I drove to the Ozarks to pre-ride some of the Berryman trail today. It was a reality check. It rained inches last night and the area is saturated. The low water crossings on the roads are chest deep. The trail is a running stream on all downhill sections. I drove out to the Berryman Campground, which is a check point, and did about 10 miles of the course. The whole trail is totally covered with leaves. But it is great traction. That is because it is nearly all small sharp rocks. We crossed 4 or 5 foot deep streams in just a few miles. This 56 mile race on Sunday is going to take a pretty long time. ( My butt is going to hate me.) Luckily I watched the Leadville 100 movie last night and was refreshed to how humbling MTB racing can be.
With all the water spraying off my wheels I couldn’t really see much of the course. Plus, a couple days ago, I got some sort of eye infection, so I’m not having the easiest time seeing anyway. Somewhere on our hour ride I blew my fork seals. And Bill pitched his rear tire. So, I’m trying to locate a new shock fork and Bill is going to put the fattest, heaviest tires on we have. I think we might of rode some of the most technical sections of the course. Maybe not. I’m not sure. If it is all that technical, I better pack a peanut butter sandwich for lunch.
We’ve driven through some pretty “backward” areas down here in southern Missouri. Lots of smoke coming from chimneys. Very much like West Virginia or rural North Carolina. The area is self titled “the float capitol” of Missouri. The are a lot of nice rivers in the area, so I’d guess it’s pretty great. Route 66 comes right through the area. Plus, a ton of other touristy stuff.
Okay. I still haven’t located a fork. I might have to drive up to St. Louis, 100 miles, if I don’t hear anything soon. I’m now 75% committed to racing on Sunday.