Sunday, March 25, 2018

Rainy Days and Mondays


There was a time, many years ago as a young lad, that I lived in Seattle and I learned to dislike the rain as only a person who has experienced every kind of rain imaginable for months out of every year can learn to dislike rain. I thought once I left the soggy Pacific Northwest that I put this type of rain, cloud, repeat weather behind but it's found me and it's been on spin cycle for the last month it seems. Friday was no different and the rains came back and soaked everything just in time for the Saturday ride.



Despite trying, once again, to rain on our parade; everyone showed up with smiles on their faces ready to ride.



We scooted on down the Jamaican trail on route to meet up with David in Hickman and of course a bridge beer stop before we got there.




Surprisingly, both the MoPac and the Jamaican trails have been in really good shape in spite of all of the rain fall we've gotten on Fridays recently. Being relatively flat and with the 14ish MPH wind at our backs, the Jamaican out to Roca was a quick spin.



The pavement was even more dry and fast than the Jamaican which was a good thing as the bridge beer put us a little bit behind schedule for meeting Dave out in Hickman so we had to really get on it if we were going to get out there around the time we were supposed to be there.



We only really had one 2.5 mile chunk of gravel on this ride but since we rode it twice we ended up with 5 miles of gravel but the majority of it was limestone trail. David must have gotten tired of waiting for us as we met him on the gravel just outside of Hickman, which turned out to be a good thing since we decided when we were having our bridge beer that we were skipping the usual Hickman lunch stop and hitting Yia Yia's Pizza back in Lincoln for lunch.


With David now assimilated into the group it was back the way we had come and into the wind instead of with it.

Photo Mar 24, 11 32 27 AM

Photo Mar 24, 11 30 19 AM


Roca Tavern wasn't really on the agenda but the wind had a bit of a bite to it and a few of us needed a nature break so we opted to put it on the agenda. The Tavern technically wasn't quite open yet but they opened their doors a tad early and invited us in anyway and the Kinkaider Devil's Gap and tomato juice was just what the Dr. ordered for warming us up. Pay attention people, these are the kinds of establishments that you as a cyclist should be giving your money to when you can; there are those that claim to be cycling friendly and then there are those that go above and beyond to show that they are cycling friendly.



It's a good thing we stopped though, we got to talking to the owners and might just have a ride to plan for later this summer when it's warm and dry.




Once properly warmed and fueled it was time to get back at it and face the wind head on again, drafting wasn't so much a feat of maintaining speed as much as it was a chance to get out of the coldest part of the wind which seemed to have increased since we left Lincoln.


Old Glory sticking straight out confirmed my suspicions that we weren't dealing with your average, run of the mill, gentle breeze on Saturday.





As promised those who wanted to and remained, ended up at Yia Yia's. It was good to see it back open after being closed for a few weeks for some sprucing up, pizza was outstanding as it always is. A true Lincoln icon and not so hidden gem of downtown.

I'm hoping that nicer weather is on the way and this might have been our last crappy weather ride until next winter rolls around. Some people think we are crazy to ride year round, we don't necessarily enjoy it as much as we do in the warmer months but not riding would drive me bonkers and as the saying goes; obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated.

Thanks to all that came out and to those who continue to come out, rain, wind, cold temps, snow and all.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

I Stand, Not Crawling, Not Falling Down


Last Sunday when I posted up the ride for this week it was supposed to be in the mid 60s and the route was going to be a century but Mother Nature had other plans in mind. As the week went on the forecast temps steadily dropped and the chances of rain on Friday climbed so a reroute was in order, nobody likes a cold, wet century if you don't have to. Ironically some of the crew were out of town for Land Run and they had near ideal conditions for the race that is traditionally a mudfest.




Seems like the only time that the weather person is correct is when it's for crappy weather, they did not disappoint on Friday and it rained most of the day. Roads were less than ideal but sometimes you just have to play the cards you are dealt. The gravel roads spread across the deary Nebraska landscape like muddy veins spreading out in all directions, our tires the surrogate syringe boring tracks in the soft surface. While fleeting and impermanent, for a short time we scarred the Earth for a little taste of dirt to satisfy our addiction. 




The backup plan was a little bit shorter 65 mile route out to Greenwood and Eagle before heading back to Lincoln. Despite the dismal weather and the sloppy conditions of the gravel in spots, we were making decent time and spirits seemed to be high.




Rolled into Greenwood a bit cold and looking for a place to warm up.




I've been through Greenwood on a bike before but always as part of the Heatstroke, didn't even realize that there was a bar in town. Not much for bike racks in the town but we all seemed to find an accommodating light pole, most the same one even though there were several to chose from.



Bar was warm, food was good and the beer was cold. While we were eating we decided to shave off about 10 miles and reroute a more direct course toward Eagle, we never did get anywhere near the forcast 44 degrees they had promised us, 35 was the highest my Garmin ever showed.


Gravel was in mostly decent shape but the MMRs were totally off limits, might have to come ride this one when things dry out a little more.



The reroute of the reroute had us riding straight down 202nd and then onto the MoPac if it wasn't too bad, surprisingly it was in better shape them most of the gravel had been.





With the MoPac being dry and still as flat as ever, we made good time heading back to Lincoln but had to stop at The Hut because what ride on the MoPac would be complete without a stop there.



Once back in town there was the usual peel off of folks who had had enough fun for one day.



The rest of us ended up at Method for adult beverages and a little cake to celebrate Roy's birthday which was on Tuesday. And for some of us a little dinner later on with friends to celebrate my birthday along with Roy's birthday. All in all it was a great day to be out on a bike with friends despite the weathers best attempt to stop us. Thanks to everyone who came out, looks like more rain/snow in the forecast this week so we will have to see how things shake out and plan accordingly for next weeks ride.