Narrowly Snapping the Wrist of Berryman

What do you do when the weather is gorgeous and you have the day off? You invite a bunch of people to go for a road trip with them and their bikes, that's what.
Six brave soliders ventured out of the city limits in search of epic conditions, and we what we found was a mix of awesomeness, and potential awesomeness. Starting at the Brazil Creek campground, we set a clock-wise course for pain. We certainly arrived at our destination before any of us could have imagined.

Here you see Mason Storm and Nico Toscani negotiate a twisty uphill of doom.

Nico destroys this creek by using his superior attitude and superior state of mind.
The same creek is attacked by today's guest mountain biker and flatlander-extraordinaire, Sherrid:

We would have snapped some sweet pictures of faster, more splash-tastic creeks, but they were usually at a spot where it was too much fun to stop and take photos. After enduring many flat tires, much lost traction, one wrong turn, many unrideably-downed trees, supreme downhills, and temperatures that reminded us that summer is right around the corner, we stopped to refill at the much-ballyhooed spring. As it turns out, we all perished the night after drinking from it: (it's totally drinkable. Delicious, in fact.)

Most of the trail was full of sweet sections like these:

Unfortunately, the rest (probably 1/3) of the trail was NOT picture-worthy. After all the horrible weather this year, what with the flooding, record-rainfalls, high winds, and equestrians not respecting soft/muddy trails, much of the trail surface had been washed away to the point where it more closely resembled a creek bed. There were constant signs of flowing water having been on the trail, and having been on the trail for long periods of time. (I've heard of hub-deep creek crossings, but hub-deep leaf-deposits?) Anyway, the bottom line is that our beloved IMBA-Epic Berryman is in bad shape. Fortunately, we're not the first to diagnose this. The good guys over at GORC have a rather extensive project in the works. The Berryman Trail has some of the best sections of trail in the state, and is gloriously connected to the Ozark Trail and all of its glory (Middlefork, North/South Trace Creek, Curtois, Council Bluff, etc...) It can certainly be brought back to the trail that it is famous to mountain bikers for being - all it takes is some manpower and time. There is also a much-talked-about endurance race coming up, similar to the Ouachita Challenge or Syllamo's Revenge. The Berryman Epic should bring a lot of attention to MO trails and MO Racing. If you ride these trails and have more time than money, then please consider helping out with a GORC workday, or at least getting involved in some way.

To highlight another great trail system in the area, Greensfelder is a prime example of what can be done to make an existing trail even better - if you haven't been out to Greensfelder, in the last couple years, put it on your short-list of must-rides, as it is a gem for local mountain biking, without all the crowds of Castlewood. While you're there, here is a challenge for you: try climbing the Monkeyhead Section. After much effort, 2 Seagal Scouts have determined that an uphill no-dab Monkeyhead run IS possible, even on a singlespeed. Go try it, then report back to us. In the meantime, stay tuned for a Mustache Extravaganza.

-C. Ryback


Boz said...

Uphill through the m-key heads?? Now that's just crazy talk! Hans Rey...perhaps. Fat Boz Man...ain't happening.

G'felder is the gem and my fav of the area!

Mason Storm said...

Oh yes BOZ. It can be done...I have seen it?

Cory said...

Nice shot of the Kulas and Unit!