Thursday, September 30, 2010

And still rising

Another beautiful day in the Heartland. Breeze from the North, wall-to-wall sunshine, temperature in the 70s. Headed out from the Wabash Trace Trailhead on the road bike.

Rode over to Lake Manawa to check out the Missouri River water level. Not surprising (yet disappointed) I saw that the river was even higher today (Thursday) than it was yesterday. Compare today's photo to the one taken yesterday!

Hopefully, any rains to the North over the next week will be light. While forecast for the Omaha area is no rain for the next week, there may be storms North. We need lots of drying weather.

So far, the water is not over the road. Luckily, the trail section we (THOR) are planning to use on the 9th is well above the river level.

On over the the Trail Center. Feeling good, so decided to continue on to make a tour around the city. By the time I got up to Big Lake, my legs were a bit tired. Glad I will have the wind from my back most of the rest of my ride. Big Lake was my refreshment break.

Another stop at the new bike shop to see how they were progressing. Tomorrow is opening of the new shop at 33 S. Main St.

Still had legs left as I climbed Harry Langdon and Woodbury. Ended up with just short of 25 miles in just over 2 hours riding time. So far 80 miles this week, want to try to top the 100 miles tomorrow.

River Continues to Rise

Wednesday I was back on the trails. This time I parked at the Wabash Trace Trailhead. From there, headed out on the Lake Manawa trail. Rode down to the mountain bike trail area.

The Missouri River level is up from what I saw Sunday. Today's photo is of the water level at the exit of the long loop. Sure would be nice to be able to ride my favorite trail once again! Guess like I will have to keep riding the pavement and the Wabash Trace.

Rode on over to the Trail Center. From there to I-80 (get in a little more miles - a very little more). By the time I was back to the Trace trailhead, the day was warming up and the wind was kicking up. Still, a good ride.

Riding Weather

Looks like we are getting some decent weather, finally. No rain in the forecast for all week.

I needed the day off Monday - relaxed at home. Tuesday it was to ride my version of the Tour de Bluffs. Started from the old bike shop (OBS).

Stopped by Western Historic Trails Center. With the river up, was concerned if the Iowa Riverfront Trail might be flooded behind the trail Center. The told me it was not - which was the case when I rode there.

On past the Casinos. There is some river water is invading the parking lots of the casinos. Recommend parking in the garage until the river is back down.

Stopped at Big Lake for refreshments and a break. On down N 8th to downtown. Stopped at the new Xtreme Wheels location. Took a photo of the road bike in fron of the new shop. Helped them move a couple things into the new location.

On around past the Mall and back to the OBS. Great, relaxing 24 miles ride.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Last Day On Conifer

Yesterday was the last day the Xtreme Wheels was open on Conifer Ln. They are moving to their new digs at 33 S. Main St. in Council Bluffs. I spend a couple hours helping them move stuff to the new location. (Thanks for lunch, Blaine)

The bike shop will be closed for most of the week as they move. They will open
again Friday (I understand). Stop by to check out their new shop.

I had brought my "Rail Super T" with me. Needed a short ride wit the weather so good. Changed clothes and headed out from the old bike shop. At 4:30 the sky was clear, basically no wind, temperature in the upper 60s. Perfect riding weather.

Rode over to Indian Creek. The news this morning reports the flooding in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Storms last week hit Sioux Falls, SD to Madison, WI with 10+ inches of rain! Sioux Falls water flows right down to the Missouri and through Omaha/Council Bluffs.

On the way back, stopped by the river to check the river level and trail condition. The Missouri River level is back up. That means the mountain bike trails at Lake Manawa are once again under water.

Back on the bike shop, logged in my 12 mile ride and headed home. When I got home, I was really tired. Made a peanut butter and whole grain bread sandwich and crashed into bed. Very tired, sore legs, feeling GREAT! Other than moving to stretch my legs, I slept like a log.

Tire Repair Bike Ride

Friday was a clear and mostly calm day, weather wise. A great day for a bike ride. As I got near to the bike shop, the "low tire pressure" light came on. Great! Checked the tires and sure have one light on pressure.

Headed on into town to Lyle's to get the tire fixed. Grabbed the bike on the car and head out on a ride while the tire is repaired.

Rode from downtown Council Bluffs to the Trail Center, Had a good ride. Stopped to take a couple photos of the road bike on Indian Creak Trail.

Picked up the car and went to the bike shop. Looked at the odometer on the bike - need 5 miles to break 500 miles on the new bike. So, rode from the shop to IWCC and back.

Valley View Trail just North of McPhearson is blocked for construction of the new College View Elementary School.

Frustrating Week

Weather has not been conducive to riding - rainy. When not rainy, very windy. But, have been getting in a couple rides. Saturday, the race was canceled from the rain.

Last week (Wednesday) I headed out from the bike shop for a ride on the Trace. When I got to Margaritaville, I was feeling good - so headed on down to Mineola. Was thinking of stopping in Mineola for lunch at the Steak House - but it was already 1:10. So just turned back up the hill.

Stopped just out of town to take this photo - well a "touched-up" version of the photo. This is the Keg Creek bridge.

Uneventful ride back. Had a great, relaxing ride on the hardtail.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

2011 Calendars

Bicycle Trails 2011 calendars are now available for sale. This is a 13 month calendar with photos of trails I have ridden.

Order your copy today. Price of the calendar is $15.00 (Iowa residents add $1.05 sales tax) plus $3.00 shipping. Remit via PayPal to photos (at) tomwinfield (dot) com.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Manawa Trails

Monday and Tuesday I rode from Xtreme Wheels to the Trails Center. Weather has been great for noon bike ride.

During Tuesday's ride, I dropped down to the Lake Manawa dirt trails to check on the water level. Today's photo shows that the standing water is gone. From what I could see, the area is still muddy.

BTW - rumor has it that the Psycowpath race scheduled for Lake Manawa on September 25th, is being moved to Swanson Park.

Three 20+ mile rides this week. Yesterday's ride was my fastest ride for the year (20.4 miles at 13.91 mph). No, I am not turning into a "roady".

I like the variety of the difference of my bikes. My hardtail is still the "go-to" bike. Its the bike I ride on the Trace, snow/ice rides, and trail work. The hybrid is good for photo shoots while riding pavement (hardtail and hybrid have racks where I can carry my good D-SLR camera). My full suspension bike is still the preferred bike for dirt trail riding.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wabash Trace Update

Yesterday I rode on the Wabash Trace to check on the paving efforts.

One of my sources had said the barricade across the trail north of Silver City was still up but folks are bypassing it. Some shouldering was accomplished this past week.

The dirt that is being used for shouldering appears to have a high content of clay. From experience - it is very slippery and sticky. I hope there are plans to sweep the pavement when construction is completed. There top photo here shows the dirt over the trail surface.

Shouldering still needs completion through town. When I headed south toward Malvern, I noticed the barricade at the south end of Silver City was down. Not removed, but down, moved to open half the width of the trail.

Since the contractor has not yet completed work in Silver City, I was pretty sure there would NOT be any barricades up yet in Malvern. That was the case as I rode over Jahnke Ave and Keys Ave - no barricades or construction work.

Previous information I received showed construction on the Malvern section of the Trace should start today (9/13).

I rode through Malvern to Marh Ave. On the back in town I stopped to take the lower photo showing the trail through town before paving. I hope the new pavement stands up with the abuse. As I came into Malvern a pick-up drove down the Trace as a short-cut in town. With what I have witnessed, it seems some folks in Malvern use the Trace as an alley or driveway.

Capital City Challenge

Saturday was race day at Branched Oak SRA. It was a cool, sunny morning (in the 50s when I arrived). Word was that the trail condition was prime.

My photos have been posted and available for order at

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Workers Needed at Manawa

This afternoon I was at Lake Manawa with the THOR Trail leader. We were the only 2 that showed up for the trail work session. This was the first time I attempted to ride any of the trails there since the summer flooding.

There is a lot of work needed to clear the trails. The photo here was taken on Woodchopper (the short side loop). It is true that the water has not completely subsided but is receding. But we need to start clearing and cleaning where we can.

If we want to be able to ride at all this year at Lake Manawa, we need your help. There are downed trees to be cut and moved, floated logs and branches need to be moved, the log crossing needs to be rebuilt or removed, trail corridor needs to be lopped and trimmed. Some places, its difficult to find the trail.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Construction Update - Silver City

Yesterday (Sunday afternoon) I headed down to Silver City to check out the construction on the Wabash Trace. Also, planned to ride - perhaps as far a Malvern and back.

The first thing I noticed was that the approaches to the street (L-55) and the connectors to the side walk are completed. The "Trail Closed" signs at the street are gone.

I heard that there was a barricade across the Trace about a mile up from Silver City. Time to head North. Out of Silver City, the shoulder was not yet leveled. Up at Dobney Road, there is a gap in the pavement (for the cross road). See top photo.

From Dobney almost to the end of the pavement the shouldering has been done. The was no barricade across the Trace at that point.

The pavement extends about 1.1 miles north from downtown Silver City. If you are riding South from Mineola, The second photo is what you will see at the transition from crushed limestone to concrete.

I rode back down to town and headed South towards Malvern. Shouldering is being done South of town. The pavement extended until the bridge at the edge of town (0.2 - 0,3 mile). There, I was surprised to see a big barricade across the trail. Signage was for North-bound traffic. Perhaps they forgot to remove that one?

Anyway, there is an opening along the side to walk the bike past the barricade. From there, I continued my ride to Malvern.

Had a good ride. Was a strong wind from the South - head wind - on the way. Was looking forward to the tail wind on the way back!

Stopped to take some photos along the way. Several taken of the Silver Creek Bridge. Some of them may find their way on my facebook page and perhaps on the web site.

After an uneventful ride back to Silver City, I saw a notice stapled to the barricade just before Silver City. The notice includes a map with a detour for the Trace and estimate of the construction duration.

Someone took some time and effort to create the notice. It would have been nice to have such for the web site. Time to recommend such for the construction in Malvern.

Last time I heard, the construction crew is on a different job this week - returning to the Wabash Trace on the 13th. Do nit know if the barricades will go back up at that time until shouldering is completed.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Checking the Trails

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a bike ride. Sunny, 70's, breeze from the South. Actually waited for it to get warm before riding - was 45 when I headed to town for breakfast.

The first place I wanted to check out was the Lake Manawa mountain bike trails. There are being trail days scheduled for Manawa. I missed the work day least Thursday (already had other plans).

Getting on the Lake Manawa trail I noticed the trail surface had been seal-coated. Been long enough that it was not sticky (thankfully).

The water is slowly receding. Still flooding at the exit of the longer loop (see photo). The THOR Trail Leader for Manawa is mowing - saw that in the Kiosk area. Trail Days are planned for this week. Planning to attend. May scope out the trail conditions beforehand.

On over to the Trail Center. Indian Creek trail also has been seal-coated.

Iowa Riverfront Trail behind the Western Historic Trails Center is now clear (see lower photo). Water is down and the trees have been cleared. Rode that trail as far as I-80.

Stopped at the Trails Center and visited with the staff, drank my G2, ate a granola bar and headed back to the bike shop.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Trace Construction Update

Connectors to the street and sidewalk are yet to be poured in Silver City. Contractor is shouldering the trail North of town. Additional photos taken 9/2.

No work on the Trace planned for next week. Work in the Malvern area will start week of 9/13.

Echo Reunion Photos

I have been spending rainy days working on the web site pages for the Echo Reunion. Burning the DVD of photos for attendees is on the "To Do" list.

Photos of the reunion functions are now on my web site. I am still writing verbiage for the pages. Also still working on the pages of my "tourist" stops on the way to and from the reunion. Finally, there will be the reports of my bicycle rides and trails during the trip.

Here's the link to the reunion report and photos...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Maskenthine Photos Posted

Photos of Maskenthine XC Classic are now posted on

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 touched-up proof copies before purchase, I will provide them.