In the infamous words of the Geico caveman guys, "Not cool!" I guess we all miscommunicated as to what was going on for the ride. I didn't check my blog and just went on the verbal agreement that 8am at Highgear was the plan.
Well everyone missed a once in a lifetime event. I WAS EARLY!!! I thought I was going to be late as usual since I left my place at 7:35am, figuring it takes a half hour to get there. So I hammered it and took the most direct route: trail to Q st, over to 72nd, to Harrison, down 84th to the shop. It was early on Sunday so traffic was light, otherwise I'd never ride those roads. I got to the shop in 20 minutes! I was pulling into Highgear at 7:54, but I thought my new cyclo-computers clock was wrong since the parking lot was empty. "Did I miss them again?" I turned on my cell phone and was baffled to see a time readout that wasn't past the designated ride start. This was new unexplored territory for me. So I waited. That was a weird feeling. Sorry guys, I never knew how frustrating that can be. I kept checking the time, riding in circles, picking my nose. Oh wait, no one's supposed to know that last part. At 8:04, my usual arrival time when 8:00 is the "leave the parking lot" time, I started calling around. Bryan (who's cell phone # I need by the way) was in bed when I called. Sorry bud for disrupting your post-bad-race depression laden slumber. I've been there before, and the last thing you want is some ill-informed, happy-cheery, I-love-mornings guy calling you when all you want to do is beat on your tear stained pillow then fall back asleep cuddling it as if it were your childhood blanky. I changed many tear stained pillow cases at the beginning of this season, so I know what's up. Ryan's phone was turned off so I took that as a hint to leave him alone. I had read on Matt's blog at around 10pm that he was out of the ride. So solo ride it was!
I took off for hwy 370 to head toward Gretna. I hadn't done the 2 rivers loop in a while and I missed it. It's almost a good thing that no one was riding with me. Bike riding really clears the sinuses and I had much sinus to clear up. And these weren't the normal easy out snot rockets. We're talking long gooey streams of sickly boogers. I have since decided that cycling gloves are essential from now on. I used to go gloveless and use sleeves to wipe my nose on, but glove are much more efficient at catching and removing large amounts of face-wide nose streamers. Ok, I'm done with the gross stuff now.
The first half of the ride went by quick. I got out to 2 rivers and then turned East onto Center. After that huge hill I turned North again on Skyline Drive. This is a nice road. The houses have gotta be the most expensive around these parts. No cookie cutters either, really different new houses all well taken care of. Skyline leads you up to Elkhorn and the most fun road, Old Lincoln Highway. This road leaves Elkhorn heading East from 204th st along the railroad tracks and then curves around onto 174th and it's 80% brick! Almost 2 miles of pave and it's a blast to compete with other guys on group rides to see who can hammer the fastest on this rough stuff. However, by this time in the ride, I was getting tired and hungry since I didn't bring any food along. Also, this was my first ride in a week so I just bypassed the fun road and hit the KwikStop instead. I then headed N on 204th to State street and should've kept going to hwy 36 to turn East. But no, I took State with all its' hills and new development. Right around 156th, where there used to be farmlands, there's now this horrid cookie cutter housing area. It's so drab and boring. All the houses are basically the same shape, are some shade of tan or brown and are way too close together. I have no idea why someone would pay money to live there. I guess I can understand if they didn't work downtown and the houses were dirt cheap(since they lacked any character and seemed to be assembled in a factory). So, after the hills of State st, I was glad to get back on the trail. I stopped to help a guy who got a flat and forgot his pump. Total ride time was about 3.5 hrs. Nice weather, lots of deep thoughts since riding solo, and plenty of streaming boogers. Good times.