Trail Ramblings

Do You ride the trails in and around Lincoln or are you a street rider? Most of us reading this are, I suspect, users of both. As such, many of you have probably seen some of the effects of the recent floods. You know some of your favorites, like the Jamaica North and Homestead trails, as well as the trails in Wilderness Park will be out of commission for some time, maybe even the rest of the year. The Bison and Salt creek Levee trails are officially closed in sections. I ride all over the city for my job and never know where I might be called next. That makes commuting very interesting in the days during and after high waters cover parts of some of the trails. In May I rode through foot-deep water on the John Dietrich connector near Superior and watched some of my regular underpasses, such as 3rd and F, fill to the top like bathtubs. I watched a boy “riding”(really swimming) his bike with the water almost over his handle bars, behind Haymarket Park, which was also a bathtub, a few inches of water over the whole field. The lake/parking lot surrounding the ballpark emptied the next day, but left an extremely slippery surface on the trail skirting the south edge of the parking lot.



Getting muddy under 84th St.


Since then though, the trails sustaining little damage are largely back to normal. The regular effects of the rain we’ve been getting means some of the underpasses have the normal problems they always have after significant rainfall. Mud, mud and more mud.

14335263386621434030289655Going through the bike wash just up the trail, then muddy all over again under Old Cheney.

The Billy Wolff under 70th is usually the first to close, being the shallowest, followed by the 48th St. underpass, then under A St.  It’s the upper reaches though, under 84th and under Old Cheney that get most of the mud in that area. City workers are relatively prompt getting them cleaned out, which is great, unless the rain falls from Friday to over the weekend. In this case it can a take a couple of days, so be prepared. If you’re out just after or while it’s raining, many segments of the Billy Wolff might have high water, like they did last evening when I was heading home, so have a back-up plan. Also, consider taking an extra pair of shoes along if you have to commute through this, or take a street crossing. The underpass may be clean by the time you head back home.