Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Hey, it's a Honda! Not sure how this happened, possibly parked too close to the snow piles at the gym. If you've ever leaned up on a Honda, then you know how flexy the materials are. I figured hey, it's just a plastic bumper. Why not push it back out? DONE and fixed!

Lake ride

Today's weather was gorgeous. Went for a lap around Standing Bear Lake. Did a little bit of off roading and rode the walking sections where the fishermen go to get closer to the lake. It was fun to do some exploring. Sandy, damp dirt, and dry brush were conquered by the fatty. Got almost 400 miles on the Mukluk already. What a blast it has been!

Last Sunday's Ponderosa Ride

A "little" ride out to Ponderosa Bar made for a great Sunday Funday. With the warming temps, Paul had proposed that we ride some gravel out to Ponderosa Bar. Amazingly, both he and Aaron had ridden the day before. Not sure how their legs were able to keep up, but after the 27 miles I rode they were smoked!
For some reason this is my favorite GoPro shot of the day

Aaron, Andy and I were playing catch up to the other riders

Not sure if I've ever seen horseback riders on the highway before. But then again, they've probably never seen two fatbikes on the highway before!

Toilets, bird bushes, and creepy A** mannequins watching you!

I sh*t you not, this was the sign inside Ponderosa Bar. Pun intended, because you weren't going to be sh*tting inside that place unless you use that toilet on top of that carport!

Where's Waldo? The Mannequin is watching your every move

Most riders started near 178th and Fort and rode out to Elk City, which is basically 230th and Bennington Road. Gravel, cross winds, beer, food, dead deer, toilets 15 ft up in the air, mannequins in windows, and bird shaped bushes were all part of the scenery and environments that we experienced. Oh yeah, and a major endo by none other than myself. Showing off on the fatbike. But we'll get to that later.


Brian had joined us for a short section of pavement

Temps were in the low 40s, sunny, and for the most part dry except for the occasional melting of snow piles in the suburban neighborhoods. Paul swung by my place and we rode out to Greg's new dig before meeting up with the group. Two Andys, Jim, Aaron, Chris, Paul, Greg, and myself made our way slowly out to Ponderosa Bar where Brian met up with us for some beer and food. Service was great and the food filled our hungry bellies. We were known as the bikers that stopped in. Jokes were made amongst the locals in the bar, but that was to be expected in a small town bar.

Empty desolate gravel roads

It was a fun group of riders out

Our halfway meeting point

As for the entertainment of the ride, I assume full responsibility for being clown of the day. I was leading the ride back and decided that I was missing me some snow rides. Probably going between 7-13 mph, I veered off the pavement and meant to cruise over the crusty snow. The goal was to then end up back on the road. I did end up back on the road, but not in the way I was hoping. After about 7 feet of riding in the snow, my front tire got buried and stuck in the deeper than expected snow. I wasn't a physics major, but I know about the Laws of Motion. And my body was in motion! But my bike was not. A split second later, I found myself upside down in the snow and both of my feet clipped into an upside down fatbike. Seven riders behind me in disbelief as I just start laughing. Luckily I landed in snow and it was a soft landing. Come on guys, we're not new to snow riding and practice makes perfect (landings that is!).

You can see my shadow on the bottom left, I was taking aim and in position for the snow pile ahead. Just cruise right over the crunchy "packed" snow.

Paul was kind enough to offer me some medicine for my troubles.

You can see where my front tire stopped on the right side. About three feet in front of it is where I landed. See the small indentation? Yeah, that's my snow angel for the day.

I was fine and my bike was fine. Was the GoPro running? NO. Dangit. I was taking video all day and had gotten bored with hitting the trigger button. So I just put it on automatic picture mode every 10 seconds. Dangit. It actually crossed my mind to reenact the stupid stunt. Yeah, starving for attention or just plain stupidity. Neither, I just wanted to see myself flip over on my bike from a first person view. But my ego was bruised and I still couldn't believe what had just happened. So we continued our 9 mile ride back. A few miles left and my legs were beginning to cramp. Six hours and 27 miles later, I had made it back home. I proceeded to sleep from 7pm until 2am. Missed the 500th episode of the Simpson. What perfect timing for a seven hour nap!

Gravel grinders!

A leftover cookie from work was awaiting me in my kitchen 

One gravel ride a year is good enough for me. But as much fun as we had as a group, I would definitely do it again.

Our ride out from Greg's neighborhood. Pretty cool because this tracks your altitude.

And this was our way back home, until my phone died. At first I thought it marked my endo, wouldn't that be funny, on Endomondo, the app I use on my phone.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Grandma Ma

Thoughts and prayers go out to my grandma on my mother's side. I just found out that she had a brain aneurysm or hemorrhage this afternoon and is currently in the ER. According to my cousin, she's not doing so well. For some reason, I always though that this picture was hilarious. Guess you had to be there that Christmas. Especially considering that grandma never drinks! Love you grandma and hope you're doing better!
This picture of my Gma was hijacked from my cousin Eric's FB page.

Busy busy weekend!

Wowee, it was one of those weekends where you are rushing from one place to the next, but you manage to get alot done. Ate at two new places, learned some new skills, and did some showing off on the Mukluk to the group.

Cody showed me how to wax a snowboard. Not with the rub on wax, but the real drip drip off the iron onto the board wax. It's really quite simple:
1. Melt the bar of wax onto the board.
2. Iron the board to smooth out the wax.
3. Scrape away the excess until you get a silky smooth underside
That's it! Super easy. Doesn't take much wax, just about an hour or so of time to do. I'm sure that I'll notice a huge difference when we hit A basin and Loveland this weekend. Can't wait!

 Drip the melted wax onto the board

It is literally, "Wax on, Wax off"

 Cody was nice enough to show me the ways

Ate at Eat the Worm with Jena before heading to the Roller Derby and Loom. The food was very good, pretty authentic. Empinadas, Taquitos, tacos, burritos, and nachos are the main entrees. They do have dry rubbed wings, chips, etc. Pretty much made right in front of you. It reminded me of Lazari's in Lincoln, where they serve you pizza by the slice at 2 am on O Street. You can see them make it right next to the bar! It was less of a restaurant than it was a bar, but it was pretty good. Give it a try.

We decided to give the Roller Derby a try. It took place at Mid America Center. Tickets were only $10. Cheap! Unless you go through Ticketmaster. Those guys are thieves. Two tickets for $20. But, if you go through Ticketmaster, they charge you $12 in delivery and convenience charges. So just to give a big F! you to Ticketmaster, I took off from work an hour early and picked up the tickets at Mid America. No taxes, no fees, no facility fees, no nothing. $10 a piece. Highway robbery is synonymous with the way that Ticketmaster runs their business. Sure I lost an hour of wages and had to pay for the gas to drive to Council Bluffs from West O, but I did it to prove a point.

Nothing like going off on an angry tangent! Anyway, the roller derby was alot of fun. They explain the rules to you before they start. There were actually two matches, the Omaha Roller Girls (O.R.G AAA) vs the Des Moines Crash Test Dolls and then the 10th ranked Omaha Rollergirls vs the Des Moines Derby Dames. Pretty exciting, especially since I've never seen a real match before.
Yes guys, they wear some short shorts!

It's not like the roller derby that they use to show on tv. For one, the floor is flat. No ramps and inclines. Secondly, there is no railing for the girls to fling each other off of. Still fun nonetheless. There were more officials and refs than one could count, but I guess with the complex scoring system there has to be. Good times!

So the goal is to block the other team's jammer and get yours ahead first. The first jammer through gets to call the shots for that round. When a jammer passes the blockers on the second lap, they get a point for each they pass. The first jammer can call the session over whenever they want, so they can prevent the other jammer from scoring points if they choose. There are lots of penalties, out of bounds, and other things I'm not sure of. So sometimes it can get down to just one blocker versus a whole team.

 I was trying to do some panning action shots. Basically you move the camera with the subject as you depress the shutter button. It's important to have a slower ISO speed setting on your camera to achieve this effect. Unfortunately I was using my little Canon Elph, up in the stands, and zoomed in 5X trying to get this to work. It would have been fun to have the big DSLR on a tripod at one of these matches. Anyway, the goal is to have a blurry background and keep the subjects in focus. Very cool effect where you can represent the speed in the picture.

After the Roller Derby, we headed over to Loom. They were celebrating Carnivale. It was pretty cool, people were dressed in costumes and masks. DJ Brent Crampton was spinning South American styled techno while drummers banged on tambourines, steel drums, bass drums, and even cowbells. It was very busy and packed, but also very fun at the same time.

And then came Sunday...