The Skills to Pay the Bills

The Skills to Pay the Bills

(Philomath: WBL # 7)

The Big O Oscar Clarke proved that his first WBL victory was no fluke as he scored another brilliant win on the Ken Bike Law-Blind Dog Bread Philomath Classic, a 90-mile, 4.5 hour big ring blitzkrieg into and beyond the far reaches of the eastern quadrant of the Emporium. The Big O launched a blistering counterattack with 1.5 miles to go in the demanding Gene Dixon Final Attack Zone after Phil the Thrill Gaimon was finally brought to heel. The Thrill had been off the front on a solo bid for glory for nearly 8 miles, pedaling like a wild lunatic who was off his medication and throwing caution to the wind. The Thrill survived five out of six of the monster hummocks in the Attack Zone, inflicting massive carnage in the pack of over 100 Zealots behind, as he ripped down the road like a fired cruise missile. When the Thrill won the USA CRIT Series sprint at the midway point on top of the hardest hill in the Attack Zone, the third, it looked like he might actually carry the bacon all the way home to papa. After all, just like Adam MCA Yauch, the Thrill can rock the block party 'til your hair turns gray.

But the powerful lead group of chasers behind also boasted a large gaggle of pedal-bangers quite capable of doing the two-step boogie. In addition to the Big O, the chase group contained such heavy-hitters as Winston David, Joey Rosskopf, Ty Magner, Frank Travesio, Isaac Howe, Fletcher Lydick, Thomas Brown, Benjamin Bryant, Reid Peacock, Andy Scarano, David Goodman and Jonathon Cucaz. And after an unyielding and relentless 8 mile chase led in large part by the Wrecking Ball Joey Rosskopf, Gaimon was finally captured as he took the final right hand turn onto Billy Melton Road. But the ferocious chase had reduced the front group to a mere dozen, each of whom was quite capable of savagery when it came to pedaling their bikes at high rates of speed. But after the Thrill was back in the pack, the Big O was the first to draw blood as he quickly cut bait and headed for the hills. Though he only had a small amount of blacktop between himself and the dozen behind, he put his head down and hammered like a hillbilly running from the Law. He opened up a tenuous but dangerous 3 second gap.

The Big O plastered his pedals and held his slight advantage for the first ½ mile, a relatively flat stretch of roadway before the parcours falls off a wall. At this point the cagey Winston David danced across the gap like a silver fox and made contact with the Big O with a masterful bridge. Though the two inglorious bastards only had a small gap of 3 to 4 seconds, they both recognized the golden opportunity and pedaled with a furious resolve. In the front group behind the two escapists, the Big O's partner in crime, Tytus Magner, was positioned near the front, licking his chops and slobbering like a chained-up pit bull, ready to pounce if the capture was made. But the two wily attackers held firm, though just barely. With 200 meters to go, the Big O jumped straight into the wind as the road tilted upwards to the finish line. The Big O opened a small space and pipped Winston David at the line. The two perfectly timed attacks by the Big O proved decisive and lead to his eventual win. Lightning indeed does strike twice and the Big O also showed that just like Mix Master Mike, he's got the skills to pay the bills. However, we are unable to either confirm or deny the salacious rumors presently swirling about his brass monkey and his boomin' granny.

In the Beginning

Record breaking warmth was the name of the game for 12 January 2013 WBL ride and over 100 Zealots signed in for dash for cash to Philomath. During the day temperatures soared to an unheard of 75 degrees and when the clouds burned off and Old Sol broke through several Zealots began peeling off their clothes. Unfortunately, once stripped of cover, the pasty white skin beneath was revealed in all its glory. The blinding brilliance of several dozen cyclists' white skin ultimately caused third degree burns to the pupils of several Zealots' eyes. The worst incident occurred when Team Blind Dog Bread el capo Mike Edmonds shed his legwarmers at the store stop. First, he sat down on the bumper of the sag car and rolled his leggings down in a seductive manner that suggested he was a Fleet Street hooker. The provocative performance was completely uncalled for, especially when he raised his right leg in the air and pointed his toes at the sky and said, "Oooh-la-la." I couldn't believe it—he was admiring himself with everyone around! The problem was that El Capo's long legs were so white that when the sun made contact with the two appendages, the whole sky lit up like a supernova at maximum brilliance. Many thought the astral luminous was of celestial origin, as if Edmonds's white legs heralded some sort of cosmic eclipse. But I knew better—that bastard is actually nothing more than the devil in disguise.

The group sailed east through Winterville like they were late for a date with a million dollar bill. And the group never let up until they crossed the finish line. When totals were tallied after the ride, the pack had completed the loop at an average speed of almost 22 miles-per-hour. This quick pace was due in no small part to the rapid tempo the Yo Simpson set as they sped out of town.

Once clear of Winterville, the Non Pros were sprinting for points and prizes early in the day. After only the 12 miles, the whistle blew at the bottom of a deep ravine in a forested flood plain. The sprint zone was a long 800 meter stretch that climbed out of the bottoms and up a slanting slope the entirety of the way. Almost at once the spit hit the fan. As the group scorched up the acrimonious climb, those in the best position were those who had not yet fired their gun. In this sprint zone good things come to those that wait. The line was so far away from the bottom of the hill that those that jumped first blew their stacks in spectacular explosions. Those that waited in the second row were now ready to double down. As the frontrunners neared the line the Showstopper Damien Dunn turned on the turbo blasters and scorched over the top in first, with the talented young buck Alexander Dijkema not far behind. Overall leader Fletcher Mayfly Lydick blew across in third to claim the crucial 1 point.

Non Pro Sprint (Beaver damn):

  1. Damien Dunn: 3 pts
  2. Alexander Dijkema: 2 pts.
  3. Fletcher Lydick: 1 pt

The pack regrouped after the sprint, put the bit between their teeth, and continued the trek eastward, into the pale and towards the Ladies sprint. At mile 33, it was the ladies time to shine. The ladies' sprint was custom designed for a speed merchant—the sprint zone was a 1 kilometer downhill-sloping drag to the Wilkes County sign. When the whistle blew a potent pack of twelve ladies surged up the road. Included in this mighty flock were the sprinting gurusTina Mayola-Pic, Erin Bone Crusher Winter, Morgan Patton, Maria Carrelli, Namrita Odea, Mary Zider, Zoe Frazier, Catherine Peacocok, and Abigail Aldridge to name just a few. As the pace ratcheted upwards, the ladies were strung out and hanging on as they approached the line. (At least now they know how it feels.) Mayola-Pic jumped first but Morgan Patton was watching her like a hawk. Both Patton and Winter locked on to Mayola-Pic's wheel with Frazier glued on to theirs and the three ladies managed to come around Mayola-Pic at the line. The future truly met the present when little Zoe Frazier crossed the line in third.

Ladies Sprint (Wilkes County)

  1. Morgan Patton: 3 pts
  2. Erin Winter: 2 pts.
  3. Zoe Frazier: 1 pt

After the ladies sprint and the store stop the group turned back towards home but this meant facing down the wind. And though the next 30 miles to the Gene Dixon Attack Zone is relatively flat, if the wind is howling it can make for a tough day. But even though the wind was whipping slightly, it wasn't actually blowing with much malice. As a result, the group sailed right along. The sun was shining and the pedals were rolling easy and the group was gliding along at 25 miles per hour with the greatest of ease. But miles, like vices, take their toll over time. Miles are a silent killer. Multiple miles sneak up on a rider. Usually it's too late when you realize that you're dead. That's what happened this day in the WBL. 30 miles after the store stop, as soon as the whistle blew, I grimaced in pain and said, "Uh-oh, both my legs are dead."

Within a short space, Phil the Thrill attacked out of the bunch. Thomas E.M. Brown followed. The pack behind eyeballed the two. The two escapees moved up the road towards the first of six hills. Their gap moved out beyond 10 seconds.

The enormous group behind motored at a fast and consistent tempo over the first two risers, but could not close the gap on the two off the front. And with the summit of each hill, a group became unhinged and fell away at the back. It would continue in the same pattern over each of the succeeding hills until in the end there were only twelve.

Heading up the third hill to the USA CRIT Series sprint, Gaimon pressed down on the accelerator. He wasn't just going for the sprint; Gaimon sought gold. Brown took second on the sprint and eased back and was scooped up by the first chase, which over the third hill had shrunk to 20.

USA CRIT Series Sprint

  1. Phil Gaimon: 3 pts.
  2. T Brown: 2 pts.
  3. Hunter Garrison: 1 pt

After the intermezzo sprint the Thrill put his head down and charged forward. He powered up the fourth hill, the longest of the bunch, clocking in at a full kilometer. Though it's a gentle grade, if someone is pressing the pace, it can cause consternation and anguish behind.

Gaimon was in danger of pulling off a stunning coup and the alarm clattered in the group behind. The Big O went to the front on the fourth climb and set a wicked tempo. He closed on Gaimon. At the top as the group turned right On Beaverdamn Road, Gaimon's lead had shrunk to 5 seconds. The chase group was now reduced to twelve.

Rosskopf took matters in hand at this point. The Wrecking ball charged hard and after a 1 mile tug, the group finally made contact with Gaimon as he was making the last right hand turn onto Billy Melton Road 1.5 miles from the line. And though the attack did not succeed, later that evening, Carney raised his glass and toasted Gaimon for his brilliant foray off the front. The Carney drained his glass and asked for another.

After Gaimon was caught the Big O flew the coop. The group would never make contact with him again. Fletcher Lydick kept the Overall lead with another brilliant display of cycling prowess finishing 7th overall (1st Non Pro) on the demanding 90 mile day. Others with rides to brag about are all those learned souls who finished in the front group:

In the next group the ladies sprinted and Tina Mayola-Pic showed why she is the Grand Dame of sprinting as she outkicked E Winter at the line. John Butler crossed the line in the lead in the second group to take 3rd in the Non Pro sprint, a grand ride from another young star.

The Overall Race is as tight as it's been in years. Lydick remains in first but others are licking at his heels. (Complete Overall posted below.)

Finish (Pro)

  1. Oscar Clarke: 10 pts.
  2. Winston David: 8 pts
  3. Ty Magner: 6 pts
  4. Frank Traveiso: 4 pts
  5. Thomas Brown: 2 pts

Ladies (Finish)

  1. Tina Mayola-Pic: 5 pts
  2. Erin Winter: 3 pts

Non Pro (Finish)

  1. Fletcher Lydick: 5 pts
  2. Jonathon Cucaz: 3 pts
  3. John Butler: 1 pt

2013 Overall

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