Sunday, October 13, 2019

7 Layer Trip

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Ready or not, the cold season is upon us. With temps near 30 in the morning and near 60 by the time we would finish, layers, layers and more layers were the key.

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The plan for Saturday was to head out in a southwest direction and then loop around to Malcolm before heading back to the Capitol City.

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We did detour from our normal Malcolm route slightly to swing by the 112th St tunnel. Love this hidden little gem not to far from town and from looking at the graffiti, we aren't the only ones who are infatuated by it.

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Well there is something you don't see everyday, a guy in a basket on top of a pole fixing something else on another pole.

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A few hundred yards past pole man we stopped over the interstate for a really tasty offering from White Elm, a bit of a high class bridge beer if you will.

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The push into Malcolm was met with wind and hills but the sun was out and the day was starting to warm a bit so it wasn't all bad. We even had a new rider in Erin, this would be her first real gravel ride and she was killing it.

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We even ran into Greg, the self appointed Sheriff of Malcolm, who we met a few years ago while putting on the Solstice 100.

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On our way back to Lincoln we even ran into a group of riders from the gravel camp heading the other way. Matter of fact, we even picked up one guy from Omaha that was in the camp who decided he wasn't up for the 60 miles that the camp had in mind for the group. He asked if he could join us back to town and we obliged, always room for another rider on the SMNDFBR.

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On the way back into town we came across the setup for the Market to Market race, that is a poop ton of tables.

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What was left of the group after folks had to head home decided that Ali Baba's sounded fantastic for lunch so we pedaled over and enjoyed some fantastic Greek food.

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Earlier in the week we saw that Saro had their hot apple cider back so we determined a quick spin over there for a drink was in order before calling it a day. The cider hit the spot for sure and with the weather changing toward the cold, it is spot that will probably find it's way into the regular rotation for the next few months.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Greasy Spoons and Small Town Saloons

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I don't know what it is about a thin piece of vinyl with a bit of adhesive on the back that makes people squeal with glee but it happens. I know picking up a fresh round of Cycle Works stickers sure helped to brighten an otherwise moist and dreary morning for me on Saturday.

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As has been the case around her for the last month or so, it rained pretty decent overnight on Friday and into early Saturday morning and the rain didn't let up until around 8am on Saturday, so the plan was to stick to the multi use paths in Lincoln and hit up a breakfast spot. Avoiding the muck and mire of wet gravel sounded like a great idea to me.

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The original plan was to stop at Tina's for some breakfast, I had never been to Tina's but have always heard good things about it so figured we would give it a whirl. However Tina's is roughly the size of a large tool shed so it didn't look promising to find a table with 4 cars in the lot and a line out the door by the time we rolled up. Onward toward Plan B it was in hopes of finding seating there, on a Husker home game Saturday it can be difficult to find anywhere that isn't super busy.

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Plan B was the Hi-Way Diner, a Lincoln icon for the last 32 years and still going strong. I haven't been here in a while but the place never really seems to change and maybe that is a good thing. It definitely seems to be working for them.

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With it's homemade style comfort food and eclectic collection of nostalgic signs and appliances; the Hi-Way Diner is a true representation of a Greasy Spoon from yesteryear. Greasy Spoon is a term that is not used all that much these days but my parents and grandfather used the term all the time when I was a kid and it was always used to talk affectionately about small, local, non chain restaurants. They were plentiful then but are a dying breed now-a-days so it's always good to see one of  them hanging in there and doing well. Generally speaking when I route these rides I try to stick to local spots and avoid the big chains if possible. Every server might not have their 15 pieces of flair but sometimes that's OK.

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The Strawberry Rhubarb pie was phenomenal, highly recommend it if you're there and they have it.

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It also happened to be Sarah's birthday so we sang rousing rendition of Happy Birthday for her and even had the large table behind us join in, we probably won't ever be called upon by Applebee's to come sing for them but I don't think we did all that bad.

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To help burn off that breakfast, most of the ride was after the breakfast stop utilizing the local trail system. Won't be long before all those green leaves are putting on a show of oranges, yellows and reds. Fall is some of the best riding of the year.

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On the way down the Rock Island people started pealing off and heading home, a few of us ended up at Method for some additional socializing before calling it a day. Despite the wet start to the day once the sun came out it was a great, if breezy, fall day for a bicycle ride.

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While not part of the ride but I figured I'd give them a shout out any way because small town Nebraska deserves all the help they can get, I found myself at Terry's Steakhouse in Virginia Nebraska. It is a place that I have had my eye on for a ride but it just hasn't ever worked out yet so this was the first time I'd been out there but I had always heard great things about them so I was pretty excited to give it a go. It was well worth the drive. I had the Flat Iron steak but their special on Saturday nights is a huge cut of prime rib, which most of the table had, and it also looked delicious but I've never been a big fan of prime rib myself but to each their own I suppose. Friday night's special is all you can eat fish and chips which is also supposed to be a popular choice when at Terry's if that is more your thing. Where the heck is Virginia Nebraska you might be asking, well it's just a country mile west of Beatrice on highway 4 and only about an hour drive from Lincoln. Give them a try, you won't be disappointed.