Saturday was one of those touch and go rides, the rain forecast swung from definitely rain to maybe rain and then the percentages of rain kept teeter tottering up and down most of Thursday and Friday. So, the fact that anyone showed up at all was pretty amazing but they did and the ride was on, as it turned out we had one or two instances of spitting rain but never really got wet and there wasn't any real rain all day.
Initially there wasn't going to be a route since it wouldn't be known if it was going to rain for sure until the morning of, if even then, but requests were made for a route so one was made... and then the requester didn't show. I guess it could have been a rhetorical question. Funny things about route planning, most people seem to want one in advanced but only about 30% of people who show up ever look at the route and even less have the route on the day of the ride but try to be spontaneous and you've unknowingly committed a cardinal sin. Oh well, it's always good for a laugh or two.
Since we already had a route planned and nobody was particularly fond of riding wet gravel and taking the chance of getting rained on again, we stayed on the city trails. In most cities that would be pretty restrictive, however Lincoln's trail system is not your average trail system. We managed a bit over 32 miles and didn't even begin to touch all of the trails that are available to folks in Lincoln.
We mostly stayed on two loops on the edges of town, despite the chill and clouds, it really wasn't that bad of a day to be out on two wheels. Saw some geese and the new super huge Scheels store, there might be a future ride that involves riding the Ferris Wheel as part of the festivities. Weird to think that they put a Ferris Wheel back in the store, if you remember right they had one in the original store but it was removed after a year or two in favor of that large, fake pine tree that was in the store until the end.
Since there weren't any ditches on Saturday's ride, there were no ditch beers. Cheap beer is almost never good and good beer is almost never cheap, at .$67 a can those Mountains of Busch might not be all this beer makes you run for.
Despite being all in town, there was some decent elevation and you can actually get a decent climb. The two miles from 56th to 84 along Old Cheney is almost a constant climb and your quads feel it a bit by the time you get to the top. The east side of Lincoln makes up for the relative flatness of the west side of town.
Murdock Trail paving is coming along very nicely, looks like they are almost done from what we saw, we didn't ride on the section through Havelock but rode near it on the neighborhood streets and spied on it a couple of times. Then continued to wind our way through the neighborhoods and East Campus before finding ourselves at Cultiva.
Cultiva was always going to be on the route no matter which way we went but since we stuck with the in town route it was on our way back to Cycle Works. We ended up getting to Cultiva right around 12:30, I was hoping that it would be a little less crowded because of the football game but I guess the East Campus students aren't as giddy about attending Husker games as those West Campus folks. Luckily we managed to find a table right inside the door that would accommodate all of us, food and coffee were both fantastic.
Cultiva officially ended the ride but as it usually the case, those that wanted to were welcomed to join in the extra curricular portion of the ride. Since we were way ahead of schedule as far as the usual SMNDFBR time frame went, everybody decided to stick it out a bit longer.
We "motored" over to Method for some adult beverages of slightly better quality than the advertised ones we had seen earlier and even ran into a few of the racers from Lincoln's CX races out at Pioneers Park on Saturday. This guy is Travis Loewens, he took second in his category, but more of you might know his brother Tyler who was one of the original regulars of the Saturday morning rides. That was before he went insane and sold his Fat Bike and started focusing on Cross and MTB racing instead... nah, we all wish Tyler the best and would love to have him back for a ride anytime he can fit it into his schedule.
After Method we rode up to the corner to check out ChezSoDo, which opened earlier this year in the space that used to be Cottonwood at 440 S. 11th Street. Looking at the menu and prices, it seems to be mostly brunch stuff, burgers and sandwiches that aren't your typical sandwich. Prices seem decent to boot, this will definitely make the short list of places to stop for food after the Saturday rides.
If you go, and you should, make sure to check out both sides of the menu. The front side lists all of the available ciders but the back lists some other drinks including a Bloody Mary made with Saro's Zamora (Jalapeno) cider and an excellent Hot Apple Cider that you can get with Pyrat Rum or Templeton Rye, on a chili day such as Saturday that hot cider with Pyrat Rum hit the spot.
Todd and I took the Ural sidecar motorcycle for a test sit and our bad influence might have started a trend as others followed suit, however we did get permission from the owner before we sat upon the motorcycle.
Saro pretty much ended the after ride, ride as well and it was just a matter of getting back to the shop; looks like new apartment/condo type housing is going in on the N Street Cycle Track right around 21st street where Fisher Foods used to be. For all those naysayers that say that the N Street Cycle Track was a waste of the cities money, look around at all of the new businesses and housing now going up either on N Street or just off of N Street in areas that had sat dormant and undeveloped for decades. Coincidence, maybe but not likely, this type of infrastructure has proven to be beneficial to cities in the same ways that it is now transforming this part of Lincoln. Thank you to the city planners and city council members who saw past all the negativity and helped to get N Street done, sit back and enjoy the changes you all have helped to make happen. This area of downtown might not be recognizable as it is now in the next 10 years, and it's not just along N Street but is also extending to areas around Union Plaza's Rock Island Trail.
I suppose that's enough soap box for one blog but it's happening and it's fantastic for cycling and fantastic for Lincoln. With that Todd and Doug rode off into the dreary, dismal clouds and the end of the ride, the after ride and the after, after ride. Thanks to all who came out and to all who continue to make these rides when they can.