Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Laziness induced single speed

Two weekends ago we (uh, almost too many people to name - Rafal, Miles, Limpach, Shim, Larry, Ryan, Roxy, Jarrett, anyone else?) had a great gravel road adventure. Rafal and I got separated from the group at the end and forgot to turn in toward Shim's house. We just putzed home instead. I got home and both me and the bike were covered in gravel mud. I cleaned myself and my clothes, but went on to neglect my bike completely till this morning.

I had the week of Christmas off, did all my shopping and prepping then, so no riding happened. I took the bus yesterday in hopes that the major streets would get another good passover with the plows. This morning, I hopped on my bike and found that a week and a half of neglect is not a good thing for a bike. I tried shifting and nothing happened. The bike was stuck in it's easiest gear (34x23) so I wasn't going anywhere fast. I hopped off and messed with the derailleur until it moved a bit. I settled on a decent enough gear combo and called it good for the ride in. There were a couple spots that my 32C road tires did not like (or rather, I didn't like as the bike floated around beneath me), but I made it ok. I should have swapped out to my studded snow tire at least on the front, but again, the laziness struck....

I hope everyone had a fun Christmas and maybe got out of their house at some point. Our new CR-V has been amazing in this weather so I'm very happy with that choice. Of course I probably won't be saying that when the the first payment comes due.

It looks like the next week at least will be too cold for any melting to happen and the highs predicted for the weekend are only in the teens. Maybe we can get that trainer session going this weekend? Anyone? It's always easier to suffer with friends rather than alone.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hibernation and Rest Week

So, this forecast looks conducive to some activities but riding a bicycle outside isn't that high on the list in my opinion, some of y'all have a different viewpoint as to what constitutes decent weather for outside riding, but the weekend highs combined with this purported snowfall lead me to think that the trainer will be the safest place to hide this weekend. So this weekend, you can find me in my basement watching the 2006 Tour, knocking out a power test, and possibly eating some Christmas cookies... its my rest week anyways so why not...

Munson hasn't posted this week, so I'm not entirely sure he made it back fr0m our gravel adventure last Sunday. In case he didn't make it back, I tried to pay a small homage to him in that extremely long run-on sentence above.

Anyways Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to everyone. If anybody wants to suffer together maybe we can post up a trainer session somewhere.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Weekend plans and being all growed up.

I fail at friendship sometimes. Friends ask to get together, I agree, then sometimes don't make it. Case in point: Peter was in town from Texas. He drove here in 1 day. He probably almost died several times. We did hang out on Saturday and that was fun. He wanted to get together again during the week. I had some fiascoes and then money issues, both tied together, so I didn't make it happen. Probably the worst part is that I didn't let Peter know what was going on. I just flaked out. I don't really have a good excuse other than being all weirded out that the wife and I got a newish car.

Our 16 year old Honda Civic was rusting (not a big deal) had 175k miles on it (not that big of a deal, except...) and had one too many upcoming mechanical issues. It still ran great, got upper 20's mpg, but the tires kept going flat, an eminent $800 repair was coming, and getting around in the snow was ridiculous. So over last weekend we found a decently priced, mid-mileage Honda CR-V. I've heard great things about this small SUV and so far we've been really happy. The fiasco part was that the battery died 2 days after we got it. But Superior Honda, the place we purchased it from, did right by us and took care of it. They also took the old Civic off our hands too. So we're still a 1 car family, but this vehicle should serve us well for quite a while.

So back to being a horrible friend. Being that the buying a car thing is a new experience to me (we sort of inherited the Civic) I'm having a little bit of sticker shock. To most people, a car payment is almost as standard as paying taxes. We had yet to experience that. So with the down payment, and upcoming monthly payments, our budget has to be extra toight now. I had some fantasies about getting back into racing next season, but I'm just fine jumping in with some group rides and generally having fun on the bike. I'll be doing the bike building thing again next season, so I'll be working some 12 hour days a couple/few times a week. It'll suck, but getting out of debt and getting on with life is priority 1 right now.

So that was a long way for me to apologize to Peter for skipping out on him. Sorry good buddy. We'll hang out more when you come back in January(?). If your knee injury doesn't get better, we could just hang out with Jonny and do some Call of Duty nights. Good times.

Weekend plans. Friday night you should decorate your bike and go here. Scott's got a cool setup that I may mimic if I get my act together tonight. I figure more lights on the commuter bike, the better anyway.

Saturday and/or Sunday: gravel? Road? MTB? Post your plans and we'll try to come to a consensus.

Monday, December 14, 2009

An Exercise (or lack thereof) in Futility

I've been on a bike 2 times in the last 7 days. That is not normal for me at all. I rode to work last Friday, which was fun, but the rest of the days I was either off work or took the bus. Took the bus today since there's a nice layer of ice under a fresh layer of snow. I would've had no issue getting into work on the bike, but I'm leery of drivers.

I guess you could say I'm becoming more cautious (and/or pessimistic) in my older age. I just don't trust motorists in this weather. I made it fine the last few winters, but for some reason, I feel like the bus is just as good, and much safer, than riding into work.

Mr. Miles and I attempted to ride Manawa on mountain bikes on Sunday. It was not happening. Apparently, snowmobiles don't pack down snow, they just glide over it. We tried but gave up after too much hike a bike. We opted for the paved trails around there. We went one way till the trail was plowed no more, then went the other way till the drifts were again impassable. We got maybe an hour in on the bikes. So that whole trip wasn't quite worth the effort, but it was fun to hang out with Mr. Miles anyway.

Speaking of having fun hanging out. Fred, his friend from highschool, Peter, and I ate some good burgers at 5 Guys Burgers. It was pretty good, but not outstanding. But talking with the guys was fun. Peter if you read this, we should hang out again on Tuesday evening. Let me know if you're free.

So anyway, it's December 14th, and I'm tired of snow already. Supposedly this is going to be an El Nino winter in which the beginning is rough then gets mild later. I sure hope so. I gots the spring fever now.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Studded snow tires

Aside from feeling guilty for being in the way of a few motorists and still feeling weak from my cold, the ride in this morning was great! Studded snow tires make it seem too easy. I look at the conditions on the ground as I easily roll over it and just chortle quietly to myself (cqtm instead of LOL?) .

Guess who's coming to eat burgers with me and Fred on Saturday!?!? Mr. Boyd himself. I guess he got tired of the tough weather conditions of Cali (or wherever he resides now) and wanted to feel "at home" in Nebraska. So that's happening at 1:30 if I can convince the other 2 hooligans to nail down a time. If you're out at 132nd and Dodge, we'll be eating at 5 Guys Burgers. Never been there, but I look forward to a good burger.

Mr. Miles and I are trying to plan a snow trail ride at Manawa. Anyone know if people have broken in the trails there yet? We might shoot for a Sunday ride just to let the first suckers...I mean...adventurers pack down the trail a little for us.

Please respond with confirmation of burger consumption or trail conditions.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Getting sick and strength

Have you ever noticed that right before and right after a cold you feel invincible? I have an annoying cold right now. Runny, alternating with stuffed up nose, slightly achy, a little on the dizzy/groggy side. Besides the nose, all of those symptoms could be from the riding this weekend.

On Saturday, Mod, Mr. Miles, and I journeyed down the Keystone all the way to the end at Hayworth park and back. About 2.5 hrs with 4-ish big gear workouts mixed in. I MISS BIG GEAR WORKOUTS!! It's been at least a year and I forgot how much I loved getting into the 53x12 and just grinding it out for 10 minutes. I was feeling rather spunky, so I tended to get ahead of Mod and Mr. Miles. Whoops. At least I'm feeling better after my flat pedal fiasco of 2 weekends ago.

I was sore the next morning, of course, but it was mostly in my neck and back(?) I'm not sure if this was my lymph nodes going into overtime to fight off the oncoming cold, but it was nice to think that I could muscle some big gears and not hurt much afterward.

Then on Sunday, Mr. Miles and I visited Swanson before the snow fell. It wasn't that cold when we went at 1pm and the trail was in primo condition. I had my singlespeed, so after a good couple lap warmup, I hit it kinda hard. Mike was having a bad lap, with some bonking, so again, I was off the front. Our final lap, Mike was right on my tail and feeling better as I was pretty much done. 3-ish laps is all I could usually muster at Swanson anyway. My core and legs just can't last for that long. That would be a good thing to work on this winter though.

So after 2 really strong days on the bike, I'm left now with a cold and really crappy weather. I guess it all works out.

Friday, December 04, 2009

What's the time?

No, it's not time to get ill. It's all about the 1 pm.

Saturday - road ride - meet at Scooters on 63rd and Center at 1pm. 2.5 hrs with some big gear workouts. Good times.

Sunday - 1pm meet at Swanson for some dirty fun.

Sorry to the guys who have earlier plans. It's all about the 1pm (and the temps the go with....).

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Weekend 12/5-12/6

So Finally its starting to feel a bit like winter. I may get blasted for saying this but I really am glad to finally see a few flakes on flying and everything else that goes along with it. I hate the cold but I like being a good stimulator of the economy and that is heavily predicated on cold, so I'll wear another layer (or sit in my basement) and continue to pedal.

This weekend looks cool but not awful, so lets get out there, eh?

Saturday: Road ride around Noontime in order for anyone? 2-3 hours
Sunday: MTB Ride... someone want to chime in with a location?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Futuristic bike.

This bike looks amazing and the handlebar/lock idea is ingenious, but changing a flat would be interesting.

Wytze's graduation project for Cannondale from Eelke D. on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Going flashy.

Well my blog isn't going flashy. It's going wide and simple. I imagine there's going to be many more videos in 16x9 format in the future and I'm tired of having to size them down. So, in short, get used to this format.

But, if you wanted to go flashy, you could go here on this date. Since I'm too lazy to change my lettering into different colors and sizes and such, I'll try a cut and paste to see if it works:

Bike Omaha is inviting You, to the first annual Bike De'lights ride.

Who: You and your family on bikes

What: A 13-mile social ride (distance is approximate)

When: Friday, December, 11th at 7:00pm (bad weather reschedule date Dec. 18th)

Where: Ride starts at Midtown Crossing Marcus Theatre at 3201 Farnam St (Meet Inside)

Why: To spend time with friends enjoying the lights and activity of downtown Omaha

We have made the following updates. We will keep this post updated if we make any additional changes.

Update 1: The updated route (see below) is approximately 13 miles. Let us know if you think that is too long for any of the riders you would like to have join us. We are still fine-tuning the route and we can adjust a few things to bring the distance back down if we need to.

Update 2: A route map was added to replace the scarry list of turns. Riders will not need to memorize the route unless they plan to go off on their own and meet up with us at one of the stops. We will have people leading the ride and keeping the group together.

The Bike De'lights ride will be family friendly and we will all be riding together at a casual/conversational pace. We will be making stops along the way to warm up and relax. Children are welcome and encouraged to participate. The ride will take 2 or 3 hours depending on how long we stay at each stop. Bike De'lights will be a social ride, so we will not be in a hurry.

Participants are encouraged to wear WARM & casual street clothes. You should dress like you would for walking around downtown in December. There will be several chances to get off the bike, go inside, and warm up. However, you should dress warm and bring extra layers in case it's colder than you expect. Participants should also ride with lights on their bikes if at all possible. Plus, we can be a rolling holiday lights show at the same time.

Meet inside the Marcus Theaters Lounge to start.