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Tonight I want to talk about a few different things. I often write this blog about one subject, and I try not to beat it to death. But tonight there’s a few things that wouldn’t necessarily take up a whole blog. So I figured I’d mix them together and give you something useful. I told you that to tell you this. My bike riding buddy Johnny called a few hours ago, at around 5 p.m. He had some alarming information. A bike riding friend of ours, let’s call him Frankie, not his real name, went missing. I asked Johnny what “missing” meant. He said Frankie’s brother had called. Apparently Frankie left around mid-morning and some eight hours later had yet to return. I immediately went to the house and got search lights. No one seemed to know where to start looking. This story has a happy ending. Frankie showed up at around 6 p.m. I’m not sure what the story is, but I’m glad he’s safe. The reason I bring this up… Back in the days before cell phones, whenever I’d leave for a mountain bike ride, I’d jot down my general course and where I might be found. I’d leave it on my kitchen table. Generally when I ride alone, I give Serena my route. If most of my ride will be on Mulholland, I will mention it. If I say Simi Valley, everyone knows what I mean. I also use weird terms that others are now using. If I say “I’m going to see the horses,” it means Hidden Valley. If I’m “Going visit the fat man,” it means Port Hueneme. All of my friends know my routes. They also know for some odd reason, unknown even to me, I don’t veer from my routes. That’s not a safety thing, that’s a Vinnie thing. On a lighter note, my friend David Holt sent me an e-mail today. David is always interested in having a better power to weight ratio. That means he tries to keep his weight low and his power high. He told me he ordered a Tanita body composition monitor. He mentioned he wanted to see how much fat he can use without risking his health. I’m somewhat familiar with this type of scale/composition monitor. The good news is it will give you a general idea of the amount of body fat you have. The bad news is, when you are a guy like David who is extremely lean to begin with, any instrument that’s maybe 5-10 percent off from reality could have you losing more body fat than you can stand to lose. The only two true measurements I know to accomplish this are: Weighing yourself in water and a new machine that some doctors have. It’s in the couple thousand dollar range. The doctor from The Biggest Loser, Robert Huizenga has one and he demonstrated it to me. The machine was spot on in accordance with my water test.
While I’m still on my soapbox on being safe on the road, I drove by the makeshift memorial of the guy we wrote about last week. My buddy Steve and I did what many others did and left water bottles. Ours are the two all the way to the left. We also put the front wheels of our bikes in the photo. We spent a few minutes there and Steve said about the best thing you can say in a situation like this, “It could have been either one of us.” If you’re a bicycle commuter, remember it’s the last week before daylight savings time. Don’t get caught out after dark. Carry taillights and headlights. I’ll probably mention this again. Now please enjoy a picture of Sophia Loren.