Monday, October 6, 2008

Riding Backwards

The vanquished.

La vainqueur

Not really, the pictures just dictated the captions. Last Tuesday it was just Lord MonkeyButt and The Fat Cat. Monkey boy was feeling beat from a hard day on the bike Monday and The Cat was hydrated, fed and well rested. So, there was no shame in watching the polka-dotted backside of The Fat One repeatedly slipping away—right?

The Fat Cat plans on doing a new cross race in November. That is actually ideal for his normal, upside-down training methods. He tends to lose weight and get faster during the winter, when no one can see it, and then get plump and pokey over the spring and summer. Anyway, all that being said, the circumstances were perfect for some delightful climbing intervals Tuesday.

All up Mud Pike The Fat Cat spun into mini lactate crises and then caught his breath while MonkeyButt kept a steady pace to catch up. With just Papa bear to go, the Grimpeurs decided to quit the mountain and coasted back down for a lowland tour (MonkeyButt says he is sick of the highlands). They used the gps on an iphone and followed the maps through uncharted territory. Surprise, the route was very hilly and served up a lot of nice climbing interval opportunities. Polecat Hollow, Nilan Hill and Bunker Hill were all in the mix. Lord MonkeyButt especially liked that quad busting hairpin coming up from the Dam on the Cheat River (read sarcasm here).

Thursday was more of the same for The Fat Cat. It was climbing intervals all along the ridgeline from Sabraton to Masontown WV. Musta been the low temperatures and the biting wind that kept all the other Grimpeurs indoors. All the sudden everyone had fevers, or urgent yard care duties. The inappropriately dressed Cat had to do intervals just to thaw out from 15 minutes circling the parking lot in case any stragglers showed up.

Out on the road he thought he was doing great, really tackling the hills and making them pay for all their past slights. That was until he tried to knock off the local bully, Breakiron road. Even if he had lost 10 lbs, The Cat was still no match for its 19 and 20 percent slopes. Has Chris Carmichael ever said, “A top speed of 5.6 mph would be a good goal during your climbing intervals.”? You can just imagine the “rest” speed. But, who cares? Because the really great thing about intervals is that intense euphoria you get after the ride is done. That stuff should be illegal.

Well, that’s the week in a nutshell. I know its not artistic, poetic, comedic— just ick, I suppose. Fear not, though, there is light at the end of the workload tunnel.


bluecolnago said...

so.... you're actually training for the cx race? i'm not sure that's allowed, buddy.

ya see, you just show up and ride off the back and heckal the fans as they ring their cowbells and shout encouragement as you suffer greatly. you have to smile through the pain and shout back at them telling them how much fun you're having and how crazy the guys that are actually racing are for putting themselves so deep into the hurt locker. you may want to seriously consider their offers of cold beer at the top of the run ups. it works for me. it brings cheers and adulation from the screaming hordes and makes it just that much easier to follow the race. just be careful to protect your ears if you stop for beer because that's where the cowbells are loudest....

it is my goal to become the undisputed clown prince of iowa cyclocross and i'm willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal. i think i can succeed at that!

good luck in your race. it's an awesome high.... :)

Craig, The Flanders Fat Cat said...

That is, without a doubt, some of the best training advice I have ever heard. You should have a column in Bicycling magazine. I feel now that I truly understand this cross thing. I can only hope to be called the clown prince of the East. If there are offerings of beer as you say, I will definitely partake... Only to stoke the crowd, of course.

bluecolnago said...

of course....