After some pre-deployments were dispatched for trail clean-up, employing the "reverse landing strip" methodology of trimming, we were ready for a full ride, and with minimal weeds to deal with. To clarify, the reverse landing strip is just what you might think it is - instead of trimming both sides of the "bush" while leaving the center unkempt, this is where the central corridor is trimmed back, leaving the unkempt bush growing on either side, but far enough back so as to not encroach on the nice, bare trail for us to play on.
Prepared for distributing this time around was much schwag, such as awesome Kona mugs, tons of PBR goodies, custom batches of coffee from Middlefork Coffee Roasters in Seattle, goodies from ENO Hammocks, Velocity, The Hub Bike Shop, and oh yeah - the sweetest t-shirts this side of a death metal concert merch table. Don't forget the untold amount of free beer from PBR Dave, courtesy of one fantastic sponsor - Pabst Blue Ribbon.
|modeling the shirt.|
The start time was set at 9PM, from group campsite C. In typical C"Rot"ch fashion, I arrived not long before official start time - just enough time to add my tent to the shanty town/hammock district that had sprouted up on the west side of the campsite. I also found the one and only Farinella starting construction of his new wizard staff. At this point of the night, it was still more of a "wizard wand" but I knew that it would not be long before it reached it's full potential:
As launch time approached, all the non-racers started congealing at our campsite for the start. To be honest, we had hoped that there would be a few more people, but with other draws this weekend like the Show Me State Games, that fucking World Naked Bike Ride, and any number of local groups out on their fucking awesome mountain bike road trips to the western states, we were up against some formidable opponents. At least we had more beer. However, I was left to assume that all the representatives from Team Red Wheel such as Nick, Matt Stacey, Borb Jorkens, Turbo, Stoney, and all the rest were busy attending the grand opening of that Roman-style bathhouse that just opened in Jeff City. I heard that there was planning to be a celebrity appearance by Criss Angel, who was fresh off of his "Let's Put the Boys Back into Boise, ID" Tour.
Lining up with headlights on, we dispatched our non-racers into the night amidst a flurry of intestinal gases and fireworks.
This was the cue for myself, Jerkward Toscani and Mrs. Crotch and Mrs. Toscani to head deeper into the woods where we would welcome the racers descending down the hill from Hwy 32. Farinella and friends would continue even further down for further merriment. Nico took this time to engage in a lengthy nip-blasting session, despite the temperatures dipping into the low 50's: (Let me repeat that - low 50's in fucking July, in fucking Missouri)
From that station, we moved down the road, and en route came across Punchor and Jacob choo-chooing down the road, so we had to go all Team-car on them and provide them with a mid-non-race feed-zone:
We managed to just see a few people motor through that checkpoint, and we missed the guy with the shotgun in his lap who stopped to see what all the noise was all about. So we decided to pilot the team car back up the start/finish, where even moar merriment would ensue. I feel as though I should apologize on behalf of our entire non-race party to all the other camp0rz at the CB campgrounds that night - because we kept the party train rollin' until the wee hours.
As everyone rolled into the campsite, having crushed out 28ish miles of nocturnal Ozark goodness, we let it rip:
|A truly magical night!|
|Strove mistook a thorn bush for a rapist and attacked. Soothed only with beer held in his new awesome Kona mug.|
|Nice beverage sleeve!|
|A couple of wizards and their tools of the trade.|
Happy to be at full strength once again (despite Peat and D-Wayne having to make an early retreat,) we continued late into the night. Scooter had a few beers, and managed to outdo himself yet once again. In a state of general confusion and incoherance, he wandered into the woods, where he emerged at a horse farm. Thinking to himself "these horses look like they are out to cause trouble" he took it upon himself to sedate them with the horse tranquilizer he happened to have in his pocket, so that they wouldn't cause any more problems. Borrowing the farmer's truck and trailer, his crazy mental state at the time led him to load up those horses and take them down the road and deliver them in downtown Potosi. A handful of people drinking in the parking lot of Country Mart did not like these horses running loose, so they confronted our poor Scooter, who promptly proceeded to kick all of their asses, then vomit on their KO'd faces, all with one of his hands tied behind his back. Also, his pants were down with his wiener out. How embarrassing. Thinking that the law will be coming down on him, he realized that he had best get the hell out of town quick. But he was pretty hungry, so he hacked those horses up, started a fire, and cooked them for breakfast with some eggs. The leftovers, he mailed to Valley Meat Company so they could be packaged and exported. What a true jerk - I sure hope this story doesn't end up on StlBiking.
And what would a Team Seagal camp out ride thing be without a large supply of tubed meats?
|courtesy of Travis.|
|the "Gravel Blaster"|
The next day we awoke, and moving at a truly glacial pace, we ate breakfast and prepared for a lap of the Bluff, with a trip up the "stairs" to the top of Johnston Mountain, where we would then take the elevator back down. The Toscani's had a delicious breakfast, and, in a picturesque scene that looks like it would be on the cover of an L.L. Bean or Eddie Bauer catalog, decided to make that catalog photo even better by juicin' a couple of morning Stags:
On a side note, I have some big Council Bluff news. On my way to my morning constitutional, I noticed the newly constructed shitter. It was still locked, as I don't believe that everything was ready for the grand opening. But rest assured, this is sure to be a great draw to the area. I am not sure if this is simply to add capacity to the campgrounds, or to replace the older, out-dated shitter that is right next to it. I'm not sure what determines out-dated or out-moded in the world of pit-toilets, but then again, I am not in the business of primitive toilet technology. If the old shitter is to be kept around, I think that I would prefer to continue to use it instead of the newer one, as the instantaneous jenkem high I receive every time I enter it is simply hard to replicate after decade and decades of baked-in flavor. Kinda like a cast-iron skillet or wooden spoon. The flavors of past meals add the flavor of the future ones. Here they are, side-by-side:
Before long, we saddled up for a ride up to the top of Johnston mountain.
|Ready to ride with my new jersey, courtesy of Strove|
Scooter had never seen the view from atop the mountain, so we were all excited. However, he nearly self-derailed his ascent by having a few too many morning beers causing numerous wrecks on the way to the top. We were worried he would "fall down the elevator shaft." Fortunately, he and everyone else - myself, ItsNotDelivery, Kitten Bottoms, Stoveward, and Drewby, all made it to the top, where fate would join us with none other than the Rolla Giant himself, Dan Fuhrmann, who was rectumfying/rectifying his inability to do the ride last night on account of failed headlights by completing the entire ride during the daylight. He made a trip to the top of the mountain where we were drinking summit beers, courtesy of Stoveward's commitment to lug them all up in a backpack. Nice work.
We safely negotiated the descent of the extra-loose elevator shaft, and continued to pinch off our daytime loop of the Bluff. We arrived back at the campground, where we would finally meet up with Lawman, who brought much good news from his recent OTA board meeting (translation: OTA float trip.) He also brought news of a nice little bait shop that just opened up less than 1/4 mile from the DD/32 trailhead. I made sure to stop there on the way home, and it is a *very* modest yet inviting little spot located on 32 just a few hundred feet west of DD/32, and it's a great spot to pick up bait or some snacks or non-alcoholic beverages before setting out on an excursion. Stay tuned for news of a shuttle service - but in the meantime, make sure you stop by to see what's up.
In the meantime, we continue to hope that Valley Meat Company can make progress in their efforts to bring much needed jobs to our great state. In the the meantime, please check out the newly energized Team Seagal Arizona blog - specifically the comments section.
-Casey F. Ryback
From the non-desk of the non-race non-director:
Huge thanks to all of those who came out and donated money to the peeps at OTA, shredded some sweet trail at night, and made it totally worthwhile to put in the time and money to get this ready.
Thanks to Titty and Drewby for helping clear trail. Thanks to Stove for clearing and marking the course with me (and carrying the beer to the bluff on sunday). Thanks to Coach, Nico, Farinella, and others for providing on-course
The nicest team in mtbing swept the raffle prize podium with Maria, Peat, and Dwayne of Team Noah winning the $300 Hub Gift Certificates, ENO hammock, and Velocity Blunt SL rims respectively.
Numerous non-racers jerks will have a successful morning bowl movement thanks to bags of beans from Middle Fork Roasters. Many others will better be able to receive service while not presenting service at any establishment having a "no shoes, no shirt, no service sign" thanks to PBR and many t-shirts. Many large trees were drug from the woods late at night/early in the morning thanks to cases of PBR.
Hopefully everyone is enjoying their Kona Beer* Mugs. When all of your friends become jealous the remaining mugs are available at the Hub Bicycle Co in Webster Groves for the same $10. All money still goes to the Ozark Trail Association. After the weekend the total is hovering a little north of $300 we will donate.
And Finally the Top Ten:
1a. Peat "I probably don't need a last name anymore" Henry
1b. D-Wayne! Goscinski
3. Strove Friedman
4. Matt "I wish I knew how fast singlespeeds are sooner" Johnson
6. E. "i didn't get the singlespeed memo those in front of me did" K.
7. Luke "when is gino riding at matson?" N.
7. Hunter H.
9. Maria E.
10. Dave H.
Thank you all and GTF!
-Mayor of Pizza Town
*if you aren't drinking beer right now because you are currently a roadie in training who recently appeared on the cover of the Webster Kirkwood Times most other beverages are acceptable except for zero calorie water flavoring drops. No. Never. Just no.