Sunday, January 31, 2010

Getting shot at, walking through three feet of snow...

All in a days bike ride. Or at least today anyway. Todd and I decided to make it out and get some pedaling in. Layers of socks, check. Double gloves, check. Four layers of clothing on, check. Bullet proof vest...what the?

We started at the doggy park by Heflinger Park and biked the Big Papio trail until well past L Street. We had just passed a jogger by Center Street when I heard a hydraulic sound, like a hiss of air. I asked Todd if he heard it and he said that something had hit his shoe. I looked over across the creek and I see a couple of kids sneaking through the pine trees about 100yds away. I see them peeking out at us, so I yell, "We know you guys did it!" I point at them and I see them take a few steps back into the trees. Pretty sure it was just a BB gun, pretty harmless but still it took us by surprise.
This photo of my friend Julie is only being used for representation of somebody holding a Daisy Red Ryder. 

The Big Papio trail is pretty clear for the most part. Some icy sections below the bridges, some snow/ice sections here and there, but not too bad. Funny how I can workout five days a week in the gym, but a 12 mile paved bike ride just wears me out and makes me realize how out of shape I am. Call it a reality check before the biking season sneaks up on us!

A good weekend!

Work is killing me and today's bike ride and two nights of meeting up with friends were much needed. Flex season is in full swing at work and everyone wants to get their LASIK done pronto. We did LASIK on 21 patients on Friday and Pam's cocktail party couldn't have come fast enough. Saturday night, met up with some friends and hit Hiro for reverse happy hour before heading over to Boulevard to listen to some live music.
 Saki bombs, Bonzai!

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Is it possible to have withdrawal symptoms from not biking for the past two months? The gym is a bore and the weather keeps canceling our planned bike rides. I need to get out...probably just need to bundle up and face the cold.

Monday, January 25, 2010

American Idol - Pants on the Ground

Pretty funny if you've never heard or seen this.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

T.H.O.R. general membership meeting 2/06/10

Just as a heads up, T.H.O.R. general membership meeting is coming up on February 6th. Details to come, check out the T.H.O.R. blog for more details. We all like to ride, but someone has to maintain the trails. That is where T.H.O.R. comes in. We have fun designing and doing maintenance on the trails. You volunteer a few hours at whichever area trails you want and you'll meet a ton of great bike riders.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Board is wicked fast

I've always used rentals when it comes to downhill skis and snowboards. They were always good enough and maybe it was because I didn't know any better. Until now. After an evening's worth of waxing the board and dialing in the "Magenta Madness" bindings, I ventured back out to Mt. Crescent.

First time up yesterday, almost a disaster. After passing under the "check for loose articles of clothing" sign with a picture of a guy being dragged by a strap, I stand up to get off of the lift chair. I then realized that my Camelback strap was caught between the seats! Pretty sure I did the, "Oh sh*t" shout and yelled I'm caught! I ended up kicking the safety stop bar, stopping the entire chair lift. The chair had already made it's way around the turn and I was still hooked on. Got my strap free and walked off the side of the lift. Wow, embarrassing.

I buckle into my board, first thing I do is fall forward. Happens again and again because my board was digging into the snow. Not even a quarter of a way down and having second thoughts about my purchase. Great, did I buy a board that I can't ride? Then I remembered that I needed to adjust the Dialflad which sets the amount of forward lean in the bindings. Problem fixed, ready to shred the hillside!

The '09 Custom Burton ICS with Cartel EST binding is super fast, has great control, and very comfortable to ride all afternoon. The board and binding colors were definitely a head turner. Lots of looks and stares, but also a good number of compliments. Some kid behind me said OMG, that is an 09 Custom board, I gotta see the bottom. Umm okay, it was 70% off which is all that I could come up with.

Great success! Now I just need to get out to Colorado for some real snowboarding.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Another new toy...

Look Ma, no hands! Or wheels for that matter. So I've come to the conclusion that I need to ride something year round. Bike when warm, snowboard when cold and snowy. How many times have I rented skis or snowboards for at least $20 a day? Too many times. They barely fit, edges are rough or worn (as Dave found out as he nearly ended up in the trees), and no wax. Where's the wax?

I started looking at the local chain sporting goods stores. Was thinking I would just do an entry level board. Heck, we live in NE. How many times will I get to use this thing in a year? Was pretty set on a Burton Clash, good all around entry level board. Then I went to Canfield's tonight and found all boards, bindings, and boots at 50% off and another 20% off if buying all three! Deal! Ended up buying a Burton Custom ICS with channel, protips, and triax fiberglass. Pretty sweet board. They were clearing out their stock for the season and I got the last board, last boot, and last binding that fit me and the board. Unfortunately, the only binding they had was this crazy colored Cartel EST (as you'll see in the pics below) and the upgraded boots were 1985 Michael Jordan colors. But, the price was right and it actually looks okay all put together. Best thing yet? This higher line snowboard package emptied my wallet less than the entry level package would have, even after tax. So, looks like I'll be making another few trips out to Mt. Crescent and hopefully Colorado before the snow is gone. Ride on!

Yes, you're allowed to laugh at the color combo that I have going on!

A fun time on the slopes...

Figured I'd round up the friends, hit up Mt. Crescent early Sunday morning to get some snowboarding/skiing in. Ten buddies/coworkers said I'll be there. Ended up being only Dave who showed up, along with his buddy Brent. Oh well, still had a good time anyway!

The snow was actually decent and the ski area was MUCH better than I had remembered. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect after usually hitting up Keystone/Breckenridge/Arapahoe Basin year after year in Colorado. I was quite surprised that we have this gem so close to home. I think that last time I was there must have been back in 1998. I enjoyed it so much, I started looking for snowboards. Which leads me to above post.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Snowboarding tomorrow!

Hell yeah! Pretty stoked is what the snowboarders say.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Belt driven singlespeed Trek District

Was cruising the Trek website and came across this bike called the District. Didn't understand the description until I reread it and looked at the picture a little more closely. From, "Trek’s first production belt-drive singlespeed...The belt drive is a carbon fiber composite belt reinforced to prevent stretch. The worry-free, lube-rejecting, lighter-than-any-chain-you’ve-ever-owned belt also produces a ninja-quiet ride." Take a gander and be sure to hover over the belt/chain area. New to me!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Design your own bike at Urban Outfitters

Haha, just like that Performance video that I posted here, you can design your own bike complete with red chain and all. Why wouldn't Urban Outfitters sell you a bike for $399 with crazy colors. Weirdos.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Todd's 2009 Highlights:

Back in April I was "told" that I was going to compete in a Sprint Triathlon by Cory, at first I was like heck ya - I'm in decent shape and always up for a challenge. Then reality set in... I don't have a bike, haven't swam EVER for any distance and I hate running. I proceeded to buy a entry level Trek bike and joined 24hr fitness and away we go. Along with this I was also introduced to Adventure Racing, which is a great time, usually a team of 3 that do various tasks (biking,running,water) and compete against other teams for best time. This was going to be a busy spring and summer, here are a few highlights:

-Adventure racing in Omaha, Kearney, Platte River State Park with Cory,Caryn,myself
-2 man competitive volleyball tournaments in Omaha, Lincoln and Gretna
-Mountain Biking - Tranquility, Swanson,Jewell, Platte,Manawa, Lewis & Clark & Calvin Crest
-Competed in Sprint Triathlon - Branched Oak Malcolm, NE finished 51,52 Cory and I finished together.
-Attended Big Wheeled Ballyhoo with Mike (DJ) great time, vacation cut short cuz of 6-8 in snow.
-Psycowpath Lake Manawa Race - raced Cat 3 Open finished 4th - FIRST RACE
-Went to KC to watch my Cowboys play and win it OT with my father-in-law
-Worked with THOR at Calvin Crest to help build a new mtb trail

2010 is looking to just a chaotic, looking forward to more adventure racing, volleyball, and definitely mountain biking. Cory myself and Brian (another person Cory and I have recruited) are gonna do the Sprint Triathlon again this year on August 15.
All this would not be possible without the support of my family, Thanks!

Along this journey I have met a lot of new friends Dave N, Paul, Greg, MG, Chris P, Chris S, Dale, guys from Bike Masters, THOR, Jim Craig from Angrycowadventures, and also got back in touch with an old friends Mike (DJ) and Dave (owner/head floorsweeper) at Redstone Cyclery in Lyons, CO. I just want to say thank you to everyone and look forward to seeing everyone in 2010.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

No rest areas?

I admit that I have never smoked in my life. Not even a puff on a cigar or cigarette. So to me, the whole smoking ban is great (no offense to you smokers out there). But while traveling to Michigan, I came across this sign at an Iowa rest area and thought that it had gone a little too far. Maybe it was for cigarette butts being left as litter throughout the rest area? Beats me.

The drive through Indiana was terrible. It had rained all day that Wednesday with temps hovering around 34. Once I got to Indiana on I80/I94, the temps had dropped and the road was very icy. Cars were sliding into ditches everywhere, even the state patrol was in the ditch (wish I had a picture of that)! I've never driven so slow on the interstate, we were literally travelling 30mph and I still didn't feel safe. I could feel my car sliding on the road, but thank goodness for my new tires and brakes. 

The pump was covered in ice in Davenport, Iowa

So being the idiot I am, instead of two hands on the steering wheel in icy conditions, I'm taking pictures of my speedometer!

PS3 broken then fixed!

The whole reason for me buying a PS3 three years ago was to avoid the Xbox red ring of death and to not pay for online gaming. Well, two days before a long Christmas vacation my PS3 gave me the yellow light of death! It's not a good thing when you hear the double beep and your PS3 turns off on its own. So I contemplated, do I buy a new PS3 slim (I have way too many games to give up the Sony brand)? Or do I send in my old PS3 to Sony to get looked at then get a refurbished model as a replacement. Mind you, my Modern Warfare 2 disc was stuck in the Blu-ray player and I had just bought The Hangover on Blu-ray the day before! Perfect timing right?

Hopefully you'll never see the inside of one of these!

After some reading and a friend of a friend's advice, I found out that it could be either the power supply (the PS3 would turn on, but shut itself back off, so doubtful), bad harddrive, or...the CPU/GPU could have lost contact with the motherboard due to years of  excessive heat. Ding ding ding. That is what it was. After watching a step by step tutorial on Youtube, my dad and I proceeded to tear the thing apart. The machine was broken anyway and out of warranty service, might as well give it a go. We tore it apart, bought a heat gun and heated the CPU/GPU chips for two minutes at 700 degrees (which supposedly resolders the chips back to the motherboard), then bought some silver arctic thermal grease from Radioshack, applied that to the heat sinks, and slapped the PS3 back together. Fingers crossed I hit the power button for a go. It worked! Nightmare resolved and it only cost me about 30 bucks! If this ever happens to you (heard the same happens to Xbox also), check it out on youtube and fix it yourself.

The infamous CELL processor