Thursday, April 30, 2009

no outlet...

Yesterday's journey was a gravy ride, forecast had me believing we wouldn't be riding at all.  I took care of what I needed to on the bike Tuesday anticipating watching it rain yesterday.  MT & I headed out around 4:00 with no particular place to go, gravy.  Jamaica South, ran into Craigio coming in, Stagecoach West for a bit & then Martell Rd. which feeds into the Blue Stem Lake northern entrance.  Sign says "no outlet".  That can't apply to us so we go check it out.  Road ends in a cul de sac with two options. option, retreat is not an option!  So our only real option is climb a fence & explore the area's service road.
At times there was the faint outline of a double track but we also followed a a couple deer trails through a wooded ravine.  No idea where we would pop out.  Came upon a completely camouflaged turkey hunter, unsure if he was supposed to be doing what he was doing but also unsure if we were supposed to be doing what we were doing.

All of a sudden on I realized where we were...back side of Papa Geno's Herb farm on HWY 33.
Climbed one more fence, MT fixed a flat & we started working our way back to Lincoln with the wind behind us.
No outlet...bull%*@#!



Saturday, April 25, 2009

hundee, the hard way...

Today's plan...go big!  Only thing standing in my way is NNE 20 mph winds & the threat of rain. I decided to be satisfied if I could at least throw down a hundee, I'd consider it a victory.  No real plan, just ride.  Yep, windy as hell.  NW 27th to BO Rd., I was thinking Ceresco as my Northern most stop.  Decision time...fight the headwind heading North to Ceresco or fight the cross-wind & big rollers on BO Rd.  Below: I chose the cross winds, rollers, & a sweet dirt section.  For good measure, it started to mist.
New territory as I pushed further & further East...Forced stair steps due to road layouts dumped me in Ashland.  To this point, 40+ miles of wind either in my face or roaring in my left ear...
Had to leave Ashland on pavement, but headed South on 274th MMR...
Stopped by an old cemetary to check things out.  Lots of burials from the late 1800's...
Bridge out that crosses I-80 so I had roll down an embankment through the construction site & shoot a gap in traffic to cross.  Sounds sketchy but went pretty smooth, retreat is not an option. Wind at my back, I started to get the vibe I was heading for home.  Not yet...headed east at 262nd & Waverly Rd. to the familiar sound of the wind hammering my left ear.  When I rolled by Murdock a few miles later I had no real idea that's where I was until I got there.  Below: 322nd & Waverly Rd, now its time to head South.  As I finished this dirt section it started to mist/rain again. I was basically dried out from the earlier hour long bout with the mist & here came round 2. This one hung around for a while.  I eventually would be pretty much soaked through.
At the 80.7 mark I paused to call home.  Below: this is my WTF am I doing out here look...

End of pictures.  Time to get back to Lincoln.  Had to get creative as I neared Lincoln to make sure I got the hundee.  5 miles from home I hit the wall.  Rolled in on empty.  





Thursday, April 23, 2009

the otoe county triangle...

Spring absolutely has arrived, almost summer-like except no humidity, nearly perfect.  MT & myself hooked for an adventure...
Hiker, Jamaica, 38th, Stagecoach, & over to Wagontrain for a lap.  Then Hickman Rd. into the unknown realm of Otoe County.  One or two miles into Otoe we came upon the triangle...option 1 - MMR heading south, nope we need fluids got to get to Palmyra...
Option 2 MMR heading west, road closed...
Option 3, bridge out...
We took option 2, road closed.  Couldn't resist the double track with the grassy center.  Yep road closed...
Retreat is not an option.  I didn't mention MT was also rocking the new RXL MTB's, white of course.  Quote of the afternoon..."this is going to be a white shoe buster" or something to that effect.  We made it across & were rewarded with another double track section.  
MT & I parted company in Palmyra, he chose HWY 2 back in & I opted for more gravel, heading South & taking Saltillo back in.  Buzz kill pic below, I hope the wind did this.  These concrete Lancaster County markers are a throw back & always a welcome sight.    
Worked my way back to Lincoln & finished off where we started, jumped in the park at 14th St. parking & caught the hiker North.  Soooo nice out could've just kept going & going.  Hope everyone had a chance to get out, top tenner for sure.  4.5, 71 & change.



Monday, April 20, 2009

and the well ran dry...

Round 3 for this weekend foray on the road bike was the TTT at Pioneers.  We worked pretty well together for not having a clue.  Its just a pace line but you're in the aero position, a bit vulnerable. We got 2nd of 6 teams.  I'd do it again.  Best part...I rode over, it was only 3 miles from home.

Round 4 - Southwest HS Crit @ 5:30.  They don't call it the weak-end for nothing.  You can only fake it for so long, then the holes in your training & abilities start to surface.  Saturday I buried myself to survive, pulled out the stubborn card.  The TTT I was with 2 others to share the load, yesterday's crit...the well ran dry.  Nothing left, my legs revolted in the first minute of the event.
I'm way more shelled this morning than after the 144 last weekend.  For me...I get out of cycling what I put into it.  I have put in no intensity & it shows.  Mentally, I really didn't need this beat down. 

Hey Brian...hope you're ok.  Hang in there! 


Saturday, April 18, 2009

today, or yesterday, or whenever you read this...

Friday...heading out for the "see if anything falls off ride".  Hudson has a question about my use of spacers.  Don't worry about it little buddy, I know what I'm doing.  Scottyd your more of a gambler than I, I have to do the shakedown ride the day before.

HWY 2 to Bennet, cars & trucks blowing by me at 65+, at least there's a shoulder.  South on 43, cars blowing by me 50, shoulder, bummer.  Its been a while since I've been on the road, how about giving me a little more (insert profanity here) space!  Roca Rd...aaaaah, lightly traveled byway, nice rollers & a tailwind.  See this isn't so bad.  Through Roca & the trail was calling me, jumped on to get some dirt on the tires.  Oh yeah...buh-ling!!  RXL road as well.  I've generally got pretty sturdy knees so I'm testing them out with 2 new pairs of shoes, hopefully accurate cleat positioning, & a new bike.  Wish me luck. 
mixed message...don't worry it was .89

I've strayed.  Today, yesterday...whatever.  Rolled out at 8:00 am headed for D St., made it 4 blocks & put on my rain coat.  Showed up partially wet & an hour early, I missed the memo about 9:00 am start.  DK & I chilled, all good.  FOB, C-bread, DK & myself rolled out at 9:20. Gravel was sloppy & slow.  Slogged around for a 2.5 hours, 36 miles when I rolled up my drive. Tired legs for such a short jaunt.  

I've got about 2 hours until round 2, tractor test track crit @ 3:30.  I am so far from crit fast right now its not funny.  Ask me to grind out a fast 60, 70, 80, 100+ gravel problem. Fast twitch, what's that?  I showed up, I'll leave it at that.  I stayed with the group & killed myself closing gaps at the rear of the field.  I'm actually somewhat encouraged that I didn't detonate immediately.  The test track was billed as 1/2 mile oval?  Hmmm...I'd say the straights were approx. 100 yards & the ends were real short.  I'm leaning towards 1/3 mile, but what do I know.  Slightly banked made the outside/in line preferred.  UNL Cycling crew did a good job pulling this all off.

A few odd things happened at the race, a couple firsts & a scenario I've been a part of before.  A first...a rider is DQ'd for swearing, a second first...a rider snaps a chain & borrows a bike, takes a free lap & gets back in the race & finally (I've seen this one before) there's confusion with 2 to go & we ended up doing an extra lap.  A lot going the buzz kill of a team mate hitting the deck.

What the hell am I doing up at almost 11:00 pm?  I had to get my TT bike down from the rafters in the garage so I can do my first TTT with JT & Coach tomorrow morn,  something different for sure.  I mentioned to Coach it should be a good time as long as we don't crash each other out.



Friday, April 17, 2009

I'm good to go, I think...

Yep, that's what it looks like...pavement.  I knew sooner or later I'd have to face it.  I could place a sarcastic comment here but I won't.
Finished the road bike last night...
A jumble of parts, mostly experienced but a couple new items.  New items: bar tape, 53t Ultegra big ring, & upper jockey pulley for rear derailleur.  Items seeing there 6th season of use: DA shifters (not only 6th season but I also used the right one for cross last season) & DA rear brake.  3rd season list: Ultegra cranks, Ultegra rear & front der., Ultegra front brake, x-lite bar & stem, xxx-lite seat post, fizik arione, & Ultegra pedals I took off my TT bike.  I slapped on a set of race-lite wheels & some x-lite hard cases...I'm good to go, I think.  Hope so, racing tomorrow if the weather cooperates.  
After work I'll go on the "see if anything falls off ride" & make any final adjustments.  

I better buy my license....

Race isn't until 3:30, still plan on making D St. if its not too bad out, forecast is bleak. 



Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday bling...

The Dragon's Tooth has been retired or at least relegated to commuter status.  Bontrager RXL in the hizzy, white...buh-ling!
Break in process has begun.  From the second I first put them on I immeadiately noticed how light these bad boys are.  Light.  Trial by fire, double loop in the park.  Freakin' wind, I opted to hide out rather than get pissed off.  

Dropped in at Pioneers, biker to Saltillo, back to 14th parking, hiker back to the first bridge South of Pioneers...repeat.  Just under 40 miles as I rolled into my drive, around 35 of it in the park. Dogs were barking when it was all said & done, its been a few years since they've seen new shoes.

I used to often skip 14th to Saltillo...I associated it with a lot of roots.  I've slowly begun to really enjoy that section. Partly because of increased familiarity but also because I've been running higher air pressure & not pounding the rim over some of the roots.  I thought I had the f-loop figured out though also & it took me down a couple Saturday's ago.  I still haven't fully recovered from that slam dunk.



Saturday, April 11, 2009

I made it...144...8 hours 15 minutes...more later...

B road sunrise...W. A St., 210-224.

Gravel to Norfolk, actually Battle Creek, has been on my radar for a some time now. Just been waiting for the right time & definitely the right wind. The route...roll out W. Claire & work my way to David City, West to Duncan & Monroe for the two Elkhorn River crossings & then a straight 40 something mile shot North to Granma Jenny's.

Only one flat & one bad turn. MMR up North can be like trying to ride on a beach, or a sand dune. So basically...unrideable at times. I ended up run/walking a 1/2 mile section when I bogged down trying to grind through it. The section started out an awesome meandering double track but about a quarter mile in the sand dune section began & that was where the hike-a-bike commenced. I was able to ride out the other side, barely. My experience in this section must not have adversely affected me because 4 miles from the end of my trip I hit another section & was faced with a choice...detour 3 miles around it or go for it. I went for it, this one wasn't as severe. I managed to keep the pedals turning as I passed a deer carcass on a fence post to my right & then a coyote carcass on the ground a little later on my left.

Nursed a slow leak to Duncan...

The beach...355th Rd. 5 miles South of Monroe...

Here's a interesting side note...the entire ride I had only one car pass me from behind, sweet! This fact is made even more poignant because I spent a bunch of time zig-zagging the roads trying to find a good line in very loose gravel. Our groomed gravel in Lancaster County is a luxury.

The ride, basically uneventful. Point a to point b. I will mention the folks I visited with in the convenience store in David City were very nice. A customer wanted to know the details of my quest and the counter lady was very pleasant. To all the haters in Cortland, that is how its done.

I've got a few pics I'll post later when I can.

Sunday breakfast, round 1...

I saw some ToDR pics, sorry I missed it. Looked like a great time.



the northern mission, report later, I hope...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

the green light...

SW 140th & West O Street...
It was gorgeous outside yesterday. I had no plan, maybe Valpo. I kept gravitating further & further to the NW. How about approach Valpo from the West? Below: the lure of MMR. Now I'm on NW 154th heading North, new territory, windy, & its getting really hilly as I pass BO off in the distance to my right.
Valpo was still a possibility as I reached my Northwestern edge of NW154th & Ashland Rd. Not today though, after some quick calculations I determined I better find my way back to Lincoln. I would be pushing it to get back by dark as it was. Consulted a map this morning...I was 3 South & 3 West of Valpo, damn almost there! Pushing a headwind to this point had left me short of my unintended goal, I had run out of time.
Pit stop at the Oasis (home of the Clippers) & rolled into the drive a few minutes past 8:00.

71.2, very nice.

Have a great day!



Saturday, April 4, 2009

1 of 4...

As usual, ignore the forecast. Windy...head for the park. DK hosting today, thanks man. The crew: PC, MW, Butch, FOB, myself & a bunch of Kevin's (3 total). The park has been amazing the last couple of weeks, that special time when its dry & the weeds/grass haven't taken over yet. Rippin' fast, a potential head-on just around every corner. That would suck but with the park being multi-directional, always a possibilty. Below: we lost FOB, again. Unlike last week he turned up shortly after this photo was taken.
There's FOB! Butch hammered the creek crossing & got snake bit...

Waiting for the flat to be fixed shinanigans featuring one of the Kevin's...
Oh yeah, 1 of 4? I got to thinking...I didn't crash in March. January & February definitely. April, see below. So I'm 1 out of 4 this year or you could say I've crashed in 3 out of 4 months in 2009. That's my front tire tread tattooed on my right shin. Hit a root, slam! Launched both water bottles & my sunglasses. Had dirt & wood shavings in the bead of my tire when I examined the carnage. All good, this happened in the first 5 minutes of our 3+ hour jam. Biker out, hiker back, twice. All smiles! Great group today, great vibe, great ride.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring, can't trust the weatherman.

See ya out there?


Thursday, April 2, 2009

fools day...

The wind...ugh, the wind. I knew it was windy, but bad could it be? Started in the Park, hiker to Jamaica to Roca Berry, jumped on gravel on 38th to Stagecoach. This is where it gets ugly, 8 miles of loose gravel into the wind. Below: just short of 148th & Stagecoach. At this point I had detoured three times, once because the road ended, once for a road closure & once because I thought I could find a shortcut through a corn field. So I probably rode about 12 to get 8. I was seriously questioning my plans at this juncture. Head back to Lincoln? Nope, not on Fools Day! I'm a huge fool, keep going.

These guys warned me my journey would be tough. I didn't listen. From 148/Stagecoach I opted to head North, strong cross head much better than right into it.

Apparently there is no limit to how many times you can name a road Midway in Lancaster County. I know of three. East side of Branched Oak, just off of Raymond Rd. West of Denton off of SW 100th & this one 162nd just North of Yankee Hill.
Just short of 162nd & the Mopac...
My tailwind in sight...
Sometimes you find a groove & its all good, this wasn't one of those days. A hard fought 60, to be was only 58.