Saturday, February 27, 2016

SMNDFBR - Trimming the Bush


Hard to believe it's only February with the last two Saturday's we've had. Last week 60s and this week 70s, I sure hope the warmer weather sticks around and we have less moisture and hotter days this summer than we did last year.


We changed things up a little bit this week and met out at Van Dorn a bit earlier than normal so that we could get in a quick ride and then help the Friends of Wilderness Park with their trail day.


The earlier time meant that the frost was still on the ground for the start of the ride, this turned out to be a good thing as the trail was still frozen on top.



Looks like the parks department has been out doing a little work of their own, the trail under the bridge on Pioneers has been clear cut, smoothed out a bit and covered with wood chips. I'm hoping this practice is just to help with soil erosion and not a sign of things to come for the entire trail within the park, it'd be a shame to take the wilderness out of Wilderness Park.




Had another good group again today, mostly the usual suspects but we had one or two new faces as well. Love the core group we have for this ride, great group of people but we always have room for more to join in if you haven't made it out yet but are curious about the ride.


Made it about half way through the east side before our luck ran out and the frost melted and the firm trail started turning into muck. I think if a person was to wait until the afternoon sun had a chance to work it's magic on the trail, the dirt would be almost perfect around 2-3 in the afternoon. There isn't a whole lot of moisture in the park right now but the frost leaves just enough in the mornings to make the very top layer too soft to ride until it dries a little during the day.



Safely back on firmer trail it was time to turn around and high tail it back to meet up with the Friends of Wilderness Park and get down to some trail maintenance.



Met up with the rest of the group of trail workers out at the 1st street parking lot where we picked up our tools and a quick run down of what we were doing.


Gary came prepared and even brought his own tools.


Time to get down to business.





A little trimming, a little sawing, a whole lot of sweat and a few hours later and we were all done for the first of what I assume to be many trail days. Couldn't have asked for a nicer day either, we got a lot accomplished today but after the floods of last year, there is still plenty more to be done. Even if you don't come out for the Saturday morning rides you should consider following the Friends of Wilderness Park on Facebook and coming out and helping them get the park back into tip top shape. The park could use your help.

Next weeks SMNDFBR will have a special guest, someone who was there at the very beginning of the ride when it was on Wednesday and then Tuesday and then Thursday before finally, maybe, settling on Saturdays. That's all I'm going to say about that but if you're a fan of the rides from way back, you'll want to make sure and come out next week.

Monday, February 22, 2016

SMNDFBR - Pork Butts and Full Guts


50s and 60s in mid February? I'll take that any year we can get it, not sure if it'll stick around but it was here for the SMNDFBR and we took full advantage of the nicer weather.


14 of us in total (some even in shorts and summer jerseys) set out on a gravel route to Malcolm and a little BBQ for lunch.


Ed put his Fat Bike on a radical diet, she was rail thin this time around... I like my bikes with a little more rubber around the middle.



Unlike the last ride the warmer weather and the dry gravel had spirits high and everyone grinning from ear to ear.



Being the first really nice weekend of the year so far, the breaks were often and longer than usual, the whole ride just seemed a little more relaxed but the first nice ride of the year can do that to a person. Not needing to worry about frostbite might have a little bit to do with it too.




Spent about 30 minutes just soaking up the sun and warmth on the  bridge over Oak Creek on Bluff Rd., you'd have thought we just finished a grueling 50 miles to get to this point but it's only about 11 miles from Cycle Works. As warmer days become the norm, things like this will likely happen less often so it is nice to get to slow down a bit and just enjoy a ride on a beautiful day with a great group of people. The great band Alabama had a fantastic hit, which took them to number one on both the US and Canadian Country charts in 1992, that I often think about when I'm out on rides like these on days like these, not everything has to be done full speed ahead.

"Oh I'm in a hurry to get things done
Oh I rush and rush until life's no fun
All I really gotta do is live and die
But I'm in a hurry and don't know why.

I hear a voice
That say's I'm running behind
I better pick up my pace
It's a race
And there ain't no room
For someone in second place."



After a few refreshments and a good dose of vitamin D it was time to get back to the ride, did I mention how upbeat everyone's spirits were for the ride. Good times!


Hardly a cloud in the sky and just a gentle breeze as Nebraska standards go.



It's probably a good thing it was late winter and not the height of summer, so many smiles would have certainly filled up with gnats, grasshoppers and other field dwelling bugs in no time, nothing but broad smiles and bright, bug free teeth on Saturday though. Any day you eat less bugs than power bars is a good day on the bike.


Speaking of diets, I'm not sure what diet plan Gary has been on but the guy is all skin and bones lately. Ba dum tss... I'm here all week folks...






I wouldn't exactly say that we were flying but with the roads being dry and the wind being at a minimum it didn't seem to take long before we were making the turn into Malcolm. One nice thing about Fat Bikes is that it makes biking year round an easier option given their inherent improved float and traction, this helps in the spring especially since your fitness will likely be a little bit better than those who take the winter off.


Since it was going to be a nice day and we were going to be in Malcolm anyway, we decided to hit up Lippy's BBQ and partake in some awesome smoked meat rather than just smelling all that BBQ smoking in the smoker as we ride by like we usually do.



Big thumbs up from MG.


Always stuck at the back of the line...


This was my first time ever actually eating at Lippy's and it was even better tasting than it smelled all the other times I've just ridden by... and it smells amazing if that tells you anything about the way it tastes. If you're a fan of BBQ, this should be a place to put on your list to go eat at. It's well worth the short drive from Lincoln or Seward and much better than that chain joint that's spreading through Lincoln currently.


The only bad part about riding out to Malcolm for BBQ is that eventually you have to get back on the bike and ride back, except with a gut full of smoked meat slowing  you down. Well worth it though, once you get the gut bomb to settle into one spot comfortably it makes great fuel. We even met a friendly farm dog on the way back that just wanted to run along for awhile with us, as they saying goes the sun does shine on a dogs arse every once in awhile and Saturday was that day.




With a bit of a tailwind and being high on the hog, it didn't take long before we were turning onto A Street to make our final push back into Lincoln.


Once bad side effect of eating while riding is eventually it has to find a place to go so an impromptu personal break was in order for some of us back in Lincoln. Spider kid was amazed at the size of the Fat Bike tires, who knows by the time he's old enough to get one maybe they will be up to 6" wide tires.

Scott No Middle Finger


Back in Lincoln, a short jaunt down the N Street Protected Bikeway and another SMNDFBR was in the books, now if only we could get weekends this nice all the time we'd be set. As always, thanks to everyone who came out and rode with us you ladies and gentleman make these rides the awesome time that they are.

Sorry it took a while to get this out this week, the annual THOR meeting on Sunday ate up most of the afternoon.

Check back later in the week concerning next weeks SMNDFBR, Friends of Wilderness Park is having a trail day on Saturday. Might be time to help fix the trails that have always been so good to generations of Lincolnites as part of the SMNDFBR. Gears are turning on how to combine the two, details to follow.