07/29/23 Bridge Over Troublesome Creek

Saturday, 7/29/23 – Bridge Over Troublesome Creek, a Bankhead National Forest Gravel Ride

Bridge Over Troublesome Creek should never been done at the end of July. We had a strong crew of seven today, aside from the host. I pulled up to the parking lot and thought, oh crap. Representing Huntsville was Doug Littrel, Stuart Lamp, and Craig, all in matching kits, and Dean Richert. We told them that since they came in matching kits, they had to pull the whole way. Representing Birmingham were Lenny and Lauren Moon and myself.

Aside from myself, the rest of the group came out and killed this route. I ran into heat trouble around mile 45. I knew we had the stop at Warrior Mtn Trading post at mile 50, but I had told the rest of the group around mile 40 that I felt zapped by the heat. I stopped in the shade a few times between then and the rest stop, to let myself sweat a bit and cool off.

I finally pulled up to the rest stop and the rest of the group looked nice and refreshed. I had decided I was done before I got there. I told them I was out, and asked Lennie if he and Lauren could bring my car by on their way out. We hung out there for about 10 minutes before I had some cold water and got my temperature down, and my senses came back to me. I was going to finish it.

The rest of the group got off before me, and I made a few friends on the porch of the Warrior Mtn Trading post, as tends to happen. I filled my bottles with ice and water, and got back on my way. Before now I had been trying to make sure I was drinking enough water with my bottles. Now, I was making sure I drank ice water when I started to get hot. That got me home.

The last couple of times I rode this course, I had to bail some folks out. This time, that was almost me. Regardless, I had not ridden the end of this route in a long time. Most of the elevation is in the first half of the route, but at mile 59ish there is a monster climb. I got back to the parking lot and was happy to see Doug, Lenny and Lauren off, and hang with Dean for a bit.

It was a beautiful day in a beautiful place with challenging temps to contend with. Thank you to everyone that came out for making sure I made it back alive. It was an honor riding with you all.

Photos – https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/5wb7nos54uq4po25c1ycp/h?rlkey=oanm0b5ihxeo6gpmhztu1yfu3&dl=0