Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Base Miles and Banana Bread

(Phallose at the top of the mountain)

I must be sick. I give up. I admit it; I have a problem. Exhibit A: I was driving in to work this morning on clear roads. Suddenly a mini blizzard stoked up. The roads were immediately covered and I couldn’t see the cars ten feet in front of me for the violently swirling snow. As I slid to a stop after exiting the slow procession on the highway, all I could think was— Cool, I wish I was on my bike.

Lord MonkeyButt summoned the Grimpeurs for a ride Tuesday. Phallose rode in from Morgantown and The Flanders Fat Cat broke up the work day for a ride up Mud Pike. Phallose, astride his gleaming carbon steed, struck fear into the heart of MonkeyButt, who chose an old steel Clydesdale with 32 inch bald tires as his mount. The excuses knocked about like air hockey pucks. The Cat was sick. His smooth cross tires were not in the trunk and he had to ride mudders. MonkeyButt had been working in Jersey and only riding hotel trainers. Anything to lessen the blows sure to be delivered on Phallose’s blog, The Misanthropic Cyclist’s Forum.

The sky brushed aside its grey covers just as the Grimpeurs started up the pike. The pace was dawdling to say the least. Phallose, to his credit, held back the evil powers he has been concocting in his garage and pretended to grunt. The summit was made without any undue pain. The only interesting thing that happened on the ascent was the mysterious case of the road gloves. Phallose shouted from ahead, “Hey, there are two gloves on the road up here. They say Specialized.” When the Fat Cat caught up he was surprised to confirm that they were his, the hole in the shifting finger giving positive ID. He had not ridden the mountain in some time and yet there they were, right in the center of the pavement. The last time he did ride down, it was damn cold and he sure as hell didn’t take his gloves off. Maybe a snow plow pushed them all the way up there from the parking lot?

The Grimpeurs made a right on Skyline for the Bruceton/Lake of the Woods loop. Earnestina did her best to keep up with Phallose and his road monster while Phallose did his best not to completely drop the Cat. For his part, MonkeyButt said he liked to ride alone…on a group ride. Funny how it was always off the back and never off the front. Seriously though, he accounted for himself well despite his exile to the flatlands.

Most of the ride, save a few violent bursts, was taken at conversation pace. Phallose filled in admirably for Talks-with-Legs. The subjects of conversation were: quantum physics and universal intelligence, the biological imperative of propapagation of the species, the “many worlds” theory and its relationship as to buying a carbon fiber bike (hey, you’ll be buying it in one dimension, so why not this one?), the fallacy of human evolution, the offensive nature of the word “fag” and its etymology, and whether MonkeyButt would like to change his name to “Rabbit” in line with the Karma Sutra. By the way, I would much prefer having a Madone to eating dirt. Just yankin yer chain a little, Phallose.

Despite his fears and past experience with the Grimpeurs, the two cross bikes never ganged up on Phallose and he and his delicate road bike were kept off the gravel and other non-asphalt surfaces. However, some pea gravel and ash did conspire against him on the hairpin curve near the bottom of Wymps Gap. The Cat heard him, brakes squealing, slide across the road and onto the very edge. Phallose admits he thought about locking into a power slide or even dumping it but he didn’t want to ruin his tires.

Well, that’s about it. It was a good ride. The best part of the trip was probably the mid-ride snack of banana bread. The Fat Cat found it in the trunk of his car, right beside Phallose’s stuff.. He almost threw it away but there was no mold on it so… Anyway, it sure tasted good, even homemade, like it had been specially baked for someone. Delicious, just delicious. Now you know why it is called “The Trunk of Destiny.” Anything that makes its way in there is destined to be The Cat’s.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tastee-Freeze for Lunch

I caught a glimpse of a movie the other day while grabbing a bite to eat. Nicholas Cage sat outside the stone McMansion that housed his dysfunctional family. He monotoned over a shot of the fine home, “Look at this house. Someone should be happy in there.” Sometimes I feel like that when gazing across a frozen valley after pumping up three or four miles of steady grade. Look at this house; we should all be happy on here. One fellow’s fortunes fall while another’s rises like blobs of lava in one of those old lamps, ever changing, ever floating and sinking, beautiful. It’s only when the heat is turned off that the whole thing settles into an ugly cold lump at the bottom. Every man or woman riding next to you has been to the top of the hill and to the bottom as well. They have all felt the strain of the impossible grade and the fear of the descent. All any of them can do is keep on riding, keep the legs moving forward. And, if they do this, they inevitably look out across the valleys and the peaks they have worked and sweated over and they are happy. Works every time.

Two riders got out yesterday for a lunchtime workout in the hills of West Virginia. Birdman and the Fat Cat started out in cold weather but on clear roads. Being averse to clear roads this time of the year, they headed up steep old Mayfield. The climb kept the furnaces burning and the toes warm while it degenerated into a rocky stream of winter runoff.

The Grimpeurs plunged down the other side on Mt Zion road, bunny hopping potholes and shedding glassy shards of ice from their rims with each squeeze of the brakes. Two youts shouted out something ending in “giddyap.” Who knows what preceded that. One can only imagine, being that we were in deepest, darkest. As the Grimpeurs headed out towards Masontown the snow really started to come down.

It was decided that the bike path would be the best way down the hills they had traversed. The 3% average grade and absence of traffic would alleviate the need for braking, allow the riders to control the effort instead of being at the mercy of wind chill and it would be to the liking of their hardy bikes.

The trackless white of the path was stunning. The powder churned up from the tires and through the forks like shavings from a metalworker’s lathe. Birdman must have been getting cold because he quickly shucked off the sight-seeing pace and stoked the old internal fires. He had the Fat Cat just on the red line all the way down. The snow fell harder, the eyes stung more and the effort increased to levels that had The Cat feeling like some musher in a desperate bid to deliver vaccine to stranded, diphtheria stricken, Inuits. But, he wasn’t cold.

The final six miles over Dug Hill and into Cheat Lake were gloriously horrible. The roads were covered and untreated in the heart of a snowstorm. Cars were parked along the roadside, unable to top the hills. All the while Earnestina’s tires just kept digging in. You know you’re having fun when someone yells out from their porch, “Be Careful!” What a wonderful world.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Get Your Head In The Clouds

It was the worst of days. The world refused to break into glorious wintry turmoil but neither would it offer a smile of sunlight from its gloomy face. It was cold. It wasn’t the kind of freeze in which one can find comfort in the beauty of survival and nature's grandeur. No, this day was the kind that hovered just at the raw edge of dreary existence. There was no glory to be had or promise other than that of discomfort.

Still, the schedule (despite plans otherwise) opened itself and I found myself passing ole Mud Pike on the way for lunch and then Grimplet pick-up. The trainer was in the trunk and Ernestina was on the roof. She was relieved to have been spared a shackling for lunch but still quivered up there at the prospect of my finally beating back Somnus and tying her to the garage floor whilst everyone else sleeps. Her front wheel shifted on the wet rack and turned towards the east.

Out there, just beyond a sea of gloom, the mountain’s top enveloped itself in low ceiling. It was all mystery, wrapped in clouds, an uncomfortable gift from your estranged lover. There was fear. All hell could break loose in the unwrapping, gloom piled upon gloom. There was hope. Pushing aside the pillowy tissue might reveal something wonderful, renewing.

The only way to get started in pouring, just above freezing, glass after glass of ice water over the head, rain is to just take it head on. Forget about “warming up” and all that. Earnestina and I hit the hill like wild bull and savage rider, spitting bile as we cut through the murk. Oh, could the incoherent grumbling and discourse have been made decipherable—

At times like these you can take the mountain on in such a way as to suck out the venom. Bearing down, nose to the rivet, one can use the pain like a buck knife, carving bloody crosses across the wounds and sucking it all out. Soon the world contracts to a senseless orb, no cold, no icy rain, all contracting quadriceps and pounding heart, brain unseated from its throne. It was thus we rode, ignoring Bill Murray’s admonitions to the groundhog (that one was for you, Musie).

And then there it was, the shiny red bike, the Xbox, the diamond ring. In the space between the heavens and the corner of some sodden field (that was for you MonkeyButt) on a break in the grade, the senses blinked back on in a field of white. I don’t know what it is about crossing the snow line on a bike. Maybe it’s the solitude, the sernity, the graphic display that change happens, the thrill of treading the untrodden, the feeling of moving nature and her seasons, by force of will? Maybe it’s as simple as the pretty white show? Whatever it is the snow line always hits my tired soul like a cleansing wave.

Ah, up there in the clouds, alone, without my thoughts, in a sea of brilliant white noise. Like a dream, it sorts out the days events, clears the mind, strengthens the body, preserves the sanity. Why would anyone confine themselves to rolling along the bottom, never lifting their head? We spend so much of our lives spinning away, over the same old ground, that we never change cadence. We ride around the hills, sucking each other’s wheels, crowded into the stifling echelon, hiding from the wind. We duck under the simple act of being happy. I wanted to stay off the mountain, but I couldn’t—shouldn’t

In less than 1.5 hours I am down the mountain and back in the gloom. Thing is, the gloom is not so bad. I take the time to race about the puddles and delight the gawking drivers, some of whom actually stop to see the spectacle. The little hills that caused so much strain, slide under humming tires. I laugh a bit. There is something to be said for getting your head in the clouds sometimes.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sunrise or Sunset?

The Fat Cat is letting go of the mountain. He cannot lead the Grimpeurs anymore and is relinquishing command. It has been fun, but, all good things must come to an end. (Although some might question whether it was good or not.) The site will be open to all who wish to post their climbing exploits or any other type of ride related diatribe. The Password is "Grimpeur" and the user name is Make good choices and be careful out there.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Icicle Bicycle

Tuesday's ride was the type the Grimpeurs were founded upon. The mountain top was dressed in her finest white linen, shaming the dreary wet countenance of her lowland sister. This was a day when a man who numbers among the least in pure, clean cycling prowess can vault to the top out of sheer stubbornness and stupidity. It was a day for Masochism; it was a day for mirth. Let me take you along for the ride.

It 's cold and rainy at the mountain's foot. The rounded peaks are obscured with grey and white. Twinges of excitement surge through my gut- or is it foreboding. That things were happening up there is not in doubt. That this would be a solo ride was also assured. They are few, the ones who relish such things as this.

Sounds and sensations, dormant through the summer tableau of clean pavement and clear skies, leap up from the road. The crackle of turning rubber on fresh, black ash; the cries of fingers, not yet warmed by the stoking of the core; the crisp smell of the air, rushing through mouth and nose; the wistful sound of the winter wind, tumbling about bare limbs and exposed hollows. These gifts are not given over with disregard like the lazy summer breeze.

Halfway up and the snowline is breached. There's always a special feeling in the transition, like stepping off the last rung with Neal, or Lance, for that matter, moving from one world to the next, leaving mere mortals below. A thin trail stretches out behind, a loose tether to the safety below. Looking back, the wavy lines of an imperfect technique bring to mind the tracings of an EEG. The diagnosis is clear, dementia.

Up in the clouds, near the top, a calm beauty lulls the wary upward and onto the thin stripe of asphalt along the mountain's backbone. She has been saddled, yes, but broken?

No longer under the protection of furrowed shoulders and slowing grades, the old girl turns and bears her teeth to her rider. They are blinding white, row after row of razor sharp needles. They ride the gale, tearing at any breech in Gortex armor. The faster one runs, the harder she bites. In the midst of the battle, a point of science comes to light. Though the skin of the face may eventually grow numb in the cold and throw off the pain, the sclera of the eye- it never dulls to the icy onslaught.

So, head down, switching from one half open eye to the other, I plow forward, blind and oblivious to the labile surface below. Ernestina is newly shod, clawing for purchase. She has my full faith and trust like few others. The heavier the weather, the more determined I am to make my destination before heading back to the calm and safety of four wheels and sealed cabin.

As I slowly loose the battle between heat generating climbs and energy sapping falls, I am the brief annoyance and bewilderment of dozens of pickups and SUV's, laden with hunters and the occasional carcass. I laugh to think of myself, fodder for many a fireside tale. Between the yarn of the impossible shot and the great buck that got away, they'll speak of that idiot on a blue bicycle, riding the crest of a snowstorm.

One last obstacle throws itself up. For the first time in a long time I stop on the slopes of Mud Pike, not because of want, but because I have to. Who would have thought it to happen on the descent, rather than the climb? The great white way is covered in scalloped lines of fresh ash, unsullied by the spinning behemoths from Detroit and Japan. I race down through the flakes, more than half blind, trusting memory, my tires and the road crew's work. At that moment, I want nothing more in this life to put that last four miles behind me as quick as I can. Halfway down, the chilling scream of the mountain, her needling teeth and the unrelenting squeezing of brake pads on frozen rims take their toll. Hands and arms become rigid in the cold flight. I stop and dance along the roadside, ginning up enough heat to facilitate the muscles to work again and the skin to feel.

Finally, the bottom. The road is wet and dirty as is the air. Not at all the welcoming I had envisioned. One more bout of dancing in the parking lot and thawed limbs gain me access to my little, white, Swedish cocoon. Immediately, I can't wait to fight the battle all over again.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cross n Kids

The Fat Cat and a couple of other Grimpeurs hit the mountains this weekend for the Bruceton Mills Cyclocross. Truth be told, the Cat was already up there the day before, helping with the course design and set-up. Let me dissuade you now of any altruistic notions regarding the Fat Cat. He showed up Saturday to a desolate hillside, devoid of a course, because he got confused as to the race date. He even had a raucous contingent of spectators on the way that had to be turned back. So, he took the day he had negotiated for weeks and rode around on the back of a quad, sticking orange flags in the ground with frozen fingers. His chief contribution was to ride sections and say, "that's too hard." Hey, the course started out as downright cruel to the adipose challenged. But, the guys were able to make it fun yet challenging in the end. Thanks Don, JR and Marc.
On race day, being that he had burned his free day, the Fat Cat decided to take one of the grimplets up to the race for a little sled riding and heckling. Leo had a blast. He threw snowballs at riders and spectators alike in-between swooshing down the hills with his new friend Bella, drinking hot chocolate and running the course. I advise anyone who wants a good family adventure to head up next year. The venue is great. The course is on an achingly scenic farm in the mountains. There was a raging fire, a heated garage, chili in the crock pot and drinks in the cooler. The sled riding was right in the middle of the course so the kids didn't miss a thing and the parents could keep an eye on them.
In fact, everyone could tell the Fat Cat was itching to get out there all through the B race. Being that Leo was in view of the whole course, the bikes just happened to be on the car from yesterday, and the A racers were egging The Fat Cat to join them, he took Bella's Mom up on her offer to entertain Leo.

The course was mostly thawed and a bit soupy by the time the A race started. The Cat rode like he was on a wet noodle. The faster pussycats rode away in the first few yards leaving the Cat to "chase". It was actually liberating to know that there was no way to stay out of last place. Ride your own race, that's all.
The only time the Cat strayed from this strategy was the only time he got a mouthful of Bruceton toothpaste. In a taped off section of tight turns, he felt the leader bearing down on him for the first of many lappings. Not wanting to be an impedement, he gave it all he had coming into a muddy banked turn. Pulling off would have been a better idea. He washed out right in front of the guy and they did a little mud wrestling. The Cat would be feeling bad about it but one of them thar rabbits did the same to him later. The Cat hit him with a little stiff arm just to keep himself upright. Is that bad?
I could go into the pain and difficulty of it all but I just deleted it. Not feelin it. With Leo cheering me on every lap, the back fatigue and other such discomforts didn't seem all that bad. He was better than any banned substance would've been. (For all you literature types, I know I switched person liberally as well as other transgressions throughout. Just go suckle on some E.B White for a little and you'll be okay.)
Gotta wrap this up so let me say this: anybody who was thinking of racing or just watchin' this year but couldn't drag their butts up the mountain should start making plans to take the family out to this event next year. You'll be glad you did. Leo said he thought it might have been his best day in all his six years.
Oh yeah, great trophys and swag too. But, where was the Lantern Rouge award!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dirty Girl

It was a cold and lonely Thursday. Nothing wrong with that. I had my girl and she wanted to find some trouble, get dirty.

When Earnestina and I arrived at the Sabraton meeting place, the only other bike within eye-shot was under some itinerant restaurant worker in blue jeans. Birdman had flown off to FLA and Lord MonkeyButt bailed due to the weather and flat out laziness. The rest were unaccounted for- presumably huddling together against the cold.
Riding alone in winter always lulls me into lapses of fancy. I find myself floating in memories of each hill I climb, both buoyed by improvements and weighed down with losses. Some climbs slip away unnoticed in the haze of semi-consciousness while others pull me back to reality. I stopped twice on Breakiron.
Before you get your chamois all twisted know that it was not of necessity, but of science. Believe it or not, my telephone has grown an inclinometer. Being left to my own devices on this wintry day, I thought to take some measurements for my fellow grimpeurs. I spent the bulk of the hill bitching under my breath about faulty apps because the readings were unreasonably low. "I know that damn section is more than 13 degrees," I muttered to the wind. It wasn't until halfway up Nicholson until it hit me. Slopes are measured in % grades. Faulty brains, not apps- sorry Steve Jobs. I'll try again some other day.
But, I do have some good technical information on the hills. Map my ride has changed the display for their ride profiles. Now the profile is divided up into percent grade sections. For a long ride they are useless because a gradient section can encompass an entire hill and read 0%. But, the smaller you make the course, the more accurate the readings become. For example, a mapping of the whole of Breakiron will give readings that are a bit low, because they are averages of a certain distance. You can see this on the link to the right. However, I mapped out a small section of Breakiron, the one from the bike path to the open field and, lo and behold, grades of twenty percent (Check the little box in the upper right hand corner below the distance indicator to get the graphic.). I knew it. I don't think the measurements exceed twenty percent on the site. Mudpike also has 20 %'ers. See, these hills are hard. And, they get harder with every holiday ham and Christmas turkey.
Up at the top, Earnestina wanted to take Sand Bank Road and get off the asphalt. Even up there, the forest was already in a late winter dress of sooty snow and barren trees. Not at all inspiring. If fact, expecting to see boughs bending with white caps, I was a little depressed. That is why we took the bike path down, to find a little lost beauty.
Halfway to the bottom, we encountered the only other biker of the day. As I was extolling the virtues of the cross bike to myself- no worries about flats, etc., we came across a mountain biker kneeling mid-path. He was fixing a flat. Oh, well. After a little conversation about the group ride of one I was on and his plantar fascitis, he and his fixed flat were left in my whirl of snow flakes.
All in all it was a pretty good ride. I chose just the right clothes, right down to the t-shirt under my helmet, and was never cold. The solo effort hid the effects of my extra 4 or five pounds and the one or two ride/week training schedule. Unfortunately, Saturday's cross race should shine a white hot light on the fruit of my apathy. At least I'll make prime fodder for the hecklers.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Stream of Conciousness

Huntington West Virginia is the fattest city in America.

The above picture is not Huntington. It's just an obligatory high contry photo form stock footage.

My wife went to school in Huntington so I spent a lot of time there. The people are nice, but morbidly obese. The exception is Ritter Park, in the more affluent part of town.

Obesity is defined as 30lbs overweight. In a culture where over 50% of the residents are obese, a person who is at an ideal weight, especially if they have moved down the scale to get there, will be told they are too skinny and asked if they are sick.

Cyclists have been called the sickest healthy people in the world. This is because of the extreme stress and attendant stress hormone release that can suppress immune function. They are “on the edge,” if you will.

Abdominal exercises and related infomercial gimmicks will not “subtract inches from your waistline". You may get a six pack but it will be hiding under that same old Milwaukee goiter.

Abdominal exercises will strengthen your core. This will help reduce back pain and injury. Do them for your health, not your looks.

A lot of people try and make a lot of money repackaging the same core strengthening exercises with pretty names, programs and equipment.

Weight loss is easy- calories in versus calories out. Will power is tough.

Sisyphus syndrome: a loathing of tasks that, once competed, only recur again and again. For example: washing the dishes. I coined this name some time ago to describe my constant need to force myself to do mundane tasks.

Weight loss/ fitness can sometimes seem like a Sisyphean task.

Fear can help. I don’t recommend it but—allowing yourself to get morbidly obese and having to walk a 21 speed bike up hills can make you spit out a donut or two for years to come.

This is where I'm going to live when it all comes crashing down. You, my fellow Grimpeurs, are invited to join the community.
Cozy inside, eh?

Tuesday Grimpeur passed 5000 visitors. I know other sites may do this in a day but it is more than I thought we’d get. Four or five guys was the expectation.

The site has had visitors from every continent save Antarctica. Still waiting for McMurdo to come around.

All the visit indicators for the site in foreign countries never grow beyond the 1-9 size. I imagine the disgust on some Frenchman or Italian's face when their search engine misdirects them here.

I just hope none of the hits from the Middle East are from Albert Qaeida. (Now watch me get bumped off the net again.)

You can go ahead and comment on the insensitivity of that remark.

I was surprised when several areas outside of Morgantown suddenly blossomed to 100+ status. Thanks to all.

If you are from out of town or out of country and feel misrepresented as one timers. Go ahead and drop a few lines. I’d be glad to hear from you.

Some people are very verbose online—offline, not so much.

It is raining a lot lately.

I like riding in the rain…once I get myself out there. (see Sisyphus syndrome)

Fixed gears are for kids…or for those who wish they were kids. Maybe I should get a fixie?

Bikes are fun.

So are kids.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Too Cold? Read It Instead of Ride It.

I know I haven't given you, dear reader, much over the past couple of weeks. Sorry, life often intrudes and choices have to be made. I'll get something out this weekend. But, as consulation for your loyalty, I have something for you.
If you like extereme sports, especially those involving a bicycle, this is sure to be a good read. The girl writes an intersting and well crafted blog. I followed it last year during the Iditabike race and couldn't wait to check it each day. Here is the link to get her book The proceeds go to backing her next extreme endurance race.
I think Jill has the potential to support a biking lifestyle as it deserves via her writing, if the blog is any indication. I'm gonna buy a copy so that I can have a small part in someone livin the dream, baby. That and a slice of some good prose.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More Race Video

Ryan took this video at the barriers. There is a pretty good spill at the end. You can see the Fat Cat in all his formless beauty. Not exactly throwing caution to the wind. I'll post any more media that might pop up here.

Here is a novel view. It came from a seat mounted camera. Can you tell that people were really excited about this race? It got more coverage than the Vuelta.

More pictures. The Fat Cat, Aerobinator and Birdman are in the deck.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Race of the Dead

Saturday the grimpeurs joined in on the craze that's sweeping the nation, CYCLOCROSS RACING. Aerobinator came in third in his race for the orders highest placing. Other members riding around in circles at Marilla park were Sidewinder, Big Daddy Birdman, Slider and The Flanders Fat Cat. Phallose was there to commemorate the auspicious occasion on digital media for all posterity. You can check out a very nice race montage video on his blog, The Misanthropic Cyclist's Forum For more video fun, check out Sidewinders helmet cam footage com/watch? v=MNvH7LfFxkA.

Big Daddy Birdman carving the corners.

Aerobinator giving the barriers what for on his way to a podium finish in his first cross race. Don't you just hate him.
Contrast the above with The Fat Cat's demonstration of how not to tackle the barriers.
But, at least he didn't do that.
Speaking of tackling... This guy looks more like a linebacker than a cyclist!
Here's how it should be done, a regular bicycle ballet.
Ahhh, a bit of West Vurginia flavor--The Hill Of Death.
This guy, Wes, some big time cross champion from the East Coast, cruised up the monster like it was a speed bump. He was amazing to watch.
The Fat Cat's form got a little better towards the end and he failed to claim last place. Officially he was 4th from the bottom. He contends that the officials made a mistake and he was on his eighth lap, not seventh. His reasoning is that he only saw Matt and Birdman pass him once, he knows he lapped the one guy on a mountain bike ( he marked him at the beginning) and he is pretty sure none of the women ( who started later) caught him except the all-powerful queen of cycling, VeloBetsy. Nevertheless, he could also be suffering from oxygen deprivation so no protest was filed. Does it really matter? The point is that everyone had a great time. Cowbells sang, children laughed, Gunnar heckled, beer cans clanked, and the sun shone bright on a great course. Congratulations to first time promoters Slider and Gary with design and construction assistance from Gunnar et al. The camaraderie was so great that when, Bill, an "A" racer from Pittsburgh ended up in this place--
the Fat Cat saddled him up on Earnestina and gave him his shoes. It was nice to see the girl doing what she was born to do.
That's about it for now. You can check out the race results at Can't wait till next time! Cyclocross is just super.
Oh, one more thing. The Fat Cat probably wouldn't have gotten his fat rear out to the race had it not been for some guy in Iowa. He was so excited The Cat just couldn't let him down. Thanks Blue Colnago.