Distance: 27-mile lollipop
Elevation gain: 1500 ft
If you look at a good map of the area east of Lincoln, north of Newcastle, and west of Hwy 49, you’ll see a little patch of squiggly lines. If you drive past the area on any of the highways (193, 80, or 49) you’d never guess there was any good riding there, but this is one of my favorite places to ride. It’s not a single road or route—it’s a cozy little network of crooked roads working their way through pretty, moderately hilly hobby farm country. The area is small enough that you can ride all the good stuff in an outing, and every road is fine. Just go explore. The joy is that the scale is so small—the riding is always changing, you’re constantly turning onto a new road, none of the climbs last too long, etc. You’ll see on the map that the roads to your west, just east of Lincoln, straighten out and scribe rectangles, which tells you the land has turned into flat, conventional ranch country. If you like flat and grassy, these roads are perfectly pleasant. But that’s not what brings me to the area, so I don’t go there.