The Finale: Naked Goats

Naked Goats 

Gratis: The Final Event (WBL 2014)

The grand finale to the 2014 season, the Team SmartShop-Sunshine Cycles Gratis Classic, was yet again another ruthless, coldblooded beat-down as fast man Ruben Speedy Gonzalez Companioni Blanco scored a stunning, late round knockout for his first lifetime WBL win. Naturally, the Gratis win was immediately placed at the top of his impressive resume. With his win, Speedy G showed he has the two of the most essential ingredients needed to score a coveted WBL victory: brains as well as brawn. With his win, Speedy G proved he ain’t just cleaning the crud from under his toes and scraping barnacles from under his armpits when he’s off the bike, he’s studying all the various ways to kill a man.

First, the brawn: Aided by godforsaken gale force winds blowing like the bellows of Hale, Speedy G and his two Cuban caudillos, along with the hammering Hincapie boys and a handful of other extremely fast fools, pulverized the poor pack with a plenitude of powerful pedal-strokes. Not to mention, the pernicious pace didn’t let up for a solid four hours. What a bunch of bastards!  The torrid tempo, combined with the baleful blasters, can only be described as callous and cold-blooded, wicked and inhumane, and cruel and unusual punishment. In fact, about two dozen Zealots were tossed overboard during the ride and drowned, including Mike Breadmonds. When the Bread Mogul hit the water, there was a seismic kerplop that sounded like an underwater cannon blast. Speedy G, however, was not perturbed by either the speed or the wind as his rail thin physique split the air like an arrow flung from a compound bow.

Second, the brain: After the savage beat-down inflicted on the thundering herd of pedal-stompers, Speedy G used cunning and subterfuge on the three stalwarts that resisted the initial slaughter, Andy Scarano, Joey Rosskopf and Oscar Clarke. These four cycling nabobs managed to open up a small gap after only 2 miles as they battled a vicious crosswind in the brutish Wirebridge-Flatrock Road Final Attack Zone, a six mile section of hellish pave. As the four sped off into the wild blue yonder, the wind was pounding the pack with such ferocity that it prevented riders from forming a cohesive chase. Though Gutcheck Gruber and T Graham Brown tried to rally the troops, the ungodly winds made cooperation tenuous and untenable.

As the four frontrunners took the last right on Flatrock Road with 2 miles to go, they held a 10 second gap on the group behind. Flatrock Road is shaped like a tilted horseshoe with riders turning back into the wind as they loop uphill towards the line. With 1 mile to go, the attacks began to fly in the first group as the four frontrunners fought for gold and glory. First Rosskopf, then the Big O, battered the door in an attempt to break it down with their Big Belgian Hammer. Speedy G, however, was packing heat too.

Behind the front four, the chase was flat out hauling ass for the final 2 miles. Big Frank and Ty Magner sat in the first chase poised like rattlesnakes ready to strike in case contact was made. As the chase group flew forward, riders peeled off the back in chunks. Eventually only six were left in the first chase group (Ulich, Cueli, Ty, Big Frank, T Brown, Cornett) with another half dozen behind in a second chase. Irrefutable proof of the punch this group packed, the first Non Pro, 1 or 2 in the bunch was riding in the third group on the road (the second chase). The first ten riders, which accounted for the riders in the first two groups, were all Pros or Cat 1s. It was at this point that I considered giving up cycling for good to focus on a career as a pole dancer.  

At the front, however, five hundred meters from paydirt, Speedy G suddenly sat up and pointed to an adjoining field and said, “LOOK, NAKED GOATS!” J.R., Andy Scarano and the Big O pivoted their heads, desperately hoping to see a field full of naked goats. But alas, there were no naked goats—it was only a ruse! By the time the three tenderfoots realized they’d been hustled, Speedy G had flown the coop and was driving to the line. Seconds later he was kissing the podium girls and knocking back champagne. J.R., Andy S and the Big O were inconsolable after the event, not because they didn’t win, but because they didn’t get to see at least one naked goat. They settled for the next best thing that evening—flipping through the pages of the latest edition of Goatboy magazine, a monthly periodical that features glamorous photos of scantily clad goats.

Big Frank won the sprint for fourth from the decimated chase group and was followed closely by Thomas Brown, Bam Bam Cornett and the deadly young upstart Austin Ulich. Big Frank could have simply rolled across the line, or even slept in for that matter, and still won the Creature Comforts 2014 Overall, but that’s not how he rolls. Instead, he finished the season in grand style.

Liam Ainslie won the day for the Non Pros with a feisty horse kick and he was followed home by the ageless strong man Sean Philyaw. Ryan Wolfe, Benjamin Bryant, Frank Crumley and Reid Peacock also earned a bright feather to stick in their caps for their gutsy rides. On the ladies’ side of the ledger, Mary Zider took top honors followed closely by Ashley Gruber and Maria Carrelli. Morgan M Train Patton-Brown decided to roll this one in because she had second place in the Overall locked up.

Finish (Team SmartShop-Sunshine Cycles Gratis Classic):

  • 1st: Rueben Companioni Blanco: 10 pts
  • 2nd: Joey Rosskopf: 8 pts
  • 3rd: Oscar Clarke: 6 pts
  • 4th: Frank Travieso: 4 pts
  • 5th: Thomas Brown: 2 pts
  • 6th: Brendan Cornett: 1 pt
  • 7th: Austin Ulich: 1 pt
  • True Grit: Crumley, B Bryant, C Foster, E Murphy: 1 pt
  • Pull Point: Reid Peacock: 1 pt.


  • 1st: Mary Zider: 5 pts
  • 2nd: Ashley Gruber: 3 pts
  • 3rd: Maria Carrelli: 1 pt



  • 1st: Liam Aisnlee: 5 pts
  • 2nd: Sean Philyaw: 3 pts + 2 pts (1st 40+)
  • 3rd: D Crowe: 1 pt
  • Ryan Wolfe: 1 pt

Year in Review:

The WBL once again succeeded in accomplishing its various missions in 2014. Primo, its stockholders, who have once again amassed a fortune in dividends, splits and options, are as happy as bankers at a brothel.

Secundo, no matter how dark the days seem, and no matter how much the purveyors of pessimism paint bleak, black images of impending doom and ruination, and no matter how often the antinomian messiahs see nothingness in everything that exists, riding an entire winter season in the WBL is like drinking a glass of sunshine—it makes me glow and I can’t help but smile. Even when conditions are rough and the rides are hard, as they were in 2014, it’s good for the soul—it helps one learn to suffer and endure. Certain mystics believe that prolonged periods of pain bring a person closer to the cosmic axis. I tend to agree.

Last, the WBL once again showed that we are more than a bike ride, we are a complex social network with invisible wires that crisscross hither and yonder and connect various folks from all walks of life, all social strata, all places, all ideological leanings, and no matter what gender, or how old, or whether one leans this way or that. We are a community, a family even. If a single thread is plucked, the entire web vibrates. The common denominator for us all, the essential ingredient, the sine qua non, is that we love to hammer out long miles. Through thick. Through thin. Forever. And Ever. Amen.

See you next year!

2014 Results:

  • ·         Creature Comforts Overall Winner: Frank Travieso
  • ·         Jefferson: Morgan Patton
  • ·         Comer: Fletcher Lydick
  • ·         Greensboro: Oscar Clarke
  • ·         Hoooshton: Joey Rosskopf
  • ·         Madison: Frank Travieso
  • ·         Bowman: Frank Travieso
  • ·         Alto: Frank Travieso
  • ·         Gratis: Rueben Campion

2014 Awards:

  • MVP: Big Frank Travieso
  • Creature Comforts Jersey Holders: T Brown, Catherine England, M Patton, Mary Zider, F Lydick, Big Frank (6)
  • First Lady: Morgan M Train Patton (2nd Overall)
  • Most Stage Wings: Big Frank (3)
  • Most Aggressive: Jered Gruber
  • Hammerhead Award: Jason Bewley, Sean Philyaw, Ashley Gruber
  • Most Improved: Austin Ulich, Emily Cox, David Gabriel
  • True Grit: Justin Smith, David Blalock, Emily Cox, Maria Carrelli, David Jordan, Catherine England, David Gabriel, Brooks Lide.
  • Hard Ass Award: Eric Murphy, Shannon Wrege, Andy Scarano, B Bryant
  • Comeback Rider of the Year: Andrew Smola, Christian Foster
  • Most Dramatic Stage Win/Hardest: Every dam Attack Zone was hard as hale in 2014 so these 2 awards go to all the stage winners: Salud!

2014 Sponsors:

  • Creature Comforts (Derek Imes)
  • Team Type 1 (Phil Southerland)
  • Lexus South (Tom Palmer)
  • Porterfield Tire (Bill Riecke)
  • Atlantis Hydroponics (Steve Sevener)
  • Team Mission Source (Dave Braunecker)
  • Gruber Images (Ashley and Jered Gruber)
  • Thomas and Morgan Brown
  • Cappy’s Custom Cabinets (Cappy)
  • Independent Bakery (Thom Leonard)
  • Ted’s (Ted)
  • Bling Dog Bread (Mike Edmonds)
  • Ken Bike Law (Ken Rosskopf)
  • Hamilton-Ryker (Scott Morris)
  • The Hub (Brian Malloy)
  • Sunshine Cycles (Jimmy, Josh, Greg and Chris)
  • The Gear Attic (Eric Murphy)
  • College Transitions (Michael Trivette)
  • U. Michigan Sports Lab (Steve Broglio)
  • Brown Web Design (Jess Brown)
  • Anonymous Donors

2014 Creature Comforts Final Overall:

  • 1)      103 pts: F Travieso
  • 2)      85 pts: M Patton-Brown
  • 3)      69 pts: T Brown
  • 4)      68 pts: A Gruber
  • 5)      67 pts: O Clark
  • 6)      66 pts: Mary Zider
  • 7)      65 pts. F Lydick
  • 8)      60 pts: J Rosskopf
  • 9)      59 pts: M Carrelli
  • 10)   59 pts: D Dunn
  • 11)   58 pts: J Bewley
  • 12)   54 pts: E Cox
  • 13)   53 pts: E Murphy
  • 14)   50 pts: L Ainslie
  • 15)   50 pts: S Philyaw
  • 16)   48 pts: B Bryant
  • 17)   47 pts: A Scarano
  • 18)   47 pts: M Trivette
  • 19)   46 pts: J Gruber
  • 20)   46 pts: C Tinsley
  • 21)   46 pts: S Wrege
  • 22)   45 pts: D Gabriel
  • 23)   45 pts: B Lide
  • 24)   45 Pts: D Crowe
  • 25)   44 pts: B Cornett
  • 26)   44 pts: D Blalock
  • 27)   43 pts: T Magner
  • 28)   42 pts: A Smola
  • 29)   41 pts: J Smith
  • 30)   40 pts: S Morris
  • 31)   39 pts: F Crumley
  • 32)   36 pts: M Kanning
  • 33)   36 pts: M York
  • 34)   35 pts: A Ulich
  • 35)   35 pts: S Parrish
  • 36)   32 pts: D Jordan
  • 37)   32 pts: D England
  • 38)   32 pts: M Lipold
  • 39)   31 pts: M York
  • 40)   30 pts: R Wolfe
  • 41)   30 pts: B Magner
  • 42)   30 pts: C England
  • 43)   30 pts: E Abraham
  • 44)   29 pts: E Kirk
  • 45)   29 pts: M Miller
  • 46)   28 pts: H Garrison
  • 47)   27 pts: B Mayo
  • 48)   27 pts: O Quinn
  • 49)   25 pts: C Deluise
  • 50)   25 pts: B Parkerson
  • 51)   24 pts: R Campioni
  • 52)   24 pts: R Foster
  • 53)   24 pts: D Hurst
  • 54)   23 pts: H Nash
  • 55)   23 pts: J Koch
  • 56)   21 pts: E Winter
  • 57)   21 pts: S Rafal
  • 58)   20 pts: R Evans
  • 59)   20 pts: D Farlowe
  • 60)   20 pts: M Edmonds
  • 61)   20 pts: J Baynes
  • 62)   20 pts: N Dunn
  • 63)   20 pts: M Klein
  • 64)   19 pts: D Goodman
  • 65)   19 pts: D Mealor
  • 66)   19 pts: T Petit
  • 67)   19 pts: T Pazur
  • 68)   19 pts: T Mulkey
  • 69)   18 pts: C Foster
  • 70)   18 pts: J Loudermilk
  • 71)   18 pts. R Conaster
  • 72)   17 pts: AJ Meyer
  • 73)   17 pts: M Szalkowski
  • 74)   17 pts: J Campbell
  • 75)   16 pts: D Swain
  • 76)   16 pts. J Atkins
  • 77)   16 pts: C Vogely
  • 78)   16 pts: J May
  • 79)   16 pts: C whalen
  • 80)   16 pts. K Corsello
  • 81)   16 pts: B Kerrigan
  • 82)   15 pts: D Ramos
  • 83)   15 pts: D Cueli
  • 84)   15 pts: J Heimer
  • 85)   15 pts: R Foster
  • 86)   15 pts: E Gruenwedel
  • 87)   14 pts: A Zuver
  • 88)   14 pts: K Madsmith
  • 89)   13 pts: T Robinson
  • 90)   13 pts: B Lanzilotta
  • 91)   13 pts: R Williams
  • 92)   13 pts: R Butler
  • 93)   12 pts: C Dicenso
  • 94)   12 pts: M Waine
  • 95)   12 pts: D Peterson
  • 96)   12 pts: A Hilliard
  • 97)   11 pts: 11 pts
  • 98)   11 pts: C Constantine
  • 99)   11 pts: E Caldwell
  • 100)                       11 pts: C Goss
  • 101)                       11 pts: W Kaiser
  • 102)                       11 pts: C Vogely
  • 103)                       11 pts: J Shirey
  • 104)                       11 pts: L Radli
  • 105)                       10 pts: R Peacock
  • 106)                       10 pts: C Blackwell
  • 107)                       10 pts: Ian Garrison
  • 108)                       10 pts: H oneycutt
  • 109)                       10 pts: R Dewitt