Today was the last day for a 2010 Bacon Ride. It was rainy all day Saturday, but the gravel roads seemed to recover quickly. The ride was hardly messy at all. Actually, the moist roads helped keep the gravel dust to a minimum. No crusty black boogies this time. :)
I met Pell at Midtown Crossing and together we rode to Aksarben Village to meet Chris. I'm guessing everyone else was too sleepy, assumed the roads were too wet, or were busy with the 35th Annual Omaha Marathon and various bike races.
I'm lazy, so I didn't mind planning on a longer ride that reduced some of the hills and simplified the through-town navigation (see routes here). We rode the Keystone Trail to the West Papio Trail where it terminated at 96th Street. By the time we started on the gravel just south of Walnut Creek, we had added about 5 extra miles on the trip. The extra miles were fun, as it helped keep the Slow Bacon Ride Slow.
At Louisville, we tried an alternate route that Google maps suggested, but I'm not sure of the lawfulness of the ride. There was a segment of the route that went through Lousiville State Park along "2 Gates Drive." Yes. There are two gates, and one of them is locked with "Private Property, Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted" sign. According the Google, the road looked like a public road, but it was really hard to tell.
We hoisted the bikes over the gate and squeezed through. The road was great, but if I'd known it was private property beforehand, I wouldn't have suggested the route.
We saw only one other bike at the park. Breakfast was good, but no one ate bacon. I suggested that the Bacon Ride was a failure if no one ate any bacon. Pell saved the day by eating a single piece.
The ride back along Fishery Road and Pflug Road was great. Normally Fishery Road has some coarse gravel, but it was smooth. Parts of Pflug Road was so hard packed and smooth that it felt like cement.
We rode the Omaha trails back and saw dozens of people out enjoying what turned out to be one fine day.
Chris rode on home while Pell and I stopped at Blue Planet to help me finish off my last Groupon with a yummy vegan Thai pizza.
Doing an 80 miler with friends on a cool pre-Fall day was awesome, and really got me in the mood to do some more Fall gravel grinders. I'm also already thinking about Bacon Rides in 2011.
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