Well the 2010 Breakdown has come and gone already. I do not think that the folks at <9 could have planned a better perfect 10 weekend. There are always things that could be changed to make it better, but to dwell on that would keep the good times from being, well…… so good. The weather was as good as one could hope for at this time of the year. The biggest complaint I could see is the fact that it has been too dry for too long. I would not trade the trail conditions for what we had last year, but the dust was very deep in some sections.
My weekend started off camping with the scouts on Friday night. We had a good time, but the sleep could have been a little better. Once I woke up in the morning, I could not get back to sleep so I figured I might as well get up. I helped make breakfast for a bunch of people and then packed our stuff up. I made it back on the road headed toward Brown County earlier then I figured. With one received phone call the plans were changed. It really did not matter to me since I was not on a real schedule. I stopped by a friends house to hang out some and have a very good grilled steak dinner.
Eventually I was back on the road headed toward the park. It was much later then I had planned, but like I said, it didn’t really matter. All I needed to do was check in and sleep. It was dark when I was setting up my tent and got signed in as quick as I could. I had a few people to try and meet, but being dark and my eyes getting heavy, I had a hard time seeing who was spread about in the camp sights. I hooked up with David to pick up my new 29er SS wheels. Now all I need to do is get a SS 29er to put them on.
I ran in to some old friends and did some talking and hanging out. I can be good at this and the time seemed to go by a little faster then it seemed. So, I hurried back to the car to double check some of the gear that was packed and hit the sack. I slept better then Friday night, but not much. I ended up sleeping in a little longer then planned, but I didn’t think it would be a problem. But, I guess it was or at least to some point. So, I was in a hurry trying to finalize my morning and get my stuff packed back up.
I feel bad for admitting this and do not recommend following my lead, but I had planned on leaving earlier then the actual start. I knew if I spent much time at all in Hickory, I could be pushing it on daylight. I also have trouble trying to warm up with the SS when I am following a bunch of people. Starting early would solve those issues as much as it could. I had a couple of other riders heading out and figured I would try and join them. The problem was that I was running late. When I got everything set, I just jumped on the bike and left. I didn’t look around to see the the other guys were waiting on me or not and the guy I was supposed to ride with I still had not even talked to. Well there was little I could do about it as I was riding down the trail.
I decided to take the first loop on the short side and followed up with the long side of the next loop. I wanted to get out to Hickory as early in the ride as possible to save as much energy as I could. I felt like I was making some good time and ended up at the campground in 1.5 hours. I rolled on down to horse section toward the cabin with a few other riders in the area. The horse trail had the first really dusty section with the dust 3-4″ deep and felt like I was riding in sand. I would see where this would be a problem when there was a bunch of riders close together.
I ended up rolling in to the cabin some where close to 2 hours and 10 min. I grabbed a bite and topped off my empty bottle and headed down the road. Nebo seemed to go well and I was at the Maumee stop quicker then normal. I didn’t feel bad at this point and figured if I had any hope of doing all of Hickory, I needed to head out on the 30 mile loop. I think a lot of the other people headed out on the 10 mile section. That rode ride out to 14 was much longer then I remembered, but eventually made it and headed down the trail.
I rolled out 16 and around the loop. I ran in to Hansen in this area and he was going down a different trail. I was starting to hurt at this point and thought heading back toward the sag was a good idea. Well, that is what I get for thinking. The plan was to take 17 at the split since it was shorter then going around 16 the whole way. I was then going to head back down 14 toward the stop. I really need to stop and take a look when I start to get the feeling I have been there before. Once again I was not where I thought I was and when I rolled up on to that same 17/16 split I was not sure how I got back to there. So much for heading back.
There was another rider there, but he was going to follow the markings. I hoped back on 17 for the second time with the plan of not making the wrong turn again. The problem is I don’t really know where I took the wrong turn LOL. I ended up in someone’s driveway for a second time and asked them how to get back to the bridge. I thought they told me correctly, but I still didn’t end up where I needed to. When I hit the road section, I was following the arrows, but I was following them backwards since I wanted to get back where I started. This seemed like a good idea until at some point I figured I just rode way down a rode that was not the correct one. I was riding on Hwy 58 some how and went way farther then I wanted. I looked at the map and could not figure out how I got there, so the thing to do was turn around and head back hard telling how many miles.
I finally rolled up on a motorcycle taking in the views and asked them if they knew where we were. They pointed me in the direction where the tent was and off I went looking for the sag. I finally ended up at the bridge and wished I was back at the car. I ate one of the best cheese burgers I have ever had and headed on down the road. I was hurting bad on Combs road and ended up walking anything that was real steep. I felt better when I rolled back in to the Nebo parking lot and headed to the cabin. I ate some food and got some water there before heading back toward camp.
The horse section was really wearing me down and I could not wait to see the campground again. I finally came rolling in to the camp ground and figured I better call it a day. I thought about riding around to HP and taking the trail back from there, but my trouble I was having with directions made me think I should go the short way. I headed down the road to where the trail hit just down from the north shelter and rode the trail back to the parking lot. I was gone for almost exactly 10 hours and ended up riding 80 miles. My actual seat time was more like 8:45 and it shows me climbing 6150 feet of elevation.
I was completely shot at this point. I changed as quick as I could and sat down for some excellent food and listened to some sweet pickin. If I would have had a comfy place to sit down, I am sure I would have been passed out. I even thought about taking a nap before heading home. It was already getting late and didn’t think I wanted to get home any later. I did make it home, but the nap probably would have done me some good. I guess I could have left a note for Scott to wake me up when he got back so I could go home.
I am not sure what my plan is for next year. It is way too early to decide that. If I had to decide today it would be to just riding to Maumee and back or take the geared bike. I do have a score to settle in Hickory. I don’t understand why I have such a hard time there. This year was a more my fault, but still. How can one get lost some place that there is a map at every intersection and it tells you where you are. I could have used one of those maps some place on the roads I followed. I guess I would have been better doing the 10 mile loop first or even just trying to finish the 30 mile loop because all of those road miles really added up on the SS.
Another great event ran by some great people and tons of volunteers. Thank you for all of your hard work! And to everyone else, please do not follow my lead and wait for the start of the event to go. They are doing a good job trying to divide up the groups to help everyone out and a bunch of rogue riders would only make that more of a mess. I will be back next year for more fun!