Eureka Springs Arkansas,
While not on the IMBA epic list, it is a very fun place to ride. I rode it just after a Xterra. We had rain in the AM but it was very dry in the late afternoon. about a week later I was not so lucky. It was very slick and it was like Jersey in August. Sweaty rocks and roots. Punctured a tire and Stans would not seal it. That is what I get for crackin' wise, when the guy that did support for the Xterra said there were a lot of tire slices during the event. When these rocks are wet they are like ice and extra sharp!
I fared better on Monday. With rain moving into Hobs, a trail system about 45 minutes from home base, and supposedly not at Leatherwood, I decided to ride there again. I had been getting chain suck and my chain was somewhere between .75 and 1 on the old Park chain gauge. I put on a new chain. All seemed fine on that first ride, but Saturdays ride was nearly intolerable, big and middle would skip under high load, usually I can where these in, but this time I just wore them out!. Back at home base I had a 33t E13 gear that was not round enough for the SS in my spare parts, so I took the opportunity to experiment with a 1x9. I changed the crank as well and the granny was not compatible with Hollowtech. Except for the fact that I did not lock out the front derailleur and should have checked the low limit on the rear derailleur, the drive train now functioned properly, barring human error.
I now knew the area well enough to get a warm up in, instead of going straight into a climb! But it did start to rain on me. But I new to respect these rocks when wet! I had two local GPS files loaded in my Garmin. I did not start out using any this time around, but I saw the sigh to Eureka Springs via trial, I had to pull up the file for what a couple locals call the Rowdy Beaver Epic. No doubt named after one of the fine establishments just down the road from home base! There are lots of trails here that you would never see. Hell I had trouble finding them with a GPS, even when backtracking sometimes. I managed a good deal of the Rowdy Beaver, but turned away from some cool looking switchbacks, due to a no trespassing sign. I got poured on first in Eureka Springs and had to skip a couple trails, due to previous shenanigans, and got rained on again as I got back to the car at Lake Leatherwood.