Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Territory

I've been riding around Omaha for a couple of years now and have gotten to know a lot of roads that I would never have taken by car. As a result, my appreciation of what Omaha offers, and as I'm learning, what lies just beyond Omaha, is growing.

Sometimes when I'm with Katherine, I'll take one of these off the beaten path routes and declare, "this is my territory." Katherine's heard that a thousand times if she's heard it once. "Yeah, yeah, what around here isn't your territory," she replies.

Until last night, County Road 49 wasn't. But due to a wet summer and more rain throughout the day, our normal route home through the Boyer's Chute wilderness area was flooded out. As a result, we were forced to reroute our ride through higher grounds along County Road 49. It was a first for me.

From HWY 75 heading south, County Road 49's surface is chipped gravel over pavement. But it's an easy ride on a road bike, especially if you follow the well-worn tire ruts. A sharp but short kicker brings you to a section of tree-lined fields to the east and an expansive valley to the west. This is Nebraska country scenery at its finest.

The road rises slowly into a false flat, followed by a moderate climb that brings you to the top of a long paved descent through a wooded area. Ultimately, County Road 49 terminates at the volunteer fire department of Ponca Hills. From there, we went east and drilled it through the valley, saving the hill repeats for another day.

This ride almost didn't happen due to weather. But local weatherman and avid cyclist CT Thongklin reassured me that the skies would part and the roads would be dry. And sure enough, at 6:00 PM, the sun had returned for nearly perfect riding conditions: 75 F and little wind.

The ideal conditions and the discovery of a new route is cycling at its best.

I'm happy to say that County Road 49 is now my territory.


  1. Get off my territory!

    You should flip it and ride up from the fire station. Awesome hill for intervals as it gets progressively steeper all the way to the top.

    I could open your eyes to all kinds of chip seal tarmarc love my friend, we will ride, soon.

    And buy the way, Boyer chute is totally dry. Rode it today, water has receded about 2 feet since a week ago when it was spilling over the roads.