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  • Nicky Hayden had no right to be second on the first lap and first on the second; he wasn’t a masterful rider in the wet, he was riding a bike designed for his pint-sized teammate, and he was returning from a foot injury that had kept him away for two races prior. But he made a show of it for us anyway, stayed upright and eventually finished second—his best result of the season.

  • There’s Hemingway’s old bit about bullfighting and car racing, of course, but bikes are an even more perverse extension—totally exposed humans at ever-increasing speeds somehow allowed to continue racing one another from a very young age amid perpetual political bickering over safety, economic and environmental concerns.