Update (5/7/2013): After scouting out the trail on Monday, Jamie and I are making one change. On May 22, we will not be stopping at Plum Creek WMA. Instead, we will ride on another 10 miles to stay at the town of Wood Lake. We have found Plum Creek WMA to be too far from the trail, inaccessible by bike, and it’s also not suitable for camping. Wood Lake has a nice park for camping, food and water. With that being said, the guided hike at Plum Creek WMA on May 22nd is canceled. There will be a Project Wild Event at Wood Lake.
Look for more updates soon!
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I will be biking the entire Cowboy Trail from Norfolk to Valentine with my co-worker and (awesome) friend Jamie Bachmann from May 17-23. Anyone is welcome to join us! Below is our schedule. We are still hashing out the finer details, but if you’re interested, meet us at 8:00 AM at the trail head at Ta-Ha-Zouka Park in Norfolk on Saturday, May 17. You can choose to ride the entire way with us or just for a few miles. Or, meet us at one of the checkpoints below. Please check http://magazine.outdoornebraska.gov/author/jenny-nguyen/ for updates each day of our progress.
We plan to bike 30-40 miles per day at an easy pace, with breaks in between. Please keep in mind that we are complete rookies at biking, so we’ll be taking it easy. If you are a more experienced rider joining us, we would appreciate your patience. I will also be making frequent stops to photograph the trail, bikers and surrounding scenery for a story in NEBRASKAland Magazine. We will be staying at campsites and hotels along the way, depending on weather. You are responsible for all your own food, lodging, equipment, transportation, etc. We plan to eat at local restaurants, but will be bringing freeze-dried food, energy bars and snacks just in case. Please bring your own Bob trailer to carry your items. (We are not responsible for any loss or damage to your life and belongings.)
It is imperative that you bring the correct equipment before you ride the Cowboy Trail. The Texas sandbur(goathead) grows along the trail, which can easily puncture your bike tires. You will experience this at least once if not more while on the trail. For an enjoyable ride, please bur proof your tires and bring plenty of spare tubes and patching kits. Weather will be unpredictable. Mornings may be cold while afternoons may be hot. Make sure you layer up, including a waterproof layer. We will be making water stops along the way, but please bring enough water to last you for the day coming out of Norfolk. It’s always better to have extra water than not enough.
Resources: The second link provides information on mileage, hotels and campsites along the way, maps and other services.
Game and Parks Brochure: http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/parks/pdf/CowboyTrail.pdf
Cowboy Trail Trip Planner: http://www.bikecowboytrail.com/default.aspx
We will also be stopping at certain locations to hold Project Wild outdoor education events. You don’t have to bike or ride with us to attend them. If you’re in the area, just show up in the parking lot at the specified times and locations and we’ll be happy to have you! All ages welcome.
For more information, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can add you to our email blasts on Cowboy Trail info, or give me a call at the Norfolk Office at 402-370-3374. If you do plan on joining us, please give me a call or send me an email so we know to expect you. As the event gets closer, we’ll be posting up more tips and updates on getting ready for this big trip. See you out there!