Friday, May 16, 2008

Coughing Up a Hairball

Outclassed, outgunned, outmanned, outmatched and out of luck. The Fat Cat of Flanders was the anchor to Talks-With-Leg’s and Dave Buchanan’s drug runner special cigarette boats. Oh sure, it started off all well and good, conversational pace up the run in and what not. Scylla’s slope was no big thing, conversation continued. Then Charybdis opened up her big fat maw and sucked the life out of the Cat.

"Charybdis in Watercolor"

Through the doldrums, Dave got ahead while Talks-With-Legs chatted up the flagging Cat. Knowing he was lost, the Cat bid his fellow Grimpeur onward and upward to challenge the young upstart who was stretching the gap. Talks-With Legs, who you know covets the polka dot jersey, did not hesitate in abandoning his feckless host. The doldrums are “relatively” flat, which is to say the grade is probably only 5 or 6 percent, but there are several little no name risers that tickle the double digits. After a couple of these, the Fat Cat was alone.

A lackluster bit of recovery finally settled in and the Cat tried to catch up. On top of Baby Bear, he saw the other grimpeurs, side by side, just going over Mama Bear. A pittance of comfort was taken in getting a glimpse. It was tempered by the realization that those couple of hundred yards were insurmountable given the terrain and distance to finish. Rumor has it that Talks-With Legs was able to summon his years of racing and European riding prowess to nip the youngster on the line. All the Cat saw was the two coming back to fetch him. Congrats on joining the storied pantheon of Grimpeur Champions. Too bad we forgot to get your victory photo.
One more order of business. Dave gets the Grimpeur name “King Bee”. He comes by this moniker by virtue of the fact that he fuels his rides with a water bottle full of home grown honey: I kid you not. However, readers are encouraged to think of John Belushi in a bee suit on Saturday Night Live whenever King Bee is mentioned. You unfortunate younger types will have to do with the image of that bee character that pops up randomly on the Simpsons.
Go to this address to see the Killer Bees in action:

Some information about Tuesday's ride was gleaned from Killer Bee, who was in attendance that day. It seems that Charlie has been drifting away from his crazy notions of running and all the attendant bodily harm. He has been turning into a real bicyclist and showcased the shift by pulling away from Killer Bee and Nate at the 2/3 mark and never looking back. Contrary to my imagined version, Charlie took the jersey. The Grimpeurs will allow one vestige of his ill conceived foray into running; his Hasher handle will transfer over because it can’t be topped. Charlie, you are, and remain, Analgesus. Nate forfeits his grimpeur status for a grave transgression to be made clear later.

The Grimpeurs headed South on Skyline, the North being shut down by a dastardly deep dressing of tar and chip. If you’re not from around here, tar and chip is the inane practice of taking a perfectly good road, slathering black tar across it, and dumping a load of pea gravel all over it. Ernestine and her juicy tires were up to the trial but Talks-With-Legs’ green glossed carbon fiber rig balked at the thought of tiny little projectiles assaulting its skinny little slicks and finely woven skin.

By Bruceton Mills the Fat Cat was totally toasted. All across to Lake ‘o’ the Woods he could only listen to the conversation from afar and watch his companions noodling along at half speed to keep him within earshot. Along the relatively flat perimeter of the lake, the Cat got close enough to hear the woeful saga of Nate and the back side of Wymps Gap. Nate, done and riding with a fork in ‘im, much like the Fat Cat today, did the unthinkable when the grade kicked up on that last climb. He went foot down! He stopped mid climb! He didn’t even have the decency to feign mechanical difficulty or to pretend to have to answer Mother Nature’s suddenly urgent call. These sort of things can be accepted with a jaundiced eye. Hell, your buddies will secretly thank you for it. But, to unclip simply because the body, or more accurately the mind, gave out and to not proffer an acceptable ruse—madness!

Anyway, we all made it back to Haydentown alive. Killer Bee rode the two miles back to his cave while the Flanders Fat Cat toasted Talks-With-Legs’ glorious chase and victory. The beer wasn’t free this time but it was still good.

You can stop reading now. We have come to the part were I can no longer stand it and have to dig into my big bag of excuses. Oh, here’s a good one: I was riding a cross bike to the others’ road rigs. Hey, I ain’t no Mark G. Okay, let me dig around in here: I was just getting over a cold— yeah, that’s a keeper. What about: I think I’m getting the kids’ flu. It worked well during the ride, but seeing as I am not doubled over the keyboard or wretching on the screen, gonna have to toss that one out. Oh, now this one is an oldie but goodie: didn’t eat today—that one never gets old. Let’s see if we can find it…oh yes, here it is: only one water bottle—that always goes great with no food. Wow, how could I forget this one: haven’t been able to ride much for the past few weeks—that’s golden. Yea, yea, yea: my front hub was bad/too much attrition--gotta have a mechanical in there. Whew, this is all getting a bit unwieldy, my arms are full. Maybe just one more from way down in the bottom here—wait, wait, I can get it: I still suck! Well, might as well put all these others back in the bag; that about sums it up. Nonetheless, it was still a great ride with good company, and we’ll do it all again next Tuesday.

1 comment:

bluecolnago said...

your "tar and chip" is known as "seal coat" around here. why do they always seem to screw up perfectly good roads with that crap?

excuses? "i think i might have a loose spoke"