Keith Snyder
Door always open.

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A month ago I swore off Twitter and Facebook until this book draft is done. I've maintained that promise, but progress has been slow. Life's been such that my heart's not in much of anything right now. I don't know if the draft will be done this year, as I'd hoped, though I did kill a character last week—which seems to be a pivot, at 120,000 words, into a rough third act.

But there are goals, and then there are promises, and one thing I'm good at—sometimes the only thing, it seems, and sometimes not to anyone's benefit—is doing what I said I'd do. I subscribe to no illusions that I can predict outcomes, but I stick to promises like toes on feet. Too many detective novels, probably, but we are who we are.

So Saturday morning, 5:00 AM, after not being sure I'd even try, I'll be leaving the starting line of the Old Saybrook 300K in Massachusetts. After this, the only remaining ACP-sanctioned 300K rides in 2010 are in Texas and North Carolina, which makes Old Saybrook my last chance to complete a Super Randonneur series, the point of which currently escapes me. But I said I'd ride it, so I'm riding it. I don't have a lot of confidence in success; it's a very hilly course (3,000 feet of climbing per 100K) and one of the anythings my heart just hasn't been much in lately is training. Completing a hilly course in the allotted 20 hours seems doubtful.

But I know I'm being negative, and that's not the same as actually being headed for failure. And I expect to give it what little everything I do have—which counts for something, and which is where you come in. (You didn't think I was posting just for your entertainment, did you? There are requirements.)

Giving it everything doesn't begin at the event start; it also includes proper preparation, which I think, this time, means asking for help. I'm going to break radio silence on Twitter that day and post pictures or a few words when I see something pretty or feel the impulse to plant a little verbal marker. My hope is that the next time I can afford a one-minute break, somebody will have said something back. It gives me something to look forward to—and also gives me a mild kind of accountability because I don't want to disappoint anybody with a DNF. Everybody likes happy endings.


As of today, the Westfield weather prediction is for an overnight low of 55° and daytime high of 75°, with no rain. That's ideal, which buys me a little edge over my summer self. (Large Semites don't fare well in heat. It's not just genetic lack of directional sense and a formerly prophetic altacocker's stubbornness that left my people wandering in the desert for 40 years. Unlike vampires, we suck in direct sunlight.)

And, as of today, the bike is in shape for it. I need to tape a broken fender; besides that, it's readier than I am. The chewed-up front tire is replaced, the saddle is straight.

But heart, which the bike can't provide, is the primary component of a brevet, and mine could use a little social defibrillation. So if you've got the time and the inclination between 5 AM Saturday and 1AM Sunday, see link at upper left.

I may not be able to respond cogently to tweets during the ride, but I'll be looking for them.


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