Wednesday, May 27, 2009


As a person becomes embedded into the culture of cycling, people on the outside looking in will tell you that you're crazy when you tell them you did a 50 mile gravel-road ride, or a 70 mile mountain bike race. You, the person on the inside, know that this isn't really crazy; it just takes the desire to do it, and a little bit of training. However, there are people out there in the world that are doing things on bicycles that are truly amazing and deserving of great respect and admiration.

To my surprise, one of these people is from Lincoln and was featured in a Journal Star article and video (the video is better than the article) last week. Matt Baumeister took a journey that began in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska (on the Arctic Ocean) and finished in Ushuaia, Argentina (the claimed southernmost city in the world). The trip began in June 2007 and finished in February of 2009, covering 14,328 miles on bicycle. He kept a pretty detailed account of his travels on his blog, Pan Am Bike Ride. It's cool to read about each country and the differences in terrain, climate and culture as experienced on two wheels.

Particularly interesting to me was Matt's account of his time in Huanaco, Peru and the following trip from Huanaco to Lima Peru. In August of 2007, my wife and I were in Huanaco helping some missionaries from our church build a house. The trip from Huanaco to Lima took 9 hours on a bus and tops out at 16,000 feet elevation. I can't comprehend doing that on a bicycle, especially after being over 10,000 miles into the journey.

Me, taking a break on a roof in Huanaco. Pretty sweet terrain...

Here's another interesting post about searching for the headwater's of the Amazon River near Arequipa, Peru.

It's well worth the time it takes to read the whole story. Check it out here. Be inspired, even for the "little" adventures in your own life.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Great Weekend

My uncles Scott and Junior were in from Pennsylvania along with a bunch of other family to celebrate my sister's wedding last weekend. One of the things I was really looking forward to was riding on my home trails with them. We have ridden together several times in PA before, but this would be the first time in Nebraska.

Friday, we awoke to the threat of rain and severe weather. I was quickly goaded into loading up the gear; "If it isn't raining, we're riding" was the cry. Due to uncertainty about the weather, we decided to head out to Branched Oak as it is considerably closer to home than Platte River State Park. The 12 hour race at Branched Oak was held that weekend, so we found some newly added trail and some new detours at Area 7. After two laps of the race course (minus the pasture section at the end of the lap), we decided to head over to Area 1 for a lap. In both locations, the trail was perfectly tacky and the sandy corners were nicely packed. On the negative side, it appears that the log crossings at Area 1 have been taken out.

After church on Sunday, we hit up Platte River State Park. I had been talking up these trails as the best that eastern Nebraska had to offer, so I was excited to show it off. We parked near the horse stables, and shot a quick picture using the self-timer.

As we were about to head into the trails, we noticed a "No Bikes 9Am-4PM" sign. This was a restriction that I had thought didn't start until Memorial Day, and yet, here the sign said differently. A Ranger was nearby and he explained that the horses needed to get onto the trails before the official opening to get reacclimated with being ridden on trails. After explaining the circumstances (uncles from out of town, etc) and giving assurances that we would yield to any horses, the Ranger let us ride. Thanks Greg (I think that was his name)! Two laps later and we were ready to call it a day. The trail was in perfect condition and because this wasn't a race situation, I actually had opportunity to enjoy what I was riding. I haven't posted about it for awhile, but the more I ride my El Mariachi, the happier I am with it. My uncles both remarked throughout the weekend that my bike seemed to be the perfect bike for our terrain. I completely agree!

Overall it was a great weekend for bike riding. In fact, it was the most fun I have had on a bike for quite a while. Races are cool, but the real fun of mountain biking comes when you are enjoying a good trail with great people, something we did a lot of this weekend.

So in that spirit, who wants to go for a ride this extended weekend? Robb and I are heading up to Branched Oak on Saturday morning....any other takers? Anyone want to head to Platte or Lewis and Clark on Sunday or Monday?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Platte River on Sunday

Heading out to Platte River State Park around 1 pm on Sunday. Minor changes to the schedule are possible if there are others who would like to meet up... Let me know.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ride this Weekend

Two of my uncles are coming in from Pennsylvania this weekend for my sister's wedding, and I'm hoping to get out for some riding. The plan is to head to Platte River State Park on Friday, early enough to be back for an evening rehearsal dinner (as long as weather cooperates). And then head out again on Sunday, maybe to Platte again, maybe somewhere else.

Any of you who read this blog are welcome to come out, and help me show my guests around. Leave me a comment and let me know what your schedules are and we'll see if we can't work something out.

* I forgot to mention that my uncles do a lot of serious riding out on the east coast. I'm looking forward to showing them the best of what we have here.