Sunday, December 23, 2007

Chicago Trip

Julie and I just got back from Chicago - sorry we missed the teamFIRE shindig. We had a good time listening to music, shopping, and eating. Some of the concerts at the conference were in the Grand Ballroom at the Hilton and Towers - same ballroom and hotel as the final scene in the Harrison Ford movie The Fugitive.

Food is always a highlight when we go to Chicago - on Saturday before heading home we ate lunch at Heaven on Seven. Great Cajun food - and the famous wall of hot sauce. If you can bring in hot sauce that they don't have on the wall, dinner for two is free. I need to get some riding in over Christmas break to work off the extra lbs.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bike upgrade

I decided to surprise my wife this Christmas with a new bike. This Trek FX 7.3 will replace her 45 lb. Magna she's been riding the past 9-10 years.

She wouldn't go out and buy one on her own, so I took the liberty for her. I think she'll be more apt to hop on the bike now as it will be that much more fun riding a lightweight, reliable machine compared to what she had before. I even found it in her favorite color -- sky blue.

So if you see her out on the trails this spring/summer -- compliment her on the bike so I get major husband bonus points.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Tour de Nebraska 2008

The Tour de Nebraska web site has posted the route and registration form for this summer - looks like we're hittin' the Sandhills!  I better work on my climbing.  Click here to visit their web site.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Trainer anyone?

This weather has kept me from bike commuting the last couple days. Commuting by bike gets in your blood. For me, a couple of days off the bike and I'm chomping at the bit. I've never been on a trainer and doubt I could stick with it. It seems like the equivalent to running on a treadmill. Being stationary just doesn't do it for me. What have your experiences been using a trainer? Do you watch TV while spinning? Is it tolerable?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Try This

Kevin, maybe this bike can help your wife on triathlons - or help keep us from getting dropped on those group rides:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Hmmm -- maybe I should share the Christmas cheer...

I've been thinking -- my wife has been kind enough to allow me to buy a road bike and I'd like to return her generosity.

She has had this desire to start participating in some triathalons, but the only bike she has is a horrid Magna ($99 Target special) she's had a few years. I'd like to surprise her with a bike that she could do a couple triathalons with, yet it would be OK for trail riding (pulling a Burley) to the park. I don't see her being a hard-core triathlete. I think she just wants to do 2-3 a year around the area.

I know there is no one bike that does both functions well, but I'm thinking a cross bike, like the Bianchi Volpe, might be the ticket. Any other thoughts?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Merry Christmas to me!

As an early Christmas to myself, I went out and bought a new road bike -- A Trek 2100 from Blues (the wife finally gave me the green light). Got a pretty good deal as it was a 2006 model and was discounted. 9-speed, triple chain ring, 105 shifters, Ultegra RD, carbon seat-stays. It will replace my old tank of a bike, the Schwinn Traveler, on group rides next spring/summer. I can't believe how much lighter it is -- guess bike technology has come a long way in 20 years.

I'm well aware that I'll still be slow as molasses as the "engine" is still the same, but it is nice having the STI shifting and it feels more responsive in the couple times I've had it out.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

IT Band

I saw the doctor for my regular check-up, and talked to him about the problems I've been having with my IT band. He had me start taking Motrin, and sent me to a physical therapist. The anti-inflammatory already has helped - I felt normal on the bike last Saturday for the first time since last June. The PT guy gave me some good stretches, as well. Too bad the weather is going to keep the bike on the trainer for a while - watching those guys suffer at the cyclocross race last weekend inspired me to want to get out and ride.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Weekend Ride Report

Since I was busy on both days during the day, I broke down and put the old tire on my rear wheel and put the bike on the trainer Sunday night for my only miles this weekend.  Time for me to live vicariously - anybody get in a good ride this weekend?  Let's have a report.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Daylight Savings Time Come Back!

After riding my bike home from work yesterday in the dark, I reached the conclusion that the end of Daylight Savings Time sucks. I'd be all for going to work 6 a.m.-3 p.m. just to see the sun when I get off work. For any bike commuters out there -- it's getting darn chilly in the mornings. Had to use the blinkies yesterday. I miss Summer already :(

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday Ride to Crete

Thanks to all 12 riders who came out Sunday for the Sprague to Crete to Denton ride. Hope you all had fun - here are some pics from what turned out to be a beautiful fall day.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Solution

I have found the secret to riding faster - ride downhill all the time. This bike should help me do that:

Sunday Ride

I am organizing a Sunday group ride as the weather looks nice for this weekend. We will meet at 1 p.m. at Wilderness Perk (14th and Pine Lake) - the ride will probably be in the 30-40 mile range, and will be at a recreational, conversational pace. Some riders are folks I met during the TdN this last summer, others have done some of the other group rides around Lincoln. Anyone is welcome to join us.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Slow can still be fun

Saturday morning I headed out on the ride Aaron organized with Aaron, Janna, Kelly, Nicol, Megan, Gravy, Mark, and a guy named Matt? who I had not met before. Got dropped on the way to Denton, and finished the ride with Nicol, Megan, and Gravy. We turned in back towards Lincoln at W. 84th and Van Dorn, took a lap around the park, and headed home on the paths for a nice easy 30+ miles. The fast group headed north to 34, and then returned through town - saw Kelly this morning, he said they ended up at about 45 miles. I think it is time for me to realize that the laid back, conversational rides are more fun for me than blowing up the legs, lungs, and heart trying to stay with the racers. However, for the masochist in me, there is nothing like spending Saturdays experiencing that feeling of dismay as I watch the wheel in front of me slowly but inexorably pull away - and then following that by watching Texas do the same thing to the Huskers.

On another note, I was sick of the beat-up top tube decals, so I took them off. What do you think, should I get new ones, or take all of the decals off and go stealth? If I remove the decals, will the weight savings make me go faster? :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Let's talk Jazz

Since this is a Jazz-n-bikes blog -- what kinds of jazz are you into? Since I've discovered Internet music sites Slacker and Pandora, I listen to jazz a lot more during the day. Been listening to piano jazz such as Ramsey Lewis and Vince Girauldi. Good music to work to.

Bob, you're the jazz expert here -- who are some of your favorites?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Winter Bike

I am thinking of getting a different bike to ride during the winter months. I am also looking for a bike that I can take off-road (more likely Mopac type trails rather than MTB trails) and that I can ride with the family on more leisurely rides. The way I see it, I have three choices:

1) Hardtail MTB
Pros - entry level MTB can be had for $300, can ride it on any surface
Cons - Slower, heavier, position will be different than on the road bike, won't be as much fun out on the road

2) Singlespeed Cross bike w/drop bars and long reach brakes
Pros - good for spin and strength training, lighter and faster than MTB, position can duplicate road bike, easy to maintain
Cons - not as versatile as MTB, tougher on the steeper hills (this could also be a Pro), more expensive than MTB

3) Cross bike with 9 speed cassette, drop bars, and disc brake
Pros - More versatile than singlespeed, lighter and faster than MTB, can duplcate road position. With slicks can function just like the road bike on the road, or switch to knobbies for off-road.
Cons - $$$

Unfortunately "all of the above" is not an option. My wife is still giving me crap (good-naturedly) for buying a road bike that cost more than all but one of our cars.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Husker/Blues Monday Ride

I have the week off from work, so along with the getting the yard ready for winter (cross-training, according to Dave) I want to ride a lot this week. Does anybody know if the Blues ride is happening tonight? Does it still leave at 6 pm? Anybody else going to brave the cold and wind?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Husker Ticket

I have a free ticket available for tomorrow's Husker FB game - my wife is unable to go.  If you or someone you know would like a ticket - email Bob Krueger tonight to arrange how to meet me to get the ticket, or leave a comment with your email address and I will get back to you.

Good bike clothing deals

Bob- Thanks for the posting privileges! I don't have a digital camera so probably won't be too active as a "contributor" -- Buuut, if anybody needs to stock up -- I was at Scheels last night and they have mark downs on their summer bike clothing (jerseys and shorts) -- $20-30 off. Good time to shop for next year. Of course, the items I was interested in -- wind jackets -- were full price.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Drafting technique

The next time I have trouble staying with the main group, maybe I should use a horse to bring me back to the group like this.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Unpredictable weather

I've been itching to get in a good, long weekend ride for two or three weeks now. It seems like something (prior commitments, bad weather, etc.) always conspires to keep me from going out. I spent all day Saturday judging marching bands at the Harvest of Harmony field competition in Grand Island. On the way home from G.I. I passed several storm chasing vehicles - not a good sign considering the forecast for Sunday (today) which called for strong storms. When I woke up this morning, the weather looked threatening, and you could just feel that the humidity had to build up to something, so I decided to get all my yard work done before the storms hit. After finishing with the yard, I ate lunch and looked up the weather online. Looked like just about anything could happen with the weather at that point, so I decided (acting on Adrian's advice) to put the bike on my car rack and head out to Pioneer's Park to do hill repeats. That way, I wouldn't get too far away from my car in case of storms. Decided after about the fifth or sixth circuit that you really shouldn't do hill repeats right after lunch. The pukeometer was registering pretty high. Finished with the workout, I put the bike on the car, which was the signal for the clouds and humidity to immediately dissolve into one of the nicest days of the fall. Oh well, at least I built some character.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bicycle Touring Advice

If you want advice on the best way to do a bicycle tour with your wife, don't ask this guy.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Too windy

It was too windy to ride today, so I put the bike on the trainer and did a workout, then tried to get the front derailleur dialed in a little better. If can't get the shifting to work better , I may have to try this guy - Bicyle Repair Man

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Nice Night for a TeamFIRE Ride

Headed out to Roca tonight with the TeamFIRE Wednesday ride. It was a perfect night for a ride.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Windy Day

I did a solo ride out to Sprague today. It was pretty windy (steady winds at about 20 mph out of the south), so the ride out was tough. Coming home was fun, though, as it felt like I hardly needed to pedal as I rode north with the wind. Hit 44.1 mph going down the hill just south of Saltillo road on 77 - pretty much spinning out the 50x12 gear I was in.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Am I Aero Enough?

Found this pic on bike forums - same bike brand and dog breed as I have, so I thought I would share it - the look on the dog's face looks exactly like my dog Ella when she is asked to do something she doesn't want to do.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day Ride

Heading out of Elmwood we found a picturesque church. Another cyclist happened by and took our picture.

Getting ready to head in to lunch in Louisville. We started in Elmwood, rode north through Murdock to the turn by Quarry Oaks, took hiway 66 past Mahoney State Park to Ashland, turned north on hiway 6 to the Nebraska Crossings Outlet Mall with a rest stop at the Flying J truck stop. Next we took hiway 31 south through Schramm State Park and over the Lied bridge to hiway 66, then hiway 50 to lunch in a cafe in Louisville. After lunch it was north across the Platte River again, this time on 50, looped around west on 31 to the Lied bridge, which we crossed for the second time that day, then back up 66 through South Bend up to Quarry Oaks, where we turned south to head back to the cars at Elmwood. Ride total was about 60 miles - good weather, good company, and only two flats (Rusty and Dave) and one crash (me - no injuries to me or the bike).

Time for football (and marching band)

Paul rehearsing with the Cornhusker band for the first home game against Nevada.

The band performing before the game in front of Kimball Hall.

Parading from Kimball to the stadium.

Tommy playing with Death by Brass at the "N Zone" tailgate party.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Another TDN Pic Post

SAG stop on the first day - notice the locals checking out all of the spandex and lycra.

Pulling into a SAG stop.

Campground in Fairbury.

Lunch at Cotty's Place in Peru.

Campground in Brownville.

Opera house in Brownville.

Bluegrass band in Brownville.

Blues Bike/Bike Rack repair tents.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

More TDN Pics

Pics are from the Steamboat Trace trail.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

NJO at Jazz in June

Another beautiful (hot) evening as a crowd of several thousand came to watch us play with Kansas City singer Angela Hagenbach.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Day 5 - Wilber to Syracuse

Pumping up the tires at 5:30 a.m. Everybody is anxious to get home.

Typical crowd of bikers at the Cortland gas station, fueling up for the last 45 miles to Syracuse.

Jace calling 911 in Roca after an idiot in a truck tried to run the teamFire guys off the road, then braked in front of them to try to make them crash into his truck. About 30 seconds before that, he had tried to run Kevin and me off of the road as well. This was the only inconsiderate and dangerous act I witnessed or heard about on the entire 300+ miles of the tour.

Day 4 - Fairbury to Wilber

Typical scenery on the 52 mile, mostly flat ride from Fairbury to Wilber.

Lunch in DeWitt.

My bike on the back of the van as I had to SAG in from DeWitt due to sharp pain on the outside of my right knee - very disappointing to not be able to finish the easiest day of the tour.

Day 3 - Pawnee City to Fairbury

Rest stop on the way to Fairbury.

Rusty at the Corner Bar in Odell - they put on a great buffet for us.

After 61 miles we stopped at the Salty Dog in Steele City for some guacamole and chips. Only 14 miles to go to Fairbury!

Day 2 - Brownville to Pawnee City

This was the toughest day - 62 miles of hills, heat, and wind.

Bill and Kevin taking a much needed break on the way to Dubois for lunch.

Relaxing at the campsite after a long ride.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Day 1 - Syracuse to Brownville

First stop in Lorton, Nebraska.

Lunch at Cotty's Place in Peru.

Heading down the Steamboat Trace trail from Peru to Brownville.

Kevin taking a break on the trail.

Bikers taking over the town of Brownville.