Friday, April 16, 2010

Upcoming Events...

Lots of riding opportunities happening these days.

Let's get right to it...

1) Sunday Morning Ride - I'd like to ride some of the Trans Canada Trail (between Hwy 201 and Hamm's property) this Sunday morning for church. I'd like to leave Rocktona at 9:30 and return around 12:30. Anybody interested? Everybody is invited.

2) DShaun is planning what sounds like a smokin good alleycat race for this Thursday (April 22). I'm sure ridiculous ABES awesomeness will ensue. Plan to be there.

3) Ian Hall, Hall Loewen and the boys at Olympia are organizing the first MCA road race/ride of the year. This is the first time this event is taking place and there are some delightful details that should should be noted:

- the local parish priest will proved a pre-race blessing (that's a good thing)

- a race announcer (in English and Flemish) will broadcast the race

- homemade beer stew and the Winnipeg Belgium dancers at the community hall post race ceremonies

- it is anticipated that beer will be sold as a fundraiser for the local school. Yes, really

- What better excuse do you need to get out and ride these unique, beautiful and challenging Manitoba roads and hills with a bunch of awesome people

If anybody wants to start riding at MCA events, this sounds like a great place to start. If you buy an MCA citizens license at the race ($40 which entitles you to participate in the lower/est categories at most 2010 MCA events), the race registration for this event will be complimentary.

Here's what Ian had to say about Het grote Ras (The Big Race)...

The first bike race of 2010 is coming up on April 25th will be something special. Hosted by the Belgian-Manitoban community of Bruxelles , the course comprised of some of the most scenic (and most hilly) roads in Manitoba.

Styled like the "spring classics" that take place in Flanders at this time year and involve steep hills and rough cobbled roads, Manitoba's own Belgian Classic will substitute gravel for the cobbles and includes sections of the Trans-Canada Trail. A winding lap of about 30 km will challenge riders with over 1,000 feet of climbing over nearly a dozen short, steep hills. Nobody will leave unchallenged.

The event is classed as a Manitoba Cup race and we're expecting all the top riders from around the province to compete for series points. Elite riders will complete 3 laps, with novices and intermediates doing 1 or 2. A participation-oriented tour, led by experienced cyclists, is also taking place the same day for riders who want to try out the course at a more leisurely pace.

The Manitoba Belgian community and the town of Bruxelles are both involved in the event. A short awards banquet in the community hall following the race will include a performance by Winnipeg's Belgian Folk Dancers. Locally-prepared Belgian beer stew and other treats will await hungry riders and spectators. Tours of historic St. Gerard's church and cemetery will be available throughout the afternoon, and a large playground is nearby.

AND: A few people have asked about equipment. For the race categories, you are required to use a road (or cyclocross) bike. The roads are in excellent condition, so regular road tires (700x23) should suffice (a group ride last weekend that included about 7 people on 23mm tires did not result in any flats). That said, 25-28mm tires would probably be more comfortable and would be less prone to pinch flats. There will be a separate "open" category race (1 lap) for anyone wanting to race on a mountain bike. Oh, and... glasses and gloves are recommended to protect against the odd little stone that gets kicked up.

Sounds very nice, no? What do you say? Team ABES draft crew?

4) May 2 - Fast Old Guys are organizing a Time Trial race in Birds Hill Park. You don't need an MCA license for this one. More info here

All these biking possibilities and it's only April. I love it. 2010 baby! JS

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