Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Scott took pictures and wrote about his adventure... Enjoy.
Friday, August 21, 2009
If you're interested in getting one of the few bike racks in Omaha given back to bikes, write Hy-vee, the store is Omaha #1, 51st and Center. I thanked them kindly for providing a bike rack and asked that they allow it to be used for it's intended purpose.
Needless to say the trip was still a success. Fresh veggies from local farms (corn and bell peppers are looking good), chicken breast and a bottle of 10 year Speyburn Highland single malt.
RD, you might need to swing by after the ride Sunday.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
There's talk floating around of a pre-movie mini-crawl. We're thinking, start in Dundee at Blue Line/Dario's, swing in the Homey, then the Sydney, etc. in Benson. Should be a fun night with some Lincoln lads coming up too. Oh yeah, James has made up some nice screen printed posters which he'll have a few of as well.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
We will be riding out to Platte for some bacon on Sunday morning. The meeting place will be Wohlner's parking lot, Meet around 6:00 am leave 6:10 am. Here's the route . Will meet up with Lincoln peps and eat some bacon.
Anyone is welcomed the weather looks perfect we should be back noonish.
I know some people would like to ride more than 70 miles on Sunday. If that is the case please comment and I will find another 30 miles for us to ride. Couple of other things:
- Do you have to have cross bike? (No you can ride your road bike it will not be that pleasant)
- What if I don't live in Midtown ( You can meet us at Springfield that gives you several options of getting back home leave a comment if you have any questions)
- What if I don't want to ride more than 70 miles (Here is the cue sheet for the original route)
- Can I just go and ride MTB @platte (sure just meet us at the tower around 8:30ish or not that's cool too)
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Two years ago TREK launched their one world two wheels inititive. Since then, they've made some pretty impressive contributions to both IMBA and Bicycle Friendly Communities. At the same time Fisher launched their line of Simple City bikes. As soon as they came available I grabbed one and have commuted on it daily all summer. For 2010, Trek is introducing thier ECO line on commuter bikes dubbed the Belleville. The focus was to create a bike that was responsibly manufactured, durable and easy to recycle when it's life cycle ends.
The majority of the bike is either steel or aluminum. What little rubber bits remain are designed to be either recycleable or degradeable. Starting with the tires, TREK is producing natural rubber treads that will ultimately degard faster in the landfill. The grips and saddle are made from recycleable materials which leaves the inner tubes.
Bontrager has teamed up with Alchemy goods on this one. TREK dealers can now save old tubes, ship them to Alchemy where they produce a line of panniers and seat bags made from old inner tubes and recycled vinyl banners, each one unique based on the available materials. Pretty cool.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Sanctioned routes may also draw out new riders, giving them first, the idea, and then later, the confidence to take to the streets and bike somewhere.
Monday, the City of Omaha officially launched Bike Omaha, the city's 20 mile bike route system linking Midtown and Downtown locations. You can see more, including a route map and photos and video from the event at the Bike Omaha blog.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Published Saturday, August 8, 2009
Over the past few years, a farmers market and public art have cropped up near the Bancroft Street Market, a gallery that hosts art exhibits and events.
At the same time, the Bayliss Park neighborhood in Council Bluffs is emerging as a site for art and artists.
One bicycling group is taking it all in — and trying to bridge the distance between the two areas.
Since early May, about 10 bikers have ridden what they call the Bancroft-Bayliss Loop each Saturday, cycling from 10th and Bancroft Streets in Omaha to Bayliss Park. The group's organizers say the 12-mile trek is an effort to promote a cultural exchange between two developing communities.
Starting at the Bancroft farmers market, they travel through the Old Market, over the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge and through Council Bluffs to Bayliss Park. Along the way, the group, which will ride until Oct. 3, stops at historical and cultural markers.
“It's a form of transportation and cultural exchange,” said organizer Jody Boyer, a Council Bluffs artist who teaches art at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
She met fellow leader Bill Seidler, who runs the Bancroft farmers market, at meetings for community and cultural groups this spring.
Both are longtime cyclists who saw developments taking shape in their own communities. Public art and other programs, such as a new media festival, have sprung up near the Bancroft Street Market. In the Bayliss Park area, Second Fridays were started this year to promote area art, shopping and wine. And the Harvester Artist Lofts — a housing development geared toward artists — is under construction and scheduled to open next September.
At community meetings and through e-mail, Boyer and Seidler discussed forming a bike route between the two areas. They mapped out a path, created a Web site and contacted local cultural and biking groups.
Boyer said she enjoys showing the bikers around Council Bluffs, especially cultural markers, such as the Golden Spike, and the neighborhood streets Omahans don't usually use.
“It's a completely different experience than being in a car,” Boyer said.
Such initiatives can lead to more development in a neighborhood, said Teresa Gleason, program manager for Omaha By Design, a privately funded group that advocates for better urban development.
Biking or walking “heightens your awareness of what you can see, hear and feel, which can lead to great discussions about what could be done to make a place better,” she wrote in an e-mail.
For now, group members — who range from Boyer's 6-year-old daughter, who rides along in a Burley bike trailer, to women in their 60s — are enjoying the rides, the views and new people. It's informal: Cyclists simply show up at 10th and Bancroft at 10 a.m.
Some arrive early to purchase radishes, potatoes and peppers from the farmers market. Boyer and her husband circle the market's parking lot, warmly greeting new riders and making introductions.
Anne Medeiros, who used to live near Third and Bancroft Streets but now resides in Bellevue, said riding through neighborhoods in the two cities is pleasant.
Medeiros prefers longer rides — she participates in RAG- BRAI, the annual seven-day trek across Iowa — but said the loop lets her see local shops and developments. She had never been to Bayliss Park before riding the loop, and enjoys cycling across the pedestrian bridge, which opened last fall.
“If I do a short trip, I want it to be interesting,” she said. “I like seeing a lot of different parts of the area.”
View Bancroft Bayliss Loop in a larger map
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
By Josefina Loza
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
Photos by Rebecca Gratz
Published Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Omahan Brady Murphy rides Old Yeller six miles to work each day — even during the winter months.
Twice a week he joins a group of lunch cyclists for an additional 18 miles.
He probably has put 10,000 miles on that bike, a hand-me-down from his younger brother.
To them, Old Yeller is more than just transportation. It has a name, after all. And it was their steppingstone to fitness.
The brothers vowed to become more physically fit after their father had a heart attack a few years back. Murphy went from running marathons to competitive triathlons. Old Yeller was faithfully there for every grueling mile.
Murphy's Old Yeller is every bit as precious as the dog Disney made famous, so you can imagine Murphy's panic when Old Yeller disappeared.
Two weeks ago, someone took it from a downtown rack.
“I should've moved it,” Murphy said. “Why didn't I move it?”
The 10-year-old road bike was parked a half-block from his office. The day it disappeared, Murphy rushed in for an early morning meeting and didn't check on the bike until late afternoon. It'll be fine, he thought.
At just after 5 p.m., Murphy broke for coffee. As he walked to a local java spot, he noticed that Old Yeller wasn't latched onto the bike rack. Someone had cut the Kevlar cable, removed the lock and grabbed the bike.
“No!” the 39-year-old said. “I can't believe this is happening.”
Murphy immediately dialed 911 to report the bike stolen. He started a missing bike campaign the same day. After work, he hit the pavement with fliers offering a cash reward.
Does the story sound familiar? You betcha.
An eccentric man-child named Pee-wee Herman posted a similar stolen bike flier some 25 years ago in the movie “Pee-wee's Big Adventure.”
Pee-wee becomes distraught after his nemesis, Francis Buxton — a fellow man-child and neighborhood rich kid — steals his beloved shiny red bicycle.
Pee-wee's wild cross-country adventure happens after a fortune teller says his bicycle is in the basement of the Alamo. Along the way, Pee-wee meets an escaped convict, a waitress with wanderlust and a jealous boyfriend, and a mysterious female truck driver.
Murphy chuckled at the comparison. He's a lean guy, but not a 98-pound weakling like Pee-wee.
“Who knew?” he said. “Who knew we'd share the same story line?”
Well, minus the convict, waitress, jealous boyfriend and female trucker.
Although Murphy didn't have help from a mystic, Old Yeller was known in local biking circles. And that helped.
The bike gained its reputation because of its bright hue. When Murphy rode trails, people often asked about it.
Some wondered if the bike had anything to do with Lance Armstrong's Livestrong Foundation. It doesn't.
Some wondered if it had something to do with the Yellow Bike Project in Portland, Ore. It doesn't.
To be honest, it's yellow by default.
The 1999 GT ZR-4000 aluminum road bike was originally metallic green. It needed a lot of maintenance. The paint was scratched. The chain was stretched, and the index shifting was worn out. So Murphy stripped the bike down to the frame's aluminum finish and took it to R&R Powder Coating for a new paint job.
Yellow was the color of Murphy's very first bike. And, coincidentally, the paint shop where Murphy took Old Yeller painted tools for Union Pacific Railroad.
Which color? The company's signature yellow, of course — the shade you'd find on a railroad locomotive. It was fitting, because Murphy is a senior project engineer at Union Pacific.
With a bike that bright, Murphy had to believe that someone had seen it after it was stolen. Rather than rely solely on the Internet to spread the word, Murphy went the Pee-wee route. He called it his “old-fashioned sneaker-net.” And he prayed it would work.
He posted fliers at downtown businesses and on bike racks. He handed them out to friends and strangers. Over lunch, he canvassed the Gene Leahy Mall seeking tips from outdoor diners and homeless people. After work, he visited local bike shops, pawnshops and homeless shelters.
He also followed a tip that led him to a cache of stolen bikes under the Missouri River train bridge. He didn't find Old Yeller, but he did discover parts of Omaha he never knew existed.
“It was a sad story, because he literally built the bike up from a frame,” said Scott Redd, a co-worker and an Omaha cyclist. “Everyone knew Brady's bike, and how much Brady loved it. I was always encouraged to see his yellow bike on the racks, even as fall and winter set in.”
“There were some days when I would lock up to the racks,” Redd said, “thinking I was the only one who braved the snow and ice, only to see Brady's bike show up later in the morning.”
Most people refer to their bikes by what they are: “This is my road bike” or “This is my Trek bike.”
“Brady's bike has an actual name, and perhaps even its own personality,” Redd said. “I was off the day that Old Yeller was stolen. I was browsing at the bike shop when one of the employees announced that Brady's bike had been stolen. Later, I saw Brady's Twitter messages.”
Murphy blogged about his bike adventure: “Just like with a missing child ‘Amber Alert,' this ‘Yellow Alert' demands a quick distribution, hence the blog post with picture.”
He tweeted on Twitter. “OLD YELLER STOLEN!” and “Keep an eye out for my bicycle — its kevlar cable was cut and stolen in front of the downtown public library.”
Within minutes, a friend retweeted the message. Others did the same. In a flash, hundreds of people across Omaha knew of the theft.
Lonely hours turned into lonely days. Finally, last Thursday, Murphy received a call.
A man eating at a local sandwich shop saw his poster and phoned in a tip.
The man said he had seen Old Yeller wheeled into a downtown pawnshop the day it was stolen. Murphy was skeptical, but he followed up the call with a visit.
It took a lot less time to find Murphy's bike than Pee-wee's. In the shop's back was Old Yeller, waiting to be processed. Murphy had to pay $20 to retrieve it. That hurt, but not as much as Old Yeller's disappearance.
“I was as shocked in getting Old Yeller back as I was in its theft,” he said. “Old Yeller's been through a lot in the past 10 years.”
And, thankfully, more adventures await.
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