Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sad news.

This is the father of one of my students.

news story

He passed away last night. Maybe I should stop soft-shelling it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Shackleton Shackleton Shackleton

Hello to my little fwends!

I bet you want to know what I've been up to...

Assuredly, you are assuming I'm on wild adventures, galavanting with kings and queens, taking trips to the upper atmosphere and exploring the marianas trench... well no.

The answer is school. I'm being forced to read, at grade point, about an explorer who went to the Antarctic to reach the South Pole. He made three attempts and never reached it. What he is famous for is on his third attempt, getting stuck. Whoopie... well, I have to read this book to learn about leadership. Seems strange, but I guess this guy is admired because he and his crew were stuck for two years and none of them died. Nice story... but the admiration for this fella is over the top. It's like he invented leadership in the eyes of the author. There are actually institutes dedicated to his teachings... I should get an award for having to move my eyes over the words in this book. I should get an institute named after me for surviving this tortuous undertaking.

Well, that's where I am, in a literary wasteland.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Just an update

Hey guys -- just an update. I haven't been biking much -- just commuting. The road bike hasn't been off the hook in the garage this year. Just haven't had the desire and have had other things on my plate.

One of those things is I'm playing in a cover band. We had our first two gigs last weekend down at Bob's Tavern in Havelock and it went pretty well. Just a few rough spots. It's a 6-piece band (two guitars, bass, drums, two singers). I play mainly rhythm guitar. We're having a lot of fun playing rock/blues/soul stuff. Fun music most everybody knows -- and enjoys dancing to.

We're off for a few weeks then will start booking regular gigs. I'll keep you posted, if you want to come check us out.

Anyway, been running a few miles during the week instead of biking. Doesn't take as much time and is a good cardio workout. Hope you guys are all well -- miss the camaraderie and margaritas.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Random stuff

I had another couple of great rides this week. Last night's teamFIRE gravel ride is quickly becoming a regular favorite - it's a fun social ride with great people. It was nice having my friend Scott come along - he did a great job on his first group ride and had a great time. This is a good ride for introducing people to group rides - I hope we see some more new faces joining the familiar ones.

My daughter has been at dance camp at UN-L all week. As part of the team bonding, the seniors on the squad chalked our driveway and decorated her car. My oldest son, who is home from Oregon for the summer, is a little reluctant to borrow her car now that "Hotties on board" is painted on the windshield. He mentioned to us that he feels like we are all suddenly living inside the Disney Channel. It is an adjustment for the three males in the family to get used to all of this girly stuff.

Speaking of Oregon, we are heading out to the coast this weekend to pick up my son's car to bring home for the rest of the summer. We should get some good touristy stuff in as well - a visit to the coast as well as visits to Crater Lake and Redwood National Park are in the plans. I'll post some pics here when I get a chance. My main worry while gone is keeping track of which stages of Le Tour to dvr so I can watch some of them when I get back.

Speaking of the Tour - I have been thinking of having a little get-together at my house to watch one of the late mountain stages when we get back from Oregon. July 22 is the climb of Col de Tourmalet - should be the final defining day in the mountains and the last important day before the final time trial. We could do the regular Thursday gravel ride and then meet at my place for food and drink and watch the tour. Let me know if you'd be interested.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Duathlon and teamFIRE rides

On Sunday I woke up to the sound of hard driving rain at about 5:30 am - I was scheduled to ride in the Nebraska Triathlon Club Duathlon out at Pioneers Park at 7:30 a.m. Believing that it would be cancelled or postponed, but not willing to give up totally, I threw on my bike clothes, put the bike in the car, and drove out to the park to find out what the organizers were going to do.

Unfortunately, as there was no lightning, they decided to hold the race. The rain continued to fall throughout the whole race, causing the road to be covered in large puddles and streams of water all along the course. This made for nervous descents and turns at the bottom of the hills - but as far as I know there were no crashes.

Peter and I were beaten out of first place by a couple of 20-something co-workers of Peter's (they work at the Oven where Peter plays guitar on Thursdays and Sundays). We did get second place, although we were a few minutes behind where we finished last year. I averaged just under 19 mph for the three laps, which I'll take given the bad weather, hills, and complete lack of any warm-up. We told them that when they get to their mid to late 40s, and they ever get diabetes and cancer, then they can talk smack about their win.

When I got home, I put the bike up on my rack to oil the chain - and heard a loud sloshing of water in my rear tire as I spun it. I took the wheel off and removed one bead of the tire, took out the tube, and poured out about a cup of water out through the valve hole. No wonder the bike felt heavy on that last lap :)

I have had some nice teamFIRE rides this week - although not on the official Wednesday ride, which may or may not still exist. On Thursday last week, I headed out with Adrian and Jace and a couple of friends on the Jamaica trail for a nice ride, and last night several of us (Kevin M., Nicol, Jen, Conrad, and Rachel) took a nice short ride to Sprague, followed by a quick visit to the team clubhouse (Janna met us there after finishing her teaching ride).

Sounds like the Monday teaching ride is going to be a regular thing - an opportunity to introduce newbs to group riding. After watching people struggle into the wind during TdN while riding 20 feet behind people riding the same pace, this is something that could really prove to be useful. Jen can always demonstrate the proper water bottle techniques:

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Anyone want to do the TDF Versus Challenge this year?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tour de Nebraska Pics

I just got back from TdN, so I thought I would upload my pics and do a quick ride report. Daily stats:

Day 1 - Clay Center to Minden - 61 miles, 16.2 mph avg.
Day 2 - Minden to Cambridge - 80 miles, 18.1 mph avg.
Day 3 - Cambridge to Alma - 61 miles, 17.6 mph avg.
Day 4 - Alma to Red Cloud - 60 miles, 17.5 mph avg.
Day 5 - Red Cloud to Clay Center - 55 miles, 16.0 avg.

On days 1 and 2 I rode primarily with Bruce and Alisa S. and Jordan and Angie M., which made it easy to form an echelon and fight the crosswinds. Day 1 was a pretty brisk cross/headwind. We were fortunate on day 2 as it was the longest day and we had a slightly helping crosswind. Days 3 and 4 had light crosswinds and very hot temperatures (it reached 100 degrees each day). On day 3 we had a nice rotating paceline going with the same people as days 1 and 2, with the addition of David R. On days 4 and 5, we had a light crosswind until we turned north, and then had to fight a pretty good headwind for the last 20 or so miles. Those last two days I rode with Jordan and Angie, the tandem towing company, as David either rode with Martha or took off into Kansas to get in a century.

Here are the pics, starting with Rich's opening instructions:

Once on the road we formed up our line to fight the wind - it was a pleasure to ride with such good cyclists.

Day 4 was supposed to be a short day (48 miles), so we took a detour and did a nice 6 mile climb out to the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie - which also put us right on the Kansas state line.

It is interesting what you can see on the road. Here the base for one of those big windmills gets stuck as it tries to make a turn and can't clear the RR crossing sign.

The community lunch stops are usually either hosted by some organization or the town bar opens up for us. It is always a welcome time to refuel, get off of the bike for a minute and stretch, and meet some new folks.

It can also be fun to check out the different towns as we pass through them. We found this sign in Oxford:

As a musician, I enjoyed this one in Funk (sounds like a good band name from the '70s, I think):

My only mechanical incident happened in Oxford when I somehow lost two screws from my cleat and I couldn't clip out. I had to take my foot out of my shoe and wait for the Bike Rack truck to come help.

After showering, post ride activities include finding a good spot for the tent:

The search for a bar with lots of unhealthy fried appetizers:

Exploring town and looking at all of the shops and buildings:

We couldn't figure out if this sculpture was a bike rack, an ad for a dentist office, or an ad for a proctologist. Bruce helped us visualize the possibilities:

In Alma we walked down to the Harlan County Reservoir - it was nice to see that it has filled back up.

Once back at the campground, there is always good conversation at the tents:

Or maybe a nap:

Or a card game:

Several of us on the tour are friends with a Lincoln musician who also has a nice little house in Cambridge. We gave her a call and she invited us up to have a drink on her deck:

I'm tired, sore, and happy to be home, but it was a great time.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Today I will spend packing for the Tour de Nebraska - tomorrow morning I will leave about 5 a.m. to head out to our starting point at Clay Center.  Hopefully we are done with the rain and will get nothing but sunshine and tailwinds.  

Thanks to everybody (Julie, Nicol, Jordan, Jen, Kevin, Janna, Megan, Conrad, and Rachel) for the nice ride and the post ride birthday festivities last night.  That was a blast!

I'll post pics here as soon as I get back.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Good Week

The week really started off last Friday with the FAC at Yia Yia's.  It was great to see everybody again. On Saturday I went on a short ride to Roca - I was going to go do the rollers to Bennett, but I felt lousy (not related to the FAC, I'm sure) and decided to cut the ride short.  On Monday, a nice sized group rode out from the Bike Rack to Pioneers Park - finishing with KimC, da Term, JenDeluxe, Nicol, KellyB, Loup Garou, and I heading to Las Margaritas afterwards for some more good storytelling and laughter.

On Tuesday, the weather was perfect, so I took Sprague road to Crete and then took the Denton Alps past Denton to W. Van Dorn before heading home.  I felt great, and was really happy to be able to do a 50 miler with no pain or fatigue - especially with TdN coming up next week.  Wednesday I drove up to Omaha to play golf with a musician buddy of mine and then stuck around to pick up my oldest son who was flying in from Denver - of course since he was on the last flight of the night, his flight was delayed and we didn't get back to Lincoln until 1:30 a.m.

Tonight, I went out with Jace and Adrian for a ride on the Jamaica trail out to the Roca tavern.  I was feeling lousy in the afternoon and thought of not showing (the late night, the heat, Tuesday's riding and the golf all hit me at once), but as usual, once I got out I was glad I went.  Bonus - we beat the weather home.

(photo courtesy of Adrian)

I won't get to ride much this weekend because of some family activities that are going on, so I'm glad this week was a full one.  Next Wednesday I'll head out for TdN - I'll try to post a pic or two on Facebook during the trip, and then I'll put up the rest of the pics here.  

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Two Questions

1)  Where do you all want to meet Friday for FAC?  Shall we keep it simple and just make it Yia Yia's at 5 pm again?  

2) It's coming up on duathlon time  - this year it will be the morning of July 4.  Peter B. and I are registering today as a team.  Who else is in?  More info is here:


Rode to Sprague with Jen and Janna last night on Jen's first ride of the year - we ended up at Las Margaritas and talked about having the same destination next Monday rather than next Wednesday - this would work better for both Jen and me since she works later on Wednesday, and I have to pick up my son at the airport in Omaha that night at 10:50 pm.  We will join the Bike Rack 6 p.m. ride and finish with some Mexican food and cerveza.  See you there!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Making Plans

I've had some nice rides in the past couple of weeks, so I thought I'd update even though I'm not sure anybody visits this blog anymore.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have been occasionally attending the Bike Pedalers 6 pm ride.  This is a no drop ride - so far the ones I've been on have started out quite easy, with a destination in mind like the Bridges or Pioneers Park.  Once at our destination, everybody does some laps at whatever pace - the racers take off, guys like me try to hang as long as possible, and then we all regroup at the end to ride back to town at a nice easy pace again.  This structure makes a lot of sense, as it lets everybody get some work in, but still feels like a no drop group ride.

I've tried to hit some of the Wednesday rides when my schedule allows.  There has been a disappointingly low turnout from teamFIRE members - this has basically turned into a Great Plains ride.  One night a couple of weeks ago, however Jace, Greg, Dennis, Kelly and I were all there to ride - that was fun.  Kelly and I are usually the only teamFIRE members there, though - I have enjoyed riding more with Kelly as he has also come to some of the Bike Pedalers rides.

On Memorial Day, I rode with a large group that left from the bench - they wanted to stop to take off some layers (the morning was a bit chilly), and Kim C. was on a schedule, so along with Chris H., the three of us took off to do the Cortland and the Hallam loop on a beautiful day.

Wednesday, Kelly B. and I were the only teamFIRE members to show again, and the GPBC group wanted to go to Sprague (with a northwest wind) we decided to wait and see if anybody else showed.  When nobody did, we took off with the intent of going out to Emerald.  When we got to Pioneers park, we ran into Janna, who was waiting for Conrad.  The four of us took off - eventually heading out to Pawnee Lake, with a stop at Merle's in Emerald on the way back for a burger and a brew - don't do this if you're in a hurry to get home, because they're not in a hurry to serve you.  We almost got home before dark - but not quite.

Discussions with Kim, Chris, Janna, Kelly and Conrad during the last two rides produced the following plans (hence the Making Plans title to this post)

1) We need to start up the 8 am Saturday morning ride from the old Wilderness Perk strip mall again.  I won't be there this Saturday because of a funeral - but promise to show after that if others will.

2) Next Friday (June 11) we need to do an FAC.  More details to follow - email notifications will be forthcoming.

3) In two weeks, on Wednesday June 16, we agreed to meet at the bridge at 6 pm for a ride which will end at Las Margaritas.

Hope some of you cycling recluses will join us.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Capital City Criterium

I rode down last Saturday to watch and snapped some pics while there - tough, windy day for the racers.