This Bud's For You, 23 July

The heat haze is on the rise, temperatures in the mid 90s to up near 100 Fahrenheit. It rises off the blacktop like some cloak, or forcefield, distorting everything behind it. It is nothing to those of us sitting on the turf in the median, in the shade of the trees, the breeze. For those out racing tonight, though, it is a different story. Though their eyes don't perceive it, they are enveloped in the haze all evening. They may feel it, but they don't see the barrier like we do at a distance. When they come around the far turn and hit the finishing straight the riders are fully enveloped. As they begin to break through their forms shimmer and waver like the picture on an old black and white television screen. There is little focus control when the heat rises, only proximity will help. As they get closer, though, the haze diminishes, or at least its effect does. The picture begins to clear, reveals the end of another weekly chapter in the Bud's Ride saga.

There is a new king of Bud's this week. After last Wednesday's nail-biter of a finish sprint, last night's was more like a dud in that the decision was fore-gone well before the line. Now, that could be a good thing, especially from the perspective of the champion. Heck i would take a win with a decisive gap if only i could buy one. Or earn one.