Shuddering at the mental image of ending up being THAT guy, Tyler and I planned a ride down to Lincoln for some pizza at Yia Yia's and a return trip via bicycle. Anyone who cycles and lives in either Omaha or Lincoln, or at least everyone I know, has thought about or actually done a ride between the two cities, it just makes sense with them being as close as they are to each other.
The weather naturally looked nicer a week out from Friday than it did the day before or the day of but since it was already planned we decided to ride despite the forecast of stiff winds and cooler temps than originally expected. We set out from Omaha at 7:30 in the morning to a chill in air and hopes of good times. I don't know why people let me plan the route for rides, I have an unintentional propensity to find at least one minimum maintenance road and Friday's ride was no exception.
Having discovered the limitations of the tire clearance and lack of mud shedding abilities on the Farley I am not ashamed to admit that I walked a bit of this stretch of the ride. Spending 45 minutes cleaning clay off the bike sounded like less fun than the Cheetos fest I had given up for this ride. Tyler's Mukluk made the MMR without too much trouble but it has significantly more tire clearance but it still required a little cleanup at the other end... how good was the mud, really good according to Tyler, at least I am hoping that was mud...
The only real planning that was needed was figuring out a way to get from Omaha to the MoPac trail at Wabash/Elmwood since there is still a fairly decent section that is not finished between the two cities but once we were there it was a simple plan, follow the trail all the way into Lincoln.
So follow it we did, for miles and miles and miles, anyone who has been on the MoPac can attest that there isn't much to look at, especially in early spring so it was just churning the pedals.
The occasional change in scenery was more than welcomed, even if it was a downed tree completely covering the trail. In the land of tedium even the most minute change can be relatively exciting.
Even though there might not be much to see on the MoPac, until you start to get closer to Lincoln, the fact that it is and old railroad track ensures that there isn't much in the way of climbing, unfortunately that also means that there isn't much in the way of descending either. Just flat, in the seat, hands in the same position, mile after mile of constant pedaling, I almost would have welcomed a few rollers just for a reason to get out of the saddle and I know my "sit bones" would have appreciated it.
About 5 hours later and we had made it to Yia Yia's, where I promptly ordered an Ivan the Terrible from Big Sky Brewing and a small water. Okay, maybe it wasn't that small but I did make quick work of it, which of course meant a visit to the facilities to recycle said water.
Some restroom Rembrandt had been busy with his trusty ink stick and self adhesive paper because they had turned this masterpiece from January's trip here...
...into this much more disturbing piece. Although keeping the same glasses and mustache (sans soul patch) was a nice touch. Why is it that no matter what, if you give a guy a sharpie, a bathroom wall and enough time they will always draw at least one penis?
Having pondered long enough about the possible phallic worshiping desires of bathroom artists, I decided it was time to wash up and leave the art critic to those more qualified to judge the proper penis to bosom proportions one should use when depicting such a person on a bathroom wall. As a bonus it wasn't long after I returned to our table that the pizza was up, their pizza is always good but I think after 50ish miles it tasted just a smidgen better.
Even Tyler had managed to regain his appetite after his earlier fork-o-mud by the time we go to Yia Yia's, although in this picture it kind of looks like he could be the poster boy for the old "Gag Me With A Spoon" phrase from the 1980s.
After downing pizza and beer and then visiting all the great folks at Cycle Works for some much needed PSI in the tires (11 PSI is not ideal for long limestone/gravel rides, even on a fat bike) it was time for the slog back home. Stopped at the Elmwood Co-Op to replenish the food and drink supplies we had used up on the ride down as it's the last stop on the MoPac when you're heading east.
Lived off of Haribo gummy bears, beef jerky, Blue Diamond Wasabi & Soy Sauce almonds and Black Forest gummy cherries almost the entire day. It's amazing what a few hours on a bike will do to help you notice things you normally wouldn't notice, for example, I never noticed that gummy cherries look an awful lot like the rubber bull testicles people like to hang from their rear bumpers. Luckily they taste nothing like them, don't get me wrong, I like my rocky mountain oysters but they just don't sound that appetizing while riding a century.
As I was deep in thought, contemplating the similarities and differences between real bull testicles and cherry gummies I ran over this dude. It might not be in the sharpest of focus but I think you can still appreciate the pointiness, length and tube piercing qualities of the thorn.
Surprisingly changing out the tube and pumping it back up with just a hand pump I had in the pack wasn't as time consuming or laborious as I had expected and a short while later we were rolling again. As the day went on the weather became less windy and the roads we had struggled through earlier in the day due to mud were dry and ridable, the bike gods were having mercy on us.
By the time we made it back to the Lied bridge the sun was getting low on the horizon, soon we would be riding in the dark but we were also close to the end.
Being on the home stretch was good, my butt was sore and tired of riding... and I think Tyler was getting a bit delusional.
The last bit of light put on quite a show before going every so softly into the night. Cloaked in darkness we made our way through Springfield and back into Omaha, all told I had 113 miles and 10 hours of moving time on the Garmin... Tyler only managed 112, figures the dude would come up with a way to sandbag it, not sure whose was more accurate but I'm going with mine even if it is only one more mile, I earned everyone of them that day.