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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Around the horn ... again

Midwest Bicycle Expo and Swap Meet: I spent most of the morning and afternoon at the St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation's Midwest Bicycle Expo and Swap meet in Collinsville, Ill., pushing the Tour de Stooges and selling raffle tickets for a benefit for cyclist Gerry Frierdich. I'm happy to report that we sold nearly $400 worth of tickets for a Bacchetta recumbent bike that will be awarded Feb. 7!

I want to especially thank Mark Cockson, executive director of the Gateway Council of Hostelling International, who helped me sell tickets today. More importantly, I want to thank all of you who bought tickets or donated money for this most worthy cause!

I had my annual conversation with Brent Hugh, executive director of the Missouri Bicycle Federation. He talked about wanting to ride the Tour de Stooges as many of his cycling friends from the Kansas City area have done. I pointed out that it's only about an additional half-hour drive on U.S. 40 to get from Collinsville to Highland.

My longtime friend Doug Kaufman helped man the MoBikeFed booth, and I got to chat with some of my best friends from the Belleville Area Bicycling and Eating Society, including Arlene Willmann, Thomas Carter, Tracy Hall, Charles Beil and David Weidler.

If that wasn't enough, I had nice chats with Karen Karabell and Carrie Zukoski of the St. Louis BikeFed and Amy Schmidt of Trailnet. All in all, a pleasant way to spend a Sunday!

Lance Down Under: Saturday night, I got done with my work at the Belleville News-Democrat early enough to watch the final two laps of the final stage of the Tour Down Under. Lance Armstrong finished 29th overall in the Tour Down Under, 49 seconds behind winner Allan Davis of Australia, but was satisfied with his ability to keep up with top riders after 3 1/2 years out of professional cycling.

“It’s given me a reassurance that I can still race because I’ve got to say, man, you never know. You’re out 3 1/2 years, you don’t know how the body deteriorates or gets older," Armstrong told The Associated Press. "It reassures me that I can work hard and do the right work and I think I can still race at the highest level.”

Next up for Armstrong is the Amgen Tour of California. Armstrong says he will riding in support of defending champion Levi Leipheimer, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if Armstrong provides some exicitng moments of his own.

Even in the Tour Down Under, Armstrong had his moment in the sun. On the next to last lap of the race, Armstrong found a burst of power and briefly took the lead. His move even had Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin all a-flutter, predicting that he could pull away and take the stage. Liggett and Sherwin often are wrong with their in-race predictions, including this one, but it was fun to hear them get excited about Armstrong again.

Social Networking Addiction: I'm not teaching this semester at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, but my addiction to social networking sites is keeping me away from this blog.

My primary addiction is Facebook. Not only do I have a page for me, but this blog has an application there. If that wasn't enough, I am the primary administrator for the Belleville News-Democrat's page there.

I have a MySpace page as well, but I rarely look at it. In my humble opinion, Facebook is so such much better and mature than MySpace. In the past few weeks, many of my old friends from Southwestern High School have made their way to Facebook and have managed to find me!

I'm also on Twitter, although most my posts there are headlines from this blog and from my Blip.fm page. As with Facebook, I'm also the primary administrator of the News-Democrat's Twitter page.

Blip.fm is my newest addiction. It's basically Twitter with music! You can find a wide range of song there, write a brief note about the song and creat your own playlist. Fun stuff. I'm trying to get a few other people addicted to it as well so I'm not alone!

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