I zoomed in as far as I could with Google Earth but it wasn’t until the scouting mission in my friend Scott’s car that I found out how much gravel there actually was. Did it matter? I had spent so much time finding the right roads that connected Memphis to Village Creek State Park, but really, I was after a road that connected me to some kind of hill. Not a 7 story parking garage, not a bridge; I had gotten so tired of riding around flat terrain. So the answer is “No, it didn’t matter.” No amount of gravel could deter me, in fact, it only baited me. I knew a cross bike could handle it just fine. Did it matter that I actually did a scouting mission? After writing down the turns and the gravel sections in the notebook and actually remembering to bring the notebook, we got lost anyways. So, “No, it didn’t matter.” We kept riding.

Carter got a few flats, we climbed a ridge on a chunky gravel road that, after 55 miles (and no base miles, did I mention that?) was dragging like the undertow on a shin-shallow tide. We continued to climb and found some asphalt and climbed a little more. I blame it on the excitement of reaching VCSP and bombing that first hill into the park but it was at that point that I bonked. I emptied the tank and I felt so sick that I couldn’t even eat the sandwich that was waiting for me. I tried. I tried to drink. I couldn’t. I could only sit there. I caught a ride in the car to Carter’s cousin’s house and sat in some air conditioning and had a beer and managed to get the sandwich down. Then we had to ride back. So we did. Delve deeper into the ride on Strava.

3 thoughts on “MEMPHIS – VCSP – MEMPHIS

  1. I plotted out a route to get to Village Creek, but it looks pretty different; actually, it doesn’t go through many towns. It stays on US-70 a bit longer and then takes AR-149 for a bit before switching to gravel roads. I haven’t gotten a chance to do it yet.

  2. Yeah, 70 isn’t bad for riding but you miss a good section of gravel if you stay on it. The key though, is Bucklake Road. Let me know when you’re thinking of going.

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