Saturday, June 29, 2013

One-speeding to the land of Cort

So... I have this bike, it's sorta, kinda a road bike but it's also sorta, kinda like a cross bike but it's not really either; it's actually probably close to a commuter but it's got these skinny tires, although not as skinny as the ones it had on it when I bought it used a few months back. I got it at a heck of a deal on it for a bike not from Wal-mart but I just haven't really been able to figure out what to do with it, so I figured I'd take it out and see how it did as an open road bike. Not wanting to be too adventurous on my first outing I decided that Cortland would be a nice enough distance without being too far. Having only one speed I wasn't sure how the hills were going to be, they turned out to be fine as long as they weren't accompanied by a 20 mph headwind.


Not really sure if runners are out every Saturday at 7:30 a.m. en masse but they sure were today, had to be almost 30 or more of them on the Rock Island trail.


Truth be told in all my years here in Lincoln, I've never once ridden on Hwy 77 so I was tad bit apprehensive.


Once up to speed and a few miles behind me it actually wasn't too bad, as long as you didn't linger on about those 2,000 lbs+ hunks of metal screaming by only a few feet away from you at 70 mph. You really do have to put your faith in the guy behind the wheel because if they were to veer off the road at the same time they were passing you my guess is you probably wouldn't even hear them until they were sending you flying skyward.


Princeton seemed to come up much quicker than it does via the Homestead Trail.


Roughly an hour and a half later the water tower came into view, to be honest I can't say that I've ever been there before today... drove by a few times but never stopped.


Lucky for me they had a sign up letting you know how fast you were going, I'd hate to get a ticket for speeding on my first visit and get off on the wrong foot.

They were either having a tractor show of this is just how they roll in Cortlandia.


This is also how they roll apparently, so if you're ever need to get your picture taken in a large cat box you now know where to go.


Town greeter?!?

The way back completely, totally, unequivocally sucked donkey balls, big, fat, hairy, juicy ones. The wind wasn't supposed to be howling through the prairie quite so quickly until later in the day but just to be nice it decided to come early. I can't really say for sure how strong it was but my best guess from riding in wind before is that it was at least 20 mph, it took everything I had on the uphills to try to maintain 9-11 mph; 12-15 on the downhills was even a struggle. I do have to say though it was nice to be able to jump on the bike and pedal non-stop for 22 miles straight without needing to stop or dodge pedestrians, so I guess you take the good with the bad as they say.


Dude must have been late for the tractor gathering, as slow as he was I'd bet he was still going 2-3 times as fast as I was; lucky bastard had the tailwind.


I've never been so happy to see this turn off as I was today, after struggling with wind for the better part of 2 hours I was spent. Even the little relief of turning slightly out of the headwind felt like heaven. I'm not going to turn in my baggy shorts and mountain bikes anytime soon for a lycra bodysuit and sub 11 lbs carbon fiber road bike but I definitely will probably give this ride a go again on a day where it's not quite as windy.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Trail Trekin...

Today was the 11th annual Trail Trek in good old Lincoln Nebraska. I really enjoy this ride its actually one of my favorites even though its just a ride on the same cement paths I ride all the time, I think I've made everyone except for one, I even have most of the t-shirts still to prove it... you know if anyone cares.

Not too many people out and about this early on a Sunday, I'm guessing the few cars are probably just left over by those who partook too much Saturday night since nothing is really opened in the Haymarket this early.

Had been raining earlier in the morning and looked like it still could but it held off thankfully, clouds kept the temps really mild for a change which was nice it's usually steamy for this ride. I was a bit surprised by turnout considering the potential for rain, shirts were a bit "Neebo green" this year not sure why that color has become so popular.

Had to stop in and say hi to these two hard working, dedicated guys; great bike shop that's always giving back to the community. Always buy local!


Good times.

See look at that smile! It is a smile right?!?

Now this guy really seems to be having fun... or a bit touched in the head, either way its an ear to ear grin so he must be enjoying the ride.

Coming back to Haymarket Park, could already smell the pulled pork sammiches.

KFRX was in the house, not really a fan of the station or the music for the most part but Chi got some back.

Hy-Vee catered the food again this year, they do a really good job of supplying tasty food... it's too bad that markers don't have spell check. I guess as long as the food is hot and delicious I can overlook a missing W here or there.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Things must be looking up...

First time I have seen water in this fountain in a few years, been a rough couple of summers but with all the moisture we've had this year we must either be officially out of the drought or very close. 

Another sign that times are getting better is all the new construction going on downtown, I know that the construction has been planned for years but if the economy were that horrible I still believe there would be a lot fewer structures popping up nothing stops progress faster than lack of money. I am glad to see the original canopy from the train station going back up, it's about the only recognizable feature in this part of the Haymarket. 

And then there's this thing, lots of talk and anticipation about the opening and all the concerts coming into town... if you as me it sorta looks like a giant bedpan from the backside. I guess that's only fitting since we already have the "Penis of the Plains" we might as well have the "Bedpan of the Prairie" to go along with it. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Slowest fast dude...

Twas finally dry enough to get in a little dirt singletrack for this weeks installment of the TNNDDR (Tuesday Night No Drop Dirt Ride) hosted by Cycle Works. Seems like it's been over a month since we were last able to ride in Wilderness.

First Fat Bike sighting on the TNNDR since MG rode his a couple of times last year, things look like a whole lotta fun but just haven't been able to justify the expense... yet.

Three generations of Rasta, well one technically before it even was Rasta. That one goes way back, half the co-sponsors aren't even around any longer.

In addition to the first fattie sighting of the year it was also the fist confirmed tick in at least three years, found this little blood sucker in the shower. Luckily he hadn't really gotten a chance to dig in yet and came right off. 

Started getting my shit together again this year and trying to eat a little better and exercise a bit more, haven't done any racing but I personally feel I'm riding better and stronger than I have in a few years. I've pretty much reserved myself to the role of the slowest fast dude in most cases but last year and the year before I couldn't even claim that with any confidence. I do feel I'm getting faster again this year, if I can hone my cornering skills a bit more I think that there is plenty of room for improvement, especially on a singlespeed all it takes is a few bad turns and you never really can catch back up to the geared guys. Being in the back does have it's advantages though, I'm almost positive I wouldn't push myself as hard as I do if there weren't faster dudes ahead.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The land of mini sodas...

Took a trip up to Minnesota over the weekend to see family and help celebrate my nieces recent graduation from High School.
Great weather for the party and a good turn out.
I probably shouldn't be left alone with sharp objects and tiny letters.
The Party was held at Watab Creek Park, great little park, wish we had parks like this around here. Might just be time to start looking for places beyond this great expanse of nothingness we call Nebraska, get back in touch with the more scenic surroundings of Montana, Colorado or Washington state that I do miss.
Wild Columbine! Brought the bikes and were hoping to get in a little singletrack but Minnesota has been hit with the same wet weather we have been getting so the dirt was just as sloppy so we opted for the more manicured gravel paths of Quarry Park and Nature Preserve, which isn't a bad choice by any means.
Didn't hurt that entry to the park just happened to be free that day either.
It's basically just a series of old granite quarries that have since been abandoned and are now full of water, according to the signs some of them are up to 112' deep.
They even allow climbing on the rock walls with permit... hmmmm.
Was a pretty quick trip but fun none the less, split the drive up into two day but because of time limitations had to drive it all straight through on the way back... was enough to give you tunnel vision.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Showering with my bike

Thought I would get up a bit early and head out to see if the dirt was in good shape, the forecast had said that the best chance for rain wasn't until after 11 which would be plenty of time. Unfortunately they lied.

The dirt was actually in pretty good shape but then the clouds starting looking a bit threatening but it's looked like that for days around here and never rained so I figured I had time.

Biker side still had more than a few swampy spots between the two water crossings but there have been years where these never dry completely... although right now there are a few that are really bad. It started raining also which didn't help, trees helped a lot to stop the wind but very little to help with the rain.

Every time I cross this bridge I always wonder how it is that this bridge that looks like it was built by a bunch of 12 year olds with and erector set in the 70s is still standing and opened while the newer ones built for a lot more money are down or closed. Sometimes simple is better than aesthetically pleasing.

Cut the ride short and shot out through the YMCA crossing. One of the nice things about rain is I had the bike paths almost all to myself.


As you can see the cat didn't think too highly of my dumb,wet ass when I rolled in.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

TNNDDR... the "casual" edition

It's been pretty wet around here the last week or so which has made most of the dirt unrideable, so when I saw that the Tuesday Night No Drop Dirt Ride was going to be a ride out to Eagle for the Nacho Ride I was all for it. Nice casual pace, get some beer and maybe some grub and then casually ride back... my definition of casual needs a little work. I was one of two singlespeed guys to show up to a geared cyclecross event apparently. Those dudes were trying to kill us I think, max speed on my Garmin was 22.7 mph which is faster than I thought my one gear could take me, average was 15.2 but as they say, that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger. 

Geared dudes hanging back, plotting our demise I suspect. 

Quite the turn out at the One Eyed Dog. 

The beer was flowing, had a two beers I had never tried before from Cornstalker out of Kearney, might have to see if I can find them at the local liquor store. 

Once properly refueled the ride back was just as blistering, great times though. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

This squirrel is having a way worse Monday than you...

Was a normal Monday morning, recovering from the bliss of the weekend and not really wanting to be at work... and then this happened.


I believe it's a Red Tailed Hawk and to be honest I have never seen one this close and have never seen them hunt inside and industrial park and then casually sit 10 feet off the road eating. Made for a pretty good Monday pick me up.