Congratulation Lincoln Riders! We remain unmatched in our population category and third overall, only trailing Portland and Atlanta during Bike Month. Nebraska is also crushing it for states of our size. As a state, we ride about the same amount as Indiana, who has over three times our population. Norfolk and Papillion are killing it nationally in the 25,000 residents category. They have active, well-knit cycling communities. So give yourselves an collective high-five. The summer hasn’t even started yet, though, so if you haven’t gotten out much yet, don’t despair. Summer rides and races are just ramping up. The sweetest temperatures may soon be behind us, but if you keep riding, you will become better acclimated to the heat and humidity as they rise. Also, shifting your ride time to the early morning and evening helps, just remember your lights.
So where did you ride this past weekend? I saw no shortage of group rides to choose from. Others went out solo to explore new territory, and camping happened. I’d venture to say that Wilderness Park is seeing more visitors on bike than it has ever had, and not just on the Jamaica trail. I saw whole families on bikes in swarms! I rode up north in the Bohemian Alps, near Prague, and around the end of the MoPac in Wabash. Our friends in the Omaha area were busy riding as well, even though they don’t show up on the challenge. I do enjoy getting up there occasionally to ride with good company. I know we are spoiled here with our extensive trail system. I can be on a trail in less than five minutes, and on gravel in a ten minute ride from my house.
I had an interesting chat with a former rider a few days ago. She used to ride a lot, even raced and did century rides, up to about ten years ago, when she was traumatized (not on her bike). She lost her sense of safety and fell into a serious depression. She still doesn’t feel confident to go out riding alone. Even though she lives very close to a bike shop, she hasn’t sought out group rides because she thinks she would now be too slow. If you know someone who you think would like to go on a ride, and just needs some encouragement, or if this sounds like someone you know, offer to ride with them, or connect them with a group ride. We are a welcoming community. Upcoming Lincoln events like Trail Trek, hosted by Great Plains Trail Network, and rides hosted by Great Plains Bicycle Club are also good places to meet other cyclists. Your local bike shop is a good place to ask about rides. If you know of more, let us know.