Hazel Valley 100 Report … errr I mean ABORT

22 Oct

An often overlooked overlook

Fall in the Ozarks is my favorite time of year. Changing leaves and cooler weather signal in my mind two things. Cyclocross season and long solitary rides on rural dirt roads. I realize these two things don’t normally go together but for me they do.

In the long rides category it does not get any better than the Hazel Valley 100. Many of you may know about Hazel Valley Ranch and the fun stuff they have happening there. For those of you that don’t, check them out here on Facebook.

Only ten people showed up for the start. Billed as the hardest one day ride in AR, the HZ100 attracted some very fit individuals. I never got word on how many finished. I did not. In fact i think i may have ridden the shortest of all. Ultimately, the ride turned into something different for me.

The morning was calm and the skies overcast.

We pulled out of the ranch and immediately started climbing the road up to the top of Brannon Mtn. Kind of silly with no warm up but no complaints were heard. Once we reached the summit it was immediately back down to the dirt roads. A quick jaunt through the valley and it was back up the steep Miller Road Climb.

Once on top I ran into Nickle and Oscar and we rode along together for a good little while until the road tipped downward. Kyle and Steve had caught up to us on their mtn bikes and my 700*32 cc tires struggled to keep up with them. A little ways fro m the bottom of the Winfrey Valley I hit something hard and heard that tell tale hiss as all my air escaped.

For me this flat signaled the end of my ride. I discovered that I only had one tube and figured that turning back would be prudent. I bid farewell to my riding mates and headed back up the Climb.

The Winfrey Climb is not as steep but I’m sure it seemed like it to the guys doing the 100.

All the way up I felt like I was surrounded buy the colors. I began to feel at ease with my decision to abort.

Later that day after I was home and clean I went out to take the bike off the car and put it back together. Wouldn’t you know it the front tire was flat.

Thanks for reading.


2 Responses to “Hazel Valley 100 Report … errr I mean ABORT”

  1. Alan October 22, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    Some days are like that. Good to hear you rode smart, Branton. Hope they continue this ride because I want to attempt this some day.

  2. Steve October 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    Nice report Branton. Was a great ride with actually more like 12K ft of climbing. Great litmus test for Leadville with 14K climbing. Actually 4 of us finished – 2 before dark & 2 afterwards. If I hadn’t got lost twice and pre-occupied with studying every intersection a s a newbee, I’m certain I could have finished in 10 hours. Consequently I came in over 13 hours. Still – great fun and many thanks to Roger! Steve

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