Category Archives: Cedar Cross

The Cedar Cross is Picking Up Some Sponsors

Greetings, Virtusites!!! As I slowly recover from my Hoosier Daddies-induced hangover, (Damn that was fun!), I realize it’s been longer than 5 minutes since I mentioned the Cedar Cross. As you all know by now, we are bringing you 2 non-races this year: The Cedar Cross and….the CAC.

**I will now pause for ten seconds while everyone says “The CAC” out loud and laughs among themselves.**

When you put a race together hoping for 5-10 riders, it’s easy to promise free beer and food at the finish line. But when 60+ people register… you check your wallet and suddenly it’s difficult to control your bowels. I’m in waaay over my head, so I started looking for sponsors.

Enter, Backcountry Research:

Bricks were shat and my pants were ruined when I heard from the president of BackCountry Research.  For those who don’t know, Backcountry Research is the company that brought us the Awesome Strap, (among other things). He thinks the Cedar Cross is “legit” and has pledged to “hook us up awesomely”. I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I am to say that The Cedar Cross is officially listed on BCR’s race calendar. Please go to their website and buy something right now. Seriously, do it. I did.

Did I mention we’re also sponsored by Foosh? I guess I’ve been using Foosh mints for about a year now, and I love them. Jason Kensey is the fonder of the Foosh empire, and I’m happy to say he’s a supporter of the Cedar Cross and Team Virtus. Everyone I know that’s tried Foosh has loved it, so you’re probably no different. Foosh is like an Altoid mint with more caffeine than a Monster or a Red Bull. Yep, they’re awesome.

Red Wheel

My buddy Nick Smith, (owner of RedWheel Bike shop), was also quick to lend a hand. Not only will he be racing in the Cedar Cross, he’s also giving me a STEEP discount on one of these babies to raffle off on raceday:

Is your mind blown yet? It damn well better be. But wait, there’s more…

I also landed a pretty sweet discount on some Chamois Butt’r.   200 of the sample size ‘butter packs’ were sold to me for $60. So, everyone should be able to go home with a minimal amount of taint destruction. No need to thank me.

As if all of this wasn’t already overwhelming enough, I recently received an email from the Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau. It seems they’ve heard the buzz surrounding Cedar Cross and they want to help out. I’m pleased to officially announce that the Cedar Cross will Start and Finish at the North Jefferson Commuter Lot/Paved Pavilion. This will be VERY convenient for you out-of-towners.

I’ve got a meeting with these fine people on Feb 3rd, and I’m really hoping they decide to let us use the pavilion for free. There is also talk of discount rates at local hotels and I’ll have more on that after the meeting.

I guess that’s all of our sponsors for now, but I hope to announce many more in the future. If you know anyone who wants to help make this a better event, please let me know. I think it’d be great if everyone could take home some kind of souvenir.

This will be an AWESOME RACE!!! I can’t wait for May 6th.

Cedar Cross update

                                     Northern entrance to the Moon Loop

I figured people might like to see a few more photos of the Cedar Cross course. I had a couple of days off, so I set out to do a bit of trail cleaning and find some new gravel.

I also wanted to get an idea of what the area would look like after 2 days of solid rain; Turns out it looks pretty damn fun. The picture below was taken on Burnett School road. This bit of gravel is usually dry, but when it rains the water has to go somewhere..

          Hmm..might be a good idea to put some fenders on the ol’ cross bike

A few more miles down the road, the gravel was almost too smooth, as if I was the only person to have driven on it. Turns out I was right:

(You don’t even want to know how much money it’s costing me to get these roads in shape for raceday.)

Then I was off to the Devil’s Backbone to move some leaves off the trail. For those who don’t know, the southeastern portion of the Backbone was only recently acquired by the Forest service. Thanks to this development, the course will now be taking you past 3 DEAD END signs.

Upon entering the Backbone trail, there’s a short, unmarked trail that I can only assume was created by the property’s previous owners. From this trail, there are several cliff-faces where you can step a few feet from the trail onto a rock ledge overlooking Cedar Creek. You can literally see for a mile in either direction, it’s beautiful. Photos are forthcoming

As the trail descends, you get to cross this waterfall:

                                   *This spot is also normally dry*

I’m happy to say that the leaves have been removed from about 90% of this trail, and it is now very rideable. It’s also worth mentioning that this piece of trail contains one rock garden that’s so nasty I probably wouldn’t attempt it on my full-suspension mtb….unless someone had a camera. No photos yet, but it’s not like a photo would do justice anyway.

It was getting dark, so the work came to an end. Rather than make the 45 minute drive home, I hiked up to one of the bluffs along the Smith Creek Trail and made camp. Lemme tellya, those woods come alive when the sun goes down. I’ve never heard so many coyotes in my life.

Thankfully, this fire was just big enough to keep the Boogeyman away
 
Thanks to some frozen feet and an angry bladder, morning came early. A quick hike back to the truck, and I was on my way to the Moon Loop. I’m pleased to announce that this trail is about 80% leaf-free now. The only problem is that horses are rutting the trail and leaving massive piles of shit to clean up. This is nothing new.
 
Trekking along, I found another example of equestrian laziness:
                                                         So lazy
Rather than move the tree off the trail, people just blazed a new trail past it. This literally took me 2 minutes to clean up, and I can only wonder how long ago that tree laid there.
 
                                                  Seriously. 2 minutes.
Later in the day, I met a pair of horseback riders who thanked me for cleaning the trail. They seemed oblivious to the destruction they were creating and the mountains of shit their horses were leaving behind.  Since they were so nice and since it was Christmas day,  I decided not to pull my gun.
 
At the Big Branch Creek crossing, there is a strange and interesting rock wall. I have to assume it’s man-made, and I can only guess at its historical significance.
 
                                     This has to be man-made, right?
 I think that’s about all I’m willing to share for now. This race is only 5 months away and there is still a lot of work to be done. Maybe I should be doing more work and less typing?
Just so we’re clear, I am NOT creating any new trails out here, only clearing leaves and downed trees from trails that already exist. I’ve been in contact with the local forest service, and they are well aware of my activities.
                                                        *Before*
I have no desire to go to prison for trying to organize a free bike race, so there will be no new trails cut by me. This thing isn’t about new trails, it’s about showcasing the ones we already have. Aside from having a great time on a kickass course, The whole point of this race is to get people out here enjoying these trails and working together to bring them back to their former glory.
 
                                                         *after*
Soon I’ll be adding a place on the website for people to RSVP. The way I figure, if we know you’re gonna be there on raceday, we’ll be more motivated to get out there and make this course even better. When it’s posted,  please take a moment to add your name to the list (if you plan on racing). You’ll totally make my day.
 
      
 

Forgotten Trails

Hopefully by now, you know we’re putting together the most badass Monstercross ride/race of all time.  This sort of thing takes a lot of time to coordinate, and a whole lot more elbow grease to make sure the course is ready on raceday. In addition to gravel roads and National Forest land, The Cedar Cross will traverse several miles of what I have come to call “forgotten” singletrack. This trail system, for whatever reason, seems to have been completely forgotten, which is both sad and exciting. Sad because so few people know these trails exist, and exciting because SO FEW PEOPLE know these trails exist!!

Today, Pepper and I set out to clear one small section of the race course. Here’s what went down.

On South Mill site road, there’s a trailhead just to the side of the road right before it becomes someone’s driveway. I suspect this piece of trail is forgotten because it’s fairly remote and just a bit hidden. This photo was taken while standing on the trail looking out at the road.

Trailhead, my ass. Keep a watchful eye for the grey diamond on the tree.

From here, it’s a short downhill to yet another hidden trailhead. I’m not kidding, it took me 30 minutes to find it the first time I was out here. The trail goes almost straight down into a semi-dry creekbed.

Where I'm standing, it's dry.

This is where the work started. Can you find the trail in this picture? 

It's frickin' shameful, isn't it?

A  bit of heavy lifting and one broken rake later:

  

Pepper is such a camera whore

This is what I came up with for the water crossing. The water should pass under these rocks and roll off the trail. I’m still a beginner at this type of thing, so if anyone has a few pointers, I’m ready to learn a better way.

All flat-rock, water would be coming right-to-left

 I bet it took over an hour to clear a piece of trail that people  will ride in about 30 seconds, but it’ll be worth it on raceday.

After clearing “Pepper Hill”, I turned my attention Northward. Check out this Before/After shot:

The dog doesn't even know where the trail is..

 ***Leaf-blowing sounds***

Well how about that 🙂

Obviously there’s still a lot of work to be done, but this course is  going to be worth it. There will be no admission fees, but there WILL be prizes for top finishers, manned SAG stops, bbq at the finish and a special SHAT trophy for the one racer who truly earns it. I’m still trying to nail down the race-date, but it I’m hoping to make it happen on March 25th

This race will be awesome.

Two tired, hairy animals.

 
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