Sunday, May 3, 2009

Oak Mountain

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My buddy Brooke was in Birmingham this weekend. Oak Mountain in particular. Me, my brother and Brooke all lived in Louisiana 10 years ago and rode together a lot. Since then, we've all moved a bunch of times, but we kept in touch and she's got family in this part of the world, so we've ended up riding together more often than you'd think. Case in point: this weekend.


My bro used to seriously love Dr. Pepper. In fact, his young son called it "Da-da dink" ie. "my father's drink". He discovered one day that Alabama Dr. Pepper is bottled by Coke and Georgia Dr. Pepper is bottled by Pepsi. Different bottlers means different water and a subtly smoother taste. If you like Dr. Pepper, there's nothing like an Alabama Dr. Pepper. When I'm in Alabama, I drink Dr. Pepper.

Would Alabama Cherry Dr. Pepper be equally smooth?



Brooke brought quite an entourage of friends and team mates. We rode together for a few miles, but then everyone split up and rode their own pace. I came to hang out with Brooke though, so I stuck with her. After the 6 hour, I was worried about even being able to ride, but apparently I was pretty well recovered. I couldn't punch it, but other than that I felt good.

Oak Mountain is fantastic. I forget how good it is, then I go and it all comes flooding back. The trail deserves photos but I'll have to take some when I'm riding solo one day.

We ran into Ursula Sandefur most of the way around and rode with her for the rest of the lap. She was on a fully rigid single speed 29'er. Brooke was on a carbon fiber long travel full suspension rig. Man I'm behind the times.

Merciless Sandefur.


Brooke Henderson, chowing down and flexing or something.


We rolled out for lap 2 with Ursula, but she took off when we got to the fire road. We hung back because we were planning on doing a third lap. It seems like a simple thing, but the "Oak Mountain 3" is elusive. The distance is not the issue, just bad, bad luck. Multiple flats, broken derailleurs, injury, freezing rain, blah, blah, blah. I've tried it like 15 times but only succeeded 5. Today was not looking good. I forgot to eat after the first lap, and forgot to bring food with me. Also my shorts were apparently made of sandpaper, at least the part under my sit-bones. But there would be food back at the truck, and I could live with the sandpaper. We were still on track.

And then, as we crossed the top of the mountain, as far as we could possibly be from the truck, tornado sirens went off. Yeah. Tornados. That's a new one. We slammed it back to the truck and went to Jim and Nick's for food. And not a minute too soon.

Cats and dogs.


According to the radio, a tornado touched down on Oak Mountain Lake, just north of where we were riding. Woohoo! The forecast had called for some thunderstorms later in the day. They weren't kidding.

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