Friday, October 28, 2011
The weather was just above 50 degrees. It had been raining all night as well as the day before. The rain persisted through The Grimp start time. It was a day to gather up one or two points while everyone else gathered by the hearth and sipped Jamaican blend. At least that was what one would expect. But, the revamped Grimpeurs were hungry to climb hills as fast as their legs could push them, weather be damned. Eight riders saddled up and headed out onto the wet West Virginia Roads.
At the onset, it was decided that the ride would stay relatively close to home. A planned start from the shores of Cheat Lake got the kibash when Boyscout lived up to his moniker, scouting out a passage to the closed bridge. The Grimpeurs decided to make the crossing and tackle Quarry Run.
The pace was high up Quarry Run from the outset when boyscout took a flyer. He thought he had distanced the group. But, when he swerved across the road to survey the damage, he ran right into Fat Cat. The race was on. The hills echoed with labored breathing and painful grunting. Nary a word could be fitted between gasps. It was something to see, the way all Gripeurs had quickly progressed this season and were really fighting it out. The race stayed tight throughout, riders passing each other only to be hit with a counter punch. At the top Boyscout ( on a cross bike) won by a slim margin. Sandbag came off the bench and turned in a solid second place. Cross-eye rouded out the podium. Legs finished just ahead of Fat Cat with Birdman, Brahma Mama and Fixie coming in after. There at the top of the hill, steam still rising though helmets and into the golden foliage, the Grimpeurs decided that they had so much fun, they'd do it again.
This time The Grimpeurs took on the originally planned course. They crossed the Ices Ferry bridge and raced up the river hill. The Fat Cat broke away this time, knowing that there was a downhill back to the lake on Rockley Road. The descent of Rockley was unfamiliar and strewn with storm debris-- nothing to do but let loose and pray. At the bottom Fat Cat still held the lead but heard the war whoops behind him.
Halfway through the Rockley climb, Boyscout, Sandbag, Cross-eye, and Fat Cat were tightly bunched. The wet road pitched up such that skinny tires started slipping and bikes became disobedient. Cross-eye slid sideways, but kept his balance. Fat Cat had to go foot down so as not to T-bone Cross-eye. The Cat was left waving goodbye to a shot at the podium as he tried to get started again. The whole affair was reviewed by the judges and ruled unintentional- no foul.
Cross-eye took the win at the top of Rockley and, by virtue of his win, got his wish to change his nicknname. He is now called "Diesel". Sandbag put in another gritty performance and finished second again. Boyscout could only muster the will for third, his polka-dot jesey already re-won on Quarry Run. Fat Cat's legs and lungs begged for quarter and it was nearly given until he glanced back and saw Birdman (who he thought was Legs). He opened up that hurt locker and found a little something under that old cyclocross jersey. After Fat Cat and Birdman crossed the line, Brahma Mama pulled off a stunning upset over the former holder of the overall points lead, Legs. Fixie proudly hauled up the Lanthern Rouge.
There was quite a shake-up in the overall standings:
1. Boyscout (I want all the jerseys)- 29
2. Diesel (The artist formerly known as Cross-eye.)- 26
3. Legs (I don't like downhills) -24
4. Fat Cat (I'm the law in these parts)- 19
5. Birdman (Why is that fat guy ahead of me!)-18
5. Sandbag (Wait till I fix this tire.)- 18
7. Fran (Tete de la femmes)- 10
8. Tallboy (MIA)- 6
9. Fixie (I'll kick butt next time without this damn red latern to lug around!)- 3
10. Trip (I might melt.)- 2
Don't forget to mark your calenders for the Mud Pike double points race on Thursday November 10th.