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Reply to Norfolk to Valentine and back
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Dougt from Onawa, Ia on 10/22/2018 11:31:51 AM:
I rode Norfolk to Valentine and back on Sept 16-21. Weather ranged from 90's the first 2 days to misty and progressively cooler after that. Last day was in the 50's, which surprised me for Sept. Trail conditions varied from nicely packed on the eastern side to rougher as I got past O'Neill and started getting closer to Valentine. If anyone has any illusions about no motorized vehicles ever using the trail they'll be disappointed because there will be tire tracks, cow tracks and manure in various places out west. That said, I expected an adventure and that's what I got. Not a sterile paved bike path running through a residential neighborhood. I left my truck at the trailhead in Norfolk and it was fine for 6 days. Stayed in O'Neill, Long Pine, and Valentine. Long Pine has The Bunkhouse which consists of a small sleeping room with shared bath and a day room with tv and kitchen. Not a 5 star hotel by any means but cheap and fairly clean. There is a bar in town with the smallest grilled chicken sandwich that I've ever seen(so maybe order something else) and a grocery store. Beautiful bridge right outside of town. You'll want to refill water bottles every chance you have if it's hot because as you venture west there don't seem to be services in some of the towns. My only real problem was that I carried all of my gear in a 35# backpack. That seems like nothing, but I wore the skin off under one of my sit bones on the first 80 mile day and for the next 5 days had to get out of the saddle every 30-60 peddle strokes to ease the pain,so I wouldn't recommend a backpack. That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?? All in all a great adventure and I might do it again next year.

 
dougt from Onawa, Ia on 10/22/2018 11:39:42 AM:
I forgot to mention that I'd read about thorns and put heavy tires and liners on my Mtn bike, but never saw any goats head thorns and only picked up some cockleburs in about 2 places, which weren't going to bother those tires.

The detour for the bridge out was well marked and is only for a couple of miles on the highway. That highway has an awesome wide shoulder with rumbles separating the traffic from the shoulder and even at that people were moving to the opposite lane for me. I'm normally a road rider and have never encountered great riding like that.

 
Cynthya from Salina on 10/22/2018 1:26:17 PM:
Doug, Thanks for sharing about your ride. Enjoyed hearing about your experience. Sounds much like or experience, though we rode August 2017. Days were warm, got caught in heavy rain at Inman. Even though there are some though spots it is a GREAT ride. People need to get out and ride. I would like to ride again. Maybe we will try again next year.

 
Alex from Lincoln on 10/30/2018 11:20:25 AM:
Thanks for sharing your trip! Great tips for future CBT visitors.