March Rides Madness

I got some great rides in this March lets take a look.

The Gatekeeper of the Shawnee, the one and only Eli.

The Gatekeeper of the Shawnee, the one and only Eli.

A couple of weeks Eli, Joe and I went to Southern Missouri to ride on the Middle Fork of the Ozark trail.  The trail has a fantastic surface which is a sandy rocky mixture.  It was nearly bone dry despite a wet and snowy late winter.  Riding on our home trails would have been another mudbog but we got some stellar riding in over there.



Joe checking things out on the Middle Fork.

After 17 miles of unending flowy singletrack Joe finaly asked, “Are we ever going to turn around?”  We went a couple more miles and then bailed out and rode gravels for awhile before finishing the last couple of miles on the trail.  I went “all in” on these last few miles and rode very quickly, for me, almost all the way back to the truck, but began to run out of steam about half mile from the parking lot.  I started getting tunnel vision and decided to slow’r down.



Shon posing by the famous Julio monument.

Shon posing by the famous Julio monument.

Next weekend Joe, Eli and I took my pal Shon on his first mountain bike ride.  Shon’s a great road rider and is currently training for a marathon.  Now mountain bike trails are kind of different everywhere you go, some are super smooth dirt expressways, others are crazy rough amd technical rock farms.  Most of ours are more on the technical side, and require a considerable amount of skill that can be only learned through practice.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShon did extremely well for a first time mountain biker.  He had no problems with the pace and climbed very well, but he did have a couple of spills that would have probably been avoided if he’d been running flat pedals.  And since he was running one of my bikes and I hadn’t put flat pedals on for him I felt kind of bad about it.  Fortunately he was uninjured from the ride and seemed to have a great time.

The next day was the Dirty South 100K Carbondale Ride.  This was the final of our 3 Dirty South rides this year, and as fate would have it the weather turned from a nice warm  60ish degrees Saturday, to a gusty 30 degrees on Sunday.  It was brutal.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn my haste to prepare for the ride I forgot my camera but it wouldn’t have made much difference it was too cold to mess with taking pictures.  The route was a killer hard 61 miles and had many many tough climbs, Jersuelum hill, Pine Hills, Silica Hill, and the infamous Ski Hill.  My Garmin’s battery died as I was about halfway up the famous final Ski Hill climb but it wouldn’t have mattered my battery was beyond dead and I was just creeping along on reserve power.

Dirty South 100k LogoEvery one of the Dirty South rides was difficult this year, and not just because they are all tough courses, they were all cold and windy.  The whole idea of Dirty South was getting out and getting miles in places and in days where most people wouldn’t bother to ride, so I guess “Mission Accomplished.”

Finally to wrap up this March Madness post it snowed here yesterday morning, not much but still, it’s rare for us to get any snow in March.  The daffodils are just coming into bloom, nearly a month later then they did last year.  It’s been a long hard winter for sure, but weather reports show lots of highs in the 60s coming up next week and hopefully no snow.


About Matt Gholson

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

One Response to March Rides Madness

  1. Kate says:

    Middlefork is an awesome trail. I can’t wait to get back down that way!

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