The 2018 Lake Ouachita Ride is in the books. Everyone that started the ride completed the ride. That is always a good thing.
Each year this event presents its own unique challenges, with this year not being an exception. This group met the challenge of muddy roads and cold night temperatures and kept on going.
We had good meals at cafes along the way, including the ending at the Pancake House in Hot Springs. We did find a couple closed cafes, but worked around the situation.
Now, for the part I did not like and will not do again. The section of the trip along US Hwy 270 was not fun, enjoyable, tolerable or anything else. That is my opinion, which is partly based on the fact I am now riding a recumbent trike. That section was very heavily traveled AND had the rumble strips which beat me up time after time. In addition, it seemed most sections of the trip were more heavily traveled that when we started on this route 11 or 12 years ago.
So, what am I going to do about it? Much of that is up to the participants and how they feel about continuing this ride. It has been a classic winter event up to this point. I would not be surprised if many riders would want it to continue. However, I will not ride it again, as I have stated.
A new route? Yes, I am working on developing a new winter event with its own challenges and rewards. At this time I am concentrating on the roads and campgrounds around Lake Greason. I hope to either have a proposed route within a couple months, or move on to another area, but it does look promising.
I would like to hear from riders that have participated in the Lake Ouachita Ride to determine if anyone has an interest in the new route I am developing or any other route suggestion. Or, forget it, we are sticking to Lake Ouachita. I am looking forward to comments and suggestions from everyone.