Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mother Nature Wants Me To Be A Responsible Human Being

I knew that there was a trail day today, even gave a serious consideration of going but then I decided I was going to be a selfish douche waffle and just get up and go for a ride instead. Watched the forecast and got everything ready the night before, that's how set I was on going riding and shirking my responsibility to take care of the trails that give me so much enjoyment. Got up, got dressed, had the bike in hand rolling out the door when I looked out the window... and it was drizzling, M*&ther f&*ker! The plan was to ride gravel so I wimped out and decided I didn't want to deal with wet gravel/mud today so I put everything back and almost climbed back into bed I was so frustrated with all the moisture we've had this Spring/Summer so far. After my frustration subsided I remembered about the trail day and decided  that since I was already up and my attempt at being worthless was thwarted I would head out to Swanson and be the responsible human being I should have been all along. Mother Nature decided that she needed me working rather than playing today... although I'm not sure why standing in the drizzle in Swanson sounded any better than riding in it but it did. I realize that the previous statement makes me sound somewhat like a schmuck but at least I was honest about my schmuckness and in the end didn't shirk it completely.

Swanson Trail Day

Not a bad turn out for being such a miserable day, while it wasn't necessarily hot or sunny the humidity was kicking already and you could tell it was only a matter of time before it rained.


Time to do work!



Haven't actually been up behind the detours but I've seen the pictures and it looks like a real mess, hopefully at some point some of it is salvageable up there.


Big, loud trail eater, much nicer than needing to do it all by hand. Even after cutting the initial passageway there is still plenty of hoe/ax/pruning work to be done however.


Doesn't look like much now but a few of these trail days and we will have a trial where this jungle now resides.


Some of the neighbors came out to see what was going on, guess we were making quite the ruckus out there, none of them volunteered to help out which is really a shame with all those legs we could have put him to work. He might not have been much help but he was a lot nicer to work around than the mosquitoes that were out there, even with mosquito spray I ended up with a few bites. I suppose when you're in that kind of humidity doing manual labor it's not long before you sweat off most of the spray's effectiveness.



Already signs of progress after just a few hours, only had two hours to give before I had to get back to the apt. managed to get in a good solid hour and 40 minutes before it decided to dump on us... figured that was my sign to drag my soggy butt back home just a tad bit earlier than planned. Lots of work left to do up there, hopefully they can make a dent in it today but I have a feeling there are going to be more days to come.

Friday, June 27, 2014

ThNNDDR - More Drops, Less Dirt


The Thursday Night No Drop Dirt Ride is supposed to be a no drop ride but I guess Mother Nature didn't get the memo and provided a few drops of her own. The forecast made it seem like most of the storms were going around Lincoln so it was decided to venture out and see what happened, hate to cancel the ride and have it be bone dry and it looked promising as it stayed dry past the 6 pm departure time... I was a bit concerned though when I looked to the south and saw this but even then it looked like most of it was staying south. The road dudes on the ThNNDRR were heading to Roca and I figured they were getting the worst of it but you know with those skin tight kits they wear it wouldn't take them long to dry out, they'd probably be more upset about the extra weight the water added than the rain itself.


Managed to get all the way through the Haymarket and most of the way to the trail that runs under Van Dorn before it decided to let loose with a torrential down pour. Unfortunately I only ALMOST made it, I ended up getting soaked with only 3/4 of a mile until I would have been safe and dry under the bridge. The closer I got to the bridge the harder it rained and of course as soon as I got into the saftey of the bridge the rain immediately let up considerably. Standing there wet, cold and miserable I watched the drops splashing in the puddles as I removed my gloves and jersey so that I could wring the water out of them, it helped but everything was still damp. So like the troll in the Three Billy Goats Gruff tail I hid under the bridge and watched the water accumulate at my feet.


I almost always bike with a pack of one kind or another and have over the years taken some guff because of it but I try to be prepared and honestly the extra 10-15 lbs doesn't affect me as much as the extra weight I already carry on my person. One of the things I carry in the pack is this Sea to Summit waterproof bag, takes up literally no space in the pack and with the unpredictable weather in Nebraska it provides a nice dry place to store phones, cameras and any other electronics that you might carry with you. Needed it last night and am glad I had it, a lot cheaper than a new phone and camera.


The rain finally did subside and I hooked up with the one other brave soul who decided to wait out the storm but by then Wilderness Park was out of the question because while the rain didn't last long it provided plenty of water in it's short time. There was plenty of rock star parking at the trail head this night, can't imagine why.


We decided to head out to Pioneers Park and ride around there for a bit before calling it a night since we were already out and already as wet as we were going to get, once we got a half mile from the trail head at W. Van Dorn it was bone dry and looked as if it hadn't rained at all. When we arrived at Pioneers Park there were people out enjoying the nice sunny day almost oblivious to the down pour that had just run amok through the rest of Lincoln only 3 miles farther east.


This is the first time I've been out to Pioneers Park since they redid the paths out there, compared to the crumbling asphalt that used to be out there, the new cement paths are butter smooth!


Obligatory picture of the bike leaning on stuff... but it's pretty stuff.



Since we were already out this way and because it sounded good we decided to hit up C and L Dairy Sweet for a little ice cream to help us forget about our damp clothes. Despite the earlier rain the night turned out to be a pretty decent one and I was able to get in a solid 17 miles, all paved, no dirt but I'll take it.

Friday, June 20, 2014

She's My Little Hot Mess, In A Sundress


Ride bikes, drink beer, be awesome, sleep, eat and repeat as necessary. Last night was the latest installment of the Tour de Brew LNK ride and if you judge based purely on the numbers one could easily argue that it was the best one yet, I heard somewhere between 90-120 riders showed up to partake in the cold offerings from Zipline Brewing.

Photo Jun 19, 5 56 35 PM

Started off at Moran's Liquor Works, to get the registration formalities out of the way and to sample a few beers from Zipline. These guys have really come on strong as of late, a year and a half/two years ago you'd probably be hard pressed to find that many people who could tell you who or what Zipline Brewing was but now it seems that they have just exploded onto the local beer scene. It doesn't hurt that they brew up some of the best beer coming out of Lincoln right now or that they offer cheese and beer pairings frequently at their tap room and they are super bike friendly and lets be honest craft beer and biking just go together; whatever the reason, people are certainly talking about this little brewery now and just the opposite is now true; you'd be hard pressed to find someone in Lincoln and maybe even eastern Nebraska who hasn't heard them.


Once you've downed all of the free samples at Moran's you can reasonably manage without looking like a heroin addict looking for his free methadone hand out, it was off to Cycle Works for more man sized servings via $2 bottles and some fat bike drooling... mmmm, fat bike.... Oh you gonna take me home tonight, Oh down beside that red fire light, Oh you gonna let it all hang out, Fat tired bikes you make the riding world go round!


As I said there was a really phenomenal turn out last night, it's a good thing we cyclists don't mind the smell of our own brand because it was pretty steamy out and we were producing in ode de swamp ass in quantities.


First stop on the tour was Longwell's down in the recently developed Rail Yard section of the Haymarket, I had never been before but it was pretty swanky bar with some really good food.


So what do you do if you're a bit more upscale and you have 100 sweaty, smelly cyclist swarm your establishment... simple, you put them out on the back patio area, feed them food and pour them ice cold beer.


The TV could have been a little bigger but beggars can't be choosers as they say...


After filling up on food and even more beer it was off to The Hot Mess, our final destination for the evening. The Hot Mess is 100% dive bar, you could argue that fact if it happens to be "your bar" but you'd be wrong, fortunately I love dive bars. Each and every dive bar has it's own personality, it's own type of clientele and a unique atmosphere that you just can't get from the more traditional establishments worried about their image, The Hot Mess was neither of those places and it lived up to expectations.


Any place that has to tell it's patrons not to eat the toilet mint is a place I'd definitely belly up to the bar and throw back a few cold ones; mostly to try to figure out who has the minty breath with that underlying tell tale hint of urine and then strike up a conversation with them. Lord knows if they don't have a problem using the toilet mint as a tic-tac you know they have to have some other interesting stories to tell.


Plus any bar good enough for Chuck is a bar good enough for me, even if the drink that bears his namesake most likely tastes worse than the a fore mentioned mint. For a dude known for his bad-assery he sure did endorse a pansy ass drink.


One little, two little, three little ghosts... you'd have thought I used the flash for this one but honestly this trio was so white they glowed in the dark. It's called the sun people, comes up everyday around 6 and sticks around for most of the day, go say hi sometime. I kid, I kid, I joke, I joke, thet guy from Zipline had some interesting stories to share and the Moran brothers (probably not their real last name... but who knows) are always fun to chat with. I blame beer for the reason I can't remember anyone's name ever or mine half the time for that matter; drunken stupor and Alzheimer look a lot a like if you're not close enough to smell the alcohol.


Remember those people I was talking about earlier that frequent dive bars... yeah... those people, these would be a good example.

Can't wait until next month to ride bikes, drink beer and take pictures of some interesting adventures, I would say it'd be fun to do this every week but I think my liver would emphatically disagree. Once again my hats, er... helmets off to all of those who do all of the work putting these events on so lazy dudes who like beer have some place and someone to go drink beer with at least once a month. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Official Opening of Walnut Creek

Tonight was the official opening of the new trail at Walnut Creek, this is the first trail opening I'd ever been to and the first trail I've helped make with my own hands, it was a pretty cool experience and likely one I might not ever get to share in again.


T.H.O.R was out recruiting members and supporting the trail, first year I've been a member of T.H.O.R as well... those guys and gals bust their butts making sure we have great trails to ride!


Had to fight the wind riding to the event and didn't anticipate that a 20+ mph head wind would slow me down as much as it did so I was a bit later than 5:30 and thought maybe I had missed it all. Fortunately the festivities were just starting... look at the fabulous view I had of the back of peoples heads.


The trail leader Jeff and T.H.O.R representative Roxy speaking a little bit before the kids tore through the ribbon officially opening the trail to the public... and another awesome view of the backs of more heads.


Had a really amazing turn out for the grand opening, a lot of people spent a ton of time making this trail happen I am glad I got to be a part of it and hope to continue to be able to help out, it is just down the road from me after all. If you get down to Papillion give it a ride, I think you'll be impressed and leave with a smile. Tried to get around to the other side to get some faces... and then they all turned around, the backs of more heads. FML.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Junk Jubilee


Decided to head out to the 21st annual Round the Bend Steakhouse Testicle Festival last night for a good ole helping of bull fries, or rocky mountain oysters if you prefer.

Round the Bend Steakhouse, Testicle Festival.

Without fail the first thing most people do when they find out you're going somewhere to eat the naughty bits of a bull is that they get a disgusted look on their face and they usually imply that they think they are gross through some form of eww type sound. However from the length of the line that I've had to wait in every time I've been to the festival there are quite a few people who would disagree with that assessment. Luckily the line for the beer is a different and shorter line so you can enjoy a nice cold beer while you shuffle, shuffle, shuffle to the sellers of the sac.

Round the Bend Steakhouse, Testicle Festival.

The other thing that is almost always a constant is that most of the people who have decided that bull fries are gross are people that have never had them before. I am guessing it's a mental thing because they don't come out looking like anything that once was hairy and dangling between a bulls legs once they are prepared and fried up.


Even girls like balls in their mouths, look at those smiles.


The weather was pretty close to perfect for the festival, storms are supposed to roll in tonight which could make for an interesting second night of the festival, glad we got out last night.


As an added bonus it was Friday the 13th and there was a full strawberry moon putting on a pretty decent show of it's own. If you haven't ever had bull fries before I would recommend giving them a try, once you get past the mental block I think you'd find them to be really good, I know I'm going back next year... always a swinging good time.

Friday, June 13, 2014

ThNNDRR - Ernie and the Barn Door

Mother nature just hasn't been too nice to us dirt guys this spring, lots of rain and lots of mud, so the ThNNDDR was cancelled again this week so I decided to load up the bike and hang out with the roadies on the ThNNDRR.


And we're off, decided to head out on Hwy 77 straight north into the wind, towards Ceresco and then just turn around and enjoy the tailwind.


Stopped for a regroup...


...and promptly got into an exhilarating conversation about cycling socks, man those roadies have all the fun.


We were making better time than we thought we would be considering the wind so we decided to ride it all the way to Ceresco and turn around there and head back. Also discovered that 4 dudes on road bikes suck at land navigation, when we decided to push on to Ceresco none of us thought it was farther than another mile/mile and a half, four miles later we were in Ceresco.


Had another regroup in Ceresco, took a little break with a refuel... and maybe some more sock talk.


Made it back just as the sun was starting to go down, all told 37 miles and a little over two and a half  hours of riding on a beautiful spring night. Hard to believe we are almost half way through June already and haven't had any overly hot days yet.


Man of many hats or signs of group ride commuter?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

More Beer And Less Bikes Lately

Haven't been doing a whole lot of biking lately, most of it's been due to the weather and the rest has just been laziness. Regardless neither has affected the beer drinking, not sure that's really a good thing though, whole lotta calories in beer that aren't getting burned off properly. I guess it's time to stop with the excuses and start with the pedaling again, but today wasn't the day for pedaling it was the day for beer.


I knew Beerfest was coming up and had thought about going as I've been known to drink a beer or two now and then but didn't actually buy any tickets, then I was given a free ticket by a good friend of mine.


Choice seemed obvious at that point, Beerfest here I come.


Luckily only a few people showed up...








Being an event called Beerfest they had a few beers there, some I have had, some I had not, some local and some from places far off but most of them had one thing in common and that was that they were good... and cold, so I guess they had two things in common.



Of course there were vendors there that didn't have much to do with beer and I naturally skipped over most of those but I did find two of them fairly interesting. The first was Deep South Barrels, the barrels weren't really intended for beer but you could put liquor in them and have a nice conversation piece at your next house party. It was almost enough to get me past the bad reference to the movie Sweet Home Alabama and Deep South Glass, almost, but in the end I left barrel free.Of course jerky always holds my interest, man cannot live on beer alone, really can't live on beer and jerky alone either but you sure would survive a lot longer with both and this jerky was actually really good.


And of course what would be a beerfest without some awesome t-shirts and some unique people. Loved this t-shirt especially, I think I've actually heard a few people use I'rish in a sentence before after having one or two too many.


While this one didn't quite have the same smile inducing phrase it did fully represent why everybody was here.


This dude had to be my favorite person there as he went all in for this Captain America theme, just had to ask him for a pic.


This would almost count as a mullet except while there still might be some party left in the back, it looks like the business in the front closed it's doors a few years ago.


Of course if you give people enough beer they eventually start making unwise choices... like playing on the children's swings, I was waiting for her to go flying off or to start projectile vomiting, sadly neither occurred while I was still watching.


Drunk people, sharp nails and hammers, there is no way anything could go wrong here. There was more than enough free beer for your average person to get really lit, I wasn't driving and had a serious buzz going after just hitting half of the booths that were there.


There was even a band, with one really excited fan. In actuality though they were pretty good, I even made this determination before I had that good buzz going.


Clouds were threatening but it never did rain, the clouds and breeze were appreciated though as it kept it from being as warm as it could have been otherwise.


After having my fill of beer, people watching and crowds it was time to beat feet home but before I did that it was time to satisfy my other vise, sweets. It just so happens that right next to the Beerfest is Jones Brothers Cupcakes and they make one very tasty maple bacon cupcake that was calling my name.