Ride Report: 2012 Joe Dirt Gravel Ride

The third Missouri Gravel Grinder event of the yearly winter gravel series took place near St. James, Missouri just south of Meramec Springs State Park. To everyone’s surprise, over 70 riders made the trek from all over the state to attend the Joe Dirt ride on Sunday, January 15, 2012. This 27 mile social ride was hosted by Route 66 Bicycles and its shop owner, Dan Fuhrman. Several mountain biking scenes showed including St. Louis, Rolla, Jefferson City, Columbia and around the Herman area.

Dan promised beer and cookies to all finishers and that was just the icing on the cake. The hilly all-gravel route was a mountain biker’s reprieve; the warmer 45 degree weather was wreaking havoc on Missouri’s singletrack so the best way to stay in shape and not die of boredom in your basement was to attend this gravel ride.
Phelps County gravel near Meramec Springs State Park

Lisa riding into the distance

The roads were gracious enough not to be wet or sloppy, though, a few short spots were definitely mush. The beautiful country roads followed meandering creeks, crossed several low-water bridges and climbed onto several long ridges. This relatively short gravel ride (in the gravel world!) injected 2,400+ feet of elevation into your January legs.

Somehow even with my nice little fancy GPS I managed to get Lisa and I briefly lost on two short stretches so we rode off the back much of the day. This wasn’t a bad thing as we could do our own pace and check out the scenery.

I’m showing my Pacifico bottle as a scale reference: Rob Ballou ordered a small Dos Equis at La Cabana in St. James and this is what came to the table and nearly broke the edge off.

Once back at the parking lot, we changed clothes and scavenged some remaining Miller Lite and PBR beers. The homemade chocolate chip cookies hit the spot and we chatted with Jason Zoll, Molly, John Cozad, Rob Ballou, Peat Henry, Steve Friedman, Stephanie McCreary and the list goes on.

We all caravaned to La Cabana in St. James for some copious amounts of Mexican. Rob ordered a simple draft beer but it was worthy of a cameo in Beerfest. Our table discussed the DirtyKanza200 and by the end of dinner I was still convinced it is not for me!

Dan Fuhrman, Samantha and Peat Free Awesome rounded out our table.

Our Joe Dirt group inhabited the entire back half of the mexican restaurant

Saying our goodbyes, we all went our separate ways but everyone knew that these big group outings are what makes our bike scene so great.

See you on some gravel when the weather is meck.