It has been a long standing tradition for a Black Friday Mountain Bike Ride to be held every year for at least ten years if not longer. The ride originated when riders from Kentucky came to the Millstone Lake / Jackson Falls area to do some daredevil free riding on the rocks and bluffs, all of us XC oriented riders would follow along and watch the chaos unfold. Eventually the freeriders stopped showing up and the ride evolved into an epic Shawnee cross country ride and that’s exactly what we got in 2016.
Fourteen riders showed up, we parked in downtown Eddyville and took a mile cruise down Washington street where the road devolves into trail. I was in the lead and probably going a bit too fast when the road turned to dirt with a bit of mud and leaves on top. My front wheel did a slight drift and I knew right then that it was going to be a slick ride. We had rain on Wednesday and Thursday didn’t do much to dry it out. The trail had a slick coating of mud in many places that made traction somewhat scarce.
We took the riders up to Jackson Hole where we parked our bikes and walked into the Natural area to see the rocky bluff waterfall and took some pictures.
Around 10 miles in the group split, half taking a shorter route and some of us taking an extra loop. I had been feeling very good up to this point, but it seemed like the trail kept getting slicker and my bike more weighed down with mud. My legs were doing OK, but my upper body and arms were exhausted from the tense handling. I’m running Continental Race Kings which were floaty in the slick stuff but I saw Big Hit Barry sliding around with his big Minion enduro tires.
We all made it back OK, and despite the conditions it was an awesome ride, we got 20 miles, one broken spoke was our only mechanical. I know Big Hit Barry went down at least once, but with his catlike reflexes he wasn’t injured.
Just another awesome ride in the Shawnee.