The confounded frustrating thing about The South is that the above sentiment reflects both a sterotype and a reality of living here. After watching Easy Rider this afternoon the ugly countenance of the Deep South is sticking in my craw, especially after the fine reception I received in Meridian.
You see, I rode with some locals, and they were damn fine. Damn fine gentlemen. Not slow, but fine all the same.
There is nothing like seeing the trails from the local perspective. The route, the line, the break spots, it is all a mystery to the tourist. The same ruthless singletrack I rode last Tuesday revealed miles of gravel trail beyond it on Thursday. It was less technical yes, but literally gut-crushing climbs followed by tumbling downhills that could only compare to snowboarding through trees on an epic powder day. The gravel makes things easy. Don’t touch the brakes much, pick the straightest line, pedal when you need traction and hang on like a tick on a hound. 36 mph was the number tossed out at the end of the ride. Simply amazing.
Not much time for talking, but firm handshakes, courteous warnings, and and some polite questions about the Florida ride scene. I told them we all eat barbed wire and drink turpentine down here.
Some might say the similarity of our interests and taste for gravy might have something to do with my fine reception.
That’s just an insult to some genuine good folk.