My cabin internet connection was not as reliable this trip, so rather than posting my daily Ozark adventures, I was forced to save them up for when I arrived back home to civilization.
As is often the case with my training at Syllamo, I rode alone for the first couple of days. People always comment that they can’t believe I do so, and, yes, I can see the risk involved. The Syllamo trails are slightly far flung from town, and it’s very common for me to ride out there for days and never see anyone else on the trails. The biggest risk, of course, is that I’d wreck and incapacitate myself with no help around to save me. It’s a risk I am willing to take, though, and one that I try to minimize by both riding smart and letting friends/family back home know what time I plan on being finished (always by 4:00!) with my day. I’m reasonably confident that if Ryan hadn’t heard from me by 5 or 6:00 on any solo ride day, that a search party would be out by 7.
I love riding alone.
Wednesday morning, I drove out to Mountain View, and was on the trail by 1:00. My legs were a little stiff and disagreeable when I hit the trail, so I took it easy and did a little sightseeing. One of my favorite things to do is explore old roadbeds that wander off from the trail. The one I found near the “Old Highway 5” section of the Orange trail did not disappoint. I hope that my loved ones find just as peaceful of a place for me to be taken back into nature…
Once I was back from the side road, I did a little more gravel exploring…
Back at the cabin, Turbo and I relaxed and watched some satellite TV… which, I’m sure at some point, will rot my brain. As with all solo ventures, I take precautions to ensure safety…
Ok, the first defense/noisemaker takes a break sometimes, but check out the ears… she’s always listening.
P.S. The toaster oven at the cabin is possessed.
Friday, I didn’t take any photos. Instead, I figured out how much harder it is to ride the trails in the clockwise direction instead of race direction. I spent 4 hours fighting with the rocks and grinding up the short, steep climbs. Cold? Miserable? Maybe a little. Cathartic? Definitely. Riding solo on the most difficult routes possible in the trail system is a privilege that I’m incredibly lucky to have the opportunity and ability to undertake.
Friday night, Ryan arrived from his business trip in St. Louis. We watched satellite TV together so that our brains could rot in harmony. Solo riding, finished.