Ouachita Challenge 09

April 4th and 5th
Temp: Start * 40 deg, Finish * 64 deg
Wind * 20 to 30 mph NW
60 and 80 miles

On Saturday I decided to head to Oden, Arkansas for the "Ouachita Challenge" mountain bike race.
I arrived in Oden about 3pm and some of the riders on the 60 mile tour were coming in.

I proceeded to take a few pictures and then got my bike out so I could take a short trip down the road and back.
Saturday night I camped in my pickup and it went really well but the weather definitely changed overnight, the wind was Brutal and it was cool and drizzily at the start on Sunday morning.

Fortunately the drizzel stopped but the wind never let up, but it was quite nice when the sun decided to come out and stay out.

I watched everyone take off and then I got on my bike and headed to Pencil Bluff and then on down to where the racers would cross the Hwy near Aid Station No.1

I managed to see the first riders thru, Jeff Kerkove was in the lead of the 60 milers and Yuki was 2nd on the 80 milers.

I rode my bike along with some of the racers for about 6 or 7 miles on pavement, to where they cut off and headed back into the woods.
I rode back to Oden and the school where I could wait for the racers to return.

I was glad to see Jeff come in for the win, one serious rider, out of many.
After seeing several of the riders finish I had to head back to Texas, had a great time and met some nice folks.
I haven't ridden this course but from all I've heard it must rate pretty high on the difficulty scale, lots of flat tires, and Blowout Mtn sounds like something I would never get over.
Will probably go again next year, it's a beautiful spot, may even take my Mountain bike and ride a little piece of the trail.

Congratulations to all riders, those who won, those who bested their previous times, and even those who didn't make it all the way due to whatever, remember "Every Ride is a Good Ride".
See you next year, keep the rubber side down.

The photos start with me crossing the Red River from Texas into Arkansas and end with me crossing the Red into Texas on my way home.
There are a few photos of Saturday and then the rest are of the race on Sunday.
The 1rst, 2nd and 3rd places in the 60 mile race are pictured toward the end of the photos on page 3.
If anyone would like the original photo, approx twice the size of the photo here, just email me and I'll pass it on.

For Results of the Ride, Click Here

Page 2

Page created 6, April, 09