Tuesday, August 27, 2013

TNNDDR - That's a Wrap

Days are getting shorter, summers drawing to an end, soon the leaves will be falling and the cold temps are just around the corner but you certainly wouldn't be able to tell that from today. Today was the last Official TNNDDR of the season, you always know it's coming but it always sucks when it happens. Wilderness might not be the most technical place to ride but it's close and it's fun and it's made even more fun with a great group of people to ride it with. I personally am very grateful that Cycle Works decided to do the ride a few years back, I know they don't get paid to do it so they are basically volunteering their free time to help boost the sport and give local riders like myself at least one singletrack group ride a week to look forward to. Great shop and great group of people.

Traffic on the way to Cycle Works was unusually heavy today poor, poor suckers.


Heat kept the group relatively small but small usually means fast and today did not disappoint. At least I was smart and brought the right bike, had gears and everything.


Did I mention it was hot, humid and windy... I guess dude didn't get the memo, must have been almost hotter than I was.


Quick tight group tonight. Thanks to Nate for the pic... although I didn't necessarily ask.


Halfway point turn around, catching a quick rest and some water before shooting back through. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

They were not lying this year

Second year riding the Heat Stroke 100 put on by the Great Plains Bicycling Club, last year was almost perfect, temps were in the upper 70's to low 80's, overcast and just a gentle breeze. This year was the polar opposite, temps at the start already had heat indices in the upper 80s to low 90s with a stiff 16 mph wind both the temps and the winds just continued to increase over the day.


Started out a little after 7am, the official start is 7:30 am but remembering from last year I decided to just take off after registering as there really isn't any sort of lineup and start so nothing to wait for. Ashland was still asleep by the time I rolled through, the plan going into the ride was to try to do all 108 miles this year but as they say everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. The wind, the heat and the fact that I couldn't get the bike to down shift out of the big ring was a quick one, two, three combo that would change that plan as the day went on.


Sunrise over the Platte River.


Not sure if they are just re-siding the lighthouse at Linoma or taking it down, never really made it out here so I don't have a clue. It'd be kind of sad to see it go as it is a bit unique.


Saw this lady from a ways away just running down the middle of the lane going against the direction of traffic, I suppose this far out from a large population with no shoulders it might not be a bad idea, just had never seen it before.


Dude was rocking a Surly Big Dummy and he was killing it, seemed physically impossible to get that thing moving fast but he was doing it.


Missed the signs pointing toward the limestone trail for the Lied bridge last year at the end of loop one so this was the first time I've ever gone over it, the limestone around the bridge was super thick, lots of the pure road bike riders walking this section.


A wake of vultures was just off the bridge on a sandbar, maybe they were waiting for one of the riders to drop, a little creepy of you ask me.


Corn... fuel, food and bike rack all rolled into one.

Managed to get in solid 59 miles, which was not the intended 108 but after being battered by the wind and heat along with the inability to shift out of the big ring, which made climbing the steeper hills against the wind a real treat, it just wasn't going to happen today but since it was a ride and not a race bowing out a bit early is totally acceptable and much preferred to being found on the side of the road face down, drooling on yourself.


One word for the shirts this year... BRIGHT! This thing can be seen from an orbiting satellite, at night.


Post ride recovery beverage...


...which is probably what I was thinking about when this pic was snapped because it certainly wasn't a smile for the heat or the wind. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

TNNDDR - The Heartburn Express

Today was Tuesday which meant it was time... blah, blah, blah, if you don't know what Tuesday means by now then you obviously aren't paying attention so shame on you. It's been awhile since Cycle Works has had one of these due to weather, it's been awhile since I've been able to breath normally again and it's been awhile since I've been out on the singlespeed for the TNNDDR so figured I'd take it out for the trifecta.


Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do... luckily we weren't going that fast yet.


Small group tonight, should have been my first indication it was going to be quick one. Weren't many pictures from tonight's ride because we were blazing through Wilderness and for most of it I was head down and pedaling my ass off, I realize for Nate and Rob T. (great name by the way)  it was probably more of a normal pace but it was fast for me. To be honest it's been some time since I've ridden that fast, haven't done any racing this year and most of my rides tend to be solo efforts so it's good to get out with guys that are going to make you push yourself past your comfort zone. Couple of things soon became apparent however... I shouldn't have had Taco Bell for lunch, it tried to make an encore appearance at least once or twice and I should have left the singlespeed at home and brought some gears. The way out wasn't too bad, the effort did give me heartburn and I pretty much blew my wad but I was able to keep up fairly well. The way back I think I slowed the group down a bit, I did tell them they could just ride on but they decided to ride a bit slower; hate holding up the whole group but appreciate the gesture for sure.


Picked up a fourth on the way back, he probably would have met us at Van Dorn on the way out but he was hit by a car on the way out, luckily both the bike and rider were unscathed. Dude still made it for the way back though, much props for that.


Because I have the most awesome GF in the world who happens to love beer as much as I do... maybe even a bit more, she picked up some, now available in Lincoln, Stone Brewery beer from Moran's.


Because I'm kind of a sucker for the darker beer, first up was the smoked porter... in my Domino Effect glass I picked up for free last week at Moran's during their Empyrean beer tasting night. It hit the spot and was a great recovery drink, I'd take beer over Gatorade any day.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Same Park, Different Day

Was a pretty lazy weekend, didn't get out for my usual road ride or any ride for that matter on Saturday so I figured I probably should get in at least a few miles today. Since the days are starting to get shorter and it was already about 6 before I decided to get out and because I just love the park, Wilderness was the destination for tonight's ride.


Seeing more and more of these around the city trails but have yet to see any of them outside of town. I'm guessing it has a lot to do with visibility and maybe just a little bit to do with relative proximity to other riders. Being out on the road the ability to see and be seen I would think wouldn't be all that great at such a low height, plus the width would mean that you would almost have to find a road with a wide shoulder. As for proximity to other riders, how many group rides of any length would you go on if your face was about the same height as everyone elses ass? I mean at first it probably wouldn't be too bad but as the ride went on and people started getting sweaty and smelly... well I think you get the picture.


Headed down Calvert and over the tracks, you would not believe how difficult it was to get the Monocog to balance like this long enough for me to back up and get the picture. Bikes got some mad skills.


First time I've seen quads out this way, loved riding these things when I lived in Colorado and there was public open space for that type of activities. Round these parts I'm guessing if you don't know someone with land you're SOL.

We've had a little rain lately which in my opinion has really helped the park, trails are really smooth, fast and the dust is under control right now.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

ThNNDRR - Every breath I take

Today was Thursday which meant it was time for another edition of the ThNNDRR also hosted by Cycle Works, the same people who bring you great rides such as the TNNDDR. Skies were gray and looked a bit like rain but the temps were mild and the forecast didn't call for any rain and luckily it stayed dry for the whole ride this time. I had contemplated skipping the ride, I'm still on the tail end of a cold I picked up while in Seattle last week but figured with enough snot rockets I could manage a few miles. Besides I'm sure had I stopped breathing someone else on the ride would have made note of where to find my body and report it when they got back to Lincoln... how hard could it be to find a blue dude on a black bike, about the only down side would have been some kids mistaking me for a Smurf, figured the odds of either happening were 50/50.

Dude brought his recliner on the ride tonight, I'm not going to lie he was fast on that thing and it did look comfy even without the ottoman. 

Rick either got a text or found his stem really mesmerizing... or maybe he was making a calendar reminder for the car show next weekend. 

That's a fancy Super Saver, I guess that would explain why their prices aren't really all that low anymore. 

Regrouped at Branched Oak Road, never been out this way on a bike, could have definitely used a bit more breathing ability on the roller coaster hills. Ride out was pretty decent with a tail wind, once we made the turn back south the headwind was not all that much fun. 

Next regroup was Malcolm, the smells wafting from this place were torture on the empty stomach. If I could have figured out how to carry some takeout home without making a mess of the pack I'd have done it. 

Settled on the Sac-O-Suds instead, might not have smelled as good but it's always a great place to stop. Someday some corporate douche-waffle is going to build a cookie cutter gas station/convenience store in Malcolm and this mom and pop store will be nothing more than a memory. 


Either these guys were having trouble getting the motorcycle started or they just like pushing it around Malcolm, well one of them pushed and one rode it. I think they guy in the yellow is either tired of pushing or mad because he had to wear the day glo yellow shirt. 

Smallish group tonight but a good group none the less, despite not being able to fully breath and the gray skies it was a really good night for a ride, not many of these left this year before it starts getting cold. In the end I'm glad I made it out.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Unofficial TNNDDR - Group of one

Today was Tuesday which would usually mean it was time for the TNNDDR but Nate decided to head up to Wisconsin to hang out with some Gary Fisher dude and ride some sweet new Trek bikes so there was no official ride... I'd probably have done the same myself. I was still feeling like a ride so decided to hold the first ever unofficial TNNDDR and I am glad I did, park was in primo condition tonight.



Saw this bike in the bottom of the creek off of 14th street, looks like it's been down there awhile but hard to tell without actually fishing it out. I have all my bikes so it's not going to be this guy that's for sure.


Wilderness is really green and lush right now, maybe a bit too lush had to dodge quite a few low hanging branches but the recent rains have kept the dust under control.


Picked up some Rasta socks, don't look too bad, might have to make them the official sock of the official TNNDDR.


Post ride recovery beverage, picked up some of Empyrean's new seasonal beer Domino Effect yesterday. I'd say it's probably my second favorite seasonal that they put out, Fallen Angel being my all time favorite but this one is really good as well.

Friday, August 2, 2013

ThNNDRR - What Rain

The TNNDDR was a no go this week, weather hasn't been cooperating lately for much dirt riding in Lincoln but that was Tuesday and last night was Thursday and that meant another edition of the ThNNDRR. Earlier in the week Thursday looked like the one dry day but as it got closer that seemed to change as the days went by. As Nebraska weather has a tendancy to do the forecast Thursday morning looked like it was going to rain a good portion of the day but they just kept pushing the rain back later and later as the day went on until the forecast showed that it wasn't supposed to really rain until well after 9 pm... or so they said.


I commute mostly by car myself but have a relatively easy and quick commute, I always look at all of the traffic backed up on the roads as I've already made it home, changed and am out on the bike before rush hour really starts and think to myself, better you than me. Clouds were already stacking up and starting to look dark off to the north but looked to be staying away from us which would make for a cooler ride and that sounded wonderful.


Made it to Cycle Works with a few minutes to spare so we all stood around and chatted for a bit... there's a trend that seems to be going on in the cycling community, if you look you'll see every rider is wearing what is traditionally called a mountain biking helmet because they all have visors. I have also noticed more than a few mountain bikers going the other way and moving away from helmets with visors. Not really sure what to make of that but in some regards visors to block the sun do make a little more sense when riding on the open road rather than when under the cover of trees on singletrack... but they are definitely breaking rule # 35 of the Velominati Rules.  You know, if you're so inclined to give a rat's ass about such things, for me it was just a random observation.


Rolling out from the shop we were treated to nothing but sun, so much different from how we would end the ride.


Things were starting to look darker already off to the north but didn't appear to be getting any closer... also looks like they are coming right along on the 27th St. overpass.


Either because we aren't very smart or because we like to stare thunderstorms in the face and laugh, we decided to head up Hwy 77 north and straight toward the darkening skies.


Almost immediately we had someone get a flat, I've noticed since riding more on the shoulders of roads that while they might look clear of debris from a car they are a veritable cornucopia of tire puncturing road hazards. Stop throwing shit out your windows people, a roadie might thank you someday or at least not curse you under their breath on the side of some random highway.


I'm not a farmer, I've never played one on T.V. nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night but from my less than expert opinion that's some nice looking corn right there.

About the time we made it to just outside of Waverly the sky was getting really dark and thunder could be heard in the distance and the not so distant distance as well. It was time to high tail it back to Lincoln and hope we didn't get drenched in the process.


However just because you might be running for you dryness doesn't mean you completely abandon pics for the blog... haven't been out to Waverly much in the last few years, it sure is growing and getting all fancy like.


Porn Barn!! There be them nekkid women in that building on weekends, but since it was only Thursday, we were all sweaty and still running from the storm we decided to bypass the stink of the pink.


Look at that pace line... time to haul butt.


Off to our north or right, if you are compass directional deficient, this bad boy started to form and pick up speed. It looked nasty and angry... so angry, can't we all just get along.


Made it back to Lincoln without so much as a drop falling on us yet, it was at this point that I knew we were doomed as one of the group spread bad juju on us all with the simple phrase; "Oh look, it's going away... were not going to get wet.". Noooooo... you can think it to yourself, mumble it under your breath if you are brave but you never, ever, ever say it out loud; the clouds have ears. These clouds were no exception and of course shortly after it started to rain, not much just a few drops here and there at first but you could tell it was coming. We sort of all scattered at that point to head to where ever we called dry, all in all it was a great ride and I only got mildly wet as I was able to get inside about 5 minutes before the rain really began. I am going to count my blessings on that one because when it decided to come down it came down with a fury,


This is just a picture of the rail yard off of N. 70th St. and really has nothing what so ever to do with the rest of the story but I liked the pic and it's my blog so I threw it in. Deal.