Road Trip: Ride the Ozarks
Around mile 97 of a century ride with 7,000 feet of climbing, I broke down. My new friend I made that kept me company for 80 miles had stopped to take a break, I thought I took a wrong turn, my knee hurt so bad I didn’t think I could make it another 3 miles even if I was on the right route, and wondered how in the hell did I get talked into signing up for a century ride with that many hills. Hitch hiking crossed my mind over and over as my feet pedaled slowly while I sobbed trying to decide what to do. 2 miles left, I saw a few more cars, 1 mile left I saw police, 1k left, I could see the finish line. Being the last one of your friends to finish a ride has it’s benefits. I had my own personal cheering squad motivating me to pedal a little faster and crack a smile even through I wanted to fall off my bike and lie in the street while someone through ice over me. High fives were in order for my fans who had finished over an hour before I did. I was overwhelmed by their support and hugs. #notaclimber
When our friends Melanie and Sean brought up the idea of riding The Eurekan Century during a Bike Friendly Deep Ellum ride, we didn’t even question the actual ride because going to Arkansas with our riding buddies sounded like an awesome way to spend a weekend. Justin and I have been really busy with trying to get the shop open, and we needed a break. There were 7 of us total in 2 cars. I had 5 people in my car and 3 bikes securely mounted on the Saris Freedom 4-Bike car rack. We had a blast during the 6 hour car ride through North Texas, Eastern Oklahoma, and Western Arkansas. The landscape was beautiful, especially once we hit the Arkansas border. Looking at the Ozarks, I pondered the thought of how high the hills were actually going to be during the ride then lost train of thought because someone told a joke and made me laugh. That happened a lot this weekend.
Once we arrived at the house we rented for 2 nights, we got unpacked, went shopping for supplies and headed to Local Flavor Restaurant in Eureka Springs to eat dinner. Carb loading and a glass of wine had been on my mind for a few hours. By the time we got back to the house, it was almost 11. Time for bed to get enough sleep for the big day.
Getting ready for the ride start, one of our friends realized he didn’t have his helmet and no one in the house had an extra. The start of the ride was about 2 miles from the house. We rode over early in hopes of finding him a helmet. Nick from Lewis & Clark Outfitters based in Arkansas kindly let him borrow his for the ride. Whew…disaster and disappointment averted. The gun blew and we were on our way. Everyone of us had a different ride on the same course and could write a full blog about it.
After a few celebratory beers, we went back to the house and passed out. We had conquered the Ozarks and deserved a nap.
We are already planning our next bike adventure. Maybe Hill Country or Big Bend? It doesn’t really matter as long as we are with friends who love being on their bikes as much as we do.