Saturday, May 30, 2009

Black Friday

Well, I guess that I should have more time for cycling now that I'm unemployed. The trouble is, I don't seem to be in the mood for it. Friday was the one of the worst days of my life. The only good part about it was getting together with friends for a beer or two Friday evening. I couldn't get to sleep until about 3am Saturday morning, then all I wanted to to Saturday morning was sleep. At least when you are sleeping, you aren't worrying about interviews, selling the house, moving, making sure your family still has health insurance, not seeing your friends again, etc..... I was invited to go on a nice Saturday morning ride, but at 7am my stomach was still doing flip-flops. The queesy feeling finally started going away by Saturday afternoon. Now it is sort of a dull ache. Maybe it was all the beer? Doubtful. Only time will heal.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Biketacular set for this Saturday

Mayor Chris Beutler encourages area residents to attend the city’s first biketacular May 30 south of the state Capitol along Goodhue Boulevard. The free event, set for 9 a.m.-5 p.m., includes food, a bike rodeo, bike mechanical checks and licensing, kids races, and the return of the Capital City Criterium with pro and semipro racing. Beutler will kick off a kids bike parade at 12:15 p.m. and then draw for prizes, including two free children’s bikes. Free parking is available in the lot south of the Capitol (enter from 16th Street).The biketacular is hosted by the city and the Near South and Everett neighborhood associations and supported by a grant from NeighborWorks America, plus local agencies and businesses. Mayoral aide Jon Carlson, who manages the Stronger Safer Neighborhoods program, said the idea came from a national workshop hosted by Neighborworks America in California last fall. “Biketacular is a way to showcase two of Lincoln’s great assets – strong neighborhoods and an energized bicycling community,” he said. “We hope to increase community awareness of the importance of walking and biking as well as the convenience and high quality of life you can enjoy in the beautiful neighborhoods near downtown, UNL and the state Capitol.” About 100 adult racers are expected to compete in the Criterium from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The main entrance of McPhee Elementary will serve as the starting and ending location of the course. The race is a USA Cycling-sanctioned event with six divisions. Medals will be awarded in all races, and cash prizes totaling $1,500 are offered in select categories. The McPhee parking lot will host activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., including the bike rodeo. Volunteers will help children decorate bikes for the 12:15 p.m. parade. Children completing the bike rodeo will receive prizes and be entered into drawings. Kids races begin at 11 a.m. For more information or to volunteer, contact Carlson at 402-441-7224. For more information about the Criterium, contact Bike Pedalers co-owner Sean Craig at 402-261-3003.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

BRAN 29 less than 2 weeks away!

Although I won't be going on BRAN this year, 3 of my cycling buddies are going to try it again. Brad, Dave, Kerri and I rode in BRAN-28 last year and had a blast! Kerri only rode some of the roads near the host towns, but did a superb job of shuttling our gear from town to town and picking out the camp sites. Again, Brad and Dave are riding in BRAN and Kerri is driving. Hopefully, if all goes well, I will be receiving photos and updates from them during BRAN-29 and will post them on this site.

I decided to focus all of my energy and vacation days into the NUMB Ride for Hunger ( ) this year, and 7 others from our company cycling group will be joining me in Ogallala for this ride on June 27-July 1. If I can train my wife, Gayle, how to update this blog, I will be sending photos and updates back to her for posting.

Here are a few photos from last year's BRAN:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Ride and Picnic a success!

We had a great time during our (1st Annual) Memorial Day Ride and Picnic! Brad, Spence, Dave, Kerri, Jim, Steve and I rode from Brad's house in NE Lincoln out to Ashland, NE and back along US Hwy 6. The photo above shows Dave, Jim and Steve near Ashland.

After the ride we ate and drank wonderful food and had a fantastic time talking about cycling and other things at Brad and Amy's home. Thanks goes out to our great hosts!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

May 23 Ride to Seward

Above is a photo of myself and Dave after our 50 mile ride to Seward and back. The background is Bowling Lake in Airpark, where we started and ended. Brad also rode along but needed to get back earlier so he could join his family at the lake where they were camping & boating over the Memorial Day weekend. I think the expression on Dave's face is after I told him that I was going to buy a road bike next year so I could beat him on the hills. (Just kidding! Actually Dave told me that I did pretty well on the hybrid and that I could do better on a road bike.) A road bike isn't going to do it alone. I need to lose about 20 pounds and get 20 years younger. Like that's going to happen.

Above is a photo of Dave and Jim after our 50 mile ride to Seward and back this morning. Actually Jim, Dave and I turned around near Utica, while Brad turned around at Seward. How come these guys don't even look like they broke a sweat!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Moratorium placed on Lincoln-Omaha Trail connection

"Faced with growing opposition on three fronts, the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District has voluntarily suspended all work on a key link that would help finish a recreational trail between Lincoln and Omaha. The self-imposed moratorium would take effect with the understanding that State Sen. Dave Pankonin of Louisville would kill LB134, a bill that would limit the eminent domain powers of the state’s 23 natural resources districts."

LB134 sounds like blackmail to me. "If you don't stop this trail, we will take away your power!"

Although I want to see this trail completed sometime in my lifetime, I'm not sure that taking away good farmland is the best option. It is too bad that the NRD can't find a compromise that is acceptable to all parties. What might work is improving or widening the shoulders on Nebr. Hwy 1 north of Elmwood and creating new shoulders on 310th Street north of Murdock along with new signage. However, the NRD can't do this. It would have to come from the State Dept. of Transportation or through the Unicameral. Is anyone willing to do this?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Jill and Fatty meet!

I'm not sure how many of you read the other blogs, especially those of Elden "Fat Cyclist" Nelsen and Jill "Up in Alaska" Homer. Well, Jill is currently in Utah, visiting old friends and relatives and preparing for the Great Divide race. Check out their respective blogs for some cool bike videos and photos and thoughts from each of these special people.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Great turnout for the May 19 NACHO Ride!

I suspect that we had a record turnout for the NACHO Ride to eagle's One Eye'd Dog Saloon tonight. We had 9 people from our company cycling group there. All the picnic tables were full and chairs were brought outside from inside the Saloon. My guess is that we had about 50 cyclists. Plus, about 10-12 motorcyclists showed up too. Let's do it again!

Monday, May 18, 2009

NACHO Ride this Tuesday!

The weather is lining up to make this Tuesday's NACHO Ride nearly perfect! Temps should be in the mid 80's for the 5:30-8:30 time period on Tuesday. Light south winds shouldn't bother too many people on the MoPac Trail, and no rain is predicted until late Wednesday night or Thursday. Meet at the 84th St. Trail head about 5:30pm or at Walton at 5:45pm. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

May 17 Family Ride

Above is a short video from today's ride showing Cindy, Linda and Liz going through the tunnel on the Billy Wolff Trail at 48th St. We had near perfect weather and a good turnout today. Our route started at the Children's Zoo and took us to Holmes Lake and back. Besides Cindy, Linda and Liz, we had Steve and Barbara, their 2 children, and Zak, Sandy and Caitlin.

Saturday's ride on the Sertoma Oak Creek routes was almost a freeze-out, literally. Jim, Dave, Kerri and Shirley rode the 39 mile route into a very strong, very cold north wind. Kerri said that over the first 8 miles, they averaged 8 mph! I wasn't able to make this ride due to a 2mm kidney stone that the ER doc's found in me Friday night.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ride of Silence - May 20, 7pm Sawyer/Snell Park

Please join us for the "Ride of Silence" beginning at 7pm on Wednesday, May 20 at Sawyer/Snell Park at 1st and South Street in Lincoln. The route will go east to 17th St., then north to the Capital building, then return to the park after cycling in the downtown area.

On May 20, 2009, at 7:00 PM, the Ride of Silence will begin in North America and roll across the globe. Cyclists will take to the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often isn't aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves.

In 2003, Chris Phelan organized the first Ride Of Silence in Dallas after endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz was hit by the mirror of a passing bus and was killed. The Ride Of Silence is a free ride that asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph and remain silent during the ride. There is no brochure, no sponsors and no registration fees. The ride, which is held during Bike Safety month, aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. The ride is also a chance to show respect for those who have been killed or injured.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

This week is Bike to Work week!

It is also Bike Month. Promote safe cycling and spread the word. Here are a few videos and local articles that promote Bike Week and safe cycling:

Commuting tips for Bike to Work week:

National Bike to Work Week starts Monday:

Saturday, May 9, 2009

May 9 BRAN - NUMB Training ride completed

We had a nice 52 mile ride this morning south of Lincoln. This was one of our BRAN-NUMB training rides. All participants will be going to Ogalalla in June for the 250 mile 4 day NUMB Ride for Hunger. Brad, Spencer, Dave and I jumped out ahead and Steve and Shirley (on her new Giant) caught up with us at the Firth turn-off. Steve and Shirley planned to ride only 40 miles today. We started out in 47 degree temps, but it warmed up to near 60 by 1:30 when we got back to Bennet. However, we did have 10-15 mph north winds and lots and lots of hills on this route today. Good practice for the hills to come! There was a couple of scary parts of the ride, though. Some lady in a Jaguar decided to pass a semi on the westerly leg between Adams and Courtland. Both vehicles were coming straight toward Dave and I on a road without shoulders. Luckily she squeezed past us, and no one was hurt. Another episode was on the stretch east of Roca. Brad, Spence and I heard this very loud screech as a car came to an abrupt stop after cresting a hill and seeing cyclists in front of them. We were all single file near the white line. Again, no one got hurt on this ride. However, you might want to ask Kerri about her crash on Thursday evening.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More photos from the Nacho Ride

Here are a couple more photos taken at Tuesday's NACHO Ride to Eagle's One Eye'd Dog Saloon. The top photo shows a the Cinco de Majo riders in sombreros. They told us that they rode all the way from 84th St. with them on! Too bad the wind wasn't at their backs, they could have used them as sails. More photos of these guys are on the Folks From Lincoln blog, the Outdooraddict blog and the Nachoride website. The bottom photo is of our company cycling group and family members. You will see us again next month! For more info on the NACHO Ride, check out

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

NACHO Ride for Cinco de Mayo

Here is a little video that I shot with my Olympus FE-20 camera while at last night's NACHO Ride to the One Eye'd Dog Saloon in Eagle. Everyone was having way too much fun! As John mentions on the video, he did have a flat tire about 1 mile out of Eagle. He and Cindy walked the remaining distance to Eagle. The 75 cent tacos and cheap nachos were very tasty! About 30 people took advantage of this last night. I even got to meet Mr. Outdoor Addict (see his excellent blog site on the sidebar) More still photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More Lincoln Marathon photos

Here are some shots of the full Marathon winner (Matt Dewald) as he approaches Holmes Lake on Normal (bottom photo) and as he enters the park (top photo). I liked Matt's comments in the Lincoln Journal Star about the cyclists who accompanied him, "The cops were great, the guy riding a bike alongside was phenomenal and this city made me feel like running my best." I assume that he was talking about one of the cyclists in front of me, as I was behind Matt most of the time.
Look for photos and possibly a video later this week from tonight's NACHO Ride to the One Eye'd Dog Saloon in Eagle. It was a blast!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

2009 Lincoln Marathon photos

Here are a few photos taken from the handlebar of my bike during this morning's Lincoln Marathon. The runners that you see in these photos only did the Half-Marathon instead of the full 26.6 mile full Marathon. They looked like they should have gone all the way, as they were about 5 to 6 minutes ahead of the guy who actually won the full Marathon (#4). Most of my equipment on the bike functioned well, however the APRS did not produce as many tracking points as last year. I may need to improve my APRS antenna for next year. Voice worked very well - the only problem I had was that the keyboard lock on the radio failed and I had to re-enter the correct memory channel a couple times. Things get bumped a lot on the bike so you have to lock things down to keep them from shifting during a long ride. More photos tomorrow.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Lincoln Marathon this Sunday!

Here are some shots of the Ham radio equipment I will be installing on my bike tonight. Besides voice communication on 146 MHz (2 meter voice radio not shown), I have APRS on the back of the bike. APRS stands for Automatic Position Reporting System. Once the little box on the top tube is programmed from a computer serial port, it is ready to send out my call-sign and GPS data every 2 minutes along the Lincoln Marathon route. You can see the GPS "hockey puck" mounted on the left fork. The radio on the rack is a Yaesu FT-60R (5 watts out). This transmits into the 1/4 wave antenna mounted off the back of the rack. If you want to follow along, the GPS data can be viewed on the web in almost real time. Here are links to some online tracking websites:
Don't try viewing these until about 7 am Sunday, as before then it will show nothing, or just random testing of the equipment. You should be able to see my track on one of the sites from 7am until about 9:45 am Sunday. It will also store it online for a few days.

Nice ride to Seward today!

We had 6 people on our BRAN-NUMB training ride today, all from work. Too bad more didn't join us, as it was a beautiful early Spring day! Temperatures were in the 60's for the entire ride, with just a light breeze. We met at Bowling Lake in AirPark this morning at 10am, then headed west on Hwy 34 toward Seward. Shirley could only go an hour out, then she needed to turn around. The rest of us made it to Seward by about 12:20 or so. Brad had a flat, but it didn't slow him down much. Dave & Kerri needed to turn around at Seward, so that Dave could get to work on time. The rest of us headed west again. I turned around at the 25 mile point and headed back. Brad & Jim went farther west. My guess is that they did 70 miles today. I finished about 2:15pm with 50 miles, and Dave & Kerri had about 40 miles total. All in all, a good day!