This installment of Our Favorite Rides comes to us from George Ferguson, an RBR Premium Member from Kansas City, Missouri (my hometown). For what it lacks in photos (he spent the day actively relishing the experience vs. snapping shots), George’s submission makes up for in his literary approach. I think you’ll find it a fun read. – John Marsh
I’ve been cycling for a lot of years, and this year decided there will be times when I’d rather drop from the pack and take in the surroundings vs. going fast and focusing on the wheel in front of me. Saturday, September 6, was one of those days.
A Beautiful Day Perfect for Cycling
I drove 3 hours from Kansas City up to Bellevue, Nebraska (just outside Omaha), to do my first of two Bike MS rides this year – Bike MS Nebraska. I took my time, soaked up the scenery, and enjoyed a BEAUTIFUL day perfect for cycling. Some of my random observations and thoughts from the day follow.
The ride started at Bellevue University. Oklahoma was playing in Nebraska that day…not the football teams, but the musical, at the Little Bellevue Theater. And yes, it was little. A great big round silo, with a little house on top, like a kid’s playhouse. Why? In don’t know.
After a few miles, the ride crossed the Missouri River into Iowa and spent the rest of the day in Iowa, until the last few miles when it went back across the state line. So why do they call it Bike MS Nebraska?
Backstroking Throught the Fog
After crossing into Iowa, I hit unbelievably dense fog – so heavy that I thought I’d have to backstroke through it. Riders in front of me would disappear. It reminded me of Stephen King’s “The Mist.” (Do I really want to go in there? Where do those other riders go?)
Farther on, I hit a 10-mile stretch of road that was chip and seal – almost all chip and no seal. It was a fall and/or flat waiting to happen and made me wish I was on a mountain bike instead of my road bike.
At one point the ride rolled though Glenwood, Iowa, a neat little town. Main Street looked like the main street of a town in a B Western.We rolled through another little town called Pacific Junction…not Petticoat Junction, but Pacific Junction. There was no Shady Rest Hotel, no Uncle Joe.
Why did I think about that old TV show? Now I can’t get the theme song out of my mind.
“We Get to Ride Our Bikes.”
Coming up on a railroad crossing, I saw a freight train approaching and started pushing the pace. Unfortunately, I was about 30 seconds late, and I watched as the crossing arms came down as I got close to the tracks.
It took 15 minutes for the train to go by. Funny, on the front of all the cars was painted “Do Not Hump.” Don’t worry, I wasn’t even considering it. Wow, two freight trains, each about a decade long (couldn’t see the end), going opposite directions…stopped, nose to nose, on the same track. I just imagined hearing the two train engineers…”You back up.” “No YOU back up!” “No YOU back up, I was here first!” or “Houston, we have a problem.” or “Stanley, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!”
And whenever someone asked if I was having fun, I channeled Dennis Quaid from “The Rookie”: “You know what we get to do today? We get to ride our bikes!”