Friday, March 19, 2010

A Mile for Every Degree

After ten days of clouds and cooler weather, we finally had sun and +60°F yesterday. Hands down, it was the best day of the year so far. And with nasty weather looming, I acted quickly and took the afternoon off to ride.

Earlier in the day, I had tweeted that my stated goal for the day was to ride 1 mile for each degree F. As a group, we did exactly that, riding 64 miles (map) in some 3 hours and 45 minutes.

I caught up with Shim and the Real Wes J. at 11:45 AM. We formed a three man echelon to attack the 15-20 mph SSW on the open plains before arriving at the base of the seven mile climb into Glenwood. The sunny warmth and beauty of the scenic Loess highway more than compensated for the winds. In fact, it was just warm enough to feel the heat reflecting off the tarmac for the first in a long time.

The roads are obviously in bad shape. Potholes and sandy conditions are everywhere. Anticipating this, I rode Bontrager Race X Lite Hardcase tires. Hardcases are excellent all-around training tires because they significantly reduce the chances of flatting. They're also quite durable. The last set I had lasted many seasons and thousands of miles.

Still, hardcases aren't bomb-proof. Shim was riding them when he flatted about 50 miles into the ride. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

Wes and I fought over the spoils (a patchable innertube). Wes won. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

When times are bad, frugality is good. Which reminds me: hey Shim, do you have any slightly worn Ultegra (or better) pedals that you're gonna toss aside?


  1. Would you give me some directions to where these climbs are and on getting over there from the Bob? I live in Midtown, so I think heading into Iowa offers me the best chance of getting into rural, hilly areas as quickly as possible, but I'm still unsure of how to string together longer rides on that side of the river

  2. Hi E.O'B - drill down into the map to see how to get from BOB through Manawa and over to HWY 275. For the long, steady climb to Glenwood, just follow HWY 275 till you get there.

    As for the previous post, Hill Repeats in CB, you'll want to go north (left) on the trail immediately after the BOB. Follow the trail until N 25th St. Go right. After going under the I-29 overpass, take a left on Ave N/Nash Blvd. Nash will then become Big Lake Road. Take Big Lake road until N 8th Street. Go right. You're at the start of this punishing loop.

  3. Also, local bike shops will be soon be organizing group rides from their stores. Depending on where you are in midtown, the Trek Store and Bike Masters are a couple group rides you should consider. Both are on Wednesday nights at 5:45.

    I'll look for you out on the road. Welcome to Omaha, Eric.

  4. Yes, I have a pair, but why would I give anything to you?

  5. WSCG....

    Take another "tipper from the ole chipper..."

    Speed. Plays.
    Lollipops of lovely ledals using lliteration and exclamation points!!!!

    And now for a Speedplay haiku:

    As the pedals are discs
    I clip in, and I see
    the phreds in my rear-view mirror