Friday, November 5, 2010

Heading Home

Driving in Lisbon is notoriously difficult. A week ago, Mike Brodsky, a good friend from internship and residency called me from Lisbon. He had been in Anadia watching my races and then headed south with his son, Merrick, to Lisbon. Shortly after arriving there he was arrested for making an ilegal left turn. The cop spoke no English and he, no Portugese. Ultimately, he was let go. He phoned me to warn me. Armed with that info and that of our guide books advising not to drive in the city, we parked the car at the hotel on our arrival and took cabs for the rest of the week. I could write a short book on Lisbon. Fascinating city with great views and culture. Spent an enchanting morning in the Gulbenkian museum, a wonderful private collection of art. This vies with the Borghese museum in Rome as my all-time favorite.

But what I want to tell you about is returning our car after dropping off family and luggage at the airport. I was alone, fortunately, and had 2 + hours till our flight for London left. The drop off point for the car was no more than 1/2 mile from the airport. Though I had the paper explaining (in English) how to get there, I could not fine the place. Time is running out. I have made the circuit around the departure area in the airport 3 times. I stopped a cabbie in the middle of the street to ask directions and finally a cop who was giving some poor guy a ticket. He explained I needed to go across a bridge and then head back as I was on the wrong side of the highway. So, I finally find the place and am now 45 minutes later than I had arranged. The person to whom I was to give the keys and title to the car (This was officially my car as I had leased it) had already left and gone home. I left the keys and documents with the doorman and asked him how I get back to the airport. I understood his universal shoulder shrug and headed out on foot. Crossing several major throughways I finally made it to the departure area, having sweated through my shirt and sweater. Not a problem. It's only about 24 hours till I get home.

But I've told you about the end without relaying data from the Points Race. The race was Sunday 10/31 at about 2:00 PM. We had gotten to the track early and I felt confident as I had found .25 Euros on the street walking into the velodrome. Maybe confident isn't the right word. I was no longer nervous and was so tired from everything that had gone on before that I decided this was just another race against a bunch of 60 year old guys. I ended up 3rd and got the Bronze medal. It was a good race. Very fast. I could not use my tactic of gaining a lap on everyone as the speed was just under 30 mph for the whole race. No way I could get away. So, I had to sprint for points and was able to eke out 3rd.

Standing on the podium was a thrill. I can't imagine what it would be like to stand there and hear the US national Anthem. Looking out into the crowd of spectators (maybe 40 people) I saw Trish and my Dad and they were beaming. That was really all I needed.

I will be back next year. I learned a huge amount and know what I have to do to win. We'll see what happens.

To all of you who have been reading along and sending your good wishes and Karma I say thank you.

Larry Wolff

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