Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lewis & Clark Trail Study Survey

This is from the Council Bluffs Parks & Rec. I encourage you to take the survey to help develop a master plan for a trail from Hamburg to Sioux City.

"The Iowa Department of Transportation, and a consulting team led by RDG Planning & Design of Des Moines and Alta Planning + Design of Portland, are developing a master plan for a multi-use trail that generally follows the route of Lewis and Clark as they explored the Missouri River in Western Iowa. We believe that this trail can provide a great resource for a new generation of people wishing to explore this scenic and historic part of our state. A few minutes of your time used to complete the following survey will help us develop a master plan that can take full advantage of the trail's potential."

Click Here to take survey Lewis & Clark Trail Survey

Saturday, February 27, 2010

First Ride of the Year

Beautiful afternoon. Sunny, about 33 degrees, light wind from the North. It was time for my first bike ride of the year. It was about 2 1/2 months since I rode one of my bikes. In that time, I have endured 2 surgeries

I decided to do a pavement ride. Rode from the nature trail parking lot at Lake Manawa. Headed West to Mosquito Creek and then on up to Highway 92. Brought by old digital rebel to take photos. (BTW, another rider at Xtreme Wheels said the Iowa side trails were pretty clear from The Marketplace shopping center up to N 25th St.)

Rode my "ice bike" - Trek 4300 outfitted with flat pedals and studded tires. Climbing on the bike, I was a little unstable. Think it was the studded tires and (mostly) the flat pedals and hiking boots. The boots kept my feet nicely warm.

There was no need for me to ride studded tires. The trail was basically clear where I wanted to ride.

Thought about riding down to the mountain bike trail area to check them out. But by the time I was there on the way back, I knew I would be too tired. As it happened, the 7.5 miles at about 9.6 mph was just right.

Tired and a little sore this evening. Good feeling. Should sleep well tonight.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Manawa Trails

A couple days ago I received a message from our Trail Leader at Lake Manawa. He reported the first "green" trails are ridable. This morning I stopped by on my way home from Omaha. Beautiful, sunny day. Lots of folks have been walking the trails.

Time to air up the tires on the hardtail. Think tomorrow I will try riding. Lets see if I can remember how to ride in the snow!

If the dirt trails are not ridable, there will be the paved trail to ride. At Lake Manawa, the paved trail has been plowed. Just some snow/ice areas. From what I could see, it looks like Indian Creek Trail is also plowed from Manawa up to Highway 92. It has not been plowed under 92.

Since I will be on N 16th for breakfast tomorrow, will see what the Iowa Riverfront trail looks like.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Prescription Warning

This is a warning to anyone using prescription drugs. Take the time to do some research on the drugs you are taking. Don't just take the word of the doctor that prescribed the drug.

Over the last week, I averted a drug interaction problem which could have had devastating consequences. I start chemotherapy for a cancer. The medical oncologist nurse gave me an informational sheet about the chemo drug.

As I researched the drug on the internet, I found an article that warned of an interaction with one of my maintenance drugs (one I have been taking for almost 20 years). While not immediately life threatening, in time it would have taken some blood count to dangerous levels.

The problem was confirmed by another of my doctors. Now I will be on a different maintenance drug.

I point this out because I found this because I did some research. The medical center that cares for my health has a full list of my medications. Someplace they missed the interaction.

My prescription drug plan would not have found the problem because the chemotherapy drug would be administered at the Med Center.

If you are not on an insurance plan that has prescription drug coverage, you are at higher risk. Take the time to visit with your local pharmacist. He/she will be able to tell you of any possible interactions.

Always keep a list of your medications in your wallet. In case of an emergency, the medical staff can check your medication list before they administered a drug than my not compatible with the drugs you are already taking.

Finally, never take over-the-counter drugs and/or herbal remedies without consent by your primary care doctor.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Photo Shoot

Since weather and trails were not good for riding, I was out to Xtreme Wheels for a photo shoot. The goal was take bracketed exposures to test and learn more with High Dynamic Range photography.

The software combines several images to enhance the photo. Most the ones I made today where tone-mapped 5 bracketed exposures. Many of the photos I processed this afternoon are on my Facebook page.

Think it will be time to create a page (or section) on my web site. Having lots of fun. Gets some my creating juices flowing!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thanks Blaine & Xtreme Wheels

I have a mail box again!

When I stopped by Xtreme Wheels yesterday, Blaine said the shop has a spare mail box and post (already mounted). They offered to me and Blaine told me he would come out and make temporary installation.

This afternoon Blaine was out to the house. The post cut and secured to the original post (what was left of it). Its more stable that the old box and post!

Thanks Blaine and Xtreme Wheels.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Missing Mail Boxes

Sometime yesterday or this morning my mail box and the neighbor's mail box disappeared. Both were hit which ripped them off of their posts. The mail boxes are nowhere to be found.

I am thinking that they were hit with the wing of the snow plow. I have not seen any other missing/damaged mail boxes on the road. The plow (or someone with a blade) came through twice over the last 2 days.

When I found the missing mail boxes, I saw no indication of where they went. They were either threw clear form the area or covered with snow.

This is NOT what I need with my problems. The is no way I can replace the mail box and mount with the snow, frozen ground, and my surgery.

It would be nice that who did this confessed and replaced the mail boxes. But that is wishful thinking.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Black Hills Fat Tire Festival

Information of the 4th Annual Black Hills Fat Tire Festival is up on their web site. Disappointed to see that this year they are again doing the Mickelson Ride on Saturday/Sunday. This denies Mickelson Ride folks time to visit the vendors, demo a bike, and watch any of the races.

The other problem that you don't have a chance to sign up for a Monday morning ride. Last year the easier ride(s) on Monday were (apparently) canceled by that morning. Started to make a ride, but when I could not keep up just climbing the muddy hill before the singletrack, I gave up.

IF I attend this time, it will be to see my friends, and take photos in the Badlands and Black Hills. It would be nice to complete the Mickelson. But not sure I want to use the whole festival to do it. Also, never got my "Beer-Muda" t-shirt that year (was told they did not arrive.) Looking forward working more with HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography.


Yesterday morning I got a great surprise - my INR jumped up to 2.2! The surgeon came in to tell me that I could go home. Of course, had to complete the other test about noon. Oncologist came by, the paperwork was completed, and I was on my way home.

Got home about 3 in the afternoon. Did not even stop in town to buy groceries - just wanted to be home.

Got a pretty good night of sleep (just used some Tylenol) Got up early and headed to Panera Bread for bagel & coffee.

Busy day today. Restock groceries. Pick up mail, call doctor offices fro prescription and appointments, and hopefully stop by the bike shop.

Doctors say I can ride my bikes. The problem is loading the bike on the car. The hospital gave me a lifting weight restriction of 10 pounds - more than any of my bikes! The Doc yesterday said "no heavy lifting".

We are supposed to get some snow today, anyway. Maybe I will have to just bundle up tomorrow a take a walk in the woods. Just to the same as riding my bike.