Oxygen for bicyclists — that’s how I cleverly illustrate this post.

My mind has lacked the discipline necessary for blogging this week; everything and nothing seems like a viable topic, and none of it floats down in organized fashion. While we’re talking organization, we certainly would not be talking my time management.

The first Grand Tour bike race of the season, the Giro d’Italia, started last Saturday, mostly without me. The streaming service I signed up for last fall because it said “monthly payments” and “cancel anytime” that turned out to mean “annual payment up front, and you can cancel any time, but we’re keeping your annual $150”? Well, it isn’t showing the Giro. Just like it didn’t show last year’s Spanish race after it promised to do so.

In fact, FloSports doesn’t offer much of anything for $150; when I went to cancel, it provided a list of reasons why I might be doing so, but it would only let me choose one rather than two: really crappy, highly overpriced content left me less than content.

[Which, if you get the chance, you should check out John Ficarra’s “How I wound up with a wound from heteronyms.” After reading it I’m not sure how anyone, include native speakers, ever manages English.]

The people in my bicycle chat room are following a different streaming service this year, and being a more savvy consumer, I paid closer attention to the website, which first of all never lists prices despite a link to “pricing.” And there’s a mention of “annual” nearby. While it shows pictures for all the Grand Tours, when you really pay attention, next to the Tour de France it says “(Highlights),” which means it isn’t going to show the race at all.

Kara has offered to share her service that will allow me to watch, but a week into the race I still haven’t done the due diligence at my end. The stages have been mostly flat and boring, and a crash has already taken out the most promising American. But mostly, I seem to have too much going on in the mornings despite not blogging, not doing chores, not working on my photo project and not even paying much attention to news. I have no idea what I’m doing, but it’s clearly not productive.

I have to say also that my chat room set me back. Most of the rest of these folks are more closely intertwined via the World Wide Web, together on a Facebook page and showing keen interest in bicycle fantasy leagues, a form of recreation as opaque to me as cyber currency. So I haven’t been in contact since the final Grand Tour of 2020, and I missed the part where one of the regular chatters died in the interim.

When I asked what happened, I got a very terse answer: “Covid.”

I started following this chat room, in a different iteration, at the same time I discovered bicycle race spectating back in the ’90s. All of the people in the chat room have participated at least that long, including this man who has died of our 21st-century scourge.

I didn’t know him as anything other than a typewritten voice with an occasional picture posted, but I find myself still quite saddened by this news. He was a monsignor with the Catholic Church, assigned to the Vatican when I first encountered him, which impressed me. He had traveled to many of the places these bike races rolled through, and he liked to provide small essays on the history of the areas. The chat room thing to do, for those traveling to Rome, was arrange a lunch with this kind man and post a photo of the get-together.

A few years ago he came home to his large family in Illinois, and while I still know no details of his death, I am hoping some of his loved ones were able to be with him at the end. His fellow bike fans placed a memorial bench near a bike path he enjoyed; I need to find out how to contribute.

While on the subject of a dearth of information, the man to whom I shipped my oxygen concentrator has been appallingly non-forthcoming. In our initial phone conversation he told me his repairs were backed up three to five days. I was expecting him to say “weeks,” and this turns out to be what he meant to say. I rushed to ship my concentrator there, hoping I could retrieve it either going to or coming from Family Fest, but even though I explained, twice, to him why I was so anxious to pick it up over the weekend, all I got in reply was, “I’ll look at it next week.”

Well, this is that next week, and have I heard from him? Of course not. Once again, I made the wrong decision: I should have just taken it down to my woodshop to see if Branden thought he could fix it.

Of course, you are wondering what my urgency is, since Jim Barry gave me his cast-off concentrator, which is doing its job. Well, the Postal Service finally released the oximeter it was holding hostage in Illinois, and while it shows the concentrator is bumping my overnight oxygen level 10-20 points, it also shows that Lynn’s oxygen levels are worse than mine.

One of our many friends named Bob has shown us a work-around to accommodate both of us with just the one concentrator until the three-day backlog has passed three months from now, but like my Giro viewing, getting my act together to implement it has been supplanted by — something. Something very important I’m sure, even if I can’t provide an accounting of it.

One of my readers sensibly suggested considering moving to a lower elevation. For now there’s the part where I’ve barely started unpacking from the last move, and jobs and friends and all that. Besides, I think it’s a rule that one has to go from Colorado to Arizona, where the taxpayers currently apparently have no heartburn that their dollars being spent on a vote recount that won’t count and is being shoddily conducted by a company headed by a conspiracy theorist, searching for bamboo fibers in the ballots to prove they came from China, which somehow will show that dead Hugo Chavez of Venezuela really was behind this plot to overthrow a legitimately barely-functional government in favor of lifetime socialist Joe Biden.

There may be less oxygen in Arizona than Gunnison; perhaps we will just stay where we are for now and hope that I can pull it together long enough to get Lynn more oxygen and me to start watching my grand tours, which I’m sure will lead to vastly improved time management and better blogging.

As the monsignor was fond of saying, Enjoy the day.

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