Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Fat Bike Frozen Ididaride






Saturday in the early morning hours, just before the butt crack of dawn; we were out setting up and getting ready for the first (hopefully annual) Fat Bike Frozen Ididaride.




The race was the brain child of Rick, Kris and maybe a few others I am not aware of; putting on the event was a huge undertaking and an even bigger trust in Mother Nature to do her part to make sure that there was snow to ride on. In Nebraska it's always a crap shoot anymore if there will be snow in January or if we will be sitting at 50° and sunny. Thankfully she cooperated with us and there was snow aplenty.




Right around 7:30 or so, folks started showing up, warming up and getting their timing chips.





As we neared the start of the race, the crowds grew with racers and spectators alike. I'm not sure what the totals were but I'd be willing to guess around 50 riders, not breaking any records but also not too shabby for a first time winter bike race.





Start went off without a hitch and we were racing Fat Bikes, in the snow, in Pioneers Park, in Lincoln Nebraska of all places.





There aren't many pictures from me during the race, just the start and after. Todd and I formed a team and entered the race (Doug was also on the team but had a family emergency that prevented him from racing), so I had a little skin in the game and had to get ready to roll once Todd finished the first lap.



Course was a bit of a butt kicker for sure, there were some deep spots and some ruts that just had their way with you if you weren't alert the entire time and running the right PSI, which I think I could have stood to lose a few myself. Todd and I managed to snag 3rd in the team category, he rode the first lap, I rode the second and then we both rode the third to even things out since we were down a person. I think that there were 5 teams total and 4 that finished the race, lots of DNFs that day, like I said the course was challenging but it was also a lot of fun. Temps were almost perfect to boot, below freezing at the start which kept the snow firm but warming up to above freezing by the end of the race which made hanging out after the race not too miserable. Smiles everywhere you looked on Saturday regardless if you were first, second or DFL.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Snow Wrong


If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change. That is a saying that is heard around here often and it's one with more than a little truth to it. Earlier in the week it was supposed to snow around these parts, it was supposed to snow a lot. Up until Friday morning it was supposed to snow 3-5 or 4-6 inches and be blowing and drifting to beat the band depending on which source you wanted to religiously check.


The snow was supposed to be so bad that things got cancelled before the snow even happened, there was supposed to be a board member meeting for the Great Plains Bicycle Club that I was going to attend on Saturday morning that never happened. But because it was supposed to happen, the SMNDFBR was never scheduled for this week and that left me on a Saturday morning without a normal ride to do. While it didn't snow, it did do a fair amount of freezing drizzle on Friday which meant that driving to Lincoln was probably not the best idea, so instead I hit up the local trails. In all actuality we could have used a good inch or two of snow, would have improved the tread immensely as it wasn't even enough to cover the previous tracks and it was down right icy and slick in more than a few spots.


Would have been bad coming across this rut buried beneath the snow, was slick enough knowing it was there but would have been crash worth if you didn't see it.


It was still cold, really cold as the feel like temp was a single degree. It looked like there was one other bicycle out there today but I didn't see a single person while riding around, the sun helped to keep me warm but all the battery operated devices didn't much care for the extreme cold. GPS battery went down to 60% in an hour, camera was telling me it was about to die and even though I had the iPhone in a Ziplock in my jersey pocket, underneath my jacket, it was still cold enough to drain it from 85% to 1% by the time I got back to the car.


An oddly amazing thing about the ride today was that, despite the single digit temps, there were a few places that must have some sort of underground heat source near them as they were still muddy and not at all frozen like they should have been. Hoping we can either get some additional snow on the ground here soon or some much warmer temps to stick around. As it is now a little sun and then refreeze overnight isn't going to do the trail any favors, likely to get real slick without another inch or two of fresh snow on top of it soon.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Two Zero One Eight In Review


Man am I way behind this year, 2018 has already ridden off into the sunset two weeks ago and I am just now getting around to the year end recap.



January came in cold with ice beards and plenty of snow, it left pretty much still being cold but most of the snow had vanished by the waning days of the month.




February was a repeat of January, snowy at the beginning and not so much by the end but we did do the running of the goats at the end of February... I thought March was in like a lion out like a lamb. Yes I know goats and sheep aren't the same thing but if you ignore that for a moment, that's a funny line right there.






Things started to warm up in March and rides and ride related activities also started to wake from hibernation. Run for the Bridges bike assistance kicked the month off, followed closely by a pre-ride or two of the Solstice course to make sure things would be good to go for that. Lincoln saw it's first ever bike share stations popping up but the bikes would be about a month out yet. MMR roads were dry enough and rideable, which isn't always the case in March, temps were mild with a little chill in the air but not too horrible.

Photo Apr 07, 8 44 25 AM







April saw the warm up continue and the rides outside of Nebraska pickup, we had the Renegade Gents Race and my first trip to the High Trestle Bridge early on, followed up by the Cool Hand Luke gravel race and then the Covered Bridges ride. The Covered Bridges was a lot of fun and was a ride and not a race so you could set your own pace, there was talk of an annual event but I haven't seen an actual date pop up anywhere yet. Tour de Brew season kicked of in April also and as promised, Lincoln kicked off it's bike share program with a ton of bike share bikes.



May started out super nice, short sleeves and shorts were the dress for rides and I started exploring more local Omaha gravel with a ride from one of the local shops on Wednesdays.




Wear Yellow is always a must do May ride, this year we opted for the gravel route even though it was a bit overcast and mushy for most of the day; sitting next to a fire at Mahoney State Park after made for the perfect end of a chilly day though.



The Ride of Silence was also in May, a little bit bigger crowd and a little bit more meaning this year with the death of Randy Gibson near the end of 2017.





The end of May we were riding the inaugural (maybe one and done) Schmidty's Single Speed Spectacular, 75 miles on a one speed bike. Such a dumb idea that I went and signed up for an even longer one this year in the C.O.G. 100.




Early June I rode a customized Buffalo Stampede ride, started with the roadies but veered off on the gravel and headed down towards Blue Hill and then back to Hastings. Was a windy day for sure but that area is super flat so that helped a ton.



By mid June the heat was on for the Loess Hills Enduro but we managed to push through and unlike last year, I was able to finish this year. Of course I also didn't have the Sto Mil and 40 mph winds like last year either.






The end of June was the 2nd iteration of the Solstice, running an event and being on your feet all day might just be more tiring than riding in it. It also saw two of our great friends tie the knot in a beautiful ceremony.




The Bohemian Sto Mil was at the end of July, a new date from last year and temps were hot but the wind was nowhere near as brutal as the previous year. Another good finish was a great way to end the month and being able to ride with friends all the way through was just the icing on the cake.



August was the annual Kolache ride out to Wilber for Czechfest and later on in the month a failed attempt at Gravel Worlds. Not sure what it is about that one but I seem to have a good and then bad year every other, something I'll need to figure out in 2019 and beyond.



September was the Pony Express, first time for me but some of the others had done it the year before and it looked like a good time. It was a little wet, a little cold and a more than a little bit of an ass kicker but a nice tall cold one at the end helped.



The end of September was the end of the season appreciation BBQ that we have at the shop for folks who came out and rode with us during the season and to round out the month was the Homestead 100 in Beatrice.


October was the annual Halloween ride as things started to slow down as the weather got colder and the days shorter.


Photo Nov 23, 12 16 51 PM

November was the Bacon Ride and the annual Black Friday ride, wind and colder weather was the norm by the end of November.


Photo Dec 01, 11 29 09 AM





December we saw some snow, unfortunately it was after the annual Global Fat Bike Day ride so we didn't get the white ride I was hoping for but it was still a great time as always. To wrap up the year it ended with the annual Holiday Lights Ride. It's been a great year of rides and friends, miles were a bit down this year from last year by about 200 miles but smiles were up and really isn't that what it's all about.