As some of you may know, Casey is in town from New York. Since the weather has been great for this time of year, we rode 14 miles of single track down at the Lake of the Ozarks, and then on Tuesday we decided to do the Dirty Jenkins Ride with the creator of the ride himself: One Mister Robert L. Jenkins III (or Bob to you and me). Casey, Austin (my nephew), and I all met up with Bob and had an absolute blast on this ride. Here’s a little video from the gravel ride for your viewing pleasure. It’s at least worth watching from 1:40 – 2:50 and then again from 5:19 – 6:10.
Since Wednesday is supposed to be even better weather, we’re riding again to prepare for Dirty Kanza and Cedar Cross. Adam and Robby actually took a day off, and Casey and I are meeting them for a 50+ mile ride with some decent climbs. Here is the route we’re planning on doing if all goes well. Bob couldn’t
fake being sick get someone to cover his shift for him, so he’ll miss out on the most bad-ass ride ever. It’s not like a 50 mile ride would help him avoid eating dog food, right?
We have 5 Virtusans stupid enough to do the Dirty Kanza 200: Bob Jenkins, Robby Brown, Adam Laffoon, Casey Lamb, and me. The four of us that live in MO (which excludes Casey) decided to do our first group training ride this morning in preparation for DK.
Unfortunately, I had to be at work by 11:30, so we had to meet fairly early at 7:oo AM. When my alarm went off, I was pissed at the alarm clock. Then I looked outside to realize the weather man lied. Instead of 45 degrees and partly cloudy, it was completely overcast with a light mist, temps hovering around 35, and lots of nasty wind. I was pissed at the weather man. All I wanted to do was go back to bed. Then I remembered that Bob, Robby, and Adam agreed to meet me. I was pissed at the idiot that suggested this ride. Wait… That was me. What was I thinking?
If I wasn’t meeting up with my team, there’s no way I would have gotten this ride in. So I dragged my chubby buttocki out of bed, loaded up my bike and met the fellas at the Katy Trail Pavilion/Commuter Lot.
We headed out on a mile or two of pavement before we would hit the gravel. There was a really strong headwind, and the light mist made it really cold. I was really wishing I was not on my bike at that moment.
We soon found ourselves on the gravel, and I started to warm up. We talked, joked, laughed, and made fun of Adam. I was finally glad that I was on my bike with my pals.
It wasn’t too long before we came up on some heavy machinery. It’s a Virtus rule that Adam must pretend to drive any type of tractor/heavy machinery that we find. Bob and I yelled ahead for Adam to come pose for a photo, but he and Robby pretended not to hear us. So Adam was once again fired from the team. Bob and I decided to take some photos anyway.
While we waited for Robby and Adam to realize that we weren’t behind them, Bob decided to do some serious planking. Check it out:
Eventually, Adam and Robby came back to see why we weren’t right behind them. Adam then begrudgingly posed for the photo that should have already happened.
It wasn’t long before we were back on the gravel riding back into the vicious wind. We had all warmed up by now, and we were having fun. The wind sucked, but it was good training for Dirty Kanza. Anytime there was a frozen puddle, Bob tempted fate by riding as fast as he could through the middle of it. I kept waiting for the ice to break and reveal a deep ditch, sending Bob flying through the air to fall flat on his face. Sadly, I was disappointed every time.
The ride was great, the wind was harsh, and the miles were flying by. I don’t need to go into great detail, so I’ll just share a few photos with you…
After 35 minutes… Okay, it was only a minute or so, we hopped back on our bikes. We soon found ourselves back at Highway 94 after 10 miles of riding. This is where Bob had to leave us because he wanted to stay employed. As we said our good byes and shed a tear or two, we noticed a truck coming by salting the road. Seriously. I guess the weather man was WAY off.
Bob decided to hop on the Katy Trail to hustle back to his truck so he wouldn’t be late for work. However, there was a deep ditch with a lot of water in it preventing Bob from crossing. As Bob put it, “There’s an effing moat there!” So he had to ride pavement for just a bit before hopping on the Katy.
Robby, Adam, and I made our way on the Katy Trail into Tebbetts, MO. We then hopped back on the gravel to make our way back to the commuter lot and our vehicles. There was one stretch of gravel where the wind was absolutely sucking the life out of my legs. Fortunately, we decided to stop for a snack break by the Missouri River at about the 20 mile mark.
Before we got too cold by the river, we started on our way again. We were feeling pretty good, and with the wind finally at our backs, we were once again making good time. There was plenty of cool sites to hold our attention. Like this little creek crossing:
It wasn’t long before we were back on the Katy Trail for a short stretch before getting back on the gravel. All was going great, and I was going to be done with plenty of time to make it to work on time. Until we got about a half a mile from the Haunted Bridge where I got a flat tire. Bob is usually the one to get flat tires, so I normally don’t have to worry about it. With him gone, however, I guess I had to take one for the team. Fortunately I always carry an extra tube, and Adam had CO2 for me (again, he was trying to buy his way back onto the team).
I quickly had a new tube in place, and was ready to roll. But then I heard a dreadful hissing sound. Damn it! I guess I had a bad tube, or I missed something in the tire that had punctured my new tube. Robby and Adam were on cross bikes, so their tubes wouldn’t help me. With about 7 miles left, I was going to have to walk my bike back and risk being late for work. Robby volunteered to haul ass back to the parking lot and come back with my van, and Adam volunteered to walk with me.
I was glad to have Adam’s company on the walk. Between that and letting me use his CO2, I guess he’s back on the team. Now, don’t worry. It won’t be long until he does something Adam-like and winds up fired again, I assure you.
After walking just under 2 miles and 35 minutes later, Robby arrived with my van.
I loaded up my bike and climbed into the warm van. Adam decided to ride the last few miles back to his car. I would have liked to stay with Adam, but I was running short on time. I had to get going, so Robby and I drove back to the commuter lot.
It was a great ride with great friends. On more than one occasion, my mind wandered to Casey. I’m VERY fortunate to have my friends and teammates so close. It’s so much easier to train and push yourself when you can do it with your team. Casey, however, has yet to find a group of like-minded people to train with in NY. It’s gotta be tough to train for Dirty Kanza by yourself. If anyone can do it, though, it’s Casey. When he wraps his brain around something, he’s a very determined dude. I guess I just wished Casey could be here to train with us.
Anyway… What was supposed to be a 32 mile ride, ended up being a 24.5 mile ride, a 1.9 mile hike-a-bike, and about a 6 mile car ride for me. The route was relatively flat, but with the wind and the rough gravel, it’s an ass kicker.
Thanks to Bob, Robby, and Adam for riding with me. And thanks to Robby and Adam for helping me out at the end. It was a great day.
And by the way, I made it to work in plenty of time. Bob, however, was just a few minutes late for his job.
So, there you have it. Our first group training ride for Dirty Kanza is in the books. Our next scheduled group ride is the Super Century on February 5th. Wanna join us? And we’ll keep you posted if we plan another ride before that. Until then, Buh-Bye.