It's been over a month now since my brother was killed in Afghanistan. He was killed while transporting a minesweeping vehicle called a husky. I'm told that it was very rare for one of these things to take a hit like it did. He was basically hit with an RPG which I'm sure also ended his life. I'd like to thank all that have shown their support and offered their condolences to our family. Thanks go out to radio host Jamie Allmon, Operation Homefront, Steve Zangrille, and everyone else that made his homecoming a little more bearable. I've been spending more time with my brothers kids who are 10 and 11. I bought Aleks a nice Trek mt. bike with the money raised from a fund raising benefit a couple weeks ago. This should be a good way to get Aleks into biking and maybe racing.
As for the racing, I've done several races since then. I did two races up in Chicago, and I didn't crash!!! I also did the O'fallon Grand Prix RR, and both races at the Tour de Grove. The races in Chicago were the day after finding out of my brothers death. It was pretty tough to really focus, but I got through them. The O'fallon GP went ok, I was in the final group, but couldn't get better then 18th in the final sprint. The Tour de Grove was last weekend and it was pretty freakin' hot. The races were Cat 2/3 rather then Cat 3 only since they were NRC races. That made for a bit harder racing, but not bad. Saturdays race was just a standard crit and Sundays race was a circuit race on a three mile course. The best way to describe it was a large scale Soulard race. There was a lot of turns over the three miles. It was basically a race of attrition. If you could last through the heat and all the accelerations out of every corner then you had a good chance of a decent finish. It was so hot that I remember passing the lap counter and thinking there was two laps left. I passed it and it said four, you talk about heartbreaking. It mentally took a lot to convince myself four laps wasn't much, but it really was. I ended up moving up on the last lap and kicked myself in the butt for not being more aggressive and moving up more. In the end I picked the right line and avoided a crash on the hairpin turn to finish 25th, nothing spectacular, but happy to stay upright. My arm is still in pain from the Vernon Hills race, but signs are there that it's getting better. I'll be skipping out on Babler this Sunday, but tomorrow we'll be doing a 75 mile ride with Jess and a few friends. I've got an early start so I should propably end this here.