Friday, March 28, 2008

Spring Break Rides

As it was spring break for LPS, I thought I'd get a bunch of miles in. However, with the high winds and cooler temps, I had trouble motivating myself to get out as much as I should have. I did go on the Husker ride from Blues (now the Bike Rack) on Monday night - there were six of us there (three Husker riders, Steve Clements, a guy named Bruce, and me). Two of the UN-L students turned back at 14th and Saltillo, the remaining 4 of us kept going to SW 12th and back north to Denton road, and then home for about a 20 mile ride. It was a windy, but pleasant ride and it was actually nice to pass somebody on the hills for once (Steve was having trouble keeping up in the hills).

I talked to Steve some and asked about the addition of a Wednesday GPBC ride. He said the reason for the additional night for their Show and Go ride was that one of his friends couldn't make the Thursday night ride, and asked to have something on Wednesday. I told him about the teamFIRE ride - he didn't seem aware that it was a ride for beginners, saying that "I thought those guys were all racers". He obviously hasn't seen me wearing the coveted green jersey :).

I couldn't make the Wednesday ride because we went to dinner with some friends to the Black Crow in Beatrice (great food) and couldn't ride Thursday night because we went to the Oven for dinner with some other friends (even better food, and the last night before our coupon expired). So today I headed out Hiway 2 to Bennett, and then came back through the Roca Rollers to Hiway 77 - then home on 14th for about 38 miles. It was kind of nice to do a little longer solo ride, but boy do I feel slow and sluggish right now (cause and effect - see above about eating too much good food). After reading Adrian's blog post about committing to losing 15 lbs, I think that sounds like a good idea for me, too.

About 4-5 years ago I was about 45 lbs. heavier, started cycling and watching my diet, and got down to 155 by the summer of 2005 (I'm 170 now, still 5 lbs. lighter than I was when I got married in 1984). Although I was riding a heavy Trek hybrid in '05, I think I felt quicker and lighter then than I did out there today. So, in keeping with Adrian's resolution, I hereby pledge that I am going to lose those 15 lbs. of winter weight by the beginning of the Tour de Nebraska.

I am starting today - so while the bike got to go to Mamasitas, I stayed outside and avoided the burrito rest stop.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Photographic Evidence

Here are some pics of last night's teamFire ride. The top pic (taken by Adrian and stolen from the teamFIRE blog) may be the only photographic evidence in existence of me and Kevin at the front of the group. Granted, it's on the trail on the way home and we were probably going about 13 mph, but it may never happen again, so I wanted it posted here for posterity.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Awareness Test

Pertaining to the previous post, maybe the drivers involved should watch this:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

So an idiot chewed me out

I'm riding home from work on M street, heading to the bike trail, just as I do every other work day. I hear this honking for a couple blocks coming from somewhere behind me. At first I thought it was just someone who knew me, like a co-worker.

But as I pull up at the last red light at 17th street before the trail, I hear a couple more honks. I turn around to find the culprit -- and it's some bozo right behind me in a crappy-looking pickup truck. He starts yelling at me to "get your bike out of the center of the road!" "Get to the side!" etc.

The far right side of M Street is a turn only lane -- unless you're turning or want to get killed, you get in one of the center lanes to ride straight through. Apparently, this guy thought I should be riding in the turn only lane.

I looked at him for a couple seconds with a WTF expression and he opens his door as if to get out. I wish I would have come up with something clever to say, but I just turned around and ignored him and waited in middle of the lane for the light to change. All the while he was yelling at me. It was kind of comical after a while.

The light turned green, he proceeded behind me for a block, then turned, giving up the fight. Kind of glad I didn't say anything to him -- I'm pretty sure it would've escalated.

It made for a few chuckles on the way home. First time something like that's happened to me in a year and a half commuting.

No Drop, or No Rider Left Behind?

Last night was the first teamFIRE Wednesday No Rider Left Behind ride of the year. There were 16 riders, most of them familiar faces. We stayed together as a group going out 14th to Saltillo (with the wind, at a fast pace 22-24 mph). When we started up the hill on Saltillo west of Hiway 77 (heading towards SW 12th, where we would turn north to go to Pioneers), the group immediately splintered - probably partly due to the hill, and maybe partly due to the pressure of trying to keep pace with the group on 14th street. One guy was really struggling up the hill, so I stayed back with him. Eventually he told me to go ahead as he was going to turn around and head home. At the crest of the hill were four more riders resting as one girl was having trouble breathing (asthma, I think). Since there were teamFIRE riders with them, I went ahead to try to catch the lead group, which did not wait for a regroup at the stop sign at 12th and Saltillo. They did, however wait at 12th and Denton road.

My question is this (as a new member), is this meant to be a no-drop ride, where everybody tries to stay together for the whole ride? Or is it supposed to be more a situation where the fast riders ride their pace, but we just make sure somebody is bringing up the rear? I'm ok with either philosophy, although I do think it more encouraging to the newer riders if they can ride the whole time with the pack.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Let's be careful out there

Was out running couple errands this weekend. Lot o sand/gravel on the roads from a long, cold winter so be careful -- especially at intersections, where it's especially gritty. Now, get out there and ride!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Let's Play "Where's Kevin"

It was nearly 70 degrees and sunny on Saturday, and teamFIRE headed out to Roca and on to Bennett for some good times and good food. The ride was about 39 miles with a pretty good SW breeze, but was great fun. Even though I had been sick all week, I showed up after being told by Kevin on the teamFIRE blog to "suck it up" and after being called, I believe, a "wussie" for thinking of not coming.

Lots of people showed - Janna, Nicol, Kim, Gravy, Jace, Adrian, Kevin M., Richard, Mark, Dave, and Kelly. And yet where was Kevin W.? Take a look below and see if you can find Kevin - you may have to click to enlarge the pic to find Kevin.

Here some of the riders are outside of Mamasitas in Bennett. Where is Kevin?

Another picture of even more riders. Where is Kevin?

Yet another picture of teamFIRE members and others enjoying the nice weather. Where's Kevin?

Finally, some of us enjoying a nice lunch at Mamasitas. Where's Kevin?

Expect much abuse :)