So R.I.M. was cancelled. I vented and all is said and done. Now to make it all better, The Manimal, Old Man Winters and I made plans to head out to Crowder on what would have been race day and ride the trails anyway. We knew the course was trimmed and prepped for the race, the weather was bomber and Doug Long had invited everyone up to camp and drink some Tallgrass Beer race or no race. We could not make the time to camp, but we sure the hell wouldn't miss out on killer trail and free beers, so we loaded up the Greasecar and headed North.
Upon arrival we met up with Little Kevin and Justin. None of us knew the trail system so we winged it and rode the three main loops. We had only done about six miles of trail an knew there had to be more. We doubled back to camp and Doug hooked us up with some additional beta, followed by "if you like epic rides...", so we now had a plan, a solid kick-ass plan.
The first six or so miles of groomed trail were great. The climbing was as hard as it gets here in the Midwest and half of our crew could not make most of the long, rocky climbs. The descents were good until you hit the hard packed corners which were covered in acorns (ie: ball bearings!) and would keep your sphincter puckered tight. Once we finally made it out on our epic second half of the day ride, we were warmed up and psyched for an adventure.
We dropped into the Thompson South Loop and then onto the North loop. Both were indeed epic, with trees down, un-groomed trail and horse prints making for some grueling maneuvers at times. We rode over dozens of logs, along a beautiful river and back up through some fields back to camp. We had a hella good time riding unfamiliar trail for around 3 hours and just shy of twenty miles. My legs were cooked. After a brief hello to a few other KC folks and a quick visit to the cooler for some tasty beverages, we made the 90 minute drive back to KC. I have to say that this was one of the funner rides I've done as of late. Great crew of guys having fun riding bikes. No time clock, no awards, no loser's....all winners. Cheers!