Friday, December 30, 2011

Council Bluff Ride (Little Buddy's Bday ride)

Gibbs, Brown, Rister
Woke up at 5am to head to Edwardsville to pick up Andy Gibbs and Tim Rister for a trip to the Ozark Trail (Council Bluff) on Thursday morning.  I got to Andy's right on time at 6am (miracle) and we picked Tim up around the corner a little later.  There were several more guys there drinking coffee convincing themselves they were ready to go.  One of those guys was Little Buddy and this was the 4th or 5th annual birthday ride in his honor (I just met him for the first time that morning).  All the the gear was stowed and bikes loaded and we were off at 6:30 ish.  We met two other guys at the trailhead at 9am.  Everyone proceeded to change into their riding gear in the parking lot, thankfully it was a warm day....

Derailer Maintenance
There was a mile or so of gravel road to start before we dropped into the trail, then 300 feet or so into the trail, the guy in front of me hit a rock through a creek crossing and his tire blew with the sound of a 12 gauge shotgun.  Thankfully, we were only a mile or so away from the parking lot and one of the guys had a spare tire and quickly took off to get it while the bike got prepped to accept a new tire.  Unfortunately, this set the tone for the day.  We had several mechanicals with Andy swinging into action everytime to get us back on the trail quickly.  Andy is the head mechanic at the Cyclery and has outstanding "skills".  Halfway through the ride the guy who blew out his tire, had his rear derailer hanger bust and the derailer wrap around up into his wheel (not good).  Between all ten of us we had 4 or so derailer hangers in our bags but none fit his bike.  One good thing, we found out my newly purchased (two days prior) derailer hanger doesn't fit my bike as well.

Great Views
We ended up riding for about 7 hours but didn't cover a whole lot of miles for that amount of time (36 miles) but we had a good time.  There was a lot of time spent like you see on the here on the left in this pic.

Gibbs wind up radio for lunch tunes

Self portrait at the peak

me and the superfly!

On the bright side, there was 4,200 feet of climbing on this loop and I was right in the mix on the long grinding climbs.  A year ago I would have been way behind at the end of one of those kinds of climbs as well as spent....This year I was right there and felt good all day and still feel good today!  Now, there were guys a lot faster than I, but they were not in race mode hammering.  Great day, great ride, the ozark trail system is awesome.

Go Big or Stay Home


  1. No endurance ride is complete without a pit stop or two. Looks like a beautiful ride, Don. Great pics.

    Can you describe the trail conditions in the Ozarks for me? I've only ridden So Cal trails.

  2. nice. maybe I can give this a try if you teach me some of those skills...

  3. Scott, quite a bit of elevation change and some longer climbs (for the midwest). Lots of rocks and loose trail. When I say rocks, I mean rocks, small, large, medium, and all in between. I pinch flatted for the first time (on tubeless) on a downhill on two places on my rear tire. Very fun and technical though with a couple of nice rock gardens. A lot of singletrack with gravel road connectors....