“We have nothing to fear—but fear itself.” The little known following line to this famous quote is, “That is, of course, excepting the climbing of several monstrous hills in succession by means of a bicycle.”
Legs and Birdman cycled the 20 miles in from Morgantown and joined the Fat Cat at the foot of the Appalachians. The skies were lightly overcast, temperatures were in the seventies and humidity was low, perfect conditions for a little ride. The Grimpeurs started up the mountain with the promise of a virgin 43 mile route with climbs up both sides of the ridge. The route was to pass Lake Courage and skirt the Fort Necessity battlefield. http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-states/pa/haydentown/330163230958 Alas, Legs flatted out at the top of Mud Pike and the fix took a while. So, instead of blazing trails, the group fell back on the same two bagger as Thursday— because it was so much fun.
The Cat decided to attack one of his weaknesses and do a lot of standing on the pedals in a bid to keep up on the steep climbs. The pace was a bit faster than Thursday, enough to keep Legs in short sentences rather than long diatribes. Everyone was riding strong. In fact, nobody seemed to be feeling much pain until the second summit. Big Daddy, of course, showed everyone who was boss along the way if they got a little too feisty.
Sometimes when you’re wrestling your way up a hill for thirty straight minutes, you kind of fold inward. To notice what condition anyone else is in would require too much effort. The picture below was snapped with much difficulty after the second climb. Only after seeing it later did The Cat realize he wasn’t the only one feeling it.
Suffice it to say that everyone had a workout by the time they got back down the mountain and into Haydentown. The Fat Cat was feeling particularly dry of mouth, much like long past Sunday mornings of a misspent youth. Everyone piled into the Cat’s car, their bikes sticking from top and open trunk like porcupine quills. Time constraints weren’t the only thing stopping them from cycling home.
“So, what’s all this about hoo-ha about fear?” you say. “That ride seemed to go pretty well. Nobody’s innards were melting like summer statuary at Madame Trousseau’s with the heat on? No one’s legs seized like rusted pistons? Did someone blow like a Daisy Cutter and I missed it?” Before you go feeling all mislead, realize that fear is usually of the unknown—of what is to come.
The Aerobinator informs the Grimpeurs that he will grace them with his exalted presence Thursday. In a fit of inspiration, or madness, The Cat designed a course specifically to put some hurtin’ on the big “A”. He then splashed this epic, four summit, diabolical extravaganza all over the internet via the Mon Bike Club site. This, of course, drew other local luminaries such as Slider, Birdman, etc. out of the woodwork.
(I left off one KOM marker near Ohiopyle State Park.)
Now you can feel the fear creeping in, can’t you. The hero Phallose backed out when he found out that his mommy wouldn’t pick him up if he got tired. Did you actually think we bought that last second groundbreaking ceremony thing, old boy? If the big Fat Cat was feeling spent after two peaks, how the hell was he gonna make two more. Sure, it looked all “Tour de Francy” when he mapped out the stage. Sure, just the look of it stirred the competitive fires. But, guess what—The Fat Cat is no Tour de France rider! If it’s going to hurt the Aerobinator, then it’s gonna kill The Cat. Maybe this ride will finally knock the delusions of cycling grandeur out of his thick head. If he’s lucky, those parasites from George Washington’s watering hole will save him from the whole thing with a nice case of Giardiasis. One can only hope…or lie.