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I have the lingering feeling that I just stepped out of a teleportation shuttle.

This fall has cruised by in rapid fashion with stops all throughout New England – some of which were for my bi-annual dabbling in cyclocros, a speedy trip through Italy, more jaunts through New England followed by a proper vacation in Hawaii which lacked a bike to the same proportions that it provided an abundance of beach time and poke, and now finally this entry greets you from Italy. Ciao! Of course you could have simply scrolled down at previous entries and relived these moments in time this fall, but I thought I would rehash it for your now regardless.

I have just one word to describe the off-season as of today: OVER. This aforementioned “teleportation shuttle” is often called an airplane and after jetting me around the northern and primarily western hemisphere, I freshly stepped off the airplane in Milan mere hours ago where I am now a bit shellshocked that the past two months went by so quickly. Amidst my time-zone hopping, some things simply don’t add up given this gratuitous amount of travel – case in point: I’m sitting here in the hotel lobby listening to Bing Crosby melodiously sing some of my Christmas favorites, followed immediately by Afroman’s Because I Got High, then book-ended by the Babes in Toyland fight scene song. Meanwhile an Italian marching band is belting out a cacaphony in the hotel restaurant to a group of Italian policemen and their families adjacent to where I sit. I couldn’t make it up if I tried. Oh, did I mentioned I slept four hours last night? Yeaap, I’m shellshocked.

Let’s now switch gears entirely and discuss Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for most likely the same reason it is yours. Namely, there is no stress lingering in the air in regards to gift giving and all the pretension that coincides with another festive holiday. Instead wafting through the air you have the magical amalgamated aroma of baked fowl, green beans, pumpkin pie, and a small slice of heaven, which is considerably more pleasant.

Waking up at the tender hour of 3am on Thanksgiving Eve, I took in America’s busiest travel day from high above the headache and gridlock at 35,000′ as I flew from my November training grounds in California to home in New England. From there to the busiest bar night of the year, I slept a few hours before Thursday morning’s turkey trot. I’m a regular to this sort of five kilometer activity, but it was still a nice surprise to have this version be entirely off-road where I finished a respectable 22nd out of 500 runners and now I am still awkwardly sore. I would offer you to go to the site to peruse results, but the timing company is still boasting their most recently posted results… which happened in 2009.

More importantly yet, let’s discuss pie. I was in charge of the pumpkin pie as is my standard chore come Thanksgiving day. I’m always looking for ways to spice it up and after dabbling off the beaten path of late with a pumpkin trifle and pumpkin cheesecake in recent editions, I sought help from Martha Stewart. The Deep Dish title is misleading because that’s not the showcase feature. Instead it should be dubbed Mile High Meringue with Pumpkin Pie Underneath. I even opted for an extra egg white to give it even more vertical.

I couldn’t help myself. 99% candid, 1% posed.

And lastly the pie in its native habitat. I didn’t mean to outshine the other eight desserts feeding this army of 18, but needless to say, my 7″ tall pie was nothing short of exemplary. And the icing on the cake was the meringue on the pie. It was divine.

Okay and now I must bid you farewell. Camp starts tomorrow and there will likely not be any pie in attendance. It’s back to the grind.


Oh and in related news, it is fall and that means it’s soon winter and that means it’s cold. But you’re obviously still riding your bike so you need a neckgaiter. This is a Euro-neckgaiter inspired garment and fits the bill for any chore above your shoulders. Hat, neckgaiter, ear warmer, and do-all-style-piece. It’s the bomb.

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