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?