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Well I finally might one of my biking milestones today, I rode to Eagle, NE and back on the MoPac trail. We started at the 84th Street trailhead so the ride was around 20 miles round trip. As with any adventure it can’t all go perfectly but at least we get a fun story to retail later.

Late last night when I should have been sleeping already I was trying to cram my bike into my car so I could just drive to the trail head instead of riding there. I was complaining to Ross via text and he finally agreed to pick me up and just drag my bike over there on his trunk carrier. We were all supposed to meet at the trail head at 7:30 so of course thanks to both Ross being a little late and my inability to give correct directions, we were late. The group actually left with out us which was ok because we got caught up to them pretty quickly. Turns out one in the group had his tire puncture or something and they had to stop for a bit.

MoPac at 84th Street

MoPac Trail Head at 84th Street

Riding out actually went pretty well and it was a nice casual ride with a low pace since a lot of our group were beginner riders. The weather could have been better but it’s hard to complain because that also meant the trail was mostly unoccupied. It was in the 50s with a breeze and lost of mist and a few rain drops. We were wet but not getting soaked so it was ok. Last time Ross and I tried to ride to Eagle it was actually pouring rain and we had to call the ride off. I did not want to call off yet another ride.

A little after the 5 mile mark we stopped and regrouped. It was at this point that 4 of our group turned around and headed back to Lincoln and 3 of us (Nick, Ross and myself) headed on towards Eagle. The ride was nice because I was getting on trail I hadn’t ridden on before and I loved the feeling of accomplishment of rolling into Eagle and knowing I did it.

Welcome to Eagle, NE

Welcome to Eagle, NE!

Casey's in Eagle, NE

We stopped at Casey's, nice bathroom

So far my foot/legs have been holding up well to riding the bike so long as I remember to get on the bike from the left, which I’m not used to doing. The only really issues I had on this ride was just prior to riding over to Casey’s I stopped in front of the car repair place next door to put my phone away. That place has a steep driveway and it was wet so the bike slipped out towards my right foot and in order to stay standing and not drop my bike I had to put quick weight on to my left foot and it was not fun. It was a little sore for the ride back but nothing major.

Once we were done goofing around in Eagle, we rode back towards to Lincoln but did have to stop a few times to rest a little. Ended up stopping for a little in Walton because my ankle/foot were acting up and I just need to get off the bike for a minute or two. We made it back in pretty good time and Ross convinced me to just let him carry my bike home and I was tired enough that I agreed. We were planning to hit up NuVibe for smoothies but the universe had other ideas.

Bikes on Car Rack

They look so secure here....

Finally get the rack on how we think it should go, get the bikes on and bungee corded together and then pull out of the trail head parking lot. We got less than half a block before the bikes took a plunge and pulled the rack with them. I’m not sure how much they hit the street but Ross lost his brand new bike light and my chain came off. We ended up making an emergency stop in a random driveway off 84th Street, much to the amusement of the child at that house who watched us.

Chain Off Bike

Yep, that's not right at all...

Two bikes plus the rack adds up to a bit of weight when you are trying to get everything sorted out. I decided maybe it was better if I just took my bike and rode it and Ross could throw his bike in his car. Thankfully I know how to get the chain back on so that wasn’t a problem, the real problem was that I was tired and still 5 miles from home. Finally we decided to just go to Juice Stop which was maybe a mile or 2 away. It was then we noticed our friend Jennie had tweeted offering to come rescue us with the truck. We decided that was the best idea and had them meet us at Juice Stop.

Many thanks to Frank and Jennie for coming to the rescue and getting me and my bike home safe and sound! It was a pretty awesome day despite everything and at least no one got hurt!

One of the things I had been planning to do not long after I bought my bike was to ride in this year’s Trail Trek. I kept adding distances to my long rides in order to prepare because Ross had talked me into doing the 25 mile course vs. the 10 mile one. I’m happy that we went that route in the end because I don’t think the 10 would have been very challenging and the whole point was to see how far I could push myself. We had two other teammates, Kirk and Brock.

We all agreed to meet on the UNL campus near the Union at 8:30 and then bike over to Oak Lake as a team. Kirk and I both rode our bikes in from our respective homes while Ross and Brock drove down and parked. It was a nice little ride out the Oak Lake and there were a ton of people there. At the end they said they had over 900 registered riders this year.

We waited around at the lake until the start time of 9:00 AM, they were making various announcements but it was basically impossible to hear what he was saying from where we were standing. We also ended up starting near the back of the mass of bikers and it took a bit of time to get through the first intersection and actually out onto the trail. Part way in we took a detour and passed a large group of them in order to get going faster.

It was nice to get out and ride on some of the trails I hadn’t had a chance to get to yet. We basically did a loop of west Lincoln, heading way out south to almost Yankee Hill Road and then back into town, up to East Campus and then back to Oak Lake.

The weather was great for this time of year. It was overcast and generally the wind wasn’t too bad, just in spots it would become a little more difficult to ride. My one big mistake was forgetting to put on sunscreen before leaving the house but I was also fooled by the overcast skies. Regardless of the clouds, I still got a nice sunburn on my arms. It was a little bit humid though near the end of the ride.

In totally, counting my commute time, I went 34.5 miles today on my bike. This brings my grand total up to 400 miles since I bought it. I’m really proud of not only setting a goal but achieving it. Feels great to know that with a bit of effort, anything is possible!

When we got back to Oak Lake, there was food and beverages, which was nice. I tried a sparking orange juicy juice that wasn’t too bad but not something I would probably have gone for if I wasn’t so worn out from riding. They also had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, some kind of bbq sandwiches, chips and cookies. Along the route, there were watering stations setup that had fruit and one stand had bagels. I ended up grabbing a banana mid-ride and then for lunch I ended up going with PBJ and a cookie. It felt good to eat and to stop peddling for awhile.

Also during the ride they had a scavenger hunt competition where you had to find landmarks and stamp a card. We decided to do this because it added a little fun to the journey but we ended up missing one of the landmarks and were unable to win because other teams had found them all. They did drawings for new Trek bikes but no one on our team won one.

I’m just really happy to end my biking, for the time being, on such a high note. I love that feeling I get after I know I’ve done a good workout, it’s probably the one thing I miss about not going to the gym. I used to love that post gym drive home because I was a mix of tired and happy. It’s a wonderful feeling.

After taking most of the week off riding in order to let my knee rest, I decided I’d better get out and ride some this morning before tomorrow’s big ride. At first I was just going to do a loop around Rock Island and come home. As I started biking down my street, I changed my mind, and went out to Oak Lake Park where tomorrow’s Trail Trek ride was starting from. I left pretty early this morning because I wanted to get ahead of the heat advisory this afternoon. The ride down wasn’t too bad, it’s about 4 miles and just goes a bit further than my normal ride to work.

Oak Lake Park

Oak Lake

While riding around the lake I started realizing that I was an hour early for picking up my trail packets. I had kind of figured I would ride to the lake, ride home and then drive back later to get my packet, because of the heat. Well then I remembered the Farmer’s Market was open so I decided to bike back there to waste some time and then go back out to the lake. I’m glad I went because I got some honey and a smoothie because by then it was getting pretty hot.

Bikes Parked at Farmer's Market

Farmer's Market

I was getting pretty hot and decided to take my smoothie and stand in the shade near the railroad tracks. Luckily there was a nice breeze going through there and that felt pretty good. I love looking at the old train platform.

Train Platform

Looking up at Platform

After I had spent enough time at the Farmer’s Market, I rode back out to Oak Lake and then on home using the Antelope Valley trail. Over near the trail is a coffee shop called Destinations that you wouldn’t even know about if you weren’t out wandering around.

Destinations

View from Antelope Valley Trail

Turtle in Union Plaza

Once I was nearing the end of my ride, I realized I could finally stop at Sips and Subs and get lunch. They never seem to be open when I go by there so I was happy. They also have air conditioning, which was nice.

Sips and Subs

In the end, I rode a little over 14 miles and everything seems fine. I iced my knee when I got home but haven’t noticed any extra pains or anything. Mostly I’m just a little more tired than normal because of the heat. I am so ready for that 25 mile ride tomorrow!

Today the weather was beautiful and it seems like we are working our way into summer already. It was warm, humid and really windy. I was meeting a friend this afternoon for lunch and a movie and I picked Don and Millie’s which is a 50s/60s burger and shake place. I have been craving a burger from there for a long, long time now – like over a year, so I decided that I would get one if I got up early and went for a bike ride beforehand.

I did not wake up as early as I wanted and then ended up chatting with my landlord about the bike and other things before I was able to leave. The good part though, is I did end up getting in an hour long ride even if I didn’t get as far as I had mapped out. Biking out into the wind was a chore and I learned a lot about just how much dirt and small rocks wind can move. Watching a debris cloud coming your way and being helpless is an interesting experience.

I ended up taking old trusty Rock Island trail and just after I came up the “death upramp” off 27th and Capital Parkway I found out the trail was closed around the zoo. They apparently had an event that morning and were using the trail all the way around so my only option was to turn around and go back. I took the by pass route and picked Rock Island back up on the other side of A street. Thankfully the trail was open for the trip home.

Trail Marker and Bike

I rode Rock Island out until it met up with the Helen Boosalis trail and rode that to almost 40th before turning around and heading back home. I wanted to make it out past 56th to the end of the trail but I just didn’t have enough time. The ride back went a lot smoother and I was able to get some nice speed going. The best part of the ride was passing the guy in full bike racing gear on his nice racing bike. He had passed me earlier when I was going pretty slow but then I caught some speed and just went for it. That was awesome!

On the ride home, the worst problem I had was coming around from Rock Island to Billy Wolff, I hit a patched asphalt spot and the handlebar jarred into my thumb/wrist and that was pretty painful. Pain shot up to my elbow and I ended up riding mostly one handed until I got home. Doing the old advil/ice, etc and hoping it gets better – I had already cracked this wrist on the brake pull about two weeks ago and it was still sore from that.

After I got back from the ride, cleaned up and picked up my friend Susan, I got my Don and Millie’s fix. I went with a cheeseburger topped with only tomatoes and lettuce. I’ve all but given up on condiments – too much sugar in most and I’m not a fan of mustard. I also paired this with a chocolate shake because the make a really great shake. Since I go there maybe once a year or less, I’m not too worried about it.

Don and Millie's Lunch

We were supposed to go see a movie but got the starting time wrong and ended up missing it at two different locations. Ended up going to Scheels instead where I got this awesome Life is Good shirt:

Life is Good Bike Shirt

After Scheels we got our Starbucks fix (*innocent whistle*) and then hit Joyride Bikes so my friend could show me the bike she was getting and so I could look around and stuff. I ended up picking up a nice pair of cycling gloves with added padding that I hope will help with my wrist jarring problem. Susan told me I had to get them in pink so that’s what they are. I also tried on some cycling shoes and I loved them, most supportive shoes I’ve had on in a long time, so I may have to get a pair.

I also test rode a Specialized Ariel (green and black) and it was really nice. I haven’t ridden a bike with front tire suspension before so that was a little odd. My friend’s husband ended up coming and they bought Globe Caramels, very nice bikes. I can’t wait to get out and go riding with them some time.

Rode to the Trailhead at 84th Street

Walton, Ne

Rode to Walton, Ne

Crossed some bridges, saw some water...

Rode to this bridge and decided it was time to head back home

Stopped at Juice Stop on the way home for a 12oz Grand Slam

Well “The Little Red Bike That Could” and I went out for a ride tonight. Headed north down Rock Island, met up with Ross and rode out to Jamaica North and back home again. After parting ways with Ross, I stopped at Wagner’s on my way home. I love running little side errands with my bike, makes me feel cool or something.

Bikes on a trail

On the Jamaica North Trail

Not much to note on today but I thought I’d share a couple pictures. I rode the bike to work and then stopped on the way home to vote. Today was the big “yes/no” vote on the arena and I’ll be interested to see what the voter turnout ends up being. Lots of people voting at my polling place.

A bit later I ran out to get groceries so I can make Sunshine Lemon Coolers for work tomorrow. Sometimes when I get stressed it just feels good to bake. Plus, I have an excuse to try this recipe and not eat them since they will go off to work and be eaten by the others.

Bike Goes Voting

Bike the Vote!

Bike at the Grocery Store

Getting Groceries at Wagner's Food Pride

Bike at Holmes Lake

Stopping at Holmes Lake

After yesterdays issues I ended up sleeping in this morning and it was wonderful. I had always planned on going for longer rides on Saturdays and wasn’t sure I would make it this Saturday. I was feeling tired and generally not in a great mood. I decided that I might as well try for even a short ride and if it was too much I could always turn around and come home.

I ended up going down J Street and picking up Rock Island heading south, I followed that until it met up with Billy Wolff and decided to follow that path for awhile. I knew the path went out the Holmes Lake but I had never been able to make it that far walking. On a bike was a different story and after I got out on the rode I was feeling fine. Sometimes the only time I don’t have foot problems is on that bike so it was nice. I took the trail all the way out to Holmes Lake, did have to walk the bike up the backside of the dam once I got to the lake though, the foot was not happy about that. I stopped for a little bit and just enjoyed being near the lake, ate a quick snack of roasted edamame and then headed back for home.

Holmes Lake

View of Holmes Lake

I did end up riding up the hill on the front side of the dam without getting off my bike. A woman that was walking the trail told me “good job” because she said she’s done that hill before and it’s not easy. That felt really good, as did zooming back down the other side of the dam. It made for a lovely afternoon, that’s for sure.

For the first time ever I rode my bike to work. The ride in isn’t too bad and I’m learning how to ride with traffic. I rode part way on a bike path but then switched to the street before using the bike lane on 14th street down to campus. Why, everyone asks, is the bike lane in the middle of the street? They badly need to be repainted because it’s barely visible in spots though it doesn’t matter, traffic doesn’t pay attention to the distinction anyway – especially the buses apparently. I know it’s worse on 12th street so I have avoided that one so far. Coming home we rode down to Vine and picked up the Antelope Trail and took that back to J Street. The wind was awful coming home and it’s mostly uphill. It’s going to take quite a few rides before I’m not exhausted from that trip. I fully plan to ride tomorrow too.

Then tonight there was a get together at the Cup and I’m sad to admit I had never been there before. I simply love that place and I love how close it is to my house. I can zoom down there on my bike pretty easily so I need to go there again and try one of their veggie sandwiches or something. Everything looked really good – all fresh ingredient and such, just like I like.

I never really imagined a bike would make me go out and explore more but it’s really opened my eyes to seeing what’s available to me in my own neighborhood or nearby. It’s a wonderful way to get to know the town plus it’s nice to meet and hang out with other bike people. I even rode after dark for the first time and it seems like my lights work. Just ask Ross. 🙂

Multi-subject Post Warning!

Physical Therapy

So I went in for session number two of foot torture this afternoon. The first time wasn’t as bad as this time – this time it was pretty painful and I was feeling it when I left. I guess it has to be done for the long run but I had that bad, I wish I could quit, kind of vibe in my head when I left. She is doing some pretty deep massage and moving around tissues and stuff I guess and a few times she just really hit some pain spots. This really better work in the long run because it’s not fun. I have another medicated patch to wear overnight tonight and I go back for more on Wednesday and then a small break before going in three times next week. The people there are great though, everyone is nice and etc.

The Bike

Bike in the Park

When I got done at PT I decided to first stop and get a smoothie at Juice Stop and then I had planned to come home and ride my bike. During the drive home that looked like it might not happen thanks to the rainy weather. Thankfully, after dinner the sun was out and I ended up still getting in a nice ride tonight. I went down to the Rock Island trail/Billy Wolff trail area and rode around. Ended up going around the zoo a couple times, down to Calvert and out to Jim Ager Golf Course and back home. The weather was nice and lots of people were out on the trail. I’m learning how to properly pass people and while I’m certainly not the fastest bike on the trail I still hold my own. Only had to walk a little once when I hit an incline in the wrong gear coming off an underpass. Those underpass ramps can be brutal for a beginner!

Push Ups

I don’t think I have ever been able to do a proper push up so I decided it was time to change that. My new long term goal is to be able to do some real push ups. There is a program online called One Hundred Push Ups and I’ve decided to follow that. I encourage anyone reading this to join me, it could be fun! I’m currently working my way through wall push ups on week 3 to start. Once I get more comfortable with that I plan to move to bench push-ups, then “girl” push-ups and finally full push ups. I can’t do the “girl” push ups right now because my knee is, technically, still healing and kneeling on it would be bad.

Vital Stats

Name: Angela
Height: 5’8″
SW (2019): 475 Lbs
CW: 410 Lbs

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