7 days and a world of difference weather wise between last Saturday and this Saturday, the warmer temps brought out the crowds as well for the SMNDFBR.
With the winds blowing out of the SSW at a steady 20+ mph with gusts up to 40 mph, the plan was to take the gravel out into the teeth of the wind towards Sprague and then coast back with it at our backs.
Quick stop at Good Life Fitness to strip layers and pick up a few more riders and then we were off again heading west towards the gravel on the western edge of Lincoln.
Second regroup of the day was at Coddington and Claire, wind must have been a bit more than I had realized because we had managed to have a few stragglers before we even made it out of town. There was a little confusion and the regroup here took a little bit of time to sort out, at the end of it all a few riders decided that 47 miles with this wind was not for them and they opted out from the rest of the ride.
The fellas up front must have eaten their Wheaties the night before because after the regroup the pace picked up and everyone was looking for a wheel to draft behind but after a few miles of this the group started to get a little strung out. I let those in the front know the general direction and decided to hang back so as to not strand anyone out on course.
A few of the usual suspects decided to fall back with me and we formed our own little back of the pack group, it was such a nice day that even the wind couldn't kill all our swagger.
Roadside barley pop probably didn't hurt either, Jamie couldn't decide which she liked better so what's a girl to do except drink both!
Rolling into Sprague Big Bird even started to make an appearance now and again which usually means morale is still high, seems like when bike life is sucking there's just no time for Big Bird shenanigans.
The white Steve Potts Trail Bike on the left is the first one I've ever seen in wild and it's a pretty rad beast. Old school looks but all the latest bells and whistles built into this one.
We invaded Traditions Pub in Sprague for a little refuel and we also met back up with the front half of the group.
MMRs were in perfect shape on Saturday and the group seemed to ride at similar pace on the way back, not sure if it was because the front had worn themselves out or the back had gotten their second wind but it was nice to cruise as a whole again. Big Bird even reared his yella head a time or two again.
Took the Homestead home once we hit Roca and had an impromptu train regroup, although regroup might be the wrong word as we split into two groups here. Those that wanted to do lunch went one way and those who didn't went the other way, bringing the official SMNDFBR to an end.
The unofficial lunch group continued on to Copal for some cold cervezas and great Mexican food. I know I've said it before about places we've eaten but I'll say it again; if you haven't been to Copal you really should give it a try. Some of the best Mexican you can get in Lincoln.
As the weather starts to get nicer and stay nicer, look for a few changes to the ride. Nothing crazy but we are going to try to bring back the idea of taking the ride on the road once a month to one of the other local trails in and around eastern Nebraska; trails like Tranquility, Jewel, Lewis & Clark, Swanson and Calvin Crest just to name a few. This year however, rather than trying to get the shop van and go as a group only to have it rain out our plans, we will just pick a weekend that looks good and meet up at the trail or carpool if necessary which will provide much more flexibility. Also toying with the idea of maybe even looking at a Switchgrass option but that one might take a bit of planning and coordinating but it's an awesome trail and worth the effort if we can get the details hammered out.
Also floating around in the world of possibilities is ramping up the gravel mileage once a month as well, these rides would probably start a bit earlier than normal and be at least 70 miles or more which is why they won't happen all the time. Those that love the ride the way it is, don't fear because there will still be plenty of rides in Wilderness or on the gravel around Lincoln in moderate distances, so there should be a ride for everyone while still giving the ride an opportunity to grow and expand.
Last but not least, new to the shop just to the south of the main doors is a new board chocked full of information about events, rides and in this case local articles about the shop and our rides. Make sure to check it out when you're in and stay up on the current events.