Thursday, December 22, 2011

Save Human Powered Trails - La Crosse, WI

The trails in La Crosse on the bluffs over looking the city should not be lost to a housing development. There are plenty of potentially nice places in town to live. Riding from town, there is a trail providing easy access to the Human Powered Trails. I have a picture that hangs in the garage that shows the view from these bluffs. This place should be for everyone that lives in or visits La Crosse. The La Crosse City Council is considering whether to designate a city owned tract of land on the bluffs above the city, Upper Hixon Forest, as a park or to use the land for housing developments. This petition is to encourage them to designate as a city park. This will protect the land and the shared use trails that have been built there by HPT volunteers. I have worked on these trails with the HPT volunteers. They do a fantastic job of building and maintaining this area for everyone, not just bikers. Please send a message to them in support of the park designation before January 10, 2012. This petition will be delivered to the mayor and every city councilor. The La Crosse trails need your help. Please go to the link below to find out more information and sign a petition to stop a housing development on the LaCrosse trails.
Click here:

Visit the HPT site:


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This is "Freeze/Thaw Season"

Getting up early is hard. But that is when the trails can be ridden this time of year. And a frozen trail is actually nice to ride. This Saturday morning is Christmas Eve. I'm planning to do a frozen trail tranquility ride starting at a little after sunrise 8AM. Just let me know if you want to join me.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mid-December Trail Work

Greg and I got the day started off right with some Mid-December Trail Work at Tranquility. Last week the wind took down a large dead tree. It landed perfectly perpendicular to the trail north of Fort closest to the creek. So this big tree should make a nice Technical Trail Feature (TTF) when conditions are right to work on it. For now Greg used his monster saw to notch an easy access route. We cleared the debris and it's ready to ride. Maybe the MNR riders will get a chance to use this route tonight if the trail doesn't get too soft today.
This saw is a beast!
Greg doing the initial burn in.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Human Powered Snow Trail Groomer

Well, the snow is gone now. It will be back. So I'm thinking ahead. This doesn't look like a bad way to groom some snow trails. Maybe a narrower version would make more of a single track feel. A wood pallet cut in half might work well.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Kayak For Sale Sold

Update - The Kayak sold quickly. The UNO Outdoor Venture Center rents Kayaks!

Get ready for spring! Are you thinking about Kayaking next season? Here is an entry level deal on a kayak that is much better than entry level. Doug L. listed the kayak he was using last season on Craigslist. I've seen this kayak in action and you would not be disappointed. It's stable and easy to use. It's light and very easy to carry. And it's nice looking too. Check the listing out and get in touch with Doug if you are interested.

This ad is for a Current Design Vision 120 composite kayak 12 ft. long weighing an actual 34lbs. Price $600 - nice deal considering it's a $2000 kayak.

Here is the link to Doug's Craigslist listing...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 2 Day Snow

The snow riding was tricky yesterday. The powdery snow just didn't want to pack under the tires. Today the snow was perfect. Strange what the change in a day does to the snow. Great to see the trail getting used in every season. Way to go Brian, Chris and Mike!

Home Improvment Snowshoes

One thing I've learned about snowshoes is they are not really easy to get in and out of. The other thing is it's nice to go with someone else. Mike informed me that Menards had a sale on snowshoes that started Friday and ends today. I wouldn't normally think of getting sporting goods from a home improvement store. Turns out they were really great for the sale price. So I got some for Emma as an early gift. Now we can help each other get in and out of our snowshoes and enjoy winter together a little. Thanks for the heads up on the deal Mike!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Swedish single speeder ya

Short 30 second video from Stockholm, Sweden.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

First Snow of the Season

Today was our first snow ride of this winter season. I fell quite a bit but snow is a soft landing. Mike's Salsa Mukluk fat bike is amazing in the snow. Floats effortlessly, well the first laps felt like we were climbing a steep hill. But we packed down a 3/4 mile loop north of Fort St. by Kelley Field. Unlike the heat of summer, every lap got more fun. Chris P. showed for the last few laps. There was almost no wind and temps stayed in the upper 20s. The snow did not get slushy, just nice and packed down. Great day to be outside! Don't let old man winter keep you inside.

Snowy gullys, no problem for Mike on his Muk! Just to be fair, Mike flawlessly rode this tight spot on the previous lap. Here are the photos...
Snow Ride - Dec. 4th, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Correct Freewheel Tool

When the time came to change the freewheel on my single speed I thought I was prepared. I obtained a spare ACS freewheel. Before the one I had failed I was anticipating that I would switch from 22 to 20 teeth. I researched the "how to" sites. Got a tool cheap online. It may not have been designed for the ACS Claw Freewheel I have. But when the time came to use it I learned, once again, that cheap is often the wrong choice. The cheap tool would not grab the freewheel correctly and metal shavings were appearing under the force. So I'm thinking, what do I use when the edges start getting rounded? I just use the trusty backup method - big vise-grips. The freewheel was trashed anyway. But that didn't work to get the freewheel off. I just created more metal shavings. I took the cheap tool up to Bike Masters to seek some advice. Said advice ended up being "don't use cheap tools". Thankfully they had 1 PARK FR-6 in stock. This worked right away in spite of the edge rounding I did to the freewheel with the cheap tool.
It's good to have the correct tool for the job.

Here is video on how to use the tool...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Joyful SS Video

I found a Single Speed video to share. It was shot in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada. The dog appears to be as joyful as the rider.

Boogaloo - Whitehorse singletrack from Anthony DeLorenzo on Vimeo.

I hope to get a ride in after work tomorrow but Pete is staying home. He is more of a walks with a leash kind of dog.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tranquility Sunrise

I was up with the sun this morning. There was a thick layer of frost and I could see my breath while climbing the south hill. It was a good choice to get in a quiet ride before all the festivities. I'm hoping everyone has a nice Thanksgiving.

Click on the album photo below for more views of the trail...
Tranquility Sunrise - Thanksgiving 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Creative Shift

I'm not into cyclocross but I am interested in cycling innovation. This video caught my attention. These are old school frame shifters mounted to brake levers. This kind of creativity just seemed worth sharing...

quick shift demo from Retroshift on Vimeo.

This is a demo from RetroShift

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cranksgiving Report 2011

Today was my forth time participating in the annual Cranksgiving event. The first three all took place with temps around freezing or below. Today was a welcome change with temps in the fifties.
Our traditional route takes us south on the Big Papio trail to around 90th and Center. The stiff south wind made the ride back toward Bike Masters really enjoyable.
I used my cargo trailer for this year's event. Sure makes hauling a load easy. I'll do that again.
So we didn't really follow the rules of the event exactly. But we contributed to the over 1000 lbs. of food and large sums of cash collected for Food Bank of the Heartland. Back at Bike Masters for the finish there was awards, food and prizes. It's a fun event.
We now have a ceremonial garment tied to this annual event. Chris N. wore it this year so we'll just have to past on this honor next year. I would say that honor should go to the person that won the most in prizes. Dave "shoulda picked the bike" would fit that description. I'll keep the Cranksgiving Safety Vest in a safe place until 2012. Way to go Dave. A nice trail ride at sunset was a great way to finish off the day.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Moving Ponca Dirt

This past weekend Brain H. and I took a little road trip up to Ponca State Park. The THOR invitation went out and we were able to get away and meet Dale and others for some new trail work and riding.
This is Matt, Evie, and Brian benching some new trail with Rouge Hoes.

Ponca was great. The company, the cabin, and great weather made it really enjoyable. We did several hours of work on Saturday and made it back to the cabin to eat sandwiches and watch the Huskers take down Michigan State. Then came the biking. Some of the climbs were just not doable for me and I walked. The others with their suspension forks were faster on the descents so I hung back. The climbs that were good for me were the best part but I had to make sure there wasn't a geared bike ahead of me. I would be out of the saddle and moving pretty well on my single speed. I was wishing I put the 33 tooth chain ring back on but ya live and learn. Since it was my first time there not knowing where those good climbing spots were at was a hinder. There was a healthy cover of leaves on the trail hiding the roots and stealing my traction.
Me, Dale, and Brian after the day ride on Saturday.

It was fun and great to be there. After the ride Matt and Evie made a big pot of chili we sat down to eat. I don't think I've ever seen 5 people eat that much Chili. Brian, Brandon, Dale, Evie, and Matt did a night ride. Matt and Brandon are from Sioux City and Matt's girlfriend Evie lives north of Des Moines.
I declined on the night ride. The trail work and day riding were enough for me. I built a small fire in the cabin's fireplace and watched Wisconsin barely lose to Ohio State. Sunday we hit the trail work early and got a ton of trail flagged and built. When 1PM rolled around we where hungry. The local ranger Jennifer gave us a great tip on a place for lunch. We drove a few miles to Bob's Bar in Martinsburg, NE. It was worth the drive. They had mountains of family style fries and onion rings and burgers as big around as a 38 tooth chain ring - Big! We could not finish the mountain of fries. None of us had a heart attack so that was good. Saturday we built a climb section of trail (sorry Dave) and Sunday we built an nice descent. Ponca is a great destination. I want to go back and explore and get better at riding there. I felt a cold coming on the ride home and I feel kind of crappy today. I guess the MNR is not in the cards for me this evening. To bad it's bound to be a fun one.
Click below for more photos...
Moving Ponca Dirt

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fresh Fat

Mike and I were out riding on this awesome late October day. We were breaking in his new Mukluk 2 Fatbike at Tranquility. We have been lucky with great fall weather and today was no exception. When I saw Mike rolling his fatties on the new trail that was just built this spring I had to stop to capture this historic ride on video. Mike had me take a ride on this monster at the trailhead parking lot. I was surprised by the momentum these large tires seem to generate. It's a fun ride. Today was the perfect day to get tire pressures dialed in and enjoy the trail on our new bikes. I'm happy with a gear change I made on my Surly SS. Just 2 extra teeth on the chain ring felt just right today. We are looking forward to doing it all over again after work tomorrow for the Bike Masters - Monday Night Ride. Don't forget to charge your lights. See you there.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cranksgiving Omaha is less than a month away!

Cranksgiving 2011 is on Saturday November 12th. Let's make it a good one!
Stay tuned for more details... Cranksgiving Omaha Blog

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Big Red Chili

Chili simmering all day. The house smells like football. It will be perfect by pre-game.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Omaha Transportation Master Plan Meeting - September 15th

Last night we were able to hear and see what the city has planned to make Omaha a more “bike and pedestrian friendly” city. To help with the citizens show of support, there were special buses and bike rides scheduled prior to the Public TMP Meeting.

It was awesome to see and be a part of the multitude of bikes that pulled up to the Scott Conference Center last night. Dave, Dale and I rode from Bike Masters at about 5:30 so we could get there in time for the 6:30 start. I was interested in how they showed studies and measurements to weight which transportation projects would give the most return on the 750 million dollars budgeted. Now they want input from the public on what they think the priorities should be. I’m still trying to find out how to do that online but they might not have that portal ready yet.

There was a great turnout for this meeting. It looked like close to 300 people to me. I know I’m concerned about how I’m going to get around when gas is just too expensive.

The whole 2 hours of the meeting is embedded here if you'd like to hear and see for yourself:
Video streaming by Ustream Scott Conference Center, 6450 Pine Street, on UNO’s South Campus

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Attitude Adjusted

This post is not about adjusting my attitude at Clancey's Pub. I work at 116th and Miracle Hills Drive in Omaha, Nebraska. I try to use my bike as transportation a couple times a week. The perfect weather is making that real easy right now. Today I took some extra time on my ride home to take a few photos of my route from work to home. I'll also mention a few strategies to get home safely and easily.
Once I leave for home I don't look for the shortest route. I'm riding behind the strip mall starting here at Clancy's and there is no traffic.
An extra 1/2 mile is not too far for a flat and low traffic route. But there are a few short climbs. Here is were I climb the 'grassy knoll' to cross the papio creek by Huber Chevrolet.
Normally I would ride the Big Papio Trail from Dodge to Blondo but that has been torn up all summer. Looks like the work to get this trail back has made some recent progress.
Riding west on Blondo Sidewalk to 117th Street.
Using Google Maps or something like it is a great way to plan your route.
Here I cross 120th at the lights on Stonegate Drive. Once across, this street has speed bumps to keep the traffic slower.
When the trail is dry I take a single track shortcut. Here is where I cross Maple and ride up a small hill to the Ice Rink parking lot.
This where the fun level is kicked up a notch - Single Track Dirt. Some would recognize this to be the 'Ice Loop Climb'.
But there is always an end to the dirt. This is the entrance to my neighborhood riding west.

Calories Burned: 200 X 2
Miles ridden: 9.8
Auto Cost Saved: $4
Time Spent Outside: 30 Min. X 2
Attitude Improvement: Priceless

Monday, September 5, 2011

All Day Revival

We were fortunate to have Cali home taking care of Pete so we could get out of town on a beautiful day. Jodi and I had a destination but we took our time getting there. With a couple of stops along the way we were headed toward the Sugar Clay Winery in Thurman, Iowa. This was the site for the 'Missouri River High Water Revival'.
This was a music festival benefit for the local victims of the 2011 Flood sponsored by the Bartless Community Church. This started yesterday at noon. Some of the local musicain's included Chasing Daylight, Matt Cox, Jr & Gunner of Acoustic Groove, Brich & Killion, Casey Freemyer, Midwest Dilemma, In the Gruv, Adam Lee, & Swamp Boy Blues Band.
Jodi found a Geocache by accident. Dan P's kids found it first but they didn't know what it was. They had some fun once they caught on to it.
There was a Crawfish Boil and everyone brought lawn chairs and blankets. It was a nice destination for a Labor Day Weekend Road Trip.
Missouri River High Water Revival 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

No Peek Game Day Roast

I add some Ginger Ale to mine but here is the recipe from Mommy's Kitchen...
This roast is going to be done at noon today!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Corporate Cycling Perfection

We saw evidence of the bad weather that took place around the airport this week. However the weather for today's Corporate Cycling Challenge was perfect. A group was assembled that included some of our Monday Night Riders and other friends.
Corporate Cycling Challenge 2011

Dave P. was riding a vintage road bike from the late 60s. Dave N. rode the same Mountain Bike he races with the tires pumped up like rolling rocks. Brian H. met up with us after blasting his road bike through the hills on the 42 mile ride. There were some interesting contraptions on our 25 mile ride. Several were actually climbing hills with these sway trikes. I'm not sure what they are really called but they look kinda like this...

Barleys was the planned destination following the ride. Since it appears that they are closed we choose Old Chicago as our backup plan. Good times and more to come.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Swanson Mayhem 2011

I showed up at the MTB race at Swanson as a spectator with a cowbell and a camera. I quickly found out that I can't take pictures and hit the cowbell at the same time. I found a willing spectator to run the cowbell so I could get these pictures. With the rain that fell early Friday morning the trail had just the right amount of moisture and grip. The weather today made it a perfect day to be a racer and a spectator.
Swanson Mayhem 2011

DMars in motion...

Brian in motion...

Linda in motion...

Dave in motion...

Blog Archive

Who is Stratomatic?

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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.