Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bent and Cracked

A half a foot of ice and snow on the ground and the wind chill is 20 below but I got my bike back from Bike Masters yesterday. Geoff says the derailleur hanger was not just bent but cracked to. They replaced this broken part. Can't wait to get out and try a ride with it. Might be a while.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Low Maintenance

Being low maintenance might be a compliment. Some may take it as an insult. My bike has been rebelling against my low maintenance. It has been giving me shifting issues intermittently. I got some dmars advice and changed my rear shift cable and went to full length cable housing. I really appreciated that advice because seemed to solve my issues. However, on my next ride out my bike was possessed, shifting at random times as I tried to climb. My issues needed professional help. Last Wednesday I went to Tim at Bike Masters. In about 6 minutes of evaluation he found 1) Bent Derailleur Hanger 2) Loose cassette 3) Dry chain. When he asked what kind of lube I used I couldn't remember. I think Tim took that as I'm low maintenance. :)

My New Years Resolution - Be "High Maintenance".

Looking forward to climbing a hill without worries.
- Paul

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Emma has been frying her eggs for the past couple weeks. Today she got it right!

We took a little trip to Bellevue today. We parked at the cemetery by Jewell and found some geocache sites. Cali and I have been Geocaching twice before. This was Emma's first time and she proved herself a worthy geocacher by finding three of the four we searched for.

Geocaching made us hungry so we headed north to Downtown Omaha...
...Ummmm Spaghetti Works!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy Cranksgiving!

It wasn't much above freezing yesterday but the turnout for Cranksgiving 2008 was good. There were piles of groceries for the food bank and volunteers making things run smooth.

There was also soup, chili and prizes for the riders. Dale, Bob, Ben (Bob's son) and I rode together to pickup our list of ten items for the food bank. We stopped to take a break at HyVee on 156th and Maple to warm up with some coffee.

Find out more about Cranksgiving Omaha...
Cranksgiving Omaha
The Video

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tranquility North Hill Descent Reroute

The Tranquility Trail Council met today at 1PM to decide on a reroute for the "North Hill Descent". The goal was to add more grade reversals and make the descent more sustainable. Once we flagged the new path it was amazing how fast the five of us were able to cut the grass down. We did some riding so we could test out the flow. Chris, Dave, Dale, Greg and myself rode it several times to get a feel for the new route. Good team work!

Here's a picture of a 1X9 that Chris built. This looks like the way to go for riding Tranquility.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chili, Hot Dogs and Huskers

Oct. 25, 2008 - My Mom and Dad drove up from Lincoln for Chili, Hot Dogs and Husker football on TV. The weather was great for late October. At half time we walked down to Tranquility to survey the trails.

After watching the 32-20 win against Baylor we drove downtown to checkout the new pedestrian bridge.

Nice Day!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Santa Arrived Early This Year

Well that Bargain Cave at Cabela's is almost as good as Santa. This GPS was a little scratched up but it works great. The cost was like a good eBay deal. It didn't have the AC adapter but one is on the way. I was surprised about how good Magellan's support was for me. Until that arrives it can get a charge from the USB cable. That method is just slow. The family and I have hunted down a couple geocache locations close by. Now I need to learn how to make some maps.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

2008 Omaha Bike Summit - Oct. 18 2008

Brisk October air, fog surrounding the tops of downtown Omaha buildings, and the wish that I'd worn gloves with fingers is how I started Saturday, October 18th, 2008. I was riding my 2000 Marin Palisades Trail down Cass St. towards the Omaha Qwest Center. From there I would take the walking bridge from the Qwest Center to Riverfront Dr. and the National Parks Service Building. This was the site of the 2008 Omaha Bike Summit. When I arrived Bikeable Communities was putting up their banner.

This was the Agenda...
7:45 - 8:30 Registration & Welcome Bikeable Communities!
8:30 - 9:30 City of Omaha progress and status report - Marty Shukert
9:30 - 10:30 PedNet Presentation - Robert Johnson
10:45 - 11:15 Bicycles & Policing in Omaha - Deputy Chief Mark Sundermier
11:15 - 11:45 Green Streets Master Plan - Connie Spellman, Omaha by Design
11:45 - Lunch / Presentation on Missouri Pedestrian Bridge - Chistian Brown, HNTB
12:30 - MAT Bus Bike Rack Demo / Pedestrian Bridge walk or ride
1:15 Bike Parking opportunities & alternatives - Mark Wyatt, Iowa Bicycle Coalition
1:45 Bikeable Communities!

Marty Shukert started his presentation showing the 2008 Omaha Metro Area Bicycle Map and talking about the plan to make 20 miles of Omaha Street biker friendly. I did find an Omaha World-Herald article published back on May 13, 2008 about this plan Omaha to add bicycle lanes to some streets. He focused on north, central and south east-west links to downtown. The plan is to reduce friction for cyclists to use Omaha streets and reduce tension when motorists and cyclists share the streets. It was interesting to hear Marty talk about the history of Omaha streets and how the street car system that was retired in the 50s is what contributed to some of Omaha's wider streets. One of the streets this plan will focus early in the plan is Leavenworth. Marty had examples of good signage and street paint used in other cities for bike traffic.

Bike Signage/Paint

He also showed an example from St. Louis of iconic signs marking the entire biking street system. It sounds like Omaha will use a marking system like that as well. I was happy to hear that the $600,00 grant to fund the implementation of the 20 mile bike plan would start getting used to put some of these ideas into action as early as spring 2009.
There was a second initiative that Marty talked about that would link Omaha and towns west like Elkhorn, Valley, Waterloo and even Fremont. This Western Doulas County Trail System would be paved. This plan includes making "Buffered Bike Lanes" on streets like Old Maple. Marty showed street wide allocation examples that looked like this...

One thing I also learned is that Omaha has a mayor appointed Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee and they are looking into hiring a coordinator. It was great to hear from someone that is a cycling advocate with plans to make bike transportation more mainstream in our area.

The next speaker was Robert Johnson from Pednet in Columbia, Mo. Pednets focus is on cycling education. Here is the link where you can learn more about their programs. PedNet Pedestrain & Pedaling Network But the point the Robert made that really had some merit was that building bike transportation infrastructure is great but communities need to be educated on cycling to confidently be able to use that infrastructure. I liked that Robert backed up the success of his programs by using surveys showing how his students were using there bikes more after the training. Here are some of Robert's slides ...

Bike Education Slides

In 2006, Columbia was selected as one of four communities in the nation to participate in the Federal Highway Administration's Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot program. Here is a link to "getabout Columbia" which PedNet created. getabout COLUMBIA One of the main ideas Robert teaches his cyclists is that even if there is a bike lane, when stopping at the intersection the cyclist needs to take the car lane. I guess they learned in Portland that this was the way to prevent the "Right Hook". I like what Robert said about education needing to be balanced with the infrastructure.

I was able to stay to listen to presenters until lunch. After lunch I went out to the parking lot of the National Parks Service Building and learned how to put my bike on the MAT Bus. I rode over to 16th and Capitol and put what I learned to use.

My "Pali" and I rode the MAT bus west to 108th and Blondo where I took my normal bike commute route home from work. Made it home it time to get in my truck and head south to Platte River State Park for the Bike Bash!

Friday, October 17, 2008

CHS School Play

Cali got the part of Sadie Finch in the 2008 Central High School Play "Up the Down Staircase". The cast and crew did a fantastic performance.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bob Kerry Bridge Opening

Cali and I went over to CB to check out the new Bob Kerry Bridge today. Here are some photos ...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Human Powered Trails

While visiting friends in the La Crosse, WI area I stopped at Human Powered Trails for a ride. I only rode a few of the many trails but they were fun and well maintained. I met Dan Luebke while I was out riding. Dan is the president of Human Powered Trails and he was getting ready for a trail work night. Since I didn't need to be anywhere till after 8PM I told him I would chip in and help. About 10 others showed up even though it was raining a little. They have an awesome enclosed trailer to house all the trail work tools. The grant they got for a ditch-witch really impressed me too! I met the trail crew and they are a great bunch of dedicated riders.

Bonus: Cold PBRs when the work is done! Gotta love Wisconsin...
If you get to La Crosse ride Human Powered Trails.

Parked at Human Powered Trails on the bluffs high above La Crosse, WI

Monday, August 18, 2008

Tranquility Tire Tantrum 2008

Last Saturday I entered my 3rd Pycowpath Series MTB Race. I kept up my streak of not finishing last (but just barely). There were 17 racers in the Beginner Men Masters 35+ class and I was happy to finish 16th. I was even happier that my family came to visit me and cheer me on at the start.

My Race Face :o)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Smithville Midwest Fat Tire Race

I got a call from Doug last Friday to talk about some trail work for the weekend. He said he was thinking about heading down to Smithvile, MO Sunday (July 13) to ride in a Midwest Fat Tire MTB Race and asked if I wanted to go. Since Sunday was free of any other commitments I was able to go. We had a great day of riding. I ended up with a fifth place trophy in the 40+ Beginner class which I was surprised but happy to get. We met some really nice people and the weather was fantasic. Looking forward to next year (but with full suspension).

Sunday, June 22, 2008

New Kiosk at Tranquility MTB Trails

Here are some photos of the new Kiosk being installed at Traquility Park today. Thank you to Mark Kuntz for the fine craftmanship. It's fun to see the improvements unfold over the past year at the Tranquility trails. Thank you City of Omaha for the use of this area!

Mark and Dale are cleaning cement off the posts.

Doug, Dale and Mark are adding the content.

This is a shot out the back of Mark's truck. -Dale, Mark, Doug and I.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rail-Trails Day

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - My girls got me a great book for Fathers Day called "Biking USA's Rail-Trails". When looking at what was close by I noticed one about 45 minutes away called "Steamboat Trace". From the Trailhead just south of Nebraska City I rode a few miles of the Steamboat Trace. I'm looking forward to riding that trail again this fall when the leaves start changing. Since I still had the rest of the morning I went up to the Wabash and rode to Mineola, IA and back. It was a perfect day to ride rail-trails.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

My '97 Ford F150 Carpet Project (Continued)

Today I sized up the new carpet against the old mat I removed.

I cut the hole for the 4X4 shift lever.

The carpet is mostly installed now. Just need to do some trimming and reinstall seats and belts. Seems like it will turn out good. I'm happy with the fit so far.

I would recommend the supplier because the price was good and the shipping was fast - $135.00.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New carpet for my '97 Ford F150

With the price of food and fuel going up like they are it's looking like I'll be driving my trusty '97 F150 for a while longer. I decided to replace the original rubber mat floor with new moulded carpet. The mat was ok but due to a leak there was a mold problem.

These are some before pictures of the nasty dirty stock rubber flooring.

At this point I've removed the rear seat and the cd changer. Seat Removal is required in this project. To do this, the seat must be unbolted from the truck's floor. This is done from inside the truck and accomplished by removing the bolts located in the seat tracks. The original rubber floor covering is used to line up bolt holes for the new carpet.
Thank God for air tools! A couple of the torx bolts holding the seat belts in place were rusted bad. The only think that would break them free was an impact wrench.

I took the new carpet out of the box and so I could lay it flat in the living room. I cleaned up some of the factory debris that was on it. I'll keep it out to remove the wrinkles that formed while it was in the box.

The old nasty rubber mat is removed now. The next step is to clean up the mat a little so it doesn't get the new carpet dirty. I will place the new carpet over the mat to determine if it is almost an exact match in size and shape.

There will still be some cleaning, rust removal and priming to be done in the cab before the new carpet is installed. Funny how what seemed like a 2 day job is going to turn into a two weekend job. Oh well, at least it won't smell like cheese gone bad in my truck anymore. More to come this weekend if the weather is decent.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Omaha Central Wins Another State Championsip

2008 - CHS Pom Squad Performs at half time.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

CHS Pom Squad at State Games 2008

Omaha Central High School Pom Squad takes the floor at half time at the Devaney Sports Center in Lincon, Nebraska.

Lorenzo Wilson "Hey Man Nice Shot"

Josh Jones is currently first in state at Scoring.

Lorenzo Wilson is second in state at Field-Goal Percentage going into the Nebraska High School State Class-A Championship Game.

Omaha Central wins over Bellevue West to go on to the Chamionship Game tonight against Bellevue East.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Veggie Enchilada Recipe

Veggie Enchilada Recipe

These are good if you are looking for a meatless dish. Made some for friends recently and they asked for the recipe. I decided to post it here too. Enjoy!

1 can (10 oz) mild enchilada sauce (I like to use the green chili kind)

1 cup sour cream

1 tablespoonPure Olive Oil

1 medium onion, chopped (1/3 cup)

1 green pepper, chopped (1/3 cup)

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 package (8 oz) sliced fresh baby portabella mushrooms

1 box (9 oz) frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain

1/3 cup chopped drained roasted red bell peppers (from 7.25-oz jar)

2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix (from 1.25-oz package)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

8 flour tortillas (Use the large size)

1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese to put on top


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with Non-Stick Cooking Spray.

2. In 1-quart saucepan, heat enchilada sauce and 1 cup of the sour cream over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until warm. Spread 1/4 cup of the sauce mixture on bottom of baking dish. Set aside remaining sauce.

3. Meanwhile, in 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, green pepper and garlic; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender. Stir in mushrooms; cook 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender.

4. Transfer vegetable mixture to food processor bowl with metal blade. Add spinach, roasted peppers, taco seasoning mix, the cumin and 1 cup pepper jack cheese and 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese. Cover; process with on-and-off pulses 3 to 6 times or until mushrooms are coarsely chopped.

5. Spoon 1/3 cup vegetable filling down center of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas; place seam sides down on sauce in baking dish. Pour remaining sauce evenly over tortillas; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese. Spray sheet of foil with No-Stick Cooking Spray; cover baking dish tightly with foil, sprayed side down.

6. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Blog Archive

Who is Stratomatic?

My photo
Stratomatica - is my blog place where I document things happening around me or that interest me. The name Strata, geologically speaking, are layers of sedimentary rock or soil with internally consistent characteristics that distinguish it from other layers. Too deep? Well, I like guitars. Mostly I like the sound and feel of Stratocasters.