Have you jumped into a big adventure lately?
I’ve been blessed to canoe the Boundary Waters, climb 14ers in Colorado, and backpack in the Thailand jungle. While each took its physical and mental preparation, the first step always gives me pause when that big day arrives.
Isn’t that part of the fun?!
That’s how I approached Goldenride Bikefest, my first long biking adventure. I survived – thrived – and encourage you to take the leap into a life of active transportation.
I had no idea pickles were a biking thing, had never experienced cramping or chafing, and had forgotten that rear-end muscles could make themselves so apparent. My bike clothes and gear are far from sleek, and I’m no whiz on bike upkeep.
As background, Goldenride is Bike Walk Nebraska’s signature fundraiser ride in September. It runs from Lincoln to Beatrice, overnights, and returns the same way. The path primarily follows the Homestead Trail, a converted railroad track. The ride covers 44 miles each way (or 32 from Roca).
I knew a lot after bike-commuting in all weather and traffic conditions. (That’s another story of a big leap after a coworker’s “you should try it” turned into nearly 8,000 miles.)
At the same time, I had no idea pickles were a biking thing, had never experienced cramping or chafing, and had forgotten that rear-end muscles could make themselves so apparent. My bike clothes and gear are far from sleek, and I’m no whiz on bike upkeep.
That left me with plenty of questions:
- Will I be safe? (Yes! The well-protected Homestead Trail impressed me.)
- Did I prepare enough physically? (Yes, mostly! The shorter Roca route provided equal thrill with 25% fewer miles. Stretching my longer prep rides over two weeks instead of one would have been smarter.)
- Did I pack right? (Yes! The Goldenfest app nailed the particulars, and I fit comfortably within the range of clothing, gear, and expectations.)
- Is my few-frills bike up to the task? (Yes! I worried about flats, but no issues for me, and the support team member who checked my bike between days affirmed all was well.)
- Can I handle the weather? (Yes! Thank God for September’s glorious days, though who knows in Nebraska?)
- Will I be prepared for an emergency? (Yes! The trail paralleling a highway ensures support team access if needed and carries full cell coverage. Plenty of power to charge phones, too.)
With every question resolved, I also found some unexpecteds:
- The support team was terrific, including the bonus bike wellness check and gear transport.
- Cyclists look out for each other – checking on the one who stops, bringing expertise when needed, and offering encouragement at every turn.
- Hooray for the welcoming people of Roca, Cortland, Pickrell (ah, the “famous” Pickrell Pig breakfast), and Beatrice!
While 60+ miles in 30 hours is no walk in the park, the setup, logistics, and ambience make Goldenride a fabulous entry to a life of active transportation. Whatever your journey, commit now to pursue your own big, active adventure.