Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bacon Ride, and a Failed Century Ride... Sort Of

This Sunday, Rafal organized another one of his favorite Bacon Rides, with route created by route wiz, Mark. I had expressed an interest in adding some more miles to get my first century under my belt, so Rafal obliged with some more awesome gravel routes through La Platte, and then streets, trail, and more streets through Bellevue before leaving me in Little Italy with 15 more miles to do on my own.

Several folks showed up at Wholner's at 6AM
  • Rafal D. on Bianchi single speed cross bike
  • James P. on a new Giant cross bike
  • Mark S. on a single speed, of which I didn't notice the brand, but it looked expensive
  • Ryan F. on a beefy mountain bike
  • Chris G. sporting a classic Bianchi Sport SS with some new tires, eager for his first time gravel adventure
  • And myself on the Specialized Tricross
W00t! A nice crowd.

The weather was perfect, with temps in the lower 60s, little wind, and highs predicted in the mid 80s. It couldn't have been a better day for cycling.

Chris told me that when he arrived at Wholner's, he realized he had forgotten his gloves. Then, he said, it dawned on him that he also had forgotten his helmet! Ryan's advice: "Don't fall." He didn't.

We made our way to the end of the city pavement just south of Walnut Creek, and from there, it was a mix of gravel roads and highway, with some MOPAC trail mixed in.

I'll save the play by play, and instead, offer up photographs taken during parts of the trip.

A nice breakfast was had at Platte River State Park, and conversation spilled over between our table and a table with some Lincoln riders that some of the folks knew. Unfortunately, Mark had a problem with his crank spindle and bottom bracket, so he had to call out for a ride home from the park.

Then, highway, MOPAC, pedestrian bridge, gravel, highway, gravel, lots of gravel hills near the church, more gravel, some highway, then more gravel.

James, Ryan, and Chris rode on back into town at Fairview near 108th, while Rafal and I rode on Fairview to 84th, then to Platteview to 57th, then La Platte Road, crossing under Highway 75 near the Platte River. We worked east toward Harland Lewis and then got onto the Keystone Trail/Belleview Loop and rode on in to Old Towne Bellevue to stock up on water and sports drinks.

The Bellevue Boulevard saw us to Mandan Park and on to 13th Street, and then we rode the familiar Gibson Road/Zoo/10th Street route. Rafal headed home at Bancroft, and I rode on in to downtown, crossed the river, and got some miles in on the Council Bluffs Levee trail heading toward Narrows Park before turning around and heading home.

Once home, I could relax. My shoulders and arms were a little sore, but my legs, knees and feet were feeling great. Aside from a general tiredness setting in, I felt like I could keep on riding. My new cycling shorts and jersey really kept me comfortable and energized.

At home, I saw what I was afraid on the bike computer.

I did not ride a century.

I was short of one-quater mile.

Epic fail!

Damn. I'll have to try again some other time.

Thanks, Rafal, for helping me on the century, and thanks to everyone for the awesome ride and conversation. I can't wait for more gravel adventures. My Tricross is getting quite the appetite for the awesome gravel roads and trails we have in this part of the country.


Cornbread said...

Quarter mile short! Doh! :) Sounds like it was a great ride for ya.

Glad you fellas made it to Platte for the buffet. Hope to see you folks on a weekly basis.

Scott Redd said...

Thanks for the comment, Cornbread. I just checked out your pics, and they are awesome.

Yeah, the ride was a lot of fun. I went to bed at 8:30pm and woke up at 5:30am. For the first time in months, I think I got a solid 8+ hours of sleep.

I was little tired this morning, but I still rode in to work this morning, albeit, slowly. As usual, after spending time in the saddle of one bike, I get on a different one, the single speed Schwinn, and think, "this fit is all wrong." The funny thing is, the next time I get back on the Tricross, I'll be thinking the same thing.

I'm looking forward to many more gravel adventures to come.

GenghisKhan said...

Random blog surfer here. Sorry to hear that you didn't quite make the full century, though it sounds like a great 99.75 miles.

And, why is it a Bacon Ride?

Peace and Happy Trails!

Scott Redd said...

Hi Khan:

I'll go ahead and count the 99.75 mile ride as my first century. :) Who knows, a few sharp, narrow turns over the course of the 100 might have eaten away that quarter mile.

This ride is called the "Bacon Ride" because the destination is at the Platte River State Park in Nebraska, about 30 miles away from Omaha, halfway between Omaha and Lincon, where there is an all you can eat breakfast buffet, which includes lots of bacon. I'm a vegan, so I don't eat the bacon, but I remember the bacon lust and I understand the draw.

Bob sent me a note telling me about a condiment called BaconSalt, that can be sprinkled on anything and everything to make it taste like bacon. I can imagine Rafal might like this in his oatmeal, pancakes, and maybe his water bottles. BaconSalt is vegetarian, so who knows, maybe I'll try it.

If you're ever in Nebraska on a Sunday morning, please join us for a Bacon Ride.

GenghisKhan said...

Mmmm, that sounds good! Thanks for the invite and the explanation. I'm heading to the market now to get some thick cut peppered corn fed pig bacon! ;o)