Sunday, January 30, 2011

My first ever gravel ride...

I was excited and yet a little nervous at the same time for our ride yesterday. It's cold out. How do I dress knowing that we'll be cranking over those hills? Will it be muddy with the temps being in the 30s? Will I be able to keep up after a winter of casually hopping on my rollers in the living room. Well sometimes, you just have to dive in wheel first and find out! And it wasn't too bad!

Lots of tough hills to climb, but it feels great knowing you made it to the top. Until you see the next one right ahead of you!

For the ride, we got in about 14-15 miles worth of gravel and icy neighborhood streets. Only one barking dog that stayed close to the house along with a doggy that wanted us to play in the snow. The ride consisted of Aaron, Paul, Dave, Brian and myself. Good temps, good company, and good eats and drinks after. It is funny how the first real ride of the year kicks your butt from the very start and shows you how bad of cardio shape you are in. Those hills were killer and I was secretly hoping that I wouldn't have to hop off the bike and walk some of them. Kudos to Aaron for leading the pack all the way while riding on his singlespeed. Not sure you how do it man! Can't wait to do it again fellas! I need a few more of these before race season starts. It was nice to get out and hop on the bike after a cold winter.
Aaron led the pack the whole way 

 Somehow I was still smiling after climbing those hills

 Passing by Mt. Michael on 216th street

 Pavement was a little bit easier, but not much.

Group picture from Paul 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A much needed warmer background to stare at

I love the snow because it means I can snowshoe and hopefully get out on my snowboard. But I hate the cold and how my white car looks almost black. Also miss the singletrack and the weekly rides. I put up a sunny Florida background to cheer everyone up and to remind them of warmer times.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Yellowstone turns away riders on snowbikes

I have yet to own a snowbike and have only hopped on one for a few brief seconds at Potter's after the snow. But here is an interesting article where snowbikes were turned away from Yellowstone national Park because they are not approved means of travel in winter there.

pano stitch

Was kind of bored, still haven't gone through my Florida pictures. But I decided to see how the panoramic picture looks that I attempted from last weekend. I'm too lazy tonight to change the exposure settings on the left side of the photo to make it match. Oh well...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Photos of the day

Speaking of photos, the background image on blogger isn't sizing correctly and it is driving me nuts!!!

Saw on twitter that Bikemag does a reader submitted photo of the day. And I have always loved Bike Mag for their awesome photography. Check it out here.

Lots of snow after we went snowshoeing

The goal for me this winter was to try and be a little more active during these cold winter months. I'm still getting in my gym time, but I wanted to get off of the couch and be a little more outdoorsy on the weekends. I've now been on my snowshoes three times and I love them. Deep snow? Not a problem. You practically float on it. Icy slope up the hill? Not a problem, the teeth on the crampon will dig in and keep you heading in the right direction.
Proof that Aaron actually had the things on, even if for only a short time 

Got some people together to hit the trails at Hitchcock Nature Center just north of Mt. Crescent. Saturday morning wasn't too bad. There was a small amount of wind that you cold feel at the top of the bluffs, but otherwise it was just about perfect. The scenery out there is amazing. The Loess Hills (pronounced luss as Dave and I found out) are spectacular land formations that were formed by the wind. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy day out. If the skies would have been blue, it would have been even more of a sight. I'll have to venture out there in the spring or summertime. Darn, no bikes allowed!
Got some slower shutter speed action going to get this picture.  Synchonized snowshoeing between Paul and Dave

The views were magnificent. Click to enlarge. 

Lots of hills, lots of trails. Saw a few Cardinals. The rental snowshoes are a joke. Aaron immediately took his off and strapped them to his back. As did my coworker and her husband who showed up later in the afternoon. But they still got in a good snowy hike. Paul, Dave, and Amanda kept their "stamped milkcrates" on their feet. It was funny watching Paul kick snow up over his head. Afterwards, we stopped and had some good grub at Henry's Diner in Crescent before heading to the carshow. Lots of shiny metal there, everything except Nissan. That was weird.

Aaron giving my Tubbs a try on a steeper section

I immediately knew what Aaron was up to. Strapping the snowshoes to his back.

All smiles up on the observation deck 
Thanks for coming out and keeping me company fellow snowshoers!

 Here are a few pics from Paul's camera:
Group shot! You put your right foot in, and you shake it all about 

Tall guys in back!!! 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snowshoe hike is full

Okay, so changing my message. The guided tour is full according to Paul. But you can still rent snowshoes from them. We are still planning to head out to Hitchcock Center to snowshoe, we'll just make our own guided tour. Get a hold of me if you want to go. Time is still TBD.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Saw this on Travel channel tonight, extreme fast food or something. Similar to Japanese style vending machines, this place is in NYC. Put the coins in, get your food freaky fast. There is a full kitchen in the back where the guy makes the food, then just keeps refilling the little heated storage areas that hold the food you buy. Nothing over $3.50 (even for a bacon cheeseburger), and in NYC that is a great deal! Mac n cheese krokets, the guy has sold 40k in two years.

Another video, but the lighting is not so good.

Snowshoe action at Chalco Hills

I had a few things planned for this weekend, didn't get either one done. But close. Number 1 being snowshoeing at Fontanelle Forest. I've never been there. Thought I would head out there with the snowshoes. Decide to google how to get there. Look at their website. Deer population control these two weekends meaning all Fontanelle trails are closed for hunting. What! The one weekend I want to go there in the 14 years I've lived in Omaha and they are closed! What are the chances?

Well, just so happened that Aaron called me Saturday afternoon and told me that him and Amanda are heading to Chalco Hills for some cross country skiing action. Do I want to bring my snowshoes and tag along? Heck yeah! First time I've ever been to Chalco. I've only heard about the sledding that kids do out there. On my way. Snowshoeing turned into some snowshoe jogging in order to keep up with the skiers. But they were kind enough to wait for me. Had a lot of fun. Made a huge lap and took some pictures along the way. Great workout, great scenery, and great company!
Amanda and Aaron on the skis 

I've found that the more powdery the snow is, the more fun it is to walk through on the snowshoes. The packed stuff is alright, but just watching the snowshoe sink into 6 inches of snow, then easily lift right back up and all of the snow gets pushed off is an awesome sight and sound.

I wanted to hit up some snowboarding at Mt. Crescent today. Didn't get around to it. Another partybus last night kind of did me in. Had a blast and made some new friends along the way. My couch was much kinder to me than Mt. Crescent would have been. Have a great week folks!
Pretty sure that I have taken over 30k pictures since I first picked up a SLR back at Creighton. Still have no clue how to take interesting snow pictures!  

Amazing scenery out there

 Tons of deer crossing the road

Welcome to the mini drome

Mini drome racing. I was watching and wondering how the guys don't get dizzy. Then one of the racers mentioned it a second later. Crazy fixster folk!

Red Bull Mini Drome Fixed Gear Race - NZ from NZ Greenroom Productions on Vimeo.

Thought these were appropriate for the time of year

Saw these videos linked on the Xtreme Wheels blog. Paul, are you drooling yet??? Wow, you can go down to 6psi with those tires!

Another video, more downhill biking but on a ski slope. Video or movie is called Freefall. So I know how to stop on skis and a snowboard, but on a bike going downhill on snow? Watch the turn the guy has to make at 3:21. Easily could have gone over the edge!
Oh yeah, haven't heard this song forever!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Guided snowshoe hike next weekend

I think I'll do this next Saturday, weather permitting. They require 4 inches of snow on the ground. They have a 10am and a 1pm guided hike. A few people expressed interest in going. Email me or leave a comment and we'll figure out what time to go. RSVP by Thur.

Here is a link to their calendar.  

by kherek
Date: January 22, 2011
Time: 1:00 PM
Duration: 1 hour(s)
Hitchcock Nature Center- Join the Pottawattamie Conservation staff for an afternoon of snowshoeing through the beautiful Loess Hills at Hitchcock Nature Center. Pre-registration is required for this event by Thursday, January 20th, as space is limited. This workshop is designed for participants 12 years of age and older. Cost is $5.00 per person and includes a guided hike, refreshments, and the use of snowshoes. Call 712-242-1197 to pre-register. Please meet at the Loess Hills Lodge. Weather permitting.

I think I'll do this next Saturday, weather permitting. I think they require 4 inches of snow on the ground. They have a 10am and a 1pm guided hike. A few people expressed interest in going. Email me or leave a comment and we'll figure out what time to go.

Winna Chicken...

You know the rest! Saw the commercial on tv for the GoPro video/still camera. Says they are giving one away everyday.

Check out the video on the main page of the skiers, snowboarders, surfers, bmx riders, racecar drivers, etc. Pretty cool.

Here is where you sign up to win

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gets you up the hill

Another electric powered bike, but this one is a little more DH oriented. Kinda goofy looking and your friends will probably laugh at you, but they laugh at you anyways. I've never hit the downhill trails before, but I imagine that most just take a chairlift or a pickup back up to the top. Could save you from a lot of pushing?

Picture from engadget
ego-kits bike

Better than studded?

Still dreaming of that snow bike...especially with the snow. Came across this tip while doing a search. Instead of studded tires, use zip ties? I guess it would work. Look goofy as all get out, but hey, it is cheap and a fast way to get some traction!
zip tie tricked out tire

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday Night...

Snowshoeing! The ride was canceled for obvious reasons and I was excited to finally cut apart the plastic ties holding the snowshoes together. Got out of work late, funny how 80 percent of our patients canceled their appointment today yet we still managed to see a patient until 5:45pm! Grrrr...
I avoided the south hill. Wind was picking up and without the trees, I knew it would be cold. 

Anyway, didn't make it out to Tranquility until 7:30pm. I wasn't going to let the darkness stop me from having my fun. Attached my Stella to my backpack, threw on my snowboarding pants and jacket, and walked out onto the trail.

I headed towards the north half of Tranquility. There was a cross country skier's fresh trail and possibly somebody else on snowshoes from earlier in the day. I tried to follow the singletrack as much as possible, but being dark and with the trees drooping from the fresh snow, it wasn't exactly easy. And speaking of those trees, they were beautiful. My little Canon camera couldn't do the scene justice. Especially at night.
CAUTION: Deep snow ahead. Do not cross unless you have snowshoes or a snowbike! 

So how was the snowshoeing you ask? It was pretty fun. My legs were actually getting a little fatigued towards the end. The snowshoes are super light, but you have to lift your legs a little higher as you walk because of the fresh, deep powder. Yes Todd, like "high sassy kicks" as John would say. Like the internet says, backing up takes a little practice. Almost got tripped up a few times. Kind of like crossing your cross country skis while backing up. It really gets your feet tangled up! As for the traction? Excellent! I was walking back to my car with the snowshoes off and was slipping and sliding on the powder with my hiking boots. That is when I realized what a difference they made.

Good times. I found a few snowshoe hikes around nature centers in town taking place this month. I'll try to make it to a few of those. Also sounds like some hiking clubs do snowshoeing events. If anybody wants to give them a try, just let me know.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

NYE 2010!

I flew back from Fort Lauderdale on New Year's Eve. Arrived back into snowy, cold Omaha at 11am. It was 75 and sunny the day before in Florida. Yeah, spoiled. I had heard that friends were golfing in 60s weather in the big O. Wow, where did that all go?
Small group to preparty, Scotty didn't make it back with his wife from Chicago. Thanks Josh and Barb for hosting!

I was in the airport system by 3am. Yeah, getting only one hour of sleep the night before is a waste of time! I've never arrived at an airport so early, but was pretty disappointed when I got to Miami International. I walk in the front door, only to find a huge line at the Continental check-in with people waiting and suitcases stacked sky high. But not a single person working behind the desk! People were checked in using the kiosk but they couldn't do anything with their luggage.Workers didn't arrive for another 40 min or so. After waiting forever, my flight was boarding in twenty minutes and I still had to check in, PAY for my luggage's safe travel, then make my way through security and find my gate. Eventually, a worker showed up with coffee in hand, yawned, and started throwing some suitcases around. A few more workers clocked in, only to then yell at us for causing a malfunction in their kiosk and for not staying in line (after she told us to just come on up, no waiting lines were made either by their ropes!). Pure chaos!

Anyway, NYE 2010 was fun. The original plan was to preparty at my friends' house, then make our way downtown to dance. Either at Slowdown or the Max. We got a call from another friend, Whiskey Roadhouse was happening. Consider us there! There was a Led Zeppelin cover band playing that night and they were actually pretty good!
There is an Asian family in the picture frame, nobody knows who they are. 

Midnight had passed, pictures were getting out of control, and the gambling was under way. Friend fell out of his seat, but he composed himself and continued on. Finally, one hour later a security guard asks my friend for ID. Okay, no problem. Reports of intoxication. Yeah earlier, but by now it was 3am and they were playing, no lewd comments were made from anyone and all were pretty much sober. WTH? Anyway, we got kicked out of the casino on NYE! Good times were still had. Happy New Year fellow bikers, friends, and readers!!!
Led Zeppelin cover band at Whiskey Roadhouse 

2011 brings some sweet biking

Happy New Year everyone! I squeezed in the family vacation and some partying to end 2010, managed to get a quick impromptu ride today to start off 2011 with a bang! And what a sweet ride it was!

Today's ride was probably my first singletrack ride in the packed snow. I admit, I saw Strato's ride pics yesterday and was jealous. Just knew that I had to get out there! The 6 inches of snow at Potter's Pasture that Todd and I encountered overnight doesn't really count. The traction at Tranquility was top notch! I went into the ride not knowing how to dress or what to expect in terms of trail conditions. The roads were slushy, so I was afraid that the trail would be the same and we would have to hit pavement. Nope! Trail was packed and frozen! Perfect amount of bite. No wind and the sun was out shining. Just enough to keep us warm!

Todd, Aaron and I got in a lap and a half before calling it quits. Talked to Paul who later made it out and played photographer while his dog played in the snow. And yes, I got the idea of using my goggles from Paul. They work great! Great seeing you guys and to a great 2011!

The rest of these pics are from Paul. Thanks for the photos! 

Aaron on his Surly cross bike, studded tires of course!