East of Omaha


During the week as I did several Better Than The Trainer Rides™ I had an eye on Saturday and the hope that it would bring warmer temperatures, dry dirt roads, and some extended miles on said dirt roads. As it turns out the temperatures weren’t going to get warm until late afternoon, and the dirt roads remained muddy messes. On top of that Wifey was going to be back in Pittsburgh for the weekend, which meant that I was solely in charge of the boy until she arrived home Sunday. Since I don’t like to stray too far away from home–in case my mad parenting skills would be need to be called into action–I headed back to the paved roads of the B.T.T.T.R™ yet again.


The bulk of the miles in this simple, square of a loop north of town are made up predominantly of two roads: Baseline Road and Beal City Road. Baseline (seen in the first photo) has a wide shoulder, good pavement, and contains a few hills that you can choose to get out of the saddle on if you so desire. Beal City Road contains one hill, that comes at the end, or the beginning, depending on which direction you’re going, but for the most part is pancake flat. Not so surprisingly Beal City Road leads you right into the heart of the metropolis of Beal City; one stop light, two bars, one church, four gas pumps, and a very generous estimated population of 345. Beal City Road also turns to dirt as you head east, but I chose to duck back south beforehand.

I did up on a mile or so of dirt when I opted to take a left onto Jordan Road for a mile or so before heading back into town. The dirt is getting better, but still pretty bombed out and muddy. I was hopeful that they would continue to dry out, but with rain and cool temps in the forecast for the coming week I’m pretty doubtful.


Had I felt like goofing off all morning and wait until the late afternoon to ride, I could have done so in 60˚ temps. But since I wanted to get out earlier, it was 45˚ and I was once again in a jacket and knee warmers.

I don’t particularly mind the Better Than The Trainer Ride™, because it gets me outside, burns some calories, and is indeed better than the trainer. However I’ll be happier when I can introduce more and more dirt into my daily rides and get to ride in just a jersey and shorts rather than layers of cool weather gear. Spring and summer are awesome here in Michigan; it just take for f*cking EVER for them to get here. Still, I’m not gonna complain too much about four days on the bike, even if those four-day totaled just around 7.5 hours of riding.

But I WILL complain about the fact that I find it impossible to do road rides in this area without thinking of the line “On a long and lonesome highway, east of Omaha” from the Bob Seger song Turn the Page. As a Michiganderburgherite, I am by law supposed to like Bob Seger. Thankfully I think they can only prosecute you for violating the law if you are a native Michiganderburgherite, to which I am not. Thank God, because I am no fan. But I will say I do get sucked into liking Metallica’s cover version of Turn the Page. Go figure.

Between weather and house stuff it looks like the bulk of my “doing stuff” will be inside for much of this week. No worries, I just want to keep building on the early weight loss during Fit to Fat & Back. If that means running on the treadmill or riding the trainer, so be it.




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