Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Steamboat Trace

Dennis and I headed to Nebraska City today to check out the Steamboat Trace. Now, we knew it might be windy, but with the trees and the bluffs, figured we would be sheltered. For about the first 6+ miles we were sheltered. The ride was pretty good, considering we were mostly riding into the wind. Our goal was riding to Peru.

All that changed. We came out of the woods into the open. Over a mile we were riding right into the wind - guessing about a 20 mph wind (more on that later). The map that was retrieved on the web site lead us to believe the ride from the Nebraska City trail head to Peru would be about 8-10 miles.

In the woods, we were riding at about 10-13 mph. Out in the open, at times we were down to 6-7 mph!.

When we reached 10 miles, still riding into the windy and mostly in the clear, we gave up. For what we could gather, it would be another 2+ miles to Peru, we did not have the energy to do that in the wind.

The ride back was a "breeze". On the open section, I clocked the wind at 20 mph. That's the speed I was riding to get the point where I could not feel any wind.

A note about the Steamboat Trace - it needs a lot of work. The crushed limestone trail bed is badly eroded in areas. I was happy that I rode my mountain bike rather the hybrid with the rigid fork. It would have been nice to have a full suspension bike!

Once I have time, there will be more photos of our ride on the Steamboat Trace. (Check my NaugaBike web site.)

Yesterday, I rode the Wabash Trace from Silver City to Malvern. Beautiful day for a bike ride - 70 degrees, light wind, sunny.

Now I need my dirt fix!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Full Moon Ride

Unfortunately Friday was a cloudy evening. We did not see the moon. Still had a good ride. Over 40 of us rode from Xtreme Wheels, to and around Lake Manawa, and to the Spillway Bar & Grill.

Whenever BLOGGER gets its act together (same problem last week - cannot upload image) I will get a photo one this blog. The photos I took are on my web site: http://www.tomwinfield.com/bike/rides/photos-fullmoon.html

Saturday, I decided it was time to get a ride in the dirt. Headed of to the Manawa mountain bike trails. Got a good, 10 mile ride. Took the year up to over 1600 miles.

Sunday was a day of rest. Needed the day out of the saddle.

Photos and report of my 60th Birthday Ride are posted on my web site.

Update: Blogger now allowed me to post the photo.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Riding Weather!

With the crazy weather we had this year, this week has turned out to be great riding conditions - temperatures in the 60s, sunny, light winds. Middle of the afternoon has been best.

Tuesday I took a ride on the Trace from CB to Mineola. My mountain bike remains my preferred steed for the Trace. Yesterday I took the hybrid out for a spin. Don't want it to be feel neglected. Just a easy ride - mostly to get some miles/exercise.

Wednesday I went to Swanson to check out the remains of the CX course. I still prefer single track in the woods.

The forecast is for more good riding weather. Get out and RIDE!

Xtreme Wheels Full Moon Ride tonight.

BTW - I am experimenting with screen saver software. Here's one built with some photos of the Psycowpath races.

And, here's the link to the Psycowpath 2007 video/slide show Tim W put together (using many of my photos).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More Iowa Counties Consider Banning RAGBRAI

KCCI - Channel 8 in Des Moines is conducting a survey regarding RAGBRAI.

The poll asks: "More Iowa counties are considering banning RAGBRAI from passing through their counties, do you support the bans."


Please read the article, pass it out to cycling friends and please vote in the survey.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cyclo-Cross Race

This was a busy weekend. After Bike Bash Friday evening, I took pictures of the cyclo-cross races Saturday and Sunday. Swanson Park is a great venue.

What a switch in the weather! Saturday was sunny and 80. Sunday was low 60s and cloudy.

Shooting a cyclo-cross race is great. The course is out in the open. Endless possibilities for vantage points. The sunny day Saturday also helped - specially for action shots. I caught some really awesome shots.

The photos from the Saturday race are on my web site. Watch for posting of the Bike Bash and Sunday race later today or tomorrow. Thanks to Omaha Velo for putting on a great event (and taking the picture of me ready to ship a few pics).

BTW - I was able to get out and ride a little at Manawa Saturday afternoon. A week without a ride, much less a dirt ride, was toooo much. At least 35 minutes was better than none.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bike Bash

A great finish of the road and mountain bike racing season. The hall was filled with people attached to that 2-wheeled machine called a bicycle. I just wondered what took me so long to rediscover the joy of riding a bike.

I was surprised to be recognized for the work with T.H.O.R - serving on the board, working on trails, and being Webmaster. That was enough, but the floored me when they presented me with the PsyCow-Spririt Award! The photo is me with my award. Roxzanne allowed me to pass on mike time (I was tongue tied). Martin, thanks for grabbing my camera to take the photo.

The evening ended with a video montage of photos with a "Thanks" for the photos I took during the races.

Update 10/22 - Photos and commentary are now posted on my web site.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Thank You

WOW, what a day. Good friends, good bike ride, good food, and good times. I thank all of you for making my day special.

Even the weather cooperated. Any rain held off until we were packing up and ready to leave the park.

I even got in FRONT of the camera! I would like copies of pictures you took for my web site.

Now, I need to rest and go to bed early - getting tuckered out. More later.

Birthday Ride update

Well. best laid plans... As this writing, we have had a storm through about 10pm and not another at 4am. No riding on dirt today :(.

As long as the weather clears for a while early afternoon, we will try to get in a pavement ride. Congregate at by shelter 2 about 1pm. Head out to ride by 1:30.

If things work out (and if my legs cooperate) we can ride from Manawa to Big Lake & back.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Night Ride @ Manawa

Overcast evening, no moon, Riding at 6:30 and later. Hmmm - night ride. This was an experience.

I found that I need to concentrate on the trail, not look at or worry about the light. No steering so that the light shines on the trail -- ride my lines, the light will follow.

It is better riding solo with a light. Otherwise ride in the trailing position. When leading the ride, the other lights are a distraction.

During our ride, the sky started dripping on us, not enough to stop riding. Was over in no time. See what the weather has in store for us tomorrow.

I will not be riding the Friday Night Ride the next two weeks. The 19th is the Bike Bash @ Platte River. The 26th is Xtreme Wheels Full Moon Ride.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

It Doesn't Get Much Better Than This!

Have you ever had a day when you just did not want to stop riding? Today was one of those days.

If you didn't get out and ride you bicycle today, you should have! We don't get weather like this very often. Was 60+ today, sunny, very light breeze. WOW, what a great day.

I was going to ride at Tranquility with the TNR group this evening. But, when I went out to get the mail, I decided the weather was just too good to miss. I changed clothes, put the bike on the car and headed to the Wabash Trace.

No intention to push the ride, but while riding up the hill, I noticed that I was up to 10-12 (one time 13) mph. Now this is pretty good for not pushing it! Stopped at Margaritaville for a granola bar and flew down the hill. Riding time 52 minutes! That's a minute under my previous record.

For cool down, I rode over to Xtreme Wheels and visited for a little. Still not ready to stop riding, I headed up Valley View to College Rd, then back to the Trace trail head. A GREAT ride!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Monitoring the weather

The weather here can be fickle. So far it looks like no rain the rest of the week (until Sunday). Cloudy and in the 60s on Saturday. That would be OK for my birthday ride.

Just as a reminder... I am planning to park near Shelter 2, riding my bike over to the trail area.

Lake Manawa State Park, Council Bluffs, IA
Saturday, October 13th, 2007 Start gathering at 1pm
Ride the trails for 1 1/2 to 2 hours
Food and drinks to follow (at a shelter at the Park)
No charge. I will have burgers and buns - bring what else you want to eat/drink

I will try to head out from Shelter 2 about 1:15, then over to the MtB trail area. Ready to ride about 1:30.

Come out and help me celebrate in mountain bike style.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


The morning was overcast and threatening rain. I was planning to attend a ham fest. By the time I was heading home, the sun was shining bright and the temperature was raising. Zach (Xtreme Wheels) said that people are riding the Manawa mountain bike trail. I hightailed home to get change and get my bike.


The trail is in pretty good shape. Just a couple (the usual) soft spots and muddy areas. Rode for just over an hour. Could tell that I had not ridden much the last week - the hour was enough. But, the ride did get ride of my headache from the noise of the flea market.

Friday, October 5, 2007

No Dirt Fix this week

Weather and trail conditions kept me from getting my dirt ride "fix" this week. Last dirt ride was Saturday except for the short 2 mile ride yesterday.

Tried to ride at Manawa yesterday. I rode W Sidewinder with some soft spots. E Sidewinder was a different story. From the Kiosk to the construction is muddy and with standing water. The exit straight-a-way was muddy, building up on the tires.

That was enough - did not to damage the trail. Any other trails at Manawa would be in worse riding condition.

Weather forecast last night was for scattered shower for a couple hours. Well, it rained off and on for over 5 hours! And the winds are kicking up. No Friday Night Ride this evening. URGH!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

FORUM on T.H.O.R. Web Site

Over the last couple days, I have been working on adding a blog and/or bulletin board on the T.H.O.R. web site. Success - at least partially.

First, I installed a blog using software by our web site hosting provider. Not really pleased with that software - in both function and appearance. So, opted for a Forum / Bulletin Board. At least we will have a 2-way communication with the Officers/Board and the members/mountain bike community. The bonus is that the bulletin board software lets up setting up bulk e-mailings!

Please take a look at the new T.H.O.R. Trail Boards. (Link on the T.H.O.R. web site HOME page). Definitely a project in works.

Headed off for a pavement ride yesterday. Need to get some saddle time. My body was not cooperating. Could not get the energy for a good 20+ mile ride. Maybe it was all that garbage food I ate Sunday. Anyway, still got in 14+ miles at over 12mph.