In the summer of 2009 I began my first short biking adventure right here on these roads and trails at Lewis and Clark Recreation Area in South Dakota. It’s where I rediscovered the love of biking from my youth. Some 8400 miles later, I’m back again for a family vacation. Much faster and much healthier, I look forward to passing the 10,000 mile mark this year. I encourage everyone to try biking and if you are brave enough, try multi-day bike touring.  It’s unbelievable how much beauty is out there in our country if you just slow down enough to take it all in.




Rons First Bike

This is a picture of me on my first bike, most likely my first time riding it, around March of 1964, I’d be about 7 years old.  My dad was in the Army and we lived in Germany.  My folks had bought me a sled for Christmas and there was no snow so they bought me the bike for my March birthday and of course it snowed.   The only place to ride it was in the huge attic of the apartment we lived in on the military post.  I’d just ride it round and round, dodging the ceiling joists and support poles.

I had that bike for about 8 years, repainting it several times, putting the high handle bars on, banana seat, it was really cool.  When we lived in Alaska in the early 70’s I even lengthened the front fork and attacked a little ski on front.  Sounded like a good idea at the time (one has lots of time to dream up ideas like this over the long cold winters there), but it only worked going downhill, as the rear tire had no traction in the snow.

I’m not sure whatever happened to this bike, but recall I graduated to a 10 speed in high school.   Sold it at age 16 when I bought my first car.  Did not own another bike until around the year 2000 and rarely rode it.  It was not until 2009 that I got back in the saddle (bike saddle) and started off again.  And WOW, what an adventure I have had.

Special thanks  to my Mom and Dad for getting me started all those years ago and igniting the love of cycling.

This is my first attempt to update my blog with my smart phone (Android system) .  With RAGBRAI just a week away I am preparing for the trip and plan to only use my smartphone instead of struggling with a laptop or tablet.


Looks like I need to shoot everything horizontal to make sure it posts correctly.

Here is a photo of my phone showing my last post I did.  Its pretty cool I can do all this from such a small device.   The only problem I recall is you have to have an internet connection to do this and should you lose that connection you may very well lose all the post you wrote if not saved.

Most times when I have a bad experience with a business I chalk it up as a life lesson and move on.  Not sure I’ve ever posted about any problems here, but recent experiences at the Bike Rack store in Omaha (14510 Eagle Run Dr) was so unbelievable, with so many problems within just a few weeks, I’ve got to blog about it.

  1. Strike One (actually more than one): Took the rear wheel in off my Burley recumbent as it was rubbing the brakes slightly.  I went on the Wear Yellow ride and the wheel started rubbing again.  I brought it into the shop that same day and was told by a service person that my spokes were too tight and I had pulled one of the nipples through the double wall rim.  I explained that their shop was the last to true the rim a week before.  They told me I could leave the wheel and could pick it up in about 10 days, their current service time.  I took the wheel with me and emailed the store manager that night.  He called the next day and told me to bring it in and they would make it right, most likely would have to build me a new wheel.  A few hours later I get a call that my rim is ready for pick up, no discussion about it’s status or a new wheel.  When I picked it up they said they replaced some nipples and spokes.  I looked it over closely and saw only two new nipples and no new spokes.  As I was trying to get ready for the bike ride accross Nebraska coming up the next week, I told them of my concern that the aluminum rim may have been stressed out with the over tightening.  I was told to “ride the hell out of this week” and let them know if I had any problems.  Well, you guessed it, the rim was still warped, now even worst than before.  Frustrated I cancelled my bike ride.
  2. They installed the wrong bottom bracket on the frame of the recumbent trike I’m building (it’s the bottom frame of a Mongoose aluminum bike).  It was not the right size (t00 wide) and was not tightened down.
  3. I brought in the derailleur hanger in from my trike that was noticeably worn where the axle meets it (it’s off a Schwinn mountain bike, which is used for that part of the trike I’m building).  They told me they did not have a replacement, they would need to order one, but that the part was really okay, there must be a problem with the wheel.  I found a replacement derailleur on Amazon, ordered it and it completely fixed the problem I was having.

My business is now going to Bike Masters in Omaha at 130th and Fort Streets.  Already I’m impressed as it their service time was just 2-3 days and they actually got something back in one day.  They were recommended to me by a fellow BRAN rider who has been very satisfied.  During my three visits there recently I did notice that the service and sales staff are older that what I saw at Bike Rack.  I assume more experienced, time will tell, but that is what I have heard from other bikers.  I did noticed they seemed much more organized and less rushed at Bike Masters.


The no weld recumbent trike build is coming along great.  Sorry I’ve not posted but the fact of the matter is I have been so busy working on the trike in my spare time I have completely forgotten about my blog.  The best part is, this has to be one of the best hobbies or projects I’ve ever undertaken.  Before I build a certain part I will spend hours and hours examining how it will connect, how it interacts with other parts on the trike, and then research the web for ideas and materials.  I’m actually about 95% done with the frame, just need now to put all the moving parts on the trike.  Here’s a picture from a couple weeks ago with some tires I had on hand (these will not be the actual tires).