Monday, September 25, 2017

Wheels on the Bus




The second official day of Fall was anything but Fall like, I'm not sure if seasons get PTO or not but it sure took a hiatus on Saturday. Temps were already nearing 80° by 9 am and were predicted to get into the 90° range before it was all said and done. And the wind, something about Fall and Spring in Nebraska just pisses the winds off something terrible and they have their little tantrums frequently and it was pitching a fit Saturday for sure.



10 of us set off from the shop on the MoPac heading East toward Elmwood, we picked up Kevin along the way to make it 11 but he begged off at Walton so his was just a brief stint with the crew. We did have a new rider join us however, Skylar was his name, he was a recent graduate of our very own UNL, rode an Ogre and his family owns land off of 176th not too far from the MoPac.



Earlier in the week one of the regulars had suggested a ride out to Elmwood and to be honest a more casual ride on the MoPac sounded pretty darn nice... half of us thought so too and we rode out at a fairly manageable, conversational pace while the usual suspects took off like scalded cats. Which is fine, it just meant more ditch beer for those of us who stopped to smell the stout and it was a good one.



Properly gassed up we lit out like an alcohol fueled funny car, pun maybe intended, toward Elmwood once again.




We caught up with the rest of the group at The Quonset in Elmwood for some hot food, cold beverages and great conversation.


After lunch it was back on the bikes and back to Lincoln we flew, temps were climbing by then and ole Garmin said it was about 94 by this time.


The wheels on the bus go round and round, until they fall off. Not sure if it was the heat or what but I just wasn't feeling it on the way back and it was a bit of a struggle to maintain a decent pace.


There's always time for a hut stop though, no matter how slow or blah you feel.



A few more miles and we were back in Lincoln, a few miles after that and we were back at Cycle Works and the end of another SMNDFBR. Thanks as always to those who came out, let's hope that the end of the hot weather is just around the corner.

Next week we are planning on joining the Ride for Randy, it's not the type of ride you ever really want to have to go to but it's one that we feel we owe it to Randy to ride in. If you're interested in going it's open to anyone and details can be found here.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Hot Dogs and Gravel Slogs





Really need to get better about getting these blogs out there into the interwebs quicker, so this one will be a dual write up. Thursday we had our end of the season appreciation picnic for all the riders who came out and rode with us over the summer. Food was good, beer was cold and the company was fantastic. This is our third year doing these at the end of the summer season and they're one of my favorite events, huge heat felt thanks to everyone who came out this summer even if you couldn't make it to the picnic we still appreciated you riding with us.


While the summer rides might be over for the season the Saturday morning fat bike ride (SMNDFBR) is actually about to hit it's stride as the weather turns colder and gets a bit more on the nasty side. While we are about 50/50 during the summer on fat bikes to non fat bikes that moves more toward the pudgy side once the cold and snow start descending on us.




Wasn't too sure what we were going to do for this ride, the initial plan had been to head out to Hickman and 9 South Chargrill but that was on Wednesday when the forecast called for dry conditions. Fast forward to Saturday and we were standing around in the shop at quarter to 9 and it was raining off and on, some of it pretty good but Mother Nature is a fat bike lover so she cleared off right around 9:10.




While the rains might have stopped, it was still wet and really chilly but after talking it over we decided to stick to the original plan weather be damned, so off to the soggy gravel we rode. I love the ladies and guys that we get for this ride, real troopers who rarely complain about the weather and just show up rain, snow or shine prepared to tackle whatever is thrown our way.



The gravel was soft and wet which gave the advantage to the fatter tires, for once we had to slow up and wait on the skinnier tires. Luckily the councilman made an executive decision and deemed it necessary to pull out the ditch beer and call the meeting to order. On Fleek, was the name of this particular brew and if you're a fan of the dark, heavy stouts and porters this one is... well, on fleek as the name implies.


We couldn't dilly dally too long though, Todd was getting so hungry he started gnawing on his Ziploc and plastics nothing anyone should be forced to eat.





For a brief bit the clouds parted and we rode though Roca and onto Hickman under blue skies and sunshine thinking maybe things were looking up weather wise.


9 South, although not located on South 9th Street in Hickman, is always good and the Hickman location is maybe a touch above the original as far as atmosphere goes. Once done we were greeted outside to wind, cold weather and overcast skies once again, it looked like our sunshine was short lived.



The wind did help dry things out considerably during the hour we were in Hickman which helped us to quicken the pace on the way back to help stay warm while riding into the brisk headwind.



Once back on this side of Saltillo Road we regrouped at the shelter and took a quick potty break, this spot is so much nicer since they built the shelter and put a port-o-potty out there. Poor pugs is going to need a bath for sure, she was looking all shiny and pretty for the most part up until this ride but I suppose all that dirt does add a little character.




Back in Lincoln we high tailed it down to the visitor center and picked up our 2017 Lincoln Beer Tour booklets and then rode over to White Elm for a free beer, followed by Code Beer for a half priced pint, they actually give you two half priced pint so you still get a free beer just in two halves. Although we didn't watch the game, you can generally tell when the Huskers didn't do so well and this was one of those times, while not exactly glum you could tell folks weren't overjoyed either. We will get there again one day, you just gotta have faith and a little patients until we can hit our stride again.


Once refreshed it was a short jaunt down N Street and back to the shop and the end of another great SMNDFBR. Thanks to all who made it out and for putting up with the weather, hopefully next weekend we will get a little more sun.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Riding With Billy and Dusty

Photo Sep 09, 8 44 19 AM (1)

Although we are still a few weeks away from the official start of fall, it definitely is starting to feel more fall like lately. This morning was no exception with temps in the 60s before the ride, since we were riding Wilderness Park I decided the bike of choice should naturally be the Bucksaw. Such and awesome bike, might have to find time to do a bit more single track before the cold and snow come.


With the Pony Express 120 going on in Marysville Kansas today, a good portion of the usual group were absent but we still ended up with a really good group for the ride.


Since we were staying in town this week we decided to take the always awesome N Street Cycle Track through the downtown area.



First few sections of Wilderness Park were in great shape, a few leaves and a few sticks but overall way better than I expected considering the storms lately. As a bonus we even got to ride with two thirds of ZZ Top, Gary definitely had some beard competition today from Ed.





The last section on the east side wasn't as good though and we started encountering downed trees which we had to go over, under or around. There was a group of folks from Friends of Wilderness Park that were out there with a chainsaw clearing the trees however so they are probably all gone now. Much appreciated to the guys and gals out there making sure that the trails stay passable, thank you for all that you do.





We took a bit of a break at the 14th Street parking lot and discussed which way to head back, we figured that the west side was probably in worse shape than the east and we didn't want to be a nuisance for the group clearing trees so we opted to take the Jamaica North trail back into town.



Photo Sep 09, 11 49 05 AM

Back in Lincoln we made a B line for Banwhich Cafe and some tasty Vietnamese food and bubble tea, it was only my second time ever being there but I've not been disappointed yet. Once lunch was in the bag it was just a very short spin back to Cycle Works and the end of another Saturday Morning No Drop Fat Bike Ride. Thank you to all who made it out today, it was a fun change of pace to get back into the Park and have a bit of a shorter but fun ride. See you all next weekend.