Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Pantani Flower

The mailbag, brimming with post-Pantani glow, says it better than I can this week.  So I won't try to doll this one with my own words, it's already perfect:

This is a Pantani Flower. It was picked half way down Simmons Gap, in a rock garden.
It can only be grown out of the man love that occurs when one has suffered near frostbite after climbing a nearly insurmountable obstacle, only to find solace in the armpits of a bearded friend wearing some sort of oversize bunny onesie. The flower is grown upon the nutrition of cheap beer and the sight of a grown man's backside wearing a black jock strap and hair that Brett Michaels would be proud of.
This is the flower of the Foof Nation.

Beauty thus becomes.

Up, up, up.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Pantani Results

So that was fun.
I think.  
It always takes a couple of days, Post-Pantani, to process whatever it was that I did to myself out there.  So, too, it might be for you.

And that was a pretty huge turnout.  80+ I'm told.  And I only saw a person or two actually having a miserable time, so that's something I guess.

The results are in:
Winner winner chicken dinner: Quadsworth.  In 2:58 no less.  Thus ruining it for everyone next year.
KOM:  Bryan Lewis.  Also in 2:58, but pipped at the line.  This kid needs a moniker.
Pink Socks: I can only assume Wilson took the rights to these, but those rights are virtual until Metro can gain access to his house once again.
Dad Booze:  I believe Ron and Frank finished side by side, 3rd overall, and thus split the rights to this.  But Ron drank it all.  That's the spirit.
The Queen of Pantani:  I'm actually not sure...First placed lady?  The smart money's likely on Francine, but I don't actually know.  

And a lot of action in between and further back down the road.

I noticed a sort of strange thing happening after the ride, though, and into today and this week it continues; people keep thanking me for the jolly good time they had on Sunday.  So I want to clear that up now because, in case you didn't notice, I didn't actually do anything but talk shit on this blog, then stand on the back of Scottie's truck and talk some more shit at the start line, then suck a whole lot of wind on the ride, then resume shit-talking when I returned home.  And I would do all of that anyway, regardless of where the ride starts or finishes.  No, indeed, I'm scarcely a contributor.  So thank Shawn if you must, or thank the following individuals:

1)  Tom Bouber.  While he might not have actually done anything for you, he did show up to ride the Pantani loop a full day early, only to realize he'd screwed up his calendar, drove around aimlessly for a while, then returned on Sunday to really do some damage to his knees.  I feel he embodies the very spirit of the ride when it comes to resilience, commitment, and concerning amounts of disorganization.

2)  Perhaps more than any other, our wonderful support crew at the top of Fox Mountain, and later - after they figured out alternative means of transportation and a new transmission for the mystery machine - the top of the pop.  It was 24 degrees up there, but their presence made a lonely moment feel pretty damn warm. 
How very European. 

Hello Kitty.
Photos of a certain fan's derriere have been filtered from this blog for your viewing peace of mind (and hopefully to save my already questionable internet rating), but you know what you saw, and let's be honest, some things you cannot unsee.  And it was amazing.  

3)  Mother Nature. Mean enough to deal us a 24 degree descent down Wyatt Mountain, but still kind enough not to drop the kind of snow on the Pop that Sherando saw last week.
and you thought Pantani was hard...

ouch. could have been worse.
4)  Scanlon, who committed a touch more than 100% to the effort, and consequently slid down the top of Wyatt Mtn on his face.  Heal up, homie.

5)  All of you.  Look, we didn't mark the roads, we didn't provide a portajohn, we barely even managed to ride the thing.  And you still rallied.  It's you, the spirited masses, that make this thing a real thing.  And maybe that's what makes it special.

So thank you, and keep the wheels turning.
Up, up, up.  

Saturday, February 8, 2014

All clear atop the mighty fox

I took a little spin out to the top of Fox Mountain this morning, as I have many times before on Pantani eve - to check the course conditions and set some snares- and I can report back that things are in good shape.  No snow, no ice, nothing.  I'll admit, there were flurries.  But nothing that would make you think "hey, I shouldn't ride the Pantani Route tomorrow."

Even better, the no dumping sign at the summit of the Fox's first peak seems to be gone.  So I'm assuming it's OK to poop here now, if necessary.
The sign and the sun, both missing.  
It occurred to me, while rolling around sort of aimlessly and pondering the state of the economy or whatever, that a person seeking the Fox Mountain KOM might not be clear about which Foxy peak is actually the KOM point.  To clear that up: it's the second one (of two, the fox has two ears.)  If it helps to visualize it, picture the Fox facing north (and likely singing his very heart out) and the proper KOM ear is the left one.

Conditions west of there?  I can't really say.  It's a different world back there, and I actually haven't been up Brokenback in a couple weeks because, as you might have heard, it's a miserable climb.  But rumor has it that the pop is in decent shape, and ready for a record to be set.  

That's all I can do for you.

Upwards, and so forth.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Pantani Last Minute FAQ

Plenty of last minute questions rolling in via the various conduits of the interweb, many of which I felt worthy of response.  So I'll publish those here, if one might qualify hastily e-scribbling misinformation to be a form of publication.

1)  OK, seriously, what bike should I bring and what tires should I run?
I just can't say enough about this question.  Maybe it's the cold winter nights, the long trainer hours, and the uncertain nature of the idle human mind - but this one just keeps coming up.  For The Pantani Ride, I guess you could ride pretty much any bike, and it'll be the wrong bike for a significant portion of the ride.  But also the right bike in places.  The same could be said for most moderate tire selections, though I tend to believe that 23's are mostly too small, and 3.0's mostly too big.  So the middle 90% of bike-types and tire choices are probably what you want for 50% of the turf we'll be covering.  The other 50%?  You'll want something else.  So it's easy to overthink this, because dissatisfaction is a large part of the end result, whatever you choose.

When in doubt, rather than change anything, maybe do as Big John in the RIC recommends: "I think I'd dance with the girl that brung me."
Can't be more precise than that.

2)  Is there a store stop?
It's easy to brush this off with a simple "No."  Because there's isn't actually a store along the way.  But having bonked while over in that part of the world before, and having seen people bonk over there, I know how unpleasant the experience can become.  So I thought I'd publish here an "oh shit" store stop just in case your proverbial wheels (or the literal ones) come off.

Here it is.  The Dyke Store is just a scratch of flat road down bacon hollow from the base of Brokenback.  Less than a mile.  And you could pull the plug at that point and turn that store stop into a leisurely 7 mile paved ride back to the start if you have really imploded (and they happen to be open).  I personally once witnessed Danny Flow do just that thing, whilst consuming about 8,000 skittles in a fit of sugar depletion, and take nearly 2 hours to return to the farm from that same spot.  So if you've come unglued you know what to do.

Plus, they've got all the ingredients to make yourself the quintessential bonked-racer pick-me-up: A Peanut Pop.
(Those ingredients being: Peanuts, Pop.)
And just in case you've really reached the end, here's the recipe:
1)  Combine ingredients
2)  Consume vigorously
3)  Repeat as necessary

3)  Where, exactly are those KOM points?
Good question.  And I'm glad to see you've got Pink Glory on your head on your mind.
To recap, the KOM points are:
Fox Mountain KOM: 1 point
Blackwell's hollow KOM: 1 point
Mission Home KOM: 1 point
Simmon's Gap KOM: 1 point
Brokenback KOM: 1 point

With no points for second place. 

More or less, those locations are:
Fox Mtn KOM
Blackwell's Hollow KOM
Mission Home KOM (also the Greene county line)
Simmons Gap KOM (which I have a picture of, because once upon a time I could muster that kind of effort after arriving at the top.)
And finally, on the return after climbing back up brokenback, The mailboxes.

KOM #4

Keep in mind, however, that only one person gets a point for each one, so if you're not a part of the frenetic, painful scramble at the very front, those things really don't matter.

And even then, if Pink glory and comfort aren't on your agenda, they don't matter much.

And last but not least:
4) Looks like some snow on Saturday.  We still rolling?  
Why yes, Saturday might deposit an inch of snow down here, perhaps more at the top of the pop.  Sunday, though will see us get to the 40's, perhaps 50's by go time, and yes, at this point, We Still Rolling.

I'll take a little spin up to the top of the Fox tomorrow once the snow stops and report back.  Until then...

Up, up, up.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What does the Fox Mountain Say?

And the question on everyone's mind:

Yeah, I made that.  I hate me.
So, that's not quite drawn to scale, so don't plan your bottles around that or anything.  But the mighty Fox sure does look puny by comparison.

With that out of the way, get your jittery, tapering toes tapping, and let's get Down To This.

On tap this week, we've got...shit talking.

Well, actually, we don't have it on tap anymore.  But we do have it in a can, and everybody knows that cans are the new black anyway.
Starting at the tippy top, Mr Quadsworth checked in from parts South by Southwest with what I guess you might consider a declaration.  It would appear he means business, and he's coming ready to scrap, and if I were thinking about trying to stick it to him when the going got steep, that might scare me a little.  Fortunately for me, I'm not.  Because I can't.  And I know that.  But as far as scrappin' goes, there's always a taker or two.

Bike choice, as always, is a subject of debate on the seedy underbelly of the internet.  It would seem that the pure of heart are inclined to get around the loop on as little tread as possible, and I'll be honest, I dig the idea.  So on the off chance that you are, like me, one of the remaining few who believe road racing is worth saving, good luck making your case for that on Sunday.  I've tried it.  Brokenback has a way of making your $7,000 carbon road bike suddenly feel like a cheap, fake ID, and you'll be exposed.  So I recommend you get yourself some meat.

Course conditions leading into the weekend should be just about 100% ice free, but the real possibility exists that on Sunday our little show will have some snow.  So, at least mentally, prepare yourself for that.  Also, maybe give some thought to just what the hell you're going to wear.  Sam, for example, sent in a little photo of his prototype efforts to not get frostbite.
seriously experimental shit.
So yeah, think it through.  Snow pants might look a tad overdone under your pink Mercante Uno kit, but when push comes to shove, nothing beats warm

Well, that's not true.  Winning beats warm.

Cold might hurt a little, but glory lasts forever.

Up, up, up.