Monday, November 15, 2010

Road Bike Ride

After a snowy Friday night, chilly weekend, today was another beautiful day for a bike ride. I grabbed the road bike to put miles on it (goal to have it roll over 1000 miles).

Rode from the Wabash Trace trailhead, heading on the normal loop around town. backtracked quickly for warmer (and dry) gloves and take my 1pm pill.

Passed the Trail Center (closed on Mondays during winter). At Ameristar, the bike odometer turned 1000. Stopped took a couple photos. It was still at 1000 miles at Harrahs. Took another couple photos in the shadow of the gangway.

Next stop was Xtreme Wheels. A little, nagging noise at the rear wheel. Seems it was the spacer on the non-drive side of the rear wheel. Same thing had happened with the hybrid (I should have remembered).

Ended up with 24.9 miles and the road bike has 1012 miles on the computer. Mission Accomplished!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bike Bash 2010

Saturday night was Bike Bash 2010, an event to recognize Nebraska's road bike and mountain bike racers.

Food prepared by Donna and Micha Holmes (great job!) EmCee for the evening was Ryan Feagan.

After eats, the awards were presented. The first award, the Psycow Spirit Award, was presented to David Packard. From there, the Road Race awards were presented. Next, the mountain bike awards.

The evening was capped with a compilation of video and stills edited by Roxzanne Feagan. Video footage by Jeremy Cook and stills by Tom Winfield.

The photos I took at Bike Bash 2010 are on my photo sale web site.

A near capacity crowd was on hand for the event. Congratulations to all of the winners.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Western Historic Trail Paving

This week concrete is being poured on the trail from the Trails Center to S. 24th St. When I rode by yesterday afternoon, the paving work was along the baseball fields West of the Maintenance Building. Paving is progressing West to East.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hardtail Hits 5K

Readers of this blog know that I ride my bikes a lot. In April 06, I bought my first mountain bike - a Trek 4300. Today, this bike turned over 5000 miles! I have never ridden over 5000 miles on one bicycle before.

My Trek 4300 has been a workhorse. It is the bike I rode when I first learned the enjoy of riding singletrack. That first year, I logged over 1100 miles on the 4300.

A couple years ago, I bought a pair of studded tires for the bike. The 4300 became my snow/ice bike.

In 2008, I bought a Trek Fuel EX7, full suspension mountain bike. The Fuel EX7 did not handle as well on the Wabash Trace (crushed limestone Rails-2-Trails) but loved riding in the dirt. My trusted 4300 became became the ride of choice for The Trace.

Another duty for the 4300 was trail work. When helping maintain the mountain bike trails at Lake Manawa, it became my trail work bike.

For 3 years, when I took a car trip, it was the Trek 4300 that was on the rack. It was used to explore trails in Colorado, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Florida, South Dakota, Nebraska, and of course, Iowa.

Now, the bike was not without problems. The biggest item was failures of the seat post to saddle bolt. After a second failure (which caused me riding standing up about 4 miles on the Wabash Trace), it was time to buy a different seat post with a stronger attachment system.

In addition to normal maintenance items, there was a broken deraileur, and rear wheel failure. Yet when it fell off the car rack at 55 mph on the highway, the only sustained scrapes and abrasions.

It has been a great first mountain bike and is still going strong. It is my "go to" bike. If I can only bring one of my 4 bikes, it will be the Trek 4300. If/when I have to replace the hardtail 4300, it will be a TREK hardtail like the 4300, but with upgraded components.

The upper photo shows the computer showing 5000 miles this afternoon. The lower photo is the bike on Hopp Creek Bridge (Wabash Trace between Malvern and Silver City, Iowa) where I recorded the 5000 miles milestone.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Manawa Mostly Rideable

Last night 9 guys tackled the trails at Lake Manawa. Zach (Xtreme Wheels) had contacted about a trail evening to get the trails in shape for winter (Snow Rides!). With Zach's friends and a couple other workers (Trail Leader Steve counted a total of 9), a large section of the trails were cleared.

The river level is continuing to drop. We were able to get out and clear fallen trees, branches, and floated debris. In Tony's Playground, the flood floated the teeter totters up to a different location. The top photo from yesterday is a group of the crew carrying one of the teeter totters back to its location.

During the trail work session, the trail crew checked Riverfront Real Estate and Fast Track. No Second Chance was cleat\red. In addition to resetting the teeter totters, the trail was cleared. A deadfall was cut on Long's Landing. Finally, the return trails from Long's Landing to East Sidewinder were cleared (East Sidewinder itself has not been cleared).

Before the trail work started, I had time to head out to Woodchopper. Much of that trail (at least the out portion) is dry enough allowing to work on the trail. There is still some standing water and soft mud out in the center.

Of course, West Sidewinder is clear since we used that loop during the THOR Family Day.

When rode back to the parking lot after trail work, I was treated to a beautiful sunset. A shot of last nights sunset over the Missouri River is the lower photo.

Some of the guys headed back on the trails with lights for a night ride. I had the light along, but was just too tired.

For those that want to ride Manawa, be careful with the ditch just after the big log crossing and armored section - it is washed deep and needs benching (plans done to do that this Saturday).

Monday, November 1, 2010

12,000 Miles

July 2005 I started riding a bicycle to get exercise after a heart valve was replaced with a mechanical valve. Exit interview after cardic rehab asked what I was going to do to keep active so that I don't lose the progress I made during rehab.

I decided to check out cycling. Bill at Xtreme Wheels put me on a Trek Navigator and - as they say - the rest is history.

During my 25+ mile ride today, I broke the 12,000 mile mark. I think that's pretty good for a 63 year old. It makes many days on the bike since the longest day has been under 50 miles.

Next goal is 2000 miles for the year.

Manawa & Western Historic Trails

During my ride this afternoon, I went over the the Lake Manawa Mountain Bike trails. The water continues to drop. Visited with a couple guys that had just loaded their bikes. They told me that the West side (Woodchopper) still has standing water.

The two guys told me that most of the rest of the trail is rideable - just needs cleaning up, and some trees that need to be cut out. Guess with one tree, they moved deadfalls and created a log crossing. That's what is going to happen when the trail crew does not get out to take care of the trail problems.

From Manawa, I headed West - rode Veteran's Memorial trail to the Motel near S. Omaha Bridge. There is still that one block of trail that needs to have finish grading and paving.

At the Western Historic Trails Center, the construction company is working on the grading in preparation for paving. If the keep at it, they should have this done in the next couple weeks. The photo here is the preparations being made just out of the Trails Center.

The Trails Center has changed it hours of operation. November through to mid March, the building will be closed on Mondays. Be aware that the Trails Center will also be closed on State holidays. I understand this is a cost cutting move.

Rode on up the Iowa Riverfront Trail, dropped down on N. 15th St and into downtown Council Bluffs. Stopped at Xtreme Wheels to talk with Zack about the trail work we are planning for Wednesday evening.

Was thinking of riding the long way (down Indian Creek Trail) bach to the Wabash Trace Trailhead, it is was getting a little cool. The sun was bright when I headed out for my ride. Later in the afternoon, the thin clouds started filtering the sunshine.