Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Airbag for my head!

Lady at work heard about this on the radio and instantly thought about me and my accidents that I brag about at work. I haven't been on bikerumor in awhile, but here is the story. How would this airbag work if the rider was wearing a helmet, which most of us are and should be anyway. Not so keen on wearing a collar everytime I ride. But then again, if this were to save your life even once or prevent head trauma, then I guess it would be worth it??? More of a joke or a good idea? You decide.

More videos at the bikerumor link.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The cat says hello

The leftover turkey is finished and the shopping put a dent on my
wallet. Time to head home. Hope you guys had a good weekend! Got a
long drive ahead of me, at least I have bright and sunny skies ahead
of me this time around. For those of you riding today, have a great
ride! See you guys Monday night!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's that time of year again

There are always people out there that are less fortunate than us. Thankfully there are individuals and organizations that go out of their way to help out the community. Even if it is just a little bit, it helps. Salvation Army is still looking for volunteers to ring bells. It is super easy and time goes really fast. They handle the kettle, bell, apron, and pickup of everything. You don't even need to speak to anyone to sign up, it is all online! How easy is that? Just remember to dress accordingly. Patty and daughter rang bells last Saturday, I'm scheduled for the 4th of December at Bag N' Save. Check into it if you want to ring a bell.

One thing that is really cool is that they send you an email/piece of mail that thanks you and tells you the amount of donations you helped raise during your shift. Coins and bills may not seem like much during your shift, but when you get that piece of mail and it says that over $250 was raised by you during your shift, you're wow! I really did help to make a difference!
Ringing bells in front of Oakview 2009

Finally living in the 21st century!

I'll admit it, finally bought my first Ipod. I've always hated Itunes, so I held off as long as possible. Trip to sunny Florida Keys booked, Hawaii next year, and hopefully Colorado. It was time to get my music together! Ran into NFM last night to buy something else, they had the Ipod touch 32gb on sale with a free mini speaker, how could I refuse? It's like when you go to the grocery store to buy milk and you come out with a cartful of food. They get you everytime! As cheap as I am, just downloading the free apps for now. So much out there!
Instead of packing for my drive out to Michigan last night, I spent two hours running to 4 stores to buy my mom bbq sauce that can only be found in NE (made in Minden). Get home, worked on the transfer of music till midnight. Still had to pack, check on the car, and next thing I know, I was tearing my dashboard apart to get to the back of my stereo. I knew there was a line in on the back of my DVD headunit. I spent a summer with my car ripped apart to put in Dynamat (sound deadener), six audiophile speakers in front (housed in kick pods) and two subs in the trunk. Pushing about 1400 watts. Done and done! 3 am, finally ready to go to sleep. Too bad I'm now at work and have a 10 hour drive in front of me!

Happy Thanksgiving to all the readers, friends, fellow bikers, and family. Be thankful for everything and everyone that you have in your life. Safe travels, get some biking in, and stay warm!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wanna win some Gore-Tex gear???

Came across this contest where they post up a picture and you login and guess the location. Win some Gore-Tex gear! 20 days, 20 clues/pictures. Be the first to guess it, get more points! Easy as that. They require you login and that is about it. Check it out.

Monday, November 22, 2010

MNR - that perfect sound

There is a sweet spot on a tennis racquet. You hit the tennis ball just right and you can hear that perfect tone. Well tonight while descending the south hill at Tranquility, I realized that there is a distinct tone that the rubber makes while rotating on the trail. It's like a whirring sound that doesn't stop. It's been awhile since I've noticed that sound. The trail was just tacky enough to give you the right amount of bite, not only in the corners but also on the straightaways. I talked to both Eric and Brian during and after the ride, and they said they noticed the same awesome bite in the corners. You could lean the bike in those corners, feel the side knobbys gripping the edge of the trail, and just keep pedaling harder! Pure bliss on a Monday Night Ride!
Red Hot Chili Peppers sang it best, Under the Bridge

Brian riding over the bridge under Fort Street 

Dale chaperoned us through the new section of trail, which basically runs under Fort Street and heads north towards Standing Bear Lake. Once that section gets completed and ridden in, I have the feeling that it will be fast! No climbing, just flat all out speed! As of right now, it is pretty bumpy, grassy, and there is a lot of resistance riding it. Great workout for not moving too fast!

Dale explaining how the new section runs

Got in about 8.5 miles tonight, it was 27 degrees, and I couldn't feel my toes (wearing the wool socks next time). Great ride with Dale, Brian H, Ryan, Eric, Todd (not W), and myself. Safe travels everyone and enjoy that family time together. I know I will!

How cold was it? That's ice inside the bottle. Cold water never tasted so good!

Had a rough weekend, must hop on bike

Hung out with the biking fellas Friday night, helped Emily move all day Saturday. Need to get some riding in to clear my head. Hopefully Monday Night Ride is still on? Or is the trail too wet? Waiting for an update on Bike Masters blog. Light charged, ready to go. If not, gym time then rolling.
Tried to roll last night and had to switch the tires out from Cranksgiving. Rear rim on the Gary caused two puncture holes on two different inner tubes (not necessarily the same place). Grr...I was stupid and didn't check after the first round. Don't see the cause, but I'll throw down some tape over the rim tape that is already in place. Glad I have a ton of inner tubes laying around.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Riding with Turkeys - Cranksgiving 2010

It was Friday night, freezing rain came down at first and then the huge snow flakes started hitting the ground. Roads were slick, cars were off in the ditches and my traction control was engaging like crazy. Will there be a Cranksgiving tomorrow? Cranksgiving blog said pretty much rain or snow and we're still riding. As much as I hate riding in the cold temps, you gotta do what you gotta do!
Wait for me! Had some trouble getting tires switched out, ended up riding the full suspension instead
The list of 10 items to get from various stores 

Dave, this is a race. Get on your bike. 

No pre-race butterflies this time 

I missed last year's event for whatever reason and I really wanted to participate in this fun event. Convinced Aaron to go and the MNR gang would be there also. Aaron texted me super early Saturday after his donut run, said he's still in but it is windy and cold. Great, with such crappy weather conditions I was waiting for that facebook update to say postponed. Never happened, well I guess it's time to layer up and throw the fenders on the bike!
Lots of waiting for stoplights. Paul and Brian bundled up

Where there's a helpful smile...Aaron at HyVee 

Dave with the bottles of shampoo at Shopko. So fresh and so clean clean 
The watchmen were along the bike rack 

I was dressed like a bike ninja, got some funny stares in the stores (pic borrowed from Stratomatica's blog

Let's just say that I'm glad I went. Only 35 riders this time around, down from last year's count. That's okay, giving a little is better than nothing. But as it tured out, more than 1200 lbs of food was brought in by riders and people donating to the event, also at least $1000 in donated money was collected for the Food Bank. How awesome is that?

Mini cyclocross event at 84th and Center

Dave with the crate full of groceries
Glad the sun was out, but that north wind was brutal heading back

The seven of us formed an alliance to stick together. Dave N, Paul, Brian H, Aaron, Dennis, Chris (Dave's bro) and myself hopped on our mt bikes and rolled down the Big Papio trail. I'm glad that the veterans were with Aaron and I, because there was actually strategy to all of this. Yes it was a race, but we didn't care. We were out to get the mileage in for the day. The key was to get the light stuff first and make the heavier items on the list as part of your last stop. Makes sense and I'm glad we did this because the wind coming back from Shopko/HyVee at 84th and Center was brutal! Yes, we rode out from Bike Masters on Fort Street out to Center in 40 degree temps with a very chilly wind. Logged in about 20 miles with the ride from home to Bike Masters included. Oh yeah, we had groceries on our backs! This time, instead of crossing paths with the huge turkeys on the singletrack trail, Dave and Chris bought the turkeys from Target. They struggled at first getting those back to the shop (it was rather comical actually), but they managed. Good work guys!
Bundle up boy! 
Aaron and his trademark wave 

Martin Bixby made it home with a new bike they raffled off. Lucky! There was hot soup of various sorts to help our bodies warm back up. Good times, great ride, great friends. Afterwards, we enjoyed a cold one on a cold day at Paul's. Thanks for the fun event. Looking forward to 2011!
The fenders are a must for winter riding 

This boy luvs to shop! Especially for a good cause

That's a big turkey!

 Brothers Dave and Chris, turkeys strapped to bikes and ready to roll out

 Two and a half hours later we made it back to Bike Masters. What a long haul!

 Checking in

Lucky man Martin wins the bike

 We made a pitstop to check it out. Freaking chaos in there. Clerks didn't even have time to restock shelves, they were just opening boxes and handing items to customers. Important thing we noticed? No cold beer. No deal!

Cashier lines ran almost to the back of the store 

Reminder of Friday night's storm. I80 right there.

Friday, November 12, 2010

First snow, it's about time

Boy I sure wish I had some snowshoes to help me get around! Oh wait...I do. It's slick out folks, drive safe. Cranksgiving status tomorrow? Need to know because I need to change out the tires.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What's that sound I hear???

Oh, it's the unfamiliar sound of the wipers brushing against the windshield. Temps have dropped about ten degrees since this morning. Brrrr....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

MNR with a side of toppings and whiplash!

I made it out for another episode of Monday Night Ride at Tranquility, which was the first since daylight savings. It was dark on the way home from work, but weather was in the 70's all day. How can I say no? Fewer riders showed up for last night's ride, about 13 as compared to the 20 plus that we had last week. The gang started with a backwards ride through the north side, continued on in the correct direction on the south side, correct direction on the north side, then did the south side creek backwards.

*Click on any photo to enlarge it.*

Since the need for lights this fall, I've been trying to capture the true meaning of the "night ride" on camera. The little point and shoot camera just couldn't hack it. Decided to pull out the DSLR and tripod. It's a lot harder than taking pics of a race, because you have to imagine where the trail curves and none of the photos are staged. Just the MNR progressing as normal. Even harder is the focus. Since I was shooting way off in the distance and trying to frame my scene ahead of time, all I could see was a pitch black hill. I had to manually focus on a far off light as a reference point and then cross my fingers. For shots like these and also for fireworks, it's best to set your camera to bulb mode (meaning the shutter opens and closes depending on when I push and release the button).Waited for the riders then used my remote shutter release to avoid camera shake. Tripod is a must!
Dave, remember when you asked if you were screwing up my picture? The result was pretty cool. Check out the lights from the riders on the right side. 

I was pretty happy with what I got and the riders had rejoined where north meets south. Had my camera on tripod in my left hand, steered my handlebars with my right. Took the bypass over and proceeded down the inner loop exit. Saw a bump in the trail and thought it would be terrible if I fell. Like one of those premonitions. Well I went over the bump, lost my balance from the 20 lbs of camera gear in the left hand, and flew to the right. I landed in the grass and all I could think was save the camera. So my head hit the ground and I remember trying to brace the fall of my camera in my left hand to prevent it from hitting the ground. The lens filter was all that got a little dirty in the dirt, whew. Brushed myself off and met up with the guys.

We ordered pizza at Paul's to go along with the recovery drink. Went home and fell asleep for the night. I woke up at 3am, neck sore like crazy! Neck pain in the direction my head hit and the direction that I lifted my head and body to prevent damage to my camera. Whiplash! Also got scraped through the long sleeve and knickers. Crazy thing is that I wasn't going that fast!

Moral of the story? Don't ride your bike at night down the inner loop one handed with 20 lbs of camera gear to throw you of balance! They say that photographers sometimes go out of their way to get the picture. Well there you go!
Check out the city lights in the background!  
Someone's taillight in the mix. Notice the inner loop hump at the start of the light path

 Trying to capture the turns in the trail

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Some words of advice

If you happen to go to the supermarket late at night because you don't want to fall asleep at 9pm after a long day of riding and the daylight savings is screwing you up...remember that you have a trunk mounted bike rack up there. Got the groceries in the trunk, I started to move the trunk downward, the weight of the rack made it fly down with the speed of a ninja and the 25lb rack collided with the top of my head. Guess who won?

Today's interesting ride

I hope that everyone got a chance to get some pedaling in this weekend. With temps in the 60s and 70s, we may not see this weather until next spring! I had quite the interesting ride today.
Leaves everywhere at Jewell, makes it hard to climb in areas 

Decided to torture myself and get some riding in at Jewell, just for the fun of it I had thought. Man that place hates me. Can't breathe, can't climb, not sure why I bothered. I wasn't even five minutes into the lap when I stopped under a tree. Hmmm...sunny out. Sometimes my camelback leaks a little bit of water out and it drips onto my legs. But why did it feel like raindrops were falling on my head. And I'm talking BIG raindrops.
The bird said howdy DOODY to me today  

Carry on I said after trying to help a rider. Something isn't right. So I stopped and took off my helmet. Yellow shi*t all over my helmet, complete with seeds. Blech. You know how when you shop for a helmet, you pay more for the ones with the bigger and more air vents? Well, one disadvantage the helmet companies don't tell you. More bird shi*t goes through and onto your hair. Yeah. After cleaning my helmet off with the abundance of leaves on the ground, I go to wipe the sweat out of my hair. Not all sweat came off in my hand. Included were more seeds and yellow poo. Digusting.

Two deer on the right, at least four on the left 

Finished my lap at Jewell and decided to pack it up pack in. Might as well hit up Swanson for a lap. Why not? Weather nice, sun still out. Swanson was more forgiving, I would like to credit the warm-up lap at Jewell, but I think Swanson is just much easier in general. Lots of deer, lots of riders (some riding backwards on the trail)...AND...A motorcyclist was on the trail with his bike going backwards on the trail!!! WTF!!!! I almost hit him head on coming around the corner at the top of the prarie section. What a f*kin dumb*ss!!! I was too much in awe to even say anything to him. He just kept going and didn't look back.

Double dose of trails, double dose of bird crap, motorcycle nearly hits me head on, and a ton of wildlife. All in a day's ride!

The idiot on a motorcycle, going the wrong direction to make it worse 

Private property to the right, don't even think about it.