Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Lake Manawa Trail Closure - Update

Today was billed to be a "Top Ten Day" regarding the weather.  The day lived up to its billing.

Was in the 40s at 6am when I got to Panera Bread for coffee.  Did some computer work and visiting over coffee and a bagel until 9am.  Did some more computer work until near noon.  By then the temperature was in the 60s and I wanted to ride one of my bicycles. 

Headed to Lake Manawa State Park to ride the paved trail loop around the lake.  Parking at the Nature Trail lot, I saw this sign.  Note: The sign says the trail in the area of I-29 will be closed until August 1.  These signs HAD said closed until APRIL 1.  Guess it was a April Fool joke for us that like the trail.

Had a great bike ride.  Logged in 7.1 miles.  No speed records, but happy with the 7.9 mph average.  Full sun, light wind (about 5 mph from the South), and temperature in the 70s.  Gave the ride a grade of "A".

After finishing my ride, I went to Panera.  It was a perfect day to use my free reward for a free "Pick 2".  Had my free lunch of 1/2 ham & Swiss sandwich, 1/2 blow of Caesar salad, and bad of chips.  Stopped by the bike shop while in town.

Exhausted from the bike ride.  Hope I can stay awake to watch this evenings episode of Ken Burn's film on cancer.  Slept through most of last night's episode.

OH, one last thing, it was 10 years ago today that I was released from the hospital after my heart valve replacement.  Yesterday, my cardiologist gave me a good report - see him in another 6 months.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

10 Years

10 years ago I was admitted to UNMC suffering a stroke caused my a failed heart valve. During these 10 years I have been treated for 4 different cancers.

I had speech therapy and cardiac rehab.  For exercising, I re-discovered the bicycle.  In May, 2007 I started this blog at Black Hills Fat Tire Festival.  Earlier this month. I published my e-booklet.

Life is an adventure. I am not done exploring. Keep tuned...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Booklet Published

My booklet "Traveling with my Bicycles" has been published.  It is available for Kindle e-reader from the Kindle Store for $1.99.

This is my first attempt at e-book publishing.

As I find time, the e-book will be converted for Nook and tablet.  If there is enough interest, a paper copy may be published.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Zoo at the Zoo

Yesterday was a record breaking day in Omaha.  Temperature shattered the day-time high, setting a new high of 88 deg.  It also was sunny and very windy.  Not a good morning for a bike ride, so went to the zoo.

I arrived shortly after the gates opened at 9am.  Went over to the jungle and shot some photos.  From there, walked over to the desert dome.  It was already starting to get crowded in the dome. 

My rant:  The folks with wagons and strollers (some double-wides) that block the isles.  The families that "need" to walk side-by-side filling the isle.  Parking a stroller across the isle.  No common sense. 

After 1 1/2 hour, I had enough.  Was getting a headache.  The photo here shows people waiting  to purchase tickets and those waiting to show their passes.  It looks like that the zoo did not anticipate the huge crowd.  I was surprised, too.  Asked a CB teacher if there was some school "holiday", seeing all of the school-aged kids at the zoo. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Grade A Bicycle Ride

Temperature in the 60s, light breeze from the SE, and bright sun - I will call it a Top Ten day, specially for mid March.  Had to get out for a bicycle ride.

Parked the car at the Western Historic Trails Center.  Rode my hybrid bike North on the Iowa River Trail.  At Ameristar Casoo, I saw the "B" Bicycle Station along the trail.  Think this is a great location as besides the Casino and its hotel, there are two other hotels on the property. 

Continued along the trail to Harrah's Casino.  Big gaping hole along the river where the river boat used to tie up.  Short of 5 miles from the Trails Center, I decided to turn back.  Could not sure when the Trails Center closed - did not to be locked into the parking lot. 

On the way back, I dropped down to along the river at the River's Edge Park.  Shot a couple photos of the "Bob Bridge" and the sculpture at the park.

Warmed up some food, re-hydrated with water and Gatorade.  Processed my photos and posted a couple photos to Facebook.  Now, with the blog posting written, its NAP TIME!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Bicycle Festivals

Its time to check out the bicycle festivals for the 2015 season.  Last June's storm put a cramp on my bike festival attendance.  The only festival I made was Outside Bike & Brew in Santa Fe.  Hoping to get to more this year.

This list is no way meant to be all-inclusive.  I am concentrating on those in the "Heartland" and those I have or may attend.  Dates of RAGRAI are only included for reference.  It would be to sacrilegious to omit the biggest in Iowa (my home state).

May 13-17, 2015 Outside Bike & Brew Santa Fe, NM


May 29-31, 2015 Tour of Kansas City, Kansas City MO
Gran Fondo on Monday, May 25


June 19-21, 2015 Black Hills Fat Tire Festival Rapid City, SD


June 25-28, 2015. Crested Butte Bike Week, Crested Butte, CO


July 10-12, 2015 Bicycles, Blues, BBQ Festival Clear Lake, IA


July 19-25 RRAGBAI Sioux City to Davenport, IA


July 25, 2015 Tour de Fat, Twin Cities, MN


August 15-16, 2015 Kraus-Anderson Bike Festival, Duluth, MN


August 22, 2015 Gran Fondo Cedar Valley Cedar Falls, IA


September 4-7, 2015, La Crosse Area Bicycle Festival LaCrosse, WI

Friday, February 27, 2015

Traveling With My Bicycles

Wrapping up the editing of my booklet "Traveling With My Bicycles".  It tells a short story of what drove me to riding bicycles.  Most of the booklet is filled with how to create your "mulit-activity" trip.

Plans are to make the booklet available as an e-book for Kindle.

Preface -
"So, what are you going to do to keep active?" was the question my cardiac rehab folks asked in my exit interview. After weeks walking on the treadmill, I knew this was not the solution. My mom walks with a group. But walking the mall did not appeal me, either. Hiking is great, but "hiking" amongst the corn fields of Iowa?
As a kid, I used to ride a bicycle. Maybe that would peak my interest. I set out to look at purchasing a bicycle. I started riding local trails. Soon, I was taking a bicycle with me on trips. These trips combined my exploring nature, love of photography, and riding my bicycle.
The trips I take are not for folks that want to lay on the beach and work on their tan. They are trips filled with activity yet leaving time to relax, recover and reflect.
This booklet is a compilation of what I have learned planning and implementing these trips. It is not a recipe for the perfect trip. It is meant to cause you to consider ways to blend activities you enjoy with things you are passionate about into your travels.