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8 Days ‘Til Race Day

July 17th, 2010 [print] No comments

Show-Me State Games

The 2010 Show-Me State Games mountain bike race is next Sunday on the 25th.  I told myself last summer that I’d race this year, and now it’s getting close.

I checked out the condition of the race course a couple weeks back, and it was in really bad shape.  I think I had to dismount and climb over 5-6 trees, and there’s a really deep gully where there used to be only a small, very shallow ditch; it’s deep, and I can see riders going over their bars if they’re unprepared for it.  It’s basically hidden around a corner, and you don’t know it’s there until you’re right on top of it.  Also, where Deer Run trail runs along a creek, the trail is dangerously close to the edge in a couple spots.  Normally, people like to point at bikers for trail destruction, but this is entirely weather related.

Over the last two years, mid-Missouri has been hit with one rain storm after another, especially in Spring and Fall.  The creek is continuing to widen as the dirt gets loose, and massive trees are falling into it.

Open on Flickr Open on Flickr

In two places where the trail used to come within a couple feet of the edge, it’s now literally on the very edge, and it doesn’t help that in both spots, the trail is curved.  Racers unfamiliar with the trail could easily over-cook it and head right over the edge, which is about a 10ft drop into the creek.  To make matters worse, the hardpack top soil is gone, replaced by 2" deep sand.

I went back out this week, and noticed a lot of the fallen trees have been removed, but there’s still one that forces a dismount.  I had my loppers with me and cut off all the eye-gouging branches that jut out from it, but the tree was too large for me to remove.  There’s another broken tree on the newer trail that the Boy Scouts made back in ’08, with a huge, pointed section of tree that you have to lean sideways as you pass to avoid getting hit in the face.

Assuming the course stays relatively dry, and the hazards are cleaned up in time, I’ll be out there next Sunday ready to race.  It’s my first race, so I’ll be in the 30-39 Beginner class.  I’d like to win, but it’s really about getting over my first race that I’m focused on.  After this one, I’ll probably join the Sport class next year, and finish mid-pack or lower.  I won’t be too concerned with it, I just want to finish well this time around.  Wish me luck.

SMSG.org

Categories: Cycling, Missouri Tags: ,

Cyclists celebrate anniversary of Missouri Katy Trail

June 26th, 2010 [print] No comments

SEDALIA — Several hundred cyclists traveled across Missouri on the Katy Trail to celebrate the path’s 20th anniversary.

The Sedalia Democrat reported that more than 300 riders from 30 states traveled the 225-mile hiking, biking and equestrian path in five days. They slept outside and stopped in cities along the way. Their ages ranged from 6 to 81 years old.

More:  http://www.columbiamissourian.com/…/cyclists-celebrate-anniversary-missouri-katy-trail/

Categories: Cycling, Missouri, News Tags: ,

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park Map

August 17th, 2009 [print] No comments

I realized there are no good Rock Bridge Memorial State Park trail maps online (this one on the official MO State Parks website is not only small, but horribly inaccurate), so I emailed DNR and asked if they had a better one.

Since we’re talking about state government here, they obviously didn’t have one, and mostly likely won’t anytime soon.  So, I took it upon myself to make one…

I scanned one of the trail map brochures that you can find at any parking lot, screwed around in Photoshop with it for a while, and ended up with a very large, accurate map (save for the exclusion of the new Springbrook — Sinkhole Trail connector) for anyone who may be looking for one.  Why the parks department couldn’t provide it, I have no idea, but I guess that doesn’t really matter now.

Click the photo below for a 2500 x 2050px version (also on my Flickr Photostream):

Click for larger image

Hopefully this will be of help to others.  Enjoy.

EDIT:  Here’s an additional map, showing the course used for the Show-Me State Games Mountain Bike race (click for larger view):

Click for larger image

2009 Show-Me State Games Mountain Biking

July 26th, 2009 [print] No comments

My wife and I headed out to the Show-Me State Games at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park today to cheer on our friends, Josh and Val.  Although Josh has raced many times before, it was Val’s first, and she finished mid-pack in the Beginner Women division, despite having an incident at the creek crossing, and stopping to help a fellow rider who ran into problems.

Lots of people were on hand, including riders, and the staff from Walt’s Bike and Fitness, who were helping organize the event.  I stood around and took photos while Val ran her race, but left before some of the longer running races were over.  Something about being surrounded by bikes made me want to get home and go for a ride of my own.

I’m also somewhat inspired to race in 2010, but that’s still up in the air.

Photos and results below:

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Show-Me State Games Mountain Biking Set on Flickr

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Categories: Cycling, Missouri Tags: , ,

Pics of New Trail at Rock Bridge

July 13th, 2008 [print] No comments

My wife and I went for an early morning walk down the new Sinkhole-Springbrook connector trail to take some pictures.  The local Boy Scout troops did an excellent job on the trail, even if it is a little too easy to ride.  A couple logs or roots along the trail would have added a little extra fun, but I’m not going to complain.  Hopefully, it won’t take nearly a decade for the next trail to be put in!

Click for larger image

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Categories: Missouri, Photos Tags: , ,

New Trail at Rock Bridge State Park

July 10th, 2008 [print] No comments

Rock Bridge has officially opened a new trail… the first major new one since I began riding the park in ’98.

It’s basically a connector trail for Sinkhole and Springbrook trails, with moderate hills and curves.  At about a half-mile in length, it makes for a great, flowy ride.  Roots and rocks are at a minimum, so even beginners could ride without much trouble.  Personally, I prefer much more technical trails, but this is a great addition to the park.

More information:  http://www.mostateparks.com/resourcecenter/nr08/300.htm
News article:  http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2008/05/28/rock-bridge…

Click the map below for a larger view.  The connector can be seen in red, and is not straight, as I’ve portrayed it.  I just wanted to give you an idea as to it’s location, but it’s actually a pretty windy trail.

Rock Bridge State Park Map - click for larger image

Related post:  http://gearinches.com/blog/…/pics-of-new-trail-at-rock-bridge

Categories: Missouri, News Tags: , ,