It's 10-15 minutes to open country if you're on skinny tires and less than five minutes to dirt if you're not. It works out nicely no matter the season.
I got to show off a little bit on Sunday during a team ride from our house. Having had both the first and second Flatwater team meetings and rides canceled by snow, we never really got together to get to know everybody. So we decided to ride around here — in May. And no, it didn't know.
But oh, did it rain. The first hour was a wet, sloppy, road-gritty affair. After that, though, it was great. And by the end, the sun was out in full force.
Halfway through a loop through the Loess Hills in Council Bluffs, Luke Sykora, one of my teammates, said, "No wonder you guys are so fast. You're out here riding this stuff and we have, like, nothing. We have two loops that are any good."
Luke was talking far less about me and much more about the strength of Omaha riders in general. And it's true — it's a fast bunch. It's a lot easier to go train when you have fun places to ride, like in Council Bluffs. Or Ponca Hills.
Or Lake Zorinsky. It's easy to take that for granted, too, when you think about what people from other cities have to deal with.
In all, it was a nice, long ride. I felt old compared to everybody else on the ride — I think I had 11 years on the next oldest rider — but it was good to get out with teammates and talk about upcoming races and things like that.
Three weeks until the next race weekend, and then Summer is really on.