Mountain - Plains - Omaha - commute to work with a good workout???
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08-18-08, 04:01 PM
I've been commuting to work this summer and I'm now looking to get some extra miles into work. I live near 156th Street between Blondo and Dodge. I work at 113th and Blondo which my current route is 4 miles one way, but not much of a workout coming to work. I'd like to find a different route that would be adding a few hills to the route and some more distance. Problem is that I'm not really fond of crossing Dodge/Maple during morning/evening hours- so I know that limits it down.
Options I have thought of so far:
a) Go ride down West Papio to Pacific OR go further to 144th street - carry that north on 144th using the bike path. Problem with this is the crossing at Center Street and Dodge isn't great, but doable.
b) Ride into work, then head down Papio trail close to work. No disadvantage to this other than it doesn't have many hills and walkers/joggers might be on the trail at that time.
c) Go ride down West Papio trail, but head north catching that nice hilly area north of maple between 156th and 144th. Go back down 144th and catch my route to work.
Option C is nice, but I have to cross Maple twice, which during traffic could be nasty - but doable.
Option B is okay, but kind of boring
Option A is long, but boring too and a bit more time consuming with the crossings of streets.
Anyone else have found a route that offers some distance/hills close to where I live and/or work?
08-18-08, 10:14 PM
I live in the same area, as you, and I've spent most of the summer trying to come up with new routes, but mostly just to entertain myself. I've scratched my head almost hairless trying to create a safe route to where I work (84th & Indian Hills), but it just ain't happenin until some revolutionary east/west trail gets created that solves the whole Dodge/Maple/how the heck do you get across I-680 quandary.
I start most rides on the West Papio. If you go North, there's hills in Huntington park, and if you brave the crossing of Maple, you can go down to the Westin Hills trail, which is short, but actually has some killer climbing (for Omaha, anyway). That trail brings you back down to 144th.
Last Saturday, I put together a nice rec ride, headed South on the West Papio. Took it to Zorinsky Lake, road a lap of the lake, took the trail through Walnut Grove Park to 144th, then kept going South to Giles, where the trail goes out to Chalco. Road a lap of Werspahn Lake out there. Thought about going down Hwy 370 to Walnut Creek lake for a trifecta, but I ended up heading back North on 144th all the way to Maple. Stopped at Bike Rack to get the rear derailler adjusted, hit the Chipotle for tacos, and headed home. Nice 38 mile ride, and I like the chicken soft tacos at Chipotle.
It would sure be awesome if they'd finish the West Papio connection all the way out to Papillion. Then, without fighting traffic, you could ride all the way from Northwest Omaha to Papillion, and down to Bellevue, or looping back in to town on the Keystone Trail.
Do you have the new version of the Omaha Metro Area Bicycle map? It's pretty helpful in trying to plan routes. From there, it gets to be trial and error sometimes.
08-20-08, 11:43 AM
Is there any word on this "magical idea" of an East/West trail in this horribly laid-out/planned town?
08-20-08, 02:27 PM
Anyone "in the know" I've spoken with pretty much assumes it will never happen. The Interstate is a problem, the topography is a problem - the huills tend to roll East/West. Almost all of the east/west streets are state highways - "L", Center, Dodge, Maple. Right now, about the only street I know that even has a sidepath or shoulder crossing I-680 is Blondo, and the stretch from 136th to 156th is a lot more deadly than I'm willing to gamble, with 2 narrow lanes and blind hilltops.
The politics are virtually insurmountable. There was a public frum a couple weeks ago on getting a connector from the Keystone trail down to the Field Club trail - maybe 2 miles of trail. No one attended in support of the trail, and the neigthborhood involved had a huge contingent of witch-hunters attesting to the crime, pestilence and debauchery that would result from "strangers" in their midst. As we all know, large marauding gangs are known to prowl the streets in skin tight shorts, brightly colored jerseys, pointy helmets, and shoes you can't even walk in, all with the goal of trashing your yard, assaulting your children, selling drugs, and somehow finding a way to pedal home with your big screen TV strapped to the back of their 17 pound bike.
Its a serious bummer.
I had some correspondence with UNO professor "on another popular cycling forum" who did a big study on usage patterns of the existing trail system, and seemed to be really up on all the ins and outs of how trails get planned. After hearing what he had to say, I came away pretty much certain this problem won't be solved in my life time.
08-21-08, 08:56 PM
The Interstate is a problem, the topography is a problem - the huills tend to roll East/West. Almost all of the east/west streets are state highways - "L", Center, Dodge, Maple. Right now, about the only street I know that even has a sidepath or shoulder crossing I-680 is Blondo, and the stretch from 136th to 156th is a lot more deadly than I'm willing to gamble, with 2 narrow lanes and blind hilltops.
Yeah - I-680 is the biggest hurdle. I've found a route from basically 156th to 135th and Blondo using the neighborhood. It's very easy route except for one hill just a couple of tenths of a mile from me - no time to warm up in the morning.
I've riden at 5pm from 102nd and Maple, down Maple to basically 128th or whatever that street is next to Target and headed north from there to Bike Masters. I was pedaling as fast as I could around Maple and 680 to avoid the traffic - it wasn't bad, but wouldn't recommend it as a way to travel, but can be done.
I've wondered about Dodge street/Expressway - since Nebraska has a law that you can't ride a bike on interstates, would that apply to Dodge/Expressway? Not that I'd want to venture on Dodge - I've crossed it once at 90th, but that is the most I've done except at 144th and 156th - oh - also 168th street too.
I've looked around and found a few things I could do to lengthen my commute to get hills, but it is tough to get - will try maybe this next week - as I'm kind of burned out for the week now. I rode 42 miles in the Corporate Cycle bit - then 17 miles Monday - another 16 miles on Tuesday - 8.2 miles Wednesday and 16.3 miles today - with another 8.2 miles tomorrow for work and then maybe I'll get in 20 miles Saturday...Not lacking in miles this week - but feel pretty good.
08-29-08, 12:41 PM
This week I rode down 108th going to maple - not bad there, but turned right onto Maple and headed over 680 - not what I'd recommend going on with the two on ramps. I think the time was around 3:50pm, so the traffic wasn't horrible.
Anyone else have updates on riding on the streets of Omaha?
09-05-08, 04:46 PM
Now that the remodeled Pacific St. bridge is open, there is a safe way of crossing I 680 for bikes and pedestrians. It puts you within shouting distance of the Big Papio Trail.
Glenn in Omaha
10-28-08, 09:01 PM
I am the UNO Prof. mentioned in one of the above posts a I can tell you that to make things happen the bicycle community needs to be much better organized in this town. The "low hanging fruit" (trails along creekbanks) has now pretty much been picked and the hard work to make the system viable for transportation lies ahead. Still, when you realize there were NO trails in Omaha 20 years ago, we have come pretty far. You can view my Omaha trail research at:
01-12-09, 11:30 AM
Now that the construction is done, you can cross 680 from the Lamp Street Park that feeds onto the Big Papio. Might be kinda south for you guys riding Maple, though. I love the Double Lake route! For us it is the training ride for the Corporate cup. We start near home (Morten Elementary School) head south to the 144 trail to chalco, back up 144 to Q, cut thru Walnut Park for Lap of Zorinsky (always crowded) and back home. I agree about the hills between 156 & 144- how about the stop signs for the bike path! at the bottom of the hills of course!
01-12-09, 11:37 AM
my Bad- we start and finish on the West Papio trail! 156 and Pacific
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