Sunday, March 18, 2018

I Stand, Not Crawling, Not Falling Down


Last Sunday when I posted up the ride for this week it was supposed to be in the mid 60s and the route was going to be a century but Mother Nature had other plans in mind. As the week went on the forecast temps steadily dropped and the chances of rain on Friday climbed so a reroute was in order, nobody likes a cold, wet century if you don't have to. Ironically some of the crew were out of town for Land Run and they had near ideal conditions for the race that is traditionally a mudfest.




Seems like the only time that the weather person is correct is when it's for crappy weather, they did not disappoint on Friday and it rained most of the day. Roads were less than ideal but sometimes you just have to play the cards you are dealt. The gravel roads spread across the deary Nebraska landscape like muddy veins spreading out in all directions, our tires the surrogate syringe boring tracks in the soft surface. While fleeting and impermanent, for a short time we scarred the Earth for a little taste of dirt to satisfy our addiction. 




The backup plan was a little bit shorter 65 mile route out to Greenwood and Eagle before heading back to Lincoln. Despite the dismal weather and the sloppy conditions of the gravel in spots, we were making decent time and spirits seemed to be high.




Rolled into Greenwood a bit cold and looking for a place to warm up.




I've been through Greenwood on a bike before but always as part of the Heatstroke, didn't even realize that there was a bar in town. Not much for bike racks in the town but we all seemed to find an accommodating light pole, most the same one even though there were several to chose from.



Bar was warm, food was good and the beer was cold. While we were eating we decided to shave off about 10 miles and reroute a more direct course toward Eagle, we never did get anywhere near the forcast 44 degrees they had promised us, 35 was the highest my Garmin ever showed.


Gravel was in mostly decent shape but the MMRs were totally off limits, might have to come ride this one when things dry out a little more.



The reroute of the reroute had us riding straight down 202nd and then onto the MoPac if it wasn't too bad, surprisingly it was in better shape them most of the gravel had been.





With the MoPac being dry and still as flat as ever, we made good time heading back to Lincoln but had to stop at The Hut because what ride on the MoPac would be complete without a stop there.



Once back in town there was the usual peel off of folks who had had enough fun for one day.



The rest of us ended up at Method for adult beverages and a little cake to celebrate Roy's birthday which was on Tuesday. And for some of us a little dinner later on with friends to celebrate my birthday along with Roy's birthday. All in all it was a great day to be out on a bike with friends despite the weathers best attempt to stop us. Thanks to everyone who came out, looks like more rain/snow in the forecast this week so we will have to see how things shake out and plan accordingly for next weeks ride.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sunshine On A Cloudy Day


Saturdays are usually for bikes but sometimes you have to give back a little instead of always taking, this Saturday was one of those occasions.


I'm not much for running, I can run but I did enough of that in the Marines to last me a few life times so I don't do it all that much anymore but the Run for the Bridges is a great event that helps to support Wilderness Park and that's something I can get behind. Saturday a few of us volunteered to help out again this year, I think this is my 3rd or 4th year helping and it's always a lot of fun. While I might not share their passion for running, the group that comes out for the run are a great group of folks.


Sarah, Gary, Todd and I all met up at Gary's and rode down to Wilderness and then we rode with Sarah out to her aide station at Old Cheney since she was the farthest out. Not that she needed us to ride out with her but it's always more fun to ride with friends.




Todd, Gary and I ended up at the new bridge with a few others, it was a great and enthusiastic group.



Supporting the run wasn't in the cards for everyone and the rest of the gang decided to ride a century on Saturday morning. Not wanting to be left out of all the fun, Todd and I decided to drive out to Malcolm and ride the route backwards and meet up with the early risers who would have already have been churning cranks for hours.



While we weren't exactly out for a leisurely ride in the country, there was a little extra time for a few photo opportunities.


Probably the weirdest thing we saw all day was one of those light bulb sculptures that Lincoln did a few years back, it was just sitting in a field, in the middle of nowhere.




Got word that the others were just up the road a bit in Bee so we decided to pull into Garland, grab a bite to eat and little something to drink and wait for them to rendezvous with us at the Outlaw.



With the band back together, it was time to head back to Malcolm and try to beat the sunset.


We did pick up a new friend along the way, followed us for miles before we realized we had to turn back and find someone who knew him before he followed us all the way to Malcolm.



We had to pick up the pace just a tad as the sun was setting faster than anticipated but what a beautiful sunset it was.


Sunset or no sunset, there's always time for pictures with friends.


Despite the groupie we managed to make it back before the last of the dying light faded for the night, Farley looks pretty good by the glow of the neon of the Malcolm General Store. While Todd and I didn't quite get the 100 miles that the others did, we still managed a decent 56 miles for the day which isn't too shabby at all.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

You can't be DFL if you DNS

We are just a week away from it being mid March already and that means that the Gravel race and or ride season is about to kick off... well if you like mud, the race season begins this month but for most April is when it really kicks into high gear.

CW Crew5

The now defunct and sorely missed, Odin's Revenge, was my first ever gravel event... technically not even a race since it was the 60 mile "fun ride" but it was a race to those riding it... back in 2015. That year I did four gravel events, Odin's, Tour of Dirt Roads, Gravel Worlds and the Omaha Jackrabbit, 2016 saw the same four events for me with better results. In 2017 I upped the game a bit and had 7 gravel events on the schedule, 2018 is seeing even more events added to the calendar. While I still don't consider myself anywhere near disciplined enough or training enough to be considered a racer, that doesn't mean that the events are any less fun. You can't come in dead fucking last if you don't start at all so there is that, although I tend to end up mid pack in most events rather than DFL but the principle still applies; stop worrying about being fast and just get out and enjoy the experience. Any way, here is the mostly nailed down schedule for 2018.


April         Cool Hand Luke

April         Tour of Covered Bridges

May          Tour of Dirt Roads

May          Wear Yellow Ride

May          Schmidty’s Single Speed Shootout

June          Gold Rush Gravel Grinder? (Tentative)

June           Loess Hills Enduro

June           Solstice 100 Gravel Grinder (Working not riding) 

July           Bohemian Sto Mil

July           Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational

August      Gravel Worlds

Sept          Pony Express Gravel Dash

Oct           Omaha Jackrabbit


I think a fair amount of these will probably be on the Fargo but the Pugs and/or Farley will still get in on the fun as well. Seems like I have my work cut out for me in the gravel world and this doesn't even include the two Psycowpath races I am going to try to do my best to get to as well, on these dates. 

Swanson Race2

April         Swanson Shoot Out

June          Tranquility Trail Tantrum 

If you happen to be out at any of these events stop over and say hi, I'll be the fat guy on the plus or fat bike.