Gold mines, hairlines and denials. Another season comes to an end.

I'm tired. Exhausted actually, and sore. I'm all three of these things because for two weeks now I've been waiting patiently for someone to acknowledge the one year anniversary of this blog. Much like a passive aggressive mother waits for her birthday, only in hopes that one of her sons forgets about it, so she can then go into mild hysterics (not that I would know)...I too waited for the blog's anniversary, knowing that my readers would surely forget about it. During my lengthy two-week wait, I stood here in my now patented Assos-Model-Pose (hence the stiffness and pain), waiting for someone to congratulate me. It never happened. So I waited in a dark room while no one came to toast my amazing accomplishments over the last year.

It's for this reason that like a passive aggressive mother, I have moved to a small but comfortable condo in Boca Raton, far away from all of you. Let's see how you all get by without me. You won't have me to kick around any more, and you certainly won't have me in order to forget my special anniversaries...see if I care. So, much like J.D. Sallinger became a recluse after writing a popular book, I too have chosen to live in seclusion (the Biscayne Villas condo complex is pretty hard to get to from I-95) after a year of wildly popular posts. By "wildly popular", of course, I'm referring to my average daily readership finally making it well into the double digits. So it's from the safety of the my condo's pool that I reach you today. It's from here that I will continue to judge and disapprove of all your choices, along with my new neighbors the Goldbergs...not that it matters, since the professional cycling season is pretty much over. Once it is, I'll go into storage, while holding my Assos-Model-Pose while I hibernate for about four months.

How do I know that the professional cycling season is almost over you ask? Well, first of all...I've recently learned how to use a calendar. Second of all, the World Championships were this past weekend. It was during that broadcast that most of us learned something very important about Australia (especially from the aerial shots): they too have McMansions. That aside, the World Championships (and thus the beginning of the end of the season) can only mean one thing, that we will very soon start to see awkward pictures of riders who were victorious or semi-victorious at races like the Tour de France swimming with dolphins during their comped vacations in the Caribbean.

Friendly tip: If you own and train aquatic creatures, keep the guy who's known for Fingerbanging™ away from any animals that have blowholes. Just sayin'.

"Fingerbanging" is a trademark of the BikeSnob Corporation.

It's also once the season is over that many of those involved in cycling return to their other occupations. In the case of riders released from the Cervelo Test Team who were not picked up by Garmin, this means working at bike shops all over the world, and having to explain kickstands to elderly shoppers. In my case, it means staring at the inside of a closet for four months.... but in the case of Paul Sherwin, it means working as a model for Dockers pleated shorts.

Paul, tell the truth. How big was the suitcase of courage...and why did you eat it?

Modeling aside, Paul has other jobs. In fact, he's like the human version of a Swiss Army knife, but without that one gross toothpick function. For example, if you need someone to come over to your house and fawn over Armstrong, he's your guy...but if you need help running a gold mine in Uganda, or if perhaps you're having issues with logistics at said mine, Paul's also your guy. Really. So if you have any interest in starting a gold mining operation in Africa (which sounds like a perfectly fun and fair way to make a living), you can read more about Paul's abilities here, and here.

For those of us who lack experience in the field of gold mine logistics, the time away from pixlelated internet feeds of races will be hard to take at first. But much in the way that Johan Museeuw's friends and family have learned to pretend that the thing sitting on top of his head is not a squirrel pelt, we too will adjust eventually.

Musseeuw's unusual hairline was the inspiration for Cavendish's lines during sprints this year.

Like any grief process, the yearly loss of professional cycling manifests itself in multiple stages. This is also true for those who live in areas of the world where it snows (my condo in Boca Raton means that this is no longer an issue for me), since they will soon have to cut back at least somewhat on the amount of riding that they do, although it doesn't have to stop all together.

Sure, I know most of you think that these stages are fictitious, and don't really apply to you. Fine. But let me ask you something: if "bargaining" is not real, then how else can you explain the fact that mid-winter, cyclists start to take up snow-shoeing and cross country skiing? Is that not bargaining and denial all at once? Is that not the equivalent of a bear chewing off its own paw while stuck in a trap out of sheer desperation? I certainly think it is...but its the sort of thing we all do in order to cope and surive. This year, however, my off season will be spent more constructively. So if you need me, I'll be over at the Goldberg's condo, playing penuchle. Enjoy chewing your own paws off though. I'm sure it will be fun.