Thursday, December 31, 2009

Virginia is for Bikers

I lived in Virginia for a while when I was a kid. Bumper stickers would say "Virginia is for Lovers". This may be true but this video makes me say Virginia is for Bikers. This well done video says it's from the Gap Mountain section of the Pandpas Pond Trail system. It features rocky, rooty, and twisty single tracks. Have the Happy, Safe New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Snow Covered Omaha

I drove Cali down to Central High School today so she could practice for the talent show. While waiting for her I took a trip around downtown taking pictures of Omaha covered in snow. Let me know if I caught any of your favorite places...

Snow Covered Omaha

Friday, December 25, 2009

Early AM Christmas Blizzard 2009

Merry Christmas to all my friends and family that visit this blog. It's very early on Christmas morning and there is a blizzard. The wind is blowing hard but the house is currently quiet. It won't be long and my dogs will be waking up all my girls. Then wrapping paper and ribbons will be flying everywhere. We'll miss our traditional family trip to Lincoln today as I'm sure many plans are changing due to this weather. But we will see everyone soon and we are thinking about you.

Hope you and yours have a nice and safe Christmas. -Paul

Monday, December 7, 2009

Frozen Tranq Trails

I'm sitting here wondering if there was a snowy Monday Night Ride tonight. If there was those tracks will be buried by more snow soon enough. Before the snow started on Sunday I got out to update the Tranquility Kiosk at the trailhead by Fort Street parking. You will notice some new infomation. Now that we have had a good hard freeze and snow any warmer days are going to make the trail sloppy. Not that there are any warm days in the forcast soon. But there will be.

It's number 3 on IMBA's Responsible Riding Tips ...

3. Say No To Mud

Riding a muddy trail can cause unnecessary trail widening and erosion that may lead to long-lasting damage.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

BMCC Meeting and 'All-Steel' Ride

Well, today I signed up for another year of MTB racing representing Bike Masters. It was great to see some new members many of which ride the Monday Night Ride. I was also happy to hear joining up was more about participation than results (I'm kinda slow). My goal is to do at least 5 races next year. Most likely I will race the marathon class. But Cat3 (beginner) 45+ is an option for me now too.

A few of us got started on our "training" right away after the meeting with the 'All-Steel' ride. Four of us all riding steel frames did a lap at Tranquility after the meeting. The discussion for this ride started last night over pizza/wings/beer with Dmars on his steel Niner, Dale on his steel fixed Haro-Mary, and me on my trusty steel Marin. Then Dan C. showed up on his steel VooDoo. It was a nice mid 30s cold weather ride and the trail was frozen solid. There was even a patch of ice on the newly armored North Creek section. We all managed to "keep the shiney side up". Looking forward to another fun MTB season in the spring. Till then we gear up for cold and ride (probably gravel after this week).

Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Night Ride - 11/30/2009

Big turnout for a night ride on the last day of November. Super nice chilly weather with almost no wind. Here are more photos.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Night Ride on a Thursday

Greg stopped by with a helmet light for me to try last night. It worked great but now I'm going to have a hard time night riding without one. My bar mounted light is ok but it's nice to be able to look around turns before you start turning. We rode up on a skunk not far past the kiosk at Tranquility. It didn't let it's stink go on us. But after that I was really happy to have some extra light ahead of me. Greg and I rode half a lap and found Mike and Todd. Then, as we rode up the Central Trail, Mike yelled "Skunk". Again no bad smells were smelt. So it was a really good ride...
Cold but not windy, kinda damp but luckily not stinky. The only sad part was when it was over and I had to give the light back.:)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wisconsin Cyclists Win

Wisconsin Cyclists Have Been Heard! This means my favorite trail up in La Crosse, Human Powered Trails, will be able to continue it's mission of developing shared-use trails.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Armored Second Dip - North Creek - Tranquility

A report was sent to THOR about a cement block dropped into the second dip of the North Creek trail. It didn't seem too bad in the dark Monday night but as you can see from the before photo it was a hazard. For some reason there seems to be a newly formed spring above this spot leaving the dip damp with mud. Someone placed a cement block in there but was not level with the trail. I found a few more cement blocks and sunk them in level with the trail. There should be enough of a slope to keep the water moving over the spot.


I rode over it several times to make sure it was solid. Take a look next time you ride tranq and let me know how it's working.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday Night Ride - 11/16/2009

The rain held off for our fat tire ride at Tranquility last night! There was a group of 5 riders leaving from Bike Masters. The Fort St. parking lot was empty. I was overdressed and had to pull off a layer after the first lap. Even with a north wind the temps were not as cold as I expected. We didn't take many breaks either so that kept my heat up. Owl didn't make an appearance last night. Bryan came through with some Fat Tire after the ride. Thanks again Bryan!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cranksgiving Omaha 2009

Today was the third annual Cranksgiving Omaha. The Brothers Neef (Chris and Dave) and I rode a blazingly relaxed pace. It was required to shop 10 different stores to win. We decided three stores and about a 16 mile ride was good. We rode down the Big Papio Trail past Center St. and got a few items. I got stuck behind a price check at ShopCo with three bottles of shampoo so that took us out of the running for sure. We saved the big items like turkeys for the Target store close to the shop. We even got a little Tranquility single track into the ride on the way. The weather was much nicer than last year's Cranksgiving. It was a real good time for a great cause. Thanks for organizing this Bryan.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I had a reuse moment

I had a major sidewall blowout last week. I'm happy to say it happened while airing up not riding. About the same time I needed to get the leaves off the lawn and into bags. As I was looking around the garage for something to hold the leaf bag open I found the blown tire. A few cuts and some duct tape and this tire is resurrected with a new use...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I got some trail today.

Got some paved with Lori, Mike, Jim and Dennis.

Got some dirt with Todd.

Can't be inside on Nov. 7th when the temp gets over 70.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Buena Vista University Visit

Cali and I took a little Iowa road trip today. Our mission was to visit Buena Vista University in Storm Lake Iowa. Cali heard about a major they have called Arts Management. This major blends business and art eduation. We learned about that and got a feel for the campus. There have been several college visits we have taken in the past year. Cali was hoping this one would either be horrible or fantastic because the choosing is getting difficult. I think this one was closer to fantastic. Anyway, I thought the food was pretty great.

We had a nice road trip. The court house in the center square in Logan, IA is always an amazing building to me. Mo Valley had some wierd scare crows tied to lamp posts on main street so Cali took a few pictures of those.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Harbor Freight Headlight Lens Repair Reviewed

My old truck had headlights that where yellow, hazy and scratched. Harbor Freight sells a Headlight Lens Repair kit for $14.95. You don't get much in the kit: drill attachment, 2 resurfacing pads, 1 polishing pad and a 1/2 oz. bottle of polishing gel. This is a 4 step process:

Step #1: Wash surface. I just used a glass cleaning wipe.
Step #2: Insert Drill attachment
Step #3: Resurface 3 min. each lens with damp resufacing pad
Step #4: Add small amount of the polishing gel to face of polishing pad and polish for 3 min.

With clean up and before after pictures it took about 25 minutes. I like the results and my lights should be brighter now.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Long weekends in Wisconsin are too short...

Made it home safe and sound from an extended weekend with friends in Wisconsin. Did a couple days of fishing and one full day of riding. Watched the Vikings beat the Packers and fell asleep on the couch.
See bike4trails and my photos.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tire Testing

Word is my bike tires might have been a bit too aggressive for the dry hardpack riding conditions around here. Greg G. introduced me to a pair of Michelins and some Hutchinson 26" tires tonight. I have the Hutchinson Pythons mounted for tomorrows test run.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Manawa MTB Race Today - Sept. 26, 2009

Even with a little rain the night before it turned out to be a good day for a race at Lake Manawa S.P. Forgot my lid at home but RF came through with one so I could get into the race. Rode a practice lap with Kevin and the trail was still damp and slick. For the race, I think I paced myself too much. By the end of the second lap (final lab for cat 3) I still wanted to ride which is a first for me. The slickness turned into perfectly tacky. After my race was done I got my camera out. I tried to get several motion pitures but they didn't really turn out. Here are the photos.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saturday Morning Papio Creek Ride - 09/12/09

No pictures this weekend. Just a good cloudy weather ride on Big Papio/Keystone down to HW75 and back. We got into a little rain down by Offutt Air Force Base. Had a challenge by a skinny tire flat on Jim's road bike. I found out that none of my fat tire stuff is powerful enough to air up skinny tires. We still got in a nice 30 mile ride in before getting ready to watch some Husker Football. Now Jodi is feeling bad for Arkansas State since NU is killing them so she decided to start routing for them. Sheeez! Time to go down to Playing with Fire to hear some blues.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saturday Morning CB Ride - 09/05/09

It's grown by a few riders for the last three Saturdays. Three new riders today were Chad (and his Classic Chucks), Andy and Dennis L.
We rode around CB and added Carter Lake again this week for a 31 mile ride. I took the bus downtown this AM. Jodi joined us on the back patio at the "The Matt" for the ride debriefing. She and I caught the end of the Farmers Market and picked up this ten pound strawberry pie. Maybe it's not quite 10lbs. but it's husker red!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

M.N.R. 08/24/09

Good turnout on a warm evening at TP. I got some good coaching from Martin. It's not the first time I've been urged to use my gears and shift down more so I'll need to work on that. I appreciate the help. It's starting to get dark earlier so there was some discussion about lights around the smokey joe grill after the ride. Thanks for sponsoring the suds Greg!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

CB Ride

Met up with some friends from work at 10th and Farnam yesterday morning. Bob B. showed Lori, Jim and I the route around Council Bluffs. From the Ped Bridge we rode down to S Omaha Bridge Rd and over to the Manawa MTB Trailhead. There is a nice new trail that took us north to Downtown CB. From there we rode Mynster Springs Rd to Big Lake and back to the Ped Bridge. Thanks for showing us around Bob!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Day Back

Yeah! Summer is over. School finally started.
There they go.
Finally some peace and quiet!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

M.N.R. 08/17/2009

Plenty of riders at Tranquility again for the Monday Night Ride last night. The perfect weather was sure to be a factor. Trails were good and tacky with just a few wet spots in the trees. By the second lap they were already getting firmed up. There was some new erosion where the road intersects with the trail (quick down and up) on the south hill decent. I could see that being tricky if it gets worse.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bob Trailer

The trailwork at Manawa was a long way from the trailhead last night. Good thing Dale had his Bob Trailer. He had it loaded up with two gas trimmers, a chainsaw, 3 loppers and some other stuff. We were able to get a good chunk of work done since we didn't have to walk all that gear in. Dickey had Dave N. updating the trail markers. Tom W. and I ran the weedwackers, and Dale ran the saw. There were some headbanger logs that needed to be taken out. Nice work THOR members!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bacon Ride

Met Chris and Dale at Platte River S.P. this morning for the Bacon Ride. This was my second time on this ride. It was good to get more familiar with the single track at Platte. The cool cloudy weather was a bonus. The breakfast at the lodge and the company was great too!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 4th Warning...

We all know fireworks can be dangerous on the 4th of July but there is a new danger this year. The youngster in our family, Emma, started driving today.

She passed her behind the wheel test about a week ago. She got her license Thursday and has been running around in circles wanting to go drive ever since. Yesterday we had to get the insurance taken care of too. This morning she drove herself to work. As one of two of her slightly over protective parents I had to go out and make sure she had her seat belt buckled and tell her not to TRY to catch air on the speed bumps. Anyway, you've been warned.

Have a Happy AND SAFE 4th of July.
-Paul (thinking about the money he could be saving with GEICO)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hello...Wisconsin calling!

Chris called to say the fishing in WI is exceptionally good this year. He just had to send me this picture from his phone. Now I have to head up there to see for myself.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Backyard Garden 2009

Emma suggested we plant a backyard garden this year. She helped build garden boxes out of some old fence that got blown down in storms last year. So we did some research on how to mix up soil, compost, peat moss. Seems to be working...

Peas, Grean Beans, Bell Peppers


Sweet Corn

Red/White Onions and GARLIC!

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.