Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ride to Mineola - 2

Another "warm" and humid morning. When I headed into town for breakfast (7am) it was in the mid 70s. It was sunny and not too windy. With the shortage of water on the ride yesterday, today I filled my hydration pack. With the pack in my back and the good camera and tools in the rack bag, I was ready to ride.

I wanted to climb again on the Wabash Trace. With a breeze and the shade on the Trace, it should be more comfortable than out on the open. Departed the bike shop a little after 9am.

While there was a good breeze from the SSE (sure felt it heading to the trailhead), it seemed to disappear while climbing. Specially in the cuts, there was no a breath of air.

Took it easy in the climb. Sucked on water several time. When I hit Margaritaville, I stopped for water and a granola bar. Felt good, so ready to ride on down to Mineola. Popped a shot-block in my mouth to suck on during the way down (prep for the climb back).

At the Mineola trailhead, I stopped for a break and drank my bottle of G2. Rode on into town to take photos of the old hotel and jail (see photo).

On up the Dumfries Hill. Stopped briefly again at Margaritaville to deposit my empty G2 bottle. On down to bike shop. When I got there (a little after 11:30) the temp was in the upper 80s.

Tired this afternoon, but feeling good from the ride. Fastest ride on the Trace for the year. Guess the magazine is right -- with hills and miles will come speed.

Oh, I hit the 1100 mile mark for the year - and the hardtail made the 4800 mile mark.

Construction Update - Wabash Trace

Paving continues in Silver City. The construction company is anticipating they will complete paving in the Silver City area by the end of the week.

Next week, plans are for paving starting in the Malvern area. That should take about 3 weeks (weather permitting).

Monday, August 30, 2010

Another Ride on The Trace

This morning, I headed early to Panera Bread to upload race photos. I had nothing but problems getting them loaded - kept getting "Publishing Error". So, I spent the time loading photos from my Army Reunion.

On to the Dentist to take care of a cavity. Weather forecast is for storms the next couple days. I needed to get in another ride before the rain, so high-tailed it home. Things were going very good -- from the dentist to home I hit VERY light green! Changed clothes into a riding kit and then to the bike shop.

Windy, sunny, getting hot day, so brought the hardtail for a ride up The Trace. Was thinking of riding to Mineola and back. But by the time I got to Margaritaville, and stopped for re-hydration and snacks, I was very thirsty. Ended drinking most of my water and the bottle of G2.

I stopped a couple times up and down the hill to take some photos. Had the good camera with me, so shot HDR bracketed exposures.

Did not relish the thought of riding down to Mineola and back to the bike shop in lease than a half bottle of water. Not happy about relying on replenishing water in Mineola. I rode a little past Margaritaville to 240th St. Then back to the bike shop.

Ended up with over 16 miles in 1:34.

Races and a Ride

Saturday was Maskenthine XC Classic mountain bike races. It was a long day. About 130 miles one way, a stop for breakfast, the races, and drive back home. Left the house before 6am, got home after 5pm.

The last Psycowpath race I shot was back on May 1st. And, it showed. I am not pleased with the quality of the photos I shot Saturday. I did get some good shots, but just too many with improper exposure and/or out of focus.

I will do some touch-up before sending files to purchasers. For my customers, if you wish to look at a touched-up proof copies before purchase, I will provide them.

The hosting company for my photos is updating servers. That has been delaying me publishing the photos. They are saying server should be back up to full speed Tuesday.

My legs were really tired by the time I got home. But, I got up for a Sunday ride. Surprisingly, I felt great, ready for a ride Sunday morning.

I rode the Sunday Breakfast Ride with Denny D. Was just the two of us. The ride started from the Wabash Trace Trailhead. We rode around Council Bluffs on the bicycle paths, stopping at Hy-Vee on N. 16th for breakfast.

From there, on city streets through Council Bluffs. That was the real "tour" de Bluffs took place. Exited downtown to the South and rode Harry Langdon to the Mall. Back on the bicycle path to the trailhead.

When I got home, I just undressed and climbed into bed. Too tired to do much the rest of the day.

Friday, August 27, 2010

"Recovery"? Ride

After 2 speed rides in the last 2 days, today was a recovery ride. Another beautiful morning - upper 70s, sunny, stiff wind from the SW. Weather for a ride on The Trace.

Was planning to ride Silver City to Malvern. When I got home yesterday, the "Low Tore Pressure" light came on. So this morning I had to check that out. Went into CB. Tire was fine. While in town, (a little early for the bike shop) stopped by Jenny Edmundson for a visit.

It was nearly 11 when I got on the Trace. Riding the 4300 (my "Trace Bike), and carrying the good camera. With the wind and the climbing Dumfries Hill, I was wondering if the ride was a good idea. My legs were complaining. They seemed to be saying: "thought this was supposed to be a "recovery" ride".

At times, I was not sure if I could make it up the hill. Rode up the hill at 7-10 mph - slowest climb in a couple years! I made it, but sure didn't want to ride on to Mineola (and have to climb the hill again).

Stopped at Margaritaville for granola bar and G2. Took it easy (mostly costing) down the hill. Almost 1 1/2 hours for the 15 mile ride.

The legs are still complaining this evening. That's OK, tomorrow is a drive to Maskenthine to shoot the race - no bike ride for me.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Road Ride

Today I did my first real "road ride" of the year. Not sure how I would do, since I just had the fastest ride for the year yesterday. But, wanted to test the road bike on the road.

Sunny, upper 70, low 80s, good breeze from the SW during my ride. At times, it was slow going into the wind. Couple times was not sure if I could make even 5 miles. I kept pedaling, and focused on a goal of making it to Bunge.

At the far end of Bunge, I stopped for refreshments - 8.5 miles and 40 minutes. Not to bad 12.75 mph into the wind or at lease a cross wind. Wanted to make sure I did not bonk, so decided that was a time place to turn back.

Seemed to be flying back with the wind. Maxed out the gears and the computer showed max speed of 26.5 mph! Back to the bike shop it was the 8.5 miles in 34 minutes - 15 mph.

Was a good ride. Total ride was 17 miles in 1 hour 14 minutes - for 13.78 mph. Another "fastest" ride of the season.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wabash Trace Construction

The Wabash Trace is getting sections of the trail paved. The paving is being paid by the Stimulation Funds. Sections planned to be paved are in/around Silver City and Malvern.

Yesterday I got word that construction started in the Silver City area This week, It is anticipated that they will be paving in the Malvern area next week.

1000 Miles and Counting

Beautiful morning today. Sunny, cooler, dry, light breeze - bike riding weather! Even wore a jacket heading to the bike shop.

Headed out on the road bike about 10:30. Took it easy the first couple miles. Along Mosquito Creek I opened up and got the speed up. In Lake Manawa SP, I turn over to the mountain bike trails to check out the water levels. The Missouri River is down over 2 feet in the last 2 weeks. Unfortunately, the dirt trails are still under water (though the water is slowly dropping).

On to the Western Historic Trails Center. The paved trail behind the Center is still underwater. More trees are now over trail (beavers?). Stopped for water, G2, and granola.

Feeling good during the ride. Pushing the speed, hammering the ride (for me, anyway). Was thinking of continuing around CB, but changed my mind and decided to continue the ride returning to the bike shop. Instead of miles, I concentrated on speed (do miles tomorrow).

Back at the shop, I figured out that my 20+ miles in 1:31 was close to 13.5 mph. When I got home and logged the ride, I calculated my ride at 13.58 mph. The fastest ride for the year. And, during the ride I rolled over 1000 miles for the year.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Breakfast Ride

Its time for a Sunday Morning Ride. I had not having much luck getting Dennis and John to ride this year (Dennis did 1 Sunday Ride). Since Denny D was having his Sunday Breakfast Ride on the Iowa side of the Missouri, I decided to do that ride this morning.

We met at the parking lot across from Rick's Boatyard Cafe. A small group (5 of us) but a good ride.

Headed out from the parking lot, over to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. Turned left onto the Iowa Riverfront Trail. Rode that trail to Big Lake Park. From a restroom break, I took the group up to the new boardwalk over the water lilies.

We encountered flooded trail at the end of the boardwalk. Photo moment - Denny, Vince, Kathy, and Dee (hope I did not get any of the names wrong).

Back south on the Iowa Riverfront Trail past the bridge to the detour behind the Western Historic Trails Center. Since the detour is gravel, the group decided to turn back and ride back across the Bob Bridge and to Hollywood Diner. Breakfast!

We started our ride at 8am, stopped at the dinner at 9:40 for breakfast. When back at the car, my computer showed 17.8 miles. Short of my 1000 miles for the year by under 3 miles. Guess will hold that off until tomorrow.

Mini Tour de Bluffs

Weather forecast yesterday was for hot and humid. If I wanted to ride, it would need to be in the early morning. There was a ham radio flea market in Red Oak (not planning to attend), so not sure who might show for breakfast.

Anyway, I drove to N. 16th HyVee for my bike ride, breakfast, and groceries. Headed on the Iowa Riverfront Trail before sunrise.

The morning was foggy. Made of some interesting photo opportunities. As the sun came up. I saw what I was looking for in my mirror. Stopped on the trail and took some photos.

Continuing on the trail past the casinos (looks like basically dry under Harrah's) and under I-80. Took a turn to the closed section of the trail - underwater. There is some brush clean-up needed from the other side of the flooded part of the trail. Took it easy on the gravel detour (not excited about riding the road bike on gravel).

The Trails Center was not open so rode past there, to Indian Creek Trail. Up to S 16th Ave and onto the 8th St connector. There was still some fog in the air. great for photos. (Watch for photos on the web site and future calendars).

I arrived back at my car about 8am - just time for breakfast. No one was in the restaurant so grabbed a card and picked up my PowerAde (a special price - 10 quart bottles for $10 plus 5 free with coupon). Before check-out, another ham showed up for coffee. I stopped to have breakfast and conversation.

For the afternoon, I spent lots of time on the computer. Selected photos for the calendar. Then resizing and lettering the calendar pages. Still have to work on the back cover.

Checking the Trails, Again

Tuesday was a rainy day. Wednesday I had a day of medical tests and doctor appointments. Frustrated because Wednesday was a beautiful day for a bike ride. Alas, I was at the Med Center from 7:30 am until 3:30pm. By the time I got home I was not up for a bike ride.

Thursday was computer coffee day. A sunny, and getting warmer day. Dressed in my cycling kit for coffee. No one else was looking to ride pavement today (Dennis was planning to ride the Trace later). Since I had the road bike with me, I drover over to Xtreme Wheels, stopped to chat a little with Zach, and headed on the bike toward the Trail Center.

The day was sunny, and a stiff breeze from the South. One of my goals on this ride was to see how the road bike handles (and how I can pedal it) into the wind. Things went well down toward Manawa. My legs were not fully warmed up, so took it easy along Mosquito Creek (about 9 mph).

After the Indian Creek Bridge, I flew up the trail with the wind. Hit over 21 mph in spots, settle in at about 17 mph. This bike (my Gary Fisher Rail Super T) loves to cruise at the 16-17 mph range. Just my body cannot sustain that pace, yet.

Stopped at the Western Historic Trails Center. Checked the trail conditions just behind the trail. The Iowa Riverfront Trail there is still underwater. And, there is a tree that fell across the trail. Drank me G2, replenished my water, and headed back.

The ride down Indian Creek Trail into the wind was what I was looking for. Into the wind, I rode at about 11 mph. You know how it is riding into the wind - the bike and you seem to be fighting the wind all the way. But my road bike seemed to push me to ride faster. It was not a fight with the wind. While I did not try riding down on the drops, (not stable enough there) the bike handled very well in the wind.

On the way back, I dropped down to the mountain bike trail area to check the water level. The river is down about a foot. Very slowly, the water is also dropping in the trail area. The photo here is of one of the utility poles the floated up the levee. There is supposed to a race here the last Saturday in September. I doubt the trails will be dry and rideable by then.

Ride to Mineola

Been getting a little lax at blogging. Will try to get caught up here.

Monday, was my dental check-up in the morning. After that, I decided I needed some hill climbing. So, headed out from Xtreme Wheels for a ride up the Wabash Trace. Brought my newer D-SLR camera to take a few more HDR photos.

Not sure how my legs would be. Recent my legs have been slow starters on a ride. Once I get a mile or two into the ride I am good to turn up the power. Two miles from the trailhead, the trail starts to climb. Did not push it up the hill, kept a steady 9 mph pace.

Stopped briefly at Margaritaville. Took a few photos and re-hydrated (consuming half my bottle of water). Feeling good, so on down the hill to Mineola. Stopped for some more photos on the way down.

Time for a little break. Ate a couple granola bars and drank my bottle of G2. A couple more photos at the trailhead. Then grind back up hill.

Pushed it a little more on the way back up. Rode at about 10-11 mph. A young guy (maybe 20) passed me while I was stopped for photos. As I started back up the hill, I was able to gain on him, eventually passing him. (Granted, he looked like he was taking a leisurely ride up the hill and my breathing was labored, passing him made this 62 year old feel good!)

Back at Margaritaville I stopped to consume the reset of my water. Then flying down the hill - my favorite part of the ride.

I keep learning more about what works and what doesn't with the HDR photography. Really like some of the effects I am getting when some are changed to black & white (grayscale).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

More Trail Flooding

Was a beautiful morning for a bicycle ride. After coffee and a breakfast sandwich at Panera Bread, it was time for a bike ride. John was busy with mowing and tower work. Dennis was planning to ride on the Trace later. I had the road bike with me so its a solo ride.

At 10am it was about 77 deg, sunny, low humidity, and a light breeze from the NNW when I headed out from Xtreme Wheels. My mission was to check out the trail conditions. Lots of folks out on the trail. More families than I have seen riding bikes on the trails here.

At Lake Manawa, I dropped over to the mountain bike trail area. No reason to take another photo of our flooded trail system. I am beginning thinking we may not to ride this trail until October or November. The way this year is going, we may need the studded tires when the trails freeze - or skate on them!

Next stop was Western Historic Trails Center. The Iowa Riverfront trail just behind the Trails Center was rideable 2 weeks ago. That was not the case today - a section of the trail is under water (see today's photo). It looks like the water has been dropping since the high water mark last week.

Road back to the bike shop and visited a little with Blaine. Great ride - 20+ miles at just over 13 mph.

Get out and RIDE!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Kenosha Lakefront

Sunday I was planning to ride in the morning. But, the forecast was for rain in the morning. The rain hit during breakfast.

Spent the day visiting with family. After some dinner, I was getting antsy to ride. Though it was a bit warm and humid, there was a breeze and I was heading to the lakefront.

Rode from my mom's apartment to Carthage College. From there down the Pike River Trail along Lake Michigan. At Southport I stopped for G2 and granola bar. Today's photo was taken along the channel from the Lake along the marina.

Temperature was much cooler along the lake. Had a good ride. Ended up just over 11 miles, taking my annual miles up to 901.

Monday was driving time to home. Today after ham radio breakfast, brought the Fuel EX7 to the shop for a thorough check-out. Hope the temperatures moderate for more comfortable riding soon.

CHS '65

Saturday evening was my 45th high school reunion. Salem Central High School (now Westosha Central) class of '65. The reunion was held at the Brat Stop - a hang out for years.

Our class reunions have been a bit non-traditional. Previously we held 25th and 36th year reunions. All have been held at the Brat Stop. Very informal fundtions. The next one (for our 50) is being planned to be a gala affair.

My grade school classmates (Ilene and Ron - that's right, there were 3 in our 8th grade class) were both in attendance. Some of my closest high school friends - Pete, Jack, Susan, & Barb) were there.

When I headed to my mom's apartment, I was tired and with a headache. My brain was overloaded, I should have headed home earlier, but it was worth it.

Organizers used our high school senior photo on the name tags.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ozaukee Interurban Trail

This morning was a beautiful morning. Less humidity, breeze from the WNW, filtered sunshine. I actually had to wait to ride until the temperature came up above 70!

Prepared the road bike for a ride. It was 2.5 miles from where I am staying to the Interurban Trail. I got on the trail at Jay Road heading North. I mile north, the trail enters Sheboygan County. I knew the trail was open to Cedar Grove, and perhaps up to Oostburg. I was ready to find out.

I was a little concerned with the breeze. I wanted to ride North so I had the wind with me on the way back. The trail parallels a railroad track. The trees along the tracks sheltered the trail, so I was not fighting the wind.

In Cedar Grove, the trail takes to the streets for a short section, then back along the tracks. on to Oostburg. There, the trail ends at the South end of town at a plastics company. To make sure it did not continue North, I rode on through town following the "Bicycle Route" signs. Where the tracks exit town, along the tracks is a gravel access road with a cable over the road. Guess that was the end of the trail for today.

Stopped at a little park across from the bakery before heading back. It was time for some granola bars and G2. Uneventful ride back to Jay Road.

There a a couple decent hills (thankfully short). I was happy the bike (and my legs) performed well on the road. I feel I am reay to tackle Hy-way 275 and a ride south to Hy-way 34 when I get home.

21.3 miles in 1:38. 13 mph. I was pleased. Maybe tomorrow explore the Interurban Trail south from Jay road tomorrow morning before I head to Kenosha.

Kettle Moraine State Forest

The weather cooled off a bit yesterday. And, the humidity dropped - actually a comfortable day. A bit windy, so headed to the Kettle Moraine State Forest, North Unit to get my dirt fix.

What ended up getting fixed was my bike - more on that later.

I checked the Wisconsin State Parks web site and noted that Kettle Moraine is a unit of the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve. As such, my National Park Service Senior Pass was honored. Saved me the $10 vehicle fee. Still had to pay the $4 bicycle trail fee.

From the Forest Headquarters, it was down to New Fane trails area. Rode the 1/2 mile warm-up loop. Mosquitoes were nasty so stopped at the car to spray bug juice. Off on to loop 2.

Heading into that trail, it seemed that there were more "baby head" rocks on the trail. Lots more than I remembered from November. I know the trail is new, so all the rain this year might have exposed the rocks.

Pedaling up a hill, I quickly remembered that the Fuel EX7 was having shifting issues. Was skipping the chain the last time I rode it (back at Tsali). I should have headed back to the car, but kept on riding. On to Loop 3. The problem was getting worse so took a short cut back. 1.7 miles in my ride the chain broke.

Hike-a-bike back to the car. Now, I had ridden 1.2 miles into loops 2 and 3, but walking back on the hiking trail took me 1.7 miles to the car. Of course, the mosquitoes a swarming over me. Was a miserable walk back.

Once back to town, called a local Trek dealer - Grafton Ski and Cyclery. They said they were not too busy and could look at the bike. Replaced the chain and adjusted shifters. Told me the bottom bracket bearings are going bad.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Water, Water, Everywhere

Hot and humid weekend here in the Omaha area. Yesterday I took my ride before breakfast.

Since I was planning to attend the ham radio breakfast, I parked at N. 16th St. Hy-Vee. Rode south on the Iowa Riverfront Trail. There is a little water over the trail under the Harrah's parking lot. Ride through the ground level lot instead of on the trail. (There's also lots of debris on the trail from the high water.)

That's as far as I rode yesterday, returning on the trail. Today, a bit longer ride and later in the morning.

After coffee at Panera Bread, I grabbed the road bike off the car and headed for Lake Manawa via bicycle path. It was almost 9 when I started my ride.

First stop was the mountain bike trails area. The river is down a little (at least there is a dry part of the road out to the boat landing. The river is still very high and predictions are for rising from the rains upstream last week.

The top photo today is looking across the river viewed from Lake Manawa boat landing.

Feeling good, I decided to continue on to the Western Historic Trails Center. That's my stop for sign the guest register, use the rest room, refreshments, and refill water bottle. Since I was so close, I took a ride up and over the levee to see if the water has been receding there.

The second photo for today is the low spot behind the Trails Center.

The trail is now rideable there. Most of the trail is dry (a little water along the edge). Still needs some clean-up from the downed trees. I had no problems riding there on my road bike. I expect the detour signs will be removed soon.

Was getting a bit warm when I got back to the Mall (about 11am). Just short of 24 miles today. Stopped to get some groceries and headed home. Now relaxing in the AC!