Wednesday, November 19, 2008

oversized load

Went to Lowes for some window flashing with mary and bob. Flashing came in 10' length. Fortunately, was able to hold it down with bob's bungy cord. Had the flashing start just behind my pedal stroke and it hung out the back of the bob about 5'. Should have tied my hanky on the end.

Left turns were very wide to keep the flashing out of the rear wheel. Get home without mishap. Go to move the bike and turned to sharp, flashing went between the spokes, flashing bent with nice crinkle. 8-( Still worked ok.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I missed a great picture

As I was riding in this morning, I missed a great photo opportunity. As I passed under 72nd street on the Keystone, I noticed two small kittens curled up with each other under the bridge. They were staying warm and out of the wind and rain. It was really cute, but they scampered away before I could get a picture.

I'm looking forward to a dry bike ride home for a change. How have the rest of you bike commuters been fairing in the wet weather?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bike Omaha... a new blog

I've been working on a project for a few weeks to create a blog dedicated to bike related topics in Omaha and the surrounding areas. It's more of a news/get involved type blog. Have a look if your interested.

If you are interested in joining the team as an author, just let me know. We are looking for people to post about news, social events, and advocacy opportunities related to biking and using bikes for transportation in the Omaha and surrounding areas. We don't plan to cover MTB or Road racing as those areas are covered by other blogs, and the Bike Omaha blog has a widget to link to those news items automatically.

This blog will continue to be where we can all post information and stories about commuting in Omaha. If you don't have access to post, drop me an email at underdahill that at thing gmail dot com with your article and/or pictures and I'll get them posted up here for you.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

sizzler rondevu

On Wednesday, Hannah and I rode from Benson down Maple to the Sizzler at 88th. From west Benson, we rode on the mostly 3 lane road to 72nd. Then hit the sidewalk b/c of the traffic and hills. Lots of non cutout curbs and on the way back, one telephone pole in the sidewalk beside a building that almost puts one on the street to get around. Not biking friendly but doable. About 15 minutes down and 20 back up.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cycling Advocacy

I listen to a few bike related podcasts on a regular basis. One of them is The Spokesmen podcast. While I was catching up on older episodes I ran across one that has a section in it that talks about Bike Advocacy. I thought it might be interesting to some of you. You can find a link to the podcast here or a link directly to the MP3 file here.

Why wait!

Or in this case, why should you NOT wait.

As most of you know, I am a bike enthusiast. I like riding, I like the bike culture, I enjoy the improved health from riding, and I enjoy encouraging others that are getting started with cycling. I also like watching the bike industry to see what is out there or coming our way soon.

I recently purchased a new bike so I'm not currently in the market for another bike. However, just prior to buying that bike I had to decide if I wanted get one now, or wait a few months and get one of the new 2009 models that will be coming out in the next few months. During that decision process I learned a few things about the bike industry and how bikes are priced and what determines the cost/value of a bike. Some of the things that affect the cost of a bike is the cost of raw materials, the cost of shipping the product, and the value of the US dollar in relation to where the parts and frames are manufactured. Unfortunately, all three of those major factors are not going in a good direction. The dollar is very weak right now, shipping costs are going up with the cost of fuel, and the cost of raw materials for bike frames and parts are going way up.

So what does that have to do with you, or me? Well, bike prices are going up. Not just a little but a lot. The number I've heard most often is 20% across the board. So a $500 bike this year will soon cost $600 for the same quality. That means that bike manufacturers will have to offer less quality or just less value in bikes that are targeted at a specific price point or charge more to maintain the same quality/value.

So if your planning to get a new bike in the near future, DON'T WAIT. If you wait too long, you will pay more and/or get less for your money.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

nice day to ride for an errand

Started painting the house exterior last week. Needed more gas to mow the lawn. Combine the errands into one trip and enjoyed the ride!

Fog on the Keystone


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Monday, September 15, 2008

Bike and Ride (Instructions)

By the end of the month ALL MAT buses in Omaha will have bike racks.

HERE is a link that explains how to use them.

This is a great way to make LONG bike commutes more manageable. The MAT system can also help you with east-west commuting needs since Omaha is notably challenged in that regard.

Cycling Commercials

I found the link to the following video over at Amsterdamize.

Friday, September 12, 2008

bike n ride (a bus)

Monday, Sept 15 at 17:00, MAT headquarters, 2222 Cuming St.

Learn how to use the new bike racks on the MAT buses.

Racks are being installed but not functional. They will be available for use starting Sept 29.

For more info:

Anyone know what the story behind this is? This artwork is on a billboard at the intersection of the Big Papio trail and 82nd street.
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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bike friendly cities

When people discuss what bike friendly cities are like, Copenhagen is at the top of the list. Here is a blog dedicated to the Bike Culture in Copenhagen. Copenhagenize.

So what do you think would help Omaha climb that list of bike friendly cities?

Monday, September 8, 2008

we should be careful out there

I wrote this on munson's blog and decided to post here with some additions b/c of commuter content:

I stopped at the gas station at 132nd and Fort for milk on the way home from work Saturday around 18:00. A guy pulls in and runs up on the curb as I'm leaving. He yells out the window, "Who put this curb here?" He was lit up pretty well, probably from watching the game. We strike up a conversation and I smelled the liquor breath and noticed the slured speech. I tell him to be careful driving since he's had a few. He said I should be careful because of the drivers out there like him - "we don't see bikes on the road", distracted by phone or putting on makeup. He said he would never ride a bike on the road b/c of the danger. He had friends killed on a motorcycle by a cement truck.

Well his friend came out of the store with a case of beer and they headed home - a couple miles away. I should have offered to go get his beer next time so he doesn't have to drive while drunk.

I'm wondering if "Beer delivered by B.O.B." would keep me as busy as Eric is at Jimmy Johns?

Though I've been commuting via the SBL trail lately, I still rode home via Fort St. with the traffic. Everyone gave me space, had my yellow rain jacket on for the sprinkles.

Friday, September 5, 2008

cool commuting colors

The city planted some wild flowers along the cement path on the north side of Standing Bear Lake. One curved section has them on both sides 6-8 feet tall - pretty cool commuting colors. Just a taste of the beautiful fall colors and temps coming our way.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

commuters share with owh

Article in owh on commuting. OWH requested submissions for alternative modes of commuting. More than buses, motorcycles, etc., cycling was the biggest category.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

drawing attention

This guy gave me space but there were a couple cars that didn't today on the way to work. I pull my bob trailer to get people's attention, make me look bigger, and hopefully get more space. Today, I think the attention drew some closer since they were looking at me while not moving left. Different time of day than I normally commute, different people, post lunch tiredness, whatever, the close ones didn't cross over the yellow line when there was plenty of room.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A quiet morning and a sunrise

I'm always amazed at how quiet Omaha is at 6:30 in the morning. I don't really notice how noisy it is during the day until I get one of those early morning rides in. You can almost feel yourself decompressing, as you ride in almost complete silence, with only the sound of your breathing and your tires rolling along.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

race prep commute

Hannah and I rode to the Tranquility Tire Tantrum start/finish area to trim and cut with Donna and her sons Wednesday. Paul had mowed most of it beforehand. The bob suspension felt a little spongy so moved the setting from 25lbs to 45lbs. Noticed some difference.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Keystone Trail - Harrison Street Detour

If you need to ride on the Keystone trail past Harrison Street, you will need to take this detour.

If you're headed north:
turn right at the Road Closed Ahead sign
head east through Sun Valley Park
turn north on S 52nd Street
turn west on Arrow Rock Drive
turn north on S 53rd Street
turn west on Harrison Street
turn north on S 60th Street
turn left into the trail head

If you're headed south - reverse the detour

Be careful on Harrison Street, there is no shoulder.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Community Bike Shop Auction

This bike will be up for auction on Friday, August 15 from 5:00 till 7:00pm at the the Community Bike Shop of Omaha. Several other bikes and bike related items will also be up for auction.

CORRECTION: I just got an email from Stuart at the Community Bike shop of Omaha.

"We had a typo on our website. The auction is Saturday, August 16, not 15. Time is still 5-7pm."

So the auction is Saturday and not Friday. Hope to see you there.

The Community Bike Shop of Omaha is located at 33rd and California next door to California Taco. The address is 525 North 33rd Street.

This bike was refurbished with help from Bike Masters and the Bike Masters Cycling Club.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bike Night 2008 - August 5, 5pm-8pm

Returning this year to 33rd Street is the Gifford Park Neighborhood block party! Community Bicycle Shop Omaha has teamed with the Gifford Park Neighborhood Association to highlight bicycles at this year's celebration. Mark your calendar and plan to attend this evening of food, music, and bicycles!

Planned for the event are several bike-related activities, including BMX racers to 'show off,' a bicycle obstacle course where you can test your maneuvering skills, bicycle police officers, open repair stand for guests to use and more!

Bike Night will be a great event for families in 2008. Coinciding with National Night Out, we'll emphasize the right for all to use the streets safely. Volunteers will be face painting, always a favorite in Gifford Park. Also, children can sign up for library cards and choose from free library books! Live music, hot dogs, and fun!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

commuter article in LJS

Stole this
link from FFL posted 7/24. Very positive writeup on commuters and touring.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cricket, Cricket, Cricket

Where did everyone go. The trails are busy each morning and afternoon, so I know some of you are still commuting.

How is everyone's summer going? Anyone have entertaining commuting stories to share?

My favorite has to be the time a guy in a truck started yelling at me as he passed real slow so he could really unload. After a heated exchange (mostly on his part) he promptly got stuck in a LONG line of traffic as I went scooting on ahead in the not-so-slow lane. I sure hope he realized his mistake of assuming that I was the one holding up traffic. Either that, or he had an aneurysm on the spot. He did look close to blowing a few gaskets.

Interestingly enough, it does seem like a larger proportion of people driving trucks are not happy people. Almost all of the rude comments I get from motorists come from people driving trucks. Maybe it's just PFS (Post Fueling Syndrome).

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Keystone report

I rode the Keystone on the way home Friday just after the storm. Several trees were down along the trail. The following 2 trees are still down across the trail north of Maple near the end of the Keystone.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

swanson dance

Rode with Hannah Sunday to a rumba dance near 84th and F st. With Hannah dancing a couple hrs, I had time to hit up Swanson for a singletrack dance and return. Saw evidence of high water.

Big Papio and 72nd St.

RR at Seymor Smith Park north of Harrison St.

Had not rode Swanson since the race May 3. Access to Root of Evil hill is blocked by a tree (not that I was going to ride it anyway). The directional post had it's marker missing - wondered if the RoE hill section was being closed? Another tree down riding along the gulley just west of RoE hill. And some sad punk gang had to inflate it's puny self image by disrespecting property rights by painting it's initials across the kiosk plexiglass.

Good to get out to Swanson and ride, though I bonked riding back to the dance. Stopped at QT on 84th and ate a jaelepeno smoked sausage, gordetoes, two sobi's and a chocolate donut! Hannah and I were both toast as we got near home.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I saw a small kitten corpse on the way into work this morning. Seeing dead animals up close is one of the few disadvantages of bike commuting. It was in the middle of the road on 90th just north of Fort street. When I went by, I noticed it move as cars were passing over the top of it. I did a double take and realized it was flinching and not just getting moved by the wind from the vehicles. So I turned around in the middle of traffic and directed the cars to the other lane (neon green jackets have their advantages) while I rode back to what I though would be a severely injured kitten. As I approached, the kitten got up and ran to the curb. I went after him and after getting bitten and scratched a few times (biking gloves have their advantages) I calmed him down enough to stow him in my backpack "kangaroo style" for a short ride to the animal shelter at 86th and Fort. It's amazing how fast you can get attached to an animal. It was torture leaving the poor little guy at the animal shelter.

Monday, June 9, 2008

standing bear lake high

Rode through sbl with Hannah to her work. Taking the south side back, ran into water over the path.

The dock at the boat launch is underwater too.

Hurry... ride while you can

While it's not raining, get out and ride those bikes. Just be careful of all the debris.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

An unloved bike... a sad thing.

If you know anyone that has an old road bike just collecting dust in the garage, please send them my way.

I plan to resurrect a bike for my wife to get her feet wet (not literally) riding, and for me to tinker with LIKE SO to create a SS/Fixie commuter.

More details in the comments.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

my road fix

Haven't rode my geared road bike yet this year, been pedaling the fat fix everywhere.

Now I have a skinny fix.

Put a pair of 35c Schwalbe Marathon Supremes on the stock wheels. Barely squeezed a 48t salsa ring on, combined with a 20t tomicog, gives me a 66" gear. Don't want any taller than that pulling bob around. Looking forward to some road miles.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hitchn a Ride...

I had a few worms hitch a ride on my bike this morning. Anyone else brave the wet roads this morning? Fenders make the wet rides so much more pleasant.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

ride of silence pics

Police motorcycle escort for 50+ bikers. Police stopped traffic at all intersections for us while another group 10-20 rode two abreast in front of us. We stopped for a minute of silence where the rider was killed on Cornhusker a couple years ago. Several kids, etc. asked what we were doing while riding but we couldn't stop to explain. Hopefully, some newspaper reporters/photogs were there. Several hills strained out some family riders. I recognized a handful of people.