Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Something Old, Something New
My rainbow-it was overdue. (Look closely, it's there.)
So, what has happened in the wide world of Grimping over the past few weeks you ask? Truth be told, I can barely remember what I did yesterday. Still, I’ll try and render a semi-lucid account.
I used the Tour De France to try and kick start my cycling level back into something other than bike trail tourist. I did manage to ride every day the tour did and tried to emulate the stages. In the end about 700 miles were logged and nearly 40000 feet were climbed. I came in at 130something in the world out of 17,000+ in mapmyride.com’s Tour Challenge and- drumroll please- number one in West Virginia. A “major award” is even on its way as we speak. No, it is not a lady-of-the-evening fishnet stocking leg lamp. I’m not THAT lucky. (If you get that reference, well then, merry Christmas and don’t shoot your eye out.) Now please, don’t go getting any ideas about the old Fat Cat because of those results. They were more points for persistence and stubbornness rather than having anything to do with strength and speed. Hey, you take what you can get.
For the first time in a while an invite to the Grimp was sent out via the net a week or two ago. No one showed. However, I did run across a misinformed straggler from another ride and initiated him into the Grimpeurs with a trip over Wymps Gap and around Bruceton Mills. I put in 78 mountain miles (it was a climbing stage that day in the Tour) and Glen made for good company mid ride. He even gets an official Grimpeur handle even though his attendance was accidental. I call him Rocket Man (because associating him with John Glenn was the only way I could remember his name). The best part of that Grimp was the torrential downpour that turned the road into a canal for the last 10 miles. It was rejuvenating. The harder it came down, the more I smiled. Apparently, whoever is in charge of scary weather took offense to my insolence. Rain so heavy that cars were stopped on the side of the road was followed by high winds on top of thunderbolts and lightning. Still I rode on. That was the last straw. From on high hailstones pelted the landscape. Imagine bags of white marbles dumped from a 747 on your head while you are blindly time trialing through a deluge. Doesn’t that sound great! Glad I had a helmet on.
Last week a Grimp was called and some of the old faithful took heed. Goldfish, Killer Bee and Boyscout teamed up to beat the snot out of The Fat Cat. Killer bee had a new Madone, Goldfish had a new Ridley (I think) and both were eager to give them a workout. By the time I was ¾ of the way up the mountain, all three of the others had taken their mid-day tea at the top, discussed my whereabouts, and decided that they had better come back down and see if I had a flat tire or maybe a heart attack. And there you have the theme for the ride. Hurry up and then wait for the Fat Cat. If nothing else it was a helluva workout for me. The tough guys were shown who was the boss on the way down, though. I had my own private tea-party at the bottom.