Thursday, February 24, 2011

Holy Headwind Batman!

Flag's a blowin'
Apparently I was still stuck in yesterday's temperature zone when I planned my layers for the ride in this morning.  I wore my wwr swrve pants (or course), long sleeve base layer and then wool jersey, fleece vest, and light weight soft shell.  Sounded like plenty to me!  But the wind blew through me anyway.  I didn't have heavy enough gloves (I think my heavier mitts are still in the Frostbike vehicle...) and I fumbled with numb fingers pulling my camera out of my bag to document this flag that was blowing straight out and into my face.  The entire ride was into the wind.  Which was actually kind of fun.  You know the days when you get on your bike and it really doesn't matter what you run into, you're just thrilled to be pedaling?  Today was that day for me.  Even though I couldn't find my charger for my light (which turns out was at the shop! hooray!), kept thinking about all of what's on my plate for the day at work, and got blown around like a feather in a tornado, I smiled all the way down to the shop. 

We're carrying a Greenstreet Blend coffee at the shop as of Tuesday.  It's locally roasted by The Grey Plume, organic, fair trade, and darn tasty.  I thought about drinking a hearty cup of this fresh brew as I got ready to ride this morning and realized that I was out of cream at the shop!  So, first stop: Hy-Vee by my house to pick up a few goodies. 1/2 and 1/2, carrots, hummus, and an avocado made the cut and I hopped back on my Vaya and headed East.  Before I was actually back on my bike though, I was bent over my bag putting my u-lock away and a large man in a cowboy hat with a booming voice said, "Looks like the red light district."  Now, I've absolutely never heard that before directed at myself and had to think for a minute as I looked up to verify his words were aimed my way.  He was smiling through his over-sized 'stache and that's when it clicked: I had my two red blinking tail lights on since it's a rather dark morning and he thought he was clever.  I responded with a smile and a chuckle.  Thanks cowboy for a good laugh to start my pedal Downtown.

I wound my way through the Morton Meadows/Field Club area and hooked up with Woolworth and continued on my normal route towards Leavenworth via Park Ave.  I did notice a few crazy deep circular pot holes (but to perfectly round to be natural) on Leavenworth just after the interestate bridge.  Beware!

Vern back in action!  Boy I missed this bike.

I've recently absconded with Vince's Mission Workshop Vandal bag and am blown away by its carrying capacity!! 

Yesterday I rode down to The Grey Plume to pick up our first order of 5 1# bags of delicious whole bean.  I tossed those in on top of apparently 33 pounds of other stuff including a bunch of beers we picked up in MPLS that you can't get here, my laptop, notebooks, U-lock, and more.  I put the bag on the shop scale when I got here just to see where it was at (and to make myself feel tough) and it didn't surprise me to find that it said 38.00 pounds.  I'm impressed with the fact that the bag still rode well when it was that heavy.  Also, there was still room to spare!  I don't think I could have (happily) carried much more weight, but it sure could've.
Here's the loot that I hauled down.  Mmmmm, beer and coffee on a bike.  Life's good, don't you think?!

Snow's apparently in the forecast for this weekend but I'm not scrrrred. Who else has chilly riding plans the next few days? 

If you're a commuter and you're out and about Downtown, plllllease swing by the shop and check out a huge city map that was dropped off by our City Bike/Ped Coordinator, Carlos, for us to draw all over!  We want to know where you ride, where you think more lanes &/or sharrows should be, good routes, scary areas, places where lights don't have good sensors for bikes, etc.  Please come on down and let your voice be heard!  I'm on the Transportation Master Plan Stakeholder Committee and am bringing this map with feedback back to our meetings.  Let us know what will make pedaling in and around Omaha easier for you!!!

Over and out.


  1. That photo of the bag contents is awesome! It looks like you could have been on the way to a really long party... beer for the party, and coffee to sober up with.

    The bike map markups sounds like a great idea.

    I'll be down soon with Ben's light that he left on the Masi. He may be needing that.

  2. Thanks for the shout-out! If you want to participate we have public meetings coming up check out