Sunday, September 25, 2016

SMNDFBR - Even Money


Yesterday brought us another edition of the Saturday Morning No Drop Fat Bike Ride and one that almost didn't happen. Earlier in the week Saturday looked like a beautiful day but as it got closer to the day the worse the outlook became. As a mater of fact, just the night before there was still a 50-50 chance we'd get rained out.


As it usually does, the forecast changed while we were sleeping and the chance of rain diminished significantly meaning that the ride was still on! We even managed a fantastic turn out for the ride with 13 of us in total at one point considering we weren't eve sure if it was going to happen.



As is usual for the ride we had to weave our way though town on side streets and bike paths as we headed towards Wilderness Park.



Scooted by Blue Blood Brewing, past Van Dorn park and onto the dirt. Not our usual route but we had to detour to pick something up... crossing Hwy 2 is always an adventure but we all survived.


Joe brought his big bike, those tires are so big.







Wilderness ended up being in really good shape, we did have one small, quick sprinkle while we were in there but it didn't even make the ground wet. Unfortunately we weren't so lucky once we left Wilderness as we got dumped on as we were riding back, thankfully we had already hit the pavement by that time. Getting stuck on dirt as it gets softer and softer is not a whole lot of fun.

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Like a pack of wet dogs we hid inside Scooters in the Haymarket waiting for the rains to subside a little, the hot coffee was nice and hit the spot... the usually comforting A/C is not so nice when you're soaked from head to toe but you have to take the good with the bad I suppose. Once we left the coffee shop we all kind of split and headed to where ever home was to take advantage of the small window of dry in between rain storms. Hopefully the cooler fall weather is just around the corner and more important, hopefully it's DRY.

Last but not least, if you own a fat bike and love to camp as well, UNL Outdoor Adventures is putting together a two day bike packing adventure out west in the Halsey National Forest. For $95 it sounds like they will provide transportation there and back as well as route planning and food packing. If you're interested you'll have to check with them for more details, the page says just show up with your bike so I'm not sure if that means everything else (tent, sleeping bag, water, etc.) is provided or not but I'm sure a quick call down there or a message on their Facebook page would get that all sorted out. Either way it sounds like an amazing time if you're free the weekend of October 7-9.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

You Know They Have Rides In Omaha, Right?


Been meaning to get out for a ride with the folks from OMG! Gravel and Adventure Club  for a few months now but for one reason or another things just didn't work out. I know it's kind of a lame excuse but Wednesday (every other Wednesday to be exact) is the day I get the rabbits trimmed so that has contributed to not making the ride before. Any who, decided that there wasn't anything going on this Wednesday so I'd finally get on down and see what riding in Omaha is all about.



Threw the bike on and the gear in the car in the morning and took it all to work as I had no idea what the timing would be like from work to the meetup spot by the Bob Kerry bridge. Turns out I severely over estimated the amount of time it would take to get there at 4:45 and ended up with almost an hour to spare before the 6 o'clock meetup. Spun around the immediate area for a few but quickly ran out of things to see and do...



IMG_4624 I decided to spin over the Heartland of America Park and see the sights over that way as well, as always it didn't disappoint.




After spending a few minutes in the park it was time to head back to the Bob and meetup with the rest of the group. Having never ridden with these guys before, they were probably wondering what the camera was all about but they seemed to go along with my paparazzi ways.


Not being too familiar with the Omaha Metro yet, especially the off the beaten path part, I had no clue where we were really but found some cool gravel within Omaha... then Conrad got his first flat of the night. Conrad is also a Lincoln transplant, I remember reading this guys blog back when everyone and their brother had one and he hung out with the Monkey Wrench guys. Hadn't ever ridden with him before though, good guy and strong rider.



It wasn't too much longer before more air needed to be added to the tire, which was OK with me as we had found some serious hills and the rest was much appreciated. Chasing skinny tires on the Pugs up and down hills can be a bit tiring.


After the third flat in the dark, battling Zika filled mosquitoes we decided that maybe we would just retrace our steps back toward town rather than proceed on the rest of the route.



This lead me to another first, the Surf Side Club for some fried catfish and beer, both went down pretty smooth after climbing all those hills. All in all it was a great first real ride in Omaha with the OMG Gravel folks, if timing works out I'm going to try to make these on a more regular basis. Good times and good group. Plus I discovered I need to learn Omaha by bike much better than I currently know it.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

SMNDFBR - Kitty Litter to Eagle



Had planned to get into Wilderness Park this week for the SMDNFBR but once again Mother Nature had other thoughts and dumped rain on our parade on Friday. With the park out the consolation prize was gravel out to Eagle since it had been awhile since we headed east and it seemed like the best direction to head as it was the opposite direction of Memorial Stadium and the throngs of fans descending on the stadium.


We did see the return of Tyler for this ride, he hadn't been out since June when he had an AC separation. It was good to have him back and we are hoping he keeps the rubber side down.


Sarah was showing off her Husker spirit with those rad Nebraska socks.



Took the MoPac out toward Walton where we would switch over to gravel when we intersected A Street. The milder temps and lack of humidity almost made it a bit chilly to start, I'm really hoping this fall weather sticks around for a month or two before we switch over to more winter like temps. Had two new faces come out for the ride, Carlos and Roy, seen here behind Sarah. Hopefully we see more of them in the future as it was a lot of fun riding with them on Saturday.




Initially the gravel was great, just the right mix of dirt and rock made it smooth and fast... just the way I like it. When it's good, it's almost smoother and faster than asphalt.



The further we got down A Street though, the worse the gravel got. As has been the trend lately, the road was covered in deep, speed sapping, sand/gravel the consistency and thickness of a litter box full of kitty litter. I'd almost miss the days when they would cover the roads with the bigger, chunky white rock instead of this stuff, in addition to slowing things down it is also highly susceptible to wash boarding which is just teeth rattling on a bicycle but can be dangerous in a motor vehicle.




A few more miles of gravel and a short section of pavement and we were refueling at the Casey's in Eagle.



Leaving Eagle via 214th and Adams Street we ran straight into a headwind that had been helping us on the way out and everyone was trying to become as aero as a Fat Bike can be.


Battling the winds and the hills made regroups more common on the way back.





Gravel might have been a bit soft and there might have been a bit of a headwind but that didn't stop us from having a great time enjoying the beautiful fallish day.



Even tried to get in on the pictures but it seemed like if I slowed too much Sarah was going to run me over so that was enough of that.



Left hook on 112th and a few miles saw us back on the MoPac heading back into town the same way we had come out.



I was so happy to see Tyler back on two wheels again that I plucked him a little yellow flower off the side of the trail as we rode by them, it lost most of it's pedals but as they say it's the thought that counts right?

And just like that the SMNDFBR ended with a little man on man affection, no ride next week due to the final race of the Psycowpath Series but if you aren't doing anything, come out to Camp Calvin Crest and cheer on the racers.

P.S. I apologize in advance for any spelling or grammatical errors, writing a blog and watching the NFL is sometimes more difficult than it sounds.