Earlier in the week I had debated having the SMNDFBR this week or just cancelling it due to the holiday weekend but in the end decided to do the ride as a more casual paced one and see who showed up. I was pleasantly surprised to see more than a few smiling faces at the shop ready to ride, we even had two new riders for this ride. Scott and Dave, pictured on the right side above came out for their first ever SMNDFBR and it was good to see them.
If you've ever made it to one of the rides, you know that the ride is pretty much the inverse of most organized group rides. As such I think we tend have a bit more fun than most organized rides and we tend to attract an eclectic band of riders who also find the rigidity of some rides a bit off putting but because of this I think we have a heck of a good time on the rides. Take this sign for example, Ed and Janelle had noticed it coming in for the ride and mentioned it to me and I of course said that we must get a picture with the sign for prosperity's sake. How could you pass up such a great sign from the Universe? I'm not exactly sure who the Universe initially meant the sign for but I wasn't going to quibble over trifle matters and pass up such an opportunity.
Speaking of odd things, I've passed this car in the UNL student parking lot numerous times and I've always wondered, how do they get in and out of the car? Do you suppose they use the passenger door and crawl over the seats? Do they finish rolling down the driver side window and enter a la Duke's of Hazard style or do you suppose through some miraculous series of events the driver side door still opens and closes perfectly despite being several inches closer to the passenger side of the vehicle than it was ever intended to be? These are the things you should be thinking about while riding your bicycle, not how many watts you're putting out or if you're hitting your perfect heart rate... these, the seemingly unanswerable questions of life.
Since the big boned lady had already sung her song on the Husker season, well except the bowl game, we were able to return to our more familiar route around the stadium and through the Haymarket.
We had a little impromptu stop at the end of the paved portion of the Jamaica North Trail due to a pedal issue, little did we know it but this would be a reoccurring theme for the ride but it was an absolutely gorgeous day to be out in Wilderness so a few stops here and there weren't a big deal.
We haven't really had any major freeze yet this season and because of the lack of the freeze/thaw cycle, we have had almost perfect dirt in the Park and Saturday was no exception.
The entire west side was fast and flowing, even the water crossing entrances and exits were unusually dry for this time of year.
Took a pretty decent break at the bridge at the 14th street parking lot, so much so that Ed decided to find a place to sit for awhile.
Since we were getting cozy, I decided to have quick snack. While tasty, the peanut butter version of Justin's... uh, nut butters, is a bit difficult to eat once you've been riding for a bit, I felt like a pooch who had a spoonful of the stuff stuck to the top of my mouth. A little bit of water solved that issue but Justin's does offer an Almond butter also which isn't quite so thick and tacky.
As good as the west side was, the east side was even better. While flying through the twists and turns in Wilderness is a blast, it's also fun once and awhile to just cruise through at a slower speed, Saturday was the latter and it lent itself to being more photogenic while moving.
A few more sections of the Park and we were done with the single track for the day.
Gerlach family Christmas Card?
We all decided that a Yia Yia's stop was in order after leaving Wilderness Park, so to Yia Yia's we went.
Ed getting rad on a loading dock on the way back. I wasn't even sure I got this shot until I got home, I was well past Ed and paying more attention to the truck coming at me so it was a quick under the arm pit, behind the back, hope I get it type of shot that just happened to work out.
Since it was on our way and it had been some time since I've ridden it; we took the N Street Cycle Track towards downtown.
Discovered that despite being open less than a year, they already had a section closed with a detour... routing you head on toward oncoming traffic. Yikes! Should be interesting once the white stuff comes down and the lines are not visible.
Orange cones at least warned traffic to the fact that there was something to be alert of on the other side of those cones, not sure the same can be said for those vehicles parked along the curb whose only way out is to drive down the track. Engineers must not ride bicycles or at least not on this particular section of it... coming around that blind corner to see a car heading straight towards you might cause you to pucker up a bit of seat leather. I've seen the city temporarily close parking spots before for construction, not really sure why they didn't this time around for safety sake.
Stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard spot.
Thankfully no cyclists were harmed on this day and we made it safe and sound to Yia Yia's.
A slice of The American and a Zipline Smoked Bock hit the spot, since it was such a nice day we even opted to sit outside and enjoy our lunch.
We even had an eighth join us for lunch, been so warm that the little guy was still out and about instead of hiding in some warm spot for the season.
Speaking of unusual sights, we also spied the Jolly Fat Man cruising down O Street on his Harley. I think next year we need to talk him into going the Fat Bike route.
Like the great, law abiding citizens that we are, we even walked out bikes to the road once we were finished chowing down on a slice or two.
Had a little protest going on at the Capitol as well, probably not the way I'd want to spend a long weekend but to each their own.
On more exciting news, we even passed by the soon to be opened Code Beer. It's a great time to be a craft beer drinker in Lincoln, there seems to be a new brewery/taproom opening up every couple of months. It's making it really hard for me and my liver to keep up with all the new stuff coming out but gosh darn it, we are going to give it the ole college try.
No ride next week, well no SMNDFBR next week but we do have the Global Fat Bike Day Ride and Chili Contest planned for next week and both of those should be a ton of fun so make sure to get down to Cycle Works next week. Details of the event can be found on the CW Facebook page, here.