The inaugural Cross Cut Dirty Metric ride is the brainchild of Pat Engleman, the same masochistic friend who cooked up Lu Lacka Wyco Hundo. Knowing Pat’s penchant for leg-ripping gravel climbs and scenic views, the LWC crew of Tim, Jason, Pryor, Joachim, Jordy, Donnie and myself, were looking forward to some quality riding and hangout time.
We all gathered at the lower lot at Spring Mountain and chatted up about the heat as we were in full on heat mode at 8:30 in the morning. Right before Pat gathered the troops, he pulled Pryor aside and said he had something for him. He presented Pryor with a small handled black case. Pryor unlatched the case and what did our eyes behold but a portable bar! Complete with steel stirrer and a jigger. Surely its the gift that will keep on giving!
Pat gave his usual prep talk, where the rest stops are located, call 911, follow the blue arrows, and most importantly DO NOT engage the locals! Sometimes folks around here don’t take too kindly to lycra clad folk.
Speech completed and we are off into the heat! A few miles in and TIm realizes he has forgotten his water bottles…then goes in reverse and back to the lot. Already fairly sweaty, we roll until about mile 6 and there is a rest stop. WHAT? Yes, a rest stop. A fellow cyclist and long time customer of Bikesport heard about the ride and set up a table of small dixie cups filled with...TEQUILA! Yes, it was going to be a great day!! We hang at the table for a few shots and up rolls Tim. I think the tequila might have given him the legs to make it to the next stop.
We continue rolling thru some beautiful farm roads on our way to the infamous halfway point of Goat Hill. Goat Hill is a local dirt climb that in the best of conditions is almost impossible to climb, and with the recent storms the gravel climb was riddled with ruts and rough spots. Luckily at the top was the Damien Talese oasis truck filled with carbs, sugar and water, and of course the beer stash!
When we arrived we heard that Glenn Stephenson one of the riders in an early pack had wrecked pretty hard in one of the gravel descents and was whisked away in an ambulance. Luckily he checked in at the end of the ride and after some gravel was scrubbed out of his arm and 22 stitches he was going to be just fine.
There was 6 miles that looped out and back from the Goat Stop, and due to the combination of the crazy heat and the climb only a handful left the and did the additional 6 miles. Once we regroupd (TIm arrived after the rest of the crew and did not look like he was going to leave the beach chair he parked himself in) we rolled part way down Goat Hill and off towards hopefully less grueling climbs.
Luckily for us the second half of the ride held less elevation, but with the sun beating down and a heat index of 100+ it can suck the life out of you, and more importantly your legs.
In the midst of a long stretch of rare flat asphalt, another oasis was found! An above ground pool!! And contrary to Pat’s words of advice we engaged the locals! Pryor jokingly asked if we could swim in the dude's above ground pool and he jumped right out and offered to hose us all down. The man was swimming in purple brief underwear and quickly covered up before hitting us with 55 degree spring water. It was a glorious, life changing moment. The whole mood of the crew changed after our impromptu yard shower.
A few pedal strokes later was the final rest stop in a park pavilion where Jess (Pat’s amazing wife) had cold cokes, water and more sugary snacks.
We realized that Tim was probably half way home by this time, or still sitting in Pryor’s beach chair on Goat Hill. We found out later that he took a shortcut back to the Spring Mt. lot, still suffering from bruised Belmont crashed ribs.
A few cokes later we made the final push through beautiful Green Lane park, and after a few flat gravel rail trails miles we rolled into Spring Mountain in a bit over 5 hours...smiling, soaked with sweat, and ready for a few beers and drinks at the Tiki Bar. Somewhere between the parking lot at Spring Mountain and the TIki Bar, Joachim injured his eye. It is believed to be a sunglass related injury, but the resulting blood clot was epic. The pictures actually do it justice.
Pat handed out some sweet swag to the remaining riders, and we enjoyed pizza, Gin and Tonics, more beers, and ride stories. It was a day spent with great people, doing what we do best, friending the locals and shenanigans.
-= FM MORGAN =-
Photo credits: -= FM CZAJKA =- -= FM BREON =- -= FM PRYOR =- -= FM JOACHIM =- -= FM MORGAN =- Mark Weaver