Before I get started, you should get to know everyone by their proper nicknames.
First, there’s Todd the Antique Gun Show:
Next, Magical Mystery Tour Dave (talk to him if you ever need toilet paper while you’re out on the trail):
Josh the Eye Candy (yes, that’s a crescent wrench in his pocket):
And yes, he gets two photos…
…and Zane- a.k.a. “Sandy”
Day #1 started with MMTDave bringing his bike out of the car with a flat tire. The Antique Gun Show apparently keeps an air compressor in his truck, and tried to seal it up tubeless, but it was flat within the first climb/descent of the trail (which also happened to be within the first 5 minutes of hitting the trail). After a couple of attempts at keeping it tubeless, he eventually stopped and put a tube in. I have a hard time getting into the groove of things when a ride starts with halfwheeling leg-ripping contests, so I was happy for the short breaks.
As I previously discovered from my first trip to ride with Todd on the Womble, it’s customary to ride at close to a race-type effort whenever new guys (or girls) are in the group. Eye Candy Josh and Sandy were both “n00bsauce.”
We headed south from Highway 88, crossed the Ouachita River, and continued south on the Womble until we reached highway 298. From there, we hit the road. And more flats. This time, Razz discovered that his rim had a burr in it. It was rubbing a hole in his tire. We eventually booted it and headed up through Sims…
Being on a singlespeed on the road only sucks if you’re the only SS there. Luckily, there were 6 of us. We eventually hit the forest roads and made our way up a doubletrack climb to the Ouachita Trail. On the down side of the climb, MMTDave had another flat. Sandy stayed with him to lend him a tube and supplies, but soon found out that tubes kept in seatpacks for extended periods of time will have holes rubbed in them. Razz also flatted again soon after. I tried to lone my tube to him, and found that it was also damaged from my seatpack.
So, we decided to bail at the next forest road and head back in to Todd’s place for some refreshments.
TheÃ‚ remainder of the afternoon was spent telling fish tales and bragging about who could find the most awesome “new guy.” As soon as it started getting dark, I was out cold, and didn’t wake up until the coyotes decided that 4:30 AM was a good time to have a coyote party in the woods… or whatever it was they were doing. I can’t complain too much- at least it wasn’t post-12-hour techno.
Day #2, we were much more successful at keeping the air on the inside of the tires (with the exception of Antique Gun Show). We headed north up the Womble and, after some sweet hike-a-bike, hit the Ouachita Trail on top of Round Top
The descent was awesome- a little rocky, a little flowy, a little fast… something for everyone. We eventually made it back to where we’d left the Womble and made our way back south to where we’d started
Apparently next weekend will be “battle of the new guys.” My entry into the horserace is Matt, who is visiting Todd’s next weekend and will likely blog all about it once he’s home and out of his coma.
I’m trying to have the carbon cross blinged out and ready for Cyclocrunk, which starts tomorrow night (don’t click that if you’re offended by rap music and/or cleavage, in which case, you should probably get off of the internet right now). Considering I haven’t trained at ALL for cyclocross this year, I’m hoping that no one shows up, lest I get my butt kicked.