I’ve begun training for my first distance bike ride of the year, which is just five months away in early June.  BRAN, which stands for the Bike Ride Across Nebraska, is a seven day ride taking a different route across Nebraska by bicycle each year.  This years route looks more like a bell curve on a graph when you see it on the map.  Unlike last years ride, my first BRAN, which took nearly a straight line across our very long state, this one heads Northeast out of Brady, then near the top of the state heads Southeast to Waterloo which is just a few miles from my house.

BRAN last year, which was my first distance ride ever, was so exhausting I found it difficult to get back on my bike for two weeks afterwords.  I’m going to have to be in much better shape this year as I have another distance ride, Tour de Nebraska, just 10 days after BRAN.  Of course, my big setback last year was a serious sprained ankle in April.  Hopefully I don’t injury myself training this year as I have three big trips planned.  But injuries are always a possibility in this sport. And I’m discovering at my age these injuries kind of stay with you as my ankle has been bothering me since the weather turned colder.  But, hey, nothing stops a dedicated bicyclist.  It’s the wheels on the bike we worry about, not so much the technique or time it takes us to get to our destination.

If you are not familiar with these distant rides, most ask participants to vote on various factors for each of the host cities so they can try to return to these towns every few years.  This can be a real economic boom to these small towns and there is competition to be the best host towns.  This year’s route stops at one of last years host towns which was one of my favorites, Burwell.  And this time we get to ride along Lake Calamus, which we missed last year because of a different route through town.

I’m not sure how bad the elevation is on some of these days, but this route looks much better than last year and most days are only 60-70 miles each, much better than last year that had an 80 and 85 mile days, with hills!

Here is the complete route for 2011:

Sunday, June 5th, Brady to Callaway – 62 miles

Monday, June 6th, Callaway to Burwell – 71 miles

Tuesday, June 7th, Burwell to Bassett – 68 miles

Wednesday, June 8th, Bassett to O’Neill – 49 miles

Thursday, June 9th, O’Neill to Battle Creek – 68 miles

Friday, June 10th, Battle Creek to Oakland – 70 miles

Saturday, June 11th, Oakland to Waterloo – 49 miles

Total Mileage – 437 Miles!!!

Leave a Reply