60° and sunny yesterday, you could not have asked for better weather and it was certainly a welcomed change after the frigid temps of the last few weeks, a perfect setting for the Saturday Morning No Drop Fat Bike Ride.
While it wasn't quite 60° at 9 a.m. when we left Cycle Works it was one of those temps that are hard to dress for, too little and you'll likely be cold for half the ride, too much and you're too hot. Because of this we only made it to the beginning of the MoPac trail before the layers started to get stripped off and stowed in pack or pocket.
Given all of the ride options that were available on Saturday morning, I saw at least 4-5 on Facebook alone, I was super excited that there was a group of nine of us for the SMBDFBR. The plan was to ride out on the MoPac to 120th and then hit the gravel for 40+ miles.
Walton Nebraska Co-Op. I still remember when I first moved to Nebraska in 1994 and was just getting back into cycling, Walton seemed so very far away... still miss the now defunct Walton Trail Company, was always a welcomed oasis after a few miles of dusty, grasshopper covered, crushed limestone trail on the way out and also a nice place to stop if you had opted for some serious miles and were on the way back into Lincoln. It's hard to believe it's been gone almost 10 years now.
Walton was also the site of the first mechanical on the day, Brent broke a spoke on his front wheel but luckily it was a quick fix, using a multi-tool a quick snip of the spoke so that it could be pulled out of the hub and we were pushing on once again.
The fat bikes only numbered 3 on this ride, as is likely to happen as the weather gets nicer, so the three of us got used to this view during the ride. Those with svleter tires and swifter speeds pulled away after the re-groups, in Fairy Tales slow and stead wins the race... on group rides slow and steady doesn't necessarily "win" but it does keep you out of the bigger dust clouds of the pebble peloton.
Not to mention, what we lacked in speed we more than made up for in both comfort and style points.
In an impromptu straw pole (get it, cows... hay, straw...) 99 out of 100 cows prefer seeing fat bikes on gravel over cross bikes or mountain bikes. If any barn yard animal understands what it's like being linked with the word fat it's the lowly bovine, kindred spirits man, kindred spirits.
All was smooth sailing after the Walton spoke incident until we got to Bennett Road, when I was planning the route I had hoped the short MMR stretch would be dry and for the most part it actually was.
The first quarter mile was dry, good, solid Nebraska dirt but as good as it was the last 200 yards was equally bad, hike a bike time.
Even 8+ miles later as we rolled into Roca a lot of the mud was still trying to hang on, luckily all of the moving parts were pretty much clear.
Unfortunately we arrived at the Roca Tavern about 20 minutes before it opened dashing anyone's hopes of a frosty cold one, so it was just a brief rest stop and some water refilling before pushing on. If you haven't been out to Roca lately the tavern has an organized ride that goes out there on Wednesdays and there is almost always a water jug/cooler attached to the outside of the building if you need to refill your bottles.
The original plan on paper when rolling out of Roca was to take 25th St. to Bennett Road and then out to S.W. 1st but after the mud earlier on Bennett Road we opted to skip any more MMR fun and just ride up 25th to Satillo and stop at the Shoemaker's gas station for something a little more refreshing than water. We even made a new friend in the parking lot, sweet dog and didn't even seem too mind all that much that he was stuck wearing the cone of shame.
In the age of cell phones you don't see many of these around any more...
While it seemed in pretty good shape it had a decent layer of dust and grime on it, if E.T. has been calling home lately, he sure hasn't been using this particular pay phone.
As I mentioned earlier it was a beautiful day... how nice of a day was it really? It was such a nice day that you just wanted to drive your already spotless Camaro through the car wash a second time just for the heck of it. Looking at the forecast there are days and days of sun shine and warmer temps in store for us, I for one would be perfectly okay if we had seen the last of the white stuff for the season.