It was a fine spring day this Thursday past. The trees were flush with new green leaves, the underbrush hastily bloomed in the sunlight the burgeoning foliage still allowed and the mountain streams surged with youthful vigor. The Flanders Fat Cat came to this edition of The Grimp feeling his own spring strength and the power of the Polka Dots.
Five Grimpeurs came out to challenge the fabled Mud Pike and to measure themselves aginst their peers. Brahma Mama was there as well as The Fat Cat but, like the shoots of the season, several new Grimpeurs popped up in Haydentown. Marco came over from Italy (well, not directly) Matt peeked out from the local woods and one guy even showed up on a mountain bike!
The Fat Cat was feeling full of himself and had set the impossible goal of under 26 minutes to summit the mountain, thereby beating his best by a couple minutes and setting the best recorded time on The Pike. At the start, he was so confident that he let the others go while he fiddled with timing devices, making sure that his foray into history was properly recorded.
All metrics properly set, Fat Cat took out on his own personal time trial. He zoomed past the peleton and attacked the steep feet of the mountain. Between heavy breaths he heard an unusual sort of hum just off his stern. Was it?...No it couldn't be. He struggled on into the sky, feeling light and fast, nobody could take the jersey from his back--not today, maybe not ever. Still there was that oddly familiar hum poking at him.
As sweat welled up from gaping poors and began to drip from Fat Cat's brow, a strange and unexpected object popped into his peripheral vision. At first he thought it may have been an oxygen deprivation induced mirage. However as it pulled even, and then passed, it was clear that this was no bit of ephemera- it was the guy on the mouintain bike! As The Cat watched, mouth agape, the knobby tires and thick frame grew smaller ahead. The Cat awoke from his shock and gave chase.
The riders were pegged to the red-line all the rest of the way up. Precious little gap closed with each mile until it became clear that the unthinkable was about to happen. That Fat Cat of Flanders made the summit at a new record time of 25:40...twenty-eight seconds BEHIND the guy on a mountain bike.
If it's any consulation to the defrocked Fat Cat, each time the tale is recounted the listener usually interupts with, "It wasn't Sam Dyke, was it?" A reply in the affirmative is invariably followed by a knowing nod of the head. Apparently Sam is well known in mountain bike racing lore (as is his wife). He doesn't even own a road bike, thank God! The havoc he might wreek is unthinkable. As far as his grimpeur name, captain obvious dubs him Mountain Man.
Marco "The Pink Jersey" rounded out the podium with Matt "Vanilla Ice" taking fourth and woman among men, Brahma Mama, soldiering up the heavy red lantern.
From then on the Grimp eased up a bit across skyline but was not quite as lax as usual, maybe due to a little posturing up front. The group screamed down the east side of the ridge on Kirby, reaching speeds of 59 mph. Due to time constraints, the Grimpeurs elected to turn right around at the bottom and tackle the 3 miles of hill they had just descended for a nasty little two ascent out and back.
Congratulations to Mountain Man on his first Grimp, an astounding run, and his first turn in polka-dots. Thanks to Vanilla Ice for joining the order and thanks to the regulars. It was, as usual, a great grimp.
There were double points today so the standings add up as such:
Fat Cat: 23
( He elects not to take double points in deference to Diesel and Birdman who could not attend. Or, was it punishment for his defeat? )
Mountain Man: 10
The Pink Jersey: 6
Vanilla Ice: 4