Friday, August 8, 2008

A Honey of a Ride -or- The Dishwashers

Any ride is gonna be good when it starts off with Grimpeurs bearing gifts of homage to The Fat Cat. Killer Bee sacrificed the toil of his insect minions and presented the Cat with some “dark beer” honey. That’s gonna be great! Much thanks. Thursday's group was rounded out with the return of Slider who brought along Bob Vernon as a candidate. You guys can bring your offerings by later.

Killer Bee took his turn as nursemaid to the ever expanding Fat Cat while Slider and Bob spun easily to the top of Mud Pike. On Papa Bear, The Cat put on a pretty good 20% grade sprint and got some separation, just to see if he could. On the 3 percent final stretch, Killer Bee rallied back and lured the Cat into another sprint. Bee laughed when the Cat sat up just before his comrade at arms said he was about to blow. The Cat filed away the information.

The temperatures were great and everyone was feeling flush. The Grimpeurs headed north on Skyline drive. This time the trip along the ridgeline was extended with a shot up Braddock road behind the Cross, followed by a plunge down the mountain on that schizophrenic hill that was ascended for the first time when Slider last joined the fray. After that the group sauntered happily along the foot of the mountain for a bit until they came to a crossroad.

To continue tickling the toes of the mountain all the way back or to go for the double bagger, that was the question. Who knows if it was the fantastic riding conditions or the perfect combination of pullers and suckers (clean up that filthy mind); whatever it was, everybody was game. So up the mountain for the second time went the Grimpeurs.

The Cat stayed within himself and kept within 47 seconds of Killer Bee all the way up. Bob was about 25 seconds ahead and slider took the summit with ease; although just where the summit was, that was a matter of dispute. Slider said he thought the Jumonville retreat, with its water fountains and such, seemed like a logical spot to regroup, but he just wanted to keep on going. Isn’t that just like him— that 5 % body fat energizer bunny. We checked under his jersey for batteries.

“Wow that rain is refreshing,” turned to, “Damn that’s cold,” just as quickly as the summer storm had jumped out of the blue. Where were the locals handing out back issues of Le Monde and Le Equipe for the Grimpeurs to stuff into their jerseys? Luckily, the good old Summit Inn and her majestic shelter came to the rescue.

As the storm thundered about, the Grimpeurs shared a delicious “Chianti platter” of cheeses and breads and imbibed the various beverages of choice. The storm, all fluster and little fury, blew itself out in short order. Satiated, The Cat and company were ready to hit the road as soon as the Sun came out. Unfortunately, the words “resort” instead of hotel, “Chianti Platter” instead of cheese plate and “service on the veranda” did not come together in the slowly warming minds of the Grimpeurs until the check came.

“Ahem, Miss, yes, it seems that we are a little light with regard to the bill. We’d gladly pay you Wednesday (or later today) for a hamburger (or inflated cheese plate) today.” What’d she expect from such a scraggly bunch clad in wet spandex and shoes without heels? Hell, if we had means we would have arrived in big American automobile, right? I mean, why ride a bicycle if you’ve got a perfectly good car? The Grimpeurs reputation must have preceded them though, for the young lass had no qualms about letting them ride off on their word. Either that or she was smitten with Sliders worldly looks and manner (See the above picture, he's the dashing chap in orange.). Leave a partial payment? “No, no,” she said, "that would just make it confusing” (just like the sentence structure, not to mention punctuation, of this paragraph). The Grimpeurs bid the trusting young girl adieu and slipped out onto the steaming pavement. They swore they could see a tear cross her cheek as she waved from the whitewashed rail.

For the amusement of his fellow Grimpeurs, Killer Bee, who was riding strong all day, repeatedly pulled away and blew up like an old Chevy Impala on the final leg. Up fire tower hill, the last climb, The Cat put his considerable ass into it. This time he didn’t quit. Bee cried out from below as he blew thermonuclear. Slider and Bob didn’t pass— let’s leave it at that. Short hill sprints: that is really the only trick The Fat Cat has got in his bag.

Well, there is one more trick, the gravity sprint. The Cat regained his descending crown as he ripped off a ferocious descent down the mountain. He did this mainly to avoid following Slider into any more off road mayhem.

It was another GREAT ride, the kind that leaves you smiling all day and pedaling it all over again in your dreams. The Cat even brought his bike into the office afterward so he could gaze lovingly on her the rest of the afternoon. Bob, you shall be known as “Pockets,” as in light pockets, for not being fully prepared for the finery to which the Grimpeurs are accustomed in their feed zones.

1 comment:

Ziggy Stardust said...

where'd you hide the beers? Under the table?