Dougt from Castana, Ia on 10/12/2023 9:00:07 AM:
Two of us rode from Norfolk to Valentine and back Oct. 2-7. This was my 6th year of doing this and I've never seen the trail in such good condition. Mowed, graded, and awesome pretty much describes it. There's been a rumor that the section from Ainsworth to Johnston is full of goatheads but we rode it both ways and had absolutely no problems. The only goatheads we encountered were when we got onto the grass when crossing big ruts at road crossings in the Ainsworth/O'Neill area, so if we had to cross on grass to miss the deepest ruts we stopped to examine tires and pull goatheads/cockleburrs out before the goatheads got deeply embedded. The Cowboy 200 Marathon was just a couple of weeks prior, so perhaps extra maintenance had been performed, but kudos to the maintenance crew for a job well done. Met two bikers from England and two through-hikers. Always an adventure!