The MidSouth, or as we shall refer to it going forward as “Bobby’s Bash,” can’t really be described, it has to be experienced to truly convey the magic we experienced while hanging out in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Oh, what magic it is.
The master magician, Bobby Wintle, seems to pull off the entire weekend on pure adrenaline, beer and sheer will power, and, unlike the Wizard of Oz, Bobby does it all right out in the open for all the world to see.
From the moment we arrived in Stillwater, there was Bobby standing at the start/finish line meeting, greeting, hugging, jabbering, and handing out MidSouth branded IPAs.
You would figure at some point you would see a chink in the armor, but from the moment the start shoot gets built, to the moment it comes down, Bobby is right there with a giant grin on his face and arms spread wide for the next congratulatory hug.
“Bobby just might be the spirit of gravel,” said Brennan Wertz.
We’re not sure about this "Spirit of Gravel" thing, but Bobby Wertz is without-a-doubt a force to be reckoned with.
If you are considering towing the line at next years The MidSouth Gravel Race, we've got a few tips for you:
- Flying into Dallas, Texas and driving north to Stillwater, Oklahoma was both convenient and great on the budget.
- Do not, and we repeat, do not get pulled into any of the Texas roadside BBQ joints. The brisket was too die for and the cheesy mashed potatoes were out-of-this-world, but the price we paid was way too high. You have been warned.
- Stopping at the grocery store is a great way to make yourself feel a little more grounded when you land at your rental house. Our team expert on such things highly recommend you purchase some unscented laundry detergent so you can immediately get your linens into the washer to get rid of the heavily scented fabric softener smell.
- As much as the idea of running the ideal tires appeals to everyone, you should try to keep your night before pre-race shenanigans to a minimum.
- In our experience the big ol’ country boys driving big ol’ ass pickup trucks turn out to be some of the sweetest folk you will meet anywhere.
- Pancakes: they're what's for dinner. It’s a thing. Trust us. Do it.
- No matter the amount of obstacles the world puts in your way, the bike is the answer.
- Minivans are great, but pickup trucks are the shit.
- Oddly, when traveling with a bike, practice does not make perfect. Just take comfort in the fact that nobody has figured out how to make it efficient or enjoyable.
- Dialing in your coffee game might just the difference in winning or losing.
Still trying to figure how long the good mojo from a Bobby hug lasts. We’ll let you know when we figure it out.