Sunday, December 30, 2018

Mutiny Abounds


Saturday marked 4 years and 2 days since the first Saturday Morning No Drop Fat Bike Ride started, also on a cold December day in 2014.


We had 7 riders on the very first SMNDFBR (one not pictured) which was just one less than we had this Saturday. Colder weather seems to thin the heard considerably on the winter rides. If you look closely both Dean and I are the only two that were at the first SMNDFBR and the ride this Saturday, it's been a blast these last four years.

I was also testing out some of Raber's Garbage Mitts on Saturday so pictures were a little more scarce since I couldn't take any pictures while riding.


Birds are the real crazies in this cold weather, that water has to be down right frigid. The ride got off to a less than auspicious start, somehow the group zigged while I zagged. I stopped for a moment to adjust something and by the time I caught back up to where the group should have been on the route... they were nowhere to be seen. As it turns out they were heading up the Rock Island and not the Billy Wolfe as they should have been but at that time I had no idea where they were going, so I decided to just follow the route rather than try to chase them down. I figured that at some point they would realize that they were going the wrong way and we would meetup again on route.




As predicted, the group figured out they were not on route and we decided to meetup at Holmes Lake and regroup there, lake looked spectacular on the early frozen morning.



I managed to get to the ball fields before the rest of the group but it wasn't too long before they came rolling along.



We kind of did a mixture of all surfaces on Saturday, with it being cold and icy we decided to keep close to town but also wanted to get in some gravel so we ended up with pavement, gravel, limestone and even some single track.


We even managed to find the Joy bench out on the MoPac, I know we've passed it a few times in recent months but kept missing it until Saturday. Looked good all decked out for the holidays.


We didn't do a ton of gravel but the gravel we did get to was rolling fast, surprisingly it was even a little dusty at times when we met cars going the other way.


The plan was to take the Murdock trail back into town, at the regroup before hitting the trail I noticed Dean's liners were bulging out like ping pong balls!




The Murdock trail was also in really good shape, it was on this trail a few years ago that we had a four person synchronized slide on a huge ice patch but there wasn't any ice to be found on Saturday.


Photo Dec 29, 12 38 02 PM


With the Murdock being in good shape, it wasn't too long before we were in Havelock and the Engine House Cafe. Great food and coffee as is always the case and they were still decorated for the Holidays to add a little more cheer to the morning.

Photo Dec 29, 12 59 14 PM

Dean ended up with probably the most expensive cup of coffee ever but I bet it was a darn good cup of coffee... actually it was just a miscommunication, Dean asked to pay and the waitress thought he meant for the whole table. Once it was straightened out it was a good chuckle.


The ride pretty much ended at the Engine House Cafe but a few of us decided to head to Saro Cider for an adult hot apple cider. Usually I get it with the Pyrate Rum but decided to get it with the Templeton Rye Whiskey this go round... that is the way to go and the only way I'll get it from now on. Pyrate Rum is good but something about the way that the Templeton Rye and the hot apple cider melded together put that combination over the top. I highly recommend it with the Templeton if you get one and if you haven't been to Saro Cider yet, you're really missing out on a unique Lincoln cider house.


The Raber Garbage Mitts worked better than expected, the hands were sweaty once or twice on the ride and never got cold. If you're not sold on bar pogies, these mittens will make a great substitute for those really cold days, only disadvantage is that the blog photos take a hit.

Also don't forget that the Fat Bike Frozen Ididaride is just around the corner, should be a fun time and every person who signs up will get one of these rad metal pint drink receptacles of their very own. Keep your eyes on the Cycle Works Facebook page on Monday and Wednesday mornings for your chance to win one of two entries we are giving away for the race. If nothing else it's been a great time remembering all the bike shops in Lincoln, those that aren't here now and those that are in different locations or are different names now. I think once the competition is over we might try to find folks who still have pictures of those shops and send them into us so that we can all share in the good times and great stories surrounding these shops.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Brisket Ride


Completely unplanned, Kat, Todd and I, just like the LGM in Toy Story,  tapped into the Uni-mind and all showed up on Saturday with our purple Fargos; representing all but the XL and XS in the size run. It really is a true testament to the Fargos versatility when three different people, with three different riding styles choose to bring one for a ride.



Since it was going to be an unseasonably warm December day, the plan was to take the gravel southwest of town and then head out to Malcolm for a little BBQ before heading back to Lincoln.


That meant the N Street Cycle Track would be our route out of town, although I am pretty sure that they never intended the line that MG took to be a normal route of travel across the bridge.




While Saturday was the first day of winter, officially, it certainly didn't feel like it. We had a little snow earlier on in fall but it's long since gone. With the drier and warmer weather, the gravel is in great shape right now and rolling super fast, almost pavement like at times.





Heading out on NW 98th, the interstate overpass is always a good spot to stop for a little mid ride refreshment break. With all those miles of almost deserted gravel roads, you might be wondering why anyone would stop on a bridge over I-80? Well, it's kind of fun actually as the drivers of big rigs and automobiles seem to get a real kick out of it and will often honk and wave as they pass under us. I suppose when you put something like a bicycle in a place where most people don't expect to see them, it kind of makes them take notice and it's a pretty unique interaction between cyclist and driver.







After re hydrating and spreading some holiday cheer to the weary traveler, it was time to push on toward Malcolm and the promise of smoked meat products.






Lippy's was good as it always is and it was nice to have a tailwind on the way back, which helped us make some really good time back to town and back to the shop ending the official part of the SMNDFBR.

Photo Dec 22, 3 42 41 PM

Photo Dec 22, 3 40 22 PM

Photo Dec 22, 3 35 48 PM

Photo Dec 22, 3 36 43 PM

After the official ride was over, a few of us decided to head out to Pour Craft Beer & Spirits on 70th and Pioneers to check it out. They have been opened for about a week and it seems like a really nice place, lots of drink selections if beer isn't your thing but if beer is your thing they have 24 taps for your hoppy pleasure. If you haven't made it out there yet, it really is worth a ride or drive out to give them a try, you won't be disappointed. Pro tip, park behind the building and take the back entrance into Pour, the parking in the front is a little bit tight; otherwise ride out and avoid the parking issues all together.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Mud on the Tires



I know it's already Thursday, which is pretty late for posting about the usual Saturday ride, but it's been a hectic week around these parts so pounding away on the keyboard to a bit of a back seat. As far as Saturday went, due to the Holiday Lights Ride, there wasn't an official SMNDFBR but that was OK with me. There was a ride, I just wasn't the organizer of that ride and sometimes it's nice not to be "the guy" and have the freedom to just show up at the designated place and time.



The plan was to head out north of town for some gravel that direction, I knew it was going to be a sprightly pace given the description of the ride and it didn't take me long to determine that I and Pugsley were going to have to find our own adventure that day.




And so it was at the first regroup out on the gravel that I let the group know that I was going to split off and that they need not wait for me. Pugs and I were clipping along at 13.5mph average at that point and I suspect the rest of the group was doing at least another 2-3 mph on top of that. Pugsley doesn't excel at gravel sprints, it's not really his thing or mine. Surprisingly a few others decided that they would fall back as well and we decided to ride the same route but not quite as quick as the rest of the group but not before a little sip off the Fireball.


And just like that one group became two and we watched them scurry off into the sunrise.


I spied this truck out of the corner of my eye all decked out for the holidays and just had to stop and get few pictures. Almost felt bad for stopping and taking a few pictures but on the flip side, I did give the rest of the group the opportunity to go on without me.



Wouter finally pulled the trigger on a new Journeyman, that guy can hash and rehash tech specs like nobody's business so it only took him 3 months or so to narrow it down to the eventual winner. Unfortunately, no amount of research can prevent you from running over a nail and getting a flat miles away from town.



Thankfully, while we might have been miles from Lincoln, we weren't too far at all form Raymond where our NASCAR like pit crew were fast at work changing out the tube while Doug drank his sour beer and supervised.


The beverages were still cold do the the chilly ambient air but had we needed it, there was a literal bucket of ice available for our beverage chilling needs. Those Raymonians really know how to extend the hospitality for folks passing through.




Since the flat put us a bit behind, we decided to make a really bad decision and take the MMR on NW 33rd because it "looked dry" and it was for the first quarter mile and then it turned into a complete shit show and we had to bail. But not before we sacrificed Brian's derailleur in the process, as a bonus though, Brian did a perfect Nestea Plunge into the mud directly to his left.. which probably made up for the roached derailleur I'm almost positive. Brian called for a rescue and the rest of us beat feet double time back to Lincoln since walking the bikes in the mud turned out to be much slower than riding the bikes on the non shortcut gravel route we passed on. Go figure, file that one under "we have the tires for that" mishaps.