Wednesday, January 28, 2009

2009 Iowa Bike Summit

Deke and I headed down to the 2009 Iowa Bike Summit in Des Moines this past weekend. There was a lot of talk about the Safe Routes to School program and getting support for it and how to implement it in communities. We were mostly interested in the Iowa Mountain Bike Round Table discussion. We're pretty lucky to have things as good as we do. While one attendee was explaining how a mile of paved trail cost $500,000 and a mile of single track costs only $11,000 in Des Moines or Iowa City, I was thinking it's kind of odd how our paved trails cost around a million per mile but we can build over 3 miles of rocking single track in an afternoon and our volunteers are pretty happy sharing a 30 pack of beer and enjoying the ride.

The Iowa DOT will be working on a comprehensive plan for Mountain Biking in the State of Iowa. We got a chance to talk with others and voice our ideas for what should be involved. Some of the most important items decided upon in the meeting were
  • Liability Reform
  • Centralized Iowa Mt. Bike Website
  • Standardized Trail Mapping and Rating System
  • Support for Bike Festivals and Events
  • Creating State Funded Summer Positions for Mt. Bike Trail Maintenance
  • Iowa High School Mt. Bike Leagues
Dan McNeil of QC TAG (Quad Cities Transportation Advocacy Group) presents on ideas for Marketing Active Transportation

Molly Gable of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition speaks about the Safe Routes to School Program
I don't know what this was doing there, but it was a cool looking cruiser with New Belgium Brewery Decals (Fat Tire Beer)

Friday, January 23, 2009


Well, it's Friday. For the first time in a long time, no one rode the Thursday Night Ride. O'Gara had a Park and Rec meeting, Shockey needed to take a night off, and i just didn't want to ride. It's kind of relaxing to be lazy once in a while, I can see how that could be addictive.

Deke and I are heading to Des Moines in the morning to attend the 2009 Iowa Bicycle Summit. We're mostly looking to do some networking and see what they have to talk about. There is a lot of community and bike to school stuff, but personally I'm more interested in the afternoon Statewide Mountain Bike Forum. I know we've got some of the toughest mt. Bike trails in the state, and unique to the rest of Iowa. Should be an interesting day.

In the meantime, I went through and cleaned up the computer folders a little bit, and found some stuff that are probably worthy of throwing up on the blog.

Winter is gravel time for the hardcore outdoor bike guys. I recently found that Google Maps does really well at plotting routes. I can find tiny little roads where it's scary when you're on your bike coming down a hill and a Geo Metro is coming your way because the road is so thin. You got to use the drag and drop method for some, but you get a decent idea of the mileage and a little perspective on how far you are, will be, were to something else.

Tuesday Gravel route with Shockey
My route to work climbing White Tail Road and Old Stage.
My Route to work taking Trout Run and climbing Stone Hill road.
The internal 9 Speed Karate Monkey. I tell ya, I beat the piss out of this thing. Deke asked me to break it, and I only half failed him. Of course, the Karate Monkey is a tough bike, but would the internal nine speed rear hub hold up? I hammered on this thing for about 5 weeks, and there was very limited minor issues. It will make an awesome gravel bike, and Hopefully this Spring we'll find out if it can hold up on the trails.
A beast of a bike. The Big Dummy. Another Surly creation. If you've ever rode to the grocery store, walked around for 20-30 minutes, and then walked outside and said "DOH!" because you've got 2 hands full of chicken breasts, Frozen Pizzas, Milk and a 30 pack of PBR and forgot you rode your damn bike, you could use this thing. Built to carry stuff other than just your drunk self home from the bar. Go check it out.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Triple D Photos - Mark Hirsch Photography

Here's a link to Photos and Videos from the Triple D. Mark Hirsch did a great job covering the race and has some really spectacular photos posted. He's got a lot of good ones of Decorah guys in there. Look for Scotty Marx, Trevor Rockwell, Eric Sovern, Ben Shockey and some idiot wearing shorts.

Triple D Photos courtesy of Mark Hirsch Photography

Saved by the Bike

Triple D Photo Slideshow

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Skiathon 5 (or 6)

This Saturday was a good weekend to hit the trails, on skis that is. Captain's 5th or maybe 6th skiathon was held up in Van Peenen Park. It Consists of standing by the fire, having a drink, skiing a lap around the prairie, and repeating. There was a little bit of wind, but over all the weather was really nice. It's good to get outside and breath some fresh air that won't freeze your lungs. It was a scortching 20 degrees above zero, that's a 50 degree change from 30 hours earlier.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Almost too cold to drink

Went for a little bike ride on Thursday night. We found out that a glass of Schmidt's freezes completely in 22 minutes at 20 below. We also found out that a ghost rode steel head can be used as a missile. As if my hands weren't in enough pain from the cold, shockey decided he needed to break my finger with his 34 pound bike. I guess that's what you get when you spend all night drinking and screaming Van Halen, G & R, AC/DC and then go out and try to derby with only 2 people. At least there was no traffic.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Triple D

No one finished, but some of us sure had fun. Shockey has a good write up with a play by play and names. The Decorah guys represented well I think. Both on the course and at the bars. Shockey, Scotty Marx, Trevor Rockwell, Sov and myself. More Pictures to come later. In the meantime, check out the

Friday, January 9, 2009

headed for dubuque...

jesse, trevor, scotty, sov and myself are headed down for the triple d race tomorrow. close to 60 miles of snow-bike-lovin. deke's headed down as well and we should be meeting up with burky at some point. should have some good pics and i'm guessing a story or two by the time we get back (some of which may require "earmuffs" or be otherwise edited for content). hopefully spinnner will get some pics of his snowbeard on here from last night...thinking it was a little foreshadowing of what tomorrow will bring.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Violence through a Child's Eyes

If you were on the New Year's Day ride and saw the first unprovoked crash attack, this picture makes a lot of sense. One volunteer decided to take on the load of the Beer and the radio so all could enjoy refreshments and listen to the Hawkeye game. This brave soldier headed off with a load on his back for the enjoyment of all. Things were going well, until out of the shadows, a sucker punch of sorts landed from behind and took him out, and laid him down on the gravel, skidding across the jagged ice and rock at full speed.
This is Julia Scwartz's depiction.
It is also on display in T-Bock's if you have time to stop by and see it.

Reyerson in his early riding days!

Museum of Mountain Bike Art and Technology

Below are some images of Mt. Bikes from the recently opened
Museum of Mountain bike Art & Technology in Statesville, North Carolina.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Years Day Ride photos

More pictures and a story on Shockey's Blog
Click Here: Shockstar

Bundle up

The line up outside Randy's Bluffton StoreShots
Staying Hydrated
A stop for refreshment on the Bluffton Bridge.