Friday, June 15, 2012

Spring Beat Down: Part II

The Grimpeurs met at the bottom of Mud Pike this Thursday for the Double points extravaganza. Mountain Man Sam had heard that some of the Grimpeurs had been on the race circuit and were feeling pretty good about themselves. He had seen too many pictures of a smiling Fat Cat wearing a polka-dot jersey that was rightfully his. It was time to see who was really the king of this mountain. He joined Birdman, Mama, Fat Cat and Diesel for a hot and sweaty battle for the top.

Mountain Man rode with the group while Fat Cat, unbelievably, let a big gap form while he fiddled with gadgets. Would he race this edition just as he had the last? Sure enough, a half minute later he flew by, even saying, "Let's go," as he passed. Mountain Man worked up a hum as the momentum on his big old mountain bike wheels reached critical speed. He saw the polka-dots ahead, going up the steep lower slopes, sitting- standing- generally blowing  all the hatches. How predictable. Steadily spinning his knobby tires, Mountain Man patiently closed on Fat Cat. It took a bit longer but he caught The Cat about midway up the hill. He was not looking good. His oppnent uttered something about "not having it today". Mountain Man quickly put Fat Cat behind him by about 25 yards. After that he let up abit, this time knowing the course to come. Fat Cat tried to up his pace and did start to close ever so slightly. At the right moment, Mountain Man kicked his plan into action and kicked it into another gear. He rode away from his antagonist and took away all hope of some sort of heroic throwdown. He crossed the line near a minute ahead of Fat Cat. Birdman came in soon after, having put in an excellent effort for third. Diesel came in fourth and Mama was fifth.

Mountain man reclaimed his laurels and led the group right across Skyline towards Bruceton Mills. In Bruceton everyone enjoyed fresh scones. Everyone, that is, except Fat Cat who just sat there looking sullen. The Grimpeurs continued out of Bruceton on 73 and crossed over towards Lake of the Woods. Along the way Diesel and Mountain got off the front and out of sight. Mama talked with Birdman about the cons-and pros- of Physical Therapy, Chiropractic and other such things. Fat Cat just lagged behind the whole chatagua on his own.

 Suddenly, with about 8 miles to go, Fat Cat unhitched from the back of the train and started hitting the grades and descents like he was in a race again. Birdman took up the challenge and passed for a bit. Fat Cat took a page from Mountain man and kept rolling until he got away again. Fat Cat ran past Diesel and Birdman chased. Fat Cat ran by Mountain and Birdman chased. Everybody chased everbody else and the tranquility of the day was blown to bits. Fat Cat got over Wymps alone but stumbled a bit in the switchback descent. Birdman chased for all he was worth and finally caught up in the last quarter mile. Nice riding Birdman. Fat Cat tossed his bike in his car and headed for work, passing mountain man on his way out.

Congratulations on a well earned win, Mountain Man, and 10 points! You showed that it is not about the bike, it's the engine and not the chassis, you can't buy speed, and otherwise confirmed all those old but true cliches.

Fat Cat: 61
Diesel: 40
Birdman: 34
Legs:  34
Mama: 24
Mountain Man: 20
Vanilla Ice: 20
Sandbag: 19
Trip: 6
Pink Jersey: 6
G-man: 4
Razor: 2
Highlander: 1

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Six riders made the Grimp on another gorgeous Tuesday. The ride made it's way over to the mountains on the east side of The Cheat, but not without impediments.
Construction on the new bridge has spread out to involve the closed roadway so that it is (or was that day) impassable. The constuction crew did, however, allow that if we could find a way around, we could cross the old bridge. Local Grimpeurs remembered seeing a trail that snaked down to the lake from the hillside community above. After a little searching, the path was located in someone's back yard. G-man found someone in the back who said we could pass. After trundling down the goat path in bike shoes, we were met with a keep out sign on the bridge. We promptly ignored it.

With the lake crossing fiasco behind us, the climb of Quarry run was the challenge ahead. The Grimp lined up at the bottom and was up tempo from the gun. Legs paced the group from the front for most of the climb, the normal cascade of words emanating from his learned head replaced by a steady flow of perspiration.

In the end He didn't have the final umph to counter the hangers on who finally attacked. Fat Cat went by with Diesel chasing and that is how they crossed the finish. In a bit of a surprise, the artist formerly known a "knickers", Vanilla Ice, continued his improvement and snatched up his first turn on the podium. Congratulations Iceman! Legs pulled in next after his excellent effort. G-man and trip came in soon after to finish things up. After the fireworks had ended, The Grimp meandered about Rock City before heading for home. Again at the bridge, the East side workers tried to stop the Grimpeurs but softened when told the West side counterparts had already left us cross. At the top of the goat path, the Grimpeurs were met by the real property owner who questioned them profusely, Turns out it was simply a hired constuction hand who gave the initial permission and had overstepped his bounds. The Grimpeurs apologized profusely and the keeper of the trail was soothed. Note that he would not be happy to have bikers hiking past his barbecue pit on a regular basis and that this is not a route that should be repeated.

Fat Cat: 53
Diesel 36
Birdman: 28
Mama: 25
Ice: 20
Sandbag: 19
Mountain: 10
Trip: 6
Pink: 6
G-man: 4
Goldfish: 3
Razor: 2
Highlander: 1

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Double Digit Grimp

Thursday last saw the biggest gathering of Grimpeurs on the new season. Ten riders made the start at The Botanical Gardens in Cheat Lake WV. Throughout the ride, conditions fell squarely into the sweet spot for cycling. This led to a higher than normal average speed combined with a higher than normal level of camaraderie (If that is even possible for a Grimp ride).

The newest Grimpeur, Chris Haddocks (sp?), heretofore known as G-man for a demonstrated proficiency in "Guitarin' ", chose a Snake hill race with a Mayfield finish. The ever strengthening Mama jumped ahead from the get go as is her stratagem of late. She gained a good gap on her chasers. She stood on the pedals, really working the pedals. She nearly made the Raven Rock crest still in the lead! It was almost if she was feeding off some sort of deep, animalistic anger. Could the source of her incredible power surge have been the inexcusable slight of being improperly placed in last week's standings? So that she will show us mercy on the course next week, last week's standings have been amended.

On the next rise Fat Cat came around Legs and nestled in behind the head of the course, Sandbag. With the dogs of cycling war in hot pursuit, Fat Cat exhorted Sandbag to work with him on the remaining 2 to 5% grades to shake slip their gnashing teeth. Sandy put in a valiant effort but could not hold the wheel after his pull. Fat Cat reached Mayfield and broke the tape first. Sandbag pulled in second and Talks-With-Legs completed the podium. Once again the officials were not sure of the remaining finishing order. It is thought to be Diesel, Vanilla Ice, Mama (They were afraid to place her any lower) Birdman, Trip, G-man, Razor. Protests/revisions can be made via the Mon Bike Club site or directly to The Grand Pooh Bah.

After the battle was done, the combatants came together for a fine ride through the peaks and valleys of the Herring Loop in Preston County. Everyone rode well and the conversation was lively and interesting as always. Highlander was spotted giving a forlorn wave as he trundled back and forth, cutting the lawn of his high mountain keep. Where are his priorities?!
There were no mishaps, mechanicals or spectacular explosions to speak of. Everyone got back to civilization feeling better about the world and in time to carry on with the day's obligations. Congratulations G-man on a great first Grimp and a seamless fit.

Fat Cat  47
Diesel 31
Legs 31
Birdman 28
Mama 25
Sandbag  19
Ice  16
Mountain  10
Pink Jersey  6
Trip  5
Goldfish  3
G-man  2
Razor  2
Highlander  1