So, just about eight months to the day after I finished PBP, look what came in the mail. In reading the lore of the ride over the years, I’d seen reports of the medal, complete with your own individual
time on it. For some reason, I thought it might show up by the end of last year. But it never came, and lots of other stuff came up, and I never really thought too much about it. I just figured that maybe I was the one rider who didn’t get one; or that my ride had been declared invalid for some unworthiness that the organizers had detected in me; or that I had managed to ride the one year when no medals were awarded. Just my luck.
Then I started to see accounts on some cycling email lists a month or so ago that none of the American riders had gotten their medals yet. But they were coming. By sea mail, maybe.
Yesterday, a big brown envelope with my self-addressed sticker was in the mailbox. Heavy. The medal was inside, along with my brevet card, with the stamps from all the controls along the way, and the English-language program for the event, with the finish times for all the participants, including No. 4417, Dan Brekke: 85H51.
“I feel like a fish without water.” The small type under “sin agua” says “Francisco, 5 años, descridiendo el asma.” It’s a billboard at the corner of 7th and Brannan streets in San Francisco. Kate says she’s seen English versions of it. It struck me just because of my (nearly lifelong) problems with asthma; and also because of the fact the disease seems to have become so prevalent among city kids now; the why of that still seems largely unknown, but one has to think it has got be due to basic environmental causes.
The second Mars rover, Opportunity, plunged and bounced and rolled safely to rest last night/this morning. The NASA scientists running the Martian campout are agog at images of the landing site (“it’s a bizarre, alien landscape,” quoth one).
The lead paragraph from the AP obit in Friday’s New York Times:
SYDNEY, Australia, Jan. 15 — Molly Kelly, whose childhood trek across 1,000 miles of the Australian desert to return to her Aboriginal mother inspired the 2002 movie “Rabbit-Proof Fence,” died on Tuesday at her home in Jigalong in Western Australia, her family said. She was thought to be 87.