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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.


Meeting at Dos Primos

Gettin' ready to ride.

Bob and Robby at Dos Primos

Bob and Robby

Bopp at Dos Primos

Bopp's gang sign

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.


Bob and his Single Cross Bike

Bob and his Single Cross Bike


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?


Bopp's Bird

Bopp showed me another sign as we waited for Bob.


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.


Surpised Bob

Bob did not know I was taking his picture... This is how he always looks.

Biking into Mark Twain National Forest

Crossing the first gate into the National Forest

Bopp's Bird at the Gate

Once again, Bopp gives me the bird. Did I piss him off or something?

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.

Another Gate at Mark Twain National Forest

Look closely and you'll notice that Bopp is now giving me TWO fingers.

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's flat

Trying to unhook the brakes

Bob sitting on his bike

I told you Bob always looks like this.

Robby's flat tire

Still trying to unhook the brakes

Luke sitting on bike

Proof that I was indeed on this ride.

Bopp with no birdwith

I surprised Bopp, so he had no signs for me here.

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.”

Gravel Night Ride

Rolling back to Holts Summit

Bob and Bopp at night

I tried to surprise Chris again, but he's too wise for that - hence another finger.

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.


All I can say is "N-R-O-P-3" - You would understand that if you were there.

Bob, Bike, and Beer at Dos Primos

Bike, Bob, and Beer

Robby with a Beer

Robby havin' a beer in the cold

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.



Announcing Virtuesdays – Our Weekly Training Session

Virtuesday - Team Virtus' Training DayThat’s right!  If you’re reading this, then you’re invited to come join us in our weekly training.  More often than not it’s going to be a gravel road ride.  However, sometimes we might throw in some running, orienteering, paddling, prowler pushing, or any other tomfoolery we’re in the mood for.

This will be a weekly thing for us, and we’d love it if any of you want to join us.  The more the merrier.  Are you wicked fast?  Cool.  Come join us.  Are you slower than a turtle with a hernia?  So am I.  Come join us.  Seriously.  You know you want to.

Our very first Virtuesday is tomorrow.  We’re meeting at Dos Primos in Holts Summit at 8:15 PM (bring your lights) for a sweet, sweet 19-20 mile ride that our friend Nick has appropriately named “The Dirty Jenkins.”  It includes some fantastic gravel roads as well as some grassy double track in the Mark Twain National Forest and even a little bit of single track.

Mark Twain Double Track

Some of friends from Team Red Wheel are sure to join us, so make sure you do too!  It’s a really fun ride that you don’t wanna miss.  We’d love to see you out there.  Have questions?  Email me and I’d be happy to answer them.  Or just post a comment below.  See you on Virtuesday!

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