(T-Tocs and Samuel Axel may have not be too jealous though, considering they were both balls-deep in their first Oregon Outback excursion, and Stormy is busy working to further the insidious Team Seagal Agenda deep within the Kona Bicycle Co.)
It has been in the works for a minute now, Memorial Day weekend, a weekend which would be prime for mutually assured destruction on the shores of Council Bluff Lake. We have been anticipating D0rb's arrival for some time, and have procured tasty provisions for his journey back east towards his upstate home base:
But he didn't just spend all that time driving his newly-bearded-for-this-occasion ass all the way down here just for the best beers to be found this side of Mt. Fuji. He drove down for some stupid fun Ozark riding - yet another thing we can provide lots of.
So after his arrival, and consumption of great food at the Southwest Diner, we put the finishing touches on the packing of the car, and headed down via the scenic route, i.e. "Blood Alley," the requisite visit to the Potosi BP for even more sugary and fermented beverages, and of course, for complete and total domination of the Potosi BP shitter.
The two-car train of myself (Señor Crotch) and Jerkward and C-D0rbs made landing on the shores of Group Campsite D to find a number of other jerks, notably Pry0r, Hollywood, Lawman, and St0rtz having already been there. Soon, Titty would arrive. And boy, was it exciting and excellent to be able to step out of the car and smell in the Council Bluff campground air... waft in the scents from the nearby pit-toilets... and revel in the fact that we were once again at Council Bluff. We were all excited to be able to get in a lap before the darkness fell, but we were nearly thwarted by ole' Jerky locking his keys in the Toscani-Mobile:
ship-in-a-bottle skills were put to work with the help of a metal coathanger from the neighbors, and crisis was averted. But not before the rest of us departed for dusk-laps around a lake surface that was smooth as glass and provided for multiple Bob Ross Painting moments:
The trail gods must have been a little upset with us though, no doubt for all the beer-soaked piss we leave trailside. As a result they decided to fuck with us a bit by giving W0rnk0rn a bent derailleur hanger, and St0rtz several flat tires and totally fucked spare inner tubes. This put a delay on our return, but nevertheless, we soldiered on and ended up riding in ever-darkening trails that were a problematic from the beach to the campground. Our dilated pupils were more wide open than a the body of a Crank Brothers pedal after it has
Commence fireside tomfoolery, beers, tubed meats...
...and the next morning headache. But you can't sit around milking a minor hangover all day, because the best cure for that is to shred all kinds of brown pow-pow with your friends all day. So a small strike team involving Tittay, Jerkward, your boy the Coach, C-D0rbs, Pry0r and KW all headed out for a Bluff loop and an excursion to the North Trace chimney and back.
|probably a rabid mountain lion turd, on the big ass tree|
|*Nico the photographer edited in|
From there, we had miles to go. Back to Hwy DD, then down to the Telleck Connect0r, and continuing on for a crush-tastic Burnin' loop around the Lake. Oooo-fucking-weee.
As an aside to this adventure, I must note - this was the first time Ole' Crotchy had ever ridden any part of the Ozark Trail with a geared bike - let alone a modern, fully active 5" of travel full-suspension bike with top-shelf parts. And, it was probably the first time in *at least* 10 years since I had ridden the Council Bluff loop on anything but a singlespeed. This RIP9, on loan from a superior jerk of the utmost degree, was the second most enjoyable 5" I've had between my legs. The first most was named Gabe.
Anyway, as we circled the lake, and as I listened to my hardened t'aint singing the praises of full-suspension bliss over miles of baby-head rock gardens, I couldn't help but revel in this sense of euphoria that comes from riding with friends on your favorite trails in sunny weather. And I'm not talking about that euphoria that comes over you when visiting the pit toilets.
We got back to the campground, D0rbs having crushed shit *way* stronger than he would have you believe ("Look at me! I'm just a retired old man with hip problems who hasn't been riding hardly at all this year!" Whatever, homeboy smashed faces that were nearly half his age.) and was quickly given a special apple-pie post-ride recovery serum from Lawman that was sure to set us off on the right path:
|that green Coleman water jug is older than me|
Before long, we had ourselves a campfire goin' snap-crackle-pop, and switched our recovery beverages from distilled to carbonated:
Sitting around that campfire, we discussed many things for many hours as we had shit-else to do besides reminisce about times past as we passed around D0rb's jenkem balloon containing D0rb's special NYC East River Blend that had us all speaking in tongues, and translating scrolls that were written on used TP. Through my hazy, faded eyes, I then saw a lone rider coast up on a way-too-cool-for-me contraption, twice as long as a regular bike, with tires twice as wide as a regular tire. Through the fog, I couldn't tell whom it was exactly:
...All I knew was that his arrival heralded a great conversation about driving up to the bluff for sunset instead of riding our bikes, as had been the plan previously. What a great idea. So great, that we concocted a great plan to drive our asses up there, with previous recon missions by Lawman done earlier that day reporting that the Johnson Mountain Road Gate was open.
A badass moment in time, atop a true Ozark mountain. And for a New Yorker, it can be harder to get further away from city life than drinkin' while 4-wheelin' your way through the woods, splashing through mud puddles and ending up a lookout.
The drive up:
Arriving up top with just enough time:
The Karate Kid, Staring Lawman:
Nico whizzing off of a cliff no handed:
We were getting a little crazy with all the cell phone reception up there, the dam bursting with all the emails and texts finally buzzing our phones. So everyone had to get outta there before we started making bad decisions involving being drunk, and posting shit to Facebook or Instagram. Nico and Strove, having ridden their two-person funbike all the way up that hill, saddled on up and actually beat us back down the mountain:
The problem with drinking most of the day, is that by the time night rolls around, all I want to do is smash any food that is put in front of me. And fortunately, we were like Scrooge McDuck. That is, if Scrooge McDuck had a vault of tubed meats, eggs, and bacon to cook up over the grill at midnight:
Fading further and further into the night, we even found Pizza Time arrive just in time for him to experience all the bullshit we were spewing out of our cakeholes. He may have even developed a contact-translation, being in such proximity to the ancient scrolls that were being unraveled. But alas, my contacts were revolting against my eyeballs, and I had to put myself to bed, left only to dream about being able to take my morning fuji - much like a child goes to bed on Xmas Eve dreaming of opening gift the next morning.
Upon awakening on Sunday, I was so excited to visit the pit toilet, I was almost skipping with glee:
So I grabbed my TP caddy and headed "upslope" for my summit attempt. Upon planting my flag atop the peak, ready to turn last night's meat sweats into the morning meat squirts, I was suddenly distracted by what may have been a congressman in the stall next to me, giving me the ole' Minneapolis Toe Tap:
Stepping out of the pit toilet, I was a little sore, but felt continuing relief for some time. D0rbs likened it to the feeling that a WW2 bombardier feels - upon unleashing his payload, the dead air before the final landing on/in it's intended target. In WW2, that target was Hamburg or Tokyo. But Memorial Day 2015, that target was the bottom of the pit, which, fortunately, is far enough away to eliminate any threat of the dreaded Spelling Splash-back.
It was very good timing, because that is the same time I came across Punch0r and Ryb0r arriving for OT bike practice! So I got to see nearly everyone this past weekend. Unfortunately, I was unable to re-apply the salve that is known as "OT Dirt," as I had work-related obligations that day. But I know that with all the mileage that was shredded this weekend, we'll be set for some time.
Well, there you have it. Another tale of fun times from your favorite jerks from your least favorite team. We had everything, even the discussions of our bowel movements, which are becoming more expected these days than a picture of a bald eagle in a politician's campaign ad.
Now, enough of that bullshit. Watch this fucking video of "Race Walking" with the Bee Gees dubbed over - it is amazing:
-Casey F. Ryback