The Wind and the Hammer

WBL 2013 Final Overall Standings

  1. Thomas Brown: 104 pts.
  2. Fletcher Lydick: 103 pts
  3. Frank Travesio: 87 pts
  4. Brendan Cornett: 78 pts
  5. Morgan Patton: 72 pts.
  6. Mary Zider: 62 pts
  7. Damien Dunn: 57 pts
  8. Oscar Clarke: 57 pts
  9. Erin Winter: 55 pts
  10. Frank Crumley: 53 pts
  11. Joey Rosskopf: 50 pts
  12. Benjamin Bryant: 50 pts (for complete Overall hit "read more" below

2013 Winners: Overall: Thomas Brown (4th Lifetime Win)

  • Colbert: Tony Scott
  • Ladies Day (Talmo): Erin Winter
  • Talmo: Oscar Clark
  • Philomath: Oscar Clark
  • Monroe-Gratis: Thomas Brown
  • Alto: Frank Travieso
  • Paoli Junction: Joey Rosskopf
  • Madison: Thomas Brown
  • Homer: Thomas Brown (10th lifetime WBL Stage Win)

2013 Awards

  • Overall Winner: Thomas Brown
  • MVP: Thomas Brown and Fletcher Lydick
  • First Lady: Morgan Patton
  • Most Wins (3): Thomas Brown,Oscar Clarke (2)
  • Best Sprint Finish: Alto (Frank Travieso), Madison (Thomas Brown)
  • Best Solo: Joey Rosskopf (Paoli Junction / Gene Dixon Attack Zone)
  • Hardest Attack Zone: Homer (T Brown)
  • True Grit Award: Shannon Parrish, Namrita Odea, Tom Leonard
  • Comeback Rider of the Year: Cal Hootin
  • Most Consistent: Fletcher Lydick
  • Most Improved: David Jordan, Shannon Parrish
  • Best Looking: No Award this year (no qualified candidates)

The Wind and the Hammer

(Madison: WBL 2013 # 12)

The Overall Win for the 2013 WBL season all boiled down to the Final Attack Zone on the last event of the year, a 10-mile stretch of rolling, meandering and sometimes sharp-edged blacktop at the tail end of the Homer the Hard Way Classic. Homer the Hard Way is a 4-hour, 75 mile trek that instead of taking the path of least resistance, cuts in through a side door via a torturous, steeply-angled road. Homer the Hard Way is best suited for insensitive, unfeeling, uncaring, hardnosed Zealots that love to hammer and love to make others suffer. That would cover just about the entire pack.

Heading into the final event of WBL 2013, Fletcher Paperweight Lydick held a slim 3-point lead over Thomas el Capo Brown and a 7-point margin over Big Frank Travieso. The three had been involved in a heavyweight slugfest for over six weeks and all three were bloody and bruised. El Capo and Big Frank had been trying to overtake Paperweight in points, plotting and planning and sharpening knives, but the young prodigy had not only defended his first place position, he had struck back like a sledgehammer. Paperweight wasn't just dominating the Non Pro category, at times he was placing in the Top 5 overall in the Pro sprint. As a result, Paperweight's days of flying under the radar were officially behind him—he was now riding with a bullseye on his back. February 15 was Big Frank's and el Capo's last shot at the young upstart and they were intent on bringing him down.

The bleak forecast (clouds, rain, snow flurries and a wicked northwesterly wind) meant that only the rock-hard, steel-hearted Blackhearts were on hand for Homer. But sometimes fortune favors the willing. Instead of a wintry mix and freezing conditions, the 30 – 35 fearless fighters who signed in were once again treated to sun-soaked skies because after about 1 hour of riding beneath a thick layer of gray-black clouds, the vicious winds ripped holes in the sky and Old Sol poked through. The clouds would continue to part until the sun dominated the sky and Old Sol, as he's done all winter, poured out his blessings in the form of warm rays of winter sun.

But the wind, Brothers and Sisters, was quite another matter. The west-to-northwesterly squalls were gusting at 25 miles per hour or more and prevented the attendees from becoming comfortable and complacent. The wind required all on hand to work like a galley slave, especially the helmsmen and women who were leading the charge. As the Zealots headed towards Homer in the first half of the ride, the wind was pounding them in the chest and face and blew so hard that it pushed the circling vultures backwards. The wind pinned entire fields of knee-high grass to the ground and violently rattled the tops of giant oaks. The wind, when it's whipping with this sort of fury, is worse than the rack.

Still, the gale force busters didn't stop the strongest in the group from going to the front, hoisting the boulder on his or her back, and climbing up the hill. In other words, pulling this pack around was a task shared by all. El Capo, Big Frank, Paperweight, Canada's Ben Ice Ice Baby Chaddock, Jered Gutcheck Gruber, and Brindles Cornett all spent time at the front pounding out the miles. A serious problem, however, is that they were turning the screws on those poor, world-weary wretches behind, one of whom was your most faithful (and loyal) Humble Chronicler. The wind, the miles, and the big ring were all taking their toll. I reached for my lucky chicken claw so I could give it a good rub. I panicked when I realized that I'd left it at home.

To add insult to my poor, pulverized legs, after the store stop, the group traversed a 10 mile section that looks like a row of piranha's teeth on the profile. When I first saw the course profile I assumed someone was pulling a prank. Unfortunately, those sorts of pranks aren't allowed in the WBL. The other kind is though, that's the kind where you really do climb a steep, monster hill. This prank, however, has never made me laugh. Once or twice I may have even cried.

During this 10 mile section fish-teeth roadway, J Gruber and T Brown took over at the helm and struck forth an unholy alliance. The two pushed forward at a deleterious speed. In fact, I am sure that the speed at which they pulled and which caused the burn in my legs took two years off my life. The two troublemakers' plan was now obvious—pound the enemy into submission before the Final Attack Zone even rolled around. The plan was working as far as I was concerned…and that is as far as I was concerned.

As the pack cruised into Commerce at the 50 mile point, even though the sun was shining, snow started blowing out of the sky. "This must be a good sign," Craig Tinsley smiled and said. After a minute of cogitating and pondering the fact that he was riding in a blizzard while the sun was shining he hollered, "Unless it's an omen of something very bad. I get the feeling that something wicked this way comes." The snow, the wind, the hardcore group, the speed, and the tough terrain only added to the quality of the ride. Homer now had the earmarks of an "epic."

The group hit the Final Attack Zone at the 60-mile point and the final battle for supremacy in WBL 2013 began. Not only was there the final sprint to grab points, but all categories also had an intermediate sprint in the Final Attack Zone, at Mile 7 at the top of Seagraves Hill, 3 miles from the finish.

Gutcheck Gruber attacked straight away and pedaled off into the wild blue yonder. He lowered his shoulders, bent over his bars, and raged up the road. Gutcheck's daring move would set the stage for what was to follow.

The wind was now pounding the pack from the side and as the pedal-grandees rushed down Erastus Church Road, they were pushed all the way onto the yellow line (but not over). Taking the left hand turn at Seagraves Mill Road, 7 miles from the finish, Gutcheck's lead hovered at 20 seconds. He was not letting up. He was not waiting for me. What a bastard!

As soon as the group turned left on Seagraves Mill, a violent acceleration occurred. Travieso, T Brown, Cornett, Lydick, B Bryant, R Peacock and N Housley pulled away in ones and twos and came together 500 meters up the road. The seven escapees recognized a possible winning move and fell into formation and pedaled away. Chaddock, A Hilliard, D Prilliman, Crumley and Hootin all pedaled furiously behind. The proverbial feces had hit the fan.

4 miles later, as the front group flew up the long slope at the end of Seagraves Mill Road, the challenging 400 meter long Seagraves Hill, Gutcheck was still 10 seconds clear. As the group dug up the incline, with the wind rocking them from the side, B Bryant and Lydick slipped slightly off the back. The 5 remaining recognized that they had the Overall Leader on the ropes for the first time all winter. They punched the accelerator like there was no tomorrow.

Cresting the hill Brown took off after Gutcheck and he and Cornett caught and passed him at the line. But Gutcheck had the good sense to latch on at the rear. These three now had a 10 second gap on three chasing behind (Housley, Peacock and Big Frank). Lydick was another 10 seconds in arrears. Behind these two Chaddick was solo with Hootin, Crumley, Hilliard and Prilliman following 20 seconds behind. The remainder of the shell-shocked group was scattered up and down the road.

The three in the front shared the workload and dug for gold. Behind, Lydick began to close on the second group, but Big Frank pulled out a nine-inch nail and hammered it into the coffin. Big Frank drove the group at furious clip, preventing Lydick from catching on and eliminating his chance for a Top 5 on the day.

At the front Gutcheck attacked but was not allowed any leeway. He was brought back to heel and T Brown attacked with 800 meters to go. But Cornett ran him down, setting the stage for a two-up sprint. The Overall hung in the balance.

T Brown jumped first with 250 meters to go and rode the inside of the yellow line, forcing Brindles to take the long way around on the right. Though Brindles closed to within a nose hair, el Capo held him off and claimed his 3rd win of the year and his 10th lifetime win in the WBL in spectacular fashion. Housley and Peacock rounded out the Top 5 with Big Frank rolling over in 6th.

Behind Lydick yet again won the sprint for the Non-pro's with Tank Crumley flying home with Rootin Tootin Cal Hooin for 2nd Non-Pro. With his 2nd place finish Tank moved into a Top 10 spot in the Final Overall Standings.

With his amazing day, el Capo Thomas Brown edged out Fletcher Paperweight Lydick in one of the fiercest competitions and closest finishes for the Overall Win in the history of the WBL. With his win el Capo once again broke records: His four Overall titles could stand for decades or more, and with his 3 stage wins, el Capo has moved into 2nd on the WBL all time win list. Next year he may move to the top of the heap.

And though Lydick was pushed off the top spot in the end, the young 15-year old pedal-banger was the surprise of the year. Paperweight rode with the strength of Hercules and the wisdom of Solomon, two traits that when combined lead to devastation and ruination for the remainder of the field. Unfortunately for others, the young speedster will be hale on wheels for many years to come. Many Zealots are hoping the Paperweight will take up fly fishing. I wouldn't hold my breath.

Morgan Patton once again won the day for the Ladies and she and Brindles Cornett rounded out the Top 5 in the Overall. Both Brindles and Morgan finished off spectacular seasons.

Kudos, Ladies and Gents, for a mighty fine year!

Homer (Finish)

  1. Thomas Brown: 10 pts
  2. Brendan Cornett: 8 pts.
  3. Jered Gruber: 6 pts
  4. Nick Housley: 4 pts.
  5. Reid Peacock: 2 pts
  6. Foul Weather Point: Everyone: 1 pt
  7. All: 4 pts


  1. Fletcher Lydick: 5 pts.
  2. Justin Smith: 3 pts
  3. Frank Crumley: 1 pts.


  1. M Patton: 5 pts

Intermediate Sprint:

  1. T Brown: 3 pts
  2. B Cornett: 2 pts
  3. Gruber: 1 pt

Non Pro

  1. Fletcher Lydick: 3 pts.
  2. Justin Smith: 2 pts
  3. A Hilliard: 2 pts.
  4. Frank C: 1 pt


  1. M Patton: 3 pts
  • Total # of Rides: 12
  • Total # of Miles: 1010 miles
  • Average Miles per Ride: 84 miles!

WBL 2013 Final Overall Standings

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