Trail Ramblings: The End Of The National Bike Challenge Is One Week Away! Also, Don’t Forget Your Lights.

Calling all cyclists, have you logged your miles? Have you checked the Lincoln leaderboard to see that you are indeed included in the Lincoln challenge? (This happened to me earlier, I wasn’t properly linked.) Have you been meaning to sign up but put it off all summer? You can still do it if you act quickly, then retroactively log the miles you rode. You don’t have to use one of the apps if you don’t want to, you can log miles directly on the website.

The End Of Challenge party is coming up Friday Oct. 4, at 5:00, at Zipline. It’s a great way to congratulate yourselves and meet other cyclists. Many of us (especially commuters) are solitary riders and opportunities to meet others and expand our connections in the cycling community should not missed. Some of course, are anything but solitary and may only ride with others as a social activity. Tour De Brew, anyone? Pub Pedalers? Nacho Riders? You will be in your element at Zipline for this event. What kind of rider are you? A devotee of weekly organized group rides? Or are you always trolling for fresh routes? You can find more by meeting other like minds. The purpose of Bicyclincoln is to promote cycling in Lincoln and we couldn’t do it without you, cyclists. The more organized we riders are, the more likely we are to get the things we need, like better infrastructure, and the better able we are to look after our interests.

We will soon be looking for potential new board members, so if you think you, or someone you know, would be a good fit promoting cycling and has a skill set we could use, don’t be shy, come meet us. Also, if you have ideas for future educational workshops, events, group rides, or endeavors that you’d like to see happen here in Lincoln, we’d like to hear about it.

Evening light on the trails is beautiful.

Now back to riding.
I hope no one has hung up their bikes for the “off season” yet (what’s that?). These are some of the best days ahead for riding, with cooler temps and beautiful light, lower on the horizon and shining through the feathery grasses. Soon we’ll get the added bonus of fall colors along the trails, so make the time to go explore that trail you’ve been wanting to ride. Wild plums are ripe and abundant this year, so go try some!

In low-light situations powerful lights are essential.

Of course this also means shorter daylight hours, so don’t forget your lights. If you’re locking up and leaving your bike unattended, you may want to detach your lights (if easily done)and take them with you, as bike thieves are also light thieves. Around town it’s usually enough to have a light for the purpose of being seen by others rather than to see with, but out on the trails and roads, you need a more powerful light to see your way. Conversely, if you have a powerful light and you’re riding around people who will be looking into it, please be kind and don’t blind others with an excessively high setting or strobe. Point your light a little to the side and down and choose a lower setting.

For more safety information check out: Though I couldn’t find it here, I believe the law says you need to use a light 1/2 hour before sunrise and 1/2 hour after sunset. I also recommend using cycling lenses to keep the gnats and other flying insects out of your eyes, as they really seem to come out along the trails around sunset.