Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tonight's ride had a little bit of everything.

From, "I almost died," to "I am Superman," my Thursday evening adventure was quite...uh...adventurous.  I left work at 4:30pm with a desination of taco's in Mineola.  One of the first situations of note was a guy standing beside his stalled car at a red light on Leavenworth.  All the traffic was using the left lane to get around him, but I just slowly passed on his right.  While waiting for the light to turn green, the guy asked me if I had a cigarette he could bum.(?) I said, "Sorry, sure don't," and he mentioned that he ran out of gas.  So that was interesting.

I crossed the trusty BK Bridge, and then made my way across the very flat town of Council Bluffs.  Funny, with bluffs in the name, you'd figure it would resemble Omaha.  I took this route out to Mineola, just so I could get in some more miles and also see what that climb toward Glenwood looks like on an elevation graph.  That climb's not as bad as I thought it would be.  I think it maxed out at a grade of 6 or 7 percent.  On the Barrus road I took toward Mineola, there was a couple of 8% grades.  My one, "I almost died" moment happened near the top of one of those hills.  I was struggling to get to the top and noticed a couple cars coming up behind me.  I had forgotten this road had no shoulder, so I tried to hustle on up just in case a car was coming over in the opposite direction.  Well, there was in fact a car coming over in the opposite direction and I was hoping the cars behind me would wait.  My hope was in vain as Mr. big huge red truck flies by me doing at least 40mph with inches to spare so he could squeeze in between me and the oncoming car.  This happened about a mile out of Mineola and I thought for sure that was where he was heading.  I thought to myself what I would do if I came into contact with him and/or his truck.  I had thoughts of keying or letting all the air out of his tires, but I kept my evil Munson side at bay.  Then I thought a good thing to do would be to approach the guy and ask him very nicely for an apology.  Basically, "Sir, you came really close to running me over. It sure would be nice to have an apology for that."  I roll into town and there are 3 red trucks near the taco house.  I see an older couple just entering the place after they had walked from a red trucks direction.  I thought long and hard about stopping, and sincerely demanding an apology from the guy, but I decided to avoid the whole thing all together.  I didn't even stop for a taco.  If you can believe that.  Would you guys have done anything about it?

So with that in my past, I headed North-ish on the trail very surprised not to see many people.  It was now about 6pm and since it got dark at 6:45, I'd figure people would be at least starting the ride.  It was only about half way back to the trailhead that a lot of people were seen.  The next situation of interest was a group of 3 guys who were trying to fix a bike.  I asked if they had everything they needed and they replied, "Not really."  I took a look at the upside down bike that was in need of help and found that the rear derailleur had somehow got bent over into his spokes.  He might have got a stick caught in there while he was shifting to an easier gear or something.  I gave the derailleur a couple of tweaks, but the hanger, which was the worst bent part, was actually a very solid bolted on peice of metal.  It's hard to explain.  But anyway, right as I was about to give up on getting that thing straightened, a couple passerbys asked if we had everything we needed.  I said, "We could use a crescent wrench."  Little had I known, that was about the only tool these guys had brought.  So I fitted the wrench to the derailleur hanger and torqued just a little bit.  Somehow, the whole darn thing came out nearly perfectly straight.  They pedaled it and it worked great on the middle cog it was shifted to.  They asked if he should try shifting out of that gear and I recommended that he just use the front shifter to go to big,middle, or small chainring.  They were quite grateful and said I saved them from a huge headache of needing someone to come pick them up and such.  I was quite happy after that.  That was my superman moment.  Nothing makes me happier than hearing someone say, "Oh you just saved the day," or "What would we do without you."  I get that a lot at my job and it's usually after I just turned the power on the PC that, for some reason, "wasn't working at all." Getting paid to be peoples' hero, however little the disaster averted is, makes it all worth while.

Last item of note was running into Mark and Anne.  They asked if I wanted to join, but I had the woman cooking dinner, so I was on a mission not to be too late home.  Wish I could have joined you guys.  Next time fo sho.

I took a couple of pics on the way home with my camera phone.  One of them was too large to send, which was of some turning leaves.  Very Fall like.

So here are a couple pics from the return trip:

Here's the trail with some leaves turning.

Here's Omaha's downtown skyline from next to Harrahs

Here's the BK Bridge with lights.

And that's it for me kiddies.  I have 104-ish miles to make my 300 mile SRAM Road Challenge happen and get me some socks.  I will accomplish that on Sunday.  Who's with me??  Bryan, my guess is that 100 just doesn't make sense for you at this point in training.  But I'd be happy to put in a few hours with you then top off my total solo if need be.  I'm on call on Saturday, so there's no Shabbosie goodness for me.  Should we say 7:30am at Crane on Sunday??  Anyone? Anyone?


bryan said...

7:30 on Sunday. Yes. 100 makes perfect sense training-wise. I just need steady miles. The time it takes to ride 100 miles makes no sense at home. I just don't want to be gone that long. I'm in for 60 or 70, though.

Biker Bob said...

I'd like to join you, but I think I better just take a couple days off the bike. I'll be at 150+ for the week, so my legs are a bit pooped. Good thing I don't have to do that many miles in one day ;-)

I was thinking that (if my schedule is clear) doing a LONG ride next Saturday may be a good idea. I figured an EARLY start and riding till 12:00 might work out. I'd like to start around 4am so I can ride for about 8 hours strait. That should give me a good guage for the coming Omaha-Kearney trip.

munsoned said...

Bryan, you pick the route and I'll be there.

Bob, we'll see about next weekend. That is the weekend of my big bro's b-day and he was originally wanting to do some activities during the day. However, he is just recently getting over a very serious illness. He was in the hospital for 3 weeks, got out, but is still not doing great. The docs finally figured out what was wrong with him after doing a bone marrow biopsy, a lymph node biopsy, and a liver biopsy. He hasn't been able to eat much at all for the past month. But his medicine seems to be taking care of his illness and now he just needs to regain his strength.

So, short answer is, I might join you next Saturday, but probably not. But that is a very good idea. I may give that a go on that Sunday.