Hey all! It’s been a while, and that was by design. Sometimes it’s time to clear the mental cache to sort through what’s worth focusing on and what’s worth tossing in the rubbish. I took a couple weeks to sort through it all, and now I’ve got a few gems for you to mull over this short holiday week.
But first, it’s important for you to know I have reached the top of the mountain in my writing career. Yes, that’s right, I have finally written the best thing I will ever write…and it was a tweet. I know it’s the best thing I’ll ever write because JK Rowling liked it!
I can officially retire.
More on Rowling’s “The Ickabog” below, along with more bikes, more bourbon, and more banter.
The Shot: Hayman beats Boonen
In lieu of actual racing this season, I’ve been re-living some of the incredible moments I have witnessed in the last five years as tech editor at VeloNews. This shot is high on the list of mind-blowers, as I got to witness history: Mat Hayman, a longtime presence in the peloton but largely thin on palmares, beats out legend Tom Boonen at the 2016 Roubaix. Read the story of how I got this shot — and how I almost missed being there entirely.
On this episode of The Practical Still podcast, Mark and I dive into what those age statement numbers on your whiskey bottle mean. Does an age statement mean it’s a better whiskey? Is older necessarily better? What’s the difference between an age statement and the bourbon’s actual age? Find out here.
Former pro cyclist and purveyor of fine cookies Phil Gaimon joined me on the VeloNews Tech Podcast to chat about Strava’s recent move to put leaderboards behind a paywall. Gaimon has leveraged the social media platform not only to create a post-racing career for himself, but also do benefit charities, keep himself in shape, and remind himself what makes bike riding fun.
Okay, I know I already included The Shot in this newsletter, but I quite like this one because it’s not bike-related. It’s also a bit of a downer perhaps, but I think it’s important to take critical looks about our roles in education in America, which is where I happen to have some experience. This shot was taken in Venice, Italy. Give The Shot a read to find out what this photo has to do with Winslow, Arizona.
JK Rowling, in case you didn’t know (and why in the world wouldn’t you?) wrote the Harry Potter series, and now she’s out with a new children’s story online called “The Ickabog.” It’s available to read online for free to entertain children stuck at home during Covid-19. I started reading it, and I think Harry Potter lovers will find the prose familiar, but with enough differentiation to draw you into a totally new world. Check it out.