For the last few years the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association has put on a big show called the Brown County Breakdown, which is an Epic Ride with 500 or so of your best friends. The route is through some of the most beautiful and breathtaking parts of Indiana, and even though most people think that Indiana is pretty flat, there is a a ton of climbing. It is an out an back ride, so you can kind of create your own distance. Whenever you are ready to go back, you can turn around and go back, but for the most part people are heading out to particular points and then turning around. The most common routes were the 20 miles out to Hesitation Point, 40 Miles to the Cabin Sag near Nebo Ridge, 60 and 70 mile routes out the Maumee trail and for the most hard core riders--you can ride a whole 100 miles if you do the Hickory Hills loop. For as muddy as it was around the cabin... I doubt many folks got much further than the 70 mile route.
Most of the ride through the beautiful Brown County State park was really fantastic. The trails were in very nice condition, just slightly damp, but the creek crossings were pretty dang chilly--as the air temp at the beginning of the ride was around 35 degrees and underneath the tree canopy, I doubt it creeped above 50 all day. The rocks and log crossings were slick, but most were manageable. I saw several close calls, caught Gary as went down on end of his handlebars, and definitely decided to walk a few dicey sections that were just slightly above my confidence level for the day.
It rained a good bit a couple days before the ride, and although the weather was pretty great on Saturday, So once we got out of the park, the 5 miles or so to get to the Hidden Cabin sag stop was pretty brutal. Slick, thick mud, riders going both directions, and some steep climbs. Ben lost his derailler. He was still faster than Gary and I at times!
As with most of my Indiana mountain bike adventures, I went with Steve, Gary and Mike and this year we also had Steve's son's Carl and Ben along with us.
I have to give a big thanks to Tim Casady of Nebo Ridge Bikes, Jonathon and Tania Jullierat and all the folks at the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association for really doing so much to make it such a great day.
So what does this all have to do with Chris Bucher Photos, nothing really, just something that was a lot of fun and something that I have been looking forward to all year. I did take some camera gear, and it was heavy on some of those climbs, and as I look at the photos, I realize... I probably could have just as easily left it.
...and one more thing, for the bike geeks, All 4 of us ride 29ers... mountain bikes with extra large, 700c wheels. A few years ago, when we started riding them, 29er's were kind of a niche, maybe they were even called odd. Yesterday at the Breakdown, it seemed like half the folks riding had some sort of 29er. It was cool to see so many big wheels! So hanging on the rack is a GF Supercal, a GF SuperFly, a Surley Karate Monkey and a Ventana El Rey--some nice rides for sure!