Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rain and more rain!

Rain rain go away, go away so I can bike some day!

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Riding to the Bush concert

This past Thursday, Stir concert cove opened their 2013 lineup with Bush. Local band Screaming for Silence was the opener. What does this mean? Another good summer of riding to the concerts from downtown. And it was a beautiful night for it!

I should have at least gone in to get a photo of Bush. But oh well. Over the fence was good enough for me this time

I met up with Cody behind Greenstreet and we rode from there. We were got to Harrah's right as Paul and Cali were showing up. Nick was enjoying one at Upstream and he eventually met us up. It was a beautiful night. Paul brought olives! Haha. I laugh, but man we ate those up!

Full moon out!

We kicked on the big lights

People offered us tickets left and right. Cali and Nick went into the concert, the rest of us were content just sitting outside not dealing with the crowds, bathroom lines, and the expensive beers. Was a good time and Bush sounded great! Played all of their famous songs, opened with Machinehead and one of the closers was Glycerine.

Cali on her new Giant mt bike!

We monkeyed around in the new park by the pedestrian bridge, tried to get the lights to follow us. But we ended up kicking the white overhead lights on. Sorry to the guy that was up in the cherry picker trying to take photos!

I bet they don't sell olives!

Came across this website called Omahype. Tells you things going on for the week and the month in Omaha. While Omahanightlife does an okay job at telling you about nightlife in Omaha, this website has races and runs, art gallery openings, films, food (farmers market), etc.

My Jeep buying experience

The Jeep. I think its gonna change how I spend my summer, if not life. Now I can camp, travel, fish, and bike with everything inside. I'm planning to do more photography and I think this will give me more opportunities to get to places that I couldn't with my Accord coupe. In my mind, I have a picture that I hope to one day take. There is this red barn in the middle of the country with golden wheat fields surrounding it. Blue skies and white Simpsons like clouds float overheard. Yes, I have yet to find it. But will. And this winter, you bet I'm gonna cram snowboards and buddies in there and head to Colorado to hit the slopes and hot tubs!

A friend of mine asked if this was my garage. I WISH!

Took less than five minutes to get the two front panels off.

Buying this Jeep wasn't an easy process. Its about four years in the making. I started off wanting a Jeep Wrangler, switched to a Toyota Tacoma, then went back to the Jeep after deciding that a Tacoma wouldn't fit my bike inside while I was at work. The only problem is that pre 3.6L Jeeps had the older 3.8L engines in them. 200hp for a heavy four door Wrangler just wasn't enough power. I test drove it and just wasn't impressed with the power. I grew up driving an S10 Blazer and man that thing was underpowered and I didn't want to go through that again! So with word of a new 285hp / 260lb-ft of torque Pentastar engine being put in, I decided to wait.

This is on the wheels

Well fast forward to last year and I bought my house out in Bennington. The Honda has always done a good job getting me onto Maple Street from the apartment when its snowy. Seriously, its all about knowing how to drive in the snow. But now, living north of 156th and State would be a little more tricky getting to work. And my neighborhood street leading to my driveway...forget about it! I got stuck at the bottom of the hill one night after a blizzard. Luckily, I turned around and made it through the back entrance to the neighborhood. Surprisingly, the fatbike had better traction than my car that night in the neighborhood. Everyone at work joked the next day that I should have just biked to work. That was a riot, riding in the snow on a bike and having the neighbors look at you like you're crazy. All part of riding a fatbike!
Fitting things in the Honda was getting to be a headache

Great for traildays

And great for the trails. I can even keep my front tire on.

I started looking again for a Jeep late last year. Man that Orange Crush is a cool color. Throw some big tires on that thing and stand out like a sore thumb. That's what I wanted. I'm not one that usually likes to follow the crowd when it comes to things. Probably why I have so many hobbies. Photography, spinning turntables, riding a fatbike, fishing and now gardening. And how many Asian guys do you know that had a 6 inch mohawk and help run Lasik surgery? Ha! Got to be unique in the things you do! Anyway, I searched high and low for a new or used one for a good price. It was turning out that a 1 yr used Wrangler Sahara was about as much as buying new. My plan to buy used had just gone down the drain. Then come to find out that Orange was no longer offered! Dang. Jeep rolls out new colors every year with their Jeeps. From Gecko Green, Cosmos Blue, Dozer Yellow, to Rock Lobster Red. Yeah, pretty creative in their color schemes. But I didn't like any of them currently out. Deep Cherry Red or Billet silver were my two choices when I first arrived at Baxter a couple weeks ago. My salesman Eric Collins greeted me and helped me begin my search. None on the lot had the features I wanted, so time to look through their database of vehicles out there.

True Blue Pearlcoat! Its all about the metallic flakes!

How did I end up settling with the True Blue Pearlcoat? My dad had told me about the blue but without seeing it, it didn't appeal to me. Eric said they had one lifted and modified in the showroom. Well, maybe I'll take a look at the color. Yeah, damn them. That modified Jeep sold me. While I couldn't afford a Jeep already modded (they were asking $44k for a Sport model! Yikes), I found the color that I wanted. In the dimmer light, the blue looks closer to black. In the sunlight though, wow, the metallic color just pops out and catches your eye. Practically changes color in the sun. Find me one!

The little things that make you smile. This is the middle of the cupholder

On the windshield

IMO, both bike and Jeep are Trail rated!

Well Baxter did (a guy named Tyler came to help us out). Unfortunately all they told me was that it could be 100-500 miles away. And they wanted me to put down an offer, then they'll get the car to me within 5-10 days. Put down an offer on something I can't see or even test drive? Nah, not my kinda style. So I went home to do more research. Turns out that Jeep was at Performance Jeep out at LaVista. I was like what? So I emailed Eric and told him (he didn't know it was in town). He went and got the Jeep for me the next day and I drove it that evening. It was the Jeep I wanted, but he had stayed an hour after closing just to let me drive it. The deal would have to be made Saturday.

I originally wanted orange. This image is from the internet somewhere.

That next day was Saturday. Joel, Paul and I had gone riding at Calvin Crest that morning.. Then we stopped at Irv's in Fremont to eat. I drank a lot of beer. Think I passed out from a beer/food coma while Paul drove us back. Shoot, I was suppose to go talk money with Eric in an hour. I napped, showered, and was either hungover or still buzzing from the Lucky Bucket and Boulevard beer. Crap! I got to Baxter and Eric was helping a handicap couple. So I waited in the waiting room. Good chug a lug some water and try to get my game face on. I look down, my zipper was stuck, I forced it up. Broke the entire damn zipper. The two halves wouldn't join together! Ahhh! Luckily I had a jacket on. Well I zip up my jacket. The zipper on the jacket got stuck 1/4 of the way up. What! I was so embarassed. I pulled my jacket down as far as it would go (barely covered up the broken jeans zipper). Jeez. But I kept waiting and Eric knew I was there but couldn't break away. Finally I ended up leaving because I had stuff going on that night.

The night I got stuck in my neighborhood in the Accord. The Jeep was an expensive fix to that problem!

I had read good reviews online about Pro Chrysler down in Plattsmouth. And they had a billet silver Jeep. Just no leather. Well, doesn't hurt to look. Greg Larsen helped me out down there. Super laid back, showing me pictures of where he use to live. Good guy. No presssure to buy. Loved the experience. But the Jeep was lacking the leather and heated seats/mirrors, but had other options that the blue one did not. No deal, even though they gave me a very good price on it. So far, dealing with the salesman was a good experience.

The Baxter showroom Jeep that had me sold on the color

Well then came Woodhouse Jeep up in Blair. They only had the green baby poop colored Jeep along with the tan looking one in the Sahara models. Definitely not what I was looking for. Matt Braun was courteous and a good guy to work with. We tried a dealer search to find other Jeeps. He came back with a higher up person and I wasn't impressed. Guy came back and was pushing me to make an offer on a Jeep that wasn't there. Then he said just build one. They would give me invoice pricing (even though I told them that Pro Chrysler gave me under invoice pricing). Even said that he wouldn't be able to give me a great price. Just a good price. I was like huh? Stunned, I listened more. He said well you live in Bennington, super close to Blair. We'll treat you like a neighbor. Need anything, we'll even pick up your Jeep for you and give you a loaner. What can we do to get you to sign today? Make an offer today. What's your next step? Pretty pushy, almost wouldn't let me leave the tiny cubicle that they had me in. Not impressed by the other guy that walked in to assist Matt and I.

Eric Collins and I after the deal was signed

Well my mind was made up after that. I was going to go with the blue one. Back to Baxter to meet with Eric. It took 2 hrs of negotiating to get to the price I wanted. At first they couldn't do it. I spoke to my parents an hour into the process (who have been helping me to look in the Michigan/Chicago area). They told me to walk. They MIGHT call me back. Well I stayed and Eric and another guy were able to get to the price I wanted. After the other guy left, I thanked Eric and we just laughed. I didn't think the price I wanted was going to be doable for them, either did Eric! But we got it done...I had a tow package installed and picked the Jeep up a couple days later.

Leather and navigation were a must for me. I get lost alot. Haha. And muddy bikes and clothes go with riding singletrack, so figured leather would be easier to wipe clean.

My first new car buying experience was a success! Eric was a great guy to work with. Always courteous and follows up with phone calls. I had gone in to get my spare key and bought some touch up paint just in case. Eric greeted me and was in the middle of helping another customer (who happened to be buying the 10 year anniversary Rubicon edition in the Anvil color). He ran out and got my VIN to match the paint. I bought my paint and left. He even called me an hour later to make sure I got what I needed. What a great guy!

Why did I buy a Jeep? They are known to be unreliable, ride rough, etc. Well I needed a 4x4 for winter biking and just to get home from work. But why a Wrangler and not a 4Runner, Grand Cherokee, Honda, etc? I've always wanted a convertible, so why not kill two birds with one stone? Also, how many vehicles have accessories galore that you can modify and add on to make it truly your own?  Now I need to save up some money before I start dropping money into the Jeep. Tires, wheels, small lift, bumpers, winch (there you go Paul!), etc. It'll slowly come about. I plan to own this vehicle for a long time so its all good.

Yeah, no way I can get two vehicles in here. And I wanted to keep Paul's donated workbench in my garage

4 hours later.

After almost a week of ownership, I'm super happy with my Jeep. My weedwacker fits in there, bike, everything. I took off the front Freedom panels the other day after work when it was super nice. Only took 5 minutes to get them off and they fit in a storage bag in the back. Huge smile as I drove home. Drove to lunch one day with the girls from work. Now two of them want a Wrangler, and they even asked me to borrow it for lunch yesterday. Said sorry, drove the Honda! I did have to spend 4 hours last weekend tearing down shelving in my stupidly small garage in order to accommodate two vehicles. But they fit! All in all, a great experience so far! Oh yeah, and finally being able to sit in the back of MY vehicle at the trail has been a long time dream of mine. Did it after weed wacking Tranquility. Felt great!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The new Jeep

I'll do a write up on my buying experience soon. You guys will see me with it eventually, probably tomorrow at the trailday tell you the truth

White pugs in todays paper

Todays newspaper has an article about Common Good Recycling, where Leslie Wells uses a fatbike to recycle. Find the article in todays Living section.

Sent from my HTC smartphone on the Now Network from Sprint!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Clunker racing

A couple of weeks ago, I was eating at DJs Dugout for lunch and this was showing on Fox Sports tv (the English sports channel that shows Premiership Soccer). Teams of two were battling it out on clunkers. They go round and round on a small oval dirt track, probably three laps or so. Man it was exciting, they were pushing each other off the track, and pedaling all out in sprints. Think we need to install an oval track at Tranquility and buy some cheap junkie bikes!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Wear Yellow Ride is this Saturday morning

I've decided to volunteer this year for the ride. I kind of want to see what its like on the other end of these charity bike rides that I've been doing. Anyway, this year the fee for each rider goes towards providing a cab ride for a cancer patient. How awesome is that? I'm hoping to see some familiar faces.

Answer is: You start walking

Question is: What you do when the fat gets a flat! Wednesday afternoon, the weather is nice and I need to get out. Go fishing or go for a ride. Heck, I'll ride to Tranquility and make it home by dark. Everyone was busy so I rode by myself. Bumped into DMars and rode about 1/2 of Tranquility with him. I was doing great, nine miles into my ride and legs and lungs were feeling great. You can just tell its gonna be a good ride

flat and you can see the nubbin sticking out

Until we stopped to talk to his sister. I hear this wsshhhhh...Umm I think I have a flat. Yup, there goes all the air. Must be a flat. Patch kit? Nope. Tube? Nope. Cell phone? Nope. Car in the parking lot? Nope. You know where this is going.

The backside of the culprit. Pretty pointy.


We had just exited the Fort Street section of pine trees. What to do...what to do. Walk home or walk to Bike Masters? There was clearly something large sticking out of my rear Endo. I have an inner tube at home but its not doing me any good on the trail. Eh. I'll walk it. It can't be too far...

Well it was. Cleats on and pushing a bike where the humongous sidewall is just scraping everying it comes in contact with on the bike. Out of Tranquility. Into Standing Bear. Two miles of walking done. Whoa, I'm pushing this thing at 2.8 miles per hour. Only about 2 more hours until I get home! Then I saw Dave N and Brian at the 132nd street entrance of Standing Bear. Talked for a bit, I'll keep walking. I need to learn a lesson and want a good story about how I walked the walk. Usually "Walking the walk" involves a crazy night of drunkeness and trying to walk home or to taco bell or something insanely stupid. But this time, no alcohol was involved.

Get all the way to the other side of Standing Bear. Man it a long walk from one end to the other. Get stopped by some fishermen and we talk bikes and fishing for about half an hour. Next thing we know, a Russian guy pulls up in a silver Volvo station wagon (with painted red lug nuts on all four wheels, odd I would notice this, but it was so tacky looking) and asks about the fishing. Say its no good. Then he shuts off his car and asks if we wish to buy fishing rods and reels. Only $20-30. Huh? He opens his hatch and he has about a dozen rods and reels. Some used only once he says. What is going on here? So eventually I take off before things get more weird. Once I got to 144th street, there was Dave N with his pickup waiting for me. He knew I was too stubborn to accept the ride earlier, but suddenly there was my savior. Man my feet were sore!!!

After coming back from the Bahamas, I had the impression that people out there are much nicer. Well Omaha is slowly changing my mind. While walking through Standing Bear, an older couple and their dog offered me a ride home with my bike. He said he had a van that I could just throw my bike in. I said thank you for the offer and kept walking. The two couples that were fishing just talked it up with my like we were old pals from the neighborhood. And then Dave N was kind enough to come get me and even feed me a beverage. Thanks Dave N! I owe you many.

Must have been thousands of ants moving house. Saw this a couple times while walking home.

So I pulled this "stick" out of the tube and tire. Pointy on one side, blunt on the end sticking out. What luck. I have a new innertube in my garage for my fatbike, a 120tpi one even. I'll throw that on and attempt to fix up my Endo. Not a huge gaping hole, just a break in the rubber. Probably patch up the old tube and just keep it as an emergency spare. Need to order a new tire, might as well. Especially for next winter. But man, those things are $150 a tire! More than my car tires!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Playing in the mud at Calvin Crest and at home

While most folk were racing at Platte River, Paul, Joel and I decided to hit up Calvin Crest to see how the riding would be. All I can say is wow, the place always amazes me. It was in great condition, we had to push a tree off the trail but that was about it. Besides nearly losing my bike on the road, nobody got injured during the ride. All in all it was a great day of riding!

Paul and his new Krampus

So my buddy Joel hasn't been on the trails in about many many years, since he lived in Pennsylvania. I was expecting him to bring his full suspension Cannondale. I told him how easy Calvin Crest is to ride, not much climbing, one of the more tame trails in the THOR network. He called me Saturday morning after already leaving his house, telling me that he had watched a video online and wasn't sure what to expect. He was thinking Mopac trail like, somehow he got it in his mind that there were multiple types of trails at Calvin. Especially after I had talked it down just to get him out to ride with us. Whoops, and that is where I had made my mistake. I asked him which bike he was bringing. His new All City cross bike. HIS CROSSBIKE??? Is it too late to turn around and get your full sus rig? I'm already on the road. Alright then, see you there. I hung up...and just chuckled. It was gonna be a long ride for Joel!

Joel and his new All City

Well Joel actually did alright. Besides not being able to stop too well with the canti brakes, he kept up with us most of the ride. Log crossings didn't even stop him. Until near the end. One mistake sent him flying off the bike. A mistake like that and its hard to ride the same afterward. Hoping he had fun anyways!

Great work to those that put in the new section of trail. It is SWEET! Very long, swoopy climbs and downhills like Jewell, and there is a slight drop off while going down a steep decline. I had to look at it first and think about it. The bypass was just as steep and hairy looking!

It doesn't look like much of a dropoff, and its not. But its fairly steep

It was a tight turn

It was a steep hill. And yes, his bike is way over there

Two creek crossings were enough to get the bike covered in mud. They were fun, but not sure how it'll sustain repeated use this year. We ended the ride with a trip to the Wooden Windmill, that was closed. Ended up eating at Irv's where I had the large New Yorker and a crap ton of beer. I was already dozing off on the ride home (Paul drove) from the food coma!

That was the large sandwich. Not to be confused with the small sandwich, the 1/2 small sandwich, or the 1/2 large sandwich. All of which are choices at Irv's in Fremont.

Playing in the mud:

 Tomatoes, red and green peppers, jalepeno, hot peppers, and basil.  

I planted a ton of stuff this weekend. Playing in the mud after playing in the mud. In the front I planted Asiatic Lillies, Colombines, Impatiens, some Juncus twisty grass, and some blue flowers. This neighborhood looks dull, needed to liven up the neighborhood with some color! My house is the only one with any flowers. Let's see how long I can keep them alive!