Made it down to my second ever OMG! Gravel and Adventure ride, apparently also somewhat known as "the hipster gravel ride"or so I've been told on a few occasions now. I'm not sure about all that but it's always been a good time when I've made it out. The ride generally meets on either the Iowa side or the Nebraska side of the Bob Kerrey pedestrian bridge and dependent on which side they meet on, they ride a bag of mixed road surfaces in that state. This week it was the Iowa side, oddly enough yesterday was the fist time I'd ever been on the Iowa side of the bridge... if you don't count crossing the line in the middle of the bridge.
The ride starts right around 6 pm, I recently stared a new job that is mostly the same as the old job but in a much different location. Not sure how long it would take me to get from the northwest side of Omaha to the east side in rush hour traffic I brought the bike and gear to work and tried to get out of there promptly at 5. I got there way early than I had expected and had some time to kill, the views from the Iowa side ain't half bad in their own right.
Building some sort of shopping complex on that side of the river, not sure what all is going in there but I bet it will get a fair amount of business.
Eventually met up with Robbie and Brandon and we waited a bit to see if we would get more fellow riders but on a day that was a bit chilly and a lot windy we weren't to optimistic.
I think the dog thought we were a little touched in the head going for a ride in this wind and maybe he was right but into the wind we were going none the less.
Promptly-ish at 6 something we headed off towards the gravel that awaited us but where exactly we were going I knew not. I really need to ride around here more and get familiar with the area, it's only been 3 years.
I've lived mere miles from this and never even knew it existed until yesterday, I could have been coming here weekly. Well, probably not but I could have.
Council Bluffs has trains, lots of them, I can't tell you how many railroad tracks we crossed last night. Luckily only got stopped the one time but Nelson just stared at us, mocking and laughing in that Nelson like "HaHa". Asshole!
A few more miles on the mean streets of Council-tucky and we were to the gravel, this I recognized barely because it was near the Wabash trail head.
For once I wasn't the only shutterbug on the ride, which was good as there was some great picture opportunities until it got darker.
Road was amazingly flat, and amazingly busy, which you would think would be great but it was straight into at least a 20 mph head wind, it didn't feel flat at all. Sustained head winds are not a strong suit of the fat bike, hills aren't either... actually not much is, so if you're going to ride fat you have to be willing to put up with a little suffering and there was plenty of it to go around last night.
Rode right by the gianormous Google data center, hadn't see it up close like before so that was kind of cool, when I could breath that is.
Other structures out this way were a little less awe inspiring.
Being a small group and Brandon and Robbie both being on skinnier tire, I was the slow one last night but they never complained or at least not loud enough to be heard over the wind. Stopped at the top of this little climb for a few pictures, Brohard Road, possibly the best named road in all of Council Bluffs.
Hit a little section of pavement which was a nice change of pace and we weren't directly into the wind so that was also nice. Had I known we were just beginning the hill climbs I probably wouldn't have been so jovial but sometimes ignorance really is bliss. Not much for pictures after this as it became too dark to get anything of quality but I can tell you that Applewood is a heck of a climb and some of those bluff roads get pretty steep. Should be good practice for gravel races down the road like Gravel Worlds, the Omaha Jackrabbit and the Solstice 100 so I guess the pain and suffering has a purpose.
This gem is from Brandon who was the other guy with a camera on the ride, pretty nice looking mirrorless setup. Been contemplating one myself once the G15 gives up the ghost, he's got a pretty good eye for photos and the camera takes great looking pictures. I particularly liked this one, which is odd because like most people I'm not real crazy about pictures I am in most of the time.
All in all it was another great ride with the OMG Gravel and Adventure club, I really hope to start making this a regular thing this year and get back to riding more often locally. Thanks for having me guys, great time as always!