Friday, August 1, 2008

Not really the heat....

.....but the humidity. That's what we thought during today's edition of the Grimpeur. Hello. Its me, Evan, aka the reluctantly named "monkeybutt" taking the helm for the Cat today.

Two riders took to the hills today under what looked to be grey threatening skies. A brief warm up in the lot and we were off. The steep, little climb to the hairpin turn where the Cat bit it a few weeks ago was going rather slowly and as we climbed the Cat (known from here out as Weimer) made it known he forgot something. Now I know Weimer and it wouldn't be a ride w/ out him forgetting something, this time it was water. A brief stop at the natural hairpin springs pvc pipe spewing cloudy mountain water was in order as he filled his filthy bottle with equally cloudy (probably filthy) water (it had just rained). Now its rule number one, well maybe not one, but its in there somewhere that you DON'T STOP on the climb. I mean, that's the whole idea of the Grimp, to torture ones self to the point of failure, but today's water stop was as welcome a republican in the White House! We needed it. After his bottle was filled we mounted and climbed again, this time, feeling new. Litter abounded, Woodsy Owl would of shared a tear w/ the Indian Guy who cried beside the interstate in those 1970s era public service ads on TV. About a quarter mile from the stop we noticed a new sign posted high in a tree where we once again stopped to take more pictures.

Was the sign referring to us? Lowlifes ride bikes up steep hills during the work-week? Naw, it was the litterbugs for sure.

At this stop we noticed that sweat was literally falling off of us as we stood basically still in the sylvan tunnel of foliage that we were climbing under. It felt way more hot then the 81 degrees measured up on the Subarus trucklettes dashboard. We finished the climb to the top O' the pike in relatively gentlemanly style, not competing and pushing each other this time, commenting and contemplating the random garbage strewn all over the road on the upside of the climb.

A quick decision was made to turn left and go across Skyline drive where the sky suddenly turned blue and the humidity vanished and it felt as if we were riding in the air conditioned convenience of a climate controlled environment. Another quick stop at the famed Summit Inn to gather literature where a guest approached us and told us that we impressed her with our most recent climb. A quick "it was easy mam", an outright lie and we were off again, over towards Jumonville. On the road, down a short downhill both Weimer and I noticed some signs about the same time....realizing that we were now in tourist mode, we made a U turn to go back to look at the ancient cast iron signs. They proclaimed the young general George Washington and General Braddock made use of the area directly below the signs in the summer of 1755, it was a natural spring. Seeing this, Weimer was off down the foot path to the spring and derelict spring house to sample yet more ground water. I was more then a little reluctant to drink the clear water from the springs stone bowl, but Weimer said that if it was good enough for the first president of the United States, it was good enough for him! And drank away he did.

We hopped back on the bikes and headed down towards Hopwood. I sprinted past Weimer at the top of the hill but he quickly passed me as the downhill became steeper due to his ceramic bearings. As he pulled away from me I dared a look at the little gps speed thing and I was doing 49.1 mph, Weimer must of been at 52 mph as the gravel truck passed us on its lumbering climb up the hill. The force of its wind and gravel dust combined with our terminal downhill speed hit us like an atomic shock wave and nearly knocked us off the road, its what downhilling is all about. The Hopwood/Fairchance road was uneventful and the humidity picked up where it left off earlier as we finished our ride.

Bottles and Drafts followed along w/ lively discussions of General Hospital thru the years at Bull Feathers bar and grill post ride.
For you vicarious types, check the ride out here!


Craig, The Flanders Fat Cat said...

You forget to mention how your spindly legs nearly snapped like dry kindling twigs trying to match my accelerations.

bluecolnago said...

spindly legs? dry kindling twigs? it sounds like someone is throwing down a challenge!

it's still hot here too. and humid. the sweat doesn't drip off of you this year, it runs in a steady stream like a small hose.

i'd wish for fall but then i'd miss the last of the summer. besides, winter follows fall and one never knows what winter will bring. all in it's own time....

Craig, The Flanders Fat Cat said...

For the record, I do not have ceramic bearings.