Monday, March 16, 2009


The first PCL event of the year took place Saturday,with forty folks on cycles meeting at CB's D St. Crib. Scott and I pedaled to Lincoln Friday evening and had a ball. BTW, It was Scott's first human powered  trip to Lincoln, next time you see him give him a high five and a box of girl scout cookies. (Oh, and he did it with one gear.)

After an evening of chatter with friends at YiaYia's followed by Ivanna Cone, Scott and I awoke to egg sandwiches and  the "Miracle Drug"called coffee. All fixed up by Scott's brother Luke. Making our initial rotations & feeling the perfect morning temperature, we had a sneaking suspicion the day would be epic.

When I approached the D Street Hotel, bicycles were scattered in every nook and cranny. Leaned against mailboxes, bushes and bricks. It was reminiscent of a  fraternity house party, but instead of drunk folk it was bike folk. (which I prefer)Walking inside was pure delight meeting & greeting the owners of the scattered steeds. Shortly after entering and scouring the white elephant gift table, we located our other Pedal Omaha brethren Rafal and Douglas. 

Minutes later the group rolls down A Street further west towards our turn around point at Malcom. We  all pedaled together until the rollers were in sight, I was getting antsy and wanted to stir things up a bit so I slammed into a slight hill and begged folks to follow. And Follow they did. All of the sudden there were five guys right beside me pacing on gravel. SWEET!

Not really desiring to blow the legs up, I hung back and was riding solo for a bit. After too much solitude I slowed until the next few riders could catch. It was KW and some other guy whose name I forgot. We stayed together until Malcom where we bought our lotto tix, then proceeded with the gas station routine of piss,rehydrate,refuel & a lil conversation. It was Swell!

Most of the group stayed together on the march back to Lincoln. I loved getting the opportunity to chat & pedal with several Lincoln-ites ... Jesse,Woodman,Cornbread,Wills, Bonsall, Gersib & Ortiz to name a few. Definitely planning on doing as many PCL rides as possible. They know how to have a good time, and I can't wait for more LINOMA hookups in the future.

I can already smell that Sunday Morning Bacon.


Douglas said...

EB: Nicely done.

What a swell day indeed. The Lincoln Folks are some of the best around. Although insanely hardcore cyclists, none seemed to have attitudes or egos. In the gaps when I was neither chasing down a pack or falling off, I thought to myself why Omaha can't be this way? With a city of a million people and probably more cyclists than Lincoln, WHY can't we break up the cliques and get cyclists of all sorts out to ride events like the PCL L-M-L ride? The Lincoln ride, as you know, had MTB'ers, Single Speeders, Roadies, fenders, etc all riding together. I read one Omaha blog yesterday that mentioned "nothing was going on this weekend in Omaha but polo." Where's the network we've talked about? Or is it a personality issue and not a lack of networking?

Until Omaha area cyclists can break out of their shells and start making an effort to unify I guess I'll be driving/riding to Lincoln for large group rides.

RD said...

that should be the goal for us this year to setup and get group of people like that out to pedal-omaha event. lots of fun....
Scott gets and award for pushing pretty good gear on the rollers
48-18 was not joke

EB said...

We need to have a sit down and develop a Pedal Omaha calendar of events.That includes anyone and everyone as long as they're pedaling.

Urban Rides.Gravel Fests to Iowa & Beyond.Boulevard Loops. Road Rides.Distance Touring. New to Commuting Rides.Dirt Rides.Donut Rides. Adult Beverage Rides.12 hr. Dirt Races.Twilight Point to Points.Elmwood Park Crits.Follow a JJ Deliveryman day....

I've talked with many of you out there that want events like this, Well lets freaking do it Omaha.

Who can meet this week? We could do coffee @ BL,evenings before or after the DT planning mtgs. We could have a gathering at the House on Paper St.

erik said...

magical things are happening all the time

there are no "cliques," only patterns of consumption and alienation born of self destructive ideologies. one need only wait them out, and it takes awhile longer within certain urban ecologies that support orange county idealism.

i'm going camping.

erik said...

lincoln : omaha :: bike friendly city and topology : hilly automobile wasteland

munsoned said...

I think it's a geographical issue. Lincoln is smaller, and the trail system reaches all over town, so everyone can ride to a meeting place. Plus you don't have to go so many miles to get out of town.

One place I'd consider a decent meeting spot for a large group ride is around the Aksarben area near the Keystone. That way, the group could head South into a Southern wind, or North into a Northern wind taking the trail to get out of the city. Now, if you live in NW Omaha and ride to Aksarben, you could have 10-15 miles already in by the time you start the ride. Then if you add the ride home after a Southern group ride, that's 20-30 miles more than everyone else.

I also wonder if it's a tradition thing. Lincoln has always been a hotspot for cycling compared to Omaha. Many of the guys there have been at it for decades. So, different teams have come and gone, but the same guys still organize the rides yearly. Here in Omaha, we have 2 major teams - Kaos and Highgear. Both teams have their respective shop rides. In Lincoln, there's never been a "shop" ride, just all the cyclists getting together and beating each other up. They meet at a park. That's why Aksarben makes sense to me, it's neutral.

It might also come down to commuting. I best a majority of the Lincolnites commute. So after work, they just hop on their bike, take the trails to the meeting spot, and off they go. If you hit the shop rides here in Omaha, you'll see lots of parked cars. So people have to either take all their stuff with them to work, or hustle afterward and get it all together. Which again, makes sense to hit up the ride that starts near where you live - a geographical issue.

I have no answers to this dilemma. But you're right Douglas, it would be nice to have the unity that Lincoln has.

RD said...

baby steps baby steps
that's all i got....
i'm open for suggestions/times
thanks for entertaining ride home eb, the douglas and scott

erik said...

it is frustrating when baby steps will not likely be sufficient to avert the destruction of our planet at the hands of people who care not, but i can handle it when it comes to cycling group rides.

munsoned said...

Meh, I don't know if it'll be the destruction of the earth, as much as the destruction of ourselves. The earth might get a little owie here and there(America and China mostly), but after we're gone, it'll recuperate. That's when the Cockroach people will take over.

I'm joking a little, but I really do believe the earth will go on after we wear out. How we wear out is up to us though.

RD said...

most of the changes happen when lots of people start doing small things. Not other way around baby steps is still a forward progress....
You should come out to one of the pedal-omaha events i think you would have great time..until then

Douglas said...

As far a meeting up, how about Friday after the last planning meeting, which I think ends at 2pm. Ride, drinks, talk.

Douglas said...

You lost me on your first post. I agree with your second post. While I understand your third post my reply would be that we're just riding bikes here, not trying to save the planet over night. Not changing the world with one broad stroke.

What what may appear as baby steps may be much more when it's an entire community of people taking these steps.

Douglas said...

I agree with your accessment of Lincoln and their "scene". Spot on. I'm also willing to drive my car to transport my bike in order to meet a group for a long group ride...if I have to. To some this may be blasphemy...but if it's my only option then I'll do it. I offset enough carbon in my daily life to allow me to drive some places... and I refuse to feel guilty about it.

munsoned said...

Douglas, I drive around also. It's just the way things work out. Unless everyone was happy to live in huge towering apartment complexes/lofts downtown, there'd be no way to fit all of Omaha in an easily bikeable amount of space. Lincoln has it pretty nice, but again, it comes down to space and the amount of people.

erik said...

i don't mind driving once and awhile, either.

i also think personal responsibility is great, and that baby steps are what it comes down to--too many people take prenatal steps however, and never get birthed to baby-step status.

Cornbread said...

I'll throw in my 2 cents regarding the success of Lincoln. Munson hit the nail on the head. Geographically and logistically, Lincolnites have much easier than folks in Omaha. The trail system in Lincoln is outstanding, the topography is relatively flat, and you can be out in the country on gravel roads within 15-25 minutes from anywhere in Lincoln. We don't have singletrack like Omaha, but we've learned to ride to the ones we have nearby via gravel which makes for a great day on the bike.

One thing you should put on the Pedal Omaha calender is the Bacon Ride. Every Sunday from Memorial Day to Labor Day at Platte River State Park. Omaha at one time had a large representation at the Bacon Rides, but was almost entirely absent last year (except Dr. Rick and a few others on occasion). Mmmmmm...bacon.

Mark Savery said...

You guys crack me up. Instead of trying to be the next Lincoln, let's be the first Omaha, open your minds.

erik said...

consistently meta.

Mark Savery said...

Cornbread, I was pretty negligent on the bacon ride last, I'll try and return it to it's previous glory.

Erik, huh?

EB, spring break? Gravel? Today? DT Blue Line? Noonish? Singlespeed big wheels? Call me.

RD said...

hmm bacon. Who wouldn't like that

Douglas said...

And by first Omaha, you mean what exactly? Any specific ideas on how we can encourage more cyclists to ride en masse? Lincoln's LML ride was not a largely organized group event, just a simple ride, word spread amongst friends. 40 people showed up.

Most everyone here is open minded. Some of us here have been organizing rides and events for a while now (years), beyond that of Bike Shop rides. My observation is that Omahans (in general) don't like to venture out of their comfort zones (polite word for clique). And even worse is the intentional exclusion of people outside of thier particular circles. I've joined various shop rides and stopped due to the tight-nit (polite word for snobbish) attitudes I (and others) have received when trying to join particular groups. I'm sure there's others here who will agree.

I think this blog is addressing the exact issues I complain about. It's bringing people together who wouldn't typically mingle. For example...EB is half my age and twice as fast, yet we're out mashing the pavement together because we share the same philosophy of organizing and networking Omaha area cyclists...getting Omahans OUT of their comfort zones. Some here on pedal-omaha are doing just that. Let's give them (us) credit.

Final comment: The moustache ride (trifecta) is exactly the sort of thing we need more of in the big 'O'. So when's the next one?

RD said...

you forgot to say has a sweet stache as well.

Douglas said...

That goes without saying!

Mark Savery said...

Douglas, statements like why can't Omaha be like Lincoln make me chuckle. Being a Lincoln boy myself, I can tell that what exists there is extremely special and unique. I've never encountered a similar environment.

But I can answer your question. Because Omaha is 4 times the size and has a significantly different topography. What Lincoln has, Omaha does not, and what Omaha has Lincoln does not.

We have a Thursday night mountain bike ride that hits a different singletrack every week. Pretty cool if you ask me.

We have some awesome road rides on both sides of the river.

We have crazy gravel in every direction.

I started the bacon ride 3, maybe 4 years ago because I wanted to meet up with my Lincoln buddies each weekend. Unfortunately I didn't make it out once last because life got in the way.

The same cliches (and I use that word lightly) that you find annoying, I see as a diverse community of enthusiasts. I enjoy bikes, and whether I'm with the road set, the mountain set, the commuter set, I'm having a good time.

I'm stoked you guys enjoyed the 2thousand9er, and I'm even more stoked that some fresh faces showed up.

In response to your last questioni, keep your eyes peeled for the Loess Hills Enduro (100k). Aprilish (maybe), I've got some good shit, that's if my home shit doesn't get in the way.

And nice pics and write fellas, we'll ride again soon.

EB said...

Oh You Guys...

Mark Savery said...

Oh you guys is right, too much talky talky and not enough ridey ridey. Time to ride.

erik said...

i just like the commentary on commentary, usually arriving post #20 and with much authority.

i also like don carmelo's and 110 Kgf

Douglas said...

Without perusing 14 different blogs, where exactly does one go to find out where and when people are riding in Omaha?

This sort of leads back to my first post where one person commented that nothing was going on in Omaha besides Polo.

I'm not arguing with anyone...I'm simply looking for an answer to what I see as a networking issue and welcoming "outsiders" into these various groups.

Loess Hills Enduro sounds delightful. Keep us all posted.

erik said...

the loess hills are delightful, sign me up.

Mark Savery said...

Mike, Rides like the Bacon Ride or the D st. exeditions have been going on for years. In the beginning the D st. rides weren't to different than what you guys had a month back or so, 7-10 core guys doing a ride. Then friends of friends start showing up and it grows. I've tried to do a good job of keeping MTBO current but like I said, sometimes life gets in the way. You'll find the road set is less organized outside of the Wednesday rides from BM and TO. Although the MITMON rides are pretty much a staple. My staff at TO does everything they can to get new bike owners connected with the meaty blogs. you said, there's a ton of blogs. After perusing the many, you get a feel for where to go to find the info. I'll be updating the MTBO weekly and annual calenders soon.

On a side note, EB and I had a crushing loess hills gravel grind today, I need to ride more.

Douglas said...

Good info. My attitude is slowly changing. Again, I'm blaming this on a network gap. Had I known about a lot of these "gatherings" I'd probably have a higher opinion of Omaha's scene. This fits into place with comments Erik has made about suburbs. We really do get cut off from the masses out here, and I suppose things like blogging are fairly new and now seem to be the preferred form of social networking. Perhaps I expect too much too soon. Either way I'm looking forward to exploring these new found networks, be it bacon or gravel. But I don't eat bacon so hopefully the buffet offers a veggie option.

On a different topic...anyone have any idea if we can incorporate a Google Calendar in this blog? If there were one central location everyone can go, like a calendar of events, this would help. I know a lot of local sites have calendars but they don't address the "everyday rides". Ideas?

erik said...

the way i see it, you should stop complaining about what i said about suburbia, douglas.

poor form anymore, and irrelevant to your cause.

There is a reason why people in suburbia feel isolated like you, is there not. This isn't my fault or that of people who choose to live in areas more conducive to genuine social interaction, more likely the fault of the people of patronize such venues of individualism and interaction mediated primarily by money.

if you look at how many of the suburbs even in a place like lincoln are, and then come to west omaha, it's a fine enough example of the difference in urban ecology many here have cited as a main reason for group think/clique riders. that isn't my attitude, that's an observation.

so seriously, don't return to me simply calling out a pretty awful city planning disaster as such and arguing we shouldn't support as indicative of some awful attitude at root cause--the root cause is the city structure supported by those who live in its respective areas.


Douglas said...

Erik: I wasn't complaining about what you said. I was giving you credit. Why so quick to attack and judge?

I don't agree with your comment regarding being isolated. My comment to MOD had nothing to do with isolation, but lack of information. Last night I hosted my weekly Wednesday night ride and had 8 people show up (typically 15-18). We passed another 20+ cyclists from the Bike Master's group among others who were out pedaling in my corner of the city. That's roughly 30 cyclists out cycling in my little corner of the city last night. How many cyclists were out riding through your neighborhood last night? Isolated? Hardly.

Even Rodney King wanted to get along. Can't you.

erik said...

it's lame and you should work on clarifying your intent otherwise.

I don't think I said much more than let it go, it's rather childish to belabor a point I dropped five minutes later two months down the road.

Hence, poor form.