It's been a great year so far and the weather has played along nicely. While I'm bummed to see the annual GORC vacation come to a close I've gotta say that the riding around St. Louis has been top-notch.
Matson Hill, Castlewood and Greensfelder are all riding fast and maturing gracefully. Greensfelder is especially nice right now. The weather has allowed bikers to keep the horse hooves beat down and there aren't really any hooves to beat down because no one has been riding in the rain. Because it hasn't been raining!
Matson Hill is the sleeper in the metro St. Louis area. Erase all past memories - the newly minted Oxen Mill trail addition is stellar and is the gem of St. Charles county. The GORC trail designers outperformed themselves and I can't wait to see what's coming next.
The best way to meet mountain bikers is to attend mountain biking events and we appear to have stacks of them coming up all put together by solid organizations.
In the race category we have the Matson Hill Mashor race next Sunday (the 6/12 hour SAC River race is the previous day), followed by the Chubb Time Trial in early October. That race is sure to find the weak link in you and your bike.
Next up we have both a festival event out of town - the Brown County Breakdown in Indiana - and a legendary 6/12 hour Missouri race - Burnin' at the Bluff. Both events are not to be missed, however, you'll have to miss one. If you've always wanted to do an endurance race and meet damn near every competitive mountain biker from St. Louis then you owe it to yourself to haul down to Council Bluff Lake. The camping is superb and the comaraderie grows deep into the night. Meanwhile, the Brown County Breakdown is held at the massive Brown County State Park and offers 30 miles of buff, flowy singletrack. Upwards of 700 people attend and you'll be the select few that traversed state lines to attend. This is a great introduction to the STL pilgrimage that is "hey, i'm going to brown county."
If you are into cyclocross then there's a ton of 'cross events scheduled around the STL into early next year. I haven't jumped into that pool so that's all I know about 'cross. I do know I love exploring on my Salsa cross bike, though. If a road bike is like a car then the cross bike is a stylish SUV; fast but always ready to get a little dirty (and its tires won't explode at the first sign of singletrack.)
And don't forget that GORC has a fall calendar FULL of trail workdays where we build and maintain trail in the morning and then get to ride that park's trails in the afternoon. This year we are having our GORC Volunteer Appreciation Day at Creve Coeur park. We'll post more details as the date approaches.
That's enough to keep you busy for the next few months. I am saddened to be back from Taos (so soon it's over?) but our trails are a shining star in the midwestern region and I'm happy to have discovered GORC back in 2001.
Fun fact; my very first workday was at Greensfelder. The workday was hard (worked on a section of Dogwood that's now been rerouted/closed), the trails beat me down, I saw Chewie throw up while climbing on a fixie and my Trek 6500 with flat pedals got scratched up. But I was hooked. Forget Grant's trail!