CowboyMikeonaBike from Lincoln on 7/25/2023 12:18:15 PM:
I rode a very enjoyable out and back from Neligh to Ainsworth. Started on 7/15/23 and returned to Neligh on 7/21/23.
I was very lucky with the weather, most days it was low/mid 80's. Really nice for mid July in Nebraska. Happy to report that I had no trouble with my Trek Dual Sport 3 with tubeless tires. No Flats! I've been riding for years but this was my first multi-day bike ride.
The trail was in great shape. Thanks Alex and the maintenance crew. Pay attention and avoid the few bumps, ruts & holes in the trail. One of the bumps turned out to be a huge turtle! I rode a leisurely pace of 30-40 miles each day. Stayed overnight in O'Neill (Carriage House Motel), Stuart (Stuart Village Inn), Long Pine (Bunkhouse), Atkinson (Sandhills Guest House Motel) and Ewing (2 Rivers Motel). All of the motels were excellent. The restaurants and mini marts were very accommodating. I was able to fill up my 3 water bottles with ice & water in almost every town I passed through. Although I had not planned any activities besides biking I had a lot of fun going to the drive-in movie in Neligh, the rodeo in O'Neill, the stock car races in Stuart, floated down Long Pine Creek, bought a cowboy hat at Ranch Land Western Wear in Ainsworth (perfect fit thanks to Joe) and even went to the Bassett Livestock Auction. I'm convinced, biking is the best way to experience the sandhills.
My advice is take it easy. Ride in the morning when it is cooler and less windy. Prepare for the worst and bring extra tubes but definitely go with tubeless tires. Stop and explore the area whenever you can. Find the best place to eat by looking for where the pickup trucks are parked. Lots to see and do. I always had service on my Verizon iPhone. I'm already planning my next bike trip on The Cowboy Trail.