as written/reported by Matt. Facts might be inaccurate here or there, just because he can’t remember…

The 2004 Midwest Mountain Bike Advocacy Summit in Kansas City, MO may have lasted only 3 days (Mar. 19-21) but the memories will last for years.

Since GORC is an ever-growing entity of like-minded MTBers, I can only shed light on this annual event based on my perspectives and who I rode with. But overall, it was the same experience for everyone.

Wednesday : Dirt Rag Ride
Yes, the weekend started on Wednesday for me. Maurice Tierney and Thanita Adams of Dirt Rag fame we’re passing through St. Louis and wanted to hook up with GORC for some riding. John Donjoian, Ray Easterling, Matt (?), and Matt Hayes arrived late afternoon at the West Tyson side of the Chubb trail to show them our fine trails. The only problem was that it had rained steadily for about 2 hours before the ride was to kick off.
Needless to say the ride was wet and slippery but Maurice and Thanita had a great time. Props to Thanita who has awesome handling skills and attempted to ride the “Steps” 3 times before calling it quits. Pimp-Daddy John schooled everyone on the ice-slick Steps and rode them with style and a puckered arse. Overall, a successful ride with no injuries and only smiles. Maurice and Thanita commented on the rocky technical trail (they were impressed) and they introduced us to Tiglett (Thanita’s cat). We parted ways and would see them again soon.

Thursday : A Minor Detour for A Miner Party
Johnny D., myself and Scott Whitaker headed down to Blue Springs in the GORC limo Thursday afternoon. We checked into our 1 star motel, the Knights Inn, and threw our crap inside. Our next stop was Ken Miner’s pad to meet all of the industry reps, speakers and other Summit masterminds. Ken operates the successful and well-oiled Earth Riders Trail Association (www.earthriders.comearthriders.org). GORC is much younger than ERTA and has learned much from them. The social party was fun and intelligent for the first couple of hours but once the Fat Tire flowed and the Single Speed Outlaw posse and the Minneapolis Evil Cycling crew arrived the party quickly degenerated into conversations about goats, ragbrai hijinx, and beer selection. Hurl Everstone (www.carsrcoffins.com) brought a case of The Beast and we all played the head-to-head Playstation2 Downhill Domination game. We left around 11 to get a good night’s sleep.
We had a 7am ride the next morning, after all.

Friday : When Friday Night Is A Tuesday Night You Know You’re in Trouble
The 7am ride went without a hitch. John, Scott and I rode with 13 other SS’ers on the Blue River trail system. Only one gearie on this ride. Damn, I guess single speeding has caught on in some parts. The MinneNuts, Single Speed Outlaw (SSO), Frank Tuesday and GORC rode the trails fast because we all had to be at the Summit meetings by 9 – a half hour drive at that.

Within 10 minutes, someone had bombed a small creek crossing and was under the water. It was kinda cold but he persevered for the hour and a half ride. It was slick in several spots but no one went down. We rode a bunch of new trail ERTA had recently completed and it was fast and flowing. It was definitely cool to see the trail in the daytime as this was the location of last year’s Frank Tuesday nightime event. The highlight of this ride came out of our asses. At one resting point we all separately launched our own ass tirades. For about two minutes there were random gas attacks, one after the other, like something you’d see in a cartoon. It was unreal.

We packed up, went to the hotel and cleaned up. We jetted to the Summit and met up with a bunch of GORC brothas and sistas. After a two hour stint and a break for lunch, we opted to all ride at Landahl Park, the location of the Summit. The drinking had commenced and we were ready to rock. The ride was brisk and we checked out “Tasty Goodness,” a recently added trail to Landahl’s stacked trail network. At the first turn, TomE smashed his head and shoulder on a tree. Ouch. After he stopped seeing stars we rode for about two hours and ended up on Trail 11 on the opposite side of the park. Trail 11 is a black diamond expert trail like Greensfelder but about 10 times rockier.
Late in the afternoon we headed back to the Summit conferences for a QA session and then ate at Minsky’s Pizza. Next stop: The Frank Tuesday night ride.

We unpacked, prepped and arrived at the scene. The beer was a-flowin and a blow up doll was surfing the crowd. A derby erupted and the hardcore made a tight circle and went for the kill. Riders and bikes went down – hard. Some people were rammed into the concrete barriers, others were forced to blaze through the race banners (oops). John Farinella suffered some nasty finger mashy before the word was given and we were off.

Despite being unorganized, most people eventually made it to the Frank Tuesday spot #1. Beer was tapped and bottlerockets were launched. Tom Erb’s Marzocchi fork made a great launch pad for Farinella’s rockets. Oops, white gas came with us, that’s bad. I go for a refill and next thing I know Tom’s got the trail on fire. Then a bike. And a rider (Ben). And I see the bottle thrown down. Kicked. Whoosh! The field is on fire. Whoopee – I mean, holy shit, the field’s on fire! We all rush to stomp it out with our feet. This is Ben’s first Frank Tuesday event and he’s already got 2nd degree burns on his right leg. Damn, that blows. He rocks on, though!

We ride on and hit the “downhill.” We hit it and mach 2 and end up at the bottom in a field. Dozens of bottle rockets are launched at the slow and weak but their guidance systems fail to reach any meaningful targets. Oh, it was a Frank Tuesday joke, we gotta ride back up the huge hill. No, seriously. We walk up the steep pitch and head on to the last stop for more beer. This time it’s an uphill challenge. Riders coming into the last field must go balls to the wall in an attempt to scale a 20+ foot high gravel pile. As soon as the tires hit it, everyone bogs. Some get very close, others endo up the thing in fantastic style. The drunker ones loop out and crash down it in spectacular fashion. Matt James is bombed and has fallen about 6 times at this point. He’s finished… Matt Hayes has forgotten to take allergy medicine and is getting his ass beaten by Mother Nature. He just wants to fall over dead. Despite looking like he had a bottle of Jim Beam, he was only drunk on snot that night.

Wrapping up the Frank Tuesday event around 12:30 (??), GORC shuttled out to the Waffle House and ate well. Our table enjoyed watching the Miller Life Mullet Man cough his lungs out and fall asleep at his plate. I continued the downward spiral courtesy of Mother Nature. Nice work, I give up.

Saturday : Single Speeders Everywhere
By Saturday all GORC attendees had arrived. Since there was a time trial at Landahl, we chill out and make our way over there around noon. The weather for the weekend was mild and this would be the best day yet.

GORC split up into two or three rides, mainly because we weren’t time-synched. If we would’ve waited a half hour we would’ve had the whole crew together. We ride all the trails again and take a break at a trail branch. There are single speeders everywhere riding the trails. GORC was a 50/50 mix and we even managed to convert Nathan to the dark side. He opts to buy Scott’s Redline Monocog. Well done. While waiting, more GORC people meet up and we proceed to move on. It’s demo day at the Summit and some rigid SSers has opted for a full springer. We hit a fast dowhill stretch and Matt Hayes clips a tree with his bars on a downhill. Dumbass. He goes down like a ton of bricks on his left shoulder but nothing is broken. It hurts a bit but the best therapy is more riding.

We ride and drink all day until the raffle drawing starts. By then, everyone is buzzed and having a blast. We are moshing for prizes and causing a commotion. By evening, we decide to eat and come back for a GORC night ride. We later find out Matt Stenberg has left early. WTF?? This is unheard of in the GORC ranks and we are disappointed. Unless it is serious injury or a personal issue, you cannot leave early. Man, that’s just wrong.

We ate at Jose Peppers Mexican Grill and must commend the staff for dealing with our shitheadedness. Drinks were spilled, Mexican toothpick flags were thrown and it was 2 margaritas for $5 bucks. Some of us are cut off, if you can believe that. We leave a nice tip and get the hell out before anything else happens.

We go back to the lone star motel to change and get ready to hit Landahl. John, Matt and Scott’s room are shot up with bottle rockets courtesy of Farinella and crew. It’s a miracle nothing is on fire and that the cops haven’t arrived. The motel owners, the Patels, live right next door to our room and we’re certain that it’s all over. But nothing happens, thank goodness. They were probably too scared to deal with us! Tom’s truck tailpipe is shot up with bottlerockets. Good times.

Matt does a Surly crank check in the parking lot because his Truvativ Stylo SS cranks suck ass. The ISIS interface has incorrect tolerances and the drive side works loose every 8 miles or so. MikeyD falls over on takeoff so he’s out of the picture. There’s a trashcan fire someone has started so he can go hang out there along with Doug R, John F, Black Matt, Thanita and the Minneapolis Evil Crew.
Our night ride is scary and blurry. Myself, Scott, John, Randy and a SAMBA guy (?? right, what’s his name, sorry it was a fuzzy night) head off into the night. John and Matt try to go lightless after our first stop but it’s so dark Matt misses a turn and rides off into the woods. We ride Swedish Erotica, Rim Job and Little Moab. Matt gets a slow front leak and stops to air it up. We’re greeted by Mr. Single Speed Serotta Guy who has chopped his XTR cranks (WTF??) and likes to talk about himself, blah, blah, blah. I am too buzzed and lazy to change a flat in the dark so I air up and bolt out like my ass is on fire. We all make it back to basecamp and find everyone still around the fire kicking each other in the ass. Hmm. We hang out for a while and join the mayhem. Mikey seems a bit f’cked up so I opt to leave him be.

A good night ends well.

Sunday : One Last Epic
OK, let’s cut this one short because by now my memory is fuzzy and I’m tired of typing…
Everyone is sore from all of the riding but we press on to do one more cold epic ride. The weather is in the 40’s and everyone is ready to bail. But somehow, we convince ourselves to do just one more ride. We ride almost all of the trails again before we pack up and head back to St. Louis. Remember kids, where there is GORC, there is mayhem.