Well, here we are the day after Thanksgiving, and feeling like the proverbial stuffed goose! So I get the last minute OK from my better half to join the Whittington Family Reunion Ride. I called the Wrecking Ball to come out and join us, thinking he could help me dilute some of the Whitosterone that was sure to be boiling over.
Five Whittingtons representing two generations of lug nut turning, arm wrestling, Woodvillians. How can this ride not be entertaining? For those who don't know the Banty Rooster, you're missing a real treat. Mr Rooster is the father of long time core rider, Bikechain. Bikechain was a partner in the now defunct legend that was Revolutions Cyclery. I wrenched at Revolutions for 4 or 5 years, and the Banty Rooster was in the shop probably 80% of the time I was. I'm pretty sure he's never met a stranger, and he never fails to regale you with stories that somehow leave you questioning that twinkle in his eye. I'm not saying he'd pull your leg, but you better have your balance when he's around!
Bikechain's fellow partner in Revmart, and older brother, The Rx, was in attendance, too. Now, Rx never had the cycling disease quite as bad as the rest of us, but he was always game for any of our two wheeled foolishness including bike hockey or piloting the Tri-bandem in the Festival of Lights parade.
Rounding out the triumvirate of Banty Rooster's offspring today, was 007. 007 is some sort of odd mix of CIA, MMA, KGB, RCA, LCD.... I don't know what else. He was once accused of being anti-semite, which is damned funny considering his wife's jewish! Me personally, I think he's a member of the Israeli Moussad cycling team.
I have not had a chance to ride with Banty Rooster, Rx, or 007 in years. So with them, Bikechain, Wrecking Ball and 'Cuz( who also happens to be Banty Rooster's nephew) we were off! First up was the Live Oak Trail. I was a little concerned for Rx, as he rides the least of our crew today, and he's on 1993 KHS Pro FZ, complete with a rigid fork, and cantilever brakes. The pads on these brakes are at least 10 years old! I'm hoping they haven't hardened to rocks or don't crumble into dust at the first sign of a downhill!
My fears proved unfounded. Rx flat out charged! Despite a little wobble at the top, he committed full on to attacking our newest bridge over the waist high log on the backside. This was the first time he'd seen it, and God knows how long it's been since he rode last! Right after the log bridge, Rx charges the downhill to the creek...on that full rigid, cantilever brake equipped rig! Now not for nothing, but I've seen some guys who ride a lot more often than Rx, and on new school, full suss rigs, no less, ride that downhill with less aplomb than Rx did today. Big Kudos to his can-do attitude. It's hard to explain, but riding with guys like that makes me stoked! No complaining and knowing the odds are not necessarily in their favor, but they commit and succeed anyway. It'll make you take stock of your own attitude, that's for sure.
After Live Oak, Banty Rooster decided to part ways, uttering something about being 67 years old and "What was he gonna do in 10 years when he was 77?". Whatever, I hope I'm still able to go ride with a bunch of guys 20-30 years younger than me when I'm 67!
The rest of us headed for Lake Overstreet and Redbug. Things stayed fairly chill except for a couple of times when 'Cuz decides to throw 007 a beatin' in the singletrack. You just can't have that many Whittingtons on a ride and no gauntlets be thrown down! Rx chugs along steadily, and still no complaints. I thought for sure Rootbug would've done him in on that rigid bike, but no chance. You know it occurs to me that if Rx were to go to Felasco, Spanish Mackeral would likely lose his MOTY title. In fact, given the fact that Mackeral has more excuses than rides under his belt, these past few weeks, he may already be a former MOTY!
This ride was definitely like a big reunion ride. It was super cool to get to ride with the "other" Whittingtons. As Wrecking Ball and I were loading up after the ride, Banty Rooster shows up with plates of home cooked cakes and pies. Talk about bringing back memories of my days at Revmart! I'm not sure if this is what Fat Lad means by ending his rides with beer and cakes, but I'll take it anyday!