Friday, March 14, 2008

The Mountain Gives A Little

Magnifique, Muy bueno, Fantastic. Two riders, The Flanders Fat Cat and Lord MonkeyButt, took to the highlands. The weather was in the 60's and the Sun's dormant energy infused our legs with welcome strength. This week was the polar opposite of last weeks remorseless slog up a mountain seemingly endowed with some kind of gravimetric surge. The Fat Cat did not exactly fly up Mud Pike but he was able to put Lord MonkeyButt into distress several times. We went up the initial steep grade to the hairpin, one just behind the other. The same was true of the second 15 plus degree pitch, each pushing but neither able to get more than a few seconds lead. We stopped for a second to fix a speedometer and I saw Lord MonkeyButt was as redfaced and breathless as I. Quick work was made of the repair and Lord MonkeyButt, still fumbling to remove stifling layers of clothing bid the Fat Cat on, saying he'd catch up. The battle raged , the Fat Cat just under the limit, refusing to look back, and Lord MonkeyButt red-lining and doubting his ability to catch the formerly overmatched Fat Cat. After 2 miles the break was caught but, the ashen and non conversant visage of MonkeyButt made the efforts worthwhile. The Fat cat tightened the screws as his companion tried to pass. Several bike lengths of separation ensued as the crest of the pulloff section was made. We rode together for the recovery roller section, admiring the dormant high forest and anticipating the imminent explosion of greenery. At the last short, leg splitting grade, the battled was joined again. Lord MonkeyButt upped the cadence and his bobbing waif -like frame propelled his Colnago Dream forth. The Fat Cat, feeling okay but straining the legs, did not match the acceleration. "I'll wait until the rock outcrop and put on a sprint to pass," was the twisted thinking. It was quickly evident that such a late season strategem was ill advised after just recovering from a five week battle with at least four different microbial waves. The Fat Cat stood to attack but the burst was not there. All he could do was maintain pace and watch his foe ride off for a 30 second victory. We pressured each other across skyline all the way to the golf course, which was open for business. We thought it would be great fun to have a golf course beer but , alas, neither brought any money. After experiencing a winter of abject desolation on the roof of Pa, we didn't anticipate the go(l)fers coming out to their holes. More talking interspersed with attacking brought us back down the mountain's spine. The Fat Cat avenged himself on the intermediate fire tower hill, a lactic climb that Lord MonkeyButt is known to loath. The descent of Mud Pike was dusty due to our first encounter with cars since the start and thus, not the usual bobsled run fun. At least it wasn't greasy, gritty, Belgian toothpaste. We did power past a big, dirt cloud spewing coal truck on the flats at the bottom of the pike, always good for a kick. We rewarded our efforts with a few cervesas at Bullfeathers, purely for training purposes, of course. You know, carbo loading and all.