Crazy weather we are having here in the Midwest, one week away from the end of October and we're still averaging temps in the 60s, will we pay for it later with piles of snow and freezing temperatures? I certainly hope so, Fat Bikes are fun in the dirt but they are even more fun in the snow and we are starting to get a really good group showing up on Saturdays, a really, really good group.
Barely 8:45 am and the parking lot at 27th & Vine was already buzzing with activity, as a ride leader sights like this always put a big smile on your face.
While we aren't all Fat just yet, we are slowly whittling that number down... just last week Todd was riding a "normal" mountain bike for the ride and now look at him on his brand new Farley 5. The numbers just keep growing for every ride it seems, just off the top of my head I noticed that there are two fewer Mukluks and one less Farley in the shop this week, hopefully that means a few more people for the ride. Lincoln is starting to embrace the whole Fat Bike thing and I for one couldn't be happier. Riding a Fat Bike for the first time brought me that same feeling I had riding my first bike as a kid; they really are just that much fun.
An early Husker game meant a little more paved trail getting to Wilderness Park to avoid the downtown area with the throngs of fans and all those tailgaters with their delicious smelling BBQ grills.
Once we made it to the Park we wasted no time dropping in and getting some perfect fall singletrack. With the little bit of rains we had at the end of the week I was a little worried that it might be a tad bit wet in there as Wilderness isn't the quickest drying trail around but to my delighted surprise, the trails were perfect.
If our numbers keep growing, fingers crossed that they do, we're going to need a bigger bridge. Fist time joining the SMNDFBR this week was Russ on his cross bike, the kid is a fast and skilled rider on that cross bike. The freewheel on those Zipps make a noise that sounds a whole lot like GOOOOOOOOO whenever he had to stop pedaling because you weren't going fast enough. Russ and others his age are the future of the sport and it was super rad to have him come out and ride with us old folks, hopefully we didn't slow him down too much and he comes back out for more rides.
With the Jamaican Trail completely blocked off near 14th street, we decided to make a loop using both the east and west trails. We went out on the west side, a few of us zigged at the proposed turn around point and a few of us zagged. Those of us who zigged tried yelling to rope back in the zaggers but we were unsuccessful so I jumped on the Pugs to try to run them down and pull them back to the regroup.
Caught up to them at the first creek crossing and Bob the fungus tree, I think they suspected we took another off shoot of the trail because when I got there they were all waiting around.
All back as one group again, we stopped for a little break under the bridge like a clump of trolls, sharing stories and refueling. It seems like the nicer the weather the longer these "breaks" last but on a day as beautiful as yesterday, nobody was complaining about hanging out in the Park.
After a few minutes it was time to make the climb to the top of the bridge, cross over and drop in on the east trail for the ride back. Love this bridge, one of my favorite parts of Wilderness as it's a great spot to come and just chill.
Trails on the east side were just as fast as the trails on the west side and it didn't take us long before we were out of the Park and back to the Van Dorn area. We also started shedding riders at this point as it was getting near 11 and a few of us wanted to try to get home for the game.
Those of us left decided that it was close enough to game time that we could safely sneak into the Haymarket and Crescent Moon Coffee for some delicious caffeinated beverages.
Boom! Lots of cars but very few people out and about.
Besides the great coffee and pastries, the other great thing about Crescent Moon is that we can "invade" the coffee shop and get out of the weather (for when it's colder) without taking over there main seating area.
Smiling, caffeinated faces both new and old... the faces not the people.
Had a brief camera takeover when Tyler got all hopped up on the bean, the struggle is real people, I think I'll stick to taking the pictures for now. From the look on Jorge's face, I think he agrees with me.
Re-energized and reinvigorated, we mounted up and headed back to Cycle Works. If you've never been downtown on game day, some amazing things happen during the magic 40 minutes. The magic 40 are the 20 minutes before kickoff when the crowds are thick and you can barely move without bumping into someone and the 20 minutes after kickoff when you feel like you almost have the town to yourself. Riding on game day, I much prefer the 20 minutes after kickoff.
Back at the shop, bikes loaded, it was time to find some food for the drive home.
Tyler and I decided to hit up Honest Abe's. one of the best Lincoln originals that never disappoints with their creative and ever changing selection of burgers. The American Gothic was a winner as are most of their offerings. Now I feel like I need to get out for another ride to help burn this guy off.
Shameless plug time... December 5th is Global Fat Bike Day and we are planning on doing something special for the ride. All of the details haven't been worked out just yet but we have a ton of ideas that we need to sort through and dissect to come up with a great event. I can tell you that there will be a ride, a bonfire, food, drink and most likely a few prizes and contests after the ride. We would love to see you all at the event, even if you don't have a Fat Bike, stay tuned for the official event page and additional details as we hammer them out.