Friday, October 31, 2008

2000 and 2000

Today I made a milestone for the year, and one of my bikes made one. I topped over 2000 miles for the year. That's the second year (of 3 years) to reach that threshold. From the log, I estimate 20% or more of those miles are on singletrack.

Not riding my hybrid very much recently. Today, I decided to get a couple pavement miles on the hybrid. That took the bike over 2000 miles. That's riding over 3 years. In contrast, my hardtail has over 3200 miles since Apr 06, and my new full suspension bike has over 1000 miles since this April!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bicycle Trails Calendar

I have published my first calendar. The calendar features photos I have taken while riding my bicycles around the country. Contact me if you are interested in ordering one.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Manawa Ride

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a ride in the woods mid 70s, sunny, a bit windy. There were several others riders at Manawa. I stopped two to chat. They are new mountain bikers - starting this season. Talked them about THOR membership.

Anyway, I continued making my laps. The trail conditions are pretty good, except for 2 dead falls on East Sidewinder. One had been there some time, the other is new. Both were trees damaged in the June wind storm, just decided to come down in October.

One reason for riding at Manawa yesterday was to check out the fork re-build of my trail bike. No problem with the fork on this ride. I had a leisurely ride - 7.7 mph. Just what I was looking for. Even had a good conversation with 2 potential THOR members.

Hoping to ride again today, before the weather turns colder and wet over the next couple days.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bike Bash 08

Last evening the road racers and mountain bike racers got together for their annual banquet. Bike Bash 08 was held in the Mallet Lodge at Platte River State Park.

The turn-out was lower than last year. The kitchen crew did an outstanding job with Spaghetti, sauce, garlic rolls, salad, cookies, & brownies.

After dinner, awards were presented to "roadies" for the Rider of the Year. Next came the mountain bike racers. Awards were presented to State Championship winners. Then came the Pyscowpath Series winners (places 3,2,1). Doug Larson is the recipient of the Psycowpath Spirit Award.

The awards were followed by a photo montage created by Tim Weiland (featuring photos by John Peterson and yours truly). Capping the evening were comments by THOR Co-Chair Kent McNeill.

If you missed it, it was a great time - good weather, good food, good program, great friends.

Update-20th. Here's the photo montage.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Omaha Bike Summit

It was a short night - got home from Full Moon Ride about 11pm. Was after midnight when I finally got to bed, up at 5am to get ready for the Bike Summit. The summit was done by Bikeable Communities.

I was not sure about attending because the agenda looks like all geared to Omaha. Decided to go anyway - to get known more in the area.

There was some good information - for Omaha. Lots of Omaha officials, staff, etc. I did not recognize anyone from Council Bluffs (other than me). At one time, I wondered if I belonged there at all - but the logo of Bikeable Communities shows a map of Dodge, Douglas, & Sarpy counties in Nebraska and Pottawattamie and Mills Counties in Iowa.

My feeling - as usual, Council Bluffs is "step-child" to Omaha.

Anyway, like I said, there was good information. Speakers were:
Martin Shukert - City of Omaha Progress and Status Report
Robert Johnson - Ped Net (GetAbout Columbia)
Deputy Chief Mark Sundermeier - Bicycles & Policing in Omaha
Connie Spellman - Green Streets Master Plan
Mike LaViolette - Missouri River Pedestrian Bridge
Mark Wyatt - Bike Parking Opportunities & Alternatives

After lunch, we took a walk over the bridge.

I am thinking of starting a page of my web site with notes, photos, and impressions of Bikeable Communities. That would give me a place to put future information.

Oh. and one more thing, by attending the Bike Summit, I became a member of Bikeable Communities. And you know how I am, I volunteered to serve on a Communications Committee.

Full Moon Ride

A quick report on last night's Full Moon Ride.

Three of us (Tom, Andrew, and Blaine) head out from the shop just after 7pm. Now, I had charged the battery on my headlight, but it died before I got to dinner (and I was conserving battery). Guess its time to buy a new battery.

After a dinner at the Riverside Grill, we rode up to the top of the bridge, then headed back to the shop. Over 50 miles in the last 2 days.

Friday, October 17, 2008

1900 and Counting

My trail bike is repaired! Still waiting parts for the hardtail. :(

Yesterday was a gorgeous day - 60 degrees, nearly calm winds, not a cloud in the sky. Had to head out on the bike.

The dirt trails are too wet from the rains over the week. Decided to ride around Council Bluffs. Started from the Xtreme Wheels, stopping at the Western Heritage Trails Center. Rode the Iowa Riverfront Trail to the end at Big Lake, down N 8th St, and stopped at campaign headquarters. Finished back at the bike shop after over 25 miles, 2+ hour ride.

So far, the rebuilt fork is functioning fine.

Great ride and took my riding log to over 1900 miles for the year.

Full Moon ride this evening, Omaha Bike Summit Saturday, Bike Bash (banquet) Saturday evening.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Busted Bikes

This week has been rough on my bikes. It started Monday with a noise in the fork of my Fuel EX7 (2008 model, 900+ miles). Seemed that the fork was bottoming out. I brought the bike to the shop. They confirmed a problem with the fork.

But, they could not find any failure in the fork. With reassembly, the fork performed well. We got some rain so the next time to ride was Thursday. After riding only 3.5 miles, I heard the same noise. It seemed that things were OK as I rode more. About at 7+ miles, the fork started bottoming out. Dropped the bike back at the shop.

So, the word is that the fork needs some kind of fork kit. The fork is a Rock Shock Recon 351. Rock Shock could not tell the shop what cause the failure. That does not give me a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Yesterday (Friday) I grabbed the hardtail (Trek 4300) and headed off to Manawa. I was just getting used to riding back on the older bike (3200+ miles). Sure noticed the hardtail is not as comfortable to ride!

Anyway, after about 5 miles, it felt like I had caught a stick in the rear wheel. When I stopped to look, the derailleur and hanger were hanging from the chain. Not good. Luckily, I was not on the far end of the trail system. But I DID have to "hike-a-bike" to get it back to the car.

I still have the hybrid to ride. If that goes down, I may have to learn how to ride my unicycle!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cyclocross Photos

Velo Veloce Cycling Club and Xtreme Wheels Bike & Sport sponsored the Omaha Cyclocross weekend October 4th & 5th. The race was held at Swanson Park.

Weather was not typical cyclocross weather. The afternoon was in the 70s and sunny. The course was dry.

I only attended the Saturday race - I had another function on Sunday - a ham radio flea market.

Here's the link.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

An Awesome Ride

Awesome ride this afternoon! I was not sure how well I would ride today. Attended a Ham Radio Flea Market in the morning. Was thinking of dropping by Swanson Park for the last cyclo-cross race.

Instead I headed home, changed clothes, put the trail bike on the car rack, grabbed my gear, and headed over to the Manawa singletrack. After the warm-up on Sidewinders, I felt that I would have a good ride.

Headed into Woodchopper for a lap or two. As nearing the end of lap one, I looked at my computer and saw my speed in E Sidewinders was over 12 mph! I decided to ride the warm-up and 2 full laps to see what my average speed. That has been my new benchmark ride.

Over the last couple weeks, my ride of 10-12.5 miles were at 7.9 - 8.5 mph. The last ride was over 14 miles. I felt that today's ride will clock much faster. That was verified several times when I looked at the computer to see my speed. I am really getting to love riding my Fuel EX7.

All said and done, 14 miles at 9.0 mph, beating my previous speed by .5 mph!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Bridging Communities

This afternoon, I made one of my "Tour de Bluffs" rides. I stopped at the entrance to the new Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.

Lots of folks using the bridge. One couple came off the bridge riding their bikes, trying to decide where to go from there. I explained the trails North and South from the bridge. It was their first time riding on the Iowa side of the river.

Adding to my ride, crossed the bridge to explore the Nebraska side of the river. I rode to the Heartland of America Park - first time I had been there.

At Lewis & Clark Landing, a couple on their bikes obviously playing "tourist". It was the first time the Iowa couple had been on the Omaha riverfront.

While finishing my ride, I thought about what I had experienced. What does the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge mean to Council Bluffs and Omaha? There sure has been "nay-sayers".

Since I moved to the area in 1986, Iowa folks go to Omaha when needed - shopping, work, etc. Many Nebraskas would only drive though Council Bluffs en route to Chicago, KC, or other destinations. The only way across the river was driving the Interstate or across old, open grating bridges. The Missouri River has divided our community.

Now, me and my friends are looking forward to riding BICYCLES across the river for dinner. I am seeing more riders on the Council Bluffs trails - there has to be more traffic through businesses on the Iowa side of the River.

The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge is much more than a bridge across the Missouri River. It is a bridge connecting peoples, cities, and states.