Chris G. and I teamed up to ride in the 2009 Spooks On Spokes scavenger hunt/alleycat organized by The D and his wife, The K. We started out pretty strong, but a couple of wrong turns (from my map misinterpretation -- being a Unix professional, you'd think I would understand that a "u" is not the same as a "U"), a flat tire, and ignoring the fact that the finish line wasn't the same as the starting line, put us at four hours; a full hour behind the winning teams.
From the start, my objective was simply to finish the race and have a good time, and unquestionably, this was accomplished. Chris and I had a great time riding, and running into other cyclists, both known and unknown, was fun. I also enjoyed seeing the variety of bikes that showed up, from fixies to cruisers, from 15 pound road bikes to tank like mountain bikes.
Here's my list of observations:
- It's mean to make the second checkpoint 15 feet out in Zorinski Lake. My feet stayed wet all day, and I'm not sure how to get the smell of lake water out of my shoes. Thank goodness for warm wool socks
- Picking up soda cans by hooking them on the end of a wire is harder than it looks. Expect to fall at least once if you've never done this. Maybe bike polo would be fun?
- West Omaha trails, sidewalks, and shoulders are messed up. You're riding along when suddenly it just stops! You might also find a trail bridge that dumps out into a undeveloped field.
- 90% of the joggers at Zorinski Lake are female
- If you try to use your Geocaching "Force" to locate hidden objects (like the 20 minute time bonus hidden in a wooded area), you're likely to find a Geocache. I did, but it was destroyed by water. Otherwise, I would have TNLNSTL.
- It's distracting to change a flat tire when there's a line of people waiting behind for their turn at the challenge.
- Most people staffing business at checkpoints seemed amused to participate by handing out their business cards.
Start making your plans now for bicycle-friendly costumes for next year's Spooks on Spokes.