Southern Illinois Fat Tire Fest 2012 – ELI RIDE

So I made over Saturday morning to Ozark IL. for this year’s Fat Tire Fest.  There were over a 150 riders present and it looked like everyone was having an enjoyable time.

At 10AM everyone gathered up and broke into groups, there was a 6 hour, a 4 hour, and a few other rides of various lengths.  I was on the 4 hour ride lead by my good pal Elam, or Eli has he is known on the SMBA forum.  No disrespect to the other ride leaders, but Eli knows the trails better then anyone and I was pretty sure that his ride would be the most scenic.  Of course I also knew he wouldn’t pull any punches, so when he says 4+ hours of riding, you better count on at least 5.

I mounted my GoPro to the top tube of my bike.  Yeah I just put down the GoPro camera, but this is the kind of event that a GoPro loves, people everywhere, lots to see.  I don’t have many mount options for the GoPro, the helmet mount is useless in my opinion, unless your helmet is welded to your head its unwatchable.  The bar mount is pretty cool and I really like a nice stable bike part in the scene.  If I would have had more time I would have done more with the camera, but I was busy riding.

Splashing in.

I’ll give the short report on the Eli ride, peppered with Elisms  We had 19 riders of a wide range of experience levels.  Elam asked me to hang back and stay with anyone having trouble so I rode a very laid back pace for the first couple hours.  The first major adventure was the coon on a log crossing.  I rolled up from the back to see everyone waiting in line and crossing this log, it was taking about way to long to get the bike then the riders across.  I rode into the creek but didn’t get very far, then I waded back in and helped people move their bikes across.  It was nearly peedinker deep, but it really wasn’t that cold.

Coon on a log crossing.

As the hours clocked up we began to loose riders and eventually the Elite 8 rode out to Handbasket rock, by this point Eli was setting me loose near the front.  After hanging back all day I was a bundle of energy and it seemed like I was hitting on all 6 cylinders.  Near Buffalo on the rock we were having riders mentioning that they were seeing things, they were riding on fumes.  We were about 4 hours in so technically they should have been finished, but like Cay said add an hour to whatever the ride’s supposed to be.  We lost a few more and the FINAL FIVE finished by taking a secret trail to Cedar Falls.  Lots of smiling faces when we finished up.

Five hours ten minutes 18 miles.  Awesome ride and thanks to Eli for leading it.

Of course Mad Props to the SMBA crew and Surgeon crew for putting on a great Fat Tire.


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in Barn Door Cycling, lifestyle, Mountain BIking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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