Saturday, December 12, 2009

Some Lovely Christmas Music

Turn the sound up on your computer, and make sure you're not drinking anything, 'cause it'll come out your nose.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pre-Ride Conversation

Some cyclist somewhere has been having a lot of fun with this text-to-movie app.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Saturday Ride?

First of all, happy Thanksgiving to all!  Is anybody interested in doing a ride on the Jamaica trail early Saturday afternoon?  Gotta work off all that good food.  Weather is supposed to be in the mid 50s and sunny.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pic Post

I haven't done a picture post for a while, so I thought I'd post a few pics.

Night rides have taken over this time of year - here is the group from last Thursday's ride out to Roca tavern:

On Sunday I rode out to Pioneers park to watch the cyclocross races - always fun to watch, especially when friends are out there suffering :)

Here are a couple of LoupGarou:

Here are some of Tom H.:

I tried to get a pic of Monsignor, but he was too fast and I just got him going by:

The crowd watching seemed to be having their usual good time, from the little girl banging on the bike frame to cheer riders up Hooligan Hill, to the impromptu bbq and the traveling tunes supplied by CVO and cc-rider, everybody enjoyed the weather and the race.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tweed anyone?

This looks interesting...

I'm bettin' Gravy has a closet full o' tweed.

Thursday Night Ride

Adrian has posted that there will be another Thursday night ride - meeting at 6:00 p.m. at the bench at 27th and highway 2.  The ride will be to Roca Tavern and back.  The last two Thursday night rides have been a blast, and it should be pretty nice - if a little cool - this Thursday as well.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bob Marley + morning commute = Goodness

Never mind the fact I got buzzed on my neighborhood street by a shiny red Chevy Impala. That dude was an ass.

Bob Marley mellowed me, though.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

October in November

It sure feels like we had November in October this year, and now we're getting the payoff by having October in November. For once, I had some time free on a nice day, and was able to take the road bike out for a spin to Bluestem. It was a bit breezy, but nice - I can tell that I've been riding the Jamaica trail more than the road lately, as hills and wind felt like a bit of a challenge.

The other challenge came halfway through the ride when I lost my right contact riding near Sprague. The rest of the ride looked like this:

So, if you're out riding the road that runs from Sprague up to highway 77, and you happen to see a contact lens, that's mine.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Brush with Greatness, part 2

Last winter, my wife and I ate breakfast in Chicago at a table next to this guy - who was in Dumb and Dumber and was also featured on a recent episode of The Office. Last Saturday, my son ran into Joba Chamberlain and shook his hand at the NU-OU game, and before the game, my wife and I saw this guy driving around the Haymarket:

Five points goes to the first person who guesses who this was.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Night Rider

No, not that Knight Rider.

Warmer, but still not quite.

I am referring to cycling at night - a newer experience for me since I just got the Surly this summer. There have been lots of rides home on the road bike from the summer post ride gatherings - but those rides were on well-lit streets for the most part. Riding at night on the Jamaica trail is completely different, especially when the ride starts and ends in the dark. A couple of weeks ago on the Monday night cross ride, I ran into da Term and Nicol out by Roca, and along with Greg, we rode back together in increasing darkness.

Last night, Adrian, Byekin, Ho Fo Sho, Da Term (who ran into us by accident, and had to leave us at 14th street 'cause we were too slow), and I headed out in the darkness to dodge the deer on the way to the Roca Tavern. Great weather, and a great ride with lots of laughs. I will definitely have to get a better light if I want to keep doing this, though - a light more like this:

instead of this:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Doctor convicted of assaulting cyclists

Have you been following this story?  This is remarkably similar to the incident that happened to Kew, Jace, Adrian, Aaron G., Kelly B., and I on the last day of TDN in 2007.  In that incident, a pickup driver buzzed Kew and I on Roca Road, and then drove around and cut off the other four guys, slamming on his brakes when he got in front of them.  Fortunately, no crashing in that incident, unlike this one:

From velonews:

A Los Angeles Superior Court jury on Monday found Dr. Christopher Thomas Thompson guilty of assaulting cyclists by abruptly stopping his car in front of them on a hilly Los Angeles County road last year. 

Thompson, a former emergency room doctor, was found guilty of six felonies and one misdemeanor and could face as much as five years in prison. 

He was remanded and ordered held without bail until sentencing. He was handcuffed in the courtroom after the verdict was read.

Thompson was accused of assault with a deadly weapon, reckless driving causing specified bodily injury, battery with serious bodily injury and mayhem. The most serious charges stem from a July 4, 2008, incident on Mandeville Canyon Road, the road where Thompson lives, where he was accused of abruptly stopping his car in front of two cyclists. Other charges relate to a similar incident on the same road that did not result in injuries.

In the July 4 incident, the two cyclists hit the rear of Thompson's car; one slammed through the rear window, the other catapulted over the car into the road. In the earlier incident, the cyclists said they narrowly avoided hitting the rear of Thompson's car.

I am hopeful that this will set a national precedent for how these situations are handled in the court system.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NJO w/Wayne Bergeron

Thursday night I have the pleasure of performing with the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra and our special guest top Los Angeles trumpet player Wayne Bergeron.  Name a movie or t.v. show from the last twenty years, and chances are Wayne has played on the soundtrack.  A partial list of film credits include Superman Returns, Mission Impossible 3, The Guardian, Ice Age 2, (the Meltdown), X-Men 3,The Incredibles, Spiderman 2, Fantastic Four, Pink Panther, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Team America, National Treasure, The Life Aquatic, Friday Night Lights, Anchorman, White Chicks, The Notebook, The Day After Tomorrow, 3 Musketeers, Starsky and Hutch, Pirates of the Caribbean, Paycheck, Hollywood Homicide, Legally Blonde 2, Drumline, Catch Me if You Can, South Park, Flubber and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

The concert is at 7:30 p.m. at the Cornhusker - here is a short video of Wayne playing some sizzling trumpet:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mud and Cornbread

I was really looking forward to the ride to the corn maze on Sunday - I haven't gotten out on the bike nearly enough this month.  Stupid mud.  Thanks to Nicol, Loupy, and Da Term for helping to reduce the gumbo surplus at my house Sunday night, and thanks to Da Term for bringing the killer jalapeno cornbread - good stuff (and lethal, too).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Plans for Sunday

To review:

What:  Ride out to Corn Maze

When:  Sunday, Oct 25 at 1 p.m.

Where:  Meet at the Bison at Pioneers Park, then ride out to Benson Farms.

Cost:  $10

Post-ride food and drink at my house - I plan on making way too much gumbo for just the three of you who have told me you are planning on coming over so far - so even if you're short of time, come by for a quick bowl of good stuff if you can.  E-mail me if you need to get my address.

If it looks like we'll get rained out (or if the maze is closed due to mud), feel free to come by for food, drink, and fun anyway. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This might be fun...

Anybody interested?

From Bike Pedalers:

On October 22nd, Bike Pedalers invites you to join us as we experience a One Night Event in movie theaters nationwide featuring the debut of “Race Across the Sky” – a documentary covering the 2009 Leadville Trail 100 bike race. Known as one of the most intense endurance races of all time, this film features Lance Armstrong, Chris Carmichael, Dave Wiens, and other elite and amateur cyclists who overcame extreme challenges to participate in this grueling race.

Race Across the Sky – Leadville Trail 100, featuring Lance Armstrong, Dave Wiens and Chris Carmichael.
October 22nd at 7:00pm CT at Southpointe Theater. Call the Southpointe movie theater box office to purchase your tickets, 441 0222.
Followed by complimentary drinks and socializing with your fellow cyclists at Bike Pedalers (16th and Pine Lake).
Thanks again, we look forward to seeing you.

At 10,000+ feet, against the misty backdrop of a former mining town, Leadville, Colorado, 1282 cyclists line the starting line. For many, it will be the most difficult race of their lives. For some, a bragging right to say they raced alongside the best in the world. Some imagine victory. Most hope only to finish. But everyone will count

The race that started 25 years ago as a running race to drive tourism in Leadville has now grown to a lottery cap of 1000+ competitors, many of them the world’s most elite cyclists. But the Leadville Trail 100 "Race Across the Sky" Mountain Bike Race is not just a race of man against man: it’s man vs. man, man vs. self, man vs. elements, man vs. time. A clock set for 12 grueling hours slugs through 100 miles, over 14,000 vertical feet of climbing, some two miles above sea level, through extreme climate changes ranging from heat to hail, from rain to snow. To the racers, the risks of injury, fatigue and mechanical failure pale next to the chance that they will fall behind the 12 hour cut off mark and be eliminated.

Rivalries include six-time defending champion Dave Wiens vs. international star / seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. Inspirational stories of human triumph include a Leadville woman rider who was critically injured by a car while training for last year’s race, another who suffers from multiple sclerosis, and 45+ rider who has raced all 15 years.

Whether they’re international stars of the sport or everyday folks with the will to finish a race whose difficulty is on par with the Ironman, the grit to push to their own physical and emotional limits strikes an elegant symmetry between racer and environment and a struggling former mining town whose very existence now relies on the tourism generated by this race.

To view additional still photos and watch the trailer for the movie from the 2009 Leadville Trail 100 race, visit

At 12,600 feet anything can happen...Don’t miss this intense one night event!

Monday, October 19, 2009

cornish maize- OCTOBER 25th

Riding, taking off from the Bison at Pioneers around... say 5pm'ish.

Get to Denton around 6'ish.

Cost, about ten bucks... but they accept plastic money now.

Someone hook up with LT and try to get the cookie-sag-mobile again. That was sweet!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Anybody for a ride Sunday afternoon?

Could be Jamaica trail or road, doesn't matter to me. It is supposed to be nice this weekend, and I am working on Saturday all day, and I really need to get out for a ride. If others come along, it'll be harder for me to blow it off.

Quick! post whatever comes to your mind!

Don't think! -- just post! Hurry!

M&M's mean nothing to me...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

More pics from the Temps

I'm the trumpet player next to the drummer.

Fall in!

Heard any scuttle-butt about riding out to Denton this year?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Music filled week

This week was a busy one - not much time for riding the bike. Last Saturday I spent the day in Grand Island judging the Harvest of Harmony field competition. On Sunday, in perfect weather, I took the Surly out for a spin out to Princeton and back on the Jamaica trail. Fall colors were definitely starting to show around the pumpkin patch at Roca Berry Farm.

It was also fun exploring some of the dirt roads in the area before getting back on the trail.

The rest of the week was given over to music. On Monday, I played with the Monday Night Big Band down at Brewsky's, on Tuesday I went to my daughter's choral concert, and on Wednesday I spent the afternoon and evening attending clinics and a concert by Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. It was especially rewarding being able to attend the rehearsal and sound check right before the concert. This is one of the top ensembles in the world, and Wynton is one of the great trumpet players of all time. One of the trumpet players in the band is originally from Sioux City - I used to play gigs with him when he was still in high school. He was amazing even then - it was a thrill to here him play with these guys. This is a bad cell phone pic of the band at the sound check:

After dying through 3/4 of the Husker game and being amazed at the final quarter on Thursday, on Friday I went to the Southwest vs. Southeast football game to watch my daughter march, (and to watch LSE win, sorry KimC) and then headed down to the Crescent Moon in the Haymarket to listen to my son play with his jazz group.

On Saturday, I spent the day in Grand Island again, this time to rehearse and perform with the Temptations. It was a fun gig, but a long day as we started rehearsing at 2 p.m. and didn't finish the show until 10:30. The concert was in the new event center which will host events for the state fair - it's a very nice venue.

There was a nice crowd, the promoter estimated an audience of about 3,000 people. Here is a view from the stage right before we started our set.

The rhythm section that travels with the group was very strong, especially the drummer, who had the loudest sound on the snare drum that I've ever heard. Unfortunately, I was sitting right beside him, so it may be a while before I can hear out of my right ear. :)

It is thrilling to play with an act that has had so many top hits. I've played so many of their tunes with cover bands at weddings or other gigs, it was quite an experience to play with the real deal. Here is a video from their fan website - this is the same group and setup we played with on Saturday.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jazz is an accident...

Spinal Tap on jazz music:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Jazz @ Brewsky's

If you are too impatient to wait for the upcoming Kew tour announcement, I am playing at Brewsky's in the Haymarket with my quintet this Wednesday from 7:30-10.  Come on by if you have time.

ho hum

What's everybody been doing?

I've been off the road bike for awhile. Strictly a commuter now, and that's cool with me. I've got plenty keeping me busy.

A little birdie told me a couple people were bummed about not getting an FAC invite last week so let me explain:

I only had time for a quickie (beer, that is) and since I knew Gravy always has a few anyway on Fridays, I decided to go minimalistic. It wasn't a full-fledged FAC, you see. The whole thing lasted 25 minutes so I didn't feel it warranted a big announcement/invite. You know I wouldn't forget my FAC peeps.

Now ride safe out there.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Best Week Ever

Ever have one of those weeks? The fun actually began two weeks ago, when I got a call to go on a nice easy ride. I rode over to the home of the ride host, and upon being invited in and noticing the nice wood floor and stairs, removed my cycling shoes. After a nice conversation, we were ready to go. Not remembering that I had super slippery cycling socks on, I managed to fall down a flight of stairs, wrenching my injured shoulder and adding a nice bruise to my backside in the process (be thankful there are no pics of the bruise).

After sitting there for a minute to make sure I wasn't really hurt, we continued on the ride, which turned out to be a lot of fun - until we were on the way home and I discovered that my rear wheel was badly out of true - as if the wheel had fallen down the stairs with me. The wheel was too bad to ride any further, so I had to call my wife for a ride home. My companions insisted on waiting with me, even though it was growing dark - much appreciated.

Then, on the next Saturday, we left for Oregon to take Paul to graduate school. We loaded his car and our car up with his stuff, and headed west. Somewhere after Kearney, my wife turns to me and says, "I just hope we get there with no car trouble." We had just taken Paul's car to the mechanic for a trip check and had put almost a grand into it to make sure it was ready to drive cross-country, but still, when she said that the first thing that came to mind was that now we're jinxed.

Sure enough, shortly after passing Cheyenne, Paul calls us on the cell phone to let us know that his battery indicator light is flashing in his car. To make a long story short, (I'll tell the long version at the next FAC or bike ride, whichever comes first), we ended up being stuck in Evanston, WY, from Sunday afternoon through Tuesday mid-morning waiting for a part to arrive. Ironically, Evanston, while having almost nothing else going on, has a lively cycling club which hosts a national level race (Levi Leipheimer is one of the past winners) and has a number of great ride routes posted on their website - and I had my cross bike with me. In keeping with the theme of the week, however, it poured rain the whole time we were stuck there.

The McDonalds in town (fine dining for Evanston) had an amusing theme in the play area:

We left Evanston about 11:30 am and reached Bend, Oregon at about 10 pm. After spending the night in Bend, we drove the last stretch to Eugene. The road here carries you over the Cascades past rain forest, volcanoes and lava fields. This is Mt. Washington, with a lava field in the foreground:

At the summit of the pass, there is an observatory which is built entirely of lava:

You can get a nice view from there of two of the Three Sisters volcanos, again with lava rocks in the foreground:

We finally arrived in Eugene late Wednesday morning (we were supposed to get there mid day on Monday) and got Paul checked into his apartment. We had the rest of the day to find furniture, rent a truck, move the furniture into his apartment, and return the truck. Luckily we found a Goodwill superstore that was pretty much one-stop shopping for cheap furniture. By the end of the day, he was pretty well situated:

Julie and I had big plans to do some more wine tasting, go to the coast to go whale watching, and then take our time heading back through Portland and up the Columbia river gorge, taking time for side trips to see Mt. Hood and some waterfalls. We had to scrap those, although we did have time on Thursday to take Paul to the King Estate winery for a tasting and some lunch.

We left Eugene on Thursday afternoon, still hoping to get through Portland and have time to stop at scenic sites along the Columbia river, but we ran into a huge traffic jam due to a pileup on the interstate, and it was almost dark by the time we started up the gorge. We still got some pics of the gorge as the sun was going down:

and we made it to Multnomah falls just in time to see it before it was too dark (although it was actually much darker than it shows in this pic).

This is the second highest waterfall in the lower 48 states - more than 600 feet. Driving on, we stayed the night in the Dalles, and then drove to Ogden, Utah the next day. During that drive, we were going to take a break in Pendleton, and take a look at Pendleton Mills, but all of the roads were closed due to a huge week-long rodeo taking place in town. Foiled again.

We had intended to leave Ogden early with the intention of being in Fort Collins in time to see the Husker vs. Va. Tech football game, but overslept and left town late. The GPS unit we had been using to navigate also was unable to find the satellite, and the one road we could find on the map to get back to the interstate was closed, so that cost us some time as well. Are you sensing a theme here?

Anyway, we got to Fort Collins in time to catch the 2nd quarter at a local sports bar that hosts the local chapter of Coloradans for Nebraska - they even took our picture and put it on their website.

We enjoyed the game - until the last minute and a half. That was the cherry on top of a week where nothing seemed to go right. After the game we went downtown and had some great Mexican food with some friends who now live in Fort Collins, and then spent the night at their place.

We returned to Lincoln on Sunday, and I managed to get out to the chit-chat ride Monday night for my first ride in two weeks - brutal wind, but we all stayed together and shared the work into the wind and had good fun. I'm looking forward to tonight's teamFIRE ride.

Looking back, I guess that if that counts as a lousy week in my life, then things are pretty good.

How was your week?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Nice Moves

There are unsubstantiated reports that the kid in the red shirt saw Kew dancing and has copied all of his moves.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bring your flippers

No gravel ride Thursday night this week, but I did ride the Surly down to see what the 3 inches of rain yesterday did to the pond and the bike path. There were several places where the water was within a couple of feet of the bike path.

Anybody want to do a ride on Labor Day? Saturday is full of football, and we're heading to Omaha for family stuff on Sunday, so I hope to get a nice ride in on Monday.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A study in contrasts

On Saturday Adrian organized a ride in the morning.  Six of us rode out to Bennett, through the Roca rollers and back home via highway 77.  It was a fantastic morning - temps in the low 60s, almost no wind, and lots of sunshine.  Armwarmers were almost a necessity at the beginning of the ride - and it's still August!  One of the riders, Tom, has an interesting goal he has set for himself.  He just quit smoking recently, and has no family or business obligations at this point in his life, so he has decided to train to ride from Lincoln to California this spring.  We should be seeing him on lots of the group rides as he gets ready.  Here we are taking a pause for the cause towards the end of the ride.

On Monday, a number of friends and I were evidently part of history, as we took part in what is being described as the largest group ride ever in Lincoln (as far as anybody there could remember).  Before we left, I counted 46 riders, and I know some joined us on the road, so there were close to 50 riders at some point during the ride.  We broke apart on highway 77, but everybody got back together at Sprague.  It was quite a sight to see the pack heading up Sprague road - it looked like it stretched for almost a quarter of a mile, with people riding 2 and three abreast.   Maybe we can break 50 next Monday!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thursday Gravel

Last night Ho Fo Sho, Kew, Greg W. and I saddled up the fat tires and headed south on the Jamaica trail to the Roca tavern on a perfect night.  After a couple of cold ones and some good storytelling (ask either Kew or me about our embarrassing falling while riding clipless pedals stories), we decided we were hungry, so we got back on the trail and headed back to town for some Mexican food at the usual post ride gathering place.  Definitely my kind of ride.

I haven't posted about rides for a while, so here are some random thoughts and pics from the last month or so:

I had a great 45 mile SOLO ride last Saturday while evidently some people were still recovering from FAC.  You know who you are - you missed a great ride, and I was disappointed to not get the opportunity to ride with you and laugh some more, but it was a great morning, and I enjoyed myself anyway.  The only thing that bummed me out was when I took the turn at Hallam to go back to Highway 77, and realized that they had covered that perfect, smooth, road with chip-seal.

Since returning from vacation badly out of shape, I have tried to get out more on some of the group rides.  The Monday ride has been a big one lately, with lots of folks showing up and a very reasonable pace.  With a lot of riders, it seems like we get more flats, though.  One night a guy showed up who had never had a flat or changed a tire, and was ready to call his wife to pick him up until we convinced him that it is possible to change a tube on the road.  Here we are waiting for him to finish learning how to change a flat.

The new chip-seal on the shoulders and some of the roads around Sprague is also contributing to more flats than usual.  There have been Jendeluxe sightings on several of the Monday rides - here she is recovering after catching up to the group when she had to stop to fix a flat.

The Wednesday ride has also been well attended.  The pace has also gone up.  The first ride I did on the Wednesday after vacation I got dropped, which I expected since I hadn't ridden in a while.  However, this last Wednesday I got dropped again, which really had me questioning my fitness until I checked my average speed when I got home.  I averaged 18.5 mph, and that was doing the last third of the ride solo after getting dropped.  That is faster than that ride usually goes, and is a pretty healthy speed for me on any ride, so I guess it's not me getting slower, it's just that everybody else got faster.  Here is a pic at the turnaround spot at Bluestem Lake.

I enjoyed last Friday's FAC - let's all get out together to ride bikes again sometime.