Summer nights

I think seeing her outfit was what prompted me to get my camera out. Cause good golly she’s weird!

Summer 2017

Brian and Beckham doing the old baseball cards on the spokes trick! Now his bicycle sounds like a motorcycle!

Summer 2017

It’s hard to be 7 and have a fan stuck in your hair cause you held it too close…

Summer 2017

So now she has some long bangs!

Summer 2017

They have torn up our street this summer on their bikes

Summer 2017

 Summer 2017

1980 called Beckham…and told him he was born in the wrong decade! He’s got the 80s look down pat!

Summer 2017

I love this smile!

Summer 2017

Berkley has this great quality that she doesn’t care what’s socially acceptable. I love that about her! 🙂

Summer 2017

Saturday adventure

It was beautiful outside last weekend, and I asked Brian if we could take a bike ride. He asked where, and I told him the idea was my responsibility, the execution was his.

So we all followed Brian and ended up at, shocker, Call Hall for ice cream!

Feb 2017

No one complained…

Then to Memorial Stadium to watch the women’s lacrosse game.

Lacrosse is a hard spectator sport by the way.

So we ended up at City Park

Feb 2017

And kids ended up buried

Boozer lost an ear on the ride. I will always maintain that the youngest is the best spot to be in birth order, but it does come with its down sides. One being you rarely get anything new. Which I actually think is amazing cause few things makes me happier than hand me downs (Berkley still calls them “handy downs” and we don’t correct her), even for myself, but I digress. So her helmet had seen better days.

Feb 2017

But since Brian is also a youngest he has a complex about “handy downs” (he often laments about not knowing “Mouse Trap” had more than 3 pieces to it and not one marble) and had me order her a new helmet, brand spankin’ new even!

 

We found Nemo

While Brian was on the Katy Trail earlier this summer, Berkley spotted this turtle and HAD to catch it. Cause that’s what Brian has taught them to do.

June 2016

We would have kept it, but it was a water turtle, and Beckham has been wanting to find a box turtle to keep as a pet. He asked Brian to be on the lookout when he was riding the Katy Trail last week. In true fashion, Brian found some turtles.

When Shari and I got to the boys, Brian had a water turtle saved. They are way harder to take care of, just cause the water gets gross fast if you don’t have a whole tank with a filter, yada yada…so I knew we didn’t want to keep that one. He was cute and little and I guess we didn’t get a picture of him.

This is a snapping turtle. They are mean. And this one smelled like sewer. (the pictures are all based on Berkley’s pose!)

And lazy Brian said he didn’t want to haul this sucker across Missouri for three days. Sheesh.

June 2016

But then on the last day we found this one:

June 2016

The boys found some scrap wood in our garage and made this home for him (for free! woohoo!)!

June 2016

And now that Becks knows how to use a drill, I’m putting him to work around here!

June 2016

It was a great home!!

June 2016June 2016

We found him a friend! (we later learned that their list of diet includes…snails. Oops, sorry snail.)

June 2016

No worries, in true Hough fashion, we let him go a month later! 🙂

Little Apple Pedal

Manhattan Park and Rec organized a really fun family friendly bike ride event this Spring! (Beckham was at his Jr Zookeeper training, so it was just us and the girls!)

They had a run bike rodeo (which was code for “check to make sure everyone’s brakes work” in a fun way!)

Little Apple Pedal 2016

Then when you passed that they made you a “bike license.”

  

I’m pretty sure it was meant for kids, but what adult could pass that up?!

This cracked me up cause I didn’t even mean to photo bomb this pic, but there’s no denying I did!

They had helmet fittings (and even had free ones there if you needed one!)

We introduced girls to Smokey the Bear! They had never heard of him before…what kind of parents are we!?

Little Apple Pedal 2016

Little Apple Pedal 2016Then there was a 6 mile bike ride!

Little Apple Pedal 2016

Sades and her sweet friend Ava  Little Apple Pedal 2016

We stopped about halfway to regroup and for snacks and potty break

Little Apple Pedal 2016

May 2016

Little Apple Pedal 2016
Then we got popcorn on the way out…and we laughed cause the girls wore their helmets the whole way home. Safety first!

May 2016

The Katy Trail 2015

KatyTrail2015 Tony and Brian 2

Tony Felich and I rode the Katy Trail for 5 years in a row and then after leaving for Manhattan I bailed on the trip last summer. I didn’t want to hear about how the Yankees have 27 rings, a few of which are even legitimate. So I tried to bail again this year and peer pressured me into making it happen (cause he misses me I’m sure). So the plan this year was a bit over 200 miles.

Here we are starting in Pilot Grove.

Katy Trail 2015

Our first night we stayed in the Globe B&B, the new owners running it took over just 7 days earlier. Literally the only food for sale in the town was frozen pizza at the bar. After eating a whole piece Tony realized the entire bottom of his pizza was covered in green mold.

This is a sink.

Katy Trail 2015

Here we are well rested ready to ride to Hermann

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The best parts of the trail we generally don’t take photos of, fields of wheat and other things.

Katy Trail 2015

I was asked a few times why I had a Wiffleball bat. I was hoping Tony would play a little, but he’s a curmudgeon when it comes to Wiffleball.

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This take from the car bridge at Boonville looking out at what someday will be the Katy Trail bridge. Water was high, but nothing threatening the trail.

Katy Trail 2015

This ammo shed is just east of Rocheport. Ironically it was made keep ammo dry, but today it’s got a pond inside it from water leaking in.

ammo

Just past Jefferson City I threatened to kill Tony for something. Probably telling me how stupid my bat was. Midway through the day I threw it at him during a stop and forgot to pick it up. I like to imagine some child found it and will enjoy this great game in the middle of nowhere Missouri.

Katy Trail 2015

This little guy was not shy at all. I should have brought him home as a pet, but then I’m sure we’d give it away if I did that.

Katy Trail 2015

The is from the bridge heading into Hermann, Missouri. Nice town, pasta is a bit pricey, but would be fun town to explore if weren’t exhausted by end of the day.

Katy Trail 2015

The oldest bridge labeled was built in 1899. It’s the only thing on the trail that existed before the Cubs last Series Championship.

a

Found this ladder that seemed a bit short to be of any use. Just kinda seems whatever you couldn’t reach before you got the ladder out, you still can’t reach after you get the ladder out.

This is a two step ladder, they were very popular until houses starting being built over three feet tall. #MKT

This is my stead, best bike I’ve ever owned. Surly Cross Check.

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Nearly everyday the weather says rain is coming and everyday Tony tells me it won’t rain. About 20 minutes after it started raining he finally conceded it would rain that day.

c

 

So up to this point things went great, no wrecks, no injuries. In fact the rain started a few minutes before the girls showed up. I hate to say they brought bad luck, half because I don’t believe in luck and half because we enjoy their company. However, it was a bit like allowing Jonah to join your little voyage.

KatyTrail2015

Katy Trail 2015

 

Katy Trail 2015

I can’t remember how it started years ago, but these two jump. This is actually a recreation from memory of a 2013’s photo just like it.

Katy Trail 2015

What was different this year is Tony and I got in on it and boy do we jump higher than our wives.

Katy Trail 2015

Brian: Look a big cliff

Laura & Shari: Let’s jump in front of it.

Katy trail 2015: we ride bikes, but we go for the jumping pictures

Brian: Look a nice Dodge sports car

Laura & Shari: Let’s bash in the windows!

Katy Trail 2015

Brian: Look a bench

Laura & Shari: Let’s jump off it!

Katy Trail 2015

Brian: Look at Katy Trail sign

Laura & Shari: Let’s jump in front of it!

Katy Trail 2015

Brian: Look the sign that marks where the Daniel Boone Judgement Tree may or may not have been.

Laura & Shari: Let’s jump in front of it!

Katy Trail 2015

I thought this was a sweet picture, don’t tell Tony I posted it.

Katy Trail 2015

So the rain came and wind came and the trees fell over. Like Hulk we tried to pick this tree up. Unlike Hulk, when that didn’t work we walked around it.

Katy Trail 2015

This was a few trees down, we had to go over them.

Katy Trail 2015

Somehow I wrecked for the first time in what is now six years.

Katy Trail 2015

Laura had clip in pedals and fell over once and then later a strange string of events happened.

Tony hit a stick with his bike moving it to a weird angle, Laura hit the stick awkwardly and her tires flew out from under her (which gave her huge bruise on her butt).

Shari looks back while stopping to check on her and her leg goes into the big gear at the front of the bicycle and starts squirting blood out like a fountain. We try and stop it and at first it doesn’t work. Tony rips up a t-shirt (his good one) and ties it on, bleeding stops.

crash

Doesn’t look like much when the fountain is turned off.

Katy Trail 2015

Katy Trail 2015

Shari rides rest of the way (tough woman) and along the way prays that we’ll have a nurse. We get to the B&B and they have new owners, the wife is a retired critical care nurse answering her prayer.

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Because we rode through mud the tires made this line on everyone’s back. Heidi says it looks like Tony & I just ran right over them with our bikes.

Katy Trail 2015

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The next morning we our bikes rode the last 28 miles in the back of this truck.

Katy Trail 2015

On way back to KC we stopped for lunch in Columbia. As we headed back to the Interstate a van rushed through a light and hit this red car which was launched into the back of our car. It was pretty scary and set us back a few hours, but none of us were injured beyond a little whiplash like symptoms. God spared us and we’re thankful to be alive.

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We did meet this State Trooper who awesome. The red car was stuck to us and he was telling us to drive and we’ll drag it behind us. We were concerned it would pop off in the middle of the road. He responded, “Either way we’re screwed, let’s do it!” He then told us enthusiastically, “Let’s go for broke!” and ran off only to return a second later saying, “Not literally.” before running off again.

The car did pop off and he started pushing it and some guy jumped out of his car and started helping him. I forget how friendly people here in the midwest are. Here is video of them pushing the car.

 

And now a few more jumping pics cause that’s what we do on the Katy Trail.

Katy Trail 2015Katy Trail 2015Katy Trail 2015Katy Trail 2015

This isn’t our first rodeo…

…just our first without Brooks and Dunn, or Taylor Swift, or George Strait, or Chicago…

Growing up up in Houston, March meant Rodeo.  Which really just meant a lot of really great concerts came to town! The actual “rodeo” part was just the pre-show if you got there early. Not saying it wasn’t great to watch the bull riding, calf roping and barrel races but it’s not why we went to the rodeo.

So when we saw the K-State rodeo was coming to Manhattan, we were in!

I suggested we get there about 2 hours early…to look at all the booths, do the petting zoo, all that stuff. Enter Brian: realizing he needed to lower my expectations. “There will be no booths, or petting zoo. Or any other stuff Laura. There will only be what you would call ‘pre-show’.”

Well then, now that we are clear.

We put on our plaid shirts and boots and rode our bikes to the arena

Feb 2015

 

We still got there a little early…

Feb 2015

But eventually saw people we knew!! The Arnetts, Durretts and Thompsons had the same Saturday afternoon plan as us!

Feb 2015

Feb 2015

It was super fun to be sitting so close!

Feb 2015

Feb 2015

Feb 2015

Feb 2015

The most impressive part is that these were COLLEGE students!! They were incredible!

Feb 2015

Feb 2015

Feb 2015

Feb 2015I also learned a ton from Meredith, who did this in college. Here’s the guy who pushes the calfs out of the pin, honestly never thought about that…

Feb 2015
The girls (obviously) loved the Rodeo Queens

Feb 2015
Feb 2015
Feb 2015
Berkley’s preschool friend’s mom is the Rodeo queens’ sponsor, so we got to meet them! This is the KSU Queen and Junction Cities’. Super sweet girls who were so patient with the long line of girls! 
Feb 2015

Feb 2015

After any event, our kids “play” what it was for days. So we saw it coming when they got on their bikes and immediately told us they were horses. And then used the signs and trash cans as barrels to play “barrel racing”
Feb 2015

City of Manhattan Bicycle Progressive Dinner

May was Bicycle Month and the City of Manhattan had a lot of fun events planned! The last one was a Bike Progressive Dinner that was open to all ages!


Great people on the Bike Progressive Dinner. Plus more than willing to throw their hands up. #mhk #manhattanks #bikemonth

 

We met in Triangle Park in Aggieville

Manhattan Bike Month Progressive Dinner 2014

Manhattan has a Bike Progressive Dinner. Love this town. #mhk #manhattanks

Manhattan Bike Month Progressive Dinner 2014

Manhattan Bike Month Progressive Dinner 2014

Manhattan Bike Month Progressive Dinner 2014

Our house is up a hill, so although it’s super easy and fast to get places, it’s a harder, slower ride home. But this day Beckham cruised up the hill (he didn’t walk his bike at all…even I have yet to pull that off!) so I tried to keep up with him and Brian stayed with Sadie. They made a fun stop at Kimball Castle

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Sadie Piper found a rope swing at Kimble Castle. #mhk #manhattanks

How My Bicycling Has Changed

I’ve struggled to figure out bicycling here. I’ve not rode much in our first year and that’s been sad for me since I have always considered it a bit of a therapy in my life. In KC the trails are amazing, I felt safe on them, but not on the roads.

Here the only trail is 10 miles long, made of crushed limestone and often under a layer of mud in some places. I’ve rode it many times, but it’s tougher. I ride gravel roads some, but that’s tough too.

Then a week or two ago Joe Catudal took me on a ride around Ft Riley. I was about to pass out at the end, but I loved it. It was adventurous and just fun, I needed that.

It also gave me confidence that riding on the roads outside of town here are a very different experience than riding roads in the suburbs of Kansas City. Cars don’t pass often, they have plenty of space to pass and the views are like something found on the Katy Trail.

So recently  feeling safer on the roads after the ride with Joe I went east on Zeandale to 99, south to Wamego and back to Manhattan. I think I’ve finally found a new way to ride. The roads are like trails through the countryside. Plus, since my bike is a cyclocross I can adventure down the gravel roads I pass from time to time.

So if you’re reading this and are in Manhattan let me know if you ever wanna go for a ride. I’m slow, but it sure is fun.

Below are pictures of my bike from that ride. Laura thinks it’s weird that I take pictures of my bike rather than just the scenery. I agree, but don’t think I’ll stop.

#bicycle

 

 

Mailbox

This is a brick wall in St George.

 

I wish they were outside so I could ask about this. This is the front yard of someone in St George. Metal people in bathtub, one on the phone.

This is in “Downtown” Wamego

 

Bridge on Highway 99 just north of Wamego

 

In middle of fields growing corn was this huge pond thing that they pull sand out of. Just a crazy pile of sand from a distance.

This is the cemetery where the original members of the Beecher Bible & Riffle Church are buried.

Another interesting mailbox. 

 

and found some big corn.

 

 

Life on the Bicycle 2013

2013 was busy and I didn’t find as much time to get on the bike as I would like. I’ve missed it. Riding is a stress reliever that I just need more bicycle therapy in my life. Since I first rode off on that Iron Horse January of 2009 I’ve rode a total of 6,678 total miles. That’s the equivalent of riding from Los Angeles, up to Seattle, across to Boston, down to Orlando and then over to Austin, TX.

The move to Manhattan has changed the way I ride. In Johnson County there are over 50 miles of smooth paved pathways across the region, sidewalks on nearly every road and everything is spread out. To ride from home to Church was about 13 miles round trip. So there I rode less often since 13 miles required a bit more lead way So riding was mostly for leisure not real world transportation, taking my day off and spending three hours on the bike just going. I really enjoyed that, it was safe and smooth like being on rails and gave a sense that I was actually out of the suburbs and in the country.

In Manhattan there is one trail around town, it’s only 9 miles long and mostly crushed limestone. Makes riding slower for sure. However, everything is close in town. I can get to anywhere quickly even on a bicycle so I ride for transportation more often, but my miles are less. Plus we live at the top of a hill so the return home ride weighs a little in my head while I ride. When I want to adventure ride, it is literally “off the path” I leave town and find gravel roads that make for great adventures, but again slower and tougher riding.

Bicycling has been a sort of microcosm of our life right now. It’s not as smooth, it’s tough, it’s not as nice, but the adventure is great and I try not to compare life before to life now so much as just embracing the life we actually live, the life God has called us to. This is true on the bike as well. I try to forget those smooth trails in Overland Park and grow into my gravel grinding adventure style riding and the all around town commute riding. So anyway I know no one really cares about this, but it is fun for me to look back on so here are my stats for the year, second least miles I’ve ever ridden at 1,323 miles.

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I like to divide the year into thirds for a little perspective too. I rode most of my miles in the summer months. This year our family was split up since I still had responsibilities at Redeemer and we had sold our home and could not get into one in Manhattan yet. So Laura and kids went to Texas and I lived in the homes of vacationing Redeemer families which was a huge blessing to us. Anyway, without family I rode a bunch this summer.

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Here are some of my best bicycle memories this year.

First was being able ride our kids to school in Manhattan, We’ve never lived close enough to be able to do that before and the route is wonderful. I can’t wait until Spring so we can do this again. Here is a video with a great song of the trip, I think it is worth watching.

 

KATY TRAIL 

Tony and I rode the Katy Trail again this year which is always a great adventure.

For the second straight year we picked up these hotties along the way

They take a bunch of jumping pictures which cracks me up though I think Tony may feel differently about this tradition.

 You can see picture and read about the whole adventure here, Katy Trail 2013

 

LAST FAMILY RIDE IN OVERLAND PARK & OLATHE

We rode through construction to Church on a Sunday evening one last time. Along the way we ran into my summer intern Connor Lutz which was really fun.

You read that whole post here, Bicycling in Olathe with the Family

 

LAST INDIAN CREEK RIDE

There were a great deal of last this year and for me riding the Indian Creek Trail one last time was really sad. Although I loved bikes as a kid and mountain biking at the start of college it was here in Johnson County that I fell in love with Bicycling as an adult again. I miss the trail. Below is a picture I took with a timer, which might be worse than a selfie do to the effort involved. Here is rest of that ride.

 

FIRST MANHATTAN RIDE

It took me longer than I would have liked to get my first ride in, but it was nice, good chance to get a feel for the town and the surrounding areas. This place is beautiful and just a different pace of everything which is nice. It’s just one of the those places that feels under appreciated and we are grateful to be called to proclaim the Gospel here. Here is the post from that first ride, First Manhattan Ride

Here is last year’s post Life on the Bicycle 2012