Thursday afternoon found 2/3's of TTM headed for Berryman in time for a little race recon and trail maintenance. Upon arrival, we hung the hammocks, gathered some firewood, and then I decide like always to do some bike maintenance before a ride on an epic trail over a hundred miles from home and most of the tools required. Everyone knows what happens next...
......so the plan change brake pads on "She-Ra"(Wendy's SS) and swap a cog on my Stumpy SS, etc. As always...things go perfect, Not!
For She-ra brakepads should be a breeze, and an easy training class...Right? Getting the damn pads out fo the Avid BB7 caliper was a huge PITA, then they appear ok, so why not stopy when I squeezy the brakey thingy? ...Hmmm, time to take more shit apart. An Avid BB7 caliper can be field stripped with a shit load of wrenches, pliers, cussin', and brute force, and more cussin'. Eventually, you end up with no less than 6 horsefly bites, pinetar stuck to your legs and a little springy thing that goes into a little hole behind a little silver thingy that looked like it might have been a washer at somepoint. So with all of that I side with Wendy and put it all back together, as she says she really doesn't need a back brake....for a night ride at Berryman (Eyes rolled back now)....Funny how when you put it all back together and change nothing they somehow work...(this never happens for my stuff). Now let's keep in mind that during the battle of the brakes, I am also working on my bike trying to remove the 17 cog. I tried everything to get the lock ring off and nothing worked. Not even the hammer side of my axe.(got the scars on the chainwhip and wrench to prove it.) I must have gone back and forth between the two bikes for over an hour. All I wanted was to swap my gearing to something more Berrymanesque, you know like maybe a nice easy spinner of 34x20, instead of the masochistic 34X17 initially intended for the Dirt crits at Castlewood. As the sun sinks behind the pines, I give up and decided to ride the macho gearing. Yes 34X17 at Berryman in the dark.
Off we go into the ever darkening treeline. Counterclockwise from the campground. Spiders are everywhere, and some of the webs are very strong, nothing like getting closelined by a sticky web and then have some crawly black and yellow thing swing off your helmet onto your nose. This was the first time I have ever ridden CCW from Berryman CG. Wow, what a great ride. The plan was to ride the 4.5 mile run loop of the duathlon course then retire for a couple cold Racer 5's. At the first mile I realize the 34x17 is perfect for this little excursion. Am I getting stronger? hmmm...I was rockin' it like DG, only about 10 MPH slower. Nothing to steep and everything super flowy. I stopped at the first mile mark...which just happend to coincide with the peak of a nice little climb to a forest service road. Wendy rolled in a few minutes after me, looking a bit out of whack. Apparently she took a rock the wrong way or was it the chainline issues throwing the chain and went down, as noted by the bloody scrapes on her legs...the fresh ones. She says riding a mountain bike is a weight control thing, you know, gain a pound, then go ride, crash, and peel a pound of skin off on some random rock or tree. After a brief inspection and tweak to the chain tension, she says it's superficial, just flesh wound, let's ride. Another 100 spiders later, I missed the turn on the fire road out, no big deal, we will just catch the next one (FS 2278). This one was easy to spot, and held a memory for us. A couple years ago this was the site of our 3rd nights camp while hiking the BT.(Berryman Trail) with Sydney. 1 mile later and we make it to Shirley Ridge Rd, aka Berryman Road. Make a left and a couple miles, then cold beer and ham sandwhiches from the Berryman General Store. A couple cold beers down and a handful of meteor's recorded. Saw an awesome meteor with a tail that seemed to last forever. I am pretty sure that John Roth skipped that one across the sky for us. 2 Racer 5's and it's time for bed, so we gathered up our chairs and turned the fire down on low, and headed for Hotel Hennessy. What a great nights sleep tucked in my own little pod swinging between a couple pines. Tonight we kept the rainfly's off and what great view of the moon and stars through the pines...all in bug free delight.
Morning rolled in all to fast as the first of a few riders showed up a daylight for a little Berryman lovin'. DG is not the only daylighter at Bman it appears. I slipped out the birthing canal of Hotel Hennessy and made my way to the cooler for my morning coffee in the can. Starbucks does make a nice portable cup of joe called Doubleshot with Energy(Mocha). Beats trying to boil water, especially when traveling light. I wandered over to the parking lot and met "Roc"(sp) who had slipped away from his family camping in Steelville for an early morning lap. Roc also managed to take their breakfast cooler...opps. Roc got himself all kitted up and headed out... He rolled off and then back again in 15 minutes. He just wanted to confirm he was on the BT as it has changed a bit. The spring rains over the past couple years have really put a hurt on the ol' girl in places. Time for some reroutes soon. Wendy slept in a few extra minutes, and is now awake. We prepped for our full lap recon. The plan run the run loop, then return grab the bikes and ride the bike loop. So I decided it's only 4.5 miles no water required....duh...trails are not the same as the neighbor hood runs I have been doing. I was managing 10-11 minute miles for the first 2 and then stopped to see if Wendy would share a swallow of water...damn I was thirsty. guess I will need to add a bottle for the run...or just not drink Racer 5's the night before. All in all we ran 5 miles, as I missed the turn again and added 2/10's of a mile, then ran back down the correct road to ensure the route was clear for the race. 1 hour for the run. Ok I'll take it...I did walk once or twice on an uphill slog and I have factored 1 hour for the run and 2 for the bike. As we returned to the campground we met Don(Enduro67). I haven't seen Don in 2-3 years since we last rode Bman with GORC. We gathered up our gear and the 3 of us headed out. Sweet ride progressing...then I was rejected at a creek crossing. Don passed me and we never saw him again. The gearing was unbeleiveably good only one tough climb and that rock step(2.5miles) I never clear...I'll post a picture with the race details later. The jeep road from the Artesian well is a hike abike for the first couple hundred yards for me. I am sure the experts can manage it, but I will save my legs for the long run and make this a recovery zone. As we approached the top of the climb on the jeep road the trees have covered the trail, so we just blast through taking leaves and limbs to the face and body....note to self...loppers required. At the gravel (Floyd Tower rd) we turn right and head back to Bman CG. A nice easy spin on the dust choked cooridoor thanks to a few trucks that rolled through without slowing or hardly sharing the road. The gravel highlight is the monster downhill about 1.5 m from the campground. I managed 35mph. Whatarush!
We finished up and headed for Potosi. Two items on the list...
1) Lunch! Dos Primos it is...the fuel of champions as we have been trained by our Superior Teammates. (Legend has it that the Dos Primos dip is filled, covered, smothered, chunked, chopped, topped, and diced with superhuman jenkem). So as new soldiers we passed on the dip as we were not fully authorized to accept such a powerful suace.
2)Next task, a couple loppers from the OTA HQ and headed back to Bman for some quick cleanup. The tree cover on the jeep road was cut back on the climb, and we highlighted the run loop by grubbing out the weeds for the first 25 yards or so of a nasty turn. A few signs, some tape and all will be good come race day. We finished our day with a short truck ride over to Bass Resort for a dip in the Courtois creek and to finish off the last 2 Racer 5's. ahh...what a great way to start a weekend...and it's only Friday....the odd part is now we take the 2 hour drive home...again it's only Friday.
Saturday...Nothing...lazy day, tweaking the bikes. Saturday night I slipped out about 9 for a test ride....QT/On the Run/ShopnSave....all in search of Cold single cans of Guinness. I managed to find a couple and spun around Winghaven to a friends house...drank a few more of his beers and realized...it's midnight..and I have to be on the road by 6. Sunday is a big day.
Sunday...Move In Day - UCM
Our oldest daughter has now been properly delivered to the UCM dorms. Not sure how I feel about this one. That's a long way from home...but I guess they have to move on sooner or later.
I will give the U credit for having the crew of kids to unload the cars...The rains fell as we rolled into town, and as we pulled to the curb in front of the building I was not prepared for what came next. A herd of "Mule Hauls" came rollin' out and converged on our auto's like a pack of rabid ants at a picnic. The stripped the minivan to the bone in mere seconds. All the gear and related beauty items piled neatly inside the building. A quick bit of paperwork and off we go...toting way to much shit up five flights of stairs to the second to last room in the hall....Hey where did those rabid ants go? Well all was settled and a few memories of my own days a school resurfaced...then I got nervous about leaving Julie without armed guards. 2 minutes into the hallway hauling and some dork ass hands her is digits...good thing I didn't see it or he would be minus one for sure.
We met the roommate...I'll keep it short, by saying...5 teddy bears on her bed covered in rainbow comforter, and the smell of a weekend full deadheads in a vw van...She must have been celebrating Woodstock, at which her grandparents surely attended.... Odds are good this roomy will be movin' on soon, or educated into the ways of a beauty queen.
So off for books and lunch. Mexican anywhere besides Dos Priomos is just beans, cheese and some bullshit chips with bottled salsa...Now I don't speak mexican, or spanish, or anything south of Arkansas and that includes Texan, but I will guess "El Vaquero" must mean "horse shit served here at a snails pace". Glad Pop's picked up the tab on this one.
Goodbyes were brief, as I am sure Jules wanted us out of there pronto...so off we went. Oh and by the way...I have another pic for my book on American Folk Art. This fine piece was found on Hwy 13 outside of Warrensburg. Zoom in for the details...nice work and use of recycled materials. I really dig the chainring and goosehead necklace, however, pops dreadlocks look pretty cool.
Good Luck Jules.