Four Grimpeurs hit the highlands Tuesday. Lord MonkeyButt Joined The Fat Cat, Phallose and newest member, Chris N. It was a gloriously sunny day with moderate temperatures and just enough wind to be helpfully cooling rather than quarrelsome and pushy.
The Fat Cat was the only one on a cross bike. This did not occur out of some kind of masochistic machoism. The speedy little Cervelo that usually labors beneath The Cat’s girth apparently did not like the extra Sunday morning mountain ride that Aerobinator, Slider and the boys cooked up a week and a half ago. Her already shortened chain broke early in the ride and lost a few links in the repair. A couple of hours later, in the midst of a climb, she went into a fit of madness and began to violently cannibalize herself. In the end a twisted derailleur lay on the road and the rear wheel was warped beyond rotation. All attempts to turn her into a single speed failed and the call for evac was made. The poor girl still hangs in the garage awaiting a new derailleur hanger, derailleur, cables and wheel repair.
Of course, much to Lord MonkeyButt’s irritation and everyone else’s amusement, the Fat Cat forgot something. Now, he has at various times ridden without gloves, without water, without a helmet, without socks and in tennis shoes (very painful with clipless pedals). If you’ve ever happened to see a potbellied half man, half hairy ape type creature on a bike then you had the misfortune of coming across The Fat Cat on the day he forgot his shirt. Quite a stir occurred in the Bigfoot community that day. But, without shorts, that might be where the line is drawn. Fortunately, the world was saved from a Sasquatch in whitie tighties sighting by a pair of swimming trunks buried deep in The Cat’s trunk.
Despite MonkeyButt’s official lodging of a pre-ride excuse—he had suffered grave illness recently, possibly pneumonia or maybe even TB— he rode up Mud pike with aplomb. Phallose has reportedly been working on his skills and was strong. Chris is 140lbs, nuff said. Then there was the Cat.
He didn’t lodge any excuse. He did so well in the 4 climb extravaganza last week that he thought this one summit adventure would be a breeze. Wrong! It was evident early that the legs were not willing. The knee jerk reaction was to blame Earnestina. But, it really wasn’t her fault. The funny part was, though turning the pedals was shockingly difficult, the pulse rate and respirations were not even close to the red. After some time alone on the climb to think, the reason became clear.
It was really quite interesting and ironic. The Fat Cat attended a seminar on neurology, more specifically—reflexogenic systems, the weekend prior. This entailed 15 hours of sitting in an uncomfortable chair as well as about 10 hours sitting in the driver’s seat. Monday morning’s up and at ‘em turned into a wince and roll outta bed affair. Yep, the old disc was acting up and making standing erect a difficult proposition.
By Tuesday afternoon the Cat’s back had calmed down quite a bit, at least in the realm of cortical realization of pain. The ride up the hill, however, showed the very mechanisms covered in the seminar to be at work. The damaged tissues were sending impulses out that were reflexively causing inhibition of the muscles of the low back and legs. The gams were only recruiting a fraction of their total motor units. Thus, The Cat was at his limit in terms of strength to turn the cranks but, because of less muscle recruitment, oxygen usage and cardiac output, were not maxed out. Now, that’s one hell of an excuse; don’t cha think?
After the Cat finally limped up to his comrades on the mountain top, all headed out across Skyline Drive, past the Summit Inn, past the perpetually closed Fabrizi’s Italian eatery and down the mountain via Jumonville Road. Earnestina showed herself to be a pretty good downhiller and brought a small measure of redemption for the climb.
Pressed for time, the Grimpeurs made a pretty good run along the foot of the mountain. Chris andPhallose finally opened it up between Hopwood and Fairchance . Through great effort, The Cat caught a wheel and hung on for a bit. MonkeyButt was lost in the jet wash. He would later proffer a second, post drop, excuse. He had to make a call…okay. The kid is really learning form The Fat Cat but he’s still got a ways to go.
The Grimpeurs all made it back to Haydentown with minutes to spare, strung out but safe. The whole trip was only about 30 miles but they were good, mountain miles. Everybody enjoyed the ride. Chris earned his Grimpeur name with little struggle. He is “Goldfish” because he’s wafer-thin and always has a smile (like a Goldfish cracker). See ya next time.