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How epic is Berryman on a SS?


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#1 JGB

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 12:57 PM

Can someone offer up some advice before I embark on the Berryman on my SS?  I am wondering if there is something fitness-wise I can compare this too so I know if I am close to ready.  For instance is two laps at Council close or a couple of laps at Lost Valley?  I am certain I am capable of completing BT but some input would be great to know. Thanks!!


"He's fallen on the ice, it cracks
Will he plunge in and join me here?
He meets my eyes, to my surprise
He laughs in full light of my frown
My double wants to pull me down"

Written by Trey Anastasio and Tom Marshall.
Published by Who is She? Music, BMI.

#2 seamonkey

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 02:06 PM

3 laps of greensfelder but with taller climbs.

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#3 BrianFalls21

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 02:30 PM

Climb for a mile, coast for a mile, cross a creek, repeat a dozen times. I'd say a great test would be the Castlewood loop. Start at Al Foster, hit Bluff View, Zombie, Blue Ribbon, Lone Wolf, Cardiac, Justin's, Love, and Grotpeter. Return to All Foster. That should be about the right distance and amount of vertical. It also gives you the feeling of being away from your car. And remember, at Berryman you are never more than a few miles of fire road from your car if your legs give.

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#4 Deadguy

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 08:05 PM

another thing to consider is the trail bed itself... it's more in the ball park of Greensfelder and Chubb than Castlewood or Lost Valley. 

The loose climbing conditions that can create tend to cause a little more pain for the legs.  I'd say try a few laps and GF and Chubb for a sample and see what you think.


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#5 Honch

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 10:21 AM

For a first trip, I would add 1-2 teeth to your rear cog and you'll be set.  e.g.: If you ride 32x19 at our local trails, run a 20 or 21t for BT on your first trip down.  And I'd start end from the BT campground, not Brazil creek, the first time.  To Brian's point...the campground offers a better ability to bail out to the main road and know where you are.  



#6 JGB

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 01:47 PM

For a first trip, I would add 1-2 teeth to your rear cog and you'll be set.  e.g.: If you ride 32x19 at our local trails, run a 20 or 21t for BT on your first trip down.  And I'd start end from the BT campground, not Brazil creek, the first time.  To Brian's point...the campground offers a better ability to bail out to the main road and know where you are.  

Thanks for the heads up and valuable input. I will take my time and continue to get stronger, I need to upgrade my brakes anyway before I go so I'm in no huge hurry.  When I plan my BT trip I will alllow ample time and plenty of liquids and food.  With a map and bailout options I feel pretty good about it.  I plan on doing a Middlefork, CB ride soon so that may show me where I am fitness wise and how much food and water I need. 


"He's fallen on the ice, it cracks
Will he plunge in and join me here?
He meets my eyes, to my surprise
He laughs in full light of my frown
My double wants to pull me down"

Written by Trey Anastasio and Tom Marshall.
Published by Who is She? Music, BMI.

#7 JGB

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Posted 06 May 2015 - 12:25 PM

Ok, thanks Honch.  I didn't end up riding BT last year but im going to do it soon.  To your point, are you saying start at the Berryman Campground and go clockwise or start at Brazil Creek and go clockwise?  If what I read is correct, the larger, harder hills are in the final 7 miles or so (miles 18 or 19-26 base on the Gorc map) at the end, if you started at Berryman Campground. 

So if that is true, is it better to begin at Brazil Creek and get the taller hills out of the way or is it better to have the hills at the end and just grind it out? 

I just did Council from DD/32 then on the way back did a few more miles into Middle Fork, did 24 total miles and felt pretty strong so I think I can pull it off


"He's fallen on the ice, it cracks
Will he plunge in and join me here?
He meets my eyes, to my surprise
He laughs in full light of my frown
My double wants to pull me down"

Written by Trey Anastasio and Tom Marshall.
Published by Who is She? Music, BMI.

#8 skibum77

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Posted 06 May 2015 - 02:28 PM

I've done the full loop 3 times now, and each time I've started at Berryman Campground going clockwise.  Next time I go, I definitely want to try starting at Brazil Creek and get the "high numbered" miles out of the way first to see if that changes my outlook when I'm 20+ miles into the ride.  Especially the last time I rode, I was hurting bad the last few miles.  There's definitely something to be said for getting the "high-numbered" miles out of the way first because except for a couple stretches, the west half of the trail is definitely easier.  If you start at Brazil Creek and ride clockwise, you'll also get to finish with a pretty sweet downhill as you get back there, whereas Berryman Campground is at the top of a hill.


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#9 lirch

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Posted 09 May 2015 - 12:50 PM

skibum knows what's up. start at Brazil. get the gnarly climbing out of the way first. have a rest at Berryman Campground. then crush out the buff on the west side. it's also closer to park at Brazil if headin out from the STL area. there's also a Planet Sub at that exit. post ride noshing is superior!



#10 JGB

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 06:22 AM

Epic day, sort of... I haven't been to the Berryman in 20 years so of course I got lost, ended up doing a few miles on the Courtois section of the OT inadvertently which set me back a little. I actually started out going the opposite direction from which I planned after taking the advice of some equestrians. Some hikers helped me out thankfully and I back on course. I ended up doing 22.5 out of 26 I didn't complete the loop but I'm confident next time I can knock it out on a SS. All in all great day. There are some muddy, horse damaged areas around Brazil Creek campground but otherwise the trail is in great condition
"He's fallen on the ice, it cracks
Will he plunge in and join me here?
He meets my eyes, to my surprise
He laughs in full light of my frown
My double wants to pull me down"

Written by Trey Anastasio and Tom Marshall.
Published by Who is She? Music, BMI.




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