Friday, April 27, 2012

Ride on The Trace

Well, it sure is greening up around here. Some rain and sun and the grass in growing too fast. I know some folks here that have already mowed the lawn TWICE this season. Its only April and the Wabash Trace maintenance crew has been mowing the edge of the trail (today's photo).

Beautiful weather yesterday. Sunny, 72 Degrees, dry, breeze from the NE. At coffee I told Dennis I was planning to ride The Trace south from Silver City. I arrived Silver City a couple minutes after 1. Dennis had already departed Silver City for his ride. I was on the trail about 1:08.

Was thinking of riding to Malvern. As I neared the Silver Creek bridge, Dennis was on the bridge. He had ridden a little bit further and was about to head back. At this time, I was not looking for a ride to Malvern, maybe to 305th St then back to Silver City.

Dennis decided to ride with me (adding a couple miles to his ride). By the time I was back to Silver City, I was beat. Probably could have just turned around at the bridge. Anyway, was a good ride. Was able to check out the mirror Oscar (and his family - Palm Coast) gave me for Christmas.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Manawa "Trail Day"

Yesterday, I was thinking of a pavement ride - to get some miles. A bunch of the Bike Masters and THOR folks were planning at "Trail Day". Goal of The "Trail Day" was the ride in the new trail and offer comments.

The photo above is the group that started off on the ride. A few others joined the ride.

There is a little over than 3 miles flagged on the East side of the parking lot. Dale R rode with me for a while. I was able to ride about 2 miles before it was enough for me.

Some spots of the trail is very soft. Other sports have sand, dropped by the flood. The best section I rode was the newest section where Fast Track used to be. This section of trail seems to flow better. Just a couple spots where the flow is interrupted.

Previously, I had commented on the first section. There are some very tight spots in this section of the trail. A couple inches on each side of the handlebars. While some of the riders (and the TL) want it tight, I do not think it would be good for racing. Not good for my kind of riding, either.

Speaking of racing, there is a race scheduled of this new trail on August 11th. LOTS of work needed before then.

After the ride, we had a trail-side cookout. Brats, burgers, chips, ribs, and beverages. Thanks to Dave P for manning the grill: TL for the meat: THOR for the chips, papers, condiments. Was a nice way to end the day.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tranquility Tire Tantrum

Tranquility Tire Tantrum was run yesterday at Lewis & Clark Monument (Council Bluffs) and Tranquility Park (Omaha). This was a 2-stage race. The morning race was a time trial at L&C. The afternoon race was cross country race. Times were combined for the overall winner.

Two races in one day, was a little too much my my body. Besides, the TT was a 8am start!. So, I just shop photos during the XC race.

Photos I took during the race can be seen at:

The photos posted on the web site are proofs. If a file is ordered, I will reconvert the file from the original camera RAW, do any touch-ups needed, and send the file to the customer.

Photos are divided into: Misc - general photos
Devo - Devo organization race (kids race).
Awards - Podium shots
Race - Race line-up, start, and race action shots.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Toasted Legs

Weather forecast is for rain/storms for the next couple days. That's great because my legs need a break.

Sunday was climbing Dumfries hills on the Wabash trace (first time for the season). Monday was struggling up Indian Creek Trail into 15-20 mph wind.

Did it again Tuesday, just further. Rode the Manawa, Indian Creek, bike shop, Trace trailhead loop. Over 3 miles into the wind. Stopped for rest and visit at Xtreme Wheels.

Met another cyclist/photographer ( Had a nice visit.

Greatest park of Tuesday ride was flying down Harry Langdon and South Ave riding the wind!

Yesterday I header off to the Western Historic Trails Center. Went past to I-80. Stopped at the Center and visited a little.

On the way back to the car, I stopped by Leach Camper to see what I can do to sell the RV. I might get $2-3K from Leach, could get $4-5k through Craig's List or such. In any way, Think I need to try getting it running to be able to sell it. Doubt I could get much to get it "as is".

Back to the ride. By the time I turned off Veteran's Memorial Trail, heading back to the car on Lake Manawa Trail, my legs were getting tired. Had the ride been a mile or two longer, I would not have made it. My legs were "toast".

I could hardly move last night. Looking forward at a couple days off the bike.

Today's photo was taken yesterday on Western Historic Trail at the baseball fields. No photo taken during Tuesday ride.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lake Manawa Clean-up Day

Was out for my bike ride yesterday. Was a nice, sunny day. Short bibs, s/s jersey, and light jacket, but a stiff wind from the NW. Headed out from the Wabash Trace trailhead towards Lake Manawa.

Rode down to the river so see what flora what is coming back. Seems trees are doing well. Grass is coming back in areas that were not inundated with sand and silt. Where there are dunes of sand and sild, nothing seems to have taken root. Its still as wasteland.

Turning back onto the Lake Manawa Trail, I noticed the sign advertising Lake Manawa Clean-up Day, Sunday, May 6th. This is an annual effort. If you are in the area, please try to attend and help clean up one of our State Parks. THOR (Trails Have Our Respect) has been supporting the clean-up. We usually lead the effort around the river boat ramp.

Back to the ride - I stopped at Indian Creek Bridge for water and a shot blok. Knew it would be rough riding the 1 1/2 miles into the wind. When I got to Veterans Memorial, I decided to head back (instead pf riding on to the Trails Center). After all, I still have over a mile into the wind to get back to the car!

Legs were almost spent when I got back to the car. But, glad I was out for the ride.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Climb to Margaritaville

Was not sure if I really wanted to ride today. Debated for a while. The weather was pretty good (70 degrees, sunny, but a brisk wind from the SW). Kitted up, loaded the hardtail and headed to the Wabash Trace trailhead.

I have wanted to ride up to check out the new tunnel that replaces the Dumfries Bridge. Now, I was not sure how far i would be able to ride. It was the frist time climbing Dumfries Hill this season. As I started from the trailhead, I was almost sure I would not make it up to Margaritaville.

With the first 2 miles (mostly flat), I was able to get into the rhythm of the ride. Popped a "shot block" for some an energy kick. I had to take my time climbing. My heart rate was in zones 3 and 4 (a good cardio work-out for over 30 minutes). Stopped twice to rest, rehydrate, and let the heart rate drop.

Made it up to Margaritaville, stopping to take a couple photos on the way. Shot several of the new Dumbries Tunnel. The tunnel has a good high ceiling (not like the one under Hwy 275). But, it is just not the old Dumfries Bridge.

Took me about 50 minutes to get to Margaritaville. Stopped there for a Cliff Bar and G2. Shot a couple photos of Margaritaville, and headed back down the hill. Took it easy mostly coasting down the hill.

Took time to photograph the ruts in the trail surface caused by peeps riding the trail when very soft. There were also signs that horses had been on the crushed limestone surface. One spot, a walker was on the trail when it was so soft to leave deep footsteps.

Round trip was 1:28 - not one of my fastest rides - but happy with the ride. Sure glad that I rode today. Today's photo is of the new Dumfries Tunnel.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Open Letter to Iowa Representative Greg Forristall

Representative Forristall,

I have been following the antics of ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) since it first came to my attention. I wondered how so many states were SUDDENLY getting the same warped idea to enact far right wing bills.

ALEC is the culprit.

In an article in The Nation, reporter John Nichols talks about some of the laws sponsored by ALEC.

"The "ALEC Exposed" project revealed the backstory of how this 40-year-old group uses an elaborate system of corporate-guided "task forces" to promote:
* Restrictive Voter ID laws and array of related initiatives that threaten to suppress voting by residents of rural regions, students, senior citizens and people of color.
* Anti-labor laws designed to limit the ability of Americans to organize and have a voice in their workplaces and the public life of their communities, states and nation.
* Tort "reform," deregulation and corporate tax-slashing schemes that eliminate tools to assure multinational corporations act responsibly and contribute to the communities and states where they operate.
* Money-in-politics initiatives that seek to remove barriers to domination of elections by corporations and billionaire right-wing donors -- such as longtime ALEC supporters Charles and David Koch.
* Privatization schemes that undermine public education and public services, posing particular threats to rural communities and urban neighborhoods that rely on strong public institutions.
* Kill-at-Will laws that prevent police and prosecutors from effectively investigating shootings such as that of Trayvon Martin in Florida, Bo Morrison in Wisconsin and others who have been killed since states began to enact so-called "Castle Doctrine" and "Stand Your Ground" laws."

Its not surprising that in the Iowa Legislature has been discussing some of the same type of bills. Further, many of the same type of bills are ones that YOU have sponsored. It is time that you renounce membership in this organization.

Republican sweep of the 2010 election was won with promises of repairing the economy and putting Iowans back to work. Instead we got social agenda, anti-choice, voter suppression, anti-labor, right wing bills. Thankfully, the Iowa Senate is still in Democratic hands. Otherwise, Iowa would be in the same class as Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and other states.

Large corporations have started defecting - Coke-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft Foods, etc. ALEC does NOT have the citizens of Iowa and the US in mind when writing these bills. ALEC supports big corporate and money interests in the country.

I see that YOU are a member of ALEC. Its time that you renounce your membership of ALEC and start thinking on your own.

Tom Winfield

Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival

Information about the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival is now out. The short story is that its a ONE DAY festival on Saturday, June 9th. Click on the link HERE for more information.

Friday there's a summit for trail advocacy clubs (billed as Great Lakes MTB Summit).

I was hoping for a bigger (longer) festival. Now, I am really torn attending 1) CAMBA Festival of the Trails over Memorial Day Weekend or 2) Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival 2 weeks later. If it was 2 days, no doubt, I would be at Cuyuna.

On the other hand, CAMBA is 2 1/2 days with lots of other activities. With gas and driving times to the "North Woods", I really can't do both. I would do them both had they been scheduled on consecutive weekends.

FotT is planned over several of the CAMBA clusters. Lots of driving from motel to the various trailheads (some 20+ miles away). After the crashes last year, I am also concerned about riding these trails by myself (no cell phone access).

Oh, Yeah, there's also another function Memorial Day Weekend! Ride the Keweenaw weekend in Copper Harbor, MI, including Copper Harbor IMBA Ride Center Dedication/Ribbon Cutting.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Swanson River City Shootout

Another HOT day today. Thermometer reached 90 degrees. The competition was just a heated. Nearly 200 mountain bike racers hit the singletrack as Swanson Park (Bellevue, NE) for Swanson River City Shootout.

Photos I took during the races are posted at

Photo files are available for purchase (non-commercial use, please). As usual, the photos posted are proofs. I will adjust exposure, etc before sending the file (I have the camera RAW files).

Its Race Time

The mountain bike racing season is under way. Yesterday was the frist race of the season for the Psycowpath Mountain Bike Series. First on the schedule was Jewell Jam time trial.

The time trial was held at Jewell Park ion Bellevue, NE. The 3.5 mile course included some 450 feet of climbing. Temeratures were in the 80s during the race. (That's ride, 80s the end of March!)

Later in the day was the Old Towne Fat Tire Criterium. I had enough for the day standing 2 hours on the hillside at Jewell Park, so did not shoot photos during the crit.

Here's the link to the Time Trial photos.

Swanson River City Shootout cross country race is this afternoon. Watch for posting of the photos.