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.