Thursday, May 29, 2014


Several months ago, Jason had this totally awesome idea for raising awareness about the Red Oak office within Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture.  You see, for most of the firm, Red Oak is akin to what Nebraska is to most New Yorkers.  They know it exists and imagine a few good things (like steaks) come out of it, but have they actually been there?  Definitely not.

As anyone who's made a marathon trek across the country can testify, there's nothing that helps you appreciate a place more than experiencing all the road between.  So thanks to Jason's brilliant scheming, on May 17th more than a dozen bikers made the 55 mile trek between the Omaha and Red Oak offices with the inaugural "Romahoak" ride. 

Jason designed this super-spiffy logo.  If you look carefully, the biker is made up of O2O, standing for Office 2 Office.  Wish we all had such artistic talent!

New to the firm, but already paving new ground.

Planning the event was a lot of work.  Jason designed a nifty website where you could register as an APMA Chopper (55 miles), You-Could-Do-Worser (35 miles), Training Wheeler (10 miles), or Party Animal (Just the Barbecue.)  If you have a moment, check it out and click around.  I particularly like the map he created.

At the beginning of May, Jason led a smaller group (the Crash Test Dummies) on a test ride.  Despite some wet and cold weather leading up to their ride, the sun shone brightly and they had a great time.   We worried a bit that we'd used up all of our good fortune, but May 17th was equally splendid.  The weather was perfect, the barbecue delicious, the participants all safe and happy--we couldn't have asked for anything better.

Congratulations on a job superbly done, Jason!  Romahoak is lucky to have you.

Marty at a pit stop in Malvern, Iowa.  I was lucky enough to cheer everyone on at a few stopping points along the way as I commandeered the Honda Odyssey sag wagon.

Jason dismounts, smiling a bit bigger thanks to his cushy new biker shorts with extra padding.

John and Steve trek in across the Wabash trail.  John (from Kenya) is a fellow architect and running partner while Steve (from around the corner) keeps the technology running.

The crew coasts into Emerson.

Alley Poyner Macchietto has a fantastic biking culture in their office, led by Michael Alley who once spent the entire summer cycling with his family from coast to coast.  While Michael couldn't make it (his first grandbaby was born the night before in Texas), the group was inspired to keep pedaling by Erin and her legs of steel.

Live Well Omaha guru, Madison.

Her boyfriend Scott.

Steve's looking strong.

Only appropriate that Ben, organizer of Omaha's own B Cycle program, should join us for the day.

Jason pauses to fuel up with a banana as Lynn and Steve look on.  Lynn and Steve share office space (and swap stories of coyotes) with Jason in Red Oak.  They were kind enough to help pick up people and bikes half way through.

Kylie says, "Say Cheese!"

Back in Red Oak, a group assembled around the main square, waiting for the bikers to arrive.  As luck would have it, we even had local musical entertainment.

Talia blows some bubbles as she waits.
Daric, Jason's Iowa cohort, fires up the grill.

Here's Daric's wife Jill, pictured with two of their three gorgeous daughters.  Jill and Daric were great Red Oak hosts, especially when it came to organizing the food.
Eli plays with a few bubbles of his own...

...then decides he needs a drink.

Meanwhile, NomiAnn does her best to keep Annika out of the fountain.  We were so thankful that she and Papa K babysat all morning and came out for the barbecue in the afternoon.  We never could have made it work without their help.

At long last, the group makes it in to Red Oak. 

Huge smiles all around.

The delicious barbecue was the perfect finale.
Ride Romahoak, may you be the bright start of a sweaty, dusty, and rewarding tradition!


Julie L said...

impressive! The logo is really awesome and what a great idea. Was it just employees on the ride or opened up to the community?

Kara said...

Great question, Aunt Julie. This year the ride was primarily open to employees and those who found out about it via word of mouth. In future years it will likely be opened up to the community and could grow substantially in size. Exciting and slightly terrifying at the same time...

Laurie said...

I'm in awe : you guys are Amazing. Period.