Saturday, April 26, 2014

Like Riding Into A Blow Dryer

Looked at the forecast last night and one thing was clear, the later in the day the stronger the wind was going to be. With that in mind I decided to try to get out early before the winds went from sucky to horrible, decided to just hop on the Big Papio Trail and ride it for a bit and then turn around and head home with a tail wind.


Been riding a bike for quite a while now and in several different states on all kinds of trails and I gotta say this is the first time I have ever been warned about dangerous canoes! I'd like to meet the canoeist that can paddle on cement, probably don't want to shake his/her had but I'd like to meet them.


This was a pretty fun downhill, rode by it a few times but never wanted to expend the energy to ride up it until today.


Made some new friends along the way as well, the city cows aren't as friendly as the country cows but they come around just fine after a bit.


I've always thought this was a pretty cool looking railroad bridge, first time I've ever seen it from this side usually I drive by on the Interstate.


Train decided to show up after I took the previous picture but you know, those trains, who can trust them, always running behind.


Happened upon this place, didn't realize the trail went by here but the GF works here, told her she could ride bike paths all the way to work... I was a lot more stoked about that little fact than she was. Figured this was as good a place as any to turn around so that's what I did.


Thought this mural was pretty cool, it's on the underpass wall of the road leading to Stinson Park and BCBS. This particular picture is actually two pictures I stitched together, you would not believe how long I stood on the side of the trail trying to figure out how to get a good picture using the auto panoramic feature on the iPhone 5S... forget that it's much quicker/easier to just take multiple pictures and manipulate them later, apparently I need to start taking a 5 year old along with me on my rides from now one. Damn whipper snappers and their technology wizardry.


Same railroad bridge from before but the other side, seems the dating scene in Omaha is a lot different than what I'm used to as I can only assume D2F is just a spin off of DTF. Problem I see with this type of advertisement is that while it might get a large amount of traffic, it's lacking any details... male/female, how to contact them, etc. Are you just supposed to spray paint your interest or questions on the cement next to it?


After battling the wind for almost two hours I decided to stop here and sit on the park bench for a bit and channel my inner Forrest Gump, those look like comfortable shoes... other than the wind you couldn't have asked for a nicer day nor could you have asked for a nicer place to sit and take in the gorgeous day.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Triple B Ride

Last night was the second installment of the Tour de Brew LNK ride (or as I like to call it the Beers, Bikes and Buddies ride), I wasn't able to make it to the first one because of other commitments so there was no way I was going to miss this one.

Tour de Brew LNK

Luckily I have a really cool boss man who let me bug out a little bit early so that I could load the bikes on the car and beat feet to Lincoln.

Tour de Brew LNK

Made really good time and got to Moran's Liquor Works just a couple minutes after registration for the ride started and it was already hopping. Man I wish I could find a place like this in Omaha, the search continues.


On tap at Moran's were some tasty treats from Lagunitas Brewing Company out of California, they make some really good beer and these were no exception.


After sampling the brews at Moran's it was time to head over to Cycle Works to drink more beer and drool on bikes and accessories before heading downtown for more beer and some food. The concept of the ride was that we were supposed to ride over to Cycle Works but since we drove down from Omaha we decided to drive over and park the car at Cycle Works instead, Moran's was still open for another few hours and we didn't want to take up any of their valuable parking.


Cycle Works is already a good place to ride to and hang out but add beer and it's almost like heaven, there better be the smell of chain lube and beer in heaven...


There were all kinds of people that turned out for the Tour de Brew ride, like fatties hiding in the shadows but you know who doesn't love those fatties.


There were these guys in their awesome Stars hockey cycling jerseys, man I should have ordered one when they were taking orders but me and tight spandex don't exactly go together.


Then there was Gary, he pooped today... says so right on his button and buttons don't lie.


After downing some beers and schmoozing it was time to take the bikes off of the car and ride.


There was quite a crowd already at Dempsey's Burger Pub by the time we got there, all those bikes lining the block is a beautiful thing to see. Way more than one less car.


Wouldn't be a trip to Dempsey's if you didn't get some of their awesome burgers, if you haven't tried them you really should.


Mukluk and Krampus showed up at Dempsey's, always good seeing these guys.


Met Jonathan for the first time in person, it's weird that with all the social media today you can talk to people for months, even years and never actual meet them face to face. Always good to actually meet someone who you've interacted with digitally. Looking forward to riding with him in the future, hopefully he can make a few of the group rides coming up.


The Moran's guys came down to partake in some great beer as well, not used to seeing them not behind the counter... didn't realize they even had a lower body.


Damon in the house! Good guy right there, really good guy.


A hottie and some dude who looks like he needs to poop, guess he didn't get his button yet today.


Mukluk and Krampus with their name sake and that constipated dude getting ready to head to the last stop on the tour. Man it was a perfect night for a ride, weather couldn't have been any better.


Gary looking like a cross between ZZ Top with that beard and Chewbacca with the crossed straps.


There was a bit of construction going on around Jake's which probably sucked for anyone in a car but when traveling by bike the barriers made for more than ample places to lock the bikes.


This was the first time I'd ever sat inside Jake's and had a beer, I've been in there before to pick up some cigars with people but never stopped and drank there. Never been a big fan of smoke but it actually wasn't too bad, definitely not nearly as bad as cigarette smoke is, could have been the beer helping out but it didn't really bother me.


Prize time, my usual streak of luck kept going and I didn't win anything but when you get to ride bikes and drink beers with your buddies I don't know that you can say you lost either. One of the cool things about the rides in addition to the beer and the riding is that each one helps out a certain charity or non-profit organization by raising money, it's really a great concept all the way around.


Once the festivities were over there was nothing left to do but ride back to Cycle Works, throw the bikes on the car and start the trek back to Omaha. Along the way we happened upon 4-5 fire trucks and a slew of people standing along Vine Street near 27th, someone was having a horrible night as their house caught fire, luckily it didn't look like there were any injuries. I know the picture is a little blurry but I still liked it and as editor in chief of the blog I make all the final decisions and I voted to keep it.



The parking lot was a sad, lonely, deserted place... such a stark contrast from just a few hours ago and the rest of the night. We will definitely be back, riding bikes and drinking beers with great people is always a good time, I'm glad that those putting in all the hard work behind the scenes to put them together do so, without them there wouldn't be any of these rides.


While I technically didn't win anything I didn't exactly go home empty handed either, between the free bottle opener, the magnet and the four cool Lagunitas glasses I scored (they were also giving those away as part of the tapping of the new Waldo's Special Ale promotion) I'd say I did alright. Between these Tour de Brew LNK rides and the group rides that should be starting here soon, it definitely is shaping up to be a good summer full of great rides.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Walnut Creek


T.H.O.R. had their second trail day at Walnut Creek this morning, didn't have anything more pressing going on so I decided to head out and lend a hand again. Didn't quite get the turn out like we had last time but there were still plenty of able bodies out there helping.


Trail building time!


Barely visible is the entrance to the east section of the trees.


A little while later with the help of a weed eater and we have single track, sweet, sweet single track.


Because there is a creek that occasionally runs through the trail there will be a few bridges in this section, this one is just a temporary bridge until we can get the permanent one built and put into place.



This section is also going to have it's share of log crossings.


This bad boy is pretty monstrous and allowed us to actually make two routes over it, one easy route and one that requires a little more skill.


This is the front side of the big log crossing after dirt was added, to the left is the easy route which will be smooth up this side and down the backside, the right side involves a few little drops or if someone wanted could probably be used to catch some air. The hump in the middle makes a natural divider between the two sides.


The backside of the big log crossing with the easy rout mostly filled in with dirt.


Mostly filled in on the difficult side, I think the idea is for it not to be made too smooth so that like I said, you have a few little drops or could even possibly clear the whole down section with speed.


View from the top of the log crossing, as you can see the left side is pretty much a smooth ride up and over the log with a slight turn to it which should be ridable by anyone choosing not to take the other route.


This bridge will eventually be a table top type bridge giving you two options, either build speed and try to clear it in one hop or hop up and ride over it. In the background is one of the log crossings in the section, we were able to get the fully loaded wheel barrow over them with just one person so a bike should have no problem.


Glad we found this guy before someone found it the hard way, must have been livestock here once upon a time.


Once all the work was done it was time to eat, drink and stand up wind from each other. I think when the first parts of the trail are done it's supposed to be just under three miles of new single track, I'm pretty excited as it's definitely within riding distance for me but even if it's not for you it should still be a fun trail to ride. Plus it's new dirt and dirt is always good. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dirt Coaster

Group ride was out at Lewis & Clark this week, I hadn't ever been out there so I wasn't sure what to expect. The views from atop the monument are pretty spectacular even on a hazy, overcast day. 

Pretty good turn out considering that L&C is a good 20 minutes or better from Omaha and the warmer temps from earlier in the day were fading fast. I think Feagan is telling fish stories here or giving flamenco dance lessons... could go either way.


Not knowing what to really expect from this trail I was nowhere near prepared for it, the camera never does justice to just how steep or twisty the trails are but this trail is literally a roller coaster from start to finish, at no point in the entire trail can you just sit and coast. The down hills beg you to just let go of the brakes and fly...  the tight, tree lined corners that seem to crop up out of everywhere quickly put an end to that exuberance.

I am sure once you ride this trail a few dozen times and learn the flow of it, it would be a blast to ride but riding it for the first time it was a complete suffer-fest. Dug into the sides of the bluffs for most of it, you are never more than a few inches away from potential disaster but not to worry, all those cushy trees would surely slow you down before you made it all the way to the bottom, and the hills; some are short and steep, some are long and steep and then others you think are going to be short and steep only to find out it's a false peak and it's really long and steep. There are those who say that breathing is overrated, I'm not one of those and truly enjoy every breath, this trail makes you take lots of them, mostly wheezy, shallow ones but it's all about quantity and not quality right? 

This was my view for the entire ride, Feagan would let me get just close enough and then take off again like a sadistic leprechaun on a mountain bike, I swear a couple of times I even heard him say "you'll never get me gold" as he seemed to effortlessly fly over the trail. Super leprechauny powers of forest flight is the only explanation I can come up with as to how he made it look so easy. 
At the top of the trail was a pretty cool memorial to one of the founders of T.H.O.R., never met the guy myself but he sounded like he'd been a really cool guy to ride with. 

Officially met Randleman for the first time... on a singlespeed... seemed like a good enough guy or at least when you're not in his way, more on that in a bit. As I sat there trying not to cough up a lung the two of them chatted as if they'd just ran into each other in the grocery store, I suspect our levels of fitness and endurance were not quite the same. 
We took off just a bit before Randleman as he was waiting for someone else, which is the only way I was ahead of him because it didn't take him long to catch us, I pulled to the side to let him pass... and then he proceeded to sneak out an elbow and knock me over on his way past. Nah, not really, somehow I thought it'd be a good idea to pull over to the side and do some sort of track stand on the side of the trail while he passed, the side was much softer than I had anticipated and I lost all momentum and over I went. First day riding bikes, new shoes, just a gomer, whatever you want to call it I ended up not getting clipped out in time took the rookie tip of shame. I guess you don't really break in a new pair of kicks until you get them all muddy anyway so I guess I did that. 
On that note, shoes actually felt really good and performed awesomely even if they don't release as easily as my former shoes. As for L&C, I think it's a keeper, I'll need to visit it way more often to get to the point where I can use the downhills to my advantage for the uphills but even if it makes you pay for the slightest mistake it really is a fun trail.