What would you do if you knew you only had 1 day left on earth? That’s a fun question to ponder the answer. I know for me at least a part of that day would have to be spent riding some sweet single track.
I got to do just that for 3 straight days down in the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas last a couple of weekends ago with a great crew from Lincoln. Corey, Josh, and I headed out after work on Wednesday and made it to our cabin at Rocky Shoals Resort in time on Thursday to be riding single track by early afternoon. Lis, MW, PC, and Janna were already there and we settled in to the cabin and headed out riding.Getting ready to ride. Our cabin was literally a stones throw from single track.
The cabin was located pretty much in the middle of IMBA Epic Womble trail, so one day we headed east and the next day we headed west and were able to make a great day of riding without even getting into our cars.
Friday turned out to be our biggest day of riding, and had a little unplanned adventure to boot. As is often the case, the (mis)adventures came about by following Cornbread’s lead. We were riding, and about 20 miles of single track away from the cabin, and Cornbread wanted to keep going a little more so we could get “50 miles of single track for the day.” Sounds good, so we kept going. The trouble was, it was getting later in the afternoon, and no one brought lights except Cornbread. I had just a rear blinky. Well, we thought we could get back in time before dark and all was going well and then a few mechanicals started happening. Janna got a flat, and we dealt with that, then Josh got a flat, and that ate up a little more time. Next thing you know, its getting late and we’ve got a ways to go. Paul and Janna went on ahead and Corey waited for Josh who was having some serious bonking going on. I decided to go on ahead and try to get through the single track while there was some light.
Long story short, I made it through the single track to the highway that leads back to the cabin about as it got really dark. The highway was a “shortcut” back to the cabin. As is sometimes the case with shortcuts, they don’t always turn out to be shorter. I didn’t have a light but figured I could find the turn off to the cabin in the dark. Turns out it gets pretty dark on a cloudy night with no moon on the middle of Arkansas and turnoffs are easy to miss. I knew I had gone too far when I came to the river that we were not supposed to cross.
Also figured I could use my cell phone at any time but when I did try to use it it wouldn’t work because of the cold. It was about 34 degrees and the iPhone likes to shut down sometimes in the cold. And this was one of those times. Finally ended up using my camera to light up my Garmin so I could re-program it so it would light up (I had set it to have no back light to save battery time) and followed the cookie crumb trail back to the cabin. By the time I wandered back to the cabin, Cornbread had gone out in the car to look for me, hoping I hadn’t become a victim of a banjo playing Razorback.
All in all a little stress but made it back safely and the beer tasted really good after all that!