Rodney at Les Calanques, 1987

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Sometimes we get lucky and get (as much as we can know of) someone in a photo. On this May day I caught Rod, my fellow tour guide at Velo-France, diving on a dare into the cold waters of the calanques at Cassis, never mind how cold the waters below — he had someone swimming there, so he would too. And enter the scene with panache.

At 14 he took off one summer day from a north Chicago suburb and pedaled his Schwinn around Lake Michigan. “I had an aunt in Milwaukee and some other relative in Traverse City, so I knew I’d be okay.”

After riding hard in the hills, seventy miles, and getting all the guests arranged: “Whadaya say we go out after dinner and ride some real hills? Or how about some hill repeats?”

After the surprise appearance of his ex-girlfriend on our tour: “Some girls break your heart, some girls break your head.”

Lost in the vineyards: “Don’t worry about directions. I’m left-handed.”

“How small is an epitome? Is it like the pit-of-me ?”

Rod, where are you these days?

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