Gravel is Great – The Dirty Jenkins Ride on Virtuesday
Well, our first official Virtuesday has come and gone, and if you weren’t there then you missed out. It was a PERFECT night for riding some fine Callaway County gravel. Bob Jenkins, Robby Brown, Chris Bopp, and I all met at the Holst Summit Dos Primos at 8:15 last night.
Apparently on the way over from his house (only a half mile away), Bob somehow managed to trash the derailleur on his Specialized Tricross. He showed up on his GT Peace 29er, but he needed to air up the tires. As he did so, he somehow managed to destroy the presta valve, rendering the tube useless. So we headed over to Bob’s house to get his Specialized Single Cross.
After swapping his seat post from the geared bike over to the single speed, he needed to air up the tires. Once again, Bob somehow managed to destroy the presta valve. Not a good start for Bob. On top of being sick, he had a crappy day at work, and now he was having some shitty luck with his bikes. He almost took it a sign from the Gravel Gods to stay home, but he decided to push his luck and try to ride with a broken valve anyway. Brilliant, right?
So we headed out in the cool night air. The weather was perfect, the moon was bright, the gravel was great, the wind was at our backs, the banter was sophisticated, and we were having some serious fun. We made good time and soon found ourselves at the gate leading into Mark Twain National Forest.
We rode through open fields on gravel that turned into smooth double track. It’s a pretty unique place to ride. Words can’t do it justice, and my camera sucks at night. So you’ll just have to take my word for it… Or you could join us next time and find out for yourself.
We passed through another gate, and the double track turned into single track. Then the trail sort of disappeared in the tall grass as we came upon a pond. Once at the pond, we picked the trail back up, and we then crossed yet another gate.
On the way out of Mark Twain National Forest, the trail gets really fun. And by fun I mean it gets very rocky. Loose rocks covered in tons of freshly fallen leaves in the dark makes this short stretch of trail pretty interesting. I’m not sure how those guys rode it on cross bikes. I had to walk some of it on my mountain bike.
We soon popped out of the woods and back onto gravel. It wasn’t long after this when a flat tire occurred. Bob’s tire? Nope. Surprisingly, Bob’s tire held up just fine. It was Robby’s tire. He was just riding along when he suddenly heard a “Pssss… Pssss… Pssssssssss.” So we stopped to watch him change his tire.
Robby got the flat fixed, and we were soon on our way. The last half of this ride has more hills than the first half. We were also now riding into the wind that was previously at our backs. This was no problem for us, though, because we have “Strength and Honor.”
We made it back to Dos Primos around 11:00 PM or so. Chris had to get going, but Bob, Robby and I had a beer and some great conversations, some of which I cannot speak for I’ve been sworn to secrecy.
It was pretty cold by the time we finished our beers, and it was getting late. We said our goodbyes, and our wonderful evening unfortunately had ended. It was a fantastic ride with a great bunch of guys. Make sure you join us at the next Virtuesday ride. Be there. Yes you! Seriously, be there.
And don’t forget that Jeff City Cyclocross is tomorrow night at Binder! You don’t want to miss it.