Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dashing Through The Snow?

Twas the month before winter, and all through the lands
Not a mitten was worn, there was no cold hands;
The wool stockings were folded with care,
In hopes that winter would be full of hot air;
The Fat Bikes were nestled all snug in their sheds;
While visions of snow banks danced on their treads...

October has been unseasonably warm, which is OK with me since the summer was unseasonably sucky with all the rain making the ability to ride dirt a crap shoot. Right now it might be all water bottles, short sleeves and t-shirts but Nebraskan weather is a fickle bitch and winter is never too far away once you reach the end of October; today could be 70° and tomorrow could be 25° with two feet of snow.  


Winter is coming it's really only a matter of what week at this point, which is why we decided it would be a good idea to stop in and participate in Cycle Works winter cycling clinic last night. While the clinic was geared more toward winter commuting, Rick and Damon had great tips about how to stay warm even if you were more of a weekend warrior when it came to winter riding. One of these days I'll try to get better about the commuting thing, I swear I will. 




Anyone who's ever ridden in the winter knows that a good pair of warm gloves, warm/wind proof shoes or shoe covers and a bright, good quality light are worth their weight in gold (and sometimes it seems like that's what they want for them), Cycle Works has all of those items and everything else you'll need for winter riding and at very competitive prices. Pair that with the added knowledge of people experienced with winter riding to help get you setup right and it just makes sense to shop local.

Despite having all of the above necessities, keeping my feet warm has always been a problem for me, it seems like even with dedicated winter cycling boots I'm lucky to get an hours worth of riding when the temps start to drop below 30° before my toes started to give signs of potential frostbite and I have to head in. So it was awesome when I learned about sock liners last night, going to give them a try this year and see if they help, to be honest didn't even know existed before last night and they seem like a simple way to try to help trap your body heat in. Learn something new every day as they say.

Ploughshare lasagna

After the clinic we decided to head down to Ploughshare and grab a bite to eat; while it's a shame that they aren't serving their own brews yet they still have some really good food and not your typical barf-ood either, you won't find lasagna at many bars and definitely none this good. I've heard November 3rd is the day for them to start having their own beers so it looks like another trip to Ploughshare might be in order next month as well.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Busy Saturday


Saturday started out at the butt crack of dawn, actually it started out before the butt crack of dawn as the sun wasn't even up at 6:40 a.m. when I rolled out of bed to get the bike and gear in/on the car to head to Gretna for a little gravel.


Flat tires and Farm equipment seemed to be the themes for the ride today, technically not flats per se but Brent's front tire had a slow leak which is sometimes worse than an actual flat.


With the hills and my seeming lack of ability to catch my breath this morning the stops to fill the tire were more than welcome.



Harvest time is one of my favorite times of the year, not sure why but I just love all the big farming equipment. It's a good thing that these huge things don't move very fast and don't often travel down the gravel roads, sure would hate to come over a hill and see one of these charging at me.


Refuel in Springfield on the way back to Gretna.


Pretty good ride, almost 30 miles and a little over 2 hours of ride time, not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning.




Spent the afternoon hiking around Schramm Park, 2nd time I've ever been there and first time I've actually walked around inside the Park, the first time consisted of a tour of the restrooms while I was on a previous ride.


I love nature, some of it can be so beautiful and inviting.


Other times it's not so inviting, oddly enough I couldn't convince anyone to give this poor misunderstood tree a hug, sometimes all we need is for someone to love us.


Not sure if I found a Spidey hat or lost a kid but either way if anyone wants it you can find it on the steps leading to the picnic area at Schramm Park. Not sure how far I hiked today but I can tell you that however far it was, that distance combined with the ride this morning was more than enough to kick my butt, but with weather this nice at the end of October who could blame me? I think I'll do myself a favor and sleep in a bit tomorrow morning, Sunday is a day or rest after all. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Native American Rock Depression State Park


Took a drive out to Indian Cave State Park yesterday to do a little hiking, since we live in a time of utmost political correctness I will refer to Indian Cave as Native American Rock Depression because apparently there are no Indians and technically the "Caves" are not caves but more carved out slight depressions into the rock. Luckily hiking can still be called hiking so we are good on that aspect.


Native American Rock Depression State Park is a bit of a trek from Omaha, depending on traffic it is at least a good solid hour and forty five minute drive but in the fall all the different colors from the leaves make it more than worth the drive. Problem is the window is pretty small if you want to nail it exactly when all the leaves are changing but most of them are still on the trees. As you can see there was still a lot of green out there but a fair amount of other colors mixed in there as well, another month from now and my guess would be all the trees will be mostly bare making this view much less impressive in it's drabness.



I can't imagine what this wall must have looked like decades ago before nature and vandals wore down the existing carvings or added their own scribblings to the wall making it difficult to spot the actual rock depression drawings done by the Native Americans.


It's kind of a good thing that we don't really build anything permanent anymore, otherwise generations from now would have nothing but  "money shot" drawings and others like this to judge us on and think we were a bunch of sex deprived perverts trying to suppress our homosexual desires. I guess that might be an accurate depiction of our current generations though so maybe it would be an appropriate drawing to leave behind.



Lots of construction going on out there right now as well as a ton of people due to the absolutely perfect weather. Looks like they are building a man made lake area currently, not sure if the intended purpose is to incorporate swimming activities into the park or to help with flood control when the Missouri River gets high but it should be a nice addition to the park either way.


I knew that they had/allowed horses in the park but to be honest this was the first time I've seen someone riding them in the park, beautiful animals.


The GPS is an awesome invention but it often routes you toward the more beaten path and away from the path less traveled, luckily I had an idea on the way I wanted to go to get there that was not I-29 and it turned out that setting the GPS to shortest rather than fastest followed that route exactly. You just won't see things like this on the interstate.


At the same time you won't have to worry about these kinds of traffic jams either but since there were no other plans for the day it didn't really seem to be that much of an inconvenience and allowed more time to look around.


Wouldn't have driven by the Cooper Nuclear Station either had we followed the fastest route, I knew it was in the area but had never actually been by it until now.


Chuck Norris apparently has a security company in Missouri as well, didn't actually see Chuck but really, who else would call their security company Delta Force?

I'm not much of a hiker but with weather like we are having lately and views like you get from the top of the bluff it was well worth the trip down. Might have to make at least one more down there before the snow and cold settles in.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Riding The Loose Stone


Got out for a little gravel riding today, not much for a story just some pictures.


Tyler rolling on the Fat Bike.


I have seen this church from the interstate about a bazillion times, first time I've ever actually been there though. The climb up to the church feels like it might actually kill you, seems only fitting that a church would be at the top of it.


Another first for me was a visit to Schramm Park so that I could lean the bike against this rock wall... separating us from more rocks.