Trail Ramblings: Make Time To Get Out.

We keep getting gifted by Mother Nature with decent days for riding bikes, so go get it when it’s available. Being out in the fresh air and sunshine is the best thing you can do this time of year to keep your spirits up with the shorter days. It’s true the first half of this week will be dedicated to the committed commuter with the proper gear, but Thursday and Friday look good. (Really, it’s all good with the proper gear)

Photo Credit: Chris McClenny

This past weekend was wonderful, and I noticed many of you got out a rode. Global Fat Bike Day was Saturday, and even some with skinnier tires had fun. I now have a new-to-me fat bike and had a great time on it in Wilderness Park. An advantage with those tires is that they don’t tear up the trails when conditions are not completely dry, and they can even flatten out ruts.

Photo Credit: Nebraska Fat Bikes

I noticed right away that riding a fat bike doesn’t seem to require the technical skills a mountain bike will ask of you, not that Wilderness Park asks for too many. They can’t turn as nimbly, but are more sure-footed, though I know someone who pushed that envelope too far and laid their bike down a couple of times horsing around. I found out riding the Omaha Jackrabbit earlier this fall that muddy MMRs (minimum maintenance roads) impassable to a gravel bike may be passable to a fat bike. And that following a fat bike onto them with a gravel bike is a bad idea. Unless hiking your bike is what you like to do while you watch your fatbiking friend ride off into the distance.

Photo Credit: Pat Schoening

When there’s a little snow, I always enjoy seeing the tracks of who’s been out before me. This morning there was a mix of tire sizes from standard commuter hybrid to fat. I was on the fence about the need for studs, as I knew by the afternoon ride home I likely wouldn’t need them, and there wasn’t much snow or ice. That bike had the Bar Mits though, which I really appreciated, and I did enjoy not being worried about the icy packed snow left behind by motorists. That made up for the added resistance. By the afternoon the pressed tracks left by bikes on the trail were in relief, the surrounding snow blown away.

There are two bike-shop sponsored holiday lights tour bike rides coming up. The first is this Thursday December 12, 6:00-8:00, sponsored by the Bike Rack. The second is Saturday Dec. 21, meeting at 5:00, sponsored by Cycle Works. You are encouraged to decorate your bike for both rides, if you so desire. It’s impossible to see all the great light displays though, so why not ride around and make your own tour, too. Just remember to use your lights.