Monday, November 24, 2008

Cross n Kids

The Fat Cat and a couple of other Grimpeurs hit the mountains this weekend for the Bruceton Mills Cyclocross. Truth be told, the Cat was already up there the day before, helping with the course design and set-up. Let me dissuade you now of any altruistic notions regarding the Fat Cat. He showed up Saturday to a desolate hillside, devoid of a course, because he got confused as to the race date. He even had a raucous contingent of spectators on the way that had to be turned back. So, he took the day he had negotiated for weeks and rode around on the back of a quad, sticking orange flags in the ground with frozen fingers. His chief contribution was to ride sections and say, "that's too hard." Hey, the course started out as downright cruel to the adipose challenged. But, the guys were able to make it fun yet challenging in the end. Thanks Don, JR and Marc.
On race day, being that he had burned his free day, the Fat Cat decided to take one of the grimplets up to the race for a little sled riding and heckling. Leo had a blast. He threw snowballs at riders and spectators alike in-between swooshing down the hills with his new friend Bella, drinking hot chocolate and running the course. I advise anyone who wants a good family adventure to head up next year. The venue is great. The course is on an achingly scenic farm in the mountains. There was a raging fire, a heated garage, chili in the crock pot and drinks in the cooler. The sled riding was right in the middle of the course so the kids didn't miss a thing and the parents could keep an eye on them.
In fact, everyone could tell the Fat Cat was itching to get out there all through the B race. Being that Leo was in view of the whole course, the bikes just happened to be on the car from yesterday, and the A racers were egging The Fat Cat to join them, he took Bella's Mom up on her offer to entertain Leo.

The course was mostly thawed and a bit soupy by the time the A race started. The Cat rode like he was on a wet noodle. The faster pussycats rode away in the first few yards leaving the Cat to "chase". It was actually liberating to know that there was no way to stay out of last place. Ride your own race, that's all.
The only time the Cat strayed from this strategy was the only time he got a mouthful of Bruceton toothpaste. In a taped off section of tight turns, he felt the leader bearing down on him for the first of many lappings. Not wanting to be an impedement, he gave it all he had coming into a muddy banked turn. Pulling off would have been a better idea. He washed out right in front of the guy and they did a little mud wrestling. The Cat would be feeling bad about it but one of them thar rabbits did the same to him later. The Cat hit him with a little stiff arm just to keep himself upright. Is that bad?
I could go into the pain and difficulty of it all but I just deleted it. Not feelin it. With Leo cheering me on every lap, the back fatigue and other such discomforts didn't seem all that bad. He was better than any banned substance would've been. (For all you literature types, I know I switched person liberally as well as other transgressions throughout. Just go suckle on some E.B White for a little and you'll be okay.)
Gotta wrap this up so let me say this: anybody who was thinking of racing or just watchin' this year but couldn't drag their butts up the mountain should start making plans to take the family out to this event next year. You'll be glad you did. Leo said he thought it might have been his best day in all his six years.
Oh yeah, great trophys and swag too. But, where was the Lantern Rouge award!


SKIFAST said...

May I use the photos of my wife and I?

Steve Green

Craig, The Flanders Fat Cat said...

Of course. If you let me know which ones, I'll see if I have some more. Took a lot more close ups.

SKIFAST said...

Number 58 and 88.

You can check my pics out here.

Let me know if you want any.


Craig, The Flanders Fat Cat said...

Is she the one in front (blue and yellow) or the one behind (white)? I have more shots of both of them.

Do you mind if I use any of myself? You took some good shots out there. I wanted to get some of those pine tree pics and the finish but never got over there during the race.

bluecolnago said...

now THAT, my man, is good stuff! i wonder how the queen of cross is going to be when she grows up? she spends all of her time at race venues, and she's only 2. she loves heckling and ringing the cowbells. great sport for family to watch and to participate in.

so, it's going to end up being a competition for lanterne rouge honors? i, sir, am up to the challenge!

good stuff. i love it!

Craig, The Flanders Fat Cat said...

I defer to your greatness, blue. I might be last but I'm not havin' a great old time like you. I'm hurtin'. I was thinking about your exploits during the race but I couldn't bring myself to stop and chug a beer or dance with the ladies. Maybe, with a little training, I can throw down for true ownership of the red latern. I'm going to hit the bars tonight and get started.

Jason said...

Hey man, nice pics. If you don't mind I'm gonna steal the 2nd one down. I'm the one in front with some friends behind me heckling me. I'll give you credit. Sweet day of racing.


bluecolnago said...

i have to admit that i didn't want to get back on the bike on sunday. saturday kicked my ass in a big way. goddddddd, it was fun! oh yeah, i hurt today. it started on the way home yesterday and hasn't let up yet.

jingle cross is going to be a blast. it's the biggie! 2 day party!

you and oldman and i should get together sometime to see who really EARNS the lanterne rouge. (it's part public relations, part pure suffering when done correctly)

leo definitely appears to be enjoying himself. that's the best part, eh?

the best part of sunday's race was my wife out walking around taking pictures and heckling me. she was actually laughing at me while harrassing me. of course when jackal went by me at the top of the run-up, shaking his head at me, well, i knew i must be doing something right. :)

i stated my goal at the beginning of the year. to become the clown prince of iowa cross. not sure i made it but if i didn't it wasn't for lack of trying!

SKIFAST said...

Yes my wife is in the blue yellow jersey.

Let me know which pic is yours - I have a couple others that did not post.

Rock on


Craig, The Flanders Fat Cat said...

Thanks for coming down. I left a comment on your blog about pics. btw, nice race report. Good to see the out of town perspective.

I have more photos of your wife, including a good closeup or two. No better of you than the one you got. Give me your email at and i'll send you some.

Philmeaux said...

I love the pic of the fire pit hazard. Man that really makes a great course, snow then a run through fire. Sweet.

Jason said...

Thanks! I'd love the pics. E mail sent this a.m.

Craig, The Flanders Fat Cat said...


How would you like me to get you those pics? I can post them at the mon bike club site or you can email me at and I will send them directly to you.

I think I left the yahoo part out of the last email I gave you, sorry.