Thursday, October 3

Van of Constant Sorrow Tour '19

Things are gonna be real quiet here for a very extended period of time.  The next few days are gonna be dedicated to getting all my shit together.

While I was up in Greensboro playing bikes with Watts, someone asked me about our big trip to Arkansas coming up in a week.

"That's next week?"

Both Watts and I were somehow lulled into a sense of comfortable distance from the actual date of our departure towards some states to our west.  We thought we had more time to think about where we should stop to ride on the way to Bentonville, who we'd wanna hit up to play bikes with in what places, what to bring in his Adventure Wagon... basically 99% of the actual logistics involved, what with skipping town for eight days.

My bike is now ready for adventuring.

Watts will be rigid, so I'll be rigid... because when I wear jorts and a cotton t-shirt on a 90* day, he does that too... because misery... company... so on.  I know he'll probably just keep whatever gear he had on there already... because he doesn't work on his mountain bike.  Ever.  Except the day before PMBAR.

32 X 19 because I don't know which days might end up being 18 days and which could be 20 days.  If I had to pick one gear forever, this is it... if you were to ever ask me.

A genuine slide from being racer boi prepared to adventure rider equipped.  Swapped a spare CO2 cartridge mount to a full-on pump.  I had to borrow someone's inflation device in Snowshoe (I was being cheap with my canned air), and as I'm yorking back and forth on my valve trying to add air to my tire, I couldn't help but wonder why I left my Racerocket back in the room (because I never mounted it).  I specifically asked for this exact pump because it has an extendable hose so you DON'T end up damaging your valve stem while inflating.  Mebbe when I'm racing (and caring), I'll remount the spare CO2, but otherwise, not every flat is worthy of the hurry and expense.

The only 100% already nailed down part of the trip is our participation in the OZ Trails Off Road event (I guess some would call it a "race").  It's the last race of the Epic Rides Off-Road Series, one of the longest running, highest (equal) payout mountain bike series in the US.  It attracts big name riders while also catering to the schlubs like Watts and myself by having amateur races, live music, and quality entertainment like watching pros racing on a crit course on skinny'esque tires whilst we sip on sweet teas and yell encouraging niceties from the sidelines.

I'm just stoked as fuck to finally travel... in that general direction.  Aside from the time my friends and I drove straight across the country to Moab the Friday after 9/11, I've never been to any place west of Chattanooga and east of Denver.  I just don't like being in a motor vehicle for more than a ten hour stint, and if I get on a plane, I feel like I should be getting as far west of here as I can.

Now that Watts and I have had a few days to scratch heads and asses, we know we're headed to Knoxville first.  There are some people there that we're fortunate to call "friends," and it will be nice to ride with them without having number plates on all our bikes for a change.  From there, we have a couple flexible days to pick and choose where we want to be, and then hopefully, roll into Bentonville on Friday to stay at least a couple nights.

I'm mebbe slightly concerned about fifty mile course, not that I don't think I can do it...

It's just that I haven't ridden close to all that far in one go since the Breck Epic.

"... just under 4,000 feet of climbing through a succession of short, punchy climbs that gradually tax the legs and lungs"

Short, punchy climbs for this short, flinchy rider is only slightly better than "mostly flat."  Pretty sure I can fake it.  It's kinda my thing nowadays.

I'm imagining that the Van of Constant Sorrow Tour will not be the beer-fueled juggernaut that some might think it to be.  We both want to get in as much quality trail time as possible during our eight days of movement.  Watts is also quite the connoisseur of local cuisine and also way better at making his way around the country than I.  Quality over quantity all around.

Wake up, drive, ride, eat good things (even some vegetables), drink a couple things or no things, sleep, repeat.  I'm looking forward to burying myself more than a few times on the bike.  Digging a hole, crawling in, pulling the dirt back over myself.  I wanna come back with my eyes all bleary, my legs tired and weak, and my head bursting with memories of long rides on new trails with friends old and new.

I'm sure both Watts and I will be contributing to the suck of earth's resources known as social media, him much more than I (I just suck at it while I'm having fun).  He's @revoltingcogs over on Instagram.  Obvs, I'm @teamdicky.  I'll do what I can... or can't... or I'll fizzle out on touching my phone and just write about it all when I get back on October 15th or 16th.


Billy Fehr said...

It better be 15, you’re working on 16 mister...

Anonymous said...

Advocat sez:

Visited with the SoKno AMBAC crew last weekend and had a blast with them on their trails. Urban Wilderness is real! Course, they kicked my tail.

Anonymous said...

Have fun on your trip! Pedal your legs off and bring us lame desk jockeys stories of awesome old school shredding and drunken shenanigans.