Sunday, December 20, 2009

Playing with PhotoShop

I have been in the hospital since Tuesday. Nothing major - biopsy and colonoscopy. Just that being on coumadin, it take 2+ days in the hospital before and procedures and 3+ after.

Anyway - so I have been playing with the filter effects with PhotoShop and Microsoft Picture It! Really like the glowing edges filter.

Downloaded filters from Filter Forge and The Plugin Site. Its amazing the artistic effects with PhotoShop filters.

I was able to get the hospital to bring a stationary bike into my room. Been getting some time on the bike - just not like riding outside. Still have to finish my Christmas cards. Other projects had with me in the room - so lots of stuff to do. But really want to be back home. Hopefully tomorrow.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

First Snow Ride of the Season

Well, yesterday I tried to.

The intention was to ride the snow in the dirt at Lake Manawa. The snow was just too deep. I could not get moving to keep my balance. The depth of the snow and the snow packing under the tires was just too much. So, I moved over to the parking lot by the nature trail.

While I was unloading the bike, a couple came by with their dog, making a comment that I would need snow tired. I told them the bike had studded tires. They had not heard of studded bicycle tires.

Anyway, I headed West along the Lake Manawa trail to Indian Creek. The Lake Manawa trail was plowed. Instead of just turning back, I rode Indian Creek to Hwy 92. That trail was not plowed, but the trail was wind swept. just a coule places I had to push trhough drifts.

The Hwy 92 bridge over Indian Creek was a mess. All of the snow from the plows was piled up over the trail. Brought the bike over to the hyway and rode there until I could duck down into Manawa streets.

Little raw and cold when riding along the lake into the wind. But, made it and got in a 7 mile ride.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Was a Snowy Week

Last weekend we got some snow - just a couple inches. Then Tuesday the big storm hit. About noon, I got home for breakfast and errands. The roads were getting bad. The Omaha/Council Bluffs area received about 8-10 inches of snow.

Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning the winds kicked in, redistributing the snow. There was basically no one moving. It appeared a couple of high clearance vehicles made it through on the road. The end of my driveway was blocked with a big drift.

Wednesday, the sky started to clear and I ventured out to survey the situation. Brought out the newer D-SLR camera and took a couple photos of the snow and drifts.

In the afternoon, the wind was abating so it was time to start clearing the driveway. I was planning to take my time - shovel a little, back inside for rest, then back out to shovel. The neighbor lady was out blowing their drive. She came over across the road and asked if I needed help. Since she had a snow blower and I had a snow shovel, I accepted her offer. I did a little shoveling, she ran the snow blower. I took a little break to grab the camera to take a couple shots.

Thursday morning was computer coffee at Panera Bread. When I got out, I could see that the road had not plowed yet - but it appeared lots of vehicles have gotten through to the south. Made it out, just barely, as the road was only "passable" with the drifts.

Today (Friday) I stopped at the bike show, mostly to see what the city trails look like. The Valley View trail has not been plowed. (In contrast, I had heard that some/most of the Omaha trails have been plowed). Looks like no riding on the paved trails yet.

Tomorrow I will check out at Lake Manawa - paved trail and perhaps the dirt trails. Getting cabin fever and withdrawal. My last ride was last Friday night for the Full Moon Ride.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Familiar Trails

The last couple days were awesome, weather-wise. Monday I rode the hybrid for a pavement ride. Just wanting some miles, again.

Yesterday it was back in the dirt at Lake Manawa. I had not ridden my hardtail (Trek4300) for a couple weeks, brought it for the ride. Besides, the trail bike (Fuel EX7) was along for the trip to Wisconsin. Didn't want the hardtail think I didn't like to ride it!

Perfect wind direction - WSW. Was into the wind on the way over to Manawa. Rode the west side first. The peeps have been busy building the log fence again. Have to talk about that in the next time we do a trail day here. I do not like the "fence". It is "confining". Have problems riding that section.

I had heard that there is a tree down at Manawa - Tony's Playground. It is a good sized tree - one that can't just be moved - will need to be cut. Across the trail in 2 section just at the exit of Tony's Playground.

Was good to be back on familiar dirt again. Couple days off, now. Then Full Moon Ride Friday night at Lake Manawa. Charge up those lights!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Bike Ride and Drive Home

The weather this past week has not been good for riding - lots of damp and cool. Wednesday turned into rain and overnight snow south of Milwaukee. Spent Thanksgiving Day driving to Kenosha, dinner with family and visiting with my mom.

Being off the bike since Monday, I was ready for a bike ride. Friday was a sunny, though little chilly, day. Headed out from my mom's apartment. Rode over to the lakefront. Went south to Eichelman Park and back north to Carthage College.

Today's photos was taken Friday afternoon at 44th St. and Kennedy Dr.

Yesterday was a beautiful day - sunny, high of about 55, light wind. Alas, I spend the day driving. Made it home last night.

Forecast is for some nice weather Monday and Tuesday, then the bottom drops out of the temperature just in time for Full Moon Ride Friday(?).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wisconsin Riding

This week I am in Wisconsin to visit friends and family. Getting in some riding, too.

Sunday I rode the Fox River Trail. It was a 1.5 miles for his house t the trailhead. Most of the trail section I rode is paved. There was one section still crushed gravel. Brought the full suspension trail bike since I was planning to ride some dirt.

Was a good day for a ride - lots of folks on the trail. High just over 50, mostly sunny, light breeze from the south. I turned around when I hit the second unpaved section. That was enough for me for the day - made it a 24 mile ride.

The first photo here was taken on the Fox River Trail.

Monday I was a little further south. Finally I was able to ride some of the trails at Kettle Moraine State Park - North Unit.

Checked in with the Forest Service Office and bought my vehicle and bike passes. My plan was to ride Greenbush trails. They looked to be about my speed s I walked a little there 2 years ago. WRONG - as I headed on the trail with my bike, it turned into rougher, lots of wet roots and rocks. The weather turned to fog and mist. I rode Loop 2 and headed to the New Fane trails. The Forest Service office told me that those trails are a little easier.

The New Fane mountain bike trails is a stacked loop system. Loop 1 is a very easy, nearly flat trail. It was a good 1/2 mile ride to get back into riding singletrack on unfamiliar trails. Loop 2 (1 mile) is a little more difficult. There were a couple spots where I walked the hill.

I rode onto Loop 3. This 2 mile loop is a bit more challenging. By the time I got to the intersection with Loop 4, I decide to not push myself. After all, I was riding alone and on unfamiliar trails. I already had a good workout, so it was time to ride the trail on to the trailhead.

The mountain bike trails here are hilly. They mostly follow the contour of the land. Lots of short up and down with a few level spots to catch your breath. I was able to speed down some of the hills, hitting 13 mph!

The New Fane trails are just the ticket for my riding ability. They were fun, enjoyable and challenging, while not pushing over my head. Next time, I will head there with the goal of finishing all 4 loops. A great day (weather not withstanding) dancing on the pedals. At New Fane I logged 4.3 miles, average 5.1 mph, max of 13.0 mph.

Last evening I was thinking of riding pavement today. When I got up. my legs told me "NO".

Catch Up Time

I have been slack about blogging the last couple weeks. Not that I have not been riding my bikes, just doing other things.

Since the last post, I had been riding the Wabash Trace and paved trails in Council Bluffs. After the nasty month of October, we got some decent weather in November. My favorite section of the Wabash Trace is from Silver City to Malvern. That's a easy 17 miles r/t. Many times I ride on to Mahr Road make the ride 20 miles. If really energetic, I got the While Cloud - making the trip just over 25 miles.

However, before my trip to Wisconsin, rode a lot on the Council Bluffs trail system. Here, I can log some miles on the hybrid. Of course, I have to check out the construction at Playland Park and Big Lake Park.

A week ago, I hit the 3200 mile mark. Thats 1000 miles over last year's total.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hug a Vet Today

This morning I will be heading to town for breakfast. Hy-Vee is hosting their annual free breakfast for veterans. Thanks, Hy-Vee.

I send warm wishes to my fellow Vets. To my Nam Vet friends, "Welcome Home".

Monday, November 9, 2009

Another Sunday on Wabash Trace

Another sunny, windy day. And, an unusually warm day (about 20 degrees above normal!). Warm wind from the South - a good direction for a ride down the Trace.

Headed out from Silver City. Rough riding into the wind - could make about 9 mph. Stopped on the Silver Creek Bridge. Dennis was also on the Trace and stopped at the bridge. Visited a little with him. I headed South, he headed back to Mineola.

My drive train started slipping - in 3 and 5 from the largest cog. I stopped in Malvern to decide if I will return or ride on, saw that my problem was a vine in the drive/around the cassette. Pulled the vine off the drive trail and did a quick test ride. Proper shifting is back!

So, rode on to the South from Malvern. Found a deadfall over the trail at mile 384. Not surprising with all the strong winds we have had this Fall. My last ride on the Trace there were 2 deadfalls between Silver City and Malvern. These had been cleared. In spite of the large number of dead trees, the Wabash Trace Crews do a great job keeping the trail open.

Made it down to White Cloud. That's 12.5 miles, so time to turn back. The section down to White Cloud is due East/West. Rough riding with the stiff cross wind. Stopped at the West Nishna bridge for a photo. Another stop at Malvern to refuel. Finally back to Silver City.

Big Lake Construction Status

Saturday I made my "Tour de Bluffs". Sunny, upper 60s to lower 70s. Some wind from the North.

Dirt moving is progressing where Playground Park was. That is just across the Bob Bridge from Omaha.

Riding on North on the Iowa Riverfront Trail, I stopped at Big Lake Park for a rest stop and see what has been doing. As you can see in the top/left photo, there is a new, rock retaining wall around the lake. Folks are already fishing from the ramp. Construction continues. New concrete trail (some just poured) looks to be encircling the lake. There's a new fishing/viewing path on the East side of the lake (lower/right photo).

Biked over the the North lake to check on the new boardwalk. No progress there.

Ended back at Xtreme Wheels. Nice ride on the hybrid (and no flat!).

Saturday, November 7, 2009

November Full Moon Ride

Great turn-out for the ride last night - over a dozen. Too bad a couple guys had to head back, work calling. Weather was awesome for riding in the woods in November!

We headed out from the shop riding the paved trail to Lake Manawa. Regrouped in the parking lot at Manawa, took photos, then rode a lap. Casualties - one flat, one endo, caught lots of burrs, some muddy tires - a fun ride.

Thanks for everyone that turned out for the ride. There are a couple more photos on the Xtreme Wheels Cycling Club group on facebook.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Meeting with IMBA


Ryan Schutz (IMBA's Regional Director) will be visiting on November 9 & 10 to do a "Scoping Visit". He'll be here to get a lay of the land, and facilitate us through the process of creating what we hope will be a master plan of our green space/trail system. With your help, we... can identify our existing green spaces, parks, greenways, preserves, etc, and also identify the gaps and potential connectors.

On Nov. 9th, he would like to meet with the THOR advisory board members and those interested in playing a role in learning more about organizational building.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Full Moon Ride

November Full Moon Ride - This Friday. We are meeting at the shop and riding to Lake Manawa. Then a lap or two on the singletrack. I rode there the other day - trails are in good shape except for one tree to watch for and a muddy/wet spot. After the ride we will head someplace to eat.

Bring your lights and helmets.

Xtreme Wheels
Friday, November 6th -- 6pm

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Checking Out Manawa

For several reason, yesterday I decided to ride a Lake Manawa. I had not ridden the trail bike (Trek Fuel EX7) since the end of September; Full Moon Ride is coming up Friday; Needed to ride some dirt; Had not ridden in Manawa in over a month; A little gun shy with all the flats on the hybrid.

Most of trail is in good shape. A couple of soft spots. Fast Track again has standing water and muddy spots.

Tree down across the trail in Riverside Real Estate. A couple branches were across the trail. Some tree debris clean-up could be done at the wet spot in Fast Track.

So, if the showers (forecast for today) miss Manawa or a light, we could do the Full Moon Ride to Manawa Singletrack?!

Monday, November 2, 2009

A #10 Day - (almost)

It was in the upper 60s yesterday afternoon when I headed to town for a ride. Brought the hybrid for a pavement ride on the bike paths. Mostly sunny, light breeze from the south.

Stopped at the Western Historic Trails Center. From there, rode across the "Bob Bridge" to Omaha. Stopped at Lewis & Clark Landing for a break - Gatorade and Clif Bar. I have been over the bridge many times, yesterday I stopped to take a photo of my bike straddling the state line.

Back on the Iowa side of the river, I headed back. Planned to ride down the Veteran's Memorial Trail to the construction of the new bridge. That plan was scrubbed when I got a flat at the I-80 bridge.

Getting tired of the flats on this bike. Three flats in the last 4 rides. I had ridden about 300 miles on the new tires without a flat. Now 3 in 100 miles. Will be stopping at the bike shop later to do post mortem on the tubes.

With no more spare tubes with me, I canceled the part of the ride to the Veteran's Memorial Bridge construction. Got back at the bike shop and was able to mention the problems to Blaine. For now - think I will ride one of my mountain bikes for a few days. (Have not had a flat problem on them - other than the goatheads in AZ and NM).

Special Note: Xtreme Wheels is now operating under winter hours schedule. Shop opens at 11am.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Calendar Special

Tom Winfield Photography has a special for its customers. If you order 10 or more digital photo files at, you will be mailed a free "Bicycle Trails" calendar. Previous orders DO count.

All of the 2009 Psycowpath races (except Ponca), R&R Wedding, Bike Bash 09, and BHFTF photos are available. Go to to place your order.

If you just want a copy of the calendar, contact me by e-mail. photos(at)tomwinfield(dot)com. Calendars are $15 plus $3 shipping.

Looking for a gift for your racer? Watch for details on availability of matted and framed photos.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

3000 and Counting

The weather was cloudy, winds from the north, temperature about 55. At least it was not looking like rain! (Yesterday I got caught in drizzling rain.)

Was not sure how far I wanted to ride - see how I felt. The 3000 mile mark was near (less than 32 miles needed). Headed out from the bike shop. When I hit Indian Creek Trail, the wind hit me head-on. It was relentless, but I pedaled on at about 10 mph.

Stopped at the Trails Center. Feeling pretty good, so continued up the Iowa Riverfront Trail, past the Bob Bridge to N. 25th St. Since it was just a couple miles to Big Lake, I went on (wanted to see what progress has been made there). At Super 7, I got a flat - probably a pinch flat since it happened just crossing a rough drop at the road crossing.

Repairing the flat went pretty good (since I just had to fix on Monday). Thanks to the pump Dennis got me, I was back on the trail. At this time - do I continue to Big Lake and back on the Iowa Riverfront Trail - or ride though town to just get back to the bike shop?

I opted finishing the ride. Work continues on the lake shoreline. Does not look like anything more was done on the boardwalk.

Flew back down the trail (mostly a tail-wind). Ended with the ride against the wind from Manawa to the bike shop. All-in-all, I good ride. And, I hit my 3000 mile mark (800 miles over last year's total).

New Facebook Page

This morning I published a new Facebook page - Tom Winfield Photography.

The first show of my photography has closed. Have mixed emotions about the show. It was great to get my work out where it can be seen. Sales were underwhelming.

On the other hand, orders for photos of the mountain races are still coming in. Watch for a special offer.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Show closing this Evening

Have been in Greenfield, IA today. This evening is the closing of my photography show. Some visitors in the E. E. Warren opera House. Several made positive comments about my work. Now, if a few more could have bought a calendar or photo...

Well, at least more folks have seen some of my work. I need to get busy on selling the calendars. Don't want to end up with them un-sold.

Calendars are $15. Add $3 for shipping if you want it mailed to you. Contact me at naugabike(at)tomwinfield(dot)com.

Now, we need some sunshine so I can get out and ride more. Need 53 miles to break 3000 miles for the year.

Race Across the Sky

Last evening I attending the showing of Race Across the Sky - a movie about the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race. Some 1400 mountain bikers head out from Leadville, Colorado for a 100 mile grueling out and back race, all at over 10,000 ft! The showing was a one night event, held all over the country (?).

Race Across the Sky is a documentary film about the race. If there was a "Star" of the film, it would have to be Lance Armstrong. Before and after the film the feature included panel discussions including Lance, several time winner (and 2nd place finisher) Dave Wiens, 3rd place finisher Matt Shriver, the race promoter, and one more guest (that I did not catch the name).

The best one word description of the film - Awesome. It was inspirational - a woman racer that overcame a crash with a car that almost cost her life. It was heartbreaking with the senior racer that cried because he did not make the 4 hour cut-off at the Twin Lakes check point.

The scenery was beautiful. The aerial shots give a great view of the race venue. The graphic animations shows the race course and gives you a idea where the shots are taken.

Now, while I have never raced other than one at Lake Manawa, I can feel for the riders. They endured the trail, the altitude, rain, sleet, hail, and 100 miles on a mountain bike! Hats off to everyone - if you finished or not, were there as support, worked as a volunteer, or just attended the race.

The schedule at the theater showed the film lasted 195 minutes! No way - just over 1 1/2 hours.

Am I going to ride that race? (That's what some of my friends asked - in jest, I gather) No Way! Now I would like to shoot photos as the racers come up and down Powerline...

A "Must See" film, for mountain bikers, road riders, racers, race fans, or know a cyclist. A treat for a guy like me that knows some of the local racers. Great to see them in the film.

Thanks to Kim West (The Kim West Radio Cycling Show - KXNO, AM 1460) for the promotional tickets.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunday on the Wabash Trace

The weather forecast was for sunny, warmer (basically normal), with winds from the South. I debated riding dirt at Manawa or the Wabash Trace. Mike R, one of my Facebook friends, posted a ride from CB to Silver City. I was ready for a ride with some company, so decided on the Wabash Trace.

It took some time for everyone to get assembled and head out. Dennis (one of my riding friends) didn't wait. He was only going to ride to Mineola, anyway. Six of us (Trasey, Mike, Dave, Lynn, Greg, and I) headed out.

We stopped for refreshments at Margaritaville. Another rider (Keith?) stopped to visit. Another stop at the Mineola Trailhead Shelter. Finally to Silver City. We stopped at the bar in Silver City for refreshments.

It was getting near 4pm, I decided its time for me to head back. Jared arrived at the bar as I was getting ready to ride home.

On my way up the hill to Margarataville, I was passed by Steve S (formerly of Activate Omaha, now of Iowa Bicycle Coalition). Steve was on his way back from a ride to Imogene.

Steve rode with me the rest of the way to the Council Bluffs trailhead. One the ride South, we left CB about It took over 2 hours to ride from CB to Silver City (with stops), 1.5 hours to ride back. Was back at the CB trailhead about 5:30.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bike Bash 09

Last evening was Nebraska Cycling Association's annual awards banquet. Awards were presented for road racing and mountain bike racing.

The function was held in Mallet Lodge at Platte River State Park. The evening stated with a spaghetti feed. Soda and a keg of Fat Tire quenched the thirst.

The evening's entertainment was capped off by a slide show with the Year in Review for the Psycowpath season.

My photos of Bike Bash are at:

Back on the Bike

After a week off the bike, it sure felt good to ride yesterday! It was a busy week, with 2 trips to Greenfield, IA regarding my photography show. The weather did not cooperate, either. Most of the week was overcast, cold, and drizzling rain. Yuck!

Yesterday was still overcast with 20 degrees below normal temperatures. But, I had to ride. Loaded up the hybrid and headed into town.

Rode from Xtreme Wheels to the Bob Bridge and back. A ride of just over 26 miles. Riding time was 2 hours.

Was not trying to set any new speed record. Ended up with the fastest pace since I had changed my meds. Rode at just over 13 mph pace.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Show Opening

Today was the opening of my photography show in Greenfield. Weather was cool, overcast, and some rain. Not a pretty day. Sun peeked out for a couple minutes. Rain again in the evening.

The show is being held in an old opera house. The structure is being refurbished/renovated. I got a tour the the building this evening. The original proprietor (E. E. Warren) lived in an apartment of the building. This evenings photo is of the building with the light drizzle in the air.

Some visitors came in to tour the exhibits. Many commented that they liked the photographs (but then who would say they didn't like them with the photographer right there!)

No visitors in the evening open hours. If the weather improves overnight, I want to ride the T-Bone trail (Atlantic to Audubon, IA).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Photo Show Information

My show is being held in the E. E. Warren Opera House, on the square in Greenfield, Iowa. Greenfield is about 80 miles east of Council Bluffs, on Hwy 92.

The show opens this Thursday. October 15th (my birthday). I will be present for the opening and to sign my calendars.

The show will be open on October 15th, 16th, 18th, 22nd, and 23rd. Hours are 1pm to 4pm and 7pm to 8pm on those days. Free admission!

Those wishing to purchase a photo in the show can sign a reservation form during the show. Calendars can also reserve a calendar when I am not at the show. Payment and delivery will be handled the Friday evening at close of the show.

My plans are to also have a book of some of my other work. Prints of those can be ordered. Details will be available during the show.

Unfortunately, the show schedule does not let me to bring some of my photos to the Bike Bash on Saturday the 17th at Platte River. However, I will have calendars available for sale.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Show Set-up

Made it to Greenfield with my photos. One casualty - one glass was cracked. Will have the replace that.

Met a couple of the folks with the Opera House. Visited with a local reporter from one of the local newspapers. Hope the show goes well.

Now, if the weather cooperates, I will ride when I get home. Would also be nice to ride the Raccoon Trail later this weekend when I had back toward Greenfield for the show opening.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My First Photography Show

Over the last couple months, I have been busy framing some of my prints. At this time, I have about 40 framed. This effort is to sell some of my prints.

Through a friend, I was put in touch with the E. E. Warren Opera House in Greenfield, IA. Granted, the 70 mile drive does not make it convenient, but the price is right. From the ad in the local newspaper, you can see that I will be sharing the space with another exhibit.

Most of the prints I will be showing are landscapes including some trails. A few of those include a bicycle in the photo. To illustrate some of the other subjects I shoot, there will also be a couple of prints of flowers, mountain bike race, and still life.

Predominant size is 11 x 14 print framed out to 16 x 20. There will also be a few 8 x 10 (framed to 11 x 14). Lastly, a couple of larger prints, up to 20 x 30 (framed to 24 x 36).

The photos can be purchased. My "Bicycle Trails" calendar will also be available for purchase.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Its only October 10th! What gives?

Here's what I saw this morning when I opened the garage door...

Yes, they have been warning about this all week. Buts its just too early for snow. We never really had a summer. Now right into winter (at least for a couple days).

I am NOT ready to put the studded tires on the hardtail.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Activity on The Trace

Lots of activity on the Wabash Tace yesterday. Was a windy day, mostly sunny, and high about 70. With the wind from the South, it would be a good day to ride there.

Headed out of Silver City. There were all sorts of creatures on the trail today. Some just in time for Halloween.

On the way I encountered a pick-up truck. Two guys checking out surveying marks. As I rode past Malvern, there was another pick-up parked on the trail. He was checking bridges (something about possibility of chaning some of the bridges from wood to concrete.

Same place, I encountered 2 of the other SWINT board members. They were clearing dead falls.

Turned around at White Cloud. Cross wind for the first couple miles. Most of the rest of the way I had a tail wind. legs were tired by the time I got back to the car. Pedaling into the wind took itout of me. Still logged 25 miles.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wedding Photos

The photos I took of Roxzanne and Ryan Feagan's wedding are on my photography web site. I was debating about posting the photos on that site. Decided the the trail group could use the money, so all monies I get from the wedding photos will be donated to T.H.O.R. (

Bike Rides and a Wedding

It was a blustery night for the October Full Moon Ride. Five of us headed out from Xtreme Wheels. Temperature about 50 and gusty winds from the North. Rode up to IWCC, tooled around the college, and rode back. Short ride - but kept the streak running.

No time to ride Saturday. Ham Radio breakfast then do a couple things before heading North for Roxzanne & Ryan's wedding. Brought the hybrid hoping to ride Sunday.

The wedding venue was Ponca State Park. Was a little cool, but the rain kept away. The ceremony was held outside, overlooking a Missouri River vista.

The Reception was at the Missouri National Recreational River Resource and Education Center. It was a beautiful place for the wedding. Appropriate for folks that love the outdoors like Roxy and Ryan.

The couple took a ride on their "bicycle built for two".

The function was well attended by T.H.O.R, Psycowpath, and other bicyclists. Was a enjoyable party. Once the karaoke started, I had to call it a night. Was enough for me.

Roxzanne and Ryan Feagan, congratulations! Best wishes for your life together.

When I stuck my head out the door of my room Sunday morning - I saw frost on the car and it was still dark at 7am (I wanted to ride at 8). First frost for the season! Walking over to "breakfast", found it was a bit chilly. Decided to wait to ride at home when it was warmer.

After a nap at home, drove into CB. Rode from Xtreme Wheels, along the bike path. Planned to ride to the Trails Center. Dennis saw me there, so I rode up to the Bob Bridge and on to Big Lake with him. With lots of legs left, I decided to ride back the same way - giving me almost 35 mile ride. That ride took me over 2800 miles for the year, 600+ miles over last year's total.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Construction at Big Lake

WOW - yesterday was a great day for a bike ride. Sunny, nearly calm winds, temperature in the upper 60s. I headed out from Xtreme Wheels in my hybrid. Goal was to a 30-40 mile ride.

Rode my normal route - Valley View, Lake Manawa, Indian Creek. Veteran's Memorial, and Western Historic Trails to the Trails Center. Made my routine stop there. From there I rode Iowa Riverfront to Big Lake. That made it over 17 miles from the bike shop to Big Lake.

When I got to Big Lake, I was surprised to see all the construction around the lake. The lake is nearly drained, what looks to be is a new ramp to the water, and lots of earth-moving going on.

Visiting with another observer, he suggested I go over the the North parking lot and see what else that is under construction. There, I saw a new drive, parking area, and picnic tables. A paved trail leads to the north lake. There I saw a board walk under construction reaching into the lake.

I understand that Council Bluffs is spending some million dollars on the Big Lake project. Now, if we could get the Iowa Riverfront Trail extended up to Lewis & Clark Monument.

Returned along the river to the Trails Center. After a break there, rode back past the bike shop. As I neared the shop (with 35 miles under the belt), I decided to extend the ride up to Iowa Western CC. With that, I made my goal of over 40 miles for the ride.

It was a good ride. Now while I have ridden more miles in 1 day before, the 40 mile ride was the longest ride without big breaks. This ride was 3 hours and 13 minutes riding time in just over 3.5 hours.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ride at Manawa - Race day plus 1

Sunday turned out to be a sunny, windy day with the temperature in the 80s. A good day to ride in the woods.

The first think I noticed as I rode in the parking lot - some a$$ had dumped a load of trash just where the official's tent was set up. With all the work done, it only an overnight to have the park trashed.

Taking in easy, I rode the sidewinders as a warm-up. From there, I headed out for a lap or two. Started on the West side.

On the way back toward the parking lot in Wood Chopper, someone had constructed a "fence" of sorts, using branches and limbs. The last laps I made here were on Tuesday evening. This structure was not there at that time. Was this "fence" was up for the race? There sure was a lot of work put into this construction.

No other anomalies noted during the ride. Ended up with riding 2 laps plus for 14.8 miles.

The ride was not near one of my best riding efforts. Pace was only 7.4 mph. Even with the pace, I was able to get my heart rate up into the 90s. Anyway, I started another week of riding - see if I can make 100 miles again this week.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Manawa Mountain Bike Mayham

This race was held yesterday (Saturday). After a week of dry conditions, the area received some rain. The trail was slippery in spots for the first part of the race schedule.

I took just short of 450 photos. They are divided up into:

Juniors, Category 3, and start of Marathon
Category 2, Category 1, and rest of Marathon
Kids Race
Misc shots

I have not done any enhancing of the images. Any orders will filled with enhanced photos.

The photos are on Enjoy.

Please note: This web site hosting will be adding a $1.50 per order fee starting October 1st. You might want to order before then. I am not happy with this fee impossed on my customers. Will be spending some time to investigate other options.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Lake Manawa Trails are Race Ready

Earlier this week the THOR ( Trail Crew descended on the Lake Manawa mountain bike trails. There were about 8-9 of us Sunday and another 6 in the threatening weather Monday. A good turn out to finish the work Tuesday evening.

Our Trail Leader mowed the trail last week. We had weed whackers running the 3 evenings to trim the edges of the trail. All of the log crossings were stabilized. The trail was lopped to trim branches.

This photo shows the first log crossing in Tony's Playground.

Thanks for all of the volunteers. We had a big turn-out of non-members and first timers.

Heard from my cardiologist's nurse regarding my heart rate. The clinic wants my heart rate low - as long as so low that I pass out or get light headed. Maybe my body is starting to adjusting to the new medication - yesterday I was able to get my heart rate up to 112 bpm riding back from Manawa.

Yesterday I rode from Xtreme Wheels over to Lake Manawa. Rode 2 laps (except No Second Chance) and back to the shop. Was a good 23 mile ride on the Fuel EX7.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Propafenone (Rythmol)

Yesterday I was able to make quantitative assessments of the new medication. And, I am NOT pleased. This riding was done on my hybrid (Trek 7200FX with 28c tires). Walking around the bike shop while getting ready for the ride, my pulse was about 65 bpm (one time my monitor showed 49 bpm, think that was a fluke reading).

I started with 4-5 mile warm up. That section of the ride was at about 11-12 mph but my heart rate would only climb into the 80s. At that time, I brought the speed up 13-14 mpg with a heart rate of about 95 bpm. A mile of that and I pushed it on up to see what I could get.

My heart rate topped out at 104. Rode for a mile or two at 100-104 bpm. This is the point that I started getting short of breath. After that, my left leg was losing some strength, almost like a mild cramp. (Lactate build-up in the muscle?). I slowed down the past for the rest of the route to the Trails Center.

For comparison, last week I would start to get short of breath at 130+ bpm! Add to that I was riding about 1.5 mph faster last week.

From the Trails Center, I continued my ride to N 25th St - 15+ miles from the bike shop. Kept my pace in the area of 11-13 mph for that section and the ride back to the bike shop. Stopped both ways at the Western Historic Trails Center to use the restroom, consume a bottle of Gaterade G2 and granola bar.

On the ride, I was wondering if my cardiologist really knows the dose I am on of other blood pressure medications that also slow down the heart rate. When I was on 50 mg of Lopressor twice a day, my max heart rate was 150 to 160. When that dose was increased to 100 mg twice a day, the max dropped to 130-140. Now with Rythmol, my max heart rate is about 105!

When my cardiologist said that the new medication would lower my heart rate, I commented that mine was already very low. His reply was "hydrate". Pretty sure I normally hydrate myself enough, I gave him the benefit of doubt until I could verify.

Will be calling the clinic this morning.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Recalibrating Heart Monitor Readings

Monday afternoon I did not have time to ride my bike. Had trail work that evening. There was threatening rain anyway. I spend the evening running a weed wacker.

Yesterday, it was time to get back on the bike. For several reasons, took the hardtail. Wanted to check out the new tires (the same tires as OEM on the bike). Could be a little windy, and would be using that bike anyway for trail work.

Headed out slowly. Always do that when any change to bike or meds. As I rode the paved trail, I noticed higher rolling resistance. Guess those tires were pretty well worn!

Once I was warmed up, I started pushing it more. On stretches, I got my speed up to 14 mph - couple times up to 15 mph. That was about all I wanted to push then. I started getting a little winded - but my heart rate topped only 105.

I need to read up more about the new medications - Propafenone (AKA Rythmol). It is used to treating irregular heartbeat. My doctor told me that it may also slow down my heart rate.

With the Propafenone and high dosage of Lopressor and other blood pressure meds, soon will need a calendar to check my pulse rather a watch!

Over the next weeks, I will have to keep close tabs on my heart rate and breathing. Should the medications interfere in my riding performance, my ask to try different prescription.

No Restrictions

Monday morning I was able to see my cardiologist. Stopped at Jenny Edmundson Hospital to pick up lab report and copy of the EKG taken on Saturday. Then it was over to UNMC.

After the first consultation I was hook up to an EKG. Of course (Murphy's Law), at the clinic, I was in sinus rhythm. Doctor Sears showed me the EKGs, and the trace that showed the AF.

As we discussed the treatment (medications), I asked it I had any restrictions. He told me there are no restrictions. He wants me to record when and what I was doing when (if) I have another episode. See him again in 3 months. I headed out of the clinic with a prescription for Propafenone.

One of my friends said it best on Facebook. "Yeee HAAAA !"

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Atrial Fibrillation

This morning, I was going to take a bike ride on the Wabash Trace. As I prepared, I checked my heart monitor. Problems getting a reading. When I could get a reading, it was high and erratic.

This has happened before on a ride. I have been just chalking it up to monitor battery, bad connection to the skin, and others. But the batteries have been replaced and reset the chest strap.

Recently, I started checking my heart rate before heading to the trail. Today, with the high, erratic heart rate, I decided to go the the ER. That would show if I have a physical problem or malfunctioning monitor.

The diagnosis - Atrial Fibrillation - Irregular Heart Beat.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (part of the NIH)... "AF occurs when rapid, disorganized electrical signals in the heart’s two upper chambers, called the atria (AY-tree-uh), cause them to contract very fast and irregularly (this is called fibrillation). As a result, blood pools in the atria and isn’t pumped completely into the heart’s two lower chambers, called the ventricles (VEN-trih-kuls). When this happens, the heart’s upper and lower chambers don’t work together as they should." The heart diagram is from the NHLBI web site.

I am off the bicycle until I can see my cardiologist. :-(

Now - here is the important part. Had I not been using a heart monitor I would not know I have Atrial Fibrillation!. My problem is asymptomatic - I have no symptoms. No dizziness, short of breath, fainting, weakness, or chest pains.

Sure, a couple times I felt a little "out of sorts" riding up to Dumfries on the Trace when the monitor was not reading right. I thought it was because I did not eat right that evening. Most times all I did was take it easy a little when riding.

Now I know what caused the erratic readings - and a strong proponent of heart monitors. Trust your instruments - that's what they are there for. My monitor may have saved my life!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Letters to Senators Harkin and Grassley

From Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Transportation Enhancements (TE), the nation’s largest funding source for trails, walking and bicycling, have frequently come under attack, but Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) and our supporters have consistently risen to the challenge of defending this popular and important program.

Such was the case this week when U.S. Senators Tom Coburn (Okla.) and John McCain (Ariz.) submitted two amendments to the FY10 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. If these amendments had passed, they would have eliminated TE, which provides the majority of available federal funds for trails, walking and bicycling. In response to this attack, RTC issued an e-mail alert on Tuesday, September 15, asking supporters to call their U.S. Senators and ask them to vote against the two amendments. Given less than 24 hours’ notice before the vote on September 16, hundreds of you acted and helped sway this crucial vote.

Amendment 2370 would have prohibited the use of federal funds for pedestrian or bicycle facilities, efforts to reduce vehicle collisions with wildlife, and other specified TE projects if the Highway Trust Fund cannot cover unfunded highway authorizations. Sensing minimal support, Senator Coburn withdrew Amendment 2370 on the floor of the Senate.

Amendment 2371 would have eliminated the current set-aside that ensures funding for TE in all states. Responding to your calls to their offices, the Senate defeated Amendment 2371 by a margin of 59-39.

This is an important victory. But the fact that 39 senators—including both Democrats and Republicans—voted in favor of the amendment indicates that many senators do not fully realize the value such assets provide our communities. Please communicate this value to them now.


Sep 17, 2009

Senator Tom Harkin
Hart Senate Office Building, Room 731
Constitution Avenue and 2nd Street, NE
Washington, DC 20510-1502

Dear Senator Harkin,

Thank you for voting against Amendment 2371 on H.R. 3288, the
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill.

Four and a half years ago I suffered a stroke caused by a failed heart
valve. After my cardiac rehab I took up bicycling to continue my
recovery. Bicycling and walking trails in our area have been a key for
my remarkable recovery.

We need to encourage more people to take to the walkways and trails.
Because I have taking up riding bicycles, my doctors say I am in better
physical health than I have been years. Besides, I have been able to
stop taking anti-depressants.

Thanks again for your vote. You are doing a great job.


Tom Winfield


Sep 17, 2009

Senator Charles Grassley
Hart Senate Office Building, Room 135
Constitution Avenue and 2nd Street, NE
Washington, DC 20510-1501

Dear Senator Grassley,

I am concerned that you voted for Amendment 2371 on H.R. 3288, the
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill.

Four and a half years ago I suffered a stroke caused by a failed heart
valve. After my cardiac rehab I took up bicycling to continue my
recovery. Bicycling and walking trails in our area have been a key for
my remarkable recovery.

We need to encourage more people to take to the walkways and trails.
Because I have taking up riding bicycles, my doctors say I am in better
physical health than I have been years. Besides, I have been able to
stop taking anti-depressants.

Senator, I am very concerned with your vote. We need trails and
walkways as a part of a national wellness program. Your vote and your
negative attitude toward the President's health plan makes me wonder if
you are promoting higher health costs.


Mr. Tom Winfield

Another Road Ride

Yesterday I took the hybrid out for a road ride from Xtreme Wheels to US 34. That was a 32 mile ride.

Non-stop ride on the way South. When I hit the 1 hour mark I had 15.4 miles! In sections of L31 on the flats, I was mostly riding at about 17 mph. Granted, what there wind was was from my back.

Now, I was not pushing it because I knew I would have to ride into the wind on the way back. Also, I needed to reserve some energy for the ride on US 275.

On the way back, I stopped at West Oak Forest (Photo) for a break. At the junction of L31 and Hwy 370, I grabbed a shot-blok for the ride on 257.

At 2 hours, I was at 29.85 miles. Just under 15 mph. As I got to Wabash Trace Trailhead Park, I slowed down for a cool down. Ended the ride pace as 14.62 mph. That was the fastest pace for me. And I think pretty good for 32 miles!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

2500+ Mile

Back pedaling Monday. Had a SWINT (Wabash Trace) board meeting that evening so decided to ride Malvern to Imogene (or as far as I have time for).

Just as I left Malvern I met Randy - a Silver City residence. We were both stopping to clear a branch on the trail. We rode together to White Cloud. Nice to have someone to ride with.

Previously, I had ridden from the south to Strahan and out of Imogene perhaps again to Strahan. But This was the first time I attempted the Malvern to Imogene ride. That 13.6 miles section of the Wabash Trace is a roller coaster. Seem like always climbing or descending.

Today's photo -- believe it or not, THIS is 370th St in Mills County, Iowa! The Wabash Trace is to the left at the street sign. There are still dirt streets/roads in Iowa in the 21st century.

Didn't quite make it to Imogene when I had to turn back for the meeting. Think I was about 1.5 miles short (turned around at 390th St.) Back in Malverm, as I loaded the bike on the car, I see I got a flat - what great timing. That bike needs new tires anyway and are on order.

Yesterday was a "touring" relaxing pace ride on the hybrid. A ride to post miles, not training. Rode from the bike shop to S. Omaha Bridge, to Trails Center. Stopped for break and on up to the Bob Bridge. Then rode non-stop (except for lights) to the bike shop.

Blew past the 2500 mileage mark for the year. My 30 mile ride on paved trails put me at 2520 miles for 2009. That's over 300 miles over last year's total.

This was the first relaxing ride on the hybrid since the new tires. Really enjoyed the ride. Averaged just under 13 mph over the ride.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Trail Bike Tires

My Trek Fuel EX7 also got new shoes. After 2100 miles, the OEM tires were too worn - basically, no tread left. The bike shop had a pair of Continental Vapor 26 x 2.1 tires. They were mounted yesterday.

This morning, I had other things to do -- Trail work day signs to post, and a fraternity alumni luncheon -- so had to wait to ride until this afternoon. Headed out from Xtreme Wheels to Manawa.

As I started riding the path to Manawa, I could feel that this was not going to be a fast ride. My legs were just not ready for a hard hitting ride after the ride yesterday. As I turned into the singletrack at Lake Manawa, I sure felt the effect of riding on new tires.

When I started to wander out of the track and made a correction, I found I was over correcting. Like it was one of my first rides in singletrack! Was my riding getting sooooo sloppy that I could get away with that in worn tires? Am I too tired from the ride yesterday that I am riding so poorly? I think it was a little bit of both.

I almost stopped riding in the dirt after the West loop but trudged on. My riding was improving, but I could feel that my brain was being overtaxed, and a bit too tired. Finished a lap (ex No Second Chance) and headed back to the bike shop.

A proper test and report of the new tires will have to wait.

With the crazy weather we had this summer, the weeds grew to huge proportions. Add in lower volunteer attendance, some sections of the trail are overgrown. I hope we get a good turn-out for the Trail Work Days the week of September 20th.

We need lots of help with trail maintenance for the fall riding season and preparations for the Psycowpath Race scheduled for September 26th. If are in the area, please lend a hand.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tires Did Wonders

This afternoon I took a ride on the hybrid to check out the new tires. Blaine had selected Serfas Seca 700x28c tires. (The bike had OEM Bontrager 700x35c Select Invert B tires.) Did a quick ride to see how they rode. I could feel that I was riding much faster.

After re-setting of the computer, I headed out for a pavement ride. Rode from the bike shop to Trails Center, on to the "Bob Bridge", and back. That ride was 26.38 miles in 1 hour and 49 minutes - 14.52 mph.

My previous fastest ride (regardless of bike) was 14.33 mph on the Trek 4300. On the hybrid my fastest ride was at 12.94 mph. Today's ride was about 12% faster with the new tires.

I could feel some difference in bike handling. The response is faster. This may be the thinner tires and/or the higher pressure. That change I can get used to - is not objectionable. Hell, may be an advantage as I ride the bike more!

Regarding "comfort". There, once again I could feel the higher tire pressure. I could feel the bumps, road/trail surface stronger. That said, it did not make a big change and not objectionable - for the 26 miles. The Ergo grips I have been using helped lots. With the dirt riding I have done, my hand grip is looser - which I think helps the comfort. Will have to see as I do longer rides.

I am looking forward to make some longer rides on the FX next week. Did not ride the Fuel EX with the new tires. Will check that out within the next few days (trail conditions allowing). Watch for details.

OH, BTW - today made another 100+ mile week. Nearly 1000 miles since the 4th of July.

New Tires

Yesterday I stopped by the bike shop. Several things on my mind. The Fuel EX7 needs new tires, the hardtail is soon needing tires, looking way to ride faster on one bike, and considering a road bike.

I was armed with information and questions from my cycling books and

Should I look at purchasing a cross bike, a road bike, or modify an existing bike? Which bike and what components? What is a "plush" road bike? That and look a new tires.

Regarding a "plush" road bike - that is a less aggressive, more upright bike, like the TREK Pilot (see photo).

To get some more speed on my pavement rides, the hybrid is getting 28c road tires. Thought about 25c tires, but I want to be able to ride on the Trace once in awhile with that bike. Zack and Blaine agree the 28c tires is the ticket.

Zack has a pair of tires that will fit my Fuel. They came off from a customer's new bike. Getting them at a friendly price.

When counting teeth on chainrings and cassettes, I noticed that the tires on the 4300 are really getting in bad shape. Very concerned about riding it until it gets new tires. Was hoping to stall that purchase until next year (as it will get the studded tires this winter).

So, today starts testing for modifications and perhaps a new bike. And for my dirt riding friends, I am not turning to a "roadie", just looking for more variety.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Variety in Riding

I have commented before - variety in riding is a key for my riding. Here in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro we are fortunate. We have very good paved trails, 5 dirt trails, and the Wabash Trace.

Today's photo is on River Front Real Estate at Lake Manawa SP.

Because of the relatively wet summer we have had, I have ridden more on the Wabash Trace. I have been amassing a large collection of photos of the Wabash Trace.

Back to variety - another secret of my riding this year has been in the variety of bikes I ride and own. At this time, my bikes are a hybrid (Trek 7200FX), a hardtail mountain bike (Trek 4300), and a full suspension trail bike (Trek Fuel EX7).

For the Wabash Trace - the best bike is the hardtail. Its just awesome for climbing and soft trail conditions. I often use the hybrid on the trace when I ride as a photo shoot, That's because the hybrid has a rear rack and bag. The trail bike does not respond well on crushed limestone.

In the dirt - its really a toss-up. Lake Manawa, where I ride most, a full suspension bike is overkill. I can ride well there on either the hardtail or the Fuel EX7. I like the comfort of the full suspension. So far, the hardtail has better handling. Recently I have started experiencing riding with the suspension locked -- that gives me some rear suspension.

On pavement - any bike is good. The surprising thing is that the hardtail is the fastest bike for me. You would think that the hybrid, with thinner tires, would be faster. Recent test rides, on my hardtail, I average about 1 mph faster than the hybrid.

This year I have been doing longer rides. Right now averaging about 25 miles per ride. Starting to look at a "faster" bike. Cyclocross bike? Road bike? With my experience with the hybrid vs hardtail, will either increase my speed?

BTW - for those interested - yesterday I topped 2400 miles for the year. Over 200 miles over last year's total. Have been riding about 100 miles a week since July 4th.