Monday, August 29, 2011

Lots of Ground Water

The Missouri River is SLOWLY receding. But, with all of the rain we received the last couple weeks, the rain has no place to go. Pumps have been running around the clock to transfer ground water into the river.

Lake Manawa is over its banks. This photo was taken on Aug 25th. The lake level was even higher Sunday (Aug 28th).

Lake Manawa Bike Trail is flooded in places. This photo was taken just East from the Nature Trail parking lot. There is another flooded section between the Nature Trail and the road to river boat landing.

Veterans Memorial Trail is flooded in the low spot East of S. 24th St.

Water has been partially crossing Western Historic Trail near the Trails Center. With so many trails STILL closed from the flooding, there are a lot of bicycles out on the roads and streets. Please watch you for us cyclists.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Maskenthine Classic

Maskenthine Classic mountain bike (XC) race was run yesterday near Stanton, NE. Was a near perfect day for racing. Temperatures in the 70s, partly cloudy skies, a nice breeze.

My photos are posted on my race photo site -

Today's photo is the start of the Category 1 race at Maskenthine.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Getting the Run-Around

Well, I THOUGHT I had purchased a new bike carrier (car). I put money down on the car (at least I thought). Then the sales gal told me that the car was damaged when a tent blow onto it at a other dealer.

Today, I find out that the car I put money on, was sold under me. Actually, word was that Sid Dillon had 2 of the cars, one sold retail and the other sold to an employee. The car that had a tent fall on, was at some other dealership.

Classic Chevrolet Cadillac is (the sales manager says) still trying to find the car I want. Wish I had thought about the deposit when I stopped by and talked with the sales manager. Would have given a piece of my mind. They had deposited my check, so they are now using my money.

As I look back at my 2002 Impala purchase in 2001, I am sure they took me to the cleaners - not giving me the employee discount I should have received. Think they only gave me the supplier discount.

OH, how I HATE to deal with car dealers.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Storm, River Rising, & Bike Rides

Thursday evening the area was hit with severe storms. The storm packed strong winds (60-90mph) and softball sized hail. Storm track seemed to be from Omaha (the airport was hit), Council Bluffs, and down the Wabash Trace.

Mineola was hit very hard. Volunteers sprung into action to clear the Wabash Trace. At this writing, the trail is open from Council Bluffs to Mineola. Another crew cleared the trail between Imogene and Ike's. They are working on the section down to Coin. No report yet Mineola to Imogene.

As it that wasn't enough, 1-3+ inches of rain fell on the area. The already swollen Missouri River rose a reported 19 inches in the Omaha area.

With the storms, I took Friday off the bike. Back on the bike Saturday and today. Saturday's ride was from Lake Manawa to the Trails Center - just to get out for a ride. Weather was just too nice to not take a ride.

Today, John and I did the second "Sunday Ride" of the year. And second one in a row! Sunny with a light breeze from the South (just enough to freshen the air). Sunday morning ride starts after coffee/breakfast at Panera Bread in CB. Rode from Panera, to and around Lake Manawa, over to the Trails Center, and finally back to Panera.

Took a short detour to see the river level. I had not been over there to see the level recently, and there was a couple of riders there (we weren't the only riders past the "Do Not Enter" sign). From the photo above, you can see that the river level is about a foot below the high water mark.

Took a short break at the Trails Center. Signed the guest book, refilled water, and headed back.

Had been riding the hybrid. Felt good to get the variety and speed of the road bike this morning. Rain again in the forecast for early tomorrow morning. Looks like another day off the bike.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Bike Carrier

The last week, I have been looking at a new bike carrier. The current carrier has over 200k miles on it, suspension is shot, seals are leaking, basically worn out. The new carrier is 2011 Chevy Impala.

After coffee and before my bike ride today I put down a deposit on the new carrier. See photo. The car is being transferred to Classic Chevrolet-Cadillac. Still paperwork to do before I can take delivery.

The great part of working with the dealer (maybe the ONLY part of working with a (any) car dealer) is I encouraged a salesman to get back on his GT bicycle. It had been sitting for over 5 years. Welcome back to cycling!

1000 Miles, Finally

This year has been rough to rack up the miles. Nasty winter, flooding all summer (all Council Bluffs levee trails closed - and it more than half of the trails), stifling heat and humidity in July, A-fib meds slowing down my heart rate, and some depression from not being able to get out to ride (lessens the desire to ride).

This morning I just HAD to get out to ride this morning. When I logged yesterday's ride, I saw that I need 15 miles to hit the 1000 mile mark. After coffee at Panera and a stop at the car dealership (that's the topic for a later post), I parked at Lake Manawa Nature Trail parking lot. Rode the trails and streets to the Trails Center.

Added a little by riding the N side Lake Manawa park, and a mile past my car (and back). Anyway, I made my 1k.

Silver City Trailhead

Earlier this week I received from Mill County Conservation, looking for photos of the Wabash Trace and particularly Mineola, Silver City, and Malvern trailheads. I had good photos of Mineola abd Malvern, but not a shot of Silver City. Yesterday, I decided it was a good day to get that shot and a bike ride.

Did my normal ride from Silver City to Malvern (8.5 miles). Stopped at the trailhead/depot for a break, a granola bar, and G2. Allan (another SWINT board member) came by on his bike. He was riding up to Silver City. Had a good ride and conversation. Weather was pretty good, sunny with a light breeze. On the way back, the humidity was climbing. Had problems with sweat in my eyes.

Needed to get out and ride. When I headed out, I was not sure how far I would ride. Glad I made it the whole way to Malvern. Dealing with auto dealers was/is getting to me. But, that is another whole story.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Manawa-Swanson Mayhem Race

Yesterday was a perfect day for a mountain bike race. Sunny, temp in the 70s. Trails at Swanson Park were a little soft/tacky for the first race. The quickly dried more with the west breeze.

I have posted my photos of the races. Note that they are named Manawa Mayhem (that's where the race was supposed to be held). When you view the photos, note that images numbered img_3xxx also have RAW versions. I mention this because the exposure may be changed. I will adjust the RAW file when needed before convert to jpg and e-mailing to the customer.

Photos can be found at my race/event photography site:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Biking Weather!

Not too bad weather-wise for August. When I headed out for coffee this morning, it was a sunny 65 degrees. Did my errands (blood draw, coffee at Panera Bread, checked magazines at B&N, and visit at the bike shop.

Time to change into my cycling kit. It had been a while since I took the hardtail on the Wabash Trace. Perfect day for a ride Silver City to Malvern.

It was 81 deg when I headed south on the Trace. Noticed a little tail wind. Was thinking of riding my 20 miles (to Mahr Ave and back). Knowing I would have a headwind on the way back to the car, I settled turning back at Malvern and a 17 mile ride.

Today's photo is of the depot at Malvern. Beautiful day for a bike ride. Hope folks took advantage of the weather.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Finally, Bike Riding Weather (for a day)

The summer has not been conducive for bike riding. The heat and humidity has been nasty. If it's not too hot in the morning, its pea-soup fog. Last Wednesday I was able to get out for a 14 mile ride. This morning, I wore my bibs and brought the hybrid on the car for my trip to Panera for "breakfast".

Was hoping John or Dennis might ride, too. John was planning antenna work and Dennis also had other plans. So, I drove over to Lake Manawa for my ride.

Rode up the East side of Lake Manawa on the new section of Veteran's Memorial Trail. At Leach Camper, I crossed Indian Creek on Highway 92. Back onto the trail almost to Veteran's Memorial (South Omaha) Bridge.

"Trail Closed" signs and barricades where down or moved to the side at S 24th St and at the OHV park. Rode past the National Guard trailer in the parking lot. It was the first time for me riding over to the bridge so was a little confused when the trail dropped down into the river and had to walk over to the bridge. (Upper photo).

Rode on over the bridge. Wanted to find that spot under the bridge that Jodi and Greg like (Bridge Trolls). I found it and shot the lower photo there. Spend some time exploring the trails there at S. 13th St and Veteran's Memorial.

When I was finishing crossing the bridge, I noticed activity at the National Guard trailer and CB Police car entering the lot. Decided it was not a time to walk pass the downed "trail closed" sign I saw earlier (when I was already past point of now return). Grabbed the bike over the railing and rode along the shoulder of the road back to the trail at the motel.

At S. 24th Street, The barricade is now back up across the trail. I was not ready to end my ride, so rode over to the Trails Center. Visited there, had my bottle of G2 and headed back to the car.

With Veteran's Memorial Trail blocked at S 24th, I rode the street from JCPenny to Leach Camper. Back onto the trail (and shared "bike lane") around the East side of Manawa. Good timing, it was getting a bit warm when I ended my ride (about noon). Logged in 20+ miles in just under 2 hours. Good ride!