Archive | June, 2012

Mount Magazine Debacle 2012

25 Jun

On May 27 2012 a group of ten Highrollers set out from the shop. We were undertaking a ride that has been many years in the “talking about” phase. The plan was to ride from The shop and finish at the lodge at the top of Mt Magazine. This is the story of our ride.

 

We met at the shop at six thirty and got the follow car ready to go. Kat had made some succulent banana bread and delicious brownies for snacks along the way. Aaron and Neil had driven the cars down the day before and ridden back so our shuttle was already set up. All items were in place as we slowly set off up spring street.

Heading out hwy 16

We go into our groove near Elkins and had a great double pace line five deep ticking off the miles down hwy 16. At the point that we passed the turn off for Terra Studios we were all committed.

I caught this pic just as we were passing the sign for the Pig Trail

This is the view from the Landslide on the decent into Cass. It happened a few years back. The new road offers a much better vista.

The Pig Trail flew by even with a few photo stops. Before we knew it we were rolling down the gradual grade towards Ozark. Even despite the nasty headwind the decent was enough to even it out. Our group split up at the junction of 352. Aaron and Neil, tired from the previous days effort, decided to head straight in to Ozark as the rest of us continued on the longer route.

“harden up”

There was almost a small Mutiny of riders on the road as I announced the inclusion of a mile and a half of gravel road just before our lunch stop. Fortunately everyone was too far in to turn back and no-one else really knew where they were. The group made it through the section with only one wheel succumbing to the sharp rocks.

At least we had a follow car. Chris had a sidewall cut and had to take a wheel from Angie.

At lunch I think we all considered throwing in the towel and just relaxing under the shade trees. After all it was almost seventy miles in at that point. We all rallied after a rest and got our bikes ready to roll on. We said goodbye to Angie, who had arranged her own shuttle from Altus, and headed off through the scenic wine region.

In a perfect world we would have ended in Altus so we could have sampled more of the local fare.

St Mary’s in Altus is a beautiful church inside and out.

We flew from Altus to Ozark.

The section from Altus to Ozark actually had a bit of a tailwind and we seemed to fly along that section with no effort. But somewhere along the way we lost our follow vehicle. As we crossed the Arkansas river I had the feeling that the real ride was just beginning. We rolled by the last gas station for sixteen miles on our way toward Paris. We all had water at that point and were feeling good. Mt Magazine loomed ominously in the distance urging us on towards our ultimate challenge for the day.

As the headwind picked up the sun was blazing and the road temp climbed toward 107. You know the feeling you get when you open an oven door? That was the section between Ozark and Paris. Our Follow vehicle was still nowhere to be seen and we were all getting dangerously low on food and water. I was beginning to get pretty worried and we were just about to pull off and stop when we saw the Paris water tower in the distance. As we were all stuffing our faces and drinking like camels at the Phillips 66 in Paris our follow vehicle finally pulled up. We all caught up on our stories and decided that for the rest of the way the car would shadow us.

From this point on everything is a little bit of a blur for me. I remember feeling really good as we left Paris. I had thrown my Helmet and seatbag into the follow car and was feeling free on the first steep section of the day. However once the climb started in earnest I started feeling it. From then on it was just a matter of making it to the top. It was every man and woman for themselves. Kat did an awesome job of making sure we all had what we needed to get to the top.

Alex is just getting warmed up at the 100 mile mark.

Art has only been riding since October. He demolished everyone on the climb.

Chris on the climb up.

Suncreen anyone? I think I used a whole tube. I look like some sort of Zombie.

You wouldn’t know he just rode 112 miles.

By the time the day was done five of the original ten made it the entire Sunday route. We all had a good time and plan to do the ride again next year.

Thanks for reading,
Branton