Monday, February 27, 2012

Battle of Champions

It was a veritable pantheon of polka-dots this Thursday. Six riders lined up at the bottom of Beulah, all of whom had worn the coveted red and white spots. It promised to be a battle royal.

Boyscout was there and could boast of never having lost the jersey on the course. Diesel had the honor of wearing the jersey for the "race", having regained it last week. Fixie, Fat Cat, Birdman and and Sandbag were there and champing at the bit to get back in stylish polka-dots against such a distinguished field.

Sandbag tried to pull a Fat Cat and pulled out alone early. The peleton harangued him with great zeal. Sandbag, ever senstive and polite, muted his attack. And so, the grimpeurs trudged up Beulah, only gently strung out.

At Summer School, Sandbag had the lead with Birdman right behind and Fat Cat a few lengths behind that. The Grimpeurs turned right and continued upward. Boyscout was overheating such that he was compelled to stop and shed some gear. Everyone was straining against the pedals and against their inner voices urging them to stop the madness.

Birdman got past Sandbag as Fat Cat watched from behind. Birdman had won the polka-dot jersey the last time it was contested on this course and he was determined to repeat. By the finish he was weaving from fatigue and oxygen deprivation. He had given his full measure, the only question over the last few yards was whether it was enough.

And at the finish it was...Birdman all alone. Sandbag crossed a few seconds later with Fat Cat a few seconds behind that. After a short time legends of the Grimp, Diesel, and then Boyscout rolled up to the Nicholson intersection. The Red Lantern crossed on Fixie's back with honor.

After all due pomp and circumstance was given (Sorry again for last week Diesel) the group shuffled on across Summer School to Kingwwod Pike where Don took the county line. The Grimpeurs zoomed into Reedsville and after a short jog on Rt. 7 turned left on little known but very scenic, Stones Lane/Dillons Creeek Road. From then on Fixie took charge and wouldn't let anyone take the easy way. The backside of Herring was tackled and then a gravel and dirt strewn Bull Run was knocked off. Despite the pipeline installation induced quagmire, no tires were sacrificed.
Fixie's next command decision was to avoid the fearsome Mt. Zion climb by choosing the even fiercer slopes of its not quite identical twin, Ridge Road. There was audible groaning at the thought of those initial 20 to 30 percent grades, let me assure you. The Grimpeurs were rewarded with gravel again for their efforts. From then there was one last hill to the intersection with Mayfield and then a scream down Snake and back home. It was a most excellent adventure.
See  you next week.

No comments: