Trail Ramblings: Record Your Rambles

If you’ve been out and about on your bike, you know where the closings are, but let me remind you. The area of 27th and Capital Parkway is closed in front of the zoo, and the underpass under 27th heading toward downtown is closed. Go around. In Wilderness Park they’re getting serious about repairs and you can no longer get through on the Jamaica from Old Cheney to South 14th. Not that I ever did that.
Wherever it is that you’ve been ranging, remember to record those miles if you’re participating in the National Bike Challenge, as it ends Wednesday and you must record them before the end of the day for credit. If you’re not, you’ve missed out on a fun last five months. Of course, we’ll still be riding after the challenge, and the site can still record your miles, so you don’t have to stop. Like I say, fall is the BEST time to ride. I’ve been away from Lincoln this past week and I got to enjoy a few trails in Colorado. I barely was able to scratch the surface of trail riding there and got to do no actual mountain biking, sadly, as that was not the purpose of my trip. Coloradoans don’t let a little cool weather ruin their biking plans, and we don’t need to either, though I wished one morning I’d packed warmer gloves and a cap.

sumac flower
A nicely mowed trail edge.

One thing I’ve noticed about our wonderful trails is how at times the trail-edge growth of sunflowers and tall, strong weeds can give you an unexpected- and unwanted- thrill. This afternoon I was passing a walker on an open segment of the Jamaica. His earphones prevented him from hearing me call out my approach and I had to squeeze by. At that point a very slender but strong stem of sunflower grabbed my handlebar and nearly threw me into the walker. Do be careful not to get too close to those. (Both sunflowers and walkers)

walking dead sunflowers
Dan Gellerman

Last year on the way back from a ride to Beatrice, my husband and I were approaching Pickrell from the south through a beautiful field of very tall and dense sunflowers which were spilling onto the trail, almost creating a sunflower tunnel. It stopped being beautiful when he got a little too close to the side of the trail and one grabbed him, effectively throwing him down and bending his derailleur. Luckily, the kind mechanic at the automotive shop near the trail in Pickrell was able to straighten it out.
So congratulations on everyone who finished the challenge! Enjoy your fall riding don’t ride too close to the sunflowers and make the most of these beautiful days.