Tuesday, November 29, 2011

MNR...a mixed bag of goodies

Last night's Monday Night Ride was one of all sorts. We had warm temps then freezing temps. Skunky smell and no smell. Shorts vs long pants. The stars were out and the air was crisp. Brian and I swore that something big was in the grass either chasing us or trying to get away from our lights. Brian was leading and said, "That sounds a lot bigger than a rabbit!"

After leaving Tranquility, I was starting to get cold. Temps were dropping and by the time I got home my water bottle was half frozen inside. While pedaling towards 132nd street, I tried to keep my mind off of the numb fingers and toes. That's when I realized that every rider there had a different type of bike! Chris on his geared 26 650B, Dale on his 29er Carbon geared full squooosh ht, Dave on his geared 29er hardtail, Brian on his full rigid geared 29er, Paul on his full rigid SS 29er, Greg on his ss 29er hardtail, and lastly me on the fattie (which is technically classed as a 26inch full rigid). Pretty cool huh?

I wish that I had my camera last night. I meant to grab it, but my gear is still in my bag after traveling and it slipped my mind. After the southside was ridden, we had stopped on the road and discussed and checked temps. Five of the seven riders had lined up right next to each other, lights ablazing. Looked like we were ready to start a night race! It was a pretty cool scene, one of those that the camera can't justify by pixels. But it would have been neat to have tried.

Have a good week everyone! Hopefully we'll see people out at Manawa this weekend to help rebuild the trail.

*updated above with the correct bikes.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Get some biking in if you can. Sounds like I'll be hitting up Black Friday for the first time ever. The thought of it just sounds ridiculous and a waste of a good night's sleep. Even my mom said, "I'll be waiting out in front of Best Buy acting like a crazy fool".

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Herts Shore

Check out the turn that this rider completes at 1:40. Wow, that is some skill!

Same place, but more of the terrain is shown. Again, crazy turn at 1:08

A cold and ****y ride

You're wondering what goes in those four spaces. Well luckily it wasn't snowy. But it was windy instead. After the disappointing Husker loss, I decided to head out for a ride. I had checked the forecast early in the morning and saw that temps would be dropping from 40s down to 30s throughout the day. Great...just what I needed. My phone said that it was 32 degrees out, but with the windchill, the "Real Feel" was 14. Holy coldness Batman!

Nobody else was out at Tranquility except for a red car in the parking lot. The guy's bike was off of the car and he was sitting in his car. Possibly trying to warm up. I rode the north side, circled back around by the kiosk and he was still sitting in his car. Finally as I headed towards road I saw that he had finally gotten on his bike. I did a truncated lap and headed home.
Just me trying to keep warm

I got to test out the new shoe covers and they work wonders. Wish I would have bought some years ago. Wool socks plus shoe covers equals warm toes. I had the ATV mitts with me but I just kept them in my Camelback. I'll try them out next time.
I had brought my other bike computer to check the temp. This was the temp after being in my pocket

It was a cold and windy day. The trail had this desolate feeling

Somehow I thought this was amusing on my way home. Maybe the cold had gotten to my senses.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mukluk 2 on Outside TV

Paul saw this video and sent me the link. Mukluk 2 on Outside TV, talking about snow biking and accessories to help keep you warm

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Saw this posted on THOR FB

This is pretty funny. I guess people have never heard of biking at night!

Surly Black ops pug is now known as...

The Surly Necromancer Pug. Dumb dumb dumb. What a weird name to change it to.


Monday, November 14, 2011

A bloody MNR!

It was my goal this past weekend to experiment with the GoPro on a tripod along the trail. But sleep prevailed and I ended up at the Psycowpath banquet. You know, you just might see me out there in 2012 racing again. on the Mukluk or on the Trek Fuel. It's anyone's guess.

At the Pyscowpath Banquet at Platte

So anyway, the GoPro was fully charged and I still had the Muk-Rack on my bike. I did a simple attachment of the camera to the top of the rack using the helmet mount that I have. It was a little wobbly, but I was already running late to MNR so I said good enough.

The GoPro must have a fixed shutter speed and aperture. Because no matter how much light was directed towards the lens, it still picked up the same amount of movement and exposure length. Yup, just checked, for you camera geeks out there the aperture is a max f3.6, 1/2 second exposure. Anyway, what is really cool about the camera is that you never know what kind of an image that you're gonna get. I actually like to use it more for the photography than the video. But then again, that was my goal this past weekend. To experiment with the video.

I met up with the gang as they were finishing up the South Hill. We then proceeded to ride both north sections backwards in the dark. There is this really odd feeling as your instinct tells you that you are riding a certain part of the trail and it should be a climb going backwards, but instead it seems that you are going downhill instead. The trail is smooth and perfect. No dust whatsoever.
Night time photography yields some interesting results

Unfortunately there was an accident on the trail tonight. I believe that it is the same log that Mike F broke his chain and then endoed a few weeks ago. This time, it was Paul who ended up face planting on the log. He misjudged the distance of the log and went down. He cut up his left brow pretty bad. Fortunately, besides the bleeding, Paul said he was alright and we rode back to the kiosk. Kids and adults... always wear your helmet and sunglasses or safety glasses. Paul said that he was poster child of wearing a helmet tonight and I have the feeling that the safety glasses saved his eye from hitting the log.

Ouch, Paul faceplants on the log crossing! from Misterlime on Vimeo.

Slowly but surely

I've had my sister's Fender guitar in my closet for about three years now. I saw it at my parents' house in her room while she was away at Optometry school. Think I'll borrow it and take some lessons. Well fast forward three years and I still haven't taken any lessons. I've bought books, dvds, etc. But I just couldn't find the time or interest to get past the "Tuning of your guitar" section in Guitars for Dummies.

I had recently heard about a game coming to PS3 called Rocksmith where you can plug a real actual guitar into your playstation, and it will teach you chords and help you learn songs in a Guitar Hero/Rockband sort of way. But considering that this game isn't out yet and it will cost $80, I just kind of tossed the idea around. Then when I got my daily buy.com email a few weeks ago, I saw that they were advertising a guitar program. I read some reviews and heard about other programs, finally settling on Emedia's Guitar Method for beginners. It was half the price of the Rocksmith and I figured that it would be more of a structured lesson. Reviews were good and I got it!

I've only invested a couple of hours into the program/lessons so far, but I'm slowly getting the hang of it. I currently know the chords of G, G7, C, A7, and D. I may not be going very fast, but after two lessons I know more than I've learned over the past three years! Figured that it will be a good winter hobby for a few months.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy birthday to my sister!!!

Happy Birthday Sandra. See you in a couple of weeks!

Cranksgiving 2011

Cranksgiving! What is it? Its the event with the funny name where you bike to buy food for the Omaha Food Bank. It's a race of sorts, with classes divided between men and women, trailer, and singlespeed. It's the second year in a row that I've done it and what brought me back? The fun, the biking, and the good cause!

The pre-ride get together. Pep talk to pump ourselves up for the event!

Weather was in the 50s this year. We were blessed with a Cranksiving that didn't take place in the snow or slightly above freezing temps. And that helped alot! We made our way from Bike Masters out to the HyVee at 90th and Center. On our way back, a few in our group stopped at Trader Joe's while the rest of the gang headed for SuperTarget on Maple.
The prizes donated by Bike Masters, Chrome bags, and other area businesses

While the goal of the event is to buy food by getting ten different items from ten stores, we were going for distance instead. Riding from home to Cranksgiving, out and back, 1/3 of a lap at Tranquility, then back home helped me to put in 24 miles for the day. Not too shabby for a Saturday ride that was helping out the Omaha Food Bank!

And we were off!

Quite possibly the highlight of this year's Cranksgiving was seeing this ride take place in HyVee's parking lot. Dale on the orange the cruiser! Sorry Dale, this video is too good to not share.

Once in a lifetime event from Misterlime on Vimeo.

Things that stuck out about the ride? I nearly fell and broke my legs. I had a box on the back of the Muk so I had to dismount my bike by swinging my leg over the top tube instead of over the seat. Well once we had gotten to Center Street, while crossing the bridge my bungee chord had come off. I stopped to reattach it. I looked at a narrow section of grass and proceeded to dismount there. Well it was on the downill slope. My bike fell towards me, I hopped off and next thing I knew I was taking a step and saw there was a three foot drop off by the retaining wall. I thought quick and jumped, luckily landed on my feet. How I didn't sprain my ankle with the narrow footprint of my biking shoes is anyone's guess.
First stop was Hy-Vee at 90th and Center

Special delivery on the Muk

Secondly, Dave N walked away with a very nice Chrome bag. He was called second in the raffle. The Felt Hybrid bike was still available, but he went with the bag. No comment (because I know that you'll hear it for a very long time from your family). The third guy in the raffle was contemplating the bike. I was chosen fourth. I walked up, no way. I had the chance of actually winning the bike! But eventually, the guy ultimately chose the bike and I ended up with some winter shoe covers made by Planet Bike. I was happy! Besides the raffle, everyone who participated ended up going home with some sort of schwag
Dale was lending a hand and fixing Kacey's bike

Bikes of all sorts were out. Cruisers, full rigids, trailers, fat bikes. Hey whatever floats your boat

Two fat bikes were in this year's Cranksgiving. Chris G's Pugs in the foreground, my Muk in the background

Jena trying out Kacey's orange cruiser

That's alot of turkeys!

Thanks to BikeMasters, the organizers, the cooks who brought in the soups and desserts, and everyone involved in putting together this event. 52 riders showed up and we brought in over 1000 lbs of food. That is 1000 lbs of food that will help to feed the hungry this winter. Way to go!!! See everyone next year!

Some pics of the winners:

My new shoe covers and gloves that I got. NICE!
Dave with his new Chrome bag. Very nice!

Here is Stratomatica's take on Cranksgiving

Monday, November 7, 2011

One more video from Calvin Crest

Chasing after Chris after the tower climb. I've realized that riding this section fast seems to be a really big thrill ride. Those fast swooping switchbacks and the roots that are all too easy to avoid now. Good times!

Best "Do-It-All" bike?

Whoever came up with the title for this article obviously has never actually been on a bike. When you think of "Do-It-All" bike, what do you think of? A bike that you can get around town on, race on, grind on gravel roads, take it on singletrack all come to my mind. So most likely a cross bike or possibly a hybrid, right? Nope!

Read this article on MSN and find out which Do-It-All bikes make the grade. FYI, they are all road bikes!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mukluk comes to a stop

I thought my bike was unstoppable. A leafy covered tower climb at Calvin Crest? No problem. Made it through three times with just a little bit of tire spin over the leaves. The wider tires running with a medium pressure are awesome for traction. I really can't wait to try it in the snow. After our second time through the tower climb yesterday, it was my turn to lead up to the tower and through the crazy S curves. I took off with Chris in tow. I saw the trail ahead, aimed for it. After about five seconds, I realized that I was off of the trail. I think I even said something to Chris, Dave N, and Dale. Turns out that I was heading towards the walking trail on the other side of the tower. Next thing I know, my front tire was in a hole with a root covering the lip of the hole. I started to endo!

I guess the Mukluk can be stopped! from Misterlime on Vimeo.

I was still pedaling as my rear tire lifted up in the air! Eventually, the rear end came down and I landed on my side. Whew. Of course, it was more funny than anything. Chris would agree.

Calvin Crest is leafy like crazy. The walnuts and acorns are gone (or at least covered by leaves) as are the spiderwebs. That trail is fun as ever. Glad I got out there and decided to skip watching the NU game.

Leaves everywhere!

Up the tower climb on the Mukluk from Misterlime on Vimeo.

One of the best parts of the ride! from DJ Chi Wai on Vimeo.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Muk-Rack

After doing mucho internet research to figure out which racks would fit the Mukluk, I went ahead and bought the Bontrager Back Rack L. I wanted the Back Rack II which only had bars going across, but ended up with their newest version called the BackRack L. At first I was going to protest and was thinking that I could save weight and the II looked cooler (I've also seen two instances where the II would fit). But the kid at the Trek Store said that it works as a built in fender. True that! Sold! Plus I figure there is a little more substance on the rack allowing for better weight distribution when I come rolling around the block with a 12 pack of beer! Always thinking ahead...

So my question is whether or not it is safe to ride the trails with this rack always on my bike? Or would it be safer to take it off and just install it when needed? Any user input from those who have used a rack before?

I waited to open the packaging because I wasn't sure if the rack would bend enough to fit the fatty mounts.

Afraid that the rack would ruin the finish on the Muk, I used some electrical tape and made a "cushion" between the rack and the seatstay mounts. If it scrapes away, oh well. At least it is flat black and can easily be touched up.