Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Kristin is going for a bit of food.

Take-Out Anyone?

Only I would find a way to work food into this challenge.

The other night the cupboards were bare and we were craving takeout. There are numerous good restaurants nearby, but after serious contemplation it became apparent that most of them are Italian, burger joints or too fancy for takeout.

And Chinese? That just sounds like bad heartburn.

So, against the better judgment of my spouse, I became determined to make the trek at 8:00 on a Friday night to Vietnamese Asian on 72nd & Jones, a restaurant aptly named for the kind of food it serves (many people who haven’t heard of this joint think I’m suggesting a type of food instead of an actual restaurant).

Lately, I have been obsessed with bike racks. I am constantly assessing where I travel and how I might find a creative way to lock up my bike should I find myself without one.

It’s not a pretty picture in my head: there’s me fighting with a tree or a lamppost, I’m bent over with my big butt in the air, small children are staring and old ladies are pointing and laughing as I struggle to get my lock untangled and tied to some unfortunate smelling trash can. All of this just to ensure no one rides off into the sunset with my pretty blue bike – a fear I harbor even when my bike is chained to a pole that’s been cemented into the ground.

Okay, I’ve become a little attached to my bike. It’s as if this equipment were an extension of my body, eh hem. Now I know why so many men ride.

But, I digress. I was relieved on my way to Vietnamese Asian to recall that it is right next to the Trek Bicycle Store and I would undoubtedly have access to a very nice bike rack. The ride was a blast. I love cutting through empty parking lots, riding through neighborhoods and avoiding traffic. I have to admit that I’ve started seeking out the bumps in the sidewalk so I can do my own version of a standing jump (not impressive to the onlooker, but in my head I’m a super star).
I arrived at my destination exhilarated and ready to pick up take-out for my family. “Wait…what? No bike rack at the Trek Store? You have to be kidding!” I asked the gang waiting outside—who by now are very amused at my bemoaning the lack of a bike rack AT THE BIKE STORE—to watch my baby while I carefully packed the food in my messenger bag. I am becoming a master packer (no pun intended).

The ride home through Elmwood Park in the gloaming was beautiful and I, leaving the faint scent of fish sauce, lemon grass and curry in my wake, realized I had finally found my bike legs. Or, maybe the endorphins had just kicked in. Either way it felt great.

Unfortunately, just as I hit Dodge Street I could feel that something very, very bad had happened in my bag. It felt squishy and liquid and dangerously like a bad accident I’d had in the seventh grade during science class, which ultimately turned into me waiting in the nurse’s office for my mother to bring me new pants. “Oh, no! I can’t even look. As long as it’s not actually dripping down my leg I can get home.” Sound familiar, ladies?

Thankfully, it was only the curry that had spilled in the bag. Aside from some lost sauce and picking broken plastic lid pieces out of our dinner, it was a lovely meal.

PS – Sunday, I rode to Borders for some book browsing and coffee. What a great way to start the day. And…they have a bike rack!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sunday AM ride

For anyone interested there will be a ride leaving out of Lifetime Fitness at 8:00 am Sunday. It will be a 16-18 mph average ride for about 25 miles. If you have any questions contact Mike Steinauer (pictured above) 891-1378.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Kristin Becomes a Commuter

Here is the first post from our Go By Bike winner:

There goes my manicure

One of the first things my spouse said to me when I explained that I would be commuting by bike to work, yoga and for the occasional errand was "you're screwed." It's true. I'm screwed.

My neighbor chided me with “you and you’re manicured nails are going to commute to work?” Well, yes, we are. I have quite a girly streak, but lucky for me there are accessories in bike riding. Lots and lots of accessories…some of them are even pink.

I just got my bike from High Gear in La Vista, NE (a town also referred to jokingly by it's residents as "The View"). I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I can hardly figure out the lock, let alone the bike rack on my car and the millions of other things one needs to know in order to be a cyclist—or something of the sort.

It’s hard to think of myself as a cyclist. I’m a 36-year-old mother of two, an artist, a social worker, grant maker, a bit of a radical at heart and I love music. Cyclist has not been on the list for nearly eight years.

As exciting as it is to “win” something, this feels awkward and potentially burdensome. My body hasn’t been the same since giving birth to an 11-pound baby boy three years ago and now I’m going to make my way through mid-town Omaha to get from 50th & Cuming to 36th & Farnam. This is truly nuts. I’ll be lucky if I don’t get killed.

My knight in shining armor has been Miah Sommer, HighGear’s store manager. He’s a sweet and funny proud new papa (I got to see video of his baby) and has made this a more than enjoyable experience. In fact, all of the guys at HighGear (every single one of them cute—I think “good looking” is a requirement to work there) have brought a pleasant beginning to this upcoming adventure of mine.

Gladly, I made my first ride to Bikram yoga class on Saturday morning. It took awhile to get organized with a yoga mat in my messenger bag, but I made it. After spending 1.5 hours in a 105-degree room doing rather intense yoga, the way home was a bit more of a challenge. I made it, despite my fatigue and despite being chased by a couple of vicious stray dogs.

PS – I’ve been listening to Vampire Weekend when I ride. It’s the perfect music to make a middle aged woman feel like she’s in college again!

I’ve decided that I’m using my biking experience to take a step away from some parts of this city and move into others. I’m excited about that part of the adventure. About exploring something new every day. I already know that I’m going to have to make peace with hills, flat tires and the wind.

Congratulations to our Go By Bike winner, Kristin Williams! Her mastery of the English language has earned her a new bike and other fun stuff. Watch for her blog posts as she takes to the streets. If you see her please shout encouraging things and motivational slogans. She is the coolest person you will meet so please share the road with her.

Friday, May 02, 2008

New Arrival: Trek Fuel EX 9

Now in stock! The much talked about Trek Fuel EX 9. We've been getting lots of requests for this bike and we know why. The parts spec along with ground breaking technology makes this a top notch trail ready bike. If you want to learn about what the fuss is about check out ABP and Full Floater for the complete story.

You say you want choices? We got'em. Carbon? Try the hottest 29er on the Planet, the Gary Fisher Superfly. Aluminum? How about the tried and true Fisher X-Caliber 29er. Full Suspension? The bike that suspends conventional thought, The Trek Fuel EX! Test ride one today.