Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Same Time Next Year...Deja Vu?

Well, we (TDN riders) are all in agreement once again this spring...we have had no SPRING! Same as last year. Many were nervous we didn't get in enough training before the Tour de Nebraska at the end of June. Luckily, the route last year wasn't as challenging as the year before (my opinion).

This year, we are experiencing the same weather. Cool, windy, rainy. It's mid May and where I should have in several long rides, I'm finding few days where I can get in a 15- or 20-miler here and there. My sister and I rode to Cortland a week ago, and I was a little tired the following day. Usually that wouldn't bother me. I'm a fair weather rider, not like the NOA!

I'll ride the Nacho Ride tonight, 20 miles round trip to Eagle and back. I'm sure I will see some TDN riders out there. I'm already weenie-ing looking outside at the 15-20 mph breeze. The TDN will be more challenging this year, as the course is hilly. So I'd better pull up my big girl pants and brave the elements.

Oh, and did I really see this right?  Maybe we should take this on the Nacho Ride!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Shutterfly Photobook of Tour de Nebraska 09&10

Click here to view this photo book larger

Monday, September 13, 2010

College Student Quips Provide Interesting Life Views

"I have a second personality that sometimes just randomly kicks my a$$..."

"It was a fairly lame assignment but I took a lot away from it actually..."

"Once you get married things just change, like the whole relationship changes. And then I suppose it's just like, bleh."

Having lunch at the UNL dining center by yourself can provide for lots of interesting entertainment: watching what students are wearing...basically the fashion statement is Nike running shorts, flip flops and a tshirt...anything more than that is definitely overdressed... noticing what they're eating: flip-flop girl - a bowl of vegetables and a Mountain Dew...she went back for a cookie... and fried is definitely still king. And listening.

The group of young ladies in back of me holding a random conversation...white noise until one said, "The survey we talked about in class today said if you live with someone you are more likely to get divorced than if you just get married then move in together. My mom and dad got married after six months of just dating. Geez."

The ladies continued to discuss breaking up with a boyfriend, why you would want to date the same guy and then just get married because there's nothing else to do. They continued to talk about their friend's crazed obsessive relationship.

"I can't understand why you would want to date for a year then spend 60 years with the same person. I mean, you have fun dating, then you get married and the whole relationship changes and it just becomes like, bleh." The group agreed, got up and walked past the kid with an entire plate of chicken nuggets, fried mini shrimp and two glasses of Mountain Dew.

That's when I heard the statement come from the group of guys to my right mention the second personality that "randomly kicks his a$$." Maybe it's the same type of personality that kicked in for the kid who found something meaningful in the lame assignment.

Not implying and no point to be made, just sayin', it was an interesting day at the dining center. Now I hope my second personality takes over so I can get some work done.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Every Childhood Should Include Memories of a Bicycle

How many of us had a bicycle growing up? I'd bet almost all of us did. It was our major source of transportation for many years. I can't imagine my childhood without a bike. Of course we know millions of children don't grow up with such a luxury. For those of us who have been fortunate enough to grow up with a bike, we are eternally grateful to be so blessed.

I have sort of sat back and watched my co-worker's adventure in obtaining a bike for his youngest son. Dad has been working to teach his son to ride an older bike they owned. Unfortunately, the bike wasn't in good shape and his son struggled, but has still been working at it. Over the weekend, dad found a bike to buy for his son's birthday. I can only imagine the wide-eyes, smile and excitement his son will display when he gets the bike tomorrow as his gift.

Everyone can recall memories of riding a bike in their childhood. The story always starts, "We used to..." and always included "it would be dark by the time we..."

Tomorrow's birthday gifting will be special because the boy experienced a serious medical condition when he was very small and will have challenges throughout his life. (I don't want to go any further with detail out of respect/privacy for their family.) Dad told me his son has braces on his legs along with other physical and mental challenges. It has been a tough just to get the crank turned to pedal. However, dad has worked with him, and is making progress.

So tomorrow's bike gifting day is extra special. It is the start of the boy's own stories that he will tell when he is older. I bet those stories just might start with, "I remember when I got a bike for my birthday."

The adventure is just beginning for the son, but Dad's also going to have a few more heartwarming stories to tell about a bicycle and a childhood.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

TdN in One Week

Well kids, we'll be off to south central Neb. a week from today. Of course, my nerves have started in. Only because we didn't get in near enough training this year...at least recommended training, and it remains to be seen how much damage that will cause.

This year starting in Clay Center, then to Minden, Cambridge, Alma, Red Cloud, then back to CC. It's funny. Last year's route was in northeast Neb. I was not familiar with the area, but when asking a co-worker about the terrain prior to the ride, she said, "Well it's not flat. You'll be ok." With that fade at the end and a hint of "hang onto your shorts, baby...you're screwed." And that it was.

This year seems to be a bit less taxing. But with less miles in the saddle prior to June 23 (weather was LOUSY!), we'll see how the 40+yr old bodies hold up. Especially on the 78-mile day. Photo above was taken during last year's 73-miler. That was one of the only two beers I had all day. Truly! I was toast after the day was done.

Well, reading last year's blog reports makes me excited for next week. Knowing it will not be easy, but knowing there will be lots of memories...like last year - things we found funny: Uncle Rico, Iron Man, the two fat guys... things we found weird: the trowel, the prosthetic leg, this guy named 'Mike,'...and things that were very special: peace and quiet, memories of growing up on a farm, good conversation, overcoming challenges, Shari singing (ok maybe not).

Stay tuned for next week's blog reports! They're sure to be full of entertainment.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Riding to Work Easy on the Mind, Hard on the Hair

Riding to work: from way south Lincoln to UNL campus...I can clip it in about 35 minutes, depending on traffic. Yes, riding my bike to work...wonderful time of year. For me, it is a stress-less time. Time to just enjoy the trails and forget I'm going to work!

I am sort of a fair-weather rider. But I have good reasons! Before I decide if I'm biking or driving I check the day's forecast. Reason 1) I don't want to get caught in a storm on the trek back home. Reason 2) I check my day's calendar. If I have a work task that requires a vehicle, I don't ride. If I have to go somewhere after work, I don't bike. And... if I have a meeting outside my normal summer work activities (which I pretty much stay in my office), I don't bike. Why? Relates to the weather and MY HAIR! You guys have no idea about this curly frizz. The NOA certainly has no worries. My boss even says, "Gee, the humidity is hard on the hair today, isn't it?" Thanks Doug.

When I do ride there will be no beauty queen that day. Hair up in something, clothes/shoes that fit into the backpack. Zip your mug and like it.

The greatest thing a company could do for their employees is provide healthy snacks, give time to work out/exercise, and provide a place to sponge off. We have showers in our building (it was an old dormitory), but water is shut off. I suppose that would open a huge can of worms asking for water to do a quick spin rinse.

I am also a weenie. The NOA took a nasty spill recently. A fellow cycling instructor also took a dive going through the 27th street underpass. During our 2 inches of rain the other night, that same underpass looked like this (left). So I'm sure my bike commute should take less than 35 minutes but I like to get there in one piece.

I would also like to encourage anyone who has not yet been down the Antelope Valley way to take a walk on the new path in the O Street area. It's absolutely wonderful!

Speaking of which, there's nothing that frosts me than this crap!!! I know where there's a shovel, 90 degrees, rocks and a ditch that would solve some of those problems.

A friend of mine had a good idea for the Nacho Riders...to pass the bucket and put in a buck every Tuesday and donate the proceeds to maintenance of the MoPac Trail (or trails in general.) Maybe that's something to toss out there? Nothing better than our trail system!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

"Old" People

I have been thinking a lot lately about the other side of the hill. You know, I've crested the hill and am on the downward slide, that type of thought. What do I want to do with that sledding adventure?

I have to say, I have always enjoyed those who are significantly older than me. When I was in my early-mid 30s, I taught night classes on basic computers at the local community college. I absolutely enjoyed my students. I would guess the average age was late 50s, early 60s. People who wanted to learn about this "computer stuff" so they could email their kids who lived on the coast and see pictures of their grandkids. They were always so eager to learn. Just a treat to spend time with. Just so thankful to be learning. Unlike, say, a 16 yr old who loathes algebra class, and was sure they were dying a slow death sitting in that class for an entire semester.

On the last night of one of my classes, an "old" guy brought me a dozen eggs from his farm. My grandma made for me approx. 10 pounds of potato salad from those eggs. It was one of the most enjoyable gifts ever. To know he was so thankful, and thoughtful. I was just tickled.

Last week in my power pump class at the YMCA, I happened to be standing beside an older gentleman who is there every week, without fail. He has his 5 lb. weights, and keeps up as best he can. Picture it: white socks, black shoes, pasty white legs, shorts up to his ribs... probably feeling it way more than I do the next day, but he's back for the next class.

I can only hope to have that much drive and commitment, and pray that I have my health. He doesn't know it, but he is really a motivator for me. I recall an older woman who always worked out at the Scottsbluff YMCA. She was always in the weight room, and I would see her out on the path walking, not just walking, but almost run-walking.

Not to mention the 60+ yr olds that kick my a$$ hauling past me on my bike tours.

That's what I want to be doing for the next, eh, 40 years+. Keeping after it even when it feels like hell. The "I'm going to give it my all until my last breath." Leave it all on the table.

These "old" people are, in my mind, the most youthful people a person could find. They are more "young" than any person who is 30 laying on the couch grasping the chips for dear life.

So here's a shout out to "old people." It's truly only in your mind, and I hope to be right there with you for the next 40.

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