Saturday, October 4, 2014

Pali Returns

I hear the Palisades Trail at the northern end of California’s famed Napa Valley is a magnificent spectacle. What is lacks in height and dimension it makes up for in mystery and uniqueness and it's incredibly rugged. My Marin - Palisades Trail is a bike which has it's own mystery, uniqueness and ruggedness. I don't know the original owner because I purchased Pali from a pawnshop in downtown Omaha several years ago. I bought it as a backup to my 2005 steel Marin - Bear Valley. At the time I was getting ready to convert to disc brakes and a new wheel set and didn't want to be without a bike while I was gathering up parts for the upgrade. I used Pali to get to work for a while.
At one point Pali was the only bike I had working on a trip out to Colorado.
I rode Devil's Backbone and Pali did great!
Later that year I was doing trail work with Doug. He wanted to ride a section of trail we were working on. He was surprised that this bike, which was already six years old at the time, was so nice to ride. I always thought so too. I had plans to update the bike with a red paint job and put on the set of decals Marin was kind enough to send me. Those plans were put on the back burner but I still loaned Pali out to friends that wanted to ride single track but did not have their own bike yet. One morning, a little over a year ago, I found the garage door open. Pali was gone. Funny that my more valuable Surly bikes were still there. But they saw the shininess of Pali and made off with it. At the time Pali had no paint just shiny aluminum. I filed a police report with the serial number I had on record. Then I spread the word an hoped for the bike to show up. More than a year went by when I got a letter from the Omaha police. It informed me that a pawn shop in downtown Omaha had Pali. Yup, the same shop I bought it from. I was going to have to pay $75 to get it back. I looked it over. It was rough and had obviously been left outside but it was basically the same as when it was taken from me.
I decided to resurrect Pali with my previous plans of red and a state of newness. After cleaning up the frame I took it to Trail Performance Coatings. I dropped it off and said "make it red", simple as that. The frame came back to me perfectly beautiful red. I got some new parts for it from Bike Masters and put it together.
Well here it is, like new. Great to have it back!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Oak Creek Trail Ride

Just when you thought I completely abandoned this blog I make a post!
My phone app tells me that my girl Linda and I have been on 947 miles of rides together since Jan. 26th of this year. These miles encompass all kinds of good rides: cold gravel rides, fast road rides, spring race rides, hot Monday Night dirt rides and many many miles of Rail-Trail rides. Our most recent bike adventure was the Oak Creek Trail ride from Valparaiso, NE. to Brainard, Nebraska.
The Oak Creek Trail occupies a former Union Pacific Railroad corridor in the eastern part of Nebraska. It is the most rural and peaceful trail we have found. While the trail is only about 1 hour from both Omaha and Lincoln, it connects two towns with populations of less than 600 with little development in between. The Oak Creek Trail has great views. Linda and I began our journey at the trail's southeast point in Valparaiso. From here the trail has an oak tree corridor. It has some high bridges crossing creeks that were recently very full. Just north of the trail's midpoint, trail users enter the tiny community of Loma. Restrooms are located just off the trail near St. Luke's Czech Catholic Shrine—established by Czech immigrants in 1911—in the center of town. This town had several abandoned houses and businesses that appear to have been untouched for years.
As we rode northwest, the trail follows the top of a picturesque ridge. Here we found some of the nicest wild plums we have encountered so far this year.
For the next several miles, natural prairie stretches as far as the eye can see. At Brainard we found the original train tracks were still laid adjacent to the trail. After a little searching I was able to find a loose railroad tie as a souvenir of our ride.
We rode the same trail back but faster since we did not need to sightsee as much. Also the trail is more downhill in the southeast direction. Linda screamed loudly as she ran over a large bull snake. But then we she found a small turtle that she was not afraid of.
This was an unexpectedly great ride and one of many fantastic memories Linda and I have made together. We are looking forward to some great fall night rides coming up soon.

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.