February is here, which means the 2018 Lake Ouachita Tour is very close. This year the event starts on Saturday, February 24, 2018. This is a 3 day event that would need to be rated fairly difficult, but not really. I will give a brief description of each day along with a general description.
This event starts in the parking lot at the Hot Springs Convention Center on Saturday morning. Just one look at the date will tell you that weather could be a factor in this event. We have been fortunate in that we have not had to cancel this ride due to weather. Also, do not worry about the forecasts until a couple days before the start.
Day 1: (42 miles) We ride up the Cedar Glade street and over to Mountain Pine and then over to Hwy 7 near Hot Springs Village where we have lunch at Home Plate, a neat local cafe. After lunch we ride a couple miles on Hwy 7 then make a left on Hwy 298 which takes us to a dirt road (2 miles of dirt) to Irons Fork campsite on Lake Ouachita. This campsite has tables and a vault toilet. There is no drinking water, so each rider may want to carry a little extra. Do not depend on phone service. Prepare your own meal. We will have a campfire.
Day 2: (42 miles) Yes, the distance is the same the first two days. This is an accident, not planned. It is 2 miles back to the highway where we take a left, up a nice hill and 10 miles to Story where we will take a break at a little store, cafe. Then take Hwy 27 to Mount Ida where we will have lunch, probably at a Dairy Queen, or where you want. Not a lot of choices. Then on to Crystal Springs park where we will have bathrooms with hot water and showers. This is always welcomed by the riders. The evening meal is up to you. Some ride back out to Burl's, which has sandwiches and Bar-B-Que. Some cook their own. Sometimes we have a campfire.
Day 3: (25 miles) A few miles after leaving the campsite our route takes us down a dirt road. Normally this is a good ride for 3 miles. When we are back on pavement we go through a pretty valley that takes us to the dam that forms Lake Ouachita. Normally we take a break there before riding the final 15 miles back to Hot Springs. On that 15 miles we go up a hill that we descended. It rides a little more difficult while climbing. If we find a good place, we will have lunch in Hot Springs to end the ride.
We normally start the ride in a group, but the riders spread out quickly. It is up to each rider if they want to ride together or solo. The hills help in breaking up the group. This year I will be on a trike due to a neck injury and I will be pulling a trailer (thanks, John Red). Hills will be very slow for me, but I will get there, hopefully before dark.
If you have any questions give me a call: John Linck 501-231-9350