Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ghost Rider and The Phantom

Pain and suffering, isn’t there some kind of monetary penalty for inflicting that stuff upon someone? Too bad there were no lawyers on last week’s Grimp, I would have filed a claim. Well, I suppose I’ll have to settle for a bit of whining.

We discovered two things last week. First, E.R. docs outride chiropractors 3 to1. Of course, the sample size on that may have been a bit limited (3 vs. 1). Second, I really suck. Here’s how it went down.

We had a great showing with eight riders clicking in at the bottom of Mud Pike. Birdman, Legs, Brahma Mama, Fat Cat, Aerobinator and Phallose were joined by two new riders, Ryan and—damnit, the name just slipped my mind. Someone can fill it in if I don’t remember by the end. I’ll just go ahead and grant the Noms de Grimpeur right here. They are, Ghost Rider and The Phantom. I heard that they were out there on the roads that day, but I am a see it to believe it kinda guy. I didn’t see more than a brief shot of what may have been the backside of a cyclist so I put them in the category of The Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot— legends.

Brahma and Legs took off up the hill first and Phallose joined them. They said they’d wait at the spring. That left me with all the muscle. I sweated for several minutes until I could bear it no longer Rules of the Grimp be damned; I left them at the bottom.

I put my best pace on with the intent of beating the muscle to the spring. I would raise my arms, torso resplendent in polka-dots, and pretend to have bested the best to the merriment of Brahma et al. Well, the best laid plans oft gag a glee. The skinny fast guys tore right by me, my refrain of, “you guys suck,” probably incomprehensibly stretched out with Doppler. When I got to the spring—nobody was there. Faux glory had withered into shame. Birdman did slow down a little further up and nursed me along, again. To compound the indignity, the balance of the group, most of which started after me, came back down to meet us and then speed back up.

So, it’s gonna be okay now that there are some riders more at my level here at the top…right? Think again loser lungs! Brahma went right back down the mountain and Legs turned back a few miles later, both citing time constraints. That left little old me, The Fat Cat, woefully over-matched. All I can tell you from here is that I was breathing very hard for an hour and a half and only saw people when direction was needed. It was something like if a turtle was sent out to lead a herd of gazelle across the uncharted desert. Kinda comical if you think about it.

I tried one more time to make a showing on the last low rollers at the foot of the mountain. I stayed out for about a mile until the train tore by. Again, they shimmered briefly, like an apparition, and then disappeared into the firmament. Birdman dropped off, pulling me along valiantly at a good clip for several miles. But, in the final mile, I gave out—or “blew up” as Birdman would say.

I have to admit, I was a terrible host. The hammer will do that to ya. I was apparently so surly, that all declined the post ride recovery drink and left me as George Thorogood.
All apologies. I know it didn’t seem like it, but I do like that kind of ride, and all the tactics were well within the Grimpeur charter. Also, I suppose I NEED that kind of ride. Thanks to all who came out. Looking forward to seeing you again. Hope I didn’t scare anyone away with my fantastic riding and stellar people skills.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Happy is the Road

The tirephoid fever epidemic spreads.

Boyscout's troubles give FatCat his triumph. It's the power of the polka-dots.

Great day over Morgantown, West Virginia.

Even the road has a smile this time of year.