Monday, June 30, 2008

A Busy Week

I got a little behind in my blog this week, and it has been a busy week.

Sunday Morning Ride was back. Made our Tour de Bluffs. The first problem we encountered was mud under the railroad bridge on the Manawa Trail. A reroute was well used. Stopped at the Lake Manawa mountain bike trails - areas are still underwater. Nice morning, threatening to get hot. Rest stops at Indain Creek bridge, Riverside Grill, and Hy-Vee. Rode a different course from Hy-Vee to S 16th - I did not like it. Taking down N 8th, Dennis would ride sometimes on the street, sometimes sidewalks and ride the crosswalk, other times riding the wrong side of the street.

Monday I headed out to check the readjustments made to the rear shifter on my trail bike. While riding, I logged my 1000 miles so far for the year. That's over 200 miles over last year at this time. That's great, considering the lousy weather this Winder and Spring. Now if the trails will only dry out so i can ride some dirt...

Tuesday was a recovery day - and more rain. URGH

Wednesday Morning Ride - it was Wabash Trace or Pavement. Suggested to Blaine (no one else riding) the do the Tour de Bluffs, showing him the route downtown. Bike shifted great. Pretty good pace, good ride.

Over Thursday, I read about burning fat - sprints with a higher gear. Friday, I thought I would ride the FX and put the hammer down. URGH, there was a problem with my heart monitor - so could not push it riding. After getting back at the shop, I rode over to the mall, to buy replacement battery, still the same problem - receiver no getting the signal. For some reason, the Nike receiver is now was only working with the Nike chest strap. Previously, I could use interchangeably between the Nike and Sigma monitors.

Saturday was trail work at Wilderness Park in Lincoln. I grabbed the directions from the THOR web site, and could not find the trail crew. Checking at the various trailheads that I knew, I gave up and decided to ride at the Pioneer Blvd end. Quickly blocked by a big dead fall. One final attempt and I heard a weed wacker along Old Cheney Rd. Changed back to my jeans, grabbed my bike, and headed to the trail. Did a little work, a lot of visiting with the folks from Lincoln

Ended the week with another Sunday Morning Ride. No one else was riding, so I headed over to Rich (ZQG) QTH to check out SWIARC Field Day. The ride means about 3 miles on the Wabash Trace. LOTS of clean-up needed there. Greg has work time planned for Tuesday, about 4:30pm from the CB trailhead. Thanks to those whom have made the trail "passable" in the mean time.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ponca's Revenge

After an all to short night's sleep, Saturday morning I headed to Ponca State Park to shoot the mountain bike race. The weather was clear and pleasant - 70s in race time.

The field for the Beginner and Junior races was pretty small. There was only one wave to start. With that and the short (1-2 laps) races, I did nor get very many photos of that race.

Since the Revenge this year was not a marathon, the Kid's Race was run.

Pretty good turn-out for the Sport and Expert/Semi-Pro category. I found a couple spots to shoot the race. I am not pleased with the overall quality of the race photos. Some is the unfamiliarity of the race course. Other is I was just not on top form.

I am still working on the photos - when done they will be posted on my web site. (I also have the photos from my Army Reunion that need to be processed and posted).

June Full Moon Ride

Well, I have been getting behind in blogging. Made it home from my trip last Thursday. Started recovering (yes recovering from vacation - that's the way it is when retired).

Friday was the June Xtreme Wheels Full Moon Ride. We headed up the Trace to Margaritaville. It took 2 "bob"s to carry the food and refreshments. Burgers, dogs, and brats were grilled. Also had some potato salad and cole slaw.

Some of us had to get up early, so headed home - getting back to the shop about midnight.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More Dirt

This morning I HAD to go back the the Reforestation Camp and ride some more dirt. Today, I bypassed the first part (more difficult). I was looking for a relaxing ride (yesterday I ending up with a headache from taxing my brain).

I was riding better today - even remembered some of the sections of the trail. Took a couple more photos. Eventually, they will end up on my web site.

Happy to be back in the woods. Another "Grade A" ride.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Weather is good and heard the trails are open. So, today I headed to the Reforestation Camp near Green Bay. Yesterday I picked up a trail map - some 10+ miles of singletrack/doubletrack.

Now, it has been over 3 weeks since I have been able to ride some dirt. Getting very frustrated and bad case of withdrawals.

Had a GREAT ride today. The trail difficulty level is just right for me. As I started out, I found some sections challenging.

Later during the ride, I found myself riding better, even anticipating the trail. My speed came up. Feeling good, considering I had never ridden the trail.

The early section of the trail is more difficult. Thinking of riding the trail again tomorrow - with all that I have learned about the trail today.

I need to comment about the trail system signage - its great. I did not get lost once. There were signs for the singletrack loop with direction arrow. When trails converge, there were mini kiosks on posts with trail maps. Today, I gave the trail an "A". Damned, it was great to be in the woods, on dirt!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Big Mac Shoreline Tour - Saturday

Since I was in Mackinaw City, I had signed up for the Spring Big Mac Shoreline Tour. The ride has 25, 50, 75, and 100 miles routes. I opted for the 25 miler. Great morning, sunny, about 70, light breeze.

My goal was to ride at 11 - 12 mph. I wanted to ride at my pace, not try to keep up with a pack. Ended up passing many riders, was passed by a couple (the speedy riders had left the hour earlier). Heart rate was mostly at about 110 bpm, up to 125 on the short hills. Even with the extra post ride, I averaged 11.3 mph.

After the ride, I rode with a couple women to show them where they will meet for the ride over the bridge on Sunday. Ended up with over 27 miles with the ride (short "25" miles, in town, and from/to hotel". Really pumped up after the tour ride.

I decided no way I wanted to ride over the bridge (yes, I COULD have ridden over the bridge). I am not fond of open heights and open grating on bridges.

Catch-up Info

A week ago, I rode with friend's neighbor before driving to Mackinaw City. We rode to Harrington State Park. Jim gave me a tour of the park roads. Good ride - great start for the drive.

When I made it to Mackinaw City, I decided I wanted to drive the car as little as possible - preferring to ride my bike. Spent some time riding around the city to acquaint myself. I did have to drive the car to rake photos at the golf tournament.

Wednesday we toured Mackinac Island. After lunch, I grabbed my bike and rode around the island. The ride around the Island is 8 miles. Would have liked to ride more - explore some of the interior of the Island. Just not time that day, and did not have another day to ride there.

Thursday I was going to ride some dirt at Wilderness State Park. I wanted to check out the trails, buy any needed pass(es). Well, the park HQ was closed - and it was after 10am! What is it with DNR (Wisconsin and Michigan). Is there a conspiracy again me riding in the dirt?

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Tomorrow it will be two weeks since I was able to get out in the dirt. Last week, it was rainy most of the week. Trails were just about drying out when I headed to Wisconsin.

Here, it was been raining every day. Thursday I was able to get on the County North Shore Trail - Kenosha & Racine. Rode from my Mom's apartment to Racine (about 7 miles). The trail is crushed limestone. Trail surface was soft and standing water in spots. It is still a pretty good trail - once you get out of the cities.

Wanted to ride some singletrack - Petrifying Springs Park was closed for flooding, and threatening weather before I could drive to Bong State Park.

So, I headed on to Belgium Wisc. This morning I made a short rode ride with my hosts - 5.3 miles. That ride just made me want some DIRT!

Planned to ride in the Kettle Moriane State Park - about 30 miles away. Checked the web site. That said the trails are open - but the last update of trail conditions was on May 13th - 3 weeks old! The web site DID say trails in the area should dry out in 4-6 hours after rain.

Called the state park inquiring as to trail conditions at the Greenbush Trail area. When I called at 8:55, they had no idea, nor could they tell me when they could report on the conditions. They said they should be ridable, but was not sure.

When I got to the Long Lake entrance, they had no idea if the trails are open. She did call, and advised me that the trails were not ridable from the rains. Back 30 miles.

What was the problem with the Office at Mauthe Lake (which I had called). They should have been able to call the Ranger (or tell me to wait until after 9am when the Ranger comes on duty), saving the the gas and time to driver over, just to find the trails are closed. I will be sending in a Guest Comment Card to Wisconsin DNR.