe that we bless our own lives, when we help others, so I hope that Elden will allow us to help him through this very trying time in his life. He truly has touched each one of us, through his writing and his friendship.
Respectfully yours,


Cathy, it looks to me like you are sending an 'A' team...I mean, Conti, Levi, Kloden, & Gusev? (not to slight the rest of the guys)...I think you will have a GOOD chance for the GC...thats a pretty strong squad if you ask me! Sure it's a LATE Friday night invite, but's the season...& they will be hungry to prove WHY they should be there I would think (& WHY they should be at Le Tour in July). Hopefully this is the crack in the IS a grand tour afterall...ASO will look REALLY BAD not giving them a TDF invite after this. I firmly believe that they WILL get the nod (unless by some chance BAD things happen between now and then on the doping issues... which I don't forsee happening)...thats my take anyway.


BTW everyone, Tuesday is Livestrong Day, so we can all keep Susan and all the other cancer fighters/survivors in our thoughts that day (and other days too, of course).

Yes, Astana is bringing the A Team for sure. This is our "Tour de France" so to speak since we aren't invited to the big french party, so look for Conta, Klodi and Levi to do their best to make things happen on the roads in Italy! With the late invite we've already had two roster changes: originally Noval was in for Muravyev, but now Noval is sick and Morabito is in for him (they had to decide this just this morning when it was time to file the final team roster). It has been very difficult to get ready for a GT in less than one week, but we are ready. Don't count us out!!


Thanks for that, Libby.

VERY exciting turn of events for Astana indeed, Cathy. Now I'm REALLY wishing that we had better coverage of the Giro. I can't even imagine all of the details that had to be worked out and arrangements that needed to be made in order to pull that off in a WEEK!


I'm sure it would be a piece of CAKE to get room reservations for the riders, managers and all the other support people each night anywhere remotely CLOSE To the start/finish is....then you have all the travel arrangements, all the special food they will need day after day, equipment (getting the entire teams BIKES there along w/ all the support equipment/team cars/etc)...sure, no prob!

RIGHT! I'd think they'd be lucky to get broom closets (no pun intended) to sleep in this late in the game! It will be great to see them ride the big race though, no matter how they finally got there!


Man oh man, matt, I never broke it down like that, but you are absolutely right!!!


The Giro provides housing and food for the team, so that actually isn't a problem for them. At every race the entire race group is taken care of--just like at Tour de Georgia. I didn't know where I was staying every night until I arrived on Tybee Island and picked up the housing manual, but I knew I had a bed that night because I was part of the team's allocation. As for food, breakfast and dinner are provided at the race hotel in general, in a private area where a big buffet is set up. No special food for the team in general, they don't travel with a chef (right now anyway). These guys just eat carbs all day anyway! Why would you need a chef for that?!

Not a great result today in 7th, but really not bad all things considered. And most important was that all nine guys came in at the same time and no one dug too deep, so that bodes well for this time next week.

Check out my interview with Contador. If you didn't care for him before, you might fall in love with him after you read his comments. He's a very kind, grounded young man.


Cathy, can you provide a link?
Sorry to be a pest.


Certainly! Here is the link to the site:

and you can just click on his photo in the newsplayer. (I've sent you to the homepage so you have to look at the entire site! lol)


"After two days I thought of it as my obligation to defend the yellow jersey, and after finishing the time trial— in which there was a bit of agony because Evans and Levi were both riding very strong—I was able to hang on to the maillot jaune. Then I felt that the jersey was mine."

A bit of agony?! He is too cute...good interview Cathy.


Agreed...very nice interview, thanks for the link! How about the race yesterday? How very sad for DZ...he looked VERY MUCH in pain when they put him on the stretcher...anybody hear how he's doing? I can't find any details so far. Anybody know what happened? And I was sad to see Slipstream lose the Pink jersey by only a second, but thats how it was a good day of racing. Millar and the rest of the Slipstream boyz did a fantastic job keeping Vande Velde up front the entire day. And I'm hoping the Astana boyz can ride into shape in the coming days to be a threat in the last half...they really got the short end of the deal getting an invite 6 days before the start. But Kloden is in fighting form, so hopefully he can rally the troops for a fight to the finish.

And hey..anybody see AI last week? I missed it (again) but caught the replays on the web. They FINALLY voted off the top three are the right ones. But NOW who goes? Personally I'd pick the 2 Davids for the final, but as my agegroup ISN'T going to be calling in ten-thousand times voting...more than likely DC will go (IMO the best of this year, possibly the best they've had). DA is very good too...not sure what will happen when his voice changes...he's just 17...but surely he's wise and mature WAY beyond his years...a great personality and if either he or DC were to win it I would think that would be right. Sayesha has been doing very well also, but I don't think she's the equal of eihter of the Davids. We shall see soon enough though.


Thanks for the link, Cathy. That is a really nice interview. He sounds like he is exceedingly mature and grounded for his age. I imagine facing such a serious medical emergency and possibly life-altering prognosis does that to a person.

I feel terrible for DZ (and the rest of the team, actually). One article I read said that he had fractured his L1, but that his recovery should be fairly quick. I hope that is the case and that he'll be able to be in top form for the Tour. On a positive note, he should be able to be with his wife now this month. I believe their baby is due sometime in May.

I was really impressed with Slipstream in the TTT! Way to put your mark on the first stage of your first grand tour! Also AWESOME to see CVV in the pink :)

I agree with your AI picks, Matt, and am SO glad to see Jason FINALLY out of there. The 2 Davids are amazing and should both be in the final for sure & I really think that people will vote that way, as well. Syesha is an extremely talented girl, but hasn't consistently been as good as the boys. I might have to try and vote this week!

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