Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ride on the Trace

Monday I headed out for a ride on the Wabash Trace. Sunny, windy day. South from Xtreme Wheels to the trailhead, I almost gave up, Rough riding into the wind. But I persevered. Not so bad once I was on the Trace with the shelter afforded by the winds.

The surface was graded for the first 3 miles. Later that day the crew was planning grading the rest to Mineola. Saw several places where downed trees have been cleared. Thanks to Greg and crew for the work.

Made it up the hill to Margaritaville. Was a slow climb. Stopped a couple times on the way up. Took a couple of photos of the Dumfries Bridge (word is that bridge will be history this year). Was exhausted by the time I got back at the bike shop.

Think I might have pushed things a little too far that day. Took the next day off. Planning to ride soon this afternoon. Will be a good day to check out the situation at Manawa.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Water Receding, Bridge Out, and Bike Lane Swept

After radiation and chemo (3 stabs today), I decided I needed to get out for a bike ride! Lower 50s, sunny, with some wind from the North.

My hybrid (Trek 7200 FX) was ready at Xtreme Wheels after annual turn-up. Headed from there to Lake Manawa. Found the Missouri River is receding. No longer over the road to the river boat ramp.

Comparing Monday's photo, you can see that drop in the river level.

Monday I saw that the Lake Manawa trail was "closed" at the river boat ramp. Today, that sign was up again today so I headed past the sign to see what was up. As I neared the Indian Creek Bridge, I saw the bridge was closed. They are re decking the bridge.

Trekked over to the shore road, joined the Indian Creek Trail at Hyway 90. Rode on up to S. 16th, East to Harry Landon, on to Mall of the Bluffs, and finally back to the bike shop. Pleasantly surprised that the bike lane on Harry Langdon Blvd has been swept!

All in all, an "A-" bike ride.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Five Years and Counting

Five years ago today I was taken to the hospital with what I thought (and later confirmed) a stroke. The next day my doctors found that I had a failed heart valve which was the cause of the stroke.

During the week I was in the hospital, I received a mechanical heart valve, started on recovery from open heart surgery, and began the effort to recover my speech. Thanks to the excellent care I received at Nebraska Medical Center, home care from Visiting Nursing Association of Pottawatammie County, and Rehab at Jennie Edmundson Hospital.

When I was released from the hospital I could hardly speak and walked with a walker. Today, most people do not realize I have a speech problems. After cardiac rehab I started my new life - of an avid cyclist. As readers of this blog know, I ended up riding over 3300 miles on my bicycles last year.

Now, I am in another struggle with my health - a cancer. I will beat or at least tame this beast. I expect to come out of this stronger, yet.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Brought the hardtail to ride yesterday. Plan was to ride the Wabash Trace. Stopped at the bike shop and the word was the Trace was soft/muddy. On to "Plan B".

Over the weekend, heard the Missouri River was flooding around Omaha. Headed over to Lake Manawa on the bike. Rough riding into the wind on the Mosquito Creek levee. When I got over to the river access road, I found it was barricaded. When I rode over to the river levee, I saw why. The road and trails are flooded.

Deep water at the entrance from the road to the west side.

Rode on the levee to the east side. Here's the view of No Second Cnance junction with East Sidewinder.

Most of East Sidewinder is under water.

Riding over the the West side, Woodchopper is under water.

Walked down to the Woodchopper turn area. Here's a trail view.

The trails are going to need to work once the water recedes. More photos on Facebook and will be posted on the THOR web site.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A First and a Triple

St. Patrick's Day was our first 50 degree day! Only a light breeze from the NW. Good day for a ride.

I decided to check out the trail from Manawa to Xtreme Wheels. Well, the big snow bank was gone along the power plant railroad siding. It was replaced with lots of trucks and other equipment. Derailment just outside of the gate - loaded coal train. At least (from what I could see) no cars of coal were dumped.

Visited at the shop and started back to Manawa. Riding the trail bike, it was a good day to check out trail conditions. First stop was the Wabash Trace. Only rode a couple hundred down the trail, but the surface was solid. Verdict - ridable without damaging the trail surface.

From the Trace, I rode on over to the Lake Manawa Mountain Bike trails. As usual, I started riding West Sidewinder (this is the trail that dries quickest). That trail was completely ridable. (See Photo)

Next, I rode along the river to the log crossing. While the trail was soft, my tires only left tread marks, no half-pipes. The river is very high, but still in its banks. Wanted to check the "ditch" areas. The ditch just after the log crossing is under water. (See photo)

I think this spring we will have a early start to our riding season. With all the snow we had over the winter, the frost never penetrated the ground.

Looks like we can have another day of riding today before the bottom drops for the weekend. In the 60s today (with winds kicking up in the afternoon). Tomorrow is forecast is for rain, changing to snow and high in the 30s.

It was nice well it lasted...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Quick Update

No blog post last week. I did not get out to ride all week. Just not feeling like getting out to ride. The weather was not conducive, either (though last year I would be out and riding).

Instead, I spend some time on the computer playing games and working on HDR (high dynamic range) photos. Here's one I tone-mapped from a single exposure.

Health-wise, I have been getting tired. That's to be expected with my treatments. I take a 2-3 hour nap during the day and still will sleep 8-9 hours overnight. That is the only side effect (so far) of the treatments.

Last week had an issue getting the IV started for my chemo treatment. Took 3 nurses and 5 stabs to get one started.

About time to exchange to tires on the hardtail. Hope there is no need for the studded tires!

OH, today's photo is of Treasure Falls, on Highway 160 East of Pagosa Springs, CO. The photo was processed with Photomatix Light tone mapping from a single exposure.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lake Manawa Trail

The sun today was deceiving. The temperature was in the mid 40s when I rode, but the breeze from the south was chilly.

With that, and did not want to ride into the wind to end my ride, I took a pretty short ride today. Only rode 5.6 miles.

Decided to check out the trail condition from the nature trail toward the Wabash Trace. A part of the trail was plowed - where train crews access the locomotives. After a mile of riding, the trail ends into a big snowbank. Its going to need some mechanical help if the trail is to be cleared sometime this month.

From there, I rode West to Indian Creek. When I got back to the car, it was enough for today. Between trying to get my legs back and therapies (radiation and chemo today), time to stop at the bike shop, then call it a day.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Council Bluffs Riverfront

This week work started on the Council Bluffs Riverfront - Phase 1. This section is just South of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. Click HERE to see the plan.

Trees being cleared between the Iowa Riverfront Trail and river. for the new green space. On the other side of the trail construction is continuing.

My ride started from the Western Historic Trails Center. Rode to the pedestrian and over to the middle of the bridge. Took a few photos there. Then road on up to N. 25th St.

Stopped at the construction area again to take more photos. While just about ready to head back to the trail center, was hailed by Mike - a guy met on the trail Sunday. He was on his bike (thinking its his first bike ride of the year). Nice chat there.

On the way back home stopped again at Xtreme Wheels. Became a busy day at the shop. Almost like "old home day". Randy (and tribe) and Andrew were there. Few others I don't know remember (I hate it when that happens).

Monday, March 1, 2010

Iowa Riverfront Trail

Yesterday I rode the Iowa Riverfront Trail from the Western Historic Trails Center to N 25th St. Another pretty day - sunny, low to mid 30s, no wind.

The trail was in mostly clear condition. There was a little snow just leaving the Trails Center. The next spot was under the I-80 bridge. The worst spot is the little detour at the north end of the I-480 bridge. That detour is ice, snow, and mud (see photo).

Met a walker at the detour. Stopped to visit with Mike for a while. He is looking forward to get on the bike this spring (suffering shoulder repair surgery). See you on the trails, Mike. Thanks for a nice conversation. Another cycling friend was out, too.

Sky started clouding over the last couple miles. Cool by the time put the bike on the rack and headed home. Really tired last night.

The forecast is for high in the 40 next weekend, little or no rain for the next week. GET OUT AND RIDE!