Thursday, December 31, 2009

NY Eve Eve report

Charles, Giles, James, Myron, Paul and I biked into the bitter winds, went to the nature park for rounds of knockdowns, slow races and skid contests. Giles slipped on some ice and fell hard on the road, James toppled into a snow bank after his marathon skid, Myron tested his new studded tire, beers washed down the salty popcorn, Paul doesn’t drink beer anymore and is a long-shot for anything (just the way he likes it). Conversations bounced between 3-D movies, deep fryers, posters, bike gear, jerseys, Bombers and New Years plans. No pictures were taken. Good times.

Speaking of New Years plans, Giles is determined to squeeze in one more ride in 2009. I've heard others will attend. I’m not sure of the time so unless you hear otherwise, meet at the same ABES time and place. I believe it was a New Years Eve ride that saw the emergence of the now infamous, cage match knockdown contest. I’ve never matched the success I had those first years on my cruiser bike with the sweet front basket. We’ll see if any new games emerge from this years ride.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Years Eve Eve ride

People probably have plans for new years eve, so hows abouts a new years eve eve ride? We could peruse the new and improved landscape of our fair hamlet following the holiday snowfest, goof around the nature park and get un-Grumpy at the clubhouse. Meet at ABES headquarters on Wednesday at 9:00 for a pre-ride warm up. JS

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Remember that/I can hardly wait

As the inaugural year of ABES comes to a close a lot of action went down. We formed a new club (see group photo), finally settled on a name, logo*, rode and raced and collectively bought a shwack of bikes. I’d say the first year was dynamite! A brief summary of this years goodness:

7 alley cat races

MS fundraiser race

The biggest cyclocross race in Manitoba history

1 Kermesse

1 Winter bike festival

Track races

Road rides

1 nordic cross

Countless (I’m too lazy to count) group rides

New bikes purchased by: JS, Charles, Shaun, Gavin, Jeff (2), Paul D-bag, Dan, Giles, and Tom (am I forgetting anybody?).

The fun will only get more awesome in 2010 (the year is even more fun to say 20-10) with more of the same and a bunch of new bike goodness.

In the ABES fashion file: A winter bike jersey is in the works...

It's a draft of how the jersey will look. I think it looks great. It’s the same company that made my Nordic Cross jersey and I love the one I have. They’ll cost about 100 bones and are worth every penny so save your grandma’s Christmas money now. The jerseys are made from merino wool…

I’m not sure if we can meet the minimum 25 jersey requirement so please let me know if you would like to purchase this fine piece of cycling wear. It might be the nicest piece of clothing you own.

Bikes are awesome,


Christmas eve eve ride report

Beautiful night for riding. The riders were Dan, Bruce, Steve and myself. We started the ride with one or two stiff eggnogs and sharing our upcoming bike shopping lists. We followed the nog with a serious noodle around town. We ran into Tom who used to ride bike before he developed scaredoftheices. Too bad. Good luck with that Tom. We also found a couple of skating rinks to practice our rockford files 180 skids. This week I was the only one to climb the hill at the nature park and Dan won the ice skid contest. This ride pushed Dan over the 7000 kilometer mark for 2009. When I said Lorne was dedicated last week I must have been talking out of my A because Dan is the man - Atta boy Dan, that's awesome! The clubhouse conversation included the wonderment and love of bikes, why bikes are so awesome and why they make the world a better place. Bruce also reported that Back Alley Cycle has sold 44 new bikes. That's great news. Good times boys.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Thursday night ride: Wednesday edition

T'was the night before the night before Christmas,
and all through the streets,
skinny tires were rolling
from the power of feets.

Seeing as riding bike is so awesome, we should ride bike. The weather looks promising and we should maintain our weekly constitution. Meet at ABES headquarters for rum and eggnog (or pepsi) at 9:00, we'll leave shortly after. T'will be a wonderful night of merriment. JS

Friday, December 18, 2009


The group was large, especially for a crisp December evening. Nine riders took part in a spirited ride around our fair town. Minus our fearless leader (striken by some grave illness yet looking quite fetching in his plaid pajama pants) we struck out on our familiar cruise of Altona's well maintained streets (kudos to Mr. Steven Wiebe). Charles, Dan, Steve, James, Lorne, Jeff, Shaun, Gavin and myself set a fine, even pace as we braved the cool evening temps and managed a beautiful nights ride.

Ending up at the usual finale we partook of our beverages and conversed freely on varying subjects...elementary school report cards, mortgage brokers, quinzys, Tough Duck gloves, Saskatchewan "turnovers", past races and many other stimulating topics. A good time was had by all.

Charles showing off his new Jamis Nova Pro cyclocross bike. That dude is going to be killer fast.
Dan (orange vest) spent his 21 wedding anniversary with the boys.
Lorne is as dedicated as they get.

Respectfully submitted,

El Presidente

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

ABES Nordic Cross #2 - Christmas edition

Will there be a shiny new bike under your tree or a case of pre-punctured tubes?

No ABES have stepped forward to organize the December Nordic Cross and Thursdays in December look busy (xmas eve and new years eve). Another race is definitely in order before I stuff my pie hole with Christmas goodies (M'mmm pie).

Anyway - so far I’ve got...

ABES Nordic Cross #2 Christmas edition.

December 17 at 9:00.

The race will be in partners.

The race will go for 1 hour.

The course will be awesome.

I'll post more information as soon as I figure it out.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Thursday night ride report

Keeping cozy and warming up (smoking) before the Thursday night ride.

Shawn, Dan, Paul, Curt T and I bundled up for a ride around town. Curt was the only rider who managed to climb the hill, we raced on the ice at the pond, rode through snow drifts, and back and forth in town before retiring to the clubhouse to talk about winter clothes, pottery sales and our winter bike festival. We were unfortunate to find Karaoke tunes blaring. Why do they crank the music so loud? I don’t get it. All I want to do is drink beer and visit and it sounds like they’re trying to start a rave. I like having music playing but the volume is ridiculous. Are they trying to attract the dance party Mennonite crowd? The bar is filled with dudes drinking beer and playing VLT’s and they crank the techno-shit to 11. Am I the only one that finds it all confusing? The music should be southern rock and led zeppelin (greatest rock band ever). My rant is over - for now.

If you want to prepare for the goodness that is the Altona Winter Bike Festival, check out this upcoming event put on by Woodcock Cycles. It takes place at the Belgian Club so the suds and the fries/mayo should be delightful.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thursday night ride

Last week’s temperatures were a mere prelude to the cold that winter can bring. This week promises to be the real deal. Long underwear, balaclavas, ski goggles and electric blankets may be in order. Same ABES place, Same ABES time. I dare you to show up. JS

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Altona winter bike festival

The date has been set for Saturday, March 6. This year will feature roller racing...

The fine folks at Woodcock cycles are bringing their roller racers to Altona for some winter fun. Right on! Check out the video to see what it's all about.

The fun will also include rink dogs, a slow race, relay race, home baked prizes, and the Duke V North Carolina basketball game. This event is off the grid/hook. JS

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thursday night ride

Altona was hit with a beautiful blanket of snow. The first snowfall is the best time to ride your bike across yards, fields, and through drifts; the snow is soft and waiting to be tagged.
If you've never ridden bike in winter it's hard to believe how much traction you have and how the exercise keeps you warm. Finding the right balance of clothing takes some trial and error. Fortunately for us no matter how far our ride takes us we're never more than 10 minutes away from home and a change of clothes.
How many ABES have the what it takes to ride all winter? Are we fair-weather or all-season? TIme will tell who has the nards and who prefers daintier pursuits.
The Thursday night ride is on. See you fellers at my pad on Thursday at 9:00.
Any volunteers to plan the December Nordic Cross? Just set a date, plan a course and the fun will follow. JS

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ontario bike ride

I managed to spin the wheels for a couple of hours today. I passed such places as Balls Falls, Grimsby, Effingham and Butterballs; so I spent a lot of time giggling. I tried some mountain bike trails with my cross bike and was grateful to survive without getting a flat. We're flying back home tomorrow. Not as much time on the bike as I had hoped. Life and other joys/responsibilities have a way of filling up a day. I'm still glad I brought my bike. Westjet flies bikes for free. Good to know. JS

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday Night Non-Ride report

A beautiful night for a ride (as previously posted).

But also a beautiful night to attend the Winnipeg premiere of the new flick, The Road.

Cousin Tom and I scored some free passes (thanks Free Press!) and settled into our second row seats for the show. Don't sit in the second row. No neck rests at Grant Park. Sore neck.

As for the followed the plot of the book quite closely. Which is good. And in my opinion, also bad. Since first reading this novel (by Cormac McCarthy) two years ago I have found myself drawn back to it twice for re-reading. I must say its vaulted into a safe place on my all-time Top Ten book list. Which is to say I expected a lot from the film and it kinda delivered. It stayed true...good. The book doesn't lend itself to being adapted into a movie...bad.

All in all it was a decent film. But the book, as always is better.

Tom may disagree, but we'd both like to hear from someone who saw the movie and hasn't read the book.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thursday report - Ontario edition

My mom says I'm cool!

I took a long ride today. Started out sniffing some trails at St. Catherines, then decided to see if I could find Niagara Falls. I have a terrible sense of direction and no map so I relied on directions from strangers. The directions ranged from wrong to helpful and I meandered the highways, byways, and trails of Southern Ontario until I found my destination. The thing that amazes me about Niagara Falls is that it's a world wide attraction. The falls themselves keep my attention for about 1 minute, but the amount of people that flock there is amazing. Oh well, not everybody loves bikes either. I ended up putting about 125 km's on the bike and finished the ride with a couple of beers at the Jordan Hotel. Tomorrow we celebrate Christmas. JS

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thursday night ride

Who wants to go for a spin?

I'm out for the Altona ride. Meet at the usual place and time.

We flew to southern Ontario to spend time with mom and dad Koop. I brought my new bike. The riding possibilities are incredible here. The niagara escarpment is beautiful, the wineries are plentiful, the country roads are paved, smooth, picturesque and quiet. The forecast is for drizzles but I won't be deterred. I heart holidays. JS

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Maximum shenanigans indeed

Check out this awesome/crazy X race video...
Found on this sweet site.

Nordic Cross report

A small but enthusiastic group came to the Bike, Drink and be Wary Nordic Cross race. Dan, Jeff, Giles and I started the race and Mike joined in two laps down. The Biking consisted of riding as many laps of a route at West Park School. A lap took about 2.5 minutes and covered the perimeter, the dirt hump, the long-jump sand pit, noodling around trees and on the cement pad. The Drink portion allowed riders to earn a lap for any carbonated beverage consumed. The Wary was not heeded by Mike who ripped his pants riding through the sand pit, and Giles who fell twice in the sand, one time over his handlebars breaking a spoke in the process. I completed the most laps (and drank a beer) for the win, followed by Jeff, Giles, Dan and Mike who were drinkless in the loss (a shame). Good times.

If anybody is looking for a fun ride, the local motox track is awesome. They've dug out a bigger pond and used the dirt for some massive track improvements. The kids track is fun too but the adult course is packed and ready for bicycle fun. I highly recommend giving it a spin. JS

Monday, November 16, 2009

ABES Nordic Cross # 1

Bike, Drink and be Wary
Race details: Thursday, November 19, 9:00 at ABES headquarters (not 7:00 like previously reported).
Bring enough cans/bottles of anything carbonated (wink).
A relay race on a set course. Lights would be a good idea.
Bragging rights are on the line. See you then. JS

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Kildonan park pictures

A couple of sweet pics from this dude from The Last Cross Race of the Season.

Jonny G showing fine form on the barriers.

Paul Benson has skills.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday night report

The dudes: David, Steve, Paul B, Lorne, and I. The ride: 21 klicks in town, gravel roads, and gravel paths. The clubhouse: Add Tom and Duke. The beers disappeared quickly. We talked about some stuff, ate extra salty popcorn, rehydrated + +, mocked those that didn’t show up, mocked those that did. It was awesome.

Nordic Cross. Unseasonably delightful weather will allow us to ride without snow. That's fine with me. The first race of the new season will be a straight forward course made for given'r. No entry fee, no spoke cards, just lung busting, leg burning fun. The beers are going to be extra tasty. JS

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thursday night ride

Meet at the headquarters at 9, we'll wait for Duke and leave at 9:15. You know, the norm. JS

Monday, November 9, 2009

Drop bars not bombs

Yo bro's. The weather is beautiful and the ABES should take full advantage of the upcoming holiday. Is anybody interested in an early Wednesday afternoon bike ride/race? Maybe a fire and dogs? Let me know who's interested and who wants to do what. JS

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thursday night ride

This would be a sweet addition to the ABES fleet. A bike with a two keg bar, pizza holder and stereo system.

Thursday night ride is a go. Meet at ABES headquarters at 9:00 and we'll spin around our fair hamlet. See you then - suckas! JS

Monday, November 2, 2009

Turn, turn, turn

ABES Alleycat Champs:

Halloween alleycat - Lorne and Steve

Who doesnt like Monopoly alleycat - David

Harvest conucopia meddellienjekaut - James and Dan

Oh Canada! alleycat - James

Sign of the times alleycat - Johnny

Star Wars alleycat - Gavin

Hope over fear alleycat - Mark and Giles

7 races, 9 different winners. Awesome times. James managed an extra half-win with Dan. Must be the stache.

It was an awesome race series that will be brought back for spring. The focus will now shift to the other season - winter. The nordic race series is an urban cross theme. Race organizers plan a race route and may or may not throw in any sort of absurdity they wish. Simple race or ridiculous options, single, teams or relay, food and/or beer. As long as there are ABES there will be FUN. The ABES Nordic Cross series runs from November - March. The first race of the series will be November 19 at 7:00. Clear your calendars, find your wool socks and get ready for our first winter of riding, drinking and drinking. Good times. JS

Friday, October 30, 2009

Alley Cat Results

I think the winner picture says it all. It was a crappy night but 6 die-hards took to the street of Altona(Lorne, Steve B., Tom, Bruce, Johnny and Shawn). 1 Team finshed all the clues and came back with a sheet of paper that could be read. There were some lost papers, egg covered hands, lost pens and Tom blew out a tire but had time to go home change and talk to his mom on the phone before heading over to my garage. The garage included copious beers and smoke and visits from Steve's dad, Miron and Steven W. Thanks for coming out, it was a fun night.

Thanks Steve for the beer.

Thanks to the folks who contributed clues.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday Night Alley Cat

Some clues are in. 3 People have a slight advantage but not much. Meet at the regular place at 7 p.m. and the race will finish up at my place 46 4th Ave SE where we can sit in my garage for drink. Bring a flashlight and unfortunately maybe a rain jacket.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thursday Night Alley Cat

I am trying to put together an Alley Cat for Thusday night @ 7 pm. We were talking about everyone sending in a clue to me at and I will put them together and maybe add some if necessary. If you send in a clue please provide an explanation so I know where it is or what we are looking for. Since Halloween is coming up you can have a Halloween slant on it if you like.

Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks Gavin

Friday, October 23, 2009

Southern Cross makes the front page

Check out what the Red River Valley Echo had to say here. It may not be factual, or the first time you've read portions of it, but its good publicity. JS

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thursday night ride

Thursday night ride - check.

Halloween massacre alleycat? Could be a good idea. Gavin to coordinate some sort of gruesome fun. Look for details. JS

Southern Cross housekeeping

Last of the lost and found - The gloves, travel thermos and toque need to find their owners.
Hammer time - an orange handled hammer is missing. Let me know if you have it.
Any items not claimed in a week can be found at the MCC. JS

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Southern Cross report

Well done boys and girls. The day was awesome. 132 riders! 132 freakin riders!! (We had roughly 60 riders the first year and 80 last year). The bar has been set high for next year.

The C race had 11 riders challenging themselves. Lorne H has been quoted as trying to set the bar low in C - atta boy Lorne. Hopefully all the C’ers will find themselves in the B race next year. Tanner Hamm won the C, then rode and won the kids race.

The kids had 51 riders! We had to split the group in two to make the lives of the commissaires manageable. It was a good problem. Next year we’ll plan on two kids races.

The B race had 45 riders. A slight issue with the flagging tape sent the first three riders of the race in the wrong direction. They did get turned around and sent in the right direction. It did not effect their standings but it did make for some tense drama. The best race within the race that I noticed was between Bruce and Paul. They were neck and neck until Bruce wiped out in the mud, lost his chain and enough time that it was too difficult to recover. If it's not the mud its the climbs, or the sand, or the barriers, or the trees, or the some flagging tape that snaps off and sends you in the wrong direction.

The A race had 25 riders suffer for 65-75 minutes. Paul Benson took the gold, Olli Hyytianen was the best in sand, and Luc Antaya was the best over the barriers. These boys put on a good show of speed, power, finesse and endurance. All hail the A racers. You are insane.

The turnout at the curling club amazed me too. It was standing room only. The Southern Cross IPA ran out waaay too soon. We’ll triple the order next year. The A winners received a huge glass/vase of beer, farmer sausage, a trophy from Ken Loewen (the oldest rider at 66 - way to go Ken!), and some cash for their efforts. Cash and/or prizes/meat were doled out to the other race category winners.

BIG thanks to our Triple Platinum Sponsors for making the race possible. The double and single platinum sponsorships were appreciated too, but Back Alley Cycle, Pioneer Meats and Sawatzky and Sons Electric really stepped up to the plate to help make the race the biggest cyclocross event the province has ever seen!

Thanks also to everybody for helping set-up/clean-up, Colin and Arlene for being awesome commissaries (or as Cheryl calls them - connoisseurs), Darryl and Vic for the sound system, Tom and Derrick for registration, David and Duke for serving drinks, Jonny and Charlene for the beer effort, hat display and course work, Hal for hauling barriers/pylons from Winnipeg, Huebner for countless hours of hard work with insurance, course work, creative poster work, advertising and many unnoticed details.

Race results found here.

Deluxe race video by Darryl NB found here.

More photos from a local dude here.

Johnny " not racing felt like planning a kegger and having to be the designated driver" Sawatsky

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Who likes awesome?

The weather is going to cooperate, the barriers have been made, the course has been marked, the cowbells are ready to be rung, the beers are chilling at the curling club, an A race trophy has been obtained and the 6-pack is waiting to be cursed. This is going to be awesome!
The final 10% of the race will be set up Sunday morning 9'ish. Any ABE is invited to come and help get the party started.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sunday hymnal

Huebner has put together a juicy playlist for the big show. That guy is awesome.

Blackfoot, Train Train
Allman Brothers, Whipping Post
Drive-By Truckers, Let There Be Rock
Southern Culture On The Skids, Fried Chicken And Gasoline
Ozark Mountain Daredevils, If You Wanna Get To Heaven
The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Tuff Enuff
Lynyrd Skynyrd, That Smell
Allman Brothers, Statesboro Blues
.38 Special, Hold On Loosely
Little Feet, Dixie Chicken
Georgia Sattelites, Keep Your Hands To Yourself
Two Dollar Pistols, Heartaches and Hangovers
Stevie Ray Vaughn, Pride And Joy
Molly Hatchet, Flirtin' With Disaster
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Freebird
Drive By Truckers, The Southern Thing
Black Oak Arkansas, Jim Dandy
Charlie Daniels, The Devil Went Down to Georgia
Steve Earle, Guitar Town
Robert Earl Keen, Copenhagen
Old Crow Medicine Show, Wagon Wheel
Greg Allman, I'm No Angel
ZZ Top, Tush
Blackfoot, Highway Song
.38 Special, Rockin Into The Night
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sweet Home Alabama
Molly Hatchet, Bounty Hunter
Allman Brothers, Rambling Man
Two Dollar Pistols, H***y Tonkitis
Southern Culture On The Skids, Voodoo Cadillac
Drive By Truckers, The Three Great Alabama Icons
.38 Special, Wild-Eyed Southern Boys
Allman Brothers, Midnight Rider
Fabulous Thunderbirds, Wrap It Up
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Gimme Three Steps
Black Crowes, Hard To Handle
Molly Hatchet, Whiskey Man
Steve Earle, Copperhead Road
Whiskeytown, Revenge
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Simple Man
Two Dollar Pistols, Bring the Heartache
Allman Brothers, Jessica
Drive By Truckers, Ronnie And Neil
Molly Hatchet, Gator Country

Thursday night ride report

A small ABES gathering rode around town and braved the Southern Cross course in the dark. Albert, Shawn, Tom, Jeff, Dan, Brent H (welcome back) and I enjoyed our bikes. The rain made things greasy on the course. We were joined by Myron, David and Derrick at the clubhouse to enjoy our beers.
Sunday is going to be a fun day. Any ABE is invited to help with the course set up on Saturday morning (9am – bring a big hammer) and course clean up (after the A race). If the weather cooperates we could see a lot of people racing and cheering at the park on Sunday. I can hardly wait. JS

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thursday night ride

Thursday night constitution? 9 bells at the ABES headquarters. JS

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wednesday night cross lab

The course has been mowed. We should check it out. Meet at my place at 6:30 and we'll give it a sniff.
If anybody wants to help set up the course, meet at the park on Saturday at 9 am. Bring a big hammer or hatchet with a blunt end.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The time is nigh for Southern Cross

Scott Penner grins about the sweet relief his farmer sausage burgers will bring the riders of Southern Cross.

Southern Cross is this Sunday! The course looks challenging. Two hill run-ups, three long switch-backs, one long climb, two shelter ride-throughs, one sand pit, up to 6 barriers, a muddy ditch, and plenty of noodling. 3 km's of joy and pain to keep everybody suffering and satisfied.
1200 flyers went out to the school kids in Altona, Rosenfeld and Gretna. There could be a lot of kids at the race. I've picked up cowbells for the first 60 kids that register.
The weather forecast looks promising. It's going to be a party. JS

Friday, October 9, 2009

People rode bikes- I bet it was fun.

Sign of things to come for the A/B winners of Southern Cross.

Wednesday night, Thursday night - rides took place. I'm not sure how it all went. I am still off my bike with a sore knee. An MRI is scheduled. My knee and my sprites are bummed. Southern Cross will be awesome. I'm hopeful but not expecting to ride. F!
The course might be mowed by next Wednesday. All ABES should come and check it out.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday night ride

Get your ace over to the headquarters for our weekly ride. JS

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wednesday night cross lab

Another pic from Menno Cross.

Flying Luc at the Bourkevale race on Sunday. That punk is awesome.

Dudes, meet at my place at 6:30. We'll zip around the park and get ready for S.C. I've had some knee issues. I've been unable to play with my new ride and it's beginning to irk me. I'm hopeful that my knee will be ready to ride for the X lab. JS

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thursday night ride report

Duke met us at the clubhouse and we toasted the arrival of his son - Leo Vincent John Dyck. Congratulations to Duke and Julia on their new family! The conversations at the clubhouse were oriented on cross, bike and ABES awesomeness. An upcoming ABES cross race is in order to prepare us for Southern Cross; Keep an eye out for details.
My family was excited to welcome another addition as well. A 54 cm, 21 pound, angel. Her name is Opus Spark. She’s a real beaut. Bruce and Curt at BAC helped bring her into this world. Thanks boys. Can't wait to take the pie plate off.

Poster extraordinair Chris Huebner put together the poster that will beckon the world to the sweetest X race going. JS