Monday, June 28, 2010

Farmer's Market

I have actually been riding so much lately that it hardly seems worthy of posting each trip!  So I'll start with what's most recent and work back a bit...

This morning Copper and I took a little trip out to Tranquility to test out my new mountain bike. I'm afraid I'm in love!  This is unlike any bike I've been on before and I'm out of my mind excited about it!  It's a Salsa Dos Niner and I can't wait to ride it again!

Yesterday I rode to the Aksarben Village Farmer's Market and met Matt (my other love aside from the bike) for a stroll through the strip of vendors.  It was a cloudy morning and not too hot, which was glorious considering all the heat as of late.  After some delicious pastries from The Parthenon Greek Restaurant stand he had to run and I continued wandering from booth to booth.  I ended up filling my pannier full of carrots, basil, a green pepper, a little jar of raw honey, a huge yummy tomato, and a cucumber.  I had it in my mind that a fresh summery salad was in order. 
I pedaled home thinking I may get caught in the rain.  On my way I decided a few more things were a necessary part of this salad so I stopped at the handy HyVee and picked up some spinach, tofu, sunflower seeds, soy nuts, and craisins and shoved it all somehow into my single bag!  I was happy that it all fit!  I pretty much pedal to the farmer's market every Sunday and am always glad I did.  No parking issues to deal with, and I can justifiably eat what I want and not feel guilty since I'll just burn it off on the way back home.
(p.s. the salad was delicious!!)

Saturday was the Ladies' Ride and we rode about 18 miles I think.

Friday I rode into work and then Greenstreet donated 6 mountain bikes to All Our Kids, which is an after school mentoring program for at risk youth.  Friday evening they had a picnic where we gave the bikes to the award winning kids.  This event was at 56th and Mormon Bridge Road which is pretty far north.  I then pedaled home in the heat which was less than pleasant but still felt good to put in a few extra miles. 

Where are you riding?!



Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ladies' Ride this a.m.!

A group of 9 of us headed north this morning for our Saturday morning ride.  We headed out 16th St.  and up to Florence Blvd. all the way to JJ Pershing Dr. and then took the Riverfront Trail out to almost the Surfside Club and up that huge hill!  Good job ladies!  Thanks so much for riding! Here are a few pics from the trail.  We encountered a downed tree, huge swampy puddle that was refreshing to ride through, hills, and fun around every turn!  Erin crashed into the tree (not really but doesn't it look like it?!)  See you all next Saturday!
The few, the strong, the hill climbers!!Pic of Natalie playing in an even deeper puddle than the first one. The words "crayfish holocaust" came out of her mouth.  Funny lady!
And of course, Blueline at the end of the ride.  Thanks again for riding and we'll see you next week!  Meet at Greenstreet Cycles (1310 Mike Fahey St.) around 9:00a.m. and we roll by 9:20ish. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Omaha Bikes Meeting

I had a 7:30 a.m. meeting today at Wohlner's and decided, since it was after all an Omaha BIKES meeting, I would ride my BIKE there.  And I'm glad I did.   Not too terribly long of a commute, but time on the bike, nonetheless.  I usually am pretty comfortable with riding right on Center St. but today took a different route.  I crossed Center and kind of ducked through the neighborhoods mainly taking Frances.  I rode up and past 60th and down to 63rd before hitting Center for just a few blocks up to 67th for my destination!

A lot of exciting things are happening in the bike world for Omaha!!  Get ready for some good ideas coming to fruition.

More later.


Friday, June 18, 2010

my first week riding my (new) bicycle.

ladies, ladies, ladies. prepare your cranberry juice and itunes library with Cat Power!
my name is Kylie, and i ride as often as i can with the Greenstreet Ladies. My husband and i just moved here to Omaha from Chicago (and right before that, Dallas) and we are jumping head first into this bicycle commuting lifestyle... let me tell you the story of my first month commuting.

let me start out with saying that there will always be a day where you will dread packing up your back-pack; (chrome bag, panniers, basket, whathaveyou) with the day's worth of necessities. depending on how far away your commute is, there can be quite a few things to pack up prior to walking down the steps of the back door and pedaling, pedaling, pedaling your way to work. (or the grocery store. or the coffee shop).

my commute to work is 7.5 miles. they are not terrible; in fact, the first two thirds are pretty encouraging- weaving in and out of my neighborhood to pacific and then the keystone for two miles. it's the end that tries so effortlessly at my spirits. riding the last 2.3 miles in my first month and a half of cycling (i rode my husband's late 80's Panasonic Touring bicycle to commute for a while-it was heavy, but wonderful) is nearly impossible for me. i have to take breaks, i have to walk up that damn hill on 88th and western... but then i have made it! with the worst over. (as long as plenty of time is left to cool off before my shift- preferably 45 minutes to an hour. rushing and stressing and quick-cooling is absolutely trying to my nature, and, thus far, is the worst that has happened to me in my commute to work).

so i have to pack a lot: an extra change of clothes, plenty of water, soap to wash my face, a book to read in order to relax again, lunch, my journal, etc. but, quite honestly, for the amount of money i save a month by not owning a car, the extra effort is worth it to my husband and myself. now, i DO wake early on rainy mornings and stare out my front windows and think am i really going to have to ride in this?! but then where is adventure? stepping out of our comfort-zones to try something new should be a daily ritual. i'm on my way.

last week the husband and i rode our bicycles a few miles up to bakers (we waited too late to run the errand due to heat and whole foods closed) to buy our first round of groceries to bring home on our bicycles. there is nothing like riding with another person. i enjoy it- but oh boy can the attempt to communicate be interesting on the first rides together. on top of this, it was 10:45pm. in the dark. (we have lights. but...)

so i got out the grocery list, and we started shopping. each time i would put one more thing in the basket i thought "this weight is going to be added to our already (presumably) over-stuffed panniers. is all this even going to FIT?!" and the husband would always say "yes, darling, it will fit. don't worry... have we grabbed the almond milk yet?!!" with the lack of faith i held in our 4 Jandd mountain panniers for the overall space capacity, and the amount of groceries we bought, my heart was like an anchor cast to sea.

that was, until it came to packing it all in..... and it did, actually, fit! the six individual serving assorted yogurts, eggs, milk, bread, beans, cereal bars, household cleaning products and a TON of produce... we took center home to 36th, and, after the first of a few great battles later to come with my bicycle's friction shifters on a classic 10-speed Raleigh Super Course from '83, we made it home. mission accomplished. :D

I am so grateful for this change in lifestyle; living in texas, my husband and i would average 50 miles a day in his automobile... and i am quite happy to be able to say our furthest commute each day is to Whole Foods and back: 15 miles. life is happy here in omaha. keep smiling.

be good to your kinsman!


Tornadoey Ride in

I sat on my covered patio this morning for a good 5 minutes debating whether or not to ride in this morning.  The word (that probably doesn't really exist) that kept popping into my head was, "tornadoey."  This seems like a "tornadoey" morning.  The sky has a weird tint to it (maybe it was my yellow tinted lenses in my shades) and it's pretty darn still right now: "tornadoey"...

When I woke up, around 7:00, it wasn't too bad out.  I knew it was supposed to maybe be stormy this morning but it didn't look too bad at that point.  Then, as the time to ride got closer and closer, so did the storm.  I don't remember the last time I've had this much of an internal struggle!

Do I ride, or do I drive; do I ride or do I drive; do I ride or do I drive. 

I decided to ride.  I pulled out my trusty Marmot rain jacket and hoped that my bag was at least pretty darn water resistant.  At one point, one of my excuses was the fact that my laptop was going to be joining me on my soggy commute and I didn't want to risk ruining it, just to ride my bike in today. 

So as I sat on my porch, every excuse in the book ran rampant through my helmeted head: obviously the rain, the fact that I ride a steel bike and that doesn't sound like a good combo with lightning, that I should bring my dog (but I didn't...Copper called in sick today), time restrictions, all of them!!

That's why I'm extra happy that I rode in today.  I overcame all of my excuses (both legitimate and lame) and arrived via bicycle today to the bike shop!

At times this morning it was almost like the rain was toying with me.  Each time I'd talk myself into riding, the drops got bigger and came down faster.  Every time I'd stand up to walk towards my car, the storm seemed to lessen.  What a strange morning.  I don't know how much of it was in my head, and how much of it was actually the weather.  I couldn't resist the thought of riding in the rain but at the same time, I didn't know how much fun it would actually be, getting pelted in the face with hot rain drops. 

Turns out, once I had been on my bike for probably 5 minutes assaulted by the storm, the rain let up substantially and I pedaled, smiling all the way, into work.  The only incident I had on the ride in this morning was a horn honk from a gentleman in a rather large, loud pick up truck.  I turned to look at him as he raced past me on 16th St. and he didn't really look upset.  I'm not sure the purpose of his honking; I waved and continued the ride. 

Who else rode today?!


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Greenstreet Cycles Ladies' Ride!

Come wind, come rain, come sleet, come hail, the ladies ride will always prevail!

Cait, Erin, Ann, and myself pedaled out for a fun but sticky and windy gal's ladies ride this morning.  Thanks for playing y'all!!

2 in a row, and then I wussed out.

Well, at least it was raining pretty hard when I woke up this morning.  So that's my lame(ish) excuse for not riding into work today.  The last two days were awesome though!  I'm so glad that I did; the days were warm and sticky and so was I upon arrival at the bike shop, but it was well worth it.

Why do you ride?

Why don't you ride?

I made a new riding acquaintance Thursday on my trip in.  His name is Ross and I encountered him on 32nd St. just off of Woolworth.  He was jumping a curb to get off of the street and cut over to the sidewalk before jumping back into the street as I was turning North.  Getting a little extra adrenaline out of his a.m. commute, I guess.  So, me being me, I asked him where he was going and how often he commutes.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn that he rides to his job at 13th and Farnam from 42nd and Center almost every day!  You go Ross!!  We chatted for a few blocks and then I continued on my way.  He was on a pretty old mountain bike with slick tires; he thankfully was sporting a helmet and full messenger bag.

Good for you Ross, keep on pedaling.  So will I.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Today's Commute

Me and my ride.  Notice the yellow fenders that
will be greatly appreciated on the ride back home today.   More later...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What a Glorious Day for a Bike Ride!

I'm so glad that I rode in today.  It was a beautiful morning and evening for riding bikes.  I used to show you my route...

It's a nice one.  I like to switch it up a bit these days.  I used to take Leavenworth all the way to 13th St. before heading north but now I like to head more through downtown and take 16th and 15th for a bit.  I like this route and find that it provides me with better people watching options on 16th!

Also, a quick update on the Ladies' Night Maintenance was a blast!  Thanks to all of you who attended.  We went over a few basics of cleaning and taking good care of your bike, as well as how to fix a flat tire.  Hopefully everyone left with a bit of new knowledge.  I enjoyed meeting a few new gals, as well as a few new Cabernets...  There is another Maintenance Clinic scheduled for Friday, July 9th from 7:30-9:00p.m. which is open to anyone and everyone.  Boys and girls.  :)

Is anyone else out there riding?!  If so, how's it going?  Let us know.  Why wouldn't you?  Thanks for your contributions in advance!


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm Commuting Tomorrow, Rain or Shine

That's pretty much it.  Just had to put it out there to stay accountable!  I'll update with ride/route stuff tomorrow afternoon after I get done giving a Commuting Clinic at First Comp, downtown.