Another Brown County Breakdown has came and passed already. It seems like it takes forever to get to this time of year and then it is gone before you know it. After last year I really wanted to have a go at the 100 mile route. But, there are a lot of issues with that thought. Not only is 100 miles on a MTB a lot harder then doing it on a road bike but add to that the fact that I want to ride my rigid SS can make it even harder. I had been riding my SS a lot lately and figured I would do fairly well, but Hickory was going to be very hard.
With the weather being as wet as it was the week before the ride, I knew that would make all of the trails even harder. I was not too worried about BCSP because I know how well the trails were built and the substance of the trails to know they might be wet, but they should not be too nasty. I also figured Nebo would be a little wetter, but should be ok for most sections. Hickory was the section that I figured would be the worst and then add all of the crazy climbs and I talked myself out of riding any of Hickory before I even started. I rationalized my thinking by telling myself that I could take the longs both ways in BCSP and I could head back out for another loop to get the miles that I was hoping to put in. I signed up for the 100, but had realized that the 75 route would be a lot more realistic, so that was the new plan.
Sunday morning started out too early since we just went to bed. I fought the urge to lay back down and sleep some more and got up and started to get stuff loaded. To make matters worse, the house was with out power. So, I packed up and got our stuff ready with my flash light in hand. After all the possible reasons to be running late, it seems we all woke up and was ready to head down the road close to the time we really wanted to hit the road. The trip to the park was uneventful. So we busted over to sign up and got some things ready. By that time the riders meeting was getting ready to start. Running a little late I didn’t meet up with the rider that I planned on riding most of the morning with. So, I decided to leave after the first group started and had a good group to ride up the hill with. I fell in line following Griff for a while. The pace was moving along nicely and we were making some good time. I started to feel my back and legs start to protest my lack of sleep and no warm up time, so with the group that I knew was behind me I figured I would let a pack go when the time was right. So, after that I settled back in and worked my way up to HP.
When I got there I wanted to stretch my back out to increase my chances of making it past the cabin stop. I grabbed a cookie and soon I was headed down Walnut. I think I was sitting right at 1 hour in to the ride at that point. I felt like that was a good enough time. As I went out Walnut there was a voice in my head telling me to take Schooner Trace on the way out. I knew if I didn’t take it out, there was no way that I was going to take it on the way in. For some reason I talked myself out of taking the right. Maybe it was the best decision of the day, it is hard to say since it didn’t happen. It didn’t seem to take long and I rounded the corner by the shelter and headed on to the camp ground. It didn’t seem to take too long to get to the campground, but to be honest I can’t exactly remember how long it was. If I had to guess I would say I was there in 2 hours. It seemed like there was 1 hour between stops for some reason.
After the campground we cruised down some roads for a little bit before we turned in to a horse trail. This section just looked like a fire lane to me. The trails were also a lot wetter then what the state park trails seemed. There was some good skiing going on as I flew down some of those hills. The trails were very soft in sections and it was not easy to keep the bike rolling. There were even some flat sections that I should have been able to coast for miles on and I had to peddle to keep the bike from rolling to a stop. This was a very tough section of trail and it took some out of my legs to keep it going. I did find a little spot to pull off for a minute and grab a bite to eat and headed on down the way. At some point in this section my chain decided to fall off as I was trying to climb a tricky section. I could put it back on with out any tools, but the chain was looser then I would like it to be. I figured it would get me to the cabin stop and I could fix it there. The last down hill to the cabin was crazy fun. That thing is so steep and was very wet that it was very tricky to maneuver. I was following some riders down the hill until they slid out. After the pass I opened her up and let it roll. It felt good to hop out of the creek and in to the grass field surrounding the cabin. They wanted you to park your bikes over in one area, so as I was headed over there I saw the bike shop set up. I figured I might as will try to fix my problem before I forget to take care of it. I hoped in there and used the rack and a wrench to tighten my chain back up. That is the second time that I have dropped a chain since I put this new chain on there. I am not sure why, but I do not like this trend. I will have to dig in to it and try to figure out what I need to do to fix the problem. After the bike was ready to roll, I headed over to snag a bite to eat. I found a very good ham sandwich or something similar. I really don’t know what kind of meat it was, but it sure was good. I also saw they had some Hammer gels there too, so I put one in my pocket and downed another one. I then grabbed a cup of coffee and regrouped myself for the next section of the ride.
Check back tomorrow for the next part of the ride.