March 19, 2009

Spring Break Ride Summary

After talking to my friend Bob late Sunday night, I agreed to join him, along with Tony and Ricky, on a two-day ride to Memphis, Nebraska.

Bob said that we would be leaving at about noon, and we ended up leaving a little before 2pm. We left Omaha and rode to through Gretna along Highway 31. We then turned to the Southwest and rode along Highway 6. Right before Ashland we turned north and made our way to Memphis, where we were camping for the night. Since we were camping, we did not have any room for food, so we rode back down to Ashland for supplies and dinner before riding back up for the night. Day one total - 40.5 miles.

After a long night (more below) we took off heading north to Highway 275 (or Center Street for the Omahans). We took Highway 275 past Two Rivers Campground and rode into Omaha on Q street. Day two total - 29.2 miles.

2 Day mileage total - 69.7 miles
Top Speed - 32.3 miles per hour (Highway 275)
Saddle Time - 5 hours and 12 minutes

Now for some more interesting highlights of the trip:
  • Riding South and riding West killed us. The wind made its presence known. It was very difficult to maintain even a 13 mile per hour pace. The first leg (through Gretna and before we turned for Memphis) was very difficult. I definitely felt out of shape during that first leg.
  • Don's in Memphis is a very nice small town bar - filling water bottles before we left. We also grabbed some off sale beers before we went back to the campsite to make camping that much easier.
  • We were unprepared. We had to ride 15 more miles the first day to get food.
  • We were very unprepared. We used summer sleeping bags in a tent with no footprint and no weather topper. Bob, Tony, and I were using very thin sleeping bags. Tony gave up on sleep at about 4 am and built a massive fire that lasted until 9 am.
  • The ride back was much more enjoyable. The stretch between two rivers campground and Omaha is a great ride, with hills to push the bike up to 35 miles per hour (Remember, you have to go up these hills before you can go down them).
Things to take away:
  • Make the night count. I didn't get very much rest camping because of the conditions. I made it through day 2's ride fine, but I crashed when I got home. To be able to ride for hundreds of miles, we need better rest at night.
  • Better bike = better ride. I was riding Bob's dad's bike. It is a very nice ride, but did not fit me at all. I could have carried more weight with less strain on my back if I had been riding a larger bike.
Overall, this was a great little ride. It was much cheaper than Spring break last year, but I would take Lake Havasu over Memphis (Nebraska) any day.

I'll put up a few pictures if Bob uploads them to Facebook.

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