On the first pitch, the Flanders Fat Cat, strong even after two days of intervals, pushed the pace just a bit. A glance back around the hairpin and, surprise, the maillot a pois rouges had popped off the back. Up the next leg breaker, a little faster and the gap widened. The Flanders Fat Cat toyed a bit with his foe like, well, a cat with a ball of yarn, slowing and accelerating. When it became all too obvious that the battle had been decided, MonkeyButt yielded and we staged some photos. Was it illness? Was the 27lb Frazee Schwinn Crisscross a hindrance compared to Earnestina? Whatever it was, we rode up the remaining mountain together, The Fat Cat making sure to top all steep grades first just to stamp out any protests. The mountain top was snow capped but, hopeful green shoots sprung through the vestiges of winter. Having had enough of the old man of the North, MonkeyButt led the way back down the Pike. We tooled around in the lowlands, taking in the Smithfield War Memorial and admiring the mountains from below. After the ceremonial exchange of the polka dot jersey, the Grimpeurs retired to the traditional comfort of Bullfeathers bottom of the Pike, backwoods bar and grille. MonkeyButt spoke copiously of carbon fiber redemption.
Later in the day the Flanders Fat Cat juggled his many responsibilities and hit the inaugural Law School Criterium while the boy scouts baby sat. The nine other riders got together and all ruffled that Fat Cat's fur, but good. Any delusions that the thin mountain air may have conjured were dashed onto the wide stretches of pavement between The Cat and the peleton.
The group started with ten hard laps and a victory by, surprise, the ageless wonder, Gunnar. So, Cat, you think you can skulk about on the back? Let the games begin. Why not race two man teams? That sounds fun doesn't it? Why not let that denizen of the rear team up with he of the unfettered vision, Gunnar himself? General-G coached The Fat Cat into the most aerodynamic hiding pockets and slowed his pace each time a drop was imminent. Voila, third place, a podium spot. Sure, the Cat was sucking more than his fair share of air and third was two places short of his teammates accustomed spot, but all survived.
Not enough for ya? Stick with Gunnar and let's have a relay. Time to rest, great! Great googily moogily. Those boys and girls flew around that depository of legal writ. We nary had time to stop and settle into our restart positions, before our mad counterparts whipped around, exhorting us to go, go, go. My world squeezed down into a blurry pinhole in which the skinny ass of Ryan, leader of the WVU team, was my desperate carrot. Gunnar yelled things like, "you gotta want it more!" each time we made the switch. What I wanted was to just explode in a glorious ball of sweat, co2, lactic acid and hillbiily bar pickled eggs. Oddly enough, the rabbit sung words, whirl whirl twist and twirl jump around like a flyin squirril cycled through my head and drove me on. Despite a might bit o cheatin by Kean, The Cat and The Gunnar managed to avoid last place. Never in so short a time has The Cat felt so much fatigue. Small comfort was taken in the dirges of his cohorts. The beatings continued as General G-man tried to improve moral but the Fat Cat had to pull off the final five lap, side splitting, every man for himself, race.
Despite being a boy among men, and VeloBetsy, The Fat Cat of Flanders had a great old time at the Inaugural Law school smack down. Thanks all, I'm buyin the beer next time.