Autumn is definitely in the air here in Nebraska and that of course means schizophrenic weather patterns, when we went to bed on Friday night the chances of rain were pretty high but upon waking on Saturday the rain chances were minimal. Wind however was in forecast on Friday and still there on Saturday, with it coming out of the S, SSW in the morning and switching to more NW in the afternoon. This of course meant that we would be riding into or mostly into the wind all day long, hooray wind!
Despite the winds and the dark clouds, nine of us set sail from the shop on Saturday headed out to Palmyra and 47 miles of gravel goodness.
Didn't even make it out of town before we had our first bike related issue, got to 84th and noticed that we were two people short so we stopped and did a regroup. Turns out that Patchy's new Revelate bag had slid down onto his tire and he had worn a tiny hole in the material, it's hard to see but that little white dot is the plastic that forms the bag, sucks when new equipment has issues on the first ride.
Was a lot of cement just to get out of town and 84th was almost straight into the wind but we eventually found the gravel of Pioneers.
Despite being windy, the temps were decent and the clouds did burn off after a bit and it was all smiles or grimaces that looked much like smiles.
Our second bike issue of the ride came in the form of a flat tire, initially we couldn't find anything in the tire so we tried putting air in it to see if it was just a slow leak. Nope as fast as the air went in it came out, a new tube was necessary.
Did a second check of the tire after it was off the rim and found this guy, no idea how we missed that the first time as it wasn't exactly a small puncture. Not even the toobless would have prevented this, although if the tire had fresh and ample sealant it might have sealed around the nail I suppose.
Not the church on Cumberland Road and nowhere near Shenandoah but it was a pretty cool old church nonetheless.
Came upon this sign shortly later... what to do, what to do.
It's a good thing we don't read so good, these signs seem to be a more and more common sight on the rural gravel roads around Lincoln. Biggie, Puffy and Mase once said "Mo Money, Mo Problems" but it appears that less money still leads to Mo Problems, so who really knows what the answer is.
A few more miles and we made it to our lunch stop in Palmyra, there were a few less of us than had started but we didn't lose anyone to the bridge I swear. Brian parted ways at 162nd and Roy and Karla left us at the other end of 162nd due to prior commitments.
That was ok though, it's always a party in P-Town when you're at the Pub. On a side note the Pub is for sale, so if you've ever had dreams of being your own boss and a bar keep then this might be the opportunity for you. We'd come out and visit you every now and again, all you need is a cool $400,000 or someone willing to loan you $400,000.
Waitress was a great lady and even used a few nicknames we provided but because she's a decent human being she abbreviated Dave's to just DA, you'll have to ask Dave what it is but it sorta rhymes with chum bass. If she rides a fat bike, we'd welcome her on any ride.
I've been to Palmyra before, even been to the Pub a time or two but for whatever reason I never really paid much attention to the "downtown" area. I kind of dig it with it's eclectic small town charm of cool old buildings and small town oddities.
There were a few sprinkles leaving Palmyra and the clouds looked dark but we never really did get any noticeable moisture, as if on cue though, the wind did shift on us so we were once again into it for the ride back.
When I mapped the route out on RideWithGPS, it showed Van Dorn Street going through as did Google but when we actually got there it said No Outlet. We could see that the road looked like it went through but as an MMR, which was what we were hoping for, however the lady at the Pub said it was a private road. Not wanting to poach someone's land we happened to see a farmer right near the no outlet sign. My "friends" decided to let me go alone to check to see if we could ride through, that's them way up there, so far away they look like specks. The second photo was taken by Sarah, I'm surprised the zoom worked that well as far back as they were.
After talking up the farmer for a bit he confirmed it was a private road, it wasn't his road perse as he didn't own the land but was renting from the guy who did. I asked if we could ride through and he sort of looked at me like I was crazy and mentioned that it got really rough back there over the hill. I commented that we loved them that way, confirming his suspicion about my mental health but he gave us the go ahead so I waved the group on and ride it we did and it did not disappoint.
There were actually two sections of MMR and some question as to whether we should have ridden the second section... but the farmer said that there were two gates that were closed but that we could squeeze around them and we only encountered two gates so if we were in the wrong it was not intentional. The signs are a little confusing on the other end as it says it's private, says no motor vehicles and then says not responsible for injuries... so can you use it if you're not on a motor vehicle? I think more research into who owns the road is in order and try to make sure we can use the road with permission if we did in fact ride a section that was not connected to the initial farmers land. Good road though, as in it was fun not as in it'd be ideal to drive down, so you'd likely not drive it even if you could.
The rest of the ride was back to normal gravel and a water tower stop as we neared Lincoln, legs were a bit more tired than on usual rides. That wind almost makes it seem like you're constantly riding up hill all day.
We parted ways with Dave at 98th as he headed home and straight into a scene out of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds". There had to be hundreds of birds if not a thousand of them, there were more outside of the frame of the picture but all those black dots are little black birds. Luckily Dave made it through with out being attacked, maybe pooed on but at least still in one piece. That pretty much concluded the ride as people started splitting off as we rode through town to head home.
Todd and I continued on to CVO's memorial at Jake's Cigars to pay our respects. I didn't really know CVO, met him once or twice at a CX race out by East High, but I knew of him and read his blog "Folks from Lincoln" regularly when it was up, loved his Mexican adventures. Some time not too long ago the blog just up and disappeared, blogs were on their way out at that time so it went with the times. There is some talk about seeing if it can be brought back, not as in writing on it again but as in talking to Blogger to see if there is an archive of it somewhere but who knows on that. I did find out that CVO had a blog before FFL and that it's still around and can be found here. It's mostly 2004 or older stuff but still worth a read as it's pure CVO in his rawest form. It's been a horrible year for the Lincoln cycling community and I'm hoping that we are done with these kinds of things for quite some time now.