Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Circle Jerk

Just what Lincoln needed, one more roundabout because the drivers here have already proven how adept they are at circumnavigating the ones we currently have. 11th and D, it's your turn to go right round.


The F-bomb national anthem

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Flight of the Bumblebee

TNNDDR got canceled today, which was probably a good thing as I was in a bit of a funk this afternoon that I just couldn't seem to shake. Decided to get out for a ride anyway even if I didn't really necessarily feel like it, sometimes the best rides are those we don't want to do but do anyway.


Looked like it could have rained at anytime but looks can be deceiving around here when it comes to weather and it never did. Headed down to take a look at Wilderness and see what kind of shape it was in, it was actually in decent shape, still a bit too wet for me to feel comfortable riding it but it should be perfect tomorrow barring any additional rain.


There are certain color combos that should be avoided, especially in certain patterns... like this one. When wearing black and yellow together one should BEE careful to avoid stripes of alternating colors, especially if you're going to be bumbling around in the open.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Golden Ticket

Last night Cycle Works hosted Bikers Love Beer at the shop and a whole lot of awesome followed after that. The concept was to get a bunch of home-brewers who like to brew and ride bikes together in one spot and have a friendly little competition to see who could brew the crowd favorite IPA. Luckily finding volunteers to judge such and event amongst the cycling community wasn't all that difficult, something about beers and bikes just go together... even more lucky for me, I managed to get my hands on one of the tickets to get in.

If you didn't have one of these...

IMG_2949 couldn't get in here and believe me in there was where you wanted to be last night.


I think the unofficial count for the night was somewhere around 150 people, most of whom biked, we showed up about 5 minutes before the event and were greeted to a full bike parking area. It was pretty rad to see that many bikes outside the shop at one time that weren't for sale, if there hadn't been beer and burgers a person could have spent hours looking at all the different bikes but who in their right minds is going to do that when there is cold beer and hot grass fed hamburgers to be had.


Those that chose not to ride were almost the lucky ones as far as parking was concerned, on this night it might have been easier to find a place to park your car than your bike.


Once inside you were treated to 12 different home-brewers with their own take on an IPA, all you had to do was grab a Hoegaarden sample glass (which was free to take home... like a drunken door prize) a score sheet and then just sample each of the 12 beers and rate them. Krampus and Mukluk from TNNDDR fame,  unbeknownst to me until now, are also home-brewers as well as dirt shredders, of course they weren't at the booth when I snapped this picture but they brewed a very tasty IPA.


Nathan, the man who brought it all together, giving out instructions. It was loud in there and just got louder as the night and the drinking progressed, I am guessing Nate's voice is gone today but that's a small price to pay for pulling off such a hugely successful event.


Damon's idea of a modern day two wheeled station wagon, I have to talk him into giving me a ride on this one of these days, those bells are calling my name and really what would be cooler than sitting on the back of this constantly ringing those bells while people stare at you in disbelief.


Those of us who decided to ride our bikes to the event were also eligible to win one of these sweet door prizes provided by the awesome sponsors of the event if you were lucky enough to have your number called.


If riding your bike on a Sunday night, free beer and door prizes weren't reason enough to come out, they also had grass fed beef hamburgers for sale at a minimal charge supplied by the great people at Open Harvest. And I do mean minimal charge at $3 a burger I'm guessing they just broke even.


The event was so big they even had staff photographers on scene to capture it all, I guess the budget was blown by this point and all they could afford was Joel... he looks a bit perplexed by all those buttons and knobs. Kidding of course, good dude right there but of course that can be said of any of the staff at Cycle Works.


Once the competition was done, Corey was hard at work tabulating the votes while the rest of us went back for seconds, thirds and perhaps even fourths of our favorite brews. Even though there had to be a winner, none of the brewers that came out and competed had anything to hang their heads about as all of the beers were top notch, I opted for a pencil while voting as I often changed my vote as I made my rounds of the booths. It seemed like each one just kept getting better than the one before, the fact that I was getting a good buzz on probably also helped those at the end of the voting string but everyone has their own method, that's just mine.


The winners of the door prize raffle with all their swag.


And the winning brewers... If I'm not mistaken I think Black shirt took first, White shirt second and Gray shirt third but as I said all of the beers were really good.



Even the ride home was an awesome experience, albeit a much slower ride with a belly full of beer and burger than the ride there, I didn't win any of the swag (except the Hoegaarden glass) but the GF walked away with a t-shirt. I guess if you want to look at it from a different angle everyone who came out was a winner, great beer, tasty burgers, a chance to socialize with people who love bikes and beer in a great venue... if you rode away that night somehow feeling cheated because your number didn't come up for the raffle you missed the whole experience of the night and the purpose of the event. I can't even imagine the amount of time, planning and prepping that Nate and the rest of the crew at Cycle Works put in for the event but I sure hope they do it again. I'll be first in line to sign up for that.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Another Saturday, Another Rural Cycling Adventure

The weather gods were shining down on me today, last night the forecast called for 40% chance of thunderstorms but when I woke up this morning and checked I was pleasantly surprised with zeros all across the board.
Decided to head out on Hwy 2 to Bennet and then turn north toward Eagle before heading back for about a 40-50 miler.

Farming... the original "work from home" career path.

Ribbons of cement stretching for miles in either direction.




Happened upon this little B&B while taking the wrong road between Hwy 2 and Hwy 34, talked to the guy for a bit and snagged a brochure, might have to check it out a little further and see what pricing is like but it'd make a great little overnight get away perhaps. Ended up on 148th St. because I turned too soon, for a deserted looking road it had a ton of traffic including lots of large trucks, roller coaster hills and no shoulders, wouldn't be my first choice of roads to take if I had to do it again.

Spotted this Caballero in Eagle, the guy that rolled up in it, Fred was his name, was twice as old as the car... guessing the guy bought it new more than a few years ago and just never let it go. It worries me that our generation seems to view almost everything as disposable and everything you own needs to be replaced every couple of years, doesn't bode well for the whole sustainability concept.

Almost ran this monster over on the way back, probably would have caused a flat at minimum if hit just right... not sure why but picked it up and brought it home, didn't seem right to leave it laying out there for the next unsuspecting person but didn't seem right to just throw it in the ditch either. Guess if you're in the need for a big ass bolt hit me up, I have one now.

Rural riding is good for getting in the miles but city riding is awesome for the views as well... dat ass. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Great night for a ride

High of only 80, in July... in Nebraska... I'll take that. Jumped on the bike for a great Friday night casual ride with the other half. Photo bombed by the strap to the camera, I've owned a few cameras in my day but this is the only one I've ever had whose strap was as stiff as this one is, it's like it's got a constant erection.


Theme today seemed to be non-agua hydration.


Mid ride Rockstars went down pretty smooth.


Stopped at the pond behind South Pointe to take in the beautiful night and got swarmed by ducks and geese looking for handouts, damn Democratic waterfowl.



Dudes just came right up to you all quacky like, obviously not afraid of people.


Ride ended with some post ride adult beverages, have only been in the hood for about two months but I'm loving having such a great selection of beer so close. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Black is the new Black

There is a reason for the phase "whatever" is the new black, it's because black is sleek, sexy, timeless, never out of fashion... and hard as hell to keep clean, I guess you can't have it all. The more I ride this bike the more I love it!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Great end to a terrible afternoon

Day started out awesome, I have been looking for a geared cross bike to replace the singlespeed Redline 925 for awhile now, was contemplating waiting for the new bikes to come out this year because it seems that the discs have finally caught on for cross bikes but figured I'd go see what was out there on closeout from this year. I had only a few basic requirements really, had to have disc brakes (just a personal preference there) and had to have gears. It didn't necessarily have to be a cross bike but the disc brakes kind of eliminated road bikes at least for the 2013 model year, the fact that I'm vertically challenged eliminated more than a few closeout bikes right out of the gate without carrying a step ladder to get on and off the thing. That is one of the problems with waiting until the end of the year to look for a bike, you might not find anything in your size. I narrowed it down to two bikes that fit everything I was looking for and that were reasonably priced, the Kona Jake and the Redline Conquest Disc. I had thought it was going to end up being the Kona just because it had a more attractive price point but thanks to Nate, Joel and the rest of the awesome people at Cycle Works they were able to get the price to the point that it made more sense to spend just a little bit extra to get a much nicer equipped bike. Did I mention that Nate and Cycle Works rock?!?

All that was left was to sell this one as quick as I could and hope that the bike was still at Cycle Works, I have posted a few items recently on a Facebook boards buying and selling bike and bike related items and was able to sell them but it took a couple weeks to do it, I assumed this would be no different. To my surprise however it sold within a half hour of being posted, not only was it sold within that time frame but there were at least three people who were interested in buying it but it was first come first to buy and it went to a good home. Just goes to show that I am not the only one who enjoys the simplicity of a good singlespeed, but for me a singlespeed road bike just didn't fit in with what I wanted out of it. The sale paved the way for a quick turn around on the new bike and picked it up early afternoon, unfortunately I had a pretty full day and wasn't sure if I was going to get a ride in today or not. I would say I had a softball game to play, but with the way it went for me I could have helped the team better if I had stayed home... the game left me a bit bummed so I decided I needed to get out on the bike and put some miles behind me and do a little mental clearing.

This bike is fast, really fast, on her maiden voyage I shaved almost 3 minutes off of my best 10 mile time, that's not that easy to do but with all those gears to choose from it didn't seem all that difficult. The color is deceptive in this picture, it looks black (which it is technically) but if you get it in the just right light the metal flecks in the paint sparkle like Team Edward trying to get a tan. I know that Redline isn't quite the name it once was, although it still does well with the BMX crowd, and isn't as big as Trek, Giant or Specialized but I've owned a few Redlines over the years and haven't had anything but good luck with them. Love my Monocog 29er and probably won't ever get rid of that bike, loved the 925 it just had to go to make room  and even after just the first ride I can tell that the Conquest isn't going to disappoint either.

The ride really helped to forget the crap from the day and clear the mind, getting passed by a farm tractor hauling whatever the heck it's hauling didn't help the ego any but shit happens.

It was an impromptu ride and I was racing the daylight so I decided to fly out to Cortland and back, this dude decided to tag along again.
It's a good thing I decided to bring the lights, probably could have gotten away without them since it was still somewhat light by the time I made it home but figured it's better to be safe than sorry especially when riding on the side of a highway. As a reward for getting out I was treated to this awesome, amazing, spectacular sunset... icing on the cake of a great ride. Looking forward to getting more miles on this bike, it opens the doors for all sorts of rides I've been thinking of but never really quite had the right bike for... BRAN, RAGBAI(maybe), Going to the Sun Road in Glacier NP, STP (Seattle to Portland) maybe a few gravel rides and a few others that have been on my radar. Haven't owned a "10-speed" type bike since I was 12 and not really sure what brought me back to one but it just seems like a good fit right now and an excellent addition to the stable of bikes currently in the barn. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Rollin skinny - ThNNDRR

Today was Thursday and that meant it was time for the... ThNNDRR (Thursday Night No Drop Road Ride) hosted by Cycle Works, the same people who bring you the TNNDDR. That's right decided to partake in the road version of the group ride this week to see what it was all about.
Whoa, some people take these road rides serious, my wheels probably weigh as much as that entire bike.

Rolling out promptly at 5:30, headed out through town eventually picking up Folsom St then SW 12th to Satillo Rd out to Hwy 77 and eventually Sprague before turning back. Good to see I wasn't the only one not fully clad all in spandex, there are just certain size people that should never go near anything tight and stretchy.


Pretty decent view of Lincoln off in the distance from this vantage point, it's a bit hard to see in this picture but from the seat of your bike it's a whole other matter.

Ran into, not literally, the Joy Ride group on Denton road, looked like they were heading out to Denton on the temporarily closed road... those law breakers. Wind was a bit brutal on the way out coming out of the south/southwest at about 15-20 mph. For some reason we lost all the young guys at Satillo and Hwy 77, they all went straight across Hwy 77 instead of turning right back into the wind, not sure if they had places to go, had burned themselves out already or just had had enough of the wind. Either way our group was now down to 3 more "seasoned" riders.

We continued on to Sprague and looped back to Hwy 77, once we turned the corner so we were now riding north it was nice to have the wind at our backs finally. The cruise home was nice and easy, more than once or twice I ran out of gear coming back and had to just coast, I personally would rather struggle out and cruise back when I'm a bit more tired so this was ideal for my riding style.

Pulled into the gas station at Satillo and Hwy 77 for something a little cold and refreshing before cruising back to Lincoln via 14th St. I really need to look into a geared bike if I'm going to continue trying to get some rides in on the road, singlespeeds really show their weakness out on the open road where there aren't turns, obstacles and other things to slow you down and level the playing field a little bit like on a mountain bike. I've been looking around and this might be the year, been waiting for the cyclocross bikes to start coming with disc brakes and from the looks of the line ups that have been released it looks like most manufactures are equipping the 2014s with discs. Although there are a few 2013s that were also equipped with discs and if I could find one of those with discs I could save some bucks... or I could just put on my big boy pants, suck it up and just ride what I have and quit whining. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Another Fat Tuesday

Time for another TNNDDR hosted by the great folks at Cycle Works, to be honest I kinda look forward to these rides all week. 90% of my riding is done solo so it's nice to be able to tag along with a group every now and again. Cycle Works was also hosting a Jamis demo night, they had some really sweet looking bikes, had I been able to make it to the shop by 5 I definitely would have taken one of the 650b bikes through the park. As it was I rode one around the parking lot area while waiting for the ride to kick off... I can see why these bikes are catching on, they seem more nimble than a 29er but a lot more stable than a 26 inch bike.


Rode the Jamis xct, seemed like a really great bike just not sure if I could justify another bike without selling one.


Mukluk and Krampus both came out again tonight, the Mukluk looks like a blast and I do have a soft spot for orange but I'm not sure I'd ride one enough.


Nate on the Krampus.


I'm horrible with names but this guy can fly through the single track and it proves that you don't need the latest, lightest bike to ride... said he picked up this one for $50, that leaves a lot of money for beer.


Mid ride, phone, glasses and rear wheel check.


Smokey says "Only You Can Prevent Wildfires", it was forest fires in my neck of the woods growing up but wildfires seems like maybe a more universal term... even Smokey the Bear has gone PC.

With little or no rain over the last few weeks the trails and the park is really drying out, if not for the grass clippings it'd be almost perfect right now. Took the geared bike out the last two times to give it a little love, not sure if that's helped, if they guys are just taking it easy on me or if I might just be getting a little faster but I've been able to keep up a lot better the last couple of weeks... I'm guessing they're just riding a bit slower. Think I might try my hand at the road ride later this week, see how the other half lives and all that.