515am and my alarm was ringing. After a day "off" my bike, my mind was in denial that we were about to bike again. Regardless, I was glad to be back on an early schedule and ready to test out the new gear I picked up at Wayne's Cyclery. A new flat resistant tire should keep me from switching inner tubes on the sides of highways and new gloves should protect my ulnar nerve and help reverse the pain and numbness in my hands. (I was told gloves usually last 1000 miles, my last ones "lasted" about 2500 miles)
The weather was cool with a breeze filling in from the NNE. The severe storms that went north of Grand Island had lowered the humidity and the riding today was very comfortable.
We rode over the Platte River and took in a beautiful sunrise, unlike all the sunsets we've been riding through recently. The road was flat and pretty straight once again. This is the typical Nebraska we have gotten used to. We made great time and after a quick 40 miles we arrived in York for some breakfast burritos. This breakfast at 930am is the earliest we have eaten breakfast while riding in quite some time. This earlier schedule is working great.
We kept cruising quickly with a good strong wind and easy riding. The only annoyance is the ever-present cracks in the shoulder to keep jarring us violently. Riding into Seward brought us our first climb of the day, and probably the biggest we'd seen since before Ogallala. Still, it's Nebraska, so it was very manageable. Seward was a nice town that would have fit in with any New England landscape. We sat down to plan the rest of our day. Choosing to do a "shorter" day today and a bit more length tomorrow getting into Iowa, we set off for Nebraska's capital (a manageable 20+ miles away) .
Suddenly Nebraska had transformed. There were trees, everywhere. With the trees came big rolling hills. We rolled our way to higher and higher heights between the corn and trees. Finally we got to roll our way back down to Nebraska flatlands. Even with the hills, we made excellent time. My well-rested legs felt a bit out of place having to climb repeatedly, but the ability to finally rest them on the biggest downhills we'd seen in Nebraska was an awesome feeling.
We reached the suburbs of Lincoln and cruised into our night's lodging. Refreshingly it was around 330pm instead of our more recent habit of arriving after 10pm. The new schedule and cooler weather for the next few days will have us headed to Connecticut in no time.
Photos by Jonathan Kobles