Tuesday, November 24, 2015

ThNR - ABES Headquarters is Moving

This will be the last ThNR where we meet at the only ABES Headquarters site we've ever known.  So many of our hopes, dreams and cigarettes have been shared (and gone up in smoke) on that driveway.

Not to fret - the wheels will keep on rolling next week.
See you at 8.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

ThNR - Change of Venue

The ABES BARn has been reserved this Thursday which means we'll return to our old haunt and visit the new owners of the hotel bar.

See you at 8.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Best of MB CX 2015

Is Manitoba cyclocross the best or what?  Spending a day at a park, racing bikes with family and friends, it's the best!  So many good times.  Some of my favourite moments of the season include: the cx nationals weekend – so much good racing/people/beer/weather it was ridiculous, Trevor K's moustache is so magnificent it too is ridiculous, our double-header weekend had the good time vibes of a church picnic (without the churchy bits), Dark cross had the best course they’ve ever strung together, finishing a race with 5 ABES in a row was a fun race within the race, The Hinterlands Who's Who video, Jason using his inner Hulk to rip his handlebars off his bike (he’s soo angry), Paul finally winning a race against Huebner made PK's year, Dead Horse poutine (it tastes better than it sounds), not crashing, DNF’ing and/or DFL’ing at Crosstastic - for a change, not going to Portage, not being the race director, Oliver's sprint win and flaming barriers at dark cross, and my two races at the forks were greasy and fun.  The following is a collection of my best cross memories of 2015…

Best power couple – Danick and Oliver showed their redonkulous supremacy this year – holy crap these guys are fast and fun to watch.


Best new rivalry – the odd couple: Charlene V Sonia.  Lanky Charlene looks pained as Petite Sonia grins.  The rivalry grew more intense every week.



Best results that are true’ish - Joanne can now claim that she is a two time national cyclocross champion, winning last years Friday night open race and this years Sunday open race.  She won't mention the impressive results, but I like to.  Joanne, “You’re simply the best!” Tina Turner.


Best Shutterbugs - Dallas took pictures for a couple of days of racing and produced over 5000 pictures proving he’s as prolific with a camera as he is at heckling, talking, running, everything.  That guys motor is always on, and we love it.  If you have a week to kill, check out his pics on Facebook.  Greg McNeill whooped and yelled for people to show their stuff at nationals and the results are pretty cool.  Unforch, my stuff includes wheezing and gently rolling over the berm – not exactly highlight material.  Newcomer Andrew Rempel took a bunch of impressive aerial photos and videos in Rocktona that are hellacool, but it was rock and roll Rod Codwell who took pictures every week so he gets the top marks.  My only complaint is the Rod should be in a different race so I could see more pictures of me (don't judge).  Cheryl on the other hand loved the C race coverage.  Thanks to anybody that shared race pictures - it's greatly appreciated.

Best heckle moment – Tie: the double ABES mooning of racers at Nationals, yelling “bridge the gap”, and Paul Krahn crashing because he was distracted when his family gave him sass at Dark Cross.

Most entertaining rider - Ari Robinson – this dude is a rock star!  Racing to podium finishes, jumping and spinning over (flaming) barriers, hopping up stairs and doing wheelies up hills with one hand off the bike.

Ari crossed the finish line riding backwards on one wheel - like a boss.

Best It’s-not-a-bet-if-you-know-you’re-going-to-win bet - Altona V Stinkler – the most local riders at their respective cross race meant the losers donned the others jersey at Nationals.  Peter, Phil and Bob were good sports and looked great in green.  
It is easy being green.
Best course feature - sure I’m biased but for me it was the double meat grinder – According to my assumptions, this is a cyclocross world debut – seriously, prove me wrong.  The big mo-fo flyover at Nationals was super dope but Franklins integrated whirligig design messed with your mind.

The best cx moment of the year (and probably ever) - Lady of the lake, Cindy Brown loses control and rides her bike down the hill and into the water in Altona, falls in soaking herself.  Then sopping wet, she runs up the hill and races 2.5 more laps to take 2nd place.  Amazing.  It never occurred to me that somebody might do any of that.  Mind - blown.  Right f'n on!  Cindy, you are the best!
Honourable mention goes Anna who continue to inspire and impress cx fans by sprinting to a 5th place finish in Morden.  How amazing was that?!

So many good people and good times. 

Gavin "fake phone number" Faurschou
I know i'm missing a boatload of goodness - If you remember other notable high/lowlights?  Post it for giggles.  JS

Thursday, November 5, 2015


The weather is very Vancouvery these days.  Maybe biking will brighten my spirits - that or the Jets beating the Senators.  Maybe biking after the Jets game?  
See you at 8.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


The good vibe meter is going off the charts these days...I'm still buzzing from our cx double header, a sexy new prime minister to give me hope, and a cx party on the horizon with an amazing looking course.  Krampus took this picture today of a sweet new flyover...
I can't wait to ride that (twss)

See you at 8 for the ThNR.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Planet of the ABES Highlights

That double header was a real gooder!  Well done team!

Race results for Saturday and Sunday can be found here.

Here are a few of my memories of a great weekend...

The best Are you freakin’ kidding me?! moment - at the bottom of the big off camber section on the hill, CB lost control, cycled through the tape, into the pond and fell chin deep into the water before getting up and racing 2 more laps - props CB - you are the best!  

I looooved that the right little dude won the kids bike...
Owen Borland won a sweet new bike from the Altona Farm Service - he was pumped!

Andrew Rempel submitted these hella-cool aerial photos and videos of the course...

Videos can be seen here and here.

The sandpit, barriers and railway ties proved challenging - all taking their share of crashes.   Jason “the Morden Motor” Wiebe ripped his handlebars off his bike during the A race because he can, Franky had a sweet nose wheelie/header because he can't, Oliver and Danick impressed a bunch of locals showing what wicked fast cyclists look like, the Pioneer Meat Food Truck, the delicate call of the vuvuzela, getting beer coupons continues to make people happy, Steve Scoles continued to delight the crowds on Saturday while Dwight N was sassing riders with his MC duties on Sunday, Paul and Cheryl medalled at Provincials, Gavin was burping up farmers sausage poutine during his race, cinnamon buns and coffee were a welcomed addition, Davids course was challenging and fun, Shauns mugs were coveted, Mia kicked butt in her first Open race, Elliot won his first cross race, Frankys double meat grinder blew minds and Country Cycle was generous enough to help us promote our club at the CX Nationals - Huzzah!

A boatload of people worked to make it all happen but it was Paul Krahn who pulled it all together – Thanks Paul!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

ABES Bulletin

The Planet of the ABES weekend is nearing and we’re getting ready to provide some southern hospitality.   
Photo credit: Alex Remhardt

Thursday – 5:00 - lend your muscles and help install the stairs on the course.  8:00 – ThNR.

Friday – Course set-up.  David will be at the course before noon and I’ll be there after lunch, others will join us after work.  Get there when you can and help set up the course.

Saturday – races start at 11:30 so we’ll need to finalize the course, set-up registration, prizes, the curling club, etc., etc., etc.  Get there early and lend a hand.  Work will need to be done throughout the entire day so find Paul K and ask him how you can help.  He'll be the guy sweating.

Sunday – See Saturday.  Add: post-race clean-up, noting how we can improve things for 2016, and celebrate that Country Cycle racers will have the honour of wearing our sweet jerseys at CX Nationals.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Salsa Ormageddon Report

The morning of Friday October 9th saw Steven and I set out for Crosby, MN.  Giddy as schoolgirls, yes.  We were going to Cuyuna!  To race!  And it was a 50 miler!  Wait....what?  50 Miles of MTN biking?  Are we insane?

Steven makes sure the precious cargo is secure.

Six hours and many discussions later we arrived.  To the sweet Cuyuna singletrack AND the conclusion that we were indeed insane.  Foregoing a check-in at our hotel we headed straight for the Main parking lot to get in some practice riding.  The devoted Cuyuna MTB Crew was out in full force, doing what they do best: providing us with awesome. 

Race organizer Joshua was out on Miner's Mtn. setting up the course.

One guy looking confident for the race and one guy looking like he's just crapped his pants thinking about it   

Gratuitous ass shot.

Warmed up and ready we dashed into Town, eager to pickup our race bags.  Heading into the CI Pub in lovely Ironton we came across this sharp unit, property of the local HS team.  Frankie?  One for the ACES?

The volunteers at the Pub helped us out, got us waiver-ed and registered and we sat down to some Pub burgers and a few beverages.  Note:  ABES, the CI Pub has New Belgium on tap.

 To the hotel, check-in, few nerve tonics before bed and we're done.  

Race day.  We got there over an hour before the start and parking was packed.  We ended up close to a half mile down the road.  We arrived at the start area to a ton of cyclists, hanging out and gearing up. 

Steven looks race ready.  I can barely hold my phone.

Last minute details were sorted out, things explained, and a stirring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner was played by these young punks.  They kinda rocked it.

Us 50 Milers (typing that still seems weird) were sent off first.  There were two waves and we were both in wave two, meaning that once wave one had passed a certain checkpoint they sent us off.  So what do 205 MTN bike racers look like?

Look closely, we're in that mass of humanity.

Essentially the race could be broken down into two sections.  The first 12.5 miles was a long out to the West end of the trails and then snaked through parts (or all) of Boot Camp, Mucker Mountain, Little Sidewinder, Sand Hog, Hopper Hill, Low Grade, Miner's Mountain, Chute, Trammer, Crusher and Easy Street.  NO, not ALL trails were utilized.  And the organizers combined trail via logging roads so sometimes it was hard to figure out exactly where you were.  AND, a few trails actually ran sections backwards so....it kinda messed you up.  But there was a legion of volunteers out on the trails and they always pointed you in the right direction.  Not once was I confused about "where to go", even if I couldn't answer "where am I".  This section concluded when you got back to the main parking lot.

The second section headed out from the parking lot and went the length of Drag Line, crossed the HWY and dove into Haul Road, the took the actual road up to the Yawkey Unit.  Bobsled, Tugger and Trout, Man Cage, Skip, back to Man Cage and back to Haul Road.  Then it was back to the HWY and the MN State Trail back to the parking lot.  This was now 25 miles total.  So, we did that twice.

The Race.  Wow.  You'll have to ask Steven his perspective as I can only share mine.  I do know this about his race.  He's fast, but it was painful.  He rocketed across the line at 4 hrs 11 minutes.  Whoa.  He said he was feeling good all race and just had to Giv'r.  SO awesome Steven!

Steven chasing down St. Nicholas.

Now, my race.  It was slower.  But equally painful.  The huge mass start broke up fairly well thanks to the first mile or so of snowmobile trail.  Two ruts available to help everyone thin out and find their own pace.  I could still see Steven at this point!  Once we hit the singletrack things started to logjam, depending on who was in front of you.

You stared at a lot of this once we hit singletrack.

It felt alright as far as pace for me but the guy in front of me was definitely slower at descents.  Good thing he totally lost me every time we climbed!  I was keeping pace with a dude from Bismarck, behind me on a fatbike, so we chatted it up for the first while.  Very good for getting the nerves out.  After that it was just head down and ride.

Scared or constipated.  Most likely both.
The trails are so awesome and fun the first section went by quickly.  Always someone in view, lots of fun and flow, and the legs were feeling good.  My thoughts were "I can do this!"  I was feeling great first time through the parking lot and didn't even stop to grab food.  Keep going I thought, time is definitely of the essence.  The cut-off of 1:30PM loomed in my head and I wanted to make sure I could make it.  Smooth sailing kept me going right through until after Bobsled when I took a short stop for a granola bar from my jersey pocket.  As I munched and cheered those passing me a familiar jersey came into sight.  A voice rang out..."ABES!"  I returned the call..."Country Cycle!"  Always good to see another 'Nuck out there!

The rest of Lap One went by seamlessly.  Back at the start/finish the volunteers guided me back onto the course and after a brief stretch stop (my back had started stiffening early on) it was back on the course.  Ahhhh Lap Two.  Such a sweet seductress.  Lap One lulls you into thinking you're awesome.  Lap Two grinds you up and defecates you back to reality.  By Lap Two you're mostly riding solo with an occasional rider catching or being caught. About 2 miles into Lap Two I started feeling bonky.  We all know the feeling.  No problem, stop and have a nutrition break.  Oh oh.  At this point I discovered my saddle bag had apparently been left open and everything except a solitary spare tube was gone.  Not cool.  I knew that sustenance was a full 10+ miles of hard, hard trail away.  Things were looking bleak.  So I soldiered on.  I could have dropped out at one of the designated "Lag Wagon" sites.  Or I could have lolly-gagged it back and let the time cut-offs catch me in their net.  Nope.  I came here to finish this motherfucker and that's exactly what I planned on doing.  So I sucked it up and just kept going.  It was all getting a bit blurry but in particular I remember my second meeting with Miner's Mtn.  It really kicked my ass.  I was close to breaking.  It was at this point that a woman went by me, grannying slowly but surely, and yelled something encouraging.  I don't remember what she said but I smiled.  Yeah, I can.  So I did.

The parking lot.  Oh sweet Jebus it looked so good!  I pulled into the feed zone and a kindly volunteer handed me a banana and a water bottle.  As I inhaled them I mumbled for more food and he produced peanut butter sandwiches.  No food ever tasted so good.  These people are amazing!

I proceeded to eat 5 PB&J sandwiches, a banana, an orange, a Red Bull, a Gatorade and some Coke.  Oh, and some water.  I was saved.  And I was doing well within the cutoff time!  So back out I went.

The last section was awesome.  A full belly (and lots of belches) and I was a new rider.  I cruised through the remaining trails and hammered home to finish in 5 hours and 37 minutes.  IT felt really good.  It still does.  I doubt anyone had less faith in me finishing than myself and thankfully I proved myself wrong. 

Post race.  After some self-congratulatory hugs with Steven it was back to the hotel, clean up, and off to the after party.  This wasn';t as easy as it sounds.  After 50 miles of singletrack your body doesn't feel like doing an after party.  It doesn't feel like getting up off the hotel bed.  Yet we did and had a great time.  The CI Pub hosted us once again, fed us, and provided an endless supply of tasty beers.  Good people and good times. 

Aaron, the main man of all the Cuyuna MTB Crew greatness.

Yes! Finishing 150th gets you a podium trip and a super deluxe belt buckle!

The Pistol Whipping Party Penguins got the party going.

Aaron and Salsa Cycles rep. Mike doling out the prizes.

The famed Cuyuna Yeti came out of hibernation early, solely for this occasion.
Good times?  Fantastic times!  You (yes YOU) should put this event on your calendar for next year.  Steven and I bemoaned that the only thing to make this better would have a been a bigger contingent of ABES.  Next year gents.

Respectfully submitted,



Steven and I checked out the new True North Basecamp as we exited Crosby Sunday morning.  While not as far along as we'd have guessed the site has great potential.  The six rental huts have their own shower building next door and are fairly spacious, easily holding a family or 4-6 adults.  And its so close to town!  Remember the High School?  Well its basically right behind there.  Very nice location.  The campsites are up the hill which spirals up a driveway to a large open are at the top, holding 6 campsites.  This would be sweet for a group outing.  Sites 28-32, remember that.  Here are some pics.

The view of the lower campsites from the top.

Overlooking Crosby/Ironton.

The hilltop sites.