Bolivar CX Camp: Tour de Gravel Ride

When is the last time you went for a two hour ride and only encountered three Strava segments? Full disclosure, it has been about a year for me. John Jones took us on these back of beyond farm roads last year.

It started out with a chute segment down the Fiasco Line Trail, a 35 mile rails-to-trails segment that begins nearly in his backyard and traverses the countryside all the way to Springfield. If you want a flat ride protected from the wind in this part of Missouri, this is where you would ride Several trellis bridges keep you on the "flat". But beware, even with four people moving at speed, the fourth 6-ft tall person was still sweeping webs. By the end of that section we had to stop and investigate the helmets, jersey backs, and butts for stow-away wood spiders caught in the action.

On to the chunky gravel! Beware the cow paddy. This largely car-free-bucolic region is a maze of right angled roads punctuated by granny-gear hills, and the occasional low-water bridge. Cars are rare, cows are not. You can smell them before you see them. The conversation went something like this: "What's that smell? Turn right! Which way, now? Turn right! Are we going in circles? Turn left!" If you look at the course, you will see that we did actually perform one circle, completely intentionally.

The ride finished with a return trip down the Frisco Line Trail - sans spiders. Though there were a few industrious little buggers that had already been laying out the foundations of there webs. JP mostly swept these up, inching up the pace in front of John and I. Before either of us was aware of it -I mean really, we were focused on dodging tree limbs, avoiding washed out ruts, and jumping cattle guards, we were going above threshold and wishing we had a third lung.

Passed the Rock Fruit and Nut Farm. or the Rock, Fruit, and Nut Farm? They have a new sign, so they must be doing good business. Don't bother looking them up on the web (I tried).

Any chance I can get to take my Van Dessel FTB, with friends, out into the countryside where road surface markings disappear and the stop signs are merely a suggestion, is a good day.



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