Monday, May 31, 2010

A sunset spin to close out May.

I got most of the "honey do's" done and the street lights hadn't come on yet, so I headed down the trails and through some neighborhoods for a quick 1/2 hour ride. It added another 7.2 miles on for the day and brings May's total miles to 590.2

June will have far more biking! Yeah-hoo!

Where the pavement ends, the fun begins.

I took a rural spin on gravel today before dinner It was relaxing and a refreshing change from riding the same routes all the time. Today's miles = 22.0

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Gravel to Beatrice.

This morning I met up with Jim from in Hickman for a gravel ride to Beatrice. Aaron, Tim, Spencer, and two Daves did the ride too. We took gravel & dirt roads as well as the Homestead Trail to get there. We pedaled through a tough headwind and hot temps before turning into a sweet tailwind at Beatrice.

On the way back we took advantage of the wind and coasted down hwy 77 back to Cortland before getting back on the trail and turning to gravel back into Hickman. The group was a ton of fun. The route was scenic. And I was surprisingly pleased with how my road bike did on the gravel. While a new cyclecross bike would probably be best for gravel, I think I'll try some wider tires on the Felt and save the money. Today's miles = 59.7

Friday, May 28, 2010

May's Critical Mass

Today was the last Friday of the month and that's when Lincoln cyclist celebrate bikes and remind motorists that two wheels can be an option too. The crowd was a little sparse since many of the regulars were out of town for the long weekend. Critical Mass and today's work commute earned me 32.7 miles for the day.

The c-rad hustle.

We met up in the tunnel at 8th & Van Dorn at 8pm and raced at 8:30. It was the longest hustle in Lincoln's history. Reported to be 20 miles long. It was a check point race put on by Conrad. We found out our next destination at each stop. There were 6 stops between the start and finish. The race ended at the Grata. I arrived 6th out of 16 at 11pm, but got 10th place because of some shots that riders could use to take time off their total. I made a couple of wrong turns that added a lot of time and miles and ended up racing around 32 miles. (most hustles are 15 miles) But, dang, it was an awesome race!!! The group was fun, the route was sweet, we rode under a full moon and the night was beautiful! After riding there and back and my work commute I ended up with 60.3 miles for the day.

The Pivot Mach 4 commute.

Since I didn't have to return the demo Pivot Mach 4 to Bike Pedalers till close yesterday I decided to make the most of it and rode it to work and back too. It was sure footed. Quick on the hills and off the starts. It floated over bumps and sailed over curbs. I really only noticed the slower wide tires on the straight-aways when my road bike would have had an advantage. The extra effort pedaling, though nominal, was made up for with extra comfort. If you'd rather take a couple more minutes to get there, but not feel like you've had your fillings rattled out of your teeth you might be just as happy using something like the Pivot Mach 4 in town as well as on the single track.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Demo'd the Pivot Mach 4 at Wagon Train.

I LOVE this bike!

Ok, we got back to Lincoln and unpacked. I then headed to Bike Pedalers to pickup my Felt from getting a tune-up and new brake pads. They showed me their newest line of bikes. They are now a dealer for Pivot Cycles. I was planning to ride some single track tonight with family and asked if they would let me demo one. I was excited when they said "yes", but I had no idea what a treat I was in for!

I was given the Pivot Mach 4 with Fox suspension, and Deore XT components all the way around to use for the next 24 hours. We rode the same trail as was used for the recent Angry Cow Adventure series 12 hour Mountain Bike Race. It was my first time riding out there and shortly after starting I went into a turn on a downhill section too fast and braked too hard sending me head first into the trail. After shaking it off and realizing those disk brakes will do what you ask of them weather your ready or not. I took a moment to visit with other riders before hitting the trail again.

The Pivot line of MTBs have a stiff fast feel and are very quick! It was a real treat to ride and it found torque over every type of surface. The Mach 4 really shined in the climbs. It was like a rocket going up the hills! If your a competitive single track racer or considering some serious trail riding you need to give the Pivot a try. I had a great time and absolutely loved this bike.

I'm going to ride it on my urban work commute tomorrow and see if it behaves in the city as well as it does in the woods. Stay tuned. This bike is too cool!!! Tonight's miles = 5.1

Got unwound on the Loup.

After 3 nights and more fun than we could have imagined it was time to pack up and head East again. Regular readers would remember that I bought a new Kelty tent (on the left) over the winter. I was really impressed how well it held up in Monday's 45 mph wind and the rain. Not so much as a drop made it's way in. Our boy's dome tent (on the right) couldn't buck the wind and after blowing down got rain inside. My old dome tent wouldn't have stood a chance. I'm really liking the new Kelty. It goes up fast and has a lot of ventilation.

We had so much fun and it sure helps your outlook to get away for a few days!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

'Fishing addicts lose all common sense.'

On the way back to camp on my dad's airboat we ran across Jim in his handcrafted airboat as he fished for cats in the deep spots.

When asked from a distance if he was catching any, he held up both hands... Not clearly saying he wasn't, but implying only. While we all know lying is wrong, when it comes to fishing, misunderstandings are always appreciated. At almost the same time his line tugged and he was unable to hide yet another successful catch. He gingerly tossed it in the bucket and continued the conversation hopping no one had noticed.

Even though he has a new airboat, he still is found in the one he built himself years ago. We stopped to visit about the fishing and he expressed his disappointment in his Zebco reel. "After so long, they get grooves wore in them (the real casing) and don't work right any more, I filed them down, but they come back." he said. That tells you how much fishing Jim has done. How many millions of yards of line have to be cast out of a Zebco to cut grooves in it? Unbelievable!

When asked why he was fishing out of his old boat rather than his new vessel he said he wants to get the seat lowered and has it in the shop. And adds it probally won't get done anytime soon. You see, as his focus has shifted from farming to fishing he claims he's losing authority back at the shop on his family farm. He warned us, "They say, once you are addicted to fishing, you lose all common sense." Evidently, according to Jim, that means his projects take a back seat to machinery maintenance and repairs weather he likes it or not.

Seeing that we came from upstream, he asked how the fishing was up there, he said he hasn't been any farther, "...cause, I don't want to get too far from supper." That's Jim's way of saying he doesn't want to get too far from his wife. Who, also stopped by to see us earlier and take a picture of our youngest and his monster catfish for the local weekly paper. She is a community correspondent reporting in by noon every Tuesday so readers know who had who over for supper or who were Sunday afternoon callers at the neighbors, who hosted bridge or whos baby shower was well attended and enjoyed by all.

That's what this blog is all about, as much as it is about sharing our outdoor adventures and encouraging others to play outdoors. It's also about the characters and friends you make. It's about building relationships and making memories. Weather it's on a bike, boat, or in a blind, get out from behind the computer and become an outdoor addict.

It's old river rats like Jim and my dad that make coming down to the Loup a trip worth taking every chance we get.

Airboat ride to a trout spot.

After shooting my dad took us up stream on the Loup in the airboat to visit one of his 'river friends' who invited my boy to try his luck in his stocked trout pond. After struggling with the moss on the edge of the pond he elected to just wade out past it. While he was unable to land a trout, he did hook a large mouth and bluegill.

Shooting to have some fun this afternoon.

After cat fishing my dad came down to the river with the blue rock thrower and we did a little target shooting. As usual I let the little guy win. But hey, I can still beat him in a bike race... On a good day... If I get a headstart... Jeeze, that kid can shoot!

Can't complain about the fishing!

I got this cat on my first cast. We caught 3 more just like it in the next 20 minutes. And two more big ones a while after that.

Enjoying a fire by the river.

Sure beats working!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Turning 13 in a turkey blind.

Our youngest and I are ushering in his birthday with pop tarts and gatorade in a turkey blind on the Loup River in Central Nebraska. We've seen 4 deer already this morning and one gobbler that was out of range. But, it's still early. Sure beats working on a Monday morning!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Watched the city fade away in the rearview mirror.

Our youngest and I left Lincoln this afternoon for a few days on the Loup River to Turkey hunt, fish and camp. This get-a-way is overdue!

Crit races held today at Pioneers Park.

Come out today to see the action. There are some killer hills and fast competition. The event is free to spectators. It's a beautiful morning for the races. But, I've got to get outta here and get myself a little loup therapy.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Biketacular & The Capital City Criterium.

Check out some of the scenes from today's kids events and the criterium races.

Commute then time for a tune-up.

Yesterday I rode to work in a light drizzle, by afternoon the sun was out and the trails were getting filled with bikers and walkers.

After I got home I cleaned up the Felt and hauled it to Bike Pedalers. I stopped for gas on the way, boy, I sure don't miss buying gas! Ouch!

At Bike Pedalers I had a chance to check out and even ride a new BMC road bike. BMC is the new line of high end road bikes their carrying. Their really light and the ride is ultra smooth and fast. They'll be racing on one later today at the CCC races, so stop down and check out their performance on the crit.

I left the Felt off for new brake pads and a tune-up. I can't wait to get it back. Yesterday's miles = 19.6

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Ride Of Silence.

Tonight was the Ride Of Silence in Lincoln and across the nation to pay tribute to cyclist who have been hit or killed. Our youngest and I joined up with over 50 other area bikers to be a small part of something bigger than ourselves or our Lincoln group as we joined thousands of cyclist across America to remember and remind motorists to watch their driving. It was a short ride amounting to 5.8 miles.

Holy Headwinds Bikeman!

This morning's ride to work was sweet. My roadrash on my arm hurts a bit when I go over bumps, otherwise I'm fine now. But, when I walked out of the office this afternoon I was greeted with a stiff headwind that made the ride home take a bit longer. Today's miles = 19.7

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Nacho Ride was a popular way to spend this evening.

A good crowd made their way out to Eagle tonight on the Nacho Ride. The weather couldn't be beat and everyone had a fun ride out for food and drinks. The parking lot was filled to the gills eventhough many bikers rode from home to the trailhead to start the ride.

If you haven't tried the Nacho Ride yet be sure to make plans to come out one of these Tuesday evenings. Some riders start as early as 5 in the afternoon, while others don't leave till hours later. There is no fee to ride. You don't need to be in any club or group. Just show up. It's 10 easy miles to Eagle, and you can go as fast or slow as you like.

After riding to work and the Nacho Ride I ended the day with 47.8 miles on the bike.

Bike to work week - day 2.

This morning's work commute began with a layer of fog over the city. By afternoon it'd turned into a gorgeous day. Today was the kids safety fair on 27th street and the trails had lots of bikers and walkers. If you didn't make it out today, you missed out.

Sure they are small, but at only 75 cents, who can say 'no'? Come Nacho Ride tonight for cheap tacos and fun!

Tonight is another Nacho Ride, come out for the nachos or 75 cent tacos. And have a fun 10 mile ride out to Eagle. Apparently, I'm teaching a short course on staying upright, so this'll be a Nacho Ride not to miss. Hope to see you there!

The Ride of Silence is Wednesday at 7pm

Make plans to be at the Ride of Silence tomorrow at 7pm.
Meet at Sawyer–Snell Park, 1st and South St (West of Gooch’s Mill). Join cyclists around the world who are riding today to honor those who have been injured or killed while cycling, to raise awareness that cyclists are here, and to ask that we all share the road responsibly. 8 mile ride through Lincoln. Helmets required. It will be a very slow quiet ride to remember those who have been hit and raise cycling awareness.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Biketacular is Saturday.

Held in conjunction with the CCC is Biketacular a family bicycling event for kids. It's free and we had a great time there last year. Hope to see you there!

Joyride hosts Specialized demo truck.

Head over to Joyride before 7 tonight for a chance to ride some really sweet road & MTBs. They had the demo truck there yesterday and it'll be there till close tonight. They brought in some very high-tech stuff and here's a chance to ride some of these high-end bikes that you won't normally get. I stopped by yesterday to take it in. You can visit with Specialized reps and ride your choice of bikes. There were over 40 of the latest bikes available brought in for this event.

The Capital City Criterium is this weekend!

Image by Click here to find out all the details about this years events. And click here to check out the fun I had there last year.

Slippery When Wet.

Ha, ha! Chicks dig scars, right? And this one is even heart shaped! Lovely huh? Bikers - laugh all you want. Just remember to take the corners slow and wide when the trails are wet and slick like they were this morning. Besides the road rash, I also bruised my thigh and ego. I hope there is no swelling. Because my thighs and ego are already plenty big! Ha! Today's miles = 19.6 biking + 10 feet skidding.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wagon Train 12 Hour Mountain Bike Race.

Tonight from 6pm - 6am is the angrycowadventures 12 hour MTB race at Wagon Train State Park near Hickman. I went out for awhile to cheer on friends. There were just under 100 racers and the weather and trail was great. It might rain in the early morning hours. But so far the race is a success. Lap times were being clocked at 20 minutes.

Platte River State Park Lied Bridge Ride.

Today was another fun GPBC ride. We left Lincoln and rode out to the Lied bridge and back. We had a nice tailwind back making it another great day on two wheels. I logged 65.3 miles.

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