Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year! Weekend Plans -Saturday Time change to 11.

Yeah it's cold, but it's Nebraska in January whatcha gonna do? Some of us are planning to ride at Manawa at 10:00 a.m. The temps don't look like they will vary much tomorrow so get your ride in early and settle in for a day of bowl games (or video games for you dorks). Bring either MTB or cross bike. I rode Manawa today and the trails are in good shape for some winter hours.

As for Sunday, it looks like Mr. Freeze is going to cut us a little slack. Planning on leaving at 11:30 again this week exact route to be determined at ride time.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Man that was fun.

As everyone saw the temp forecast for today, the tweets and such started to fly. Plan was, meet at Wohlners (3 blocks from my house) at 1pm. I got a little busy with stuff during the morning and at 12:20 decided I could fender-ize my Lemond and join the fun. Well, one flat tire later, I was late to the meeting spot. Luckily, Eric O had run behind also. So Eric and I took it easy down the trail and did pretty much the exact route that we would've done had we been 5 minutes earlier.

It was fricken 59° at the start and quickly rose to 65° mid ride. Of course, once we turned North, the wind had to change also and became a much colder NW wind. Eric and I skirted Northish so we could part ways at Happy Hollow.

The ride was just right; not too fast, but a couple surges to get some exercise. I have no idea how I felt so good since it's seriously been months since my last outdoor road ride. Turns out the fenders were nearly unnecessary as there were only a couple puddles on the trail. But soon, that will all change. This weekend is looking ugly with temps only in the teens for Saturday and may 20 for Sunday. I usually don't head out for more than an hour if it's below 25 outside. Just isn't that fun and a better workout could be had on the trainer instead. Which may or may not happen. I do need to lose some winter cheer weight.

Hope everyone had a good Christmas and enjoys (but not too much) their New Year's celebration.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last weekend's rides were nice, due to the holiday we'll skip this Saturday's ride and move Sunday's start time back to 11:30.

Sunday's Plan: Leaving from 5224 Lake Forest, Papillion at 11:30, doing the normal route with extenders if needed. Back around 2:30ish. Free Beer after compliments of Steel Cut Oats (Brady Murphy). Plan on 3+ hours of ride time.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Looks Like Gravel Season is Upon Us.

So, it's that time of year again and I hear the gravel calling my name. I'll be back on Thursday to post a couple of weekend epics. Thinking of leaving from the Bob on Saturday (mostly flat) and somewhere on the South side (mostly hilly) on Sunday.

Let's Plan on Meeting on the West side of the Bob on Saturday 10 a.m. Based on the forecast we'll probably head North on the CB side and pick up gravel near the end of the bike path.

Sunday's Plan: Leaving from 5224 Lake Forest, Papillion at 11:00, doing the normal route with extenders if needed. Back around 2ish. Free Beer after compliments of Steel Cut Oats (Brady Murphy).

I'd like to give all the sheep of the world some love

Wait, that sounded bad.

-4° on the ride into work = need for warm clothing. Enter: Sheep hair, aka wool.

If you don't have any mid to high quality wool clothing, I highly recommend it. I have 3 wool shirts that go on in layers depending on the temps - 2 Smartwool long sleeve base layers (one lighter and one heavier) and a regular cheap-ish wool sweatshirt. The wool sweatshirt is of lower quality, so it itches like crazy against the skin. I only bust that out when it's cold enough to warrant 2 layers of long sleevedness; like this morning. I add a cycling vest in between the layers for wind block since wool, by itself, isn't that great at keeping the drafts off my skin.

I'll wear 1 to 2 of these wool shirts all through the week, then wash whichever ones get stinky. Usually, that's only the base layer if I've worn it every day and had a couple warmish rides in there too. There's no way technical fabric base layers could handle that washing schedule. Or rather, no way I (and my I, I mean my nose) could stand being around it for more than 2 days, max. I have mentioned before, that my manly smell can be quite formidable. Wool somehow doesn't hold in as much funk as newer technical fabric. Not sure how it works, but I'll take it. It's much better than going through 5 tech fabric shirts all week and having a pile of stinky laundry by the weekend. Plus it could be cheaper, depending on how much you'd spend on the tech fabrics, versus how cheap you can find your wool. I like to hit up Canfield's sales in Fall for Summer stuff and Spring for Winter stuff.

When the temp drops and whisks away your wharmth, I whole wheartedly recommend you whear your whool. Cool Whip.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm like an onion.

Cause I'm stinky?

No, because I have layers.

Wait, have I posted this very thing before? I can't remember. Oh well.

So, at the 30° and below mark you have to start doing layers. Especially when it's windy and snowy. 22° with 20-ish mph winds is not fun. And with layering, it's tough to strike the balance between warmth, wind block, and breathability with clothing.

Here's what I found worked but left me a little warm by the end of the ride:
Head - Trek winter cycling cap (now made by Bontrager) under the helmet
Torso - Long sleeve Wool baselayer, cycling vest for wind stopping, and a 100% cotton long sleeve button down shirt. Cotton is bad for base layer, but decent for outer layering since it can block wind. I probably should've nixed the cycling vest, but wanted the extra warmth after last night's under-dressed, way too cold ride home.
Legs - cycling shorts and full leg warmers all under some cotton/rayon pants. If I had had some tighter fitting non-cotton sweat pants, I could've used those, but i already have the bike stuff, might as well use it.
Feet - wool socks under my favorite "shoes." It's interesting cause I think if I had worn cycling shoes to clip in, my feet would've gotten cold. But somehow, using flat pedals and comfy shoes keeps my tootsies warm. It could be that 20 minutes of riding isn't long enough for my feet to get cold no matter what, but I'll have to try the clipped in thing one day to test it out.

I was sweaty by the time I got to my building. But there's one caveat - after struggling into the wind to get to Leavenworth, I had a tailwind the rest of the way heading East. So windchill was no longer a factor with 2/3rds of my ride left. In fact I was traveling at almost the same speed as the wind by then end. My breath, which I could see of course, would lift up in front of me and I'd follow it.

I'm not looking forward to the ride home though. According to the Nation Weather Service, the wind is supposed to die down after 5pm. I won't be heading home till 8pm, so hopefully it'll be easier going by then.

This single speed is kinda getting to me. I may have to add some gears to make the hills more bearable. I know I could just replace the rear cog with a higher tooth count one, but then the downhills would be way more boring than they are right now. Maybe if I found a 3 speed rear hub. Hmmmmmm.....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Shabbos +1

Noon (leave at noon - I'll be there by 11:40 or so for coffee)
Trek Store 72nd/Jones
3 hours or so of steady base miles

That is all. Questions? Objections?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Short commute cold weather clothing.

The temps are dropping. People who bike are all discussing what they should wear and at what temps. As Mod so eloquently put it, "Dressing for the cold is like the black arts." I have a case in point for this very suggestion.

But first, a disclaimer. My discussion is for my own ride type and acclimation. Anyone who knows Bryan knows that he can ride in bike shorts and a jersey only down to 40 degrees or something ridiculous like that. Well, that's an exaggeration, but still, cold doesn't bother him much. I also know some aren't bothered by cold if their hands and toes are properly warmed. Others have to wear Goretex everything from head to foot in 50 degrees. It's all about acclimation.

The other caveat I have in my discussion is that I'm riding my bike a whopping 3 miles to work in plain-ish looking clothes. I have a couple hills and I ride a single speed. So if the ride you're thinking of dressing for is drastically different than this, my input will not be helpful. I made the mistake last year of suggesting that a low pressure slick road tire is all you need for bad weather riding and good buddy Mr. Steel Cut tried my tactic on a crazy gravel road ride. At least I think that's where he got the idea to run a road tire on a gravel ride. I'm truly sorry, Brady, if my random tidbits of "knowledge" came across as gospel. I may act like I know a lot, but I'm still learning every day. Since we're talking, by the way, (we are talking right?) I wanted to thank you for your tidbit of knowledge about using a blinky light mounted on your fork shining on your front wheel's spokes. This simple setup is highly visible from all all 180° in front of you. Ever since using that and my dynamo hub powered front light on steady, I've had cars wait a block or so for me to pass before they turn in my path. In other words, they really see me coming.

So, on to the clothing discussion. I mentioned that I dress in plainish looking clothes. I do this since I want to encourage anyone and everyone to hop on a bike to get where they want to go. To the rest of the non-biking world, dressing up like superman really is not appealing. But if they see someone day in, day out riding in a button down shirt and shorts or pants, maybe they could dust off their bike and give it a go. I can dream, can't I?

So for 60°+ I wear short sleeve button down shirt, made of a polyester/cotton blend since cotton doesn't breath at all once soaked in sweat. For shorts, I wear, um, shorts also made of a polyester/cotton blend. I used to always wear bike shorts under them, but what's the point for 3 miles? Less wear and tear on the expensive bike stuff is a good thing. Now I just wear some boxer briefs

For 50-60° I may add a cycling cap under the helmet or a long sleeve button down, but it generally has to be a North wind and cloudy.

Now in the 40s is when you start adding layers. Upper 40s means a short sleeve base layer under a long sleeve button down shirt. For the legs, I'll generally wear some knickers that cover the knees until it gets down to the 30s - then I go with some light cotton pants that look kinda like tan scrubs. Lower 40s and below is what I consider cold requires the black arts that Mark had mentioned. It mostly comes down to your core at this point so what you wear between your knees and your neck is vital.

My example of the black arts is as follows: yesterday when I rode into work at 10:30am it was 38° with a 5-10 mph North wind and lots of clouds/no sun. I left my cycling cap off and I wore a lighter weight short sleeve base layer under my long sleeve button down since hey, it was near 40°. I was FROZEN by the time I got to work. My wool glove covered hands could barely move since my core was desperately hoarding heat. After that experience, I over compensated this morning. It was 34° so I dressed much warmer with a long sleeve wool base layer under my long sleeve button down and a cycling cap to keep my head toasty. I was purdy schweaty when I pulled up to my building since the sun was out and there was a light South wind. So even though I could see my breath this morning at 34° unlike yesterday's 38°, it was much colder yesterday. Again, it's all in the black arts. I probably would have been perfect both days had I just swapped layering setups.

I haven't gotten to the low 30s and into the 20s, but it's coming. Plus this post is already stretching it, even from Munson rambling perspective.

In other news - Things I'm going to miss that I'm really not happy about - this evening's 6:30pm neighborhood association meeting discussing the lane diet on Leavenworth. I work till 8pm, but would love to support the lane diet all up and down Leavenworth. Also, this weekend is the Lincoln cyclocross races. I'm going to miss the shenanigans on Hooligan hill. If you can make it, racing or just watching, I'd highly recommend it. I'm also going to miss the Ladies' and Gentlemens' ride on Sunday. It ends right by my house. But I'll be with my family having lunch with my piano teacher who's in her mid 90's.

Friday, November 05, 2010

I'm now saving $600 a year.

Well, scratch that, $480 a year.

I just cut out my cable. I had the basic channels 1-68, but at $50 a month for about 25 watchable channels(for me anyway), that's pretty pricey. I still have internet and I added Netflix, which is where that extra $120 will go, but still $480 is a good chunk o' change. It's a weird coincidence because I cancel cable one day, then this article comes out the next. It basically asks if the decline in cable subscriptions is an economy thing or technological shift thing. I'm guessing it'll play out as both. Our generation and a few before it just assumed cable was standard. Well, now that the younger generations have nearly no experience with land lines, which also used to be standard, I'm guessing they'll view Netflix and online sites as standard boob tube time. That way they can watch Hulu, flip over to a new tab on their browser, and update their twitter page and/or facebook page as one of the single commercials play. And for us older folks, does it really make sense to pay $130 for a gabillion channels of which you only really watch half? That's nearing a car payment. Or after a year, a new bike.

I don't really have any where else to trim the budget, aside from changing our eating habits. I know it would be wise and probably healthier, but the wife and I both like to eat, so that would be a last resort type thing.

On the bike front, I'm still riding the single speed to/from work. I have a couple hills that kinda get to me, but it's working fine otherwise. Not looking forward to the time change. I think I need to move to Belize. Tropical weather year round sounds nice.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Single speed it is.

The true test of riding single speed for commuting came yesterday. It was a laundry day, so I had a messenger bag full of clothes. I was also heading straight West up Leavenworth, so I had that lovely wind to battle.

At first, the hill didn't seem so bad near the cemetery. It could have been all the houses and trees blocking the wind, since by the top, near the Masonic Manor, I struggled to keep moving forward. That tall building has a way of funneling wind directly at you no matter which direction the air is moving. Kinda weird.

But after passing 52nd St, I coasted downhill almost all the way home. It's a fun bike, for sure, but we'll see how it handles the winter weather. Or rather, how I handle the bike in winter weather.

Edit for day later experience: The wind was WAY worse on yesterday's commute home. Going up that Leavenworth hill, I seriously almost got off to walk. It was bad enough I hopped onto the sidewalk just so I wasn't at crawling speed in traffic. But yesterday was probably the one of the 5 or so worst wind conditions we'll get during the year. Other horribly windy days are usually straight from the North or South, so Westbound on Leavenworth isn't so bad. One bad part about the single speed though, even though I made it up the hill, I think I tweaked a back muscle just to make it those last 2 blocks. It's not bad, just a little annoying.

So I'm still a go for keeping it simple on the SS, but the toughest days of winter are yet ahead.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mid October update.

Why haven't I done this sooner?

My commute to work is 3-ish miles and I ride it unless there's really really bad snow out there. Last year, my bike got so encrusted with road grime/salt that shifting became troublesome. So, how bout I just take that part out of the equation?

This was my commuter for a while that I had planned to sell. It was a 1x9 that I never got around to putting on Craigslist. Now I'm kinda glad I didn't. It has semi-horizontal dropouts so I have about 1-2cms to play with in chain tension. The main thing my last frankenbike commuter had going for it was a rear disc brake, which was quite nice with last years horrid conditions. I could've filled a sandbox with the amount of grime on my rims/wheels/seatstays/chainstays. I have forgotten how crappy my v-brakes are. Maybe I can scrounge up some old nicer V's that won't fail on me half way through winter.

I could go fixed though and not even have a rear brake....

In other news, Randell and I have done some weekend rides. No, that doesn't mean we're on a rampage to get back into racing. I need to ride more since I have the dreaded winter padding, even before winter. So hopefully we can continue the weekend rides and maybe I'll add a couple rides during the week. It would be nice to join some hammerhead group rides next year, but I need to buildup to even that in my current state.

Good luck to all you crazy crossers heading to Lincoln this weekend. Or where ever else you plan to run, jump, bunny hop, and generally beat up on yourself.

Monday, October 11, 2010

But it IS October!

I got sore.

Like leg sore.

Went out with Roxy, Ryan, and Todd yesterday for a fun 70-ish miles. Headed South to Glennwood, then rode back on the hilly highway. Roxy turned off early since she is still coming back from a fractured scapula. Roxy, heal quickly.

Ryan, Todd, and I kept a great rotation going at a decent pace. I'm still amazed that, without training or many long rides in the legs, I can go out there for 3-4 hrs. 4 hrs was about my limit though. Toward the end, I just wanted to be OFF my bike. Mainly saddle induced pain on the sit bones. I don't know if I'll ever find the perfect saddle. My guess is that if I rode more consistently, I'd develop more tolerance, but still, it's frustrating to have tried at least 8 types of saddles and never fully being comfy on any.

I'd like to keep up on the weekend rides. Now that I'm not building bikes anymore, I got some free time. So if you're not racing, post up a ride so we can turn some pedals in anger.

Monday, September 27, 2010

But it's almost October!

I got burned.

As in sun burned.

Went out for a couple hour ride with Mr. Miles and Jeremy. It was spirited. And fun.

Then I went out for another almost hour with the wife on a ride. She loves her new Pure bike. She calls it "heavenly." See, she's as tall as I am but with crazy long legs. So normal women's bikes with regular seat tube angles just don't work for her. Seriously, her knee-over-spindle measurement is almost dead on with the Pure. That's how long her femurs are. Of course, the bike shop guys gave me a hard time about picking up that bike. I guess it didn't help that I ordered a road handlebar at the same time and I've been known to make a franken bike here and there. But fit was the main factor in getting the Pure. After our ride together, she was no where near as beat up as when she would ride her older bike. So that was a wise decision. Anyone need an 18.5" Trek 7200 WSD?

This next weekend is cross time in Omaha. I'll probably be around to do some heckling. Hopefully my sun burn will be gone so I can start a fresh new one if the weather cooperates. However, if the cross gods deem it so, maybe it'll rain and the temp will drop. That would make it a true cross race.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bacon Sunday

You know the drill
6:30 am
Know your escape routes bacon doesn't wait... for anyone

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Where the heck am I?

So I haven't been around much. No weekend group rides in about a month, and no evening group rides in year? Maybe 2.


No, I'm not in some musty cave obsessing over a ring, although I am kinda obsessed about something else shiny and hopefully very long lasting(more on that later). In case you didn't know and to cram it down everyone's throat yet again, I'm in deep doggy debt. It's not the average, run of the mill household debt of $8k. It's a few multiples of that. Not to mention my car loan. And my student loan. Those last 2 are, I guess, what people expect to have most their lives. But the first needs to change. And I'm working on it. I'm doing overtime at my main job when I can and building bikes pretty regularly. If I'm really moving, I can do 2 bikes an hour which equals a $16 an hour wage. Not too shabby since I can build any time I want and don't have a boss telling me what to do. Well, I guess Miah and Bryan sometimes ask me to build a certain kind of bike, but in my mind, I'm telling myself I was gonna build that anyway. So there.

So since there's no race report, epic ride details, or anything else of huge interest, my blog has become pretty stale. Sorry about that. I can't promise that's going to change in the near future either. I definitely won't pull a Fred and post some partial brilliant story, then leave everyone hanging to curse my name. Actually no, Fred, we aren't cursing your name. We just want to know how the Proudest Moment is going to tie in with part one and two?

Now on to shiny bits. Through bike building, you get to see different bikes. Mostly it's just cruisers, low-end mtbs, "hybrids," and kids bikes. Sometimes you'll get a few high end road, TT, and full squish bikes. Those are all good with their complicated builds and fancy parts that don't impress me much. Mostly because they're difficult to work with - in a mechanic sort of way, and so far beyond my reach economically, it's not even funny.

But my eyes have been opened to a wondrous thing. I have recently built up a few bikes with some tasty bits. Quality, ease of use, durability(if it's standard holds true) and good looks. I'm speaking of the newly released Shimano 105 group.

Shimano got this one right. Well, for my tastes anyway. Dura-Ace, aside from being purdy costly, doesn't look good, especially the crank, and is a serious pain to install. Again, this is all my mechanic induced opinions. 105, on the other hand, is affordable, hopefully durable, sets up easily, and is silvery shiny. The cranks are a little ho-hum, but I have a 7800 crankset that's near perfection to me. And the front shifting is B U T T E R. Like seriously, I've never felt anything shift this smooth. Very impressive.

I may or may not save up the money to buy most of this groupset. What I have right now works, but just so. It's a pretty messy hodge-podge of Campy and Shimano, but I like what it offers compared to everything else. That is, until 105 came out. What I use now is an 11-28 eight speed cassette which works surprisingly well with Campy 10 speed shifters. With 10 speed, I was always chunking 2 gears at a time to get where I wanted to be. That's what happens with single tooth cog increments on a 12-23 cassette. With the 8 speed wide range cassette, I have11, 13, 15, 17, etc which is single click heaven to get where I want to be. There was only a couple times in the past year where I wished I had a gear between the 2 available. That was usually on a slight incline into the wind, and guess what? It's never going to be easy. Just pedal harder or spin more. But with the new 105 having an 11-28 cassette, I think I'll get the best of everything. Gear range, shifting precision, good looks, and ease of setup.

So that's my post of the month. I'm not sure many will read this as it seems most people mainly follow Twitter and Facebook now. Just can't seem to cram all my thoughts into short, few sentence postings. I guess I could try it:

In bad debt. Too busy working, no riding. Fred, finish story. Building bikes fun. New Shimano 105 the shiznit. Facebook and Twitter too sho

See. Even highly condensed I can't say everything.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


That's how many days ago I was born. I should say, minus a few since there' s leap years in there, but I'm too lazy to figure out how many. I coded a mini program in college that told you how may days were in a year that you entered. It wasn't easy since it's not just every 4 years. I think you skip centuries and years that are multiples of 10? Google it if you must.

So I'm 33. Kinda weird. I feel pretty young, but time is starting to move faster as it does when you age.

Today has already started out pretty nice. I woke up at 5:15am, rode to the bike warehouse to build some bikes. Got a few done while listening to great music - a couple No Doubt albums and a couple Prokofiev Violin Concertos. Good stuff. I pushed the pace hard to get from the bike building job to UNMC. Felt great in the cooler weather. I was sweaty by the end, but I just stood outside in the shade for a bit and dried off quickly. Love the lack of humidity.

I'm in great spirits now, but that's probably the 3 cups of coffee talking. I'm here at UNMC till 7pm, then I'll ride home, eat some dinner, veg for a bit, then come back to UNMC to run camera for a late night event - 10pm to 11pm. So a total of 13 hours of working today. Yay.

Happy coffee-induced feelings already seeping away...

Oh, thanks to all who wished me a happy b-day on Facebook. Not sure if my response got through to everyone. I guess if I used it more, I'd understand it better. I have a hard time compacting my thoughts into short blurbs. So Facebook, and to a worse extent, Twitter, are not my cups of tea. Or rather coffee since I like that better - which reminds me, I should drink some more. But anywho, it's probably just my long windedness that's to blame.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Corporate Cycling Championship

The race ride starts tomorrow morning at 8.

Rallying point: downtown Starbucks (by the library) at 7:15.

Have a coffee, roll over there, start a block ahead of everybody else so the doorknob on the TT bike (probably Shim) doesn't kill us.

That is all.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mills County Gravel

Hey PCL worlds are right around the corner. I have been of bike for about 2 weeks so in order to get some time in saddle I will be riding mills county gravel roads. This Saturday meet around 7:00 am meet at scooters downtown.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The case for following traffic rules.

There are some cyclists who feel bending or out right breaking traffic laws are just fine since, while riding a bike, you are not an automobile. I heard from fellow bike builder CT Thongklin that last Saturday night's OWL ride was a good time, but saw a few motorists frustration as some cyclists blew past them at stop lights. You could say the owl ride brought out a lot of new cyclists, but I'm sure if you ask around among the more experienced cyclists, there's a few scofflaws out there.

Yesterday, I was reminded of why us cyclists need to follow traffic laws both out of safety and wholesome courtesy. I just left the bike warehouse which is located in Papillion. It was dusk, so I wanted to hurry home to avoid the dark. I rode through the neighborhoods like I always do. This one particular stretch involved taking a wide swooping right hander, descending down a smooth road to a stop sign at the bottom of the hill. As I descended, I did hear a car coming up to me, so I sped up slightly since I was a block from the stop sign and didn't want the "impatient car swerving around me to get to the next stop" scenario.

Like every time I come to this stop sign, I come to a complete stop and look both ways. The car that was following me came to a lurching stop behind me. I did a slight glance back just to let them know I knew they were there and impatient, however, I didn't actually see that car. I continued on around the bend of the road and signaled the left hand turn I was going to make since the car was following me, but not right on my tail. I started the climb out of this little valley, still wary of the car that was a block behind me. This was a narrow road with cars parked along one side, so at least this car was nice enough to wait till I could get over before it passed me.

As it passed, I found out why it was on my tail at the stop sign - it was a police car. Had I not come to a stop at that stop sign, my guess is he would have ran the lights and whooped his siren to pull me over. And I would have deserved the ticket for blatantly ignoring the law.

So to all you who are on the fence about whether bikes should follow traffic laws or not, I would highly recommend it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Shabbos + X

where ((X > 1) && (X <= 6) && (rain == 0)); // Hey, it compiles.

Start Time 4:45 A.M.
Starting point: My driveway

End Time 6:15 A.M.
Ending point: My driveway

Route: Whatever. Rosenblatt is often in the mix.

Saturday, Sunny Saturday?

*Edited and now with finalized time.*
Guess what time it is, kiddies?

It's Shabbos Ride time!!!! (That's Saturday for anyone knot in the now.)

The ride: Wabash Trace Trail from CB to Shenandoah and back.

Distance: 44.4 each way, so total of 88.8 miles

Leave time: 1pm is departure time from the CB trailhead.

Pace: steady gravel grinder - Not too fast, not too slow.

Plan on eating maybe at Shenandoah, but definitely ice cream at Malvern(?) on the way back.


Friday, July 02, 2010

Observed Independence Day Morning Ride

Edit: by Fourth of July, I meant its observed holiday, Monday July 5th.

Roll call for an early Independence Day observed holiday ride. All are welcome.

: Forecast calls for winds to be light (5-10 mph) out of the Northeast. Perhaps Mod's route through Crescent, IA will be the way we go. Plan on around 60 miles.

Time: 7:00 AM

Meet: Crane Coffee at 76th and Cass

Pace will be easy with a few up-tempos if we're feeling our oats. Afterward, we could crash Fred Hinsley's neighborhood bike parade. 'Roll with Jack and Abe (and Fred).

Decorate your bike accordingly.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I can't wait for July.

At work, we've been experimenting with 4 ten hour day weeks. It sounds nice on paper with the whole 3 day weekends and all, but in actuality, your extra day off is pretty much just playing catch up with what you couldn't do during the week.

Which, as a cyclist needing to put in consistent miles throughout the week to even be considered a "cyclist," doesn't work very well. It's not like I can ride 8 hours on the Monday I have off to make up for the few 1-2 hour rides I'd put in during the week. I can't even remember the last time I rode for 3-4 hours let alone 8. It's been at least a month since I've done any real "bike practice" as Jesse Lalonde calls it. Since I'm more of a social biker, and there's been races or family happenings, I've missed the calling out for Shabbos rides.

But in July, that will hopefully change. We're going back to regular work hours and my schedule is 7am to 4pm so I'll have my afternoons back. A couple of those days will be spent at the warehouse building bikes for The Man. Man, if I didn't have that part time job, I wouldn't be putting a dent in my debt since I'd be buying bike stuff to tinker around with. It's very therapeutic going there, listening to music and wrenching on bikes. I don't get paid a bunch, but it definitely keeps me sane. Then the days I don't build bikes, I'm going to try some bike practice again. I miss being in shape. Walking up stairs should not make me winded...

So I think I'm going to jump the gun here and call out a Shabbos ride early. Make that Shabbos +1. I'd be fine doing an early morning before the heat ride, or an afternoon scorcher ride. But I'm probably not in for 60+ miles. 40-50 miles would be pushing it for me nowadays. Gotta work back up there. Respond if you have a preference and if I don't hear much by Friday, I'll make an executive decision and post the official Shabbos +1 ride plans at my discretion.

That is all.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bleeding for the cycling gods.

Two fellow cyclists have recently appeased the cycling gods by donating flesh/jersey/shorts/pride on recent rides. Heal up quickly fellas.

I fought gravity and lost a couple months back on a mtb ride. My shoulder has given me some problems since then, but it comes and goes.

So hopefully enough sacrifice has been given so all riders in Nebraska can be safe the rest of the year. Hopefully.

Gravel Worlds is open for more registrants. I like the idea of doing this ride, but I should probably start some training, being that as it's just 2 months away, eh? My work schedule is all kinds of crazy, plus having the part time job means that any sort of consistency is lacking. Life was way simpler when I had a routine of work on a set schedule year round. Oh well, debt is coming down slowly. I'll get there. In a couple years...

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Quality family time.

Not much to report from my end of things. Miles and I got a good 3-ish hour ride on Saturday then I spent the rest of the weekend with the family. On Sunday we had brunch at Amatto's restaurant, then took a quick gander at the new Aksarben Farmer's Market. Holy shamoly that was awesome. The wife and I will be spending many more Sunday mornings there in the future.

It was nice having all of my family together for some quality time. I didn't get as much riding in as many others had, but riding can happen any time, full family time, not so much.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

....the real culprit is laziness

I just liked that title so that's what I'm going with. I don't think this weekend's going to be about much laziness.

Saturday: I've got 4 hours on tap with intervals that some of y'all will scoff at and say something like 'merely recovery pace for me'. I could be convinced to do them on gravel, but road or gravel would work out fine with me.

Sunday: This may be where the laziness could come into play. Bacon ride from Wohlner's @ 6 (right Rafal?) Sorry Jeremy and Brady, bacon is calling my name.

Monday: Somebody fill in the blank here, its an off day for me but I could probably be convinced to go for a coffee ride or something.

So that's it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


MOD you leaving from Wohlner's @ 10AM? Anyone got ride plans? I'll be back strung out from travel and sort of a rough 3 weeks and looking to ride. I may get beat up riding with y'all but it'll be fun.

So if you got ride plans, post up.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

I smell cheap foamy bar tape.

That's what I kept telling Mr. Miles on our 65 miler on Saturday. He couldn't smell it at all. Hm?

We started at his place, SW Omaha, and headed out toward Linoma and Ashland. We dipped South to cross the interstate, then headed into the head wind on Church road and had a ton o fun on some minimum maintenance roads that weren't quite dry. After lots of mud scraping (I rolled 28c tires on my roadie and Miles had his full squish mtb) we got going again and meandered home. The ride had been about 60-ish% gravel, so it was a bunch of fun. The gravel was large and chunky in places, but we both fared well, with no biffs aside from the MMR mud bog that caught Miles off-guard.

Miles mentioned that he thought I was riding strong. Well, here's a couple counter arguments - 1. I was riding an 18 lb roadie compared to his lower 20s full squish bike, so I was way more efficient on hills and such, and 2. I used the power of the pre-cold to get me going.

I now have some sort of cold or allergies going on. My throat is scratchy (like it used to feel when I would get Strep throat every year) and my nose is running. I'm generally achy all over, but there's a chance the ride could have caused that. So cold or allergies - take your pick, I got one of them. I've never really had allergies before, but maybe my smelling some weird scent in the air most of the ride was some sort of pollen that my body didn't like. Who knows?

Sunday was spent mostly on the couch since I felt like crap. I'm only slightly better now at work, so I may head home early and just sleep more to hopefully knock out whatever this is ASAP.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Shabbos +1

Looking like a 10 a.m. or so start time. Starting out west, probably heading south.

Jeremy and I are in so far. We've made basically no plans other than this. Chime in.

Or don't. Either way.

UPDATE: 11 a.m. at Bike Masters. 3 hours. Parts west and south will be charted.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Not much to report

Haven't been riding much - just between jobs and that's about it.

This weekend, on Saturday to be precise, Mr. Miles(end of the post) is hosting a ride from his house. Gravel, 10am start from 180th & Q, 4 hours.

No plans for Sunday yet. Post em if ya got em!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Unforeseen Circumstances

Guys, I'm out for the weekend. Munson I'm sorry. I'll be back in town next week.

Mike Miles.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Weekend 4/10-4/11

So it is Monday. 5 days removed from the weekend mentioned above. But here's the plan.

Saturday: 5 hours of Gravel from my house (180th and Q) post up if you need directions. 10 AM start. The pace will be reasonable, we won't be pinning it. If drilling it is your goal for Saturday go elsewhere, I'm serious. I don't want a 5 hour hammerfest that detroys everybody but one or two of us. Nobody will get dropped for long, if it breaks apart we'll regroup and continue. I need a good solid day but its not a day for slaying my riding companions... at least not with intensity.

Bring some cash, we're going to find some food along the route, because I like to eat lunch.

Sunday: 3 hours @ Platte River State Park @ 9 AM. Why? Because I need 3 hours of solid mountain bike skills practice. Once again, nothing crazy but we can let it hang out if we get towards hour 2 and have something left in the tank. Besides its a loop, we can't 'lose' each other under such a scenario.

I think that's it. All of y'all going to Twin Bing... enjoy it but its not in the cards for me this week. I'll be out @ Tour de Husker next week.

That is all. Except for a shameless plug for my blog... check out for some entertainment daily.

Mmmm Tasty dirt.

Well, dirt's only tasty when you ride on it well. And I was riding well till I ate it. Not that hard, but I still ate it.

Here's a recipe for a fantastic Monday: do a ton of physical work (sawing, hammering, hoisting things, and moving heavy stuff) on Friday and Saturday to complete your garage bike workshop. Then on Sunday, get up, go ride your mtb bike and crash hard. I tweaked my left calf muscle trying to unclip, my left hip is pretty bruised up, my left elbow has some skin missing, and my entire left shoulder area hurts. Guess you figured out that I landed on my left side. Had I been able to unclip, I might have did a little tuck and roll maneuver, but alas, I just let my left side take the brunt of it.

It's weird, cause pretty much all the crashing I've done on the bike have been left hand turns. I've had this same kinda crash twice on my mtb - I think I don't lean enough and just turn the handlebar, causing the front wheel to slide out. Then on the road, the crash in Fayetteville, AR that knocked me out for a while was on a left hand turn; a crash at a Norfolk crit was a left hander(though not my fault, I couldn't avoid the tumbling bikes/bodies in front of me); and a LONG time ago, I crashed on my left side and seriously hurt my wrist. That last one happened near the end of a season with only the Omaha Corporate Cycling Challenge ride left in the season. So I showed up to the start anyway with a brace around my wrist and of course Shim had to make a guess as to how I injured my wrist. His suggestion had nothing to do with biking. I'll let you fill in the blank...

So I don't know what's up with me and left hand turns. I better not get into NASCAR or anything.

This month I'm back to working early days - 6am to 3pm. So once I heal up from this weekend's adventures, I'll probably join some of the group rides.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I rode my bike this morning before work.

Just to ride. No destination. No point a to point b. No group plans were involved either.

I just put on my cycling clothes and hit the Keystone for an hour. I did some sprints. It felt awesome. Well the first few did. The last few, not so much. I haven't really done a solo ride for quite some time. It was very refreshing.

I'm also going to try something different, or rather, retry something old. I've been using Shimano touring shoes for about a year or so now and I love that you can walk around semi-normally and not sound like a lady in high heels. They are not the stiffest shoes and I got them a size too big so I could wear them in the winter with a few wool socks for warmth.

I went old school this morning. I dug out my old 2002(3?) Sidi Genius shoes. These things fit like a glove and are stiff enough for racing. They are kinda snug on my feet since I bought them before I knew what I was doing in cycling, but snug is not such a bad thing when you're sprinting. The other noticeable difference between these and my Shimanos is the cleat is a bit more forward, even though it's as far back as it can go on the shoe. On my Shimano's I have the cleat pretty far back - like almost a centimeter behind my forefoot. I did this as a result of reading various places that doing so might alleviate toe numbness. I've always had toe numbness problems, so I gave it a try. It felt like a completely different, more powerful pedaling position, so I stuck with it.

Well, after this morning's jaunt with cleats more forward, I'm switching back to that position. I don't know if I was using very different muscles because of the change, but I felt snappier with my pedaling. It's hard to explain, but I'll give this a try for a while and if it doesn't work out, I'll switch shoes again.

So what the heck am I even blabbering about? Uh, I don't know. I guess sometimes you gotta go backwards to go forwards.

Edit: After watching the rides of these guys, I have new motivation to get out there. Watch all the short videos along the right hand side to get some amazing views of our country. And you may recognize from this vid a couple guys who ride/blog locally.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

I kept repeating that phrase in my head as I watched all but 1 other guy from our Sunday ride pedal away from me. Multiple times.

I was never really that mighty, but in my hay day, I was usually top 10 at the races in our state. Sunday, I was utterly done after just an hour and a half. Problem was, we still had 3 hours to go. My legs had no more "go" halfway through the ride.

I know it's a lack of consistent riding and the extra 15-20 lbs I'm carrying around. It still doesn't sit well with me. Speaking of weight, you ever notice that you don't really acknowledge the pounds you need to lose until you see a picture of yourself wearing not very flattering clothing? This picture taken by Mod made my mind blurt out - "Damn, I got a fat ass!!"(I'm in the middle wearing a white/orange jersey) So, I need to work on that. I mean, 15-20 lbs is basically a 2nd bike. So I'm riding while carrying a 2nd bike on my back. Not very helpful when trying to go fast.

I guess I shouldn't be sipping on this soda then.... DOH!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Yay commuter intervals

I'd never experienced the "bike ninja" scare before this morning. As I was groggily riding in the dark near the old Chili Greens golf course (simmer down, Fred), I could barely focus on what my light was illuminating 10 feet in front of me.

I looked to my left at the first signs of the sun undarkening the horizon and WHOOSH, some person on a bike with no lights flies right by me in the opposite direction. That woke me up better than most cups of coffee.

After I shook off the fear that the bike ninja was coming around for another buzz, I decided to put in some effort - ie do what they call an "interval." I picked up the pace till I was breathing faster than normal and held that effort till I hit an area that had many stops/starts. I pedaled lightly for a while, then on the next notable climb, I raised my effort again and continued after the climb for a while.

After the easy spin into the part time job and the subsequent bike builds, I had a formidable headwind to deal with on my way toward my full time job. The wind had a pretty chilly bite to it, so I used the direct headwind sections as recovery and went fast on the crosswind lengths. Nothing feels worse than going all out at 15mph into a headwind. It seriously messes with your mind.

I am happy to report after the longer ride this weekend and the harder efforts in commuting I've lost 5 lbs in a mere week. I imagine some of that is probably water weight, but at least I know now that if I put in the work, I can turn things around.

This weekend is looking iffy-ish. At least Saturday is not ride-worthy, in my opinion. Sunday will be cool with a Northish wind, so back up to Blair/Arlington/Canada we go. Of course I'll always agree to starting out at Wohlners at 10am, but if we want to meet somewhere else, I'm cool with that too.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Do the Cranky Leg...

So apparently there's a newish dance craze called the Stanky Legg(watch at own risk of bad music).

After today's 65 miler I have my own dance - the Cranky Leg. Basically, you hobble around since your leg muscles are twitching and continuously threatening to cramp up.

Met Mr. Miles, Jeremy, Mod, and Rafal at Wohlners to start the day. Rode North on the trail to meet up with Bryan. We took the hilliest route available to the NorthWest. Thanks Bryan.

Mod and Bryan were pushing the pace and feeling good while Miles and Jeremy had previous day's workouts hindering their freshness. Rafal kept up great when he wanted to. You can never tell when he's feeling bad since it has to get epically serious before he looses his cheerfulness. Always a great riding comrade. I have no excuse. I haven't been riding and that's my own fault. But my one goal for the year is in August so I have plenty of time to work up to it. And I've already gone almost have that distance and I didn't die, surprisingly. And knowing is half the battle - G I Joe!!!

So I plan to become a more frequent attendee on the weekend rides. That and the mad 30 minute dashes between my 2 jobs should get me in decent enough shape.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

With this forecast...

...I'm glad I'm a little fat right now.

I think I'll need the insulation come the weekend. Snow/Rain on Saturday and pretty dismal temps forecast for Sunday.

Who's racing Saturday (if its raining, not me) and who wants to put in a nice ride Sunday. Don't think I am wanting to do another 100 with Mod, but I'd probably be game for 3-4 hours. Maybe we can plan it so there's a coffee stop in the middle. We'll likely need it. I don't necessarily mean its gotta be a chill, recovery ride type of thing, just something in the middle that has decent coffee and maybe a pastry.

Post up any thoughts. I'll do some figuring and try to come up with some kind of route myself. Maybe something different... I'd like to say we can go to Iowa for the hills but I'm not sure we can fill the coffee requirement in that scenario.

Mod had talked about starting a firm ride start time/loc on Sat or Sat and Sun so maybe he can chime in here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Alas, I won't be yelling at any of you this season.

With working full time at UNMC and doing part time at the bike shop building bikes, I need some me time. So this year, I won't be at the races officiating. No more yelling at riders to respect the yellow line, and no more frantic race results postings.

I'd recommend giving officiating a try, but expect to have an experience like this one:

It happens, trust me.

Instead, this year I hope to actually ride some weekends and maybe participate (unofficially) in the GLGA. But I have plenty of building up to do just so I can finish the event. Should be fun though.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Missing the PCL today

But I've got my own plan for Sunday.

The Route:

100 miles with one opt out in Missouri Valley if your legs are cranky. Be prepared for a 100 yards of gravel into Ft. Calhoun, 23c's will be fine.

The Start:
Wohlners, Aksarben Village, 10am

The Conditions:
As of 7:30am Saturday...Areas of drizzle before noon. Areas of fog before noon. Otherwise, cloudy, with a high near 45. North northwest wind between 10 and 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Monday, March 08, 2010

I rode with people instead of cars

This weekend was my first group ride since the beginning of January. I think that was my last really long day in the saddle too. The result - a nice saddle sore for my efforts.

On Saturday I met up with a few folks at Bike Masters to test my legs. And tested they were. I kept up ok at the beginning, but by the end I was keeping a slow tempo in hopes to save myself the the next days ride and to ride with another fellow struggler. We were off the back of Puma, Ryan F, and Mr. Miles (who has a new blog - YAY!!). We chatted and just limped home, but that was fine.

I was planning on doing a Sunday ride, but the aforementioned saddle sore and other house work kept me away.

It's in the Fricken Forties this week Mr. Bigglesworth!! After so much time spent in the 20s, the warm weather just feels weird. I have to figure out how to dress while riding all over again. Mod had some interesting perspective on embrocation. I think it sounds like a great idea, but I believe that stuff is purdy expensive. So if I can find some cheap stuff, I might have to give that a try. On the hands and feet sounds most interesting. Just need to remember to apply chamois cream before embrocation, unless I want to ride really fast.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


So someday, maybe I'll sign up for a Twitter account but really I don't want to...

Anyhow for now I'll stick to IM's, emails, and blog posts.

Plans for the weekend? Post up lets get something going. Its going to feel like Florida this weekend.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Winter says, "With my last breath..."

"I stab at thee."

And then I yell, "Cry "Havoc", and let slip the dogs of war!!!"

Anyone else in a Star Trek mood? I don't think I've ever been in a Shakespeare mood, but I guess that could count as well.

I swear it was colder this morning than yesterday. My face and legs were so much more frosted than yesterday's record breaking low. How does that happen?

On a related note, I'm not riding my winterized beater anymore. I'm riding my Lemond race bike and IT IS AWESOME!!!! Man how I missed the light stiff ride of my 28C tired, aluminum frame, 5 year old bike. I have no reason at all to get a newer bike. Want would be a reason, but then I'd risk not feeling right on a new bike. My Lemond is the only bike I've felt "just right" on. Ok, enough of me gushing over my old bike. Brady's got his Old Yeller and I have my Old Blue. You're my boy, Blue!!!

Man, I'm just full of movie quotes today.

Low 30s for the highs this weekend. But with low wind and the weather we've been having, it'll feel really good. Any ride plans? At that temp point, my guess is gravel is going to be way too sloppy, so mellow road rides would be nice. If anyone knows of a route that's safe to ride in relation to snow/snow melt/salt/sand and traffic, I'd like to hear it.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Mike Miles's Crazy 2010 Nebraska Time Trial Challenge

So, I was looking @ pictures from the Tour of Oman and I really dug the fact that everybody was TT'ing on regular road bikes without crazy aero equipment. Personally, I think such a move should be made in local/regional time trials for everyone outside of the P,1,2 (and maybe 3) ranks. It levels the playing field a lot. I don't think you could advocate folks going back to 32 hole box section rims, but no aerobars, disc wheels, etc could go a long way towards ensuring those in the lower categories have a level playing field without the need for a TT bike and several thousand dollars in wheels, accessories. The article I've linked below kind of quantifies what I'm talking about. 300W for same speed as 230W on a full out TT bike. That's not what I'd call inconsequential.


I'm going to up the ante and say that I'll show up on a regular road bike, with regular wheels and a regular helmet to every Nebraska Time Trial in 2010. Right now the calendar shows 3 of them... I'll also contribute $100.00 to a pot that will given to the top 3 of the best 3 time trials completed in such a fashion. Winner will be chosen based on combined time of the 3 time trials. To be part of the pool you too must throw in $100, though if you think you are a real bad ass you aren't throwing in $100, you are only stealing my (and hopefully others) money. I look @ it like this, if I put this challenge out there it costs me exactly $100, if I do not it costs me 4-6k. Seems like a fairly easy trade even for me. I do love bikes, but I love bikes that have more than limited practical function.

Why do this? Because its awesome, and a lot more fun than going down to the bike store and ordering up $5,000 of speed.

Why $100? Well $100 is enough that it makes this attractive to enter yet at the same time isn't going to make you choose between entering or eating dinner this month. It's also enough that you will break your back (no pun at you Mr. Redemske) to put in good times at the 3 TT's to win it.

Who is this open to? Well I guess anybody that will compete in TT's in Nebraska in 2010... If you are PRO, sure come steal our money if you want, but I'd reckon that most PRO's that will be in Nebraska for 3 TT's will just go for the regular TT category wins and not some wild category that Mike Miles has constructed. If we get more than 10 entrants I'll reconfigure the payouts to go a bit deeper than 3. (Think 30% of the field will get payback).

#1)Regular road bike with drop bars
#2) No wheels deeper than 30mm
#3)No Skinsuits
#4) Regular road bike helmets
#5)Entry to the pool requires $100, that will be split among the top 3 (50% to 1st place, 30% to 2nd place, 20% to 3rd place) if there are less than 10 entrants, if more than 10 enter I'll reconfigure the breakout.
#6) Reply to this blog post, email me, or tell me prior to the first time trial of your intention.
#7) There's a bit of gentlemanly honor in this, I'm not going to measure your wheel depth or anything stupid but you'll know if you try to circumvent the rules and when time comes for me to hand out money are you really going to take $ from your friends in a dishonest fashion? If you're that hard up for a little cash, lets talk outside of the challenge.

That's it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Saturday Gravel ( how did he get access)

First Shim, then MOD then me they let anyone post here... oh well
Anyone up for some gravel Saturday morning? Gravel might be a bit better shape than road conditions. Modified bacon route going to linoma beach light house and maybe stop at springfield gas station on way back. Meet around 10 am at wolhner's parking lot. that should be about 50-60 miles or so. I'm open to other suggestion as well....

Friday, February 12, 2010

So in Summerization

Rides this weekend:

Saturday - Aksarben Village's Wohlners at 10am for a ride to the Loess Hills.
OR - Shim's road route on hwy 66 to Ashland (?) at noon.

Sunday - 1pm gravel ride from Shim's house. (I'll be impressed if this one happens.)

I'm off the bike for the weekend with a tweaked knee. I highly recommend not aging. Not knowing how you injured yourself is more than a little scary.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Oh Snap!

I'm on MITMON!

Is too early to start talking about the weekend? Saturday or Shabbos or whatever you call it here, is looking pretty 'normal'. High of 30, north wind of 10, anyone want to go big on the road? Blair? MoValley? Loess Hills? Let me hear it.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Next Weekend

So it looks like when I go out of town the weekend plans die. I'll be back next weekend and would like to ride. Maybe we can get something set up? Forecast looks iffy but the 7 day's always subject to change. So let's post up any thoughts, dreams, aspirations to carry us through the weekend of 2/6-2/7?

Yesterday was a solid 4 hour slog thru the rain and today's road race was 45 degrees , overcast, with a 20 mph N/NE wind today with 60-70 other like minded cat 4's. Kind of reminded me of Norfolk '09 without the fog/rain but similar temp and wind. So don't think I got off with perfect weather with my temporary escape...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Now I could consider a Mac product.

The new Apple iPad sounds like it's made for me. If I had the expendable money for it. Anywho...

At $500 for the 16 gig model, it fills a gap that has never been successfully done. It's not overkill/way more portable than a laptop, it's not too dinky/annoying like an iPod or iTouch, and it's not an aweful compromise like a netbook. I can see this thing taking out the netbook sales real quick. It's a little more than netbooks for the performance, but that's the way Apple's always been. And it works if the price reflects the usefulness.

Personally, I could never see spending twice as much for an Apple laptop than a Windows based laptop. I did start to change my tune on that when I found out about the Trackpad of the Macbook Pros. Again, a feature that made it worth the extra money.

So anyway, I think this little gizmo is going to do big things. It's a product that makes sense for the common computer user. No wires and it's way more "hands-on" than a keyboard and mouse.

I think I need to get a 3rd job.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Moving and shaking.

I didn't touch the bike this weekend. I take that back - I touched one of my hanging bikes to move it out of the way. I had a 2 stage process of cleaning over the weekend that sort of got done.

Stage 1 - clean out my closets and either throw away/recycle old stuff and then reorganize the remaining stuff for better space savings. I've gone through and found a few things I'd like to sell. Here's the list so far:

-1 Camelback hydration pack similar to this. It's dusty, but fully functional and ready for use.
-1 Platypus Typhoon hydration pack with a 70 oz. Camelback reservoir.
-2 pairs of Shimano bike sandals size 44-ish(I tried real hard to find a matching recumbent)
-1 book - Simon Burney's Cyclocross
-1 bag o' bike clothes - old High Gear jerseys and thermal jersey(medium size), a couple base layers, a hi-viz yellow Pearl Izumi Jacket, etc.

If you or anyone you know is interested in anything listed, let me know. The prices are going to be ridiculously cheap since I mainly want to get rid of it.

The 2nd stage of my cleaning process was to dig out the stuff from the garage that's been stored since we moved into the place. I got through most of it and threw away/donated lots of stuff. I still have to figure out what else I can get rid of or use otherwise.

My main goal is to turn the back of my garage into my bike workshop. Currently, I have bikes hanging in the back next to my stored stuff, my workbench along one wall and my wheels, currently used bike along the other wall. How the wife and I get our CR-V in there without dinging anything, I'll never know. So with enough shuffling(and hopefully selling of stuff), I should be able to fit most everything bike related along the back and part of 1 wall. That would be ideal. I still need to get rid of a couple frames, and figure out if I can make due with just 1 road bike and 1 mountain bike. That would really give me a ton of space. Then I'll just need to figure out how I can sort out my workspace to let me work more efficiently. I need to find some cheap dressers or something like that on craigslist so I can organize all the crap I've gathered over the years.

I guess you could say I'm already yearning for Spring as I'm starting the cleaning thing early.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fog? What fog?

Now that I'm back in the routine of commuting by bike every day, my mood is much better. When I was taking the bus or getting rides, I was mopey and just angry at the weather. Yet, after my ride in this morning, I was in a great mood and felt healthy. I was talking to my boss about the weather and realized that we've had fog and heavy cloud cover for about 5 days. I think if I wasn't riding nearly every day, I'd be one depressed soul. Yay bike commuting!

Weekend report: Saturday I met up with Sean and Vaughn to head up North for some gravel. After struggling through a couple miles with gunk caught in my fenders, making it feel like I had my brakes partially applied the whole time, I convinced the guys to head back onto asphalt. After this it was smooth sailing. We got far enough NorthWest that we saw the sun. It's out there, just past Elkhorn. So that was about 60 miles of hills and fun. I hadn't been on a long ride for almost a month, so I was kinda sore.

So of course on Sunday I helped shovel a ton of snow, cause that's what you do when you're already sore all over. I loaded up on the caffeine and Aleve and pushed on through (pun intended). It was fun and I got a great upper body workout. It was worth it once a few trail users thanked us. I'm hoping to get up early before I go into work at 11am and hit the Keystone soon. Maybe Thursday - clear some of the area around Nebraska Furniture Mart? Anyone want to join?

Upcoming weekend - I have no plans as of yet, but supposedly it's going to be 48 and rainy on Saturday. That sounds kinda miserable with the rain and all. Plus, since it's a large change in temp, it'll probably be windy, so that's a triple threat. Anyone got any plans for the weekend? Post em if ya got em!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Gravel Conditions

Rode the gravel today (one way), it started out fine, but there were definitely some sloppy spots and they got worse as the day went on. We ended up bailing and riding hwy 370 back from Gretna. On the other hand the roads outside of town were pretty dry. I'll probably try a road ride (cross bike) tomorrow no details at this time. I'll try to post something later if anyone is interested.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hey guys.

They got this new thing called twitter? I joined up. Whatever you do, don't tweet me.

NO, no. DO NOT tweet me.

And by no means should you "follow" me either.





Thursday, January 14, 2010

Shabbos plans

Sean has a swell idea for a ride that I will be joining. Bring out the cross bikes and meet at Wohlners by 11am to start the ride. Sean, want to add anything else?

Shabbos +1 is still undecided so if you have plans, let them be heard.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY (use your big monster truck voice when reading this)

Or Shabbos plus one or what ever you MITMON guys call it. The gravel road is calling and the weather looks good enough to break that cabin fever that is bringing you down. This ride promises to be 10 x more exciting then the dribble you'll find on Sweet Home Alhomoha, i.e."I'm in base three, I rode two hours on my trainer in zone 2, blah, blah, blah, zzzzzzzz. Yes, Brian I am calling you out.

Specifics: we'll leave from my house at 1:00 and take the long route, 50ish miles, approximately 4,000' of elevation gain and depending on the group three hours of ride time.

So whose in?

Thursday, January 07, 2010

If I can't take the cold...

Do I get out of the freezer?

I haven't ridden my bike to work in over a week. That's kinda baffling to me. I was Mr. dependable commuter to the point where my co-workers are giving me crap for not riding recently.

I know that if I get bundled up and get out there, it won't feel that bad. I just have a little mental block I can't shake. But next week is supposed to be warmer and I'm going to get my bike in order to commute with. No more excuses about lack of shifting and such. I must get back out there!!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Mark didn't see me while he was riding on Monday.

At least I thought it was Mr. Savery riding to the Trek Store. I was getting a ride to the bus stop as the wife was going into work. I was commenting to the wife about not riding into work since I thought that -15 degrees would be uncomfortable. Then we both see a guy riding down 63rd st on his bike.

So I was wrong. If that was you, Mark; good on ya. The main excuse I have for not riding is that my bike still won't shift and it's too cold to work on/clean it. So if I figure that out, I'll be back out there too. Maybe tomorrow...

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Dang it's cold!

OK, so I'm planning a gravel ride on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. leaving from my house. I'll have coffee and expresso if you need it prior to the ride.

I know it seems kind of selfish to start here, but I live a block from the starting point. The light winds should make the weather bearable.

Please respond here so we know to wait, plan on two hours or until the first person starts to cry about frost bitten toes. Kev, Webb and I did this ride last Wed and it was very scenic (with all of the new snow). This ride has been given two thumbs up by Luke, so you know it's gonna be epic.