Thunderbolt Grease Slapper

Sep 14, 2013
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Bradley Illinoiz
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A third event has been added to round out the Double Daily Paperboy Challenge! A bundle of newspapers to each contestant must be broken down, folded and loaded onto the bike. Then a full on race to the other end of a straight away six block boulevard. Flipping papers into each yard on the way down and then an empty return run for best time overall. Event is called: Fold em' Don't Hold em' and Run. Tom says, "There's no such thing as letting a papercut slow you down in a newspaper delivery contest, Marigold."

Merle.
 
Sep 14, 2013
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Bradley Illinoiz
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Yesterday's results for the first of 3 Double Daily Paperboy Challenges are in, and as expected, Tom Slick and the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper are leading the pack. Literally. The Dogged Sprints featured simulated dogs that were enhanced with proximity alarms, motion sensors and pop-up dog outlines. Papers were launched by hand from the saddle. 3 pts for on the porch, 2 pts for in the bushes and 1 pt for in the yard. 25 papers were delivered and Tom scored a 72 for the newspaper accuracy part of the race. He was on pace to score a perfect 75 easily launching papers, but the first stealth dog to pop-up startled him enough to drop his newspaper right where he was and after the initial embarrassment, he laughed it off. Shouting, "There's no room for daydreaming in newspaper delivery!" So even though the rest of the "dogs" were chosen to jump out (or not) randomly, Tom Slick never missed another perfect shot at the porches and he always evaded the proximity alarms in the alotted time, having perfected the 3/4 speed newspaper launch. So although a perfect score would be 255 pts, Tom finished the technical challenge on day one with a 252. Stay tuned for the upcoming Neighborhood Rally.

Merle.
 
Sep 14, 2013
6,197
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Bradley Illinoiz
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It's Rally Day race fans! We're looking at a 1.5 mile asphalt course comprised of straightaways and curbed turns, incorporating two alley gravel crossings, pop up traffic and a fenced jump finale. The points leader Tom Slick has set a nearly impossible task for the other competitors. His near perfect score in the technical section means he could coast thru todays 3 runs and still be near the top. But we all know that Tom Slick is not that kind of competitor, so everyone else entered has to be in top form today. They'll each get 3 chances at the quickest time thru the course. Leaders from the first days event will start off the rally, 3 in each group. After entering the course on a roll, at 30 second intervals, racers will cross the starting line and then GO! Slick is taking no chances, right after him, scoring a 247, is the founding member of the National Newspaper Delivery Persons Apprenticeship, Billy Basil. The Baron Otto Matic with a respectable 235 is launching in 3rd. After all have completed their first timed run the competitors will be reordered according to times, fastest first. Slick, Basil and The Baron will be starting in just a few moments.

Merle.
 
Sep 14, 2013
6,197
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Bradley Illinoiz
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After two rounds there's big news! Otto Matic is out. He folded his rear rim over when he missed a bunny hop to avoid a pop-up taxi cab. Unable to complete the run he was eliminated. Curbs are a real obstacle to bicycle riders everywhere and this section of the Challenge reflects that perfectly.
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Tom Slick on the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper is just seconds ahead of the determined Billy Basil.
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Basil is piloting an early Spaceliner, this middleweight cruiser is light and quick sporting a two speed kickback, nimble on it's 26x1.75 tires.
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Punky Bubber has now moved into the third slot. Bubber on the other hand is running a modified Westfield, built for both speed and hauling capacity. Punky has turned in a flawless performance, and she is whittling seconds off of the leaders by clear routes thru gravel crossings and practiced turns, missing pop-up traffic by mere inches. Time itself is beginning to show on Tom Slick's execution. He's definitely older than most of the other cyclists although his core strength may be his unwillingness to coast. So, at the end of two rounds, Tom leads Billy by 5 seconds with Punky just 7 seconds behind him. Right now all the teams are in the pits. Tuning bikes and resting riders for their third and final runs of the day.

Merle.
 
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Sep 14, 2013
6,197
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Bradley Illinoiz
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Punky Bubber and her Westfield have pulled an upset winning the third and final leg of the Rally with the quickest time of the day. The bean counters haven't divvied up the points yet but it looks like a virtual tie with Tom Slick and the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper who won the first event of the Paperboy Challenge. He says there's no such thing as a tie in bicycle racing, Marigold. But Tom's not a bean counter so it's up to the judges at this point. Billy Basil is scant seconds and points behind making the last event of the Challenge a big deal. It's still anybodies game. Stay tuned for the Fold Em' Don't Hold Em' and Run.

Merle.
 
Sep 14, 2013
6,197
12,879
59
Bradley Illinoiz
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After a rain delay (nobody wanted to fold wet newspapers...) Our competitors gathered for the last event in the Double Daily Paperboy Challenge co-sponsored by The Daily Planet of Metropolis and The Daily Bugle from Queens, aptly named, Fold em' Don't Hold em' and Run. This is the final leg and features a half mile run, pitching papers into fenced yards and all they gotta do is make it into the yard. (This is real world stuff folks!) after which they turn and sprint back to the finishing line. Average 20 blocks per mile, ten houses per block, means our racers will deliver 100 newspapers and then haul it back to where they started. There is a bit a strategy involved, papers must be folded, papers must make it into the yards, all houses must get a paper. So much like the internal combustion racers who must calculate how much fuel to carry to make it to the finish, our contestants must figure how many papers to bring. Folding papers takes time, not as much as getting of your bike to get the errant newspaper to toss back into the yard, or even worse, going back for more. So, how many papers do they fold? Each racer has their own idea, 3 extra seems to be the general consensus. We will see. In a race as close as this one, if any one of the top three win by more than 3 seconds, they are the winner of the whole thing! For the first half, all around sportsman and perpetual paperboy, Tom Slick seems to have an advantage. He has perfected his throw, nailing the porch almost every time earlier and here he only needs to get it in the yard. But the youthful legs of Billy Basil and Punky Bubber level the field. There are also 20 other racers and a couple of them have long shots at making the top three as well. Yet, for today's finale most eyes will be on the top three.

Merle.
 
Sep 14, 2013
6,197
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Bradley Illinoiz
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The starting pistol has fired and our competitors have all sprinted to the bundles of newspapers. Each have begun to fold their papers and load them onto their bikes. These will be the Daily editions, so no extra sections and no inserts. Crisp folds tucked tight are the rule. They stack and fly better that way, and for our purposes that's all that counts. There's also a twist. 60 papers to a bundle, one bundle at the start and a second bundle after 5 blocks. How many would you take from the first bundle? Oh! The first racer to launch is Billy Basil and hot on his fender is Punky Bubber both have left a few papers from their bundles but its hard to tell from here how many they have. Now there goes the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper along with a couple of other riders and Tom Slick seems to have all 60 papers with him from his first bundle. Our two leaders are almost halfway thru the first block when Tom tosses his first paper. The pace here is quick the riders all seem to be picking up speed, although here and there a few have missed the fenced areas and had to slow to rethrow. Not so with all around nice guy and newsprint express chucker, Tom Slick, he is actually gaining on the two youthful riders who have both reached a steady pace flipping papers easily but seemingly unaware to the advance of the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper! This 1953 Schwinn Spitfire features a 26 x 2.4 rear tire on a Shimano 3 speed coaster laced to a 26 x 58mm rim. That's a bit of rubber to get spinning, just shy of a real fat tire. Couple that 3 speed to a 46 tooth mag sprocket and you have a pretty good range for kicking it down the road. Speaking of kicking it, Basil, Bubber and Slick are all at the quarter folding papers and Tom seems to have quite a few more loaded into his baskets having missed none of his throws and reaching the end of the fifth block with 10 extra papers! Yep, he's off first. Tom Slick has taken the lead. His throws are on target and he continues to gain speed. Gripping two papers at a time and throwing them to part in the air and land in each of two yards his pace is amazing. Can Billy Basil or Punky Bubber hope to catch him on the return as it looks like there's no way he'll miss a throw and lose any time there? Even though they're less than a block behind him, call it 6 lots back, it looks like they are content to battle it out for second. Maybe it's an illusion but here at the turn Tom is actually still stretching his lead. Yes, yes he is. In fact the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper was in second gear for most of the first half of the race and now that there are no papers to toss, Tom Slick is in his element. It's now a ten block run home folks and 30 feet after the turn Tom has the Grease Slapper in third gear and he's putting his pedals into blur mod. Basil and Bubber are battling it out for second and there's a third racer trying to get in on the action. Let's see if I can make out who it is... Wait it's Baron Otto Mattic! he was eliminated in the first leg but here he is pushing to get into the top three. Seems he made an appeal to the judges at the end of day one and I won't say money changed hands, but here he is in the mix. Now you'd think it'd be an easy run home but remember we do have slower competitors coming at those who've made the turn. Tom is keeping to the center of the boulevard but the next three are weaving in and out trying to gain an advantage. Whoa! Baron Otto has just bumped an oncoming rider into Basil and taken them both out with no judges flags! Well there's just six blocks to go and Tom Slick has a good 5 lot lead on Bubber with the Baron right behind her. Oh look! Punky has a unfolded paper in her hand and is fanning it at Baron Otto Mattic in an effort to keep him away from her. Haha, It's slipped free and has blanketed Otto's face leaving him blind and headed off course and into a fence. Now 4 blocks to go Bubber is attempting to chase down Slick. Can her Westfield catch Tom's Spitfire? Did Tom really say there's no such thing as second in the winner's circle, Marigold? 3 blocks to go...

Merle.
 
Sep 14, 2013
6,197
12,879
59
Bradley Illinoiz
www.instagram.com
There's old school newspaper style reporters everywhere and no one can tell who won. It was that close. J. Olsen and P. Parker both have submitted photo finish results to the judges and in psuedo-paparazzi fashion, photo's are being posed of all the competitors. Baron Otto Mattic has taken his loss as expected whacking his mechanic in the head with a wrench. But for a couple bucks the Baron will still pose on his bike with newspapers covering his face. Paperboys from all over the country are posing with their bikes and the bags sporting their local papers. In true sportsmanship, racers have been taking group selfies, and there's cold soda-pops all around. Tom and Punky are strolling thru the pits arm in arm, waiting for the results... and this just in... Tom Slick by inches. Two to be exact. It seems the flipped rockers on his fork put his front tire two inches in front of the tire on Bubber's Westfield. Gerty style on the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper for the win! With a gracious nod acknowledging the effort put forth by his competitors, Tom Slick raises his hand in victory and exclaimed, "There are no such thing as losers in a paperboy challenge, Marigold."

Merle.
 
Jun 27, 2017
1,157
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Willow Spring, NC
There's old school newspaper style reporters everywhere and no one can tell who won. It was that close. J. Olsen and P. Parker both have submitted photo finish results to the judges and in psuedo-paparazzi fashion, photo's are being posed of all the competitors. Baron Otto Mattic has taken his loss as expected whacking his mechanic in the head with a wrench. But for a couple bucks the Baron will still pose on his bike with newspapers covering his face. Paperboys from all over the country are posing with their bikes and the bags sporting their local papers. In true sportsmanship, racers have been taking group selfies, and there's cold soda-pops all around. Tom and Punky are strolling thru the pits arm in arm, waiting for the results... and this just in... Tom Slick by inches. Two to be exact. It seems the flipped rockers on his fork put his front tire two inches in front of the tire on Bubber's Westfield. Gerty style on the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper for the win! With a gracious nod acknowledging the effort put forth by his competitors, Tom Slick raises his hand in victory and exclaimed, "There are no such thing as losers in a paperboy challenge, Marigold."

Merle.
Awesome!!!

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Sep 14, 2013
6,197
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Bradley Illinoiz
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Back at the garage first thing Tom did was yank those baskets off. Then Gerty pulled out a little surprise. Sweet Columbia chainguard. After a nip here and there and shaving the back of the crank, this is where it's at. Time for paint to match. Oh, and Tom had so much fun on the last event of the Paperboy Challenge, now he's talking about drag racing...

Merle.


Sent from the edge of an alternate universe...
 
Sep 14, 2013
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Bradley Illinoiz
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I recently had the opportunity to interview Tom Slick and his Mechanic Gerty Growler and I thought I'd share just a bit of it here. M: Tom, you've been involved in bicycle races of all kinds for a long time. Are there any regrets or any races you've yet to conquer? T: Well Merle,it's like I always tell Marigold. There's no such thing as fail in bicycle racing. But I will share this, the horizon is looming. What I mean is that I'm no Super Chicken haha! (he turns to Gerty; Remember when we were on network TV Gerty?) I mean spring chicken... M: How about it Gerty? You seeing any signs of Tom slowing down? G: No Merle, I don't. But I'll tell you this, the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper has been built and rebuilt, manipulated and mangled into every shape imaginable and all with the original paint. (edit: we're pretty sure she is just talking about the frame) G: That said, there's a lot of that bike gets left out on the track every race he enters. It's an icon. Kids come into the pits and just want to sit on it or even just touch it. There's a place on the top tube where the paint's been rubbed clean off. M: Tom any thoughts on retiring the bike? T: NO! The Grease Slapper is the only bike I've ever ridden. When I stop being competitive, I'll take it to the show circuit. In fact we do a few shows here and there, now. M: Is there any different setups for the show circuit than when the Thunderbolt is in active race mode? G: Ha! Tom is always in active race mode and the bike has to be ready. My garage it full of bikes that have been dismantled and scavenged to keep that old Spitfire roadworthy. It's a 1953 you know. They don't make em' like that anymore. Right now it has parts on it old Arnold Schwinn never dreamed would be on any of his bicycles. T: It's custom for sure Merle, you know what they say... There's no such thing as stock at Rat Rod Bikes!

There you have it folks, a few words from our favorite racing team, Tom Slick, Gerty Growler and the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper.

Merle.
 
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Sep 14, 2013
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Bradley Illinoiz
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Gerty has been repacking bearings and polishing the old patina. Tom scours the media looking for the next race. He may have found it. There's a desert where chemical clouds seeded with fallout breed fierce electrical storms. A desert where the paint or the flesh, can be eaten right off the frame with too much exposure. A race to cross the Expanse, to outrun the elements. Scavengers chase the entrants and if they fail to outrun the scavs, they don't return. Marigold and Gerty are both pleading with Tom not to enter the Expanse, claiming it's a one way ticket. But Tom Slick wants the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper to be ready, he has some mods in mind...

Merle.
 
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