“Last Saturday’s Dirty Pecan 100 Epic Ride as described by riding friend John McCoy.
What do you get if you take four nuts willing to ride 104 miles on wet and mushy North Florida/South Georgia dirt roads? Dirty pecans of course!!
Leaving from Monticello, FL, The Dirty Pecan 100 Dirt Road Epic ride included stunning southern plantations, oak canopies, pecan groves, and dozens of miles with no sign of civilization. The red clay roads were mushy and wet from recent rains making the effort truly epic.
3300 feet of climbing with down hills you had to pedal to keep moving due to the mushy road surface which provided plenty of rolling resistance. I think we learned what they do with the extra pecans up there – grind ‘em up, mix ‘em with water and spread them on top of the clay to make a nice sticky road surface!
The ride was totally unsupported with the only water stop being a convenience market in a small town in South Georgia at mile 57. At one point we came upon an intrepid, but somewhat under-prepared rider doing the 60 mile course, walking her bike in the middle of nowhere. After receiving the definitive diagnosis of the problem “The air went out of my tire,” we realized that she did not have a spare tube, tire tools or other means to remedy the situation. Unfortunately, her tires and tubes were a different size than all of ours, but after using a tube that didn’t really fit but seemed to nevertheless be holding air, we armed her with the cue sheet for the bailout route, wished her well, and continued on our way hoping that tire kept rolling. We heard later that she made it back safely.
It also turns out that a lot of folks in South Georgia own dogs – lots of dogs!
Even a feisty pack of overweight Chihuahuas can give you a pretty good run for your money while you are pedaling uphill on a Nutella capped dirt road.
And then there was the old pickup truck passing the other direction whose bed was stacked high with occupied dog crates, on top of which stood the alpha bulldog, restrained in four directions by a harness and tethers, snarling and lunging at his tethers for all he was worth to get at us as they passed by! Looked like a scene out of “Mad Max!”
Despite the challenging conditions, these four nuts finished the 104 mile effort totally spent, but “uncracked,” after more than 7 hours of peddling. A truly epic adventure. Wouldn’t have missed it for anything.
What I learned was: use a wider tire even if the forum doesn’t recommend it, get a stronger motor and you can grind it out even if you have a off day. Thanks to my friends for helping me finish this beast.”