Black Friday rides are a long tradition in the Shawnee, and today was a great one. Weather was awesome, warmer and drier than normal. We voted and ended up riding at One Horse Gap. We met up at the new parking Lot on top of the Coon, which is where the 001 crosses Benham Ridge Road. We needed the huge parking lot, this was a huge black friday turn out of 22 riders.
So after the required picture I blast down the parking lot and jump on a trail, only it wasn’t the trail, 2 minutes in and were all standing around in the woods looking for the trail, which just happened to start on the other end of the parking lot. Oh man please don’t let this be one of those rides, I thought. Luckily Pat spotted the Coon which was about 15 feet away and we were off.
5 minutes in I switch hand positions to my bar ends and on the first bump found myself over the bars. My Ergon grip/bar end had come loose and spun. I wasn’t hurt, but again I said, “Oh man please don’t let this be one of those rides.” Back on the bike I find myself behind Amy, and of course she’s flying. I’ve got too much air in my front tire, and I’m riding heavy. My front tire slips on a rock and I’m down again. Over the bars twice in the first 10 minutes. This is going to be one of those rides.
Let some air out and make it to the bottom of the coon without another incident. Went up to the fireroad and went back in on 178 the new benchcut. At some point I let some air out of the back tire and guess what, PINCH FLAT, right when we got to the Six Sister’s trail. Borrowed an inflator from Winkleman, and Moe was there to help get the tire changed.
Met up with Brant, Ashli and Cay, we rode the new 136 benchcut and Brant showed his impressive skills riding clearing rough rock sections. Ashli was floating through it all and making it look easy. Hadn’t rode with either of them in a long time and it was great to see them on the trail.
So there was a bit of confusion about where to go next, and we lost a few riders. I went back and made sure they knew where they were going. In an effort to be “awesome” I tried to ride up a big ol rocky ridge and pinch flatted my rear tire. Great, things were going so well. Cay had a spare 26 inch tube and it worked fine, lucky me. I put 50 pounds of air in for no more pinch flats and soon we back on the trail. Thanks to Brant for bringing a pump. Man I’m a leech. We all met up on Benham Ridge Road. Some of us dropped back in on the 001 and rode to to the gap. I love this old school trash trail, but what’s not to love.
After some playtime at the Gap I’m checking out the 175 which stays up on the ridge, never ridden it, but I knew it was suppose to be gnarly. Lots of walking through here, and we encountered a rattle snake, which is wild especially in Late November.
175 dropped us off near the bottom of the coon so we rode over to the lake, I didn’t plan on it, but the lake trail was so dry and in such great shape that we did a lap around the lake. It’s usually a quagmire. Near the end of the lake loop I could sense an impending bonk. I wasn’t bad but I felt it. We went back and rode the coon out. I was hanging tight to Moe and Lee on a pretty fast pace but right where the real climb starts at the double switchback I blew and just spun the rest of the way in.