Saturday, July 30, 2016

SMNDFBR - Wittsuck Road



Looking at the weather last night it seemed like it was going to be an absolutely gorgeous day for the SMNDFBR, that still rang true this morning... or so it seemed.



7 of us set off from Cycle Works on what was supposed to be a great 45 mile ride, mostly the regular crowd but we did have one new person. Thanks for coming out Jim, hope to see you for more of these rides.



The planned destination was Sprague for a quick bite and then back to Lincoln, the route would have taken us down 8th street but I always forget about the farmer's market so we had to take the long way around.




One we successfully navigated our way around the market it was a quick few miles of city trail and then on to the gravel goodness.


Jim did really well and was just motoring along, it's hard to tell what pace we should set when there are new people on the ride sometimes but Jim was right there every time I looked. I was totally digging on his Wednesday also, had I not just picked up a Pugsley I'd probably have to make one mine... maybe down the road.




It really was a beautiful day for a ride, there were some dark clouds off in the distance but it didn't look like anything was coming our way...


Everything was going great, smooth gravel, not too hot, hardly any wind and even a few horses to talk to.


We even met their friendly dog friend, she was just hanging out by the fence staring at the horses until she decided to run along side us. It's not uncommon for a dog to run with you for a bit, sometimes it's because they are chasing you, but they generally turn around after a short distance and head back home. Not this girl though, she just kept running and running and running; by the time we got a mile down the road to HWY 33 we feared that she wasn't going to go home on her own and we also realized we didn't want to attempt cross the highway if she might follow. So we turned around and took her back to her house, after a few attempt to get her to stay, Ed finally got her to not follow... and then the sprinkles came. Me and Wittstruck Rd. is an old nemesis of mine, this is the road that had my number last year for Gravel Worlds. It looked like we weren't going to get along today either, since it was starting to rain we decided to take Wittstruck back toward Lincoln rather than continue on to Sprague. The farther down Wittstruck we got the more it started to pour until we were in a complete down pour.


There weren't many pictures of that hour that we slogged through the rain, eating gravel that was kicked up by our tires. Not being waterproof the camera took refuge in the Arkel trunk bag, it was only after we reached the shelter at Satillo Rd. that the camera came out again. Man we looked like drowned rats.



While we all got soaked, Jim and Sarah were the only ones that ended up with their heads and necks covered in gravel gunk; they were both trooper though, smiles all around.


Since it was the first time we were anywhere dry in an hour, we all decided to eat a little snack and drink a little bit under the shelter. I've had this pizza energy food for a week or so but wasn't brave enough to try it until today... it wasn't horrible, looked like baby poo and tasted like smooshed Spaghetti Os but at that point it hit the spot. Not sure if I'd pick up another pizza flavored one but who knows, it wasn't the worse thing I've ever eaten. As we were sitting there the rain finally stopped and the sun started to make an appearance. We decided to take the opportunity to hightail it home just in case it was a temporary reprieve but luckily the rain was gone for good. No pictures of the ride home either, while the rain had stopped the bag the camera usually lives in was soaked so back in the trunk rack for it.

While I wouldn't want to repeat the hour ride in the rain again anytime soon, I was amazed and grateful for the positive attitudes that the entire group kept in a less than ideal situation. The SMNDFBR group are an amazing group of individuals and I'm glad I get to ride with them on a weekly basis. Let's get everything washed, dried and lubed up and do it again next week, just without the rain this time.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

SMNDFBR - Screw the Dew


Headed out to Branched Oak's Area 7 this morning from the SMNDFBR, I know it was unusually chilly last night but I was really surprised when I got out there and saw a few signs stating that there was a biathlon going on in the area. To my dismay I quickly discovered that there was in fact not enough snow for cross county skiing... at least I had the right bike had there been enough snow for a biathlon.


Not the biggest ride we've ever had for the ride with just three of us but we are in the thick of the Cornhusker State Games and the gravel race was also this morning.


I was hoping that the early start time would get us in and out before the heat of the day got a chance to set in but the cooler temps also brought a fairly thick layer of dew on the grass; unless of course it was just the remainder of the snow melting from the biathlon.


The dirt track was in really great shape actually but with really big tires comes really big tire problems, which is that if there is a decent amount of dew in the grass those tires pick up dirt in a snowball affect until is seems like the trail is way muddier than it is. While we were not leaving tracks, Jeff with his "normal" sized tires wasn't really picking up anything at all.



Gary and I decided that in the interest of keeping the dirt where the dirt belonged we were just going to do just the one lap. Jeff with his narrower tires got in a second lap before calling it a day. I would imagine that if a feller or feller-ette were to wait until noon or so the trail out there would be primo and should be great for next weeks Cornhusker State Games MTB race next Saturday. Short ride, short blog... thanks to everyone who made it out, both of you. :) It was still a fun time.

No ride next week due to the a fore mentioned MTB race. When we return in two weeks we are going to switch formats just a little bit and ride some long-ish gravel rides in preparation for the upcoming Gravel Worlds. We may or may not be riding some of the sections from last years route so if you have aspirations to do this years Gravel Worlds or even next years, these rides would be a good warm up and give you a chance to ride with a group.

Friday, July 15, 2016

ThNNDRR - Corvette Summer

Little red Corvette
Honey you got to slow down
Little red Corvette
'Cause if you don't you gonna run your
Little red Corvette right in the ground”

                                                                                                      ~ His Royal Badness


Last night was an absolutely gorgeous night for the Thursday Night No Drop Road Ride, one of the nicer ones so fa this summer for sure. As you might have seen, heard of or experienced lately, that all the roads around the shop are just a bit tore up and under construction; if orange wasn't your favorite color already it might be by the time this is all over as it's everywhere. Could have sat on this corner all night watching the utter chaos and confusion that was the Thursday night commuter around 27th and Vine, throw one little wrench in the flow and people loose their minds.



After some tense moments we were able to safely circumnavigate a successful crossing of the tumultuous intersection and it was smooth sailing... for a bit.





Thought maybe it was a really early freshman orientation at UNL last night with all the people walking around the campus, until I realized they were just cyber dog catchers out trapping imaginary bits and bites. I almost miss the Candy Crush rage of a few months back, at least those people had the decency to not wander aimlessly about while staring at their phones; they left that to those texting while walking. I suppose on the bright side it is getting people out more, should be a run on ibuprofen and analgesic heat rub here soon when they all figure out that they haven't used those walking muscles quite so much in years. Poke-ouch!





The Haymarket was having a Corvette night as well, two blocks of some really cool cars. I knew that they had done motorcycle nights in the past but didn't know that they were expanding into cars also. Might have to come check them out one of these nights, there was only time for a few quick snaps as we rode through last night.



Lots of goings on in the Capitol City last night that made for an abundance of crowds, almost thought we'd never make it to open pavement.




Scooted out to Satillo road on a familiar route and then decided to keep going on 77 to the Hwy 34 exit to get in a few more miles in since it was such a fabulous evening.




A quick U-Turn up and over 77 via the Hwy 34 overpass and we were heading back to Lincoln.


Stopped at Hwy 77 and Satillo for a quick regroup and caught these big Bob Ross clouds out of the corner of my eye... maybe not the most beautiful thing to take a picture of but I thought the pickup trucks, old gas station, clouds and moon made for a nice composition. Might even look better as a black  and white, I'll have to play around with it a bit I think.


Once back in Lincoln, we stopped at the always tasty Zesto's on 14th and Pine Lake Road for a little ice cream. A guy could get used to ice cream with every bike ride, might not do much for improving your PRs or KOMs but sometimes victory just doesn't taste as sweet as ice cream does. Jim, being the upstanding guy that he is, picked up the tab for the ice cream last night so it was also free ice cream and anything free tastes just that much better. Thanks Jim!



Fueled by lactose it was a quick spin through the city via bike path back to the shop and another ThNNDRR was in the bag as they say. Thanks to everyone who came out and rode on an absolutely spectacular evening, take 6 and then lets regroup and do it all over again next week.

Monday, July 11, 2016

SMNDFBR - Donuts, Slushies and Diabetes


Went to bed Friday night feeling pretty good about the chances of getting into Wilderness Park for the SMNDFBR, even felt pretty decent when I woke up Saturday morning as it was dry in Omaha. Then I got a message from Gary that it had stormed pretty good the previous night in Lincoln and chances of getting any dry dirt is Wilderness was not good... well, poop! Looked like gravel was on the menu for Saturday after all, thankfully Tyler came down to drop off his Farley for a little nose job and brought donuts from Lincoln's brand new Hurts Donut location. They were very tasty and almost made up for the required change in riding venues, thanks Tyler!



Ironically, with Wilderness Park being too wet we decided to head out to Malcolm via the same route that Tyler had his accident on a few weeks back; I was really hoping we wouldn't have a repeat of that incident on Saturday.


One of my least favorite sections of road on the way out to NW 27th and the gravel that flows there, I really wish the city would either pave the shoulder or remove the median so that cars (who seem to not be able to wait and would rather squeeze by dangerously close) wouldn't have to get quite so close.



Once safely off of the bustling thoroughfares of Lincoln, the pace slowed a bit. Some due to the fact that the gravel was a little quaggy itself because of the overnight rain, the ride was sure to be a quad burner if it remained soft for the entire ride.


Just to prove to us that we were in fact dawdling on the gravel, Jamie decided to give us a bit of a head start and then catch us like we weren't even moving...



Despite the somewhat sluggish pace and the fact that I wasn't really feeling gravel and was really hoping we could get into the Park, it ended up being a gorgeous day to be out on two wheels. "Twas a hot and humid one though.



At the mandatory Malcolm stop, attrition set in and we lost half of our group with Jamie dropping off earlier to meet up with the family for lunch and then Gary and Brent heading back to Lincoln as well once we hit Malcolm.



The four of us that remained motored on, Sarah leading the way just chugging up and down the hills like they weren't even there.


Despite the heat, humidity and ever increasing wind, the roads were drying out making the go effort a little easier and spirits were high.



The heat didn't seem to be bothering any of the livestock, everywhere you looked horses and cows were out frolicking in the fields.


All they were missing was their freedom to leave the farm and some bicycles, had they had those two things they could have joined us as we headed back to Lincoln.

Photo Jul 09, 1 03 53 PM

Photo Jul 09, 1 14 31 PM (1)

It was decided as we were waiting at the light on Coddington and West A street, that something cold from Amigos was in order. If you think brain freeze is an issue on a normal day, try riding your bicycle for a few dozen miles to really bring your core temperature up and then take a big swig of something really cold... ooooohhh the agony.


Despite the trauma of super duper brain freeze the frozen treats really hit the spot and helped to lower the body temperature nicely. After lounging in the shade for a bit, it was back in the saddle for the final little push back to the shop.




Once back at the shop I had to stop and admire the New Belgium cruisers that they are giving away this year, made right here in the USA by Detroit Bicycle Company. Pretty rad bicycle, this one's already given away so if you want to see it get down there fast before it's owner picks it up... if they haven't already.