Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Like a Rollercoaster

We've all ridden a rollercoaster. It's full of ups and downs, twists and turns. And sometimes if you're really adventurous, it'll even hang you upside down. Well that's how my life has been over this past week. You're probably thinking Mike, puhlease, what are you talking about? You're life is easy...Alright, let me begin. Well I'm once again back to living the single life. Jena called it quits last Monday. MNR with pizza or breakup after a year and three months? Guess I took the hard way out on that Monday night! But it's all for the better, I guess. Slowly convincing myself that.

My buddy from high school died the day before. Can't say that I had contact with him after high school, but you can still picture him in your mind from sitting in class together. Sucks, especially when he was a bright kid and a good friend back in the day.

Found out that another good friend of mine is having a ton of trouble at home. Fiance pregnant and leaving him. Wow, is there any turnaround to this week? But thats when the rollercoaster starts to go up after being down for such a long time.

Amazing tacoride. I'm sure that you've all ready about it already. Cody, thanks for riding. Had a great time for our first tacoride of 2012. I really needed it to lift my spirits.

Watch as the GoPro comes off of my head and sinks to the bottom of the waterslide. Whoops!

Rhythm Collective started out the music at Fun Plex

Two guys on banjos, they call themselves Banjo Loco. Actually sound pretty good. I vaguely remember them playing Tool on banjos. 

This kid was a hula hooping freak!

So I couldn't believe that they allow this at the pools (I've heard Thomasville Apts allows this also). Security didn't care. 

Then came the weekend. Memorial Day Weekend that is. What is there to do? The weekend screamed hot left and right. Pool? Why not a water park with your best friend? Jeremy and I spent the entire day on Sunday at Fun Plex. They were having their annual Memorial Day Bash. Why hadn't I heard of this before? Asked as many people we knew to go, but ended up just being us two. $10 in the door gets you access to the water park and five bands throughout the day/night. Best part? 21 and over only meaning it wouldn't be as crowded with families and little ones running everywhere. Heck yeah that's going to be a blast! Pound the PBRs in the parking lot, go in and sit on a tube on the lazy river with a watermelon drink in hand. Twelve hours later, go home. Funny because the only two bands I remember are the first and the last. Rhythm Collective played first, I've heard them before and they are sort of like a rock/reggae band. Good tunes! Spoke to a DJ in between bands and he seemed to know his music. Not gonna lie, I'm not sure he was really spinning. But who am I to judge? People were enjoying his DJing and that's all that matters. The last band I remember was an 80's cover band. They had the outfits and the hair to show for it! Time to make an exit on Thunderstruck by AC/DC.

Lisa, Candy, and Angel doing who knows what. But I'm not complaining.

There was some flashing going on during this game of volleyball by one of the girls. But Jeremy was not distracted. Or was he?

Yup, definitely an 80s hairband!

Then I got a call that night as we're going through the Taco John's drive thru. Mike, they accepted your offer. Offer on what you might ask? House hunting has come to an end! I signed the papers today and inspection will be done with a walkthrough next Monday. It was a battle with the sellers and I'll tell you about it later. Don't want to jinx myself quite yet. But I found a nice house in Bennington. It's not too far from where I'm currently at and it's exactly what I've been looking for. It's plenty of house for just ol' me. Enjoyed my Taco John's and proceeded to walk home from Jeremy's house. That boy was passed out! Who knew that walking two measly miles would take me 45 minutes in flip flops?

With Sunday Funday over, it was time for Funday Monday! Ended up fishing out at Lake Wanahoo for most of the day. If you haven't heard, it's the new lake out by Wahoo. Get it, Wanahoo? Its a pretty big lake, all man made of course. They basically flooded some farm fields. Yup, that's about it. But according to their map, it's as deep as 20-30 feet in some areas. It's a weird sight to see, dead trees in the middle with the water covering more than half the tree. It reminded me alot of Lake Manawa during the flooding.

These were swimming around everywhere!

The fishing was good. I caught three, mostly bluegill and crappie. Jeremy caught some crappies or bluefish and then a walleye. He used leeches, I stuck with my bait of corn and hot doggies. No minnows allowed. Only worms or leeches. Or Bar S in my case. He lost a lot of fish, including his rod and reel into the lake. Funniest thing I've ever seen in my life. Just flew out of his hands. If you know Jeremy, there were three words that came out of his mouth. What the F?! Haha. The family next to us caught an amazing amount of fish, they even borrowed some of the leeches. Not sure what we were doing wrong, we even set our bobbers and all about the height as theirs. There are many areas to fish from out there, will definitely head back out there sometime and try again. They have grills in the ground so we'll have to bring some charcoal and food for lunch next time.
You get alot of this each to you bring your hook in.

End the weekend with a bbq at Jeremy's. Darren, Andy, Jeremy and myself ate some delicious burgers and potatoes. Unfortunately the Celtics got spanked by the Heat. Oh well. I guess its shape up or ship out.

Doing it right! Finishing off the long week with a good bbq with friends.

And there my friend is the end to my crazy week. As the pictures show, it was a crazy good time. Probably one of the most fun weekends I've had in a very long time! Things usually turn out in the long run. Just gotta push through it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

One of those rides

I'm going to explain my ride tonight and you'll know exactly what I mean. We've all been there. Go for a ride after work because who knows what mother nature will bring us these next two days. You get out there, don't see anyone you know and just ride. You legs are spinning those cranks as though they were welded directly to your body. You're like a well oiled robot on tonight's ride, everything you've learned about biking in the past just makes sense. You take turns with ease and pedal efficiently out of them. What seemed like a climb in previous rides is merely another flat section in your mind. Those usual water stops to catch your breath just breeze on by as you keep the momentum going of those 26 or 29 inch wheels.

They talk about a runner's high, well what about a biker's high? We've ridden Tranquility hundreds of times, spent countless hours out there with buddies working on the trail. And hate to admit it, but sometimes riding that same trail three times a week gets boring. But for some reason, tonight's ride is different. There is wildlife galore on the trail, a wild turkey on the north side, bunnies running along side you down by the ice rink. You see an occasional rider behind you but there is no way you are going to let them catch up. Your bike is heavier than the others in your stable, but your legs don't seem to mind.

Next thing you know, a full lap has quickly gone by. The sun is going down and you're almost out of water. Should you go for another? As you retrace your steps to where you first began, you decide to head on home and call it a day. The only thing on your mind is wow what a great ride. That, and when do I get to ride again...

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Temps were near perfect as Cody and I set off from Council Bluffs towards Mineola. It was raining the morning of and questionable clouds all day long, so the ride could have been a no go. But as 5pm rolled around, there was no doubt that we were going. It was sunny and temps in the 60s. Perfect! For Cody, Natalie and I, this was our first Tacoride of the year! Woohoo, can you feel the excitement? For Kellan and Jim, their 6th they counted. Wow, I'm behind the times!

We all finally met down in Margaritaville, which didn't take long for Cody and I to get down to. About 40 minutes? The Mukluk and Chumba were smoking it! Not too many people on the ride compared to last (according to Jim and Kellan), so that helped set the right atmosphere.

After making it down to Mineola, we found a live band on a trailer, a huge twister game going on in the street, and tables set up all throughout the street. This place yells fun left and right! But even with those table, there still wasn't enough seating. Cody and I finally made our way to the back of the restaurant and sat down. Service was fairly quick, and get this, my tacos were hot! Granted we were five feet from the taco making station, but I'm just saying. I devoured six tacos and Cody had the pork tenderloin. Not the Slick's (mess up in order), but he said it was proabably better that way.

The band was good, playing lots of tunes for every audience. Cirkle of Fifths was their name. After speaking to a coworker who owns the Driftwood, the lead singer is only 15! Crazy! Food done, drinks done, time to roll on out. The night was perfect and the trail was dry. Almost too dry as my black Muk is now white and covered in limestone dust. As Cody and I were riding back, we helped TWO people out of the ditches. All of a sudden you would see a light just tumble down the side of the trail. What the heck? Or in one case, no light tumble down. Just see the bike with no light veer off to the side. The guy was about 10 ft into the ditch. I helped pull him and his bike out. Said he was alright and we were on our way. Drink much?

The best part of the ride besides the weather, great atmosphere, and hot tacos? There were four fatbikes on the trail! Mike on his Pugs, me on my Muk, a deputy/sheriff on his blue Muk, and Anthony on his grey Pugsley. I talked to him shortly, can't remember what tires he was running. Possibly Nates, because I didn't see the 45NRTH Husker Du words on the side. He also had a belt driven Alfine8 drivetrain going. Pretty crazy, first that I've seen. His buddy kept yelling, "Google belt driven Pugs, belt driven Pugs." I guess its the only one out there according to his friend. Pretty cool.

The Mukluk is waiting to get some Botox in the cosmetic room

Red bull Berg Line 2012

Wowee, check out that wall ride! I have quite a few videos with Darren Berrecloth and that guy can ride like no other! Here is the link if you want full screen

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tranquility after work Wednesday?

My legs are well rested from three straight days of riding over the weekend. Anybody plan to ride Tranquility after work? I'll be out there. Nothing too intense, need to survive the Taco Ride on Thursday.

I have yet to look at Swanson riding photos from Sunday, but will work on that tomorrow night. I had the Go Pro set to take pics every two secs on the Chesty mount so there are a ton.

These fish are dumb

Bird brain, we've all heard of that. But what about fish brain? Worked late, fished late, hit the gym late. Managed to catch four fish tonight out at Standing Bear. Buddy Todd, 0. I'm not bragging...I'm just saying. I'm not sure what it is that I'm doing to be so lucky. As of right now, my bait is frozen Kroger corn and cheap Bar-S hotdogs.

This stupid fish fell for the empty hook trick

But these fish are so freaking dumb. My line was tangled, so I cast out an empty hook and proceeded to dump my line out along the trail because it had double backed on itself somehow (just like last Sunday). I had TONS of line out and I see my bobber go down. Huh? No bait. Just a hook. Fish grabbed my empty hook! So I did another yank of the line with my hand like I did on Sunday. Hooked the sucker and Todd helped me bring the fish in.

We fished by the boat dock at Standing Bear tonight. Lots of geese and ducks around there. I noticed that the fish were also smaller on that side for some reason. Using bait to catch bait. Yeah, two of them were that small.

I'm silly...

I started running last week in the gym. And anybody who knows me or knows of me knows that I hate running. I would rather drive nails through my fingers than run. But gotta do what you gotta do. There are some adventure races coming up and yes, they require running. I have no clue who is planning to do them this year, but if anybody wants to form a team with me then I MIGHT be down. I got the biking part down, the running, no. There are some adventure races that require little running, so I would be more tempted to do those.

As for my workouts, I'm getting big again. And that's a happy sight. It's been awhile since I was last able to push the weight that I'm pushing now. Was always fatigued by the time I got to the gym. As of right now, I'm biking about 3 times per week and lifting heavy 3-4 times per week. Those medium tshirts need to barely fit on me. lol.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Taco Ride this week?

Live band and street dance at Mineola. High of 80 with a 30% chance of rain. I don't have to work as early on Friday, so I'm down. Who is in?

Ryan Smith

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Ryan Smith. He was a friend of ours back at Waverly High School. Bright kid and always nice to everyone. From the clip of news that I heard, a tractor rolled on top of him on Sunday out by Alvo. Sad.

Wide awake

Is text messaging a real form of communication? A doctor at work once said no. if no, its funny how a message delivered by a few presses on a virtual keyboard  can cause you to lose sleep and totally think differently about someone.

In my mind, a message that can cause that much of a change in emotion or feelings no matter what the subject would be communication.

Those are my thoughts at 5am! Have a nice Tuesday everyone!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fishing...round two!

More fishing...after the ride on Sunday and some delicious brats prepared by Chef Neef (thanks Chef!), buddy Todd and I got in a few hours of fishing before it got dark. Caught two more fish at Standing Bear. The first one I caught happened while I was trying to fix a tangled line. I look over and my bobber was underwater. Too bad I had about an extra 15 feet of line out and trying to straighten it up on the trail by the water. So I yanked on the line with my hand and hooked the fish. Hilarious.

Catching fish while not even looking seems to be my skill

Todd also caught a fish, but not really. Guess I'll give him credit. There was a bobber floating in from far away. Eventually it ended up in front of my line. I tried to get the bobber with my line, but missed. Then I saw the bobber moving in the opposite direction than what the water was moving. I was like huh? Eventually it made its way over to Todd after doing all sorts of crazy patterns. Todd tried the same, was able to get a feel of the bobber and line with his line. Fish on there! It was moving faster now. Todd managed to cast out again and again and finally caught the fish attached to the bobber. Pretty crazy. We called it the fish that got away, from someone else's pole that is! Good times.

This fish was attached...if you know what I mean

It was getting dark around 9 and I decided to call it quits. Started reeling in my line and next thing I know, a striped bass grabs my hot dog and corn smorgasbord of a meal about five feet in front of me. Its when you least expect it that a fish latches on. Standing Bear is so close and I've been having good luck. Sounds like I'll be doing more fishing in the near future!

2012 Wear Yellow Ride

This was my second Wear Yellow ride this past Saturday and it was much better than last year's. Last year's took place at Chalco Hills and somehow I missed the group leaving and that was a really big bummer. Ended up riding around the lake over and over just to get some miles in. This year, the ride took place at SAC Museum and took to the highway. I was sure to be there with plenty of time and successfully left with the 22 miler group. They also had 34 and 47 mile routes. And boy was I glad that I chose the 22 mile ride!!!

It was a good turnout for the 22 miler group

It didn't even occur to me to wear yellow until I got there

For those of you not aware of Wear Yellow Nebraska, their goal and vision is, "Uniting Nebraskans in the fight against cancer through advocacy, awareness and fundraising."

Fine. There's yellow in my Jawbones!

Why am I glad that I chose the shortest route? Those rolling hills have those climbs that seem to go on for miles. Kind of like those gravel grinders we do in the winter time, but longer. Now if I had a road bike or an actual hybrid, then sure it would have been easier. But come on, on a fat bike doing fundraiser rides? Heck yeah!!! That's how I roll! Got quite a few words of encouragement from fellow riders telling me how awesome it was that I was doing the ride on a fatty.

The pitstop at around 10 miles
The 20mph winds that were blowing were intense. Shortly after turning off of Church Road and heading back towards Park Hwy, the wind finally turned to a tailwind for a measly 3 miles or so. I've never seen my fatbike go so fast before (a whopping 28mph, chuckles)! It was actually the first time that I've used the big ring on that bike and I've now ridden the Mukluk for over 600 miles? The other 19 miles or so, the wind was either in my face or it was blowing me sideways. Those oversized tires catch the wind like crazy. Chris and I have discussed this before during a gravel ride. Feels like your bike is tipped at an angle just to keep yourself upright. And those gusts of wind just push your bike sideways on the road. Kind of freaks you out when you are approaching 20 plus mph on the highway and you are leaning against the wind to stay upright.

This was the 9th annual WYN ride and I plan to do it again next year. No luck getting my raffle tickets drawn this year, last year was much more fruitful. But its all good. They had at least two dozen jerseys they were giving away, shirts, Lucky Bucket and Scheels gift certificates, Twin Six, bike parts, donations from Bike Way, HDR, UP, amongst many other. Grand prize was a Yellow Saris Bones 3 rack. It was funny because one of the raffle winners didn't know that it was the grand daddy prize and started walking away with it. Had to return it. Whoopsie! Over $3500 in prizes were given away! Including door prizes which Jena somehow won without even being present! Nice!

Pancake Man was there serving up pancakes and sausage. Good way to refuel after that wind beat the crap out of me on the ride. Good times and what better way to spend a Saturday morning than to ride for cancer awareness! It also included free admission into the SAC museum. Wow, I can't believe I never walked through that place after it moved. What an awesome place! I felt like a kid again at an airshow with my parents. Anyway, can't wait till next year to ride again! Who knows what bike I'll bring next year...

Very cool to have it at SAC museum in the restoration hanger. Place is huge!

A quick reminder, the Rollin to Colon ride is next month. It's the sister ride to the WYN ride. Starts in Valley, goes out to Colon for the long haulers, then back. It takes place Sunday, June 17th. Psycowpath racers, think of it as your cool down after racing at Ponca the day before!

The route brought back many memories of an also windy Tour de Cure ride last year. Actually, much of the same route was used.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Good times, Good DJs

Don't laugh at my new drinks that I tried. One was called Paradise Lost and the other was a fizzy strawberry beer. How were they? Freakin amazing! $7 drink called Paradise Lost consist of cucumber infused vodka, some soda, maybe some sugar, and a slice of kiwi fruit. Amazing tasting! You know how fresh tasting the cucumber makes your water taste at Blue Sushi? Well think of the same but in vodka form. So good, but so expensive! Especially when you're buying a round or two for four or more people!

Buddy Jeremy and his goofy looking hat! Almost matches my goofy looking stache!

And then the strawberry beer. It's not like the strawberry beer that Empyrean brews and sells at Upstream. this was about 10 times better. Think of mixing strawberry soda of some sort with a lager. I can't even explain it. Yes, I'm not embarrassed to admit that I like a strawberry beer!  The DJs were good and the company was good at Loom. My friends were also drinking root beer mixed with Absinth. Blech! You should have seen the look on Sara's face after her husband Ryan handed it to her. Priceless!

Wow, Jeremy never dances!

Co-worker Molly was out too. She's got the crazy moves yo!