Event photo by Kai Caddy
Doom & Despair: Two route options of 408 miles (43k+ feet of vert) or 196 miles (21k+ feet of vert) launch out from Horseshoe Canyon Ranch deep in the backcountry of the Ozark National Forest. This is where you’ll find the biggest and baddest of everything when it comes to riding a bike in Arkansas! Away from all the cities and busy highways, this is a journey meant for the purist. Limited cell service, limited resupplies, and limited pavement. Surface types range from hardpack gravel and abandoned Jeep/ATV roads to remote singletrack. All heavy metal, no fluff. The elevation profile resembles that of a mangled saw blade with constant climbs and descents. The general recommendation is a hardtail mountain bike with 2.2″ tires but we still see a fun mix of unique gravel and mountain bike set-ups.
Riders are given gremlin bells before the event starts and are required to have them attached to their bikes for the duration of the journey. Participants are greeted with a nonstop finisher party once back at the Ranch!