Yo, yo, yo, mofros. You're obviously here to read about the tales of another great Red Wheel adventure. 'Tis the time of the year where the temperatures will shrink one's package and freeze your snot rockets to your earlobes. Many would think that a person who would ride one's two wheeled steed in such an environment may have the brain of a soup sandwhich, we on the other hand welcome the self inflicted frost bite we all now have on our phalanges. We were not about to miss the 2,400 feet of climbing in the buff gravel roads of southern Missouri.
The Mitch, Corey, Turbo, Stoney and Myself joined about 40 other riders on our leg powered machines. The Furryman was responsible for hosting this burly event. Story has it that a number of the low water crossings were flooded so the route had been slightly modified...this still was no ride for the light hearted. We took off with vengeance with every intention of destroying any cow that stood in our path...that's no lie. We chased a bull for a good 1/4 of mile. Poor thing was scared for it's life...too bad we'll be eating it one day. Unfortunately I did not get any good photo-ops of this "Running of the Bull". I was too busy pedaling and changing flats (only three of them for the day...but I still swear that Continental Travel Contacts are some of the best gravel tires out there).
The pace was quick and lungs were gasping for air. The Furryman, Corey and Turbo dropped the hammer and grinded their gears...except for Turbo...he only had one. I attempted to keep them in my sights as I did for a good 15 miles. Meanwhile, Team Free Awesome's Pete Henry snuck up behind me to bring the party and gave a patriotic welcome to every heifer, calf, and bull we passed. It wasn't much longer until the tubular deflations began. While fixing my deflation those Seagal f'ers and "The Mitch" rolled up on me. I know those Seagal f'ers are known for their jerkwad ways, but I do appreciate their willingness to make sure I had all the right tools to saddle back up. By the way, Casey F'n Ryback has the sweetest hand pump known to man (I just realized that statement could go south very fast)...I must get one of those.
Not many pictures were taken...but I did manage to get a snapshot of this scary low water crossing. As we approached this beast we spent many minutes contemplating whether or not we would risk getting washed away. There was no telling how deep it was, and it appeared the water was getting higher. Getting wet in sub 30 temps did not sound enticing either. Since the guys in the lead pack (Turbo, Corey, Furryman and others) weren't around, we knew they had either fallen victim to the current and were squealing like pigs while banjo music played from the woods, or they made it across. We ventured across doing our best to keep dry.
The hills gave us no rest. We wiggled and cursed our ways to the top. Sweat froze to our brows and the turtle disease was at its pinnacle in our tights. More tubes fizzled...I couldn't decide if it was a blessing or a curse. We enjoyed the 5 min. breaks, but did not enjoy losing the feeling in our appendages. It became so redundant it mirrored an episode of a twilight zone...especially when a British fella with 5 teeth creeped up behind us. He offered us a warm shed to change what was hopefully the last flat. We knew better. This was most likely not the first time this creeper had offered strangers a place in his shed to warm up. The shed was probably full of human feces, mid-evil torture devices, embalming fluid, jars with floating eye balls, and pentagrams painted in blood on the walls. We respectfully declined his offer and finally embarked on the last part of our voyage.
As much as I don't want to give him credit for this video, Furryman made it.
Alas we returned to the gravel lot. The Mitch was warming up his truck, Corey told stories of getting lost and being chased by carnivorous llamas, Stoney was grieving about scaring the bull the first 1/4 of mile into our ride, and Turbo was still out there getting some extra miles. Without delay, The Mitch and I did not waste time and headed to the mexican restaurant. It wasn't long before everyone else showed up and we engrossed ourselves into jumbo magaritas and copious amounts of gaseous food. A good day it was. Stay tuned for our next adventure.