Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Most Popular Mountain Bike Trails

Thanks to Singletracks.com for the map and the review of most popular trails in each state.  I am surprised how many of them I really have ridden a section of or at least checked out to see it I could ride it.

Here's the ranking criteria on the list.
  • Average trail rating
  • Number of members who have ridden the MTB trail
  • Number of members who want to ride the MTB trail
There's the list of trails I am familiar with (means ridden a part of the trail or tried to ride a section):
Santos, Ocala, FL
Cuyuna Trails, Ironton, MN
Tsali, Bryson City, NC
Jewell Park, Bellevue, NE
FATS Trails, Clarks Hill, SC
Centennial Trail, Sturgis, SD
Tanasi, Ocoee, TN
Palo Duro Canyon, Canyon, TX
Curt Gowdy State Park, Cheyenne, WY

In addition to the top trail per state, the web site also lists the 100 top trails.  Like those above, I have ridden a section of these trails.

#1 - Colorado Trail, Durango, CO
#19 - CAMBA: Namakagon Cluster, Namakagon, WI
#34 - Bent Creek, Asheville, NC
#85 – Nine Mile, Wausau, WI

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Kanesville Krusher

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a race.  The venue was Lewis & Clark Historic Monument in the Loess Hills of Council Bluffs. This was the second race in the Psycowpath Mountain Bike series for 2014.  The singletrack at Lewis & Clark Monument is considered the most demanding course within a 3 hour drive of Omaha.

The day started at 8am with a trail runner race.  The race was followed with podium awards and photo ops,   At 10 am, the bicycles took to the trail.

First into the singletrack were the marathon racers.  These fold were pedaling up and down the hills of the Monument for over 4 hours.  Right behind them were the Category 3 racers followed by the junior racers.  These groups rode one lap of the 5 mile trail.

The Category 1 and Category 2 racers took to the trail about noon.  There were riding 4 and 2 laps of the course, respectively.  During the later race, I had had enough for the day and headed home.  Before packing up my cameras, I had a double cheeseburger cooked by the THOR "grillmaster".  Host for the race was Greenstreet Velo.

As usual, photos I took of the races are posted on my race and events web site:  http://win-photo.photoreflect.com.  Photo files can be purchased from the web site.  Photos posted on the web site are "proof" jpg's.  If you place an order, I will reprocess the file from the camera RAW.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The 1968 Project - A Nation Coming of Age

1968 was a tumultuous year. There was the North Viet Nam TET offensive. It was the height of the Viet Nam War. Of course, there were the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.  Richard Nixon elected President.  And the Apollo 8 flew to and around the moon.

It was the days of hippies, Black Panthers, anti-war protests, and George Wallace.  Assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobbie Kennedy.

The exhibit is divided into months of the year.  For each month  there are some of the memorable events of the year such as:  "Tuesday April 2 - Stanley Kubrick's mind-blowing film: 2001 A Space Odyssey premiers in Washington DC".  There are short films about topics such as the rioting at the Chicago Democratic Convention.  A display about the music of the day.  And some of the now familiar consumer items as modern fabrics and plastics.

I was in Cleveland, Ohio with rioting in the streets that summer.  National Guard bivouacked on our college athletic field.  The Cuyahoga River (running through Cleveland) caught fire.

With this, I had to check out the exhibit at The Durham Museum in Omaha.  The exhibit closes on May 4th.  I was a little disappointed with the exhibit.  Photography was not allowed in the exhibit.  Was expecting more artifacts of the year.  Guess I needed to understand that this is a traveling exhibit and it included a part of the Huey chopper and replica of the Apollo capsule.

Lots of us in our 60s were touring the exhibit this morning.  If you remember 1968, if you are history buff, if your father served in Viet Nam, you owe yourself to get to the Durham Museum before the exhibit closes. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Purr-fect Bike Riding Weather

Yesterday was awesome bicycle riding weather.  When I kitted up, it was in the low 60s, sunny, very slight wind from the SE.  Was thinking of riding the road bike, but I have not checked it our for the season.  Settled on riding the hybrid.

The other day I was only able to ride 4 miles on the Trace, so did not want to over-do it.  Parked at the Lake Manawa Park Nature Trail.  Headed West on the Lake Manawa Trail toward Indian Creek Trail.  The photo here, was taken near the junction of Indian Creek and Lake Manawa Trails.

Was debating about wearing my light cycling jacket.  Ended up riding without it.  Was a little cool once or twice, but otherwise perfect temperture for a bicycle ride.

During my ride on Lake Manawa Trail, Zach (Xtreme Wheels) called with information about my heavy, slime tubes for this bike.  Glad I decided to ride the hybrid.  I could drop the bike off at the shop for one tube replace. Want to have the heavy,slime tubes on both tires for my Santa Fe trip.

My ride continued up Indian Creek to Veterans Memorial Trail.  Completing the loop around Lake Manawa.  Stopped to shoot a photo of the Lake Manawa State Park sign with annual Clean-up Day advertisement.

Quick stop at Panera Bread for a ham sandwich and apple for lunch when I get home.  Dropped the bike off at the bike shop.  Called it a day.

Off the bike for a couple days - drizzling rain and windy today into tomorrow.  Too nasty even to go to the Zoo.  Planning to check out the 1968 Exhibit at the Durham Museum tomorrow.

Lake Manawa Clean-up Day

The annual clean-up day for Lake Manawa State Park is Sunday, May 4th.  This park, located on the South side of Council Bluffs gets a lot of traffic from both side of the Missouri River.  And, unlike state parks in Nebraska - there is no fee to visit and enjoy the park.

The annual clean-up day is a way the users and community can give back to the state park.  Investing just 2 hours of a Sunday afternoon to pick up trash on park lands, makes a big difference.  The park provides gloves, trash bags, and trash skewer sticks.

Registration is usually at Shelter 6.  There should be signs that day directing you to the shelter.  Rain day is Sunday, May 11th.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Trace Season Opener


I had just been getting too out of shape.  Started backing off on food (munchies, mostly) for the last week or so.  Can feel the lower weight.  Now, with the weather getting better, need to get out on the bike.

Filter sunshine, bit humid, in the 70s as I kitted up for a bike ride late morning.  Friend John was looking to ride, too.  With the wind kicking up, I decided to ride the Wabash Trace South from Silver City.  Did not expect John to want to drive to Silver City to ride, but he did.

His wife brought him to the trailhead and we headed South.  Now, it has been too long time since I last rode the Trace.  Hell, a couple months since I last rode one of my bikes!.  I made it about 2 miles and decided it was time to head back and call it a ride.  John was planning to ride on North on the Trace to Council Bluffs. 

Was getting pretty warm (79 deg) when I got back to the Silver City trailhead.  Bid john a "good ride" and headed for home.  I need to get into shape for my trip - at least I got a start.  Thanks, John, for the ride and the encouragement.

An "OH Sh*t" Day

Friday, I returned home from the post office and saw this at the bottom of the h\ill from my house.  Obviously, the load is too long to negotiate the corner (270th St & Dogwood Rd).  An addition to almost dragging the gravel, it looked like the wheels were into the ditch.

At one time, thet brought in a tow truck to back up the trailer.  Eventually, the had it back on the gravel road, but could not turn the corner.  Somebody sure screwed up on the route of this load.

After a couple hours, the crew was seen backing up the load for 2 miles to highway 6.  Saturday morning, heading into Council Bluffs for breakfast, the rig with load were parked at the Grange Hall at Quick. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring Has Sprung

The day started warm (for April) and humid. Hazy morning and about 60 degrees. Red sky in the morning - sailors take warning.

Was thinking of taking a bicycle ride. Not just could get the ambition to get the bike our of the garage and drive to a trailhead. Instead, I spend the day in and around the house. In the afternoon, I grabbed the Canon 60D to shoot some photos of tree buds.

The photo shoot ended as storm clouds started gathering in the South and East.  Constant thunder rolling through the air.

So far, the storm has kept South and East of us.  At this posting, the only moisture here has been light rain enough to wet the driveway (and spot the car).

Monday, April 7, 2014

Kraus-Anderson Bike Duluth Festival

There's another bike festival on the calendar.  The Kraus-Anderson Bike Duluth Festival, is to be held Aug. 16-17 on the trails around Duluth, MN.  Plans are taking shape.  Watch the web site updates.  


Sponsors of the festival are hoping that it will become an annual event.  Seed money has been provided by Kraus-Anderson Construction Co.  Partners in the festival are COGGS and WestmorelandFlint.  Half of the proceeds will go to COGGS to help them with their trail work.  The other half will go to another community charity, not yet named

So, here's the mountain bike / bicycle festivals as I have them:

Santa Fe, NM -- May 16-18, 2014 -- Outside Bike Brew, and Beyond
Crosby, MN -- June 13-14, 2014 -- Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival
Rapid City, SD -- June 20-22, 2014 -- Black Hills Fat Tire Festival
Crested Butte, CO -- June 25-29, 2014 -- Crested Butte Bike Week
Duluth, MN -- August 16-17, 2014 -- Kraus-Anderson Bike Duluth Festival