Double Snake Eyes

Double Snake Eyes

(Alto: # 9)

Big Frank Travieso rolled double snake eyes for the second year running and stormed to a spectacular sprint win over a star-studded field in the 16th Annual Great Porterfield Tire Alto World Cup Event on 26 January 2013. With less than 1 kilometer to go to the finish line, Big Frank and Joey the Wrecking Ball Rosskopf were off the front and hammering for home, but their lead was hovering at less than 5 seconds and a powerful, 15-person chase group that was hale-bent on catching them was breathing down their necks. (Some commentators said that the chasers smelled blood but I knew it was actually the smell of cash that made them pedal so hard.) With only 500 meters to go the two escapers were captured by a serpentine, single-file line that was hunched over their handlebars and speeding down the blacktop at over 35 miles-per-hour. The collective heart rate of the group at this point was about 4000 beats per minute.

Even though the front group had the throttle wide-open, as they captured and whizzed past the rabble-rouser and the insurrectionist, Nick Ten Horses Housley somehow summoned the strength to attack and go clear, but just barely. Ten Horses' mouth looked like a fish gasping for air as he dug with every shred of strength he could muster. All the muscle fibers in his legs were aflame and smoking and were stretched tighter than piano wire, but with 200 meters to go the win hung in the balance. The chasers, however, pursued Ten Horses like they were twenty horses and the tip of the line blew past a devastated Housley with 50 meters to go. Emile Trinny Abraham and Thomas the Pope Brown were neck-and-neck, bikes rocking to and fro, as they headed for the line. But somehow, miraculously, Travieso had managed to latch on to their rear wheels as they sped by even though he'd only been captured moments before. Big Frank took two deep breathes, and then he uncorked his high-octane, top-shelf demon sprint that he saves for special occasions.

The three sprint mavens crossed the line elbow to elbow going 40 miles per hour but the photo finish showed that Big Frank barely edged out Trinny and T Brown what is the closest sprint finish ever on Alto. With his second Alto victory in a row and his 3rd lifetime WBL win, Big Frank also collected a $100,000 bonus from his team. Later that evening Big Frank was photographed by paparazzi in his three-inch stacks dancing beneath a glittering disco ball. The top three buttons of his silk shirt were unbuttoned. The last thing the unfortunate photographer said he remembers is that Big Frank's bodyguards started walking towards him while Frank was standing beneath that spinning ball.

In the hunt for the Overall lead, Fletcher Paperweight Lydick once again scored enough points to hold onto Yellow but both The Pope and Big Frank made giant strides in their quest to knock the upstart off his throne. But once again the young warrior showed his mettle and held off a furious charge. With three events to go, Brown (the Pope) remains 3 points in arrears with Big Frank 9 points behind. B. C. Cornett and the Big O Oscar Clarke, though further back, are still contenders and one big points day can push either of these two back into the hunt for gold. Not to mention there are 4 ladies in the Top 10 (E Winter, M Zider, M Patton, and Z Frazier) and all of these ladies remain in the hunt for the Overall Title. The race for the Yellow Helmet Cover in 2013 is tighter than it has been in years and the last three events are certain to see several fistfights and barroom brawls erupt during the ride. Of course, we mean that in the best of ways.

The day began about 6 hours earlier beneath gauzy gray skies. There was a frigid chill in the air as the 80 or 90 strong group rolled north out of town on the arduous Nowhere Road exit corridor. As the group continued north during the first hour of the ride, Old Sol did began to peek through a few cracks in the clouds but the light, and thus the heat, was as tepid as a lemon peel. What I mean is that Nickle Back Arroyo's teeth were chattering in his skull it was so cold. However, it made me slightly warmer knowing others were cold too. After all, if I'm miserable I like others to be miserable too.

But the large and lusty group wasn't unhappy at all, especially when the clouds broke for good and Old Sol's rays bore down on the world at a more favorable angle. The temperatures warmed and would continue to do so until they reached into the sixties. And when the Commerce Police Department arrived right on time to escort the pack through the heart of town, there was a general consensus that it was going to be a mighty fine day. The general consensus turned out to be a solid prediction.

The group pushed northward, crossing I-85 and plunging into the dangerous environs outside the pale. At the 42 mile point the group descended to the bottom of the Alto Triple Stair step and the bad times began. When the 8 mile Alto Sprint Zone opened, the pack slowly ratcheted up the speed on each of the three detestable hummocks ahead, and as the group ascended each of the monstrosities, the front group shrank be degrees. Heading up the last of the three contumacious climbs, Jered Gutcheck Gruber was off the front and throwing caution to the wind, ripping up the hill like a jackass who had not a care in the world. A dozen eventually pulled clear in the front group after a series of violent accelerations and as they turned right at the end of the third backbreaking hump, the front group caught Gutcheck. The Big O Oscar Clark immediately jumped and went clear. "Uh-oh," everyone said. They were right. The Big O opened up a big 10 second gap. He looked back over his shoulder and shifted to a bigger gear. He was fully committed. There were 3.5 miles to the line.

The alarm bells clattered behind but the Big O was sailing away like lightning on a greased rail. The Pope, Big Jon Atkins, Paperweight, A Sagat, J Atwell and Fat Cappy rotated and pulled through, and though they closed on the Big O, they could not catch him and the Big rolled over the line with room to spare. B.C. Cornett and J Atwell sped across for the next two spots. The Zealots were all deep-breathing and deep-heaving as they headed into the sunny store.

Alto City Limit Sprint

  1. Oscar Clarke: 5 pts
  2. B Cornett: 4 pt
  3. J Atwell: 3 pts
  4. Jon Atkins: 2 pts
  5. T Brown: 1 pts

Alto City Limit Sprint (Non Pro)

  1. Jon Atkins: 3 pts
  2. Fletcher Lydick: 2 pts
  3. Austin Ulich: 1 pts

Alto City Limit Sprint (Ladies)

  1. Mary Zider: 3 pts.
  2. Morgan Patton: 2 pts
  3. Shannon Parrish: 1 pts

After the store stop the strong and capable group of far-ranging pedal-bangers fell down the Apple Pie Ridge Road at speeds approaching 60 miles per hour. As they dropped down the steepest section of the hill at 5-g's, their cheeks flapped backwards, tears streamed out of their lids, their eyes rolled back in their heads, and their brains boiled. They'd black out if they didn't slow down soon. Once the sphincter-tightening descent was over, the pack buckled its chinstraps and prepared to face the toughest stretch on the parcours according to many, the next dozen miles to Crackback Hill. The horizon dips and rises in this section as the Zealots roll over the rippled hills like a little dinghy tossed about on the ocean blue. Several Zealots have fallen overboard during this stretch, never to be seen again. Some are even rumored to have jumped into the abyss in order to end the pain.

At least the countryside and the surrounding environs in these rustic parts provide a pleasing distraction from the persistent pains in my thighs, my back, my neck, my arms, and my buxom bustomante gloriole, which functions as a superb seat to sit on, but is cumbersome load to drag around in the hills. In this section of the parcours the Zealots cut a jagged line through hardwood forests barren of any leaves, expansive hillsides of pines, cedars and evergreens extending up and over giant ridges, rotting wooden buildings collapsing in, rock retaining walls built into dirt banks, little country churches, barbed wire and wooden fences, and, of course, the ubiquitous yapping hound. Dogs in these parts are as plentiful as cows, hillbillies with missing teeth and Waffle Houses. In other words, there is a bounteous supply of all.After all this is the South.

After completing the dozen or so murderous miles, the pack reached the bottom of Crackback Hill and the second sprint zone of the day was upon them. Crackback Hill is a 500 meter run straight up a vertical wall. The grotesque grade is sure to break both your back and your mama's back, thus the well-deserved epithet. There is very little strategy to employ on Crackback other than to shift into the little ring, pray for forgiveness, and pedal as hard as you can. Soon you will either cross an orange line or die. If you die, possibly the praying will have done some good. Probably not. Crackback is a true indicator of the strongest rider in the bunch, bottom line—like a reluctant hero, that person is forced to come clean. And at the top of the formidable hill, unsurprisingly, Joey the Wrecking Ball Rosskopf rode clear and took top honors. T Brown scored valuable points for second but Paperweight matched Brown by winning the Non-Pro side of affairs. Most everyone else achieved their objective: Live to fight another day.

Crackback Hill

  1. Joey Rosskopf: 3 pts
  2. Thomas Brown: 2 pts
  3. J Atwell: 1 pts

Crackback Hill (Non Pro)

  1. F Lydick: 2 pts.
  2. Austin Ulich: 1 pts.

Crackback Hill (Ladies)

  1. Mary Zider: 2 pts.
  2. Shannon Parrish: 1 pts

After Crackback Hill the Zealots regrouped, raised the Jolly Roger, and set sail for home. The group rolled over gently undulating farms and rolling pastureland over the next 20 miles as they glided back to Commerce at a comfortable 20 mile-per-hour tempo. The roads are not level through these parts, but neither do they tilt up at the same uncomfortable angles as those around Alto. This stretch is the reward; it is also only the calm before the final storm. The Zealots were given "the royal treatment" again as they cruised through Commerce behind a popo cruiser with its blue lights flashing, blowing through red lights and stop signs with impunity in an array of multicolored kits while pedestrians and passing motorists stood like statues and stared. The group motored through Commerce at a rapid clip and was dropped off at the south end of town like they were visiting dignitaries. In fact, for about the next 3 miles, I thought I might be a sheik. Then we hit the Final Attack Zone and reality set in. It was all I could do to fight back the tears."I'm just me," I wailed. I looked at Riss Foster and said, "And dear gawd, you're just you," and cried even louder.

Three miles after leaving Commerce, the group turned left on Steep Dog Road (A.C. Smith Road) and the Alto Attack Zone opened. The Alto Attack Zone is about 9 miles long and begins almost immediately with a short, sharp descent, followed by a steep, 300 meter hill on which a plentitude of yapping dogs live. While it is possible for a rider's momentum to carry him or her the first 50 meters up the hill, that still leaves another 250 meters to consider. One must get on his or her getty-up and go. Considering that the Zealots have pedaled 96 miles by this time, the ensuing explosion that always occurs can be heard for many miles around.

As the group sailed down the steep, snaky hill and hit the base of Steep Dog, Gutcheck Gruber jumped away and went clear—it was a bold move. Behind, on the Steep Dog Hill, the inevitable all-out attacks came from a bevy of dangerous players, and over the top of the cruel climb, a powerful group of 7 formed at the front. Five to six seconds behind, another strong contingent of a dozen came together as they turned right and flew down Erastus Church Road. Both groups were single-file and pedaling furiously—the second group knew the first could not be allowed to go clear.

On the lightning-quick drop down Erastus Church Road the dozen riders chasing burned rubber and buried themselves and made contact with the front seven as they were turning left on Seagraves Mill Road. The front group now swelled to 20 hardcore pedal-protagonists with 7 miles to go. Included in the front group were Overall Leader F Lydick, J Atwell, Rosskopf, O Clarke, T Brown, Travieso, Jon Atkins, E Abraham, Fat Cappy, Hunter Garrison, Matt Miller, DD Dunn, Chris Deloise, M Waine, and Tony Robinson. And in a show of phenomenal strength and pluck, Mary Lady Z Zider made the first group and by doing so sealed the deal on the Ladies side of the ledger by simply hanging in and crossing the line. Easier said than done—if the next 7 miles were as fun as the first 2, a few people would be dead by the end. And it's a rule that you have to be alive to claim your prize.

Heading up the 4 mile stretch on Seagraves Mill Road the attacks flew in bunches. Five or six riders were continually jumping off the front, only to be chased down in a frenzied effort that was taking its toll on all. No sooner were a band of escapers captured than 5 or 6 more would counter-attack and go up the road. Gruber and Rosskopf and O Clarke and Housley and Travieso were all active in breakaway attempts, trying desperately to break free and go clear in a smaller group.

But the group behind was strong and motivated and continued to run all attacks down. Heading up the final hill on Seagraves Hill, the last hill on Seagraves Mill Road before turning right onto Nowhere Road, the group came together again. When they turned right onto Nowhere Road with 3 miles to go to the line, the front group was an impressive 20 person-strong pack. They were single file and flying towards the finish.

Heading down Nowhere Road the attacks continued unabated, but there was simply too much horsepower in the group. There were sprinters aplenty in the lead group and they were all slobbering like bloodhounds about to be let out to catch a fox. But with 1 kilometer to go the Big O and Big Frank were away and the move looked like it may be stick. But the ensuing chase ran them down too. However, by refusing to surrender Big Frank showed the diehard spirit and resolve it takes to win Alto in any given year. As the train came rumbling past, he dud deep into his inner pain place and sprinted and won. Congrats to Lady Z Zider for a towering ride as well as all the ladies who completed the ride. In fact, kudos to all for another superfragilistic ride.


  1. Frank Traveiso: 15 pts
  2. Emile Abraham: 12 pts
  3. T Brown: 9 pts
  4. Joey Rosskopf: 6 pts
  5. B Cornett: 3 pts
  6. Jon Atkins: 2 pts

Finish (Ladies)

  1. Mary Zider: 7 pts
  2. Morgan Patton: 6 pts
  3. Shannon Parrish: 5 pts
  4. Zoe Fraizer: 4 pts
  5. N Odea: 3 pts
  6. Ashley Gruber: 2 pts

Finish (Non Pro)

  1. Emile Abraham: 7 pts
  2. Jon Atkins: 5 pts
  3. Damien Dunn: 3 pts
  4. Tony Robinson: 1 pts


  1. Fletcher Lydick: 65 pts
  2. Thomas Brown: 62 pts.
  3. Frank Travesio: 56 pts
  4. Oscar Clarke: 49 pts
  5. Brendan Cornett: 47 pts
  6. Erin Winter: 47
  7. Morgan Patton: 44 pts
  8. Mary Zider: 43 pts
  9. Zoe Frazier: 43 pts.
  10. Damien Dunn: 43 pts
  11. Namrita Odea: 37 pts
  12. Joey Rosskopf: 35 pts
  13. David Jordan: 35 pts
  14. Tim Lees: 35 pts
  15. Benjamin Bryant: 35 pts
  16. Thom Leonard: 35 pts
  17. David Haney: 35 pts
  18. Catherine Peacock: 34 pts
  19. Austin Ulich: 33 pts
  20. Frank Crumley: 33 pts
  21. Parker Haney: 32 pts
  22. Shannon Parrish: 32 pts
  23. John Butler: 32 pts
  24. Russ Foster: 31 pts
  25. Craig Tinsley: 31 pts.
  26. Tony Scott: 31 pts.
  27. Crowe: 31 pts
  28. Scott Morris: 30 pts.
  29. Clarke Hurst: 30 pts
  30. Reid Peacock: 30 pts
  31. Jason Crosby: 30 pts.
  32. Justin Smith: 30 pts
  33. Eddie Odea: 29 pts
  34. Hunter Garrison: 29 pts
  35. Sam Rafal: 28 pts
  36. Shannon Wrege: 27 pts
  37. Phil Gaimon: 27 pts.
  38. Maria Carrelli: 27 pts
  39. Austin Hilliard: 25 pts
  40. Matt Miller: 25 pts
  41. Clay Parks: 25 pts
  42. Brooks Lide: 25 pts
  43. Michael York: 25 pts
  44. Blake Bradford: 24 pts
  45. Emile Abraham: 2 4 pts
  46. Phillip Han: 23 pts
  47. Cal Hootin: 22 pts
  48. Robert Consaster: 22 pts
  49. David Goodman: 22 pts
  50. Jason Bewley: 22 pts
  51. Kirk Mad Smith: 22 pts
  52. Josh Pontzer: 22 pts
  53. Big Cappy: 21 pts
  54. Nick Arroyo: 21 pts
  55. Brett Magner: 21 pts
  56. Michael Waine: 21 pts
  57. Tomas Petit: 21 pts
  58. Eric Murphy: 20 pts
  59. Dustin Mealor: 19 pts
  60. A.J. Smith: 19 pts
  61. Chris Blackmon: 19 pts
  62. Yo Simpson: 19 pts.
  63. Paul Harkins: 18 pts
  64. Ty Magner: 18 pts
  65. Jonathon Cucaz: 18 pts
  66. Huntley Nash: 18 pts
  67. Shannon Wrege: 18 pts
  68. Livili Radli: 18 pts
  69. Jon Atkins: 17 pts
  70. Eddie Hsu: 17 pts
  71. Alexander Dijkema: 17 pts
  72. Tina Mayola-Pic: 17
  73. Tony Robinson: 17 pts
  74. Dalford England: 16 pts
  75. Chris Constantine: 16 pts
  76. Chris Slone: 16 pts
  77. Greg Brown: 16 pts
  78. Mike Edmonds: 16 pts
  79. Nick Gastley: 16 pts
  80. Darrel Farlowe: 16 pts
  81. Christian Dicenso: 15 pts..
  82. Ashley Gruber: 15 pts
  83. Don Newman: 14 pts
  84. Rob Butler: 14 pts
  85. Nick Oestrich: 14 pts
  86. Nick Housley: 13 pts
  87. Sam Morgan: 12 pts.
  88. Casey Magner: 12 pts
  89. Winston David: 12 pts
  90. Jeff Shirey: 12 pts
  91. Eric Kirk: 10 pts
  92. Keenan Howard: 12 pts.
  93. Joe Dunlop: 12 pts
  94. Iona Parks: 12 pts
  95. Brian Molloy: 12 pts
  96. Fat Cappy: 11 pts
  97. Michael York: 11 pts
  98. Nick Frazier: 11 pt
  99. Michael Trivette: 11 pts
  100. Nick Fragnito: 11 pts
  101. Phillip O'Donnell: 11 pts
  102. Ceci Crowe: 11 pts
  103. Luke Broadwell: 11 pts
  104. Big Cappy: 10 pts.
  105. Jordan Heimer: 10 pts