Saturday, December 26, 2015

SMNDFBR - Birthday Cake And Slushies For Everyone


Today was the usual Saturday Morning No Drop Fat Bike ride but in addition to the ride it was also team rider, SMNDFBR regular and all around rad lady, Jamie's birthday and she treated us all to a  donut birthday cake. It was delicious, in case you were wondering.


She was also rocking her spiffy new Gravel Worlds women's Fat Bike champion pink jacket.

Photo Dec 26, 9 31 26 AM

Not sure if it was the lure of cake or that Lincoln cyclists are just a hearty bunch but we had a fantastic turn out on a dreary, cold, windy, drizzly day... 14 of us at full capacity.


Fueled by three days worth of sugar we set off to see how Wilderness Park was fairing with the temps hovering around freezing.




Since the new N Street Protected Bikeway was opened we opted to take that downtown and see what it was all about, for something that has only been open a week or so there has already been a plethora of opinions about the bikeway. This was the first time I had ridden the entire route and I was digging it. Sure there might be room for improvements but it's brand new and for Nebraska the first of it's kind, there are going to be some growing pains but overall it's a good thing for Lincoln and a step in the right direction for the future of Lincoln's cycling infrastructure. Give it a chance to go through those growing pains before condemning it, overall I'd say it's a win for Lincoln cyclists and a hint as to what could be possible or even better next time if it gets the support it deserves.


Before we knew it we were safely and quickly on 4th street and heading toward the Jamaican trail, for all of the N Street Protected bikeway's perceived short comings it provided a much less hazardous and more enjoyable ride than the 8th street route through the Haymarket. The roads were wet but clear of ice and snow which always helps as well.



It only took the first little section of Wilderness to know that the park was too wet for riding on this day.



While still a little slushy is spots, the Jamaican trail was a much better ride choice, hopefully with colder temps in the forecast the park will be good to go in a few days.




Love the new trail features they have on the Jamaican myself, I'd be okay with it if they didn't fix it but much like most things; the city didn't ask me.


This was one of the first times I think we've ever had an all Fat Bike ride on Saturday, you know things are getting serious when Russ shows up with anything wider than 35mm tires on his bike.




Barrier reroute.


Photo Dec 26, 11 12 16 AM

Made it out to Satillo Road before the weather started getting colder and windier, we all decided this was a good spot to turn around and head for home and warmth.




We met our friend, headwind, on the way back which made it feel considerably colder but there were still plenty of smiles.



Kudos to the Parks Dept., the city trails were in fantastic shape.


It was a bit chilly, a bit windy and a bit sloppy but you couldn't tell it by looking at the amazing group of people that come out to ride with us. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has made it out for the rides in 2015, you guys and gals make these rides the amazingly fun events that they are. I'm so humbled to see so many faces come back week after week, you guys rock. Here's hoping 2016 is even better!

P.S. Happy Birthday Jamie... had I thought of it I'd have had the group sing you happy birthday but since I forgot, here are a few Minions to take up the slack.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

SMNDFBR - Amiably Surly


As the entire biking world knows by now, Surly is having quite the blow out sale on select models of their Fat Bikes with some of them up to 50% off. Big tired bikes are flying out of the shop faster than a greased hog at pig wrasslin competition. Some of those Fat Bikes are showing up at the SMNDFBR and that is a good thing because bikes are more fun with friends, it's like buying a gym membership and getting personal training sessions for free. Get down and get yours before they are all gone, this isn't an annual sale and is most likely a one time only overstock sale.


Since I picked up a Pugsley just two months ago I wasn't in the market for a new one but not wanting to feel left out I did get some new shoes for Pugs in the form of 120 TPI Surly Knards. Probably the single greatest upgrade I've done to the Pugsley, light and fast rolling... night and day difference from the super grippy but heavier Nates.




Rolled out at 9:30 with a smaller than usual but hearty bunch, the cold tends to thin the ride a bit when snow is not involved so it was just us die hards today. The repaired section of the Rock Island that runs parallel to Capitol Parkway is coming along nicely, not completely done but it's getting there and it looks to be nice.


Speaking of nice new and improved trail, the section of the Rock Island trail that runs under Sheridan Blvd is opened and it is pretty fancy, much wider, much brighter and looks like it'll be much less muddy and wet during the rainy season. Lincoln did good!



Shortly after passing under Sheridan we had a little impromptu pit stop as Brian got his very first flat on his brand new Surly Ice Cream Truck, he had only ridden it a mere two miles before this ride.


Tyler was overseeing the work effort, making sure everything was done correctly and at optimal efficiency.


Gary was looking swanky in his "sweater" jersey, young children avert your eyes from this particular garment... the deer are just playing leap frog, a common reindeer game.



Miniature tree branch removed and inner tube replaced and inflated we were rolling again.




We decided to give a small section of Wilderness a try to see if it was in good shape, the original plan had been to head out to Hickman via limestone and gravel.


However we met up with a fellow cyclist coming the other way just on the other side of the bridge, as friendly cyclists, we stopped and chatted a bit and discovered that the park was in good shape.


With the winds being in the teens and coming out of the south we all decided to roll on through Wilderness and skip the headwind slog to Hickman. That breeze was very chilly on the exposed skin so hiding in the trees was a great alternative.




Came upon a little pond, for lack of a better word, well off the trail on our journey through the park and of course we just had to see if it was frozen. Matt made it across but I think the trip across weakened the ice because the series of shots above show the results of the return trip, after that we all decided riding across was perhaps a bad idea.


The sunshine was a bit deceptive and made it look like a perfect spring day, if 20 degrees is spring like.


Not to be outdone by Brian, Matt decided to get a pretty decent puncture in his tire as well and test the sealing capabilities of running a tubeless setup, to it's credit it did seal after a few minutes of spewing sealant on the bridge. Sort of looked like the reindeer had been here playing leap frog on the bridge by the time the tires started holding air.


Leaked stopped and we were once again rolling.


Creek crossings were interesting, the water was still moving so the rocks weren't much of a problem but the dirt was frozen on both sides since the sun rarely hits them, with the slight frost layer still on the surface the frozen dirt was as slick as ice.


Clint's brand new Surly Pugsley on it's maiden voyage.


Brian's brand new Ice Cream Truck Ops, pretty rad machine right there.


Clint on his trusty new steed, I think he's really going to like his new Pugsley.


Jamie, Gary and Russ tearing it up.


Hit up a very small section of the soon to be opened N Street Bikeway, this should be really cool when it opens next week. Might have to figure out how to make the a usual part of the ride once its operational.


And just like that another SMNDFBR was in the books but as a special treat Damon cooked up some amazing four cheese & bacon Mac-N-Cheese... it was ah-maz-ing.


Speaking of Damon, even the shop staff is taking advantage of Surly's low prices and he is building up a Pugsley of his own. Those gum wall Black Floyds are super light, super rad and should roll like nobodies business. I'm telling you, if you ever wanted to see what this Fat Bike thing is all about there isn't going to be a better time to do it than right now.

Get Fat and come out and join us next week, it'll be the most fun you'll have doing something that won't get your arrested.