Cyclocross legend and all around great guy Nate Rice paid a visit to So Ill. in support of his baseball club, the River Rascals (or something like that). We managed to get in one of the classic Southern Illinois rides this afternoon. We headed out past Crab Orchard, Devil’s Kitchen, and Little Grassy lakes, then into Giant City Park to pick up the Chief and Molteni. Unfortunately, the buffalo were not out at Bethel Church Road. We probably should have done Kerr Canyon so Nate could see some buffalo. The buffalo always hang out at Kerr Canyon.
There are never buffalo at Buffalo Gap, but we did it anyway. The road tires didn’t do so well, and we suffered three flats. Only the lithe Mr. Rice avoided flatting. In all of our years of doing that crazy ride, Chief and I couldn’t recall ever flatting on that road–and we did it semi-regularly for a few years on road bikes. We started out with a bang, flying down chasing deer. In the end, we were all creeping along hoping for pavement. Still, what a climb. In this quadrant of Southern Illinois, I think only Abneyville is harder.