Adam and McHale,

If I’d known I was going to be famous, I would have taken more care to write my stories a bit more cohesively. 😉  YES, please share them as you see fit.  Alex is one of the few people in my life who is with me always.  Most days, I usually think about him during my commute to and from work on my bike.  Oh, and I also think about him every time I eat oatmeal (which we referred to as ‘gruel’ when Alex would strip it of anything tasty and turn it into a super meal for training).  I eat oatmeal everyday for breakfast and so does our 2 year old son.  Noodle on that for a second.  I ride at least 5 days a week, twice a day, and eat oatmeal once a day.  So, I haven’t seen Alex in years, but it is like he’s still there with me everyday telling me that brown sugar in my oatmeal is still sugar, and that I should use something with a lower glycemic index like that nasty blackstrap molasses.  Or, I would try to match his cadence on our rides…and suddenly I notice on my commute to work dragging my 2 year old in the trailer that my cadence has picked up and I’m passing others on the bike path.
On hot days, Alex would always unzip his jersey all the way so it flapped.  Drove me nuts.  So, what do I think on when it’s hot and I’m riding?  You guessed it.  Alex’s flappy jersey just begging for a bee to fly down the front of his bibs.
Back in the summer of 2005, my father died suddenly of a heart attack.  We were in the middle of racing season and had just returned from the Mt Hood Stage Race.  Alex finished in the top 5, I think.  Not bad for his first stage race as a cat 3 (and second stage race ever), and on very hard terrain.  We had the Elkhorn Stage Race (this pic was from the TT warm up for that race, but I believe it was in 2006) about three weeks later.  There was a point in the race on the last climb up Dooley mountain at the end of a 100 mile stage.  I was hurting and starting to drop back through the lead group.  Alex was right there next to me.  He told me my dad was watching, smiling down on me from above telling to find my dark place and go there.  We were in the middle of a hard event that Alex stood a good chance of winning, and yet he drifted back with me to provide words of encouragement.  I was not surprised, because that was simply the kind of person he was…always there for his friends when they needed him most.
As I said before, few people stick with us on a daily basis.  Parents, siblings, best friends.  I can safely say Alex will always be with me.  He was truly an amazing person.
Warmest wishes,
Jim Fischer
alexandjim

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