Foothill wonderland just minutes away

Bicycle column
By: By Vic Freeman Special to The News Messenger
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We are so fortunate to have so many spectacular riding venues in our area. Today, we will go on a 16.5-mile jaunt in the foothills east and north of Lincoln. The starting point is McBean Pavilion. Be sure you have water and I suggest taking a snack along. As always, check your tires, wear a helmet and bring a cell phone.

From McBean Park, go onto East Street to East 12th. Carlin Coppin School is on your left. Turn right on East 12th to McCourtney. Proceed straight ahead as East 12th becomes Virginiatown Road. Ride past Hungry Hollow on Virginiatown to the Foothill Bible Church.

You now are riding in some scenic splendor. There are rolling hills on both sides of the road with ranches all around. See and hear horses, cattle, goats, sheep and birds contributing to the panoramic delight. Notice the huge rock boulders and the oak trees all around you. A note of caution, however. The road has no shoulder so you must be focused and alert for cars going either way. Stay as far over to the right side of the road as you can and keep checking in your mirror for oncoming traffic.

When you reach Fowler Road, take a left turn for about 50 yards and continue up Virginiatown for a couple of miles to Gold Hill Road. Make a left turn and proceed to Fruitvale Road where there is a fruit stand on your left. Keep going on Gold Hill past Schindler Road to the junction of Wise Road. Keep to the left on Wise and go past the Dono Del Cielo winery on the left. There is a tasting room there but, if you stop for a break, I suggest you drink water instead of wine.

Shortly, you will be at the junction of Wise and Mt. Vernon Road. Take a left and keep going on Wise, which becomes very curvy, like a corkscrew, for a while until you reach the Wise Villa Winery. Turn left on Wise. From this point, it is about a 3-mile straight shot to McCourtney Road.

Left on McCourtney back to Virginiatown, turn right and go about two blocks and turn left on East Avenue back to McBean Pavilion.

This ride is one of my absolute favorites. The scenery is breathtaking and the whole ambiance is invigorating. Until next time, be careful out there and share the road.


Vic Freeman is a Lincoln resident and avid bicyclist.