Friday, October 10, 2008

Hero No More

Aerobinator+Golfish= 1 Fat Cat. You can’t beat the laws of physics. On a hilly course in wild and wonderful West Virginia, the little guys will always beat up on the big guy. It’s kinda like boxing with a kid. The adult just throws little rabbit punches and puts his hand on the kids head to hold him back while the young upstart throws a bunch of impotent haymakers and gets all red faced. That being said, The Fat Cat thinks he did better than usual yesterday.

The three riders mentioned above pedaled around mountain momma for the Thursday edition of the Grimpeurs. Aerobinator was sporting a single speed and all the ladies were duly impressed with his manliness. It was another perfect day for biking up and down hills in the afternoon sun. The north wind bated its breath and the clouds played in someone else’s yard. The trees were simply bursting with the secret of their surprise costume party to come.

The Grimpeurs started downtown and headed for a run in with Diamond Road. The Cat held on to the top of that hill, but it’s not really long enough for a serious anaerobic crisis to develop. After that it was down along Aarons Creek and then a right turn up to Kingwood Pike. Aerobinator was not really interested in a single speed test of strength along the ridge to the left. The run up to the Pike would usually be enough to drop The Fat Cat but he just made it.

The riders drifted through farms nestled between rising hills on Coburn road. When the Road headed upward once again, Goldfish took a turn on the singlespeed. He powered up the first slope and the Cat busted a gut to keep up until it leveled off a bit. That was enough to unhitch him. For the first time all day The Cat lost sight of the other riders. Thanks to the horse trailer that gave him a draft for the last few 100 yards of the chase.

“Come on, man. That rode has gotta go somewhere doesn’t it?” When you hear this statement, ignore it. The cute little road just across 119 lured us in with blacktop and a scenic descent, only to crap out into a morass of gravel at the bottom. All we did was buy ourselves an extra climb. Aerobinator offered up the quote of the day. “That road was like a marriage. Nice and smooth in the beginning, but ultimately a rocky dead end.”

Back on track, the group braved 119 to Goshen road. They whipped on down to Hornbeck and then onto 4H Camp Road. It was pretty fast along the roly-poly track of 4H. The Cat hung on by the skin of his teeth. Whether it was the profile of the road or a small bit of malice on the part of his companions, the Cat couldn’t quite find a wheel to suck and had to do all his own work.

Apparently, Goshen Road was miffed that the Grimpeurs left it. When they got back to it, the damn thing rose up into a freakin wall. The aerobinator didn’t seem to be having much fun on his single speed and even did a little weaving across the grade. Even with that, he and Goldfish distanced that gasping Cat. But, they did stay within sight—a small victory.
There's the view I'm used to.

All the work being done, the Grimpeurs drifted down Little Falls towards the river. The corridor of high foliage, hinting at red and gold in the furls of its greenery, relaxed the pace. It’s one of those short stretches of road that makes you want to stay as long as possible. At the bottom it was a bike path jaunt along the Monongahela River and home.

Yes, it was a relatively short ride, but there was cross practice in the park later on. If you want a laugh, go out to Marilla park and see the Fat Cat turn to Jello trying to carve around a tree on a hillside covered with nutshells.


bluecolnago said...

those nutshells are like marbles on the cx course. i know. i know. my good friend john has missed the last 3 races because of a run in with acorns on the course while warming up for the first race of the year.

no one that watches will laugh at you, they'll laugh with you. that's the way cx is. everyone who sees or trys cx ends up having a love affair with it.

someday i'm going to come ride the pikes and hollows with you guys. when that happens i'll be the one watching the peloton roll away.... biking is good whether you're first or last!

have a great weekend!

Philmeaux said...

I had wanted to make Thursday but life has been more than hectic. I can tell by the bantering of the MBC list that X is all they seem to say about it. So I will have to get a bike at some point.

Craig, The Flanders Fat Cat said...

You're both welcome anytime.

Phil, Evan might buy a Poprad cross bike this week. If so, I'm sure he would let you use his heavier old Schwinn cxer. Maybe somewhat small for you but that just means you would be more agile. You stand to be cramped a bit for 45 min, eh? I could tell him it's the socialist/ communal thing to do.

E T Williams 2 said...

Id do ANYTHING for the betterment of society. I might even hand out some money too, just to practice.....!