Friday, May 2, 2008


Headed up to Swanson tonight for the MTB OMAHA TNR. A little last minute recon before the race on Saturday. I tried to no avail to find someone to drive up with me, and as soon as I was on the interstate I was questioning my decision to go solo. I stuck it out however, and ended up having a great time.

I didn't know a single person that was going to be there, other than in the "I read your blog" sense, so when I showed up and got ready, I kinda stayed on the fringes of the group. The people I recognized I knew were really fast, and seeing how I had never ridden that trail before, I stayed toward the back of the group when the ride began. The course was quite different than I expected, so I wasn't able to ride very fast at the beginning, and therefore quickly lost contact with the guys in front of me. Too many roots and tight turns. After dropping into the "Gully" and walking out, I ended up following a nice woman named Ann(ie?) for the rest of the lap. This was great, I got to learn the trail from a local who was riding the same pace as I was.

At the end of the lap, I said thank you, and headed out for another. This lap was much better, and I was pleased to find that I remembered most of the sections that I needed to remember. Back in the parking lot, as I was getting ready to pack up my bike, a couple of the BMCC guys came over. One of them, Tim W., had some nice things to say about my bike, and was super helpful answering a bunch of questions I had about raceday at Swanson. Thanks Tim!

It was mentioned that part of the TNR involves getting food afterward, but I needed to head back to Lincoln. Overall, a really fun night, on a cool trail. I hope to make it back up for another TNR.

Just a couple of notes about the course:
  • Tim indicated that in the past the "Gully" had been taped off for the race. I'm kind of hoping thats true for Saturday, because I can just imagine the potential carnage.
  • This course requires absolute focus. Some of the corners would be downright dangerous if you were to blow through them. There's one particular downhill switchback that is really easy to carry too much speed into.
  • If you've never been there before it will definitely be worth your time to get there early on Saturday to do a pre-ride. In my opinion, bike handling will be just as important as fitness for this race. Plus, it will help to close the gap on all the Omaha racers riding their 'home' course.
  • Some of the newer sections are really bumpy. My hands and arms were feeling it by the end of the night. I even ended up with a blister on my left hand. I'm still learning how to ride this rigid bike on rough terrain.
I could say more, but I won't. See you at the race.


crewcabrob said...

I wanted to go last night, but I needed to mow the yard and fertilize before the rain hit. Also, one kid is still grounded and I don't dare leave her without parental supervision.
Fun ride wasn't it, Justin? the roots are crazy and are at places on the climbs you really don't want them to be. I didn't find a lot of places to pass people either.
The gully is where I endo'd when I hit both shifters and the slack couldn't get taken up fast enough.
Race day should be interesting, we will have to see what the rain does.
The turns are going to take a lot of people by surprise that haven't ridden it before.

millhouse said...

It was really fun. I forgot to mention how dry and dusty is was; I was surprised after seeing the marshy conditions in parts of Wilderness. A little rain will do Swanson some good right now.

I've had to keep reminding myself, it doesn't matter how much rain we get in Lincoln, only how much they get in Bellevue.

crewcabrob said...

I would think it will drain off the trail up there much better than Wilderness. Those roots in the climbs will be fun when wet. I see lots of people falling over on the trail after spinning out.

I hope it's on this weekend. I read the Race Bible this morning for weather reschedules. Sunday will actually work better for me if they pospone it. Not sure how much rain they got up there, but we got hit hard on this side of town this morning.

See you up there this weekend!


Oscar said...

You're making me feel guilty for not riding up with you!
My son got new golf clubs for his birthday this week and was begging to get out and use them. Dad duties before biker duties, right?
Holding my breath on the rain thing.
See you in the morning.

Redbone said...

I wish I could of went up with you but of course house work needed to be done. I was up till 1:00 getting it ready for the carpet coming today.
So what I need to do for the race is just follow you right?

Biker Bob said...

It was nice meeting you millhouse. See you at the next race.