Thursday, June 26, 2008

On, Wisconsin!

With the days until RAGBRAI counting down, I was pleased to get in some unexpected riding this week. I accompanied Sara to a Coe faculty workshop in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and at the last minute decided to take my bike along. As it turned out, the weather was ideal and I got a nice ride in each of the three days we were there. The back roads in the area seemed like extra-wide bike paths - on a 24-mile ride today I was passed by only two cars the entire time. Most importantly, the routes gave me some much-needed hill training.

In addition to my bike rides, we attended Henry IV and Eugene O'Neill's Ah, Wilderness! at American Players Theater, sampled some local cheeses and beers, and I even got a fair bit of work done (though plenty more was waiting to greet me when I returned).

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Must-see TV

RE: CR flooding. Nothing Coe-related here.

Walking tour of flood-ravaged downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa from on Vimeo.

Swine Trek postponed

Not surprisingly, Swine Trek has been postponed due to the flooding in eastern Iowa. Looks like they're going to try to reschedule late this summer:
I may consider a ride to Center Point or Mt. Vernon this weekend in place as a substitute if anyone is interested.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Flood: Coe is fine, CR hurting

As I look through the dozens of photos I’ve taken over the past four days, it strikes me that they lack proper perspective. My motives were purely to document this historic event for the college, but I hope that no one draws the conclusion that Coe was decimated.

Compared to portions of town within as much as a mile of the Cedar River – which, now quite literally, slices through the heart of the city – Coe got off easy. Sure we had to shut down and evacuate a few dozen students, but Coe will be back on track in short order.

If you were to walk on campus – as I did just about an hour ago – you wouldn’t know anything happened, other than the large generators stationed strategically to restore power to critical areas and the absence of human activity. Head back of Eby Annex, where only the brave venture anyway, and it’s quite a different picture.

Those pictures can be viewed here. And I’m proud to have been able to provide them for alumni across the globe who were curious how the Cedar Rapids flood was affecting their alma mater. Rest assured, Kohawks, Coe College is fine.

I can’t say as much for Cedar Rapids. A large portion of town was decimated, and my heart aches for all those homeowners and business owners. City landmarks and legends like Czech Village, the Czech and Slovak Museum and Library, the public library, CSPS, Smulekoff’s, etc., were deluged. We’ll see in the coming days, as the river returns to her banks, but the damage is unfathomable.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette has done a fabulous job covering this historic event despite and, perhaps, because of being located within the flood zone.

I’m confident in the local government and business leadership, many of whom I’m proud to count as friends. Cedar Rapids will rise again! Her signature Independence Day celebration, the Freedom Festival – now delayed until Labor Day weekend – will be extra special this year.

Meanwhile, RAGBRAI awaits!

Friday, June 13, 2008

CR flooding

As most of you know and others have probably heard, Cedar Rapids has been devastated by flood. Coe College was not spared and is currently shut down. I've been documenting this historic event in photographs. Feel free to view them here.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Adventures with Bob

Between my son's baseball games, my daughter's softball games and practices and the rain, getting a ride in has been difficult. I was determined to get one in today -- despite the continued weather uncertainty -- and was glad when Bob returned my call with thumbs up.

We met at Greene Square Park shortly after 2 p.m. and departed for Ely. With portions of the trail flooded, we took the road route out of town until -- about four miles in -- Bob's chain broke. Poor guy has a beautiful new bike, yet the same bad luck.

Bob walked his bike home, reasoning, "at least it's exercise," while I continued onto Ely. Strong headwinds and an attack bird presented challenges on the outbound route. Inbound was smooth sailing with strong tailwinds. Got in a little over 20 miles in about 90 minutes.

And now it's raining with tornadic activity in the area. I hope Bob made it home.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Boy, howdy


I'm just sayin 'hey', here, to the Abby's. I sent them a separate email, but didn't know from the blog that the famous duo of Abby, and yes (wait for it...) Abby - are back this year! (I rediscovered their being with us by reviewing a weeks-old Lonnie email.) Well, ain't this all great. Just great!

We got all kinda people back - most of 'em, I knew about. But adding the Abbys to alla us all; that's just a bucket of warm worms when you got the fishin pole ready, that's what I'm thinkin. Boy, howdy.

Quite separately: It's official - this weather just sucks. Make the rain go away! I'm going to get on my trainer in the living room now, and watch another suspense flick to get me goin. But this aint nothin like being out on what's available in the great out-of-doors these days: crappy half-submerged paved trails; pasty near-concrete paste from mushy packed gravel trails, or risking-ones-life-to-get-to Ely roads. Right now on the trainer, I'm going to take Doug's advice and put a fan in front of me, so at least I'll get some wind training in.

Ah, well - regardless: I'm also soon looking forward to Swine Trek. Can't get enough of those walking tacos; proof yet again that American ingenuity lives. Didn't invent the walking taco in Sweden, nossir; not in Nigeria, neither, ma'am. Four decades ago, we put a guy on the moon. Now, the walking taco. Who said we're falling behind other countries in innovation? The walking taco is a more recent generation's moon shot, it seems to me. God bless America. And swine trek. And my creaky knees.

All for now;