Ride Report from Council Bluff
Greetings, loyal Team Seagal Fan! Days off don't come around very often. That's why when you are presented with one, you grab that crap like it was your heart during a heart attack. And on a sunny Sunday like we had this weekend in Missouri, with temps nearing 80 degrees, four representatives from our team found themselves in that very situation. The choices for Mason Storm and yours truly (Casey Ryback) were
1) drive the 6-ish hours to Lake Geneva, WI for the WORS event called "Treadfest,"
2) drive 5-ish hours to race in the first Heartland XC Race this year, to be held at St. Joseph, MO, or
3) engage in some epic riding less than 2 hours away from home at the world-famous Council Bluff trail, which will have us meeting up with our two teammates, Gino Felino and Cockpuncher.
Given gas prices and questionable trail/weather conditions at the venue in Lake Geneva, the primary use of which being a ski resort, we decided to stay local. I mean, the WORS site described the trail as "99.9% snow free." That may be so, but the thought of any snow at all in May is bullshit. More race experience would be a good thing for sure, but so would some epic riding at familiar trails that are within close proximity to the best Mexican restaurant in the state - Dos Primos. So Council Bluff it was.
The plan was to camp Sat night at the campgrounds, get in a lap before Gino and the 'Puncher got there. For those of you that have never made the trek from St. Louis to Council Bluff, you will most likely take 21 for most of the way. This road never ceases to entertain. Things like the tiny porn shack or the pile of rubble just outside of Potosi that used to be a building until a tornado knocked it down 5 years ago but the rubble is still there. This time, our favorite sight was probably the ominous molester van parked outside of Country Mart:
Pay close attention to the hood for maximum effect:
One of the great things about this trail is that unless there is a race in progress, it is very serene and secluded. Waking up in the middle of the night there was not a sound to be heard outside - perfectly still except for a pack of wolves howling in the distance. There were actually a lot of occupied campsite with mountain bikes, but we still only saw 2 groups of riders all day Sunday. Try that at Castlewood. The lake looked beautiful, as usual:
However, this trail's reputation for being supremely resistant to weather was somewhat tarnished today thanks to the wettest year for Missouri in recorded history. Soupy low spots, high creeks draining into a high lake, and long mud pits made for a very messy ride. Thank god I brought extra socks!
Mason demonstrates how to look good in our new kits even when hitting a wet stream:
Dead-fall was fairly minimal, though there were 2 or 3 chain-saw jobs:
Even though it was more messy than any of us had even ridden (except for Gino's 2nd place finish at Rim Wrecker in March, where the rain was coming down, and the trail was flowing - with water) the clean sections of trail ripped as usual, and made us feel like we were on a bmx pump track much of the time. The climb up to the campgrounds seemed to hurt even worse than at Burnin, though! Maybe it was the lack of a boombox at the bottom of the climb blasting out "Welcome to the Jungle" that made it seem worse?
The view from the dam is most excellent:
After two hard laps, the siren song of Dos Primos was too sweet to ignore any longer. Gino, CP, Mason and myself packed up camp and headed for some much earned Negro Modelo, Chili Verde, Carte Blanca, and Enchiladas Supremas. CP seemed a little unsure about it, as he had had a rough two days full of PBR, tequila, hangovers, and strenuous riding in the heat. In the end we all triumphed, and headed home to
P.S. - Stay tuned for info about the next Non-Race. We're working out personnel details.