Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Beautiful Day for a Ride with a Buddy!!

Too nice to stay inside and type.  But here's where Jonn and I rode today.  Rocked.  Plenty.  Pics to follow.  We were each on our single speeds and it was a wonderful thing.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rainy Yet Pleasant Friday Commute

I decided to ride in today, after my usual excuse making and debating.  Copper talked me into it.  Thanks girl.

Even as dark clouds loomed in the sky up above I decided to pedal in to work today, and as usual, I'm completely thrilled with my decision.  Part of my push to pedal is the fact that the Dakota 50 is looming ahead, just like the dark clouds this morning.  It's a pretty big race for me, considering it's the only race I'm doing this year.  I haven't really been riding off road enough to feel totally prepared and so any mile I can get in this month, I'll take.  And, pulling Copper behind me is probably a good thing; adding 75 lbs to my load is a good training method. 
The rig at home

Cool old buildings along Pacific
Building explosion.
Gray sky.
50th & Center
The view of Cop in her trailer
I turned out onto Center St. and immediately hit a red light.   No matter, I'll just take a picture!
I headed down Center to Twin Ridge Rd and then headed up to Woolworth and through Field Club on down to 32nd.  One of the best parts of my commute it through the Field Club Golf Course and Historic area.  It's so pleasant with its shady, tree lined, wide streets with slow moving traffic that it will always be a part of my commute.
  I made my way toward Leavenworth and sped down toward 13th where I hit a red light.  Up next to me pulled a giant truck and the window slowly rolled down.  Now, any of you that have ridden much in traffic may understand that this isn't always the best thing to have happen; yes, I may be stereotyping that big truck dirvers aren't neccessarily bike friendly.  I was proven wrong!  The guy driving rolled his window down and said, "That's the coolest thing I've ever seen.  How do you get your dog to stay in there?"  "A lot of treats," I responded and pedaled onward.  Nothing else too eventful between there and the shop happened and I arrived on time to open Greenstreet.

We arrived safe and sound!
Happy Copper!

I'm actually just getting around to publishing this and it's Sunday.  I'm happy to report, I've ridden to and from work (and did about 15miles for the Ladies' Ride on Saturday) every day for the last 3!
Have you been riding?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bike Friendly Businesses

Today was a good day.  As far as a day off goes, it wasn't too terribly relaxing, but a productive day is hard not to enjoy.  It started out with pedaling to the Omaha Bikes meeting this morning to catch up with all of the happenings of our local advocacy group. Check out Omaha Bikes!  and get involved, dang it.

These meetings happen the 2nd Tuesday of every month and I attend them regularly.  It's a public meeting so if you want to know what is going on in and around Omaha in the way of anything bicycle related, this is your chance.

Today's meeting was well attended by the usual crew.  I was particularly enthusiastic because I've spearheaded a project involving "Bike Friendly Business" designations.  The idea is to approach different businesses that are patronized frequently by cyclists and ask them to recognize and appreciate this fact by providing (most already do) bike racks and a good attitude towards cyclists.  Whether this means extending a discount (which a few have agreed to), or having great outdoor seating available, or just being willing to fill a water bottle, as long as they decide that they want to be called bike friendly and make the effort to really do so, we'll put them on the map on the Omaha Bikes website and encourage cyclists to continue to give them business. 

So, today before the meeting I went to the new and wonderfully decadent Jones Brothers Cupcakes in Aksarben Village and chatted with owner, Bill Jones, about the idea.  He was into it!  As I enjoyed my iced coffee I got more and more excited about the potential of this actually working and the enthusiasm spreading across the city. Wouldn't that be swell??!  Thanks Bill for agreeing to be our first Bike Friendly Business!  I told Omaha Bikes about this and they were of course as excited as I am.  We (Omaha Bikes) have created little window decals and I grabbed a few at the meeting.  As soon as I left the meeting, I pedaled back over to Jones Bros and gave the decal to Bill who agreed to put it on the front door and offer 10% off to anyone arriving to his fine establishment by bicycle. Enjoy their huge patio, nearby bike rack, and fun atmosphere. Success!!!!!  Sweet, cupcakey success. 

With a little wind in my sails, and caffeine in my legs, I pedaled down to Wohlner's Grocer and asked to speak to the manager.  I had the same conversation and the same response, "Sure, that sounds like a cool idea."  2 door decals later, Wohlner's is officially bike friendly. 

Since I felt that I was on a roll (literally and figuratively), I stopped into Blue Planet Natural Grill and had yet another promising discussion.  Blue Planet now has an Omaha Bikes door decal that nicely compliments their bike rack, outdoor seating, and a good attitude!  They're extending a 10% discount as well to those hungry customers who pedal their way to a naturally delicious meal (or beer!...do I hear handlebar happy hour?).  Thanks Blue Planet!!

I'm pretty excited about this finally taking off!  Imagine: rolling up on two wheels to a coffee shop, restaurant, bar, book store, etc., and not only being allowed in with your sweaty helmet hair and bugs stuck to your face, but actually feeling appreciated for making the effort to go green and commute by bicycle!!!  

SO, if you know of a place that you think would be a good candidate for a Bike Friendly Business designation, let me know!!   I can then start the conversation and see where it goes. 

Happy Trails,

Monday, August 2, 2010

Park City Bike Trip!

This is how I spent my weekend! Not exactly commuting specific, but it includes bikes so I decided to share.  Pretty much all day Saturday and Sunday I rode some incredible mountain trails in Park City, Utah. The trip was completely funded by one of our shop vendors, QBP (Quality Bicycle Products) and I'm so glad that I had the opportunity!  As usual, pictures don't do justice to the beauty I got to surround myself with. But, try to enjoy them anyway.
I think I smiled non-stop.  Such nice trails!
A guy dressed up as a Sasquatch kept jumping out at people in the woods.  Hysterical!  I had to have a pic.
Pristine singletrack trails all over the mountain in Deer Valley begged to be ridden and enjoyed.  So I did!
This section was obviously a bit advanced.  I rode some technical trail features, but not this one which included a huge drop off the other side of this ladder.  Yikes.  Fun to see other people do it though.

My new buddies Toby and Russ from Dekalb, IL.  Nice riding with you guys!
Did you really think there'd be a whole weekend without me getting excited about food?!  This was an oasis to the senses after spending about 3 hours on the mountain (feeling a little lost for part of it) and dreaming of food.  Free and delicious!  Hooray!!!!