Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday Road Bike Ride

Time to do a tour to check trail conditions. the first stop was Lake Manawa Mountain Bike trails. I was on the road bike, so could not ride the trails. But, from what I could see from the road, they are slowly drying out. In the next couple days I should take the hardtail back there to check them out more closely. Gee! Maybe they couple brought rideable before the snow flies.

At the Wabash Trace trailhead, it was a bit warm. Dropped the jacket. Almost dropped the l/s undershirt. Once on the trail, was glad I had it. Cycling shorts, l/s spandex shirt, and jersey was just right.

On over to the Western Historic trail. Nothing has been done over the last week. Wondering if the construction company doing the paving on The Trace is the same one that's working on the Council Bluffs trails. Seems like if activity on the Trace, there is none in CB.

One the way up to Big Lake I ran into Greg and Jodi on the Iowa Riverfront Trail. Stopped and visited with them for a while. Stopped at Big Lake for granola bar and Gatorade. Then the straight shot back to the Wabash Trace trailhead.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Windy Ride

The weather this week has not been conducive to riding - very windy. But I had not been on a bike since Sunday, I had to get out an ride yesterday (Friday). By noon, the sky was clear, temperature in the low 60s, and a 10-20+ mph wind from the SSW. I settled for a ride on the Wabash Trace. Besides, I wanted to check out paving progress in Malvern.

As I unloaded the hardtail in Silver City, a young man came over to talk with me. There it a new business opening in Silver City - Austins on the Trail. The restaurant and lounge will be in the old Wabash Bar and Grill building at 405 Main St. Austin's is planning to open December 1st.

On down The Trace. Other than for the wind, it was a beautiful day for a bike ride. At lease the trees along the trail offer some shelter. Stopped at the Silver Creek bridge for water and photos.

Just South of the Silver Creek Bridge there is a deadfall down blocking the trail (about 1/3 mile south - 2/3 miles North of 305th St). It took some effort, but worked the bike through the branches and was able to continue riding down the Trace.

There are smaller branches and limbs littered all over the trail. That is not surprising with the wind we have been having the last week.

At Janke Rd the barricade was down. I could see workers a little down the trail. Rode on the new paved trail to where they were working. I was advised that basically, the new surface was available for riding. They were pouring the last footings for railings at a couple culverts.

Most of the shouldering work is done. Next week (first week of December) they should complete leveling the shoulders, seed the shoulder, and sweep the trail surface.

While the trail is not yet officially "open" through Malvern, it is rideable. Just watch for construction.

More paving photos are on the Wabash Trace Facebook page.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Photo Shoot Bike Ride

After coffee at Panera Bread, the weather was just too nice (for the end of October) to spend it in the house. Time to get out for a bike ride. Aired up the tires on the hybrid.

Had not been riding that bike in a while (with the road bike getting the work-out). But, with the cloudy sky, it was a day to shoot HDR exposures. The hybrid has the rack and bag to carry the D-SLR.

Was a bit rough heading out - into the wind from the SSW. At least got a break riding up Indian Creek Trail with the wind.

When I turned the corner onto Veteran's Memorial Trail I noticed that the construction barricade was down, The re-paving there was done. They still have to pave the section of Western Historic Trail from S 24th to the Trails Center.

Feeling good at the Trails center, so headed on North the the "Bob Bridge" and across to Omaha. Got some awesome photos on the ride!

Uneventful ride back to the Trails Center and on to the car at the Wabash Trace trail head.

Some of the photos shot today are on the Tom Winfield Photography Facebook page.

27.6 miles today, topped the 1700 mile mark for the year.

Gaging the Wind

Needed to get out to ride Friday. Wind was kicking up from the Southsoutheast. Was a bit strong heading into the wind on the Lake Manawa Trail along Mosquito Creek.

The spur from the Lake Manawa Trail to E. Manawa Drive had been shouldered and seeded. I have found out the that "spur" will continue along E. Manawa Drive North to Hyway 92 where it will connect to the Veteran's Memorial Trail. That will cut the distance from the Wabash Trace to the "Bob Bridge" via bicycle trails.

Had fun (and a little scary) pedaling with the wind up Indian Creek. with a 15+ mph wind on my back, I pushed the road bike up to 27.4 mph on the flat! Fastest i have ridden on the flats. And with the wind, it was a little scary - so I brought it on down.

On the Veterans Memorial Trail, they have paved the section. Looking good, though still needs to be shouldered. The long section from S. 24th to the Trails Center had not been paved - yet.

Made my normal stop at the Western Historic Trails Center and on up the trail. With the wind, I was not looking forward to riding into the wind on N. 8th, St, I decided to ride city streets from the Bob Bridge to Xtreme Wheels.

The riding on city streets were much more sheltered. Had a pretty good ride, and got in my 20+ miles. BTW, the "short cut" that Zach told me about (South St) sure makes the ride from the shop to the car (at the trail head) sure made a difference. Love not having to cling Harry Langdon!

Lunch Ride to Mineola

I had been meaning to ride to Mineola on a Wednesday for lunch. Wanted to check out their tenderloin sandwich (a Wednesday Special) at Toby Jack's Mineola Steakhouse.

Sunny say, nice temperature, with a breeze from the WNW. The wind direction was a problem, I was not looking forward to pedaling up the hill into the wind on the way home.

When I got to Margaritaville, I notices some changes. The area has cleaned up and the bike racks moved over to the East side of the trail. There is a new (second) grill there. Looking good.

After lunch, I started pedaling up the hill, sucking on a shot blok. It was an effort, but made it. Tool it easy down the hill. Just before the trail head, there's an open space. The wind was sooooo strong there, I had do shift way down, and hoping to not bonk. Made it, but my lets were toast.

Needed a day off the bike to recover.

Back on the Bike

Tuesday, I was back on the road bike. It was time to check out trail conditions.

The river level continues to drop. Still lots of water flowing down the Missouri. Parts of the trails at Lake Manawa remain under water. The photo here shows how much of the trail is underwater.

Checked status of re-paving along 92 and S. 24th St to Trails Center. Nothing changed since stripping the asphalt.

Saturday Morning Photo Shoot

Its time to catch up on my blogging. Saturday the 16th, I headed to Omaha after breakfast. Beautiful morning to walk and shoot photos. Not up to riding - already had 111 miles for the week.

Parked across from Rick's Boatyard at Lewis & Clark Landing. Destination: Heartland of America Park. Set up the Canon Rebel T1i for exposure bracketing.

Most of the photos I shot were 3 bracketed exposure, generally +/- 2 EV. Some were exposed +/- 1 EV. A couple, where I did not have the changing fountain contend with, were a full 5 exposures: -2, -1, OEV, +1, +2.

Back home, I processed the photos with Photomatix Lite.

The next couple days I spent lots of time processing photos. Found some awesome photoshop plug-ins created by Topaz Labs. Took their software "Adjust" for a free test drive. Here's one of the "art print" efforts.

I have posted some of the art prints on the Tom Winfield Photography Facebook page. More will likely find their way into this blog.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Another Year Older

Yesterday I celebrated my birthday. Awesome weather for the middle of October.

Started the day with my daily chat. Then into town for coffee and computer stuff. Had my free birthday cinnamon roll at Panera Bread. John (KB0QKH) stopped by pre-work coffee. I did some updating on my web site.

Back home, nap, and preparations for a bike ride. When I headed to the Wabash Trace trail head, it was sunny, light breeze, and in the upper 60s. Didn't need my jacket. Rode the Gary Fisher Rail Super T road bike.

First stop was the Western Historic Trails Center. Stopped to sign the guest book, visit, and some liquids. On up the Iowa Riverfront Trail to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge (Bob Bridge) and over to Omaha. Took a few photos at Heartland of America Park. More liquids and a shot block and back over to the iowa side of the Missouri.

On the Bob Bridge I stopped and ask someone to take my picture on the bridge. From there, it was on to Big Lake Park. Where it was a break off the bike, liquids and granola bar.

Still had miles to pedal. Next destination was Xtreme Wheels. Visited with Zach, Blaine, and customers for a little. Zach had bought decorated cupcakes for my birthday cake. No small feat as he carried them to work of his bicycle (no basket or rack!). Thanks, Zach.

I was thinking of extending the ride on the way back - taking Indain Creek Trail back to Manawa. But, the wind had been picking up from the South (hear wind) and my legs were getting a little tired. Decided to just ride on (the normal-short) route back to the trail head.

Good ride. Just over 25 miles, out for over 3 hours. When I logged the ride, found that I have done 111 miles for the week. A successful week.

Had a big salad for my post-ride meal. My mom called me for my birthday. I crashed into bed.

This morning, my legs are a little sore. Plans are of ham radio breakfast. Photo shoot - Lewis & Clark Landing and Heartland of America Park. Time to shoot some HDR photos there. Now, do I drive and walk to the shoot or ride the hybrid over the Bob Bridge?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Trail Condition

This week I have been riding the road bike. Weather has been great. Couple days with some wind - but learning to ride the "roadie" in the wind.

With the rides (and side rides to the river boat landing) it was cleat that the Missouri River is dropping. It has dropped about 2 feet or more in the last couple weeks. Still its gonna be some time before the trail dries off. What I have heard, much of the dirt trail is accessible and rideable - just can't ride through. Hope weather cooperates so our trail crew can get the trail open before the snow.

Re-paving reported in the previous post has started. As you can see from the photo here, the old asphalt paving is being removed. Thursday the machine was seen on the Western Historic Trail. The section of the Veterans Memorial Trail has been stripped. Hope they get right on to pouring concrete.

Hit the 1600 mile mark for the year with second ride around town in the week. Will make another 100+ miles week.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Trail Closings

Yesterday I rode from the Wabash Trace trailhead to the Bob Bridge. As I was prepping the bike at the trailhead, Roxy (another THOR member) happened by. We rode together - was good to have a friend to ride with. The trail was open all the way.

That's why I was surprised to encounter barricades across the trail this afternoon. The first barricade was along Hwy 92 just East of S. 24th St, closed to S. 24th St.

The second closed section is from S. 24th St and Richard Downing to the Western Historic Trails Center. When I reached the Trails Center, I stopped to talk with the construction workers. The trail is being repaved - asphalt to be removed and replaced with concrete. I asked how long the trail will be closed. He commented "if they get right to it, should be done in about 2-3 weeks". Some of the paving machinery is along the trail (along Hwy 92).

I wonder - it this is the repair and repaving that is being done in Council Bluffs where monies were shuffled away from the Wabash Trace? The asphalt paving in the area are really NOT bad - for what I have seen, it didn't need to be replaced.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

THOR Family Fun Day

Suspicious characters were found riding bicycle in the woods at Lake Manawa State Park (IA). It was THOR's Bring Your Own Kid Mountain Biking day. Kids of all ages had fun on their bikes.

The awesome weather (great scheduling there, Dave), great food, and good conversation rounded out the day.

The photos I shot are on my photo web site

Thursday, October 7, 2010

10 Days on the bike

OK, not constantly on the bike for 10 days - I have ridden every day in the last 10 days. During that period I logged in 193 miles. One of the days I only rode 3.5 miles - during trail work. The rest of that day was shooting the cyclocross race at Swanson.

Its harvest season in the heartland. With wall-2-wall sunshine for the last 2 weeks, the combines have been busy. That kind of weather has been perfect for bike riding.

After 2 days riding in the Wabash Trace, the last 2 days I have ridden the loop around Council Bluffs. Looks like the Missouri River is slowly receding - again! Will take some time before we will be able ride the full loop at Lake Manawa.

Thankfully, West Sidewinder is (and has been all year) above water lever and rideable. Weather is gonna be awesome for THOR's Bring Your Kid Mountain Biking festivities on Saturday at Lake Manawa.

Lastly, today I (finally) topped the 1500 miles mark for the year.

Rides on the Wabash Trace

Monday and Tuesday the forecast was for windy from the SE. Temperature in the low 70s and wall-to-wall sunshine. Perfect weather for a ride on the Trace.

Monday's ride was from the Council Bluffs trailhead to Mineola and back. Took my time climbing to Dumfries, wanted reserves for the climb back up from Mineola.

I was just one of those "perfect" days to be on a bicycle. I was not in a hurry, no pace to set or beat. Just ride. Any when i got to Mineola, I wanted to just keep on riding. Not stop, not come home, just ride.

When I got back to the car, I wanted to ride more! But, decided to save the legs for another day. Speaking of my legs, a bit strange for me. When I head out riding, and even during the ride, my legs (and perhaps the mind) are not sure they are up to a long ride. A reason that I take it easy. But when done, I wished there was more -- more miles to ride. I have ridden every day since Sept 28th! and not too tired to get out and ride another day. While one day was just a couple miles when doing trail work, most of those days were about 20 mile rides.

Back to rides on the Trace.

Tuesday was a day to ride from Silver City to Malvern to check out progress of the paving construction. Stopped at the Silver Creek bridge to take some photos. as i was about ready to head on south, I could recognize Dennis headed down. We rode together on down the Malvern.

As I got to Janke Rd, I saw that supples for barricades are in place, but barricades were not. The same was the case all rest of the way to Malvern and through town.

Word had been that construction was to start a week ago through Malvern. Dropped a note (with photos) to the SWINT Board member with the county conservation board with a copy to the SWINT president. Have been some great weather the last 2 weeks - missing great opportunities for good construction weather.

On back up to Silver City. At Silver City, I rode a little past to Dobney Road to see the transition at that point. Dennis was on a ride out of Mineola- so we parted company.

I did continue up to the end of the paved section. The transition there needs some more crushed rock. its a bit rough.

Back at the car, I had just over 19 miles. Wanted to ride more, but loaded the bike on the car and headed home. Wednesday was another day.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Omaha Cyclocross Weekend

Saturday was the start of the Omaha Cyclocross weekend at Swanson Park. Was a beautiful day - sunny, cool, light breeze. Bike riding weather.

Decided to bring the cameras to shoot the race. And shoot I did - just short of 900 photos! Some need some help, most of pretty good, a couple are just awesome.

The photos are available for sale on my photo web site - When you purchase the photo, I will send you the file vie e-mail. The file is yours to do as you wish - except no commercial use without permission. (That means you can use it on your Facebook page, give prints to friends, hang a big poster of you in the house, but you cannot sell the photo.)

Will not be taking photos at the race today (Sunday). Today's riding day for me!

Lake Manawa Trail Work

Saturday was a busy day. Started with the normal ham radio breakfast. then on over to Lake Manawa to help with the Trail Day. While there are many sections of the trail system is under water, much work could be tackled.

The primary need right now was the clean/clear the short loop on the West site. That's the loop THOR's "Bring Your Kid Mountain Biking" will utilize next Saturday.

Took the opportunity to update the Kiosk (took down the Psycowpath Race poster and add the THOR information pamphlet.

Rode the short loop, then headed back to "No Second Chance". Did some lopping and clearing stuff off the trail. At times, it is very difficult to see just where the trail is in that section (see photo).

Friday, October 1, 2010

100 Mile Week

Another beautiful day for a bike ride. Headed out from the Wabash Trace trailhead. Rode the Lake Manawa Trail and the Indian Creek Trail. Finally, city streets to the new location of Xtreme Wheels.

The show floor is open. They were scraping the paint off the windows while I was there. Today's photo is the rack of bikes at the new location.

No hurry today, weather was just perfect. On the way back to the car, stopped to take some photos.

Another 100 mile week - this week all on the road bike. No, I'm not turning into a "roadie", enjoying the weather and riding but missing the dirt at Manawa. Probably be on crushed limestone (Wabash Trace or Steamboat Trace) Sunday.