Monday, May 30, 2011

ABES Updates

This year the FGBC Spring Ride had an impressive 30 riders for the Saturday main event – including locals dudes: Paul K, Franklin, Thomas and myself.  Everybody rode from Ingolf, but the group split early.  The A team headed to Eagle Head Lake for an epic ride, while the sensible ones finished the Ingolf loop.  The rest of the weekend included riding at Falcon Lake, gorging on chips, steak, wings, dogs, disco boiled chips and room temperature Fort Garry Dark.  Check out the usual blogs for pics and better summations.  Good times. 

The Tuesday Night MTB Ride will be postponed due to wet/muddy trails.  We’ll try again next week.

Heads-up...The next ThNR will be moved to 8:00 until the darkness chases us back to 9:00.  Let’s celebrate the extra sunlight with races at the WC Miller track.  Last-man-out race will start the show, followed by a 2 lap time trial and we'll end off with a 16 lap relay race.  That should get our lungs, legs and heart pumping enough to make us good and thirsty.  JS

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Math was Hard

The Math is Hard Alleycat, unlike my mathematics career, was a rousing success! 16 riders on 8 teams raced in the effort. Along the way there was some adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing and even some measuring. I believe all participants really do believe in the difficulty math presents, but even the sharpest of enumerators were surprised to realize that there simply is no way to accurately calculate the area of a bike wheel. I guess that's just one of Life's mysteries we're going to have to accept. All in all, well done gents. This was the closest race we've had in a while, but in the end it was speedsters Jonny and Gavin who mustered up enough smarts between breaths to take the prize. Honourable mentions to birthday boy David, who came in 2nd and to Chris F. and Paul W. who go the most correct answers. Stay tuned for the Physics is Impossible Race coming as soon as I retake and pass that high school credit.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It Was A Great Day

Buck Pierce, me and Obby Khan.
DSwat at Tom are seen grinning in the background.
I won an autographed football at the Bombers luncheon last week.  My name was drawn by my new BFFs.  I'm still smiling.

Don't forget the alleycat tonight - Duke is ready to grade our 'rithmatic.

Who's The Big Birthday Boy?

Happy Birthday David!  Thumbs up!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Math is Hard....but it doesn't have to be!

According to my calculations tomorrow's Math is Hard Alleycat race in on. In the spirit of the New Math, bring whatever devices will assist your brain. (pencil, flashlight, calculator, multiplication sheet, Educational Assistant). Bring 5 bucks too. See you there.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

ABES Updates

The weather was windy with a constant rain for the Saturday morning breakfast ride.  The weather was not iffy – it was miserable – May long weekend miserable.  It turns out that two ABES were crazy enough to ride for fun – the bike shop duo of Bruce and Curt.  Bruce had biked the Rosetown lap before he even showed up for the Rosetown lap at 8:30.  Well done, I guess.  David and I decided to join them, but only for the breakfast portion which was sponsored by Back Alley Cycle.

This Thursday Duke will coordinate the Math Is Hard Alleycat.  Bring your abacus – math IS hard.

This weekend is the FGBC Spring Ride at Falcon Lake.  It might be the best weekend of the year.

Next Tuesday – The ABES Tuesday Night Mountain Bike Ride.  We need a better name than that – any suggestions?


Friday, May 20, 2011

Thursday Night Ride Report

Shaun, Derrick, Gavin, Steve, Evan, Curt, W, Albert, Tom, Duke, James and I enthusiastically rode bike, like an ABE.  Duke showed up with a beautiful new Brooks saddle that will serve him well for years.  Tom had bike issues – twice; he repaired, then need to exchange bikes, but found a tardy DSwat and they found their own route about town.   W and Shaun were showing impressive sprinting prowess when called upon, but it was studs Evan and Gavin who were battling it out for first.  Derrick continues to keep pace nicely with his Coppi, and Steve took an early exit to medicate his cold with whiskey while the rest rode another lap around town.  It was a perfect night to roll.  We were joined at the clubhouse by Paul B where the minutes at my end of the table included: Bombers ball win, trough diving at the stadium, a cargo/recumbent/chopper/tandem/ tall bike welding session, Altona awkwards, messy karma, planking accident/Darwin awards, Jets, bullet shot fads, breakfast/riding/puking, and Fubar.  Duke volunteered to coordinate next weeks alleycat.  Good times.

Saturday morning breakfast ride - Rosetown.  Breakfast back in Altona.  Meet at 8:30 at my place.  Weather may be an issue – call to confirm if it seems iffy.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thursday Night Ride

My place at 9.

Here is a sick fixed gear trickster...

Steven Jensen from SKYLMT on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ABES mountain bike report

Well done boys - 12 riders went to the hills to take part in some of the finest single track riding in Manitoba.  To be clear, it's the trails that are fine, not our (my) riding.  Charles, Evan, Jared, Jeff, Mike, Ben, David, Albert, Steve, Curt, Shaun and I huffed, puffed and fell on the Trans Canada/tinker trials.  We all felt fortunate not to run into the Tinker Stallions.  We kept together until the double-double split the group into two groups - Abes and aBes.  I rode with the clydesdales in team aBes.  It was a great night for a ride and the trails were in excellent condition.  Shaun broke his chain, fixed it and needed to re-fix it.  We eventually all met back at the parking lot and slapped each other on the backs in congratulations.  Well done boys. The masses voted for a bi-weekly mountain bike adventure so we'll do it all again in 14 sleeps.  

Albert knows how to haul the goods
There was a bunch of this
Jeff shows the secret sign of the devil

David shows the secret sign of Gene Simmons

Curt and Ben heading home

Shaun fixes his chain - again

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Who likes fun?

Even shrubs enjoy riding bike

Confirmed for the Tuesday mtb bike ride: Me, David, Curt, Evan, Jared, Albert, Jeff, Charles, Ben, Shaun, and Steve.  I know others are interested so confirm your attendance/availability to drive.  David and Albert have generously offered to take 7 people.  Do we need more?

We should leave by 6:30 so be at my place by 6:00 - 6:15 and we'll load up the bikes and go.  JS

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Breakfast Ride Report

Curt, Bruce, Evan, Dan and I rode to Emerson.  It was sunny and breezy.  Drafting was nice.  Breakfast was alright.  Albert met us for breakfast and rode back.  Mike biked to meet us at 75 and led us back home.  It was my favorite breakfast ride yet.  

Next week Saturday - Rosetown ride - Altona breakfast.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Thursday Night Ride Report

Charles, David, Steve, Shaun, Mike, Curt and I rode around town to the usual haunts.  The cold wind blew/blows.  Most of us returned to the clubhouse where we were joined by Duke, Tom, Derrick and Paul B.  ABES minutes include: insurance rebates, loosing badly at the Morden poker tournament, the squishy bike test ride, MCC tire sale, the shifty Russians beating Canada, N. Carolina basketball team ranked #1 and will play a preseason game on an aircraft carrier, navajo ultramarathon smoke/beer breaks, Lieutenant Toews, Arvid Loewen raising money and kicking ass, the street food cookbook, acme dynamite, and Buck Pierce and Obby Khan One-obi will be speaking about how awesome the Bombers are at a luncheon at the Altona Curling Club this Wednesday – tickets $15 – contact DSwat to make your reservation at the ABES table, and The World Will End May 21 = hookers, blow and panda burgers.  Good times.

A cleanly shaven Charles
Paul enjoys an apple.  Sicko.


Saturday morning breakfast ride – Emerson – meet at my place at 8:30.  This guy will be there...

Tuesday evening mountain bike ride at the 201/Trans Canada Trail – meet at my place at 6:30 – RSVP and note if you need or can provide a ride.

Spring Ride Weekend takes place in 2 weeks!  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

Breakfast Ride Report

Saturday morning breakfast ride – Lettelier: Evan, Curt, DB, Albert and JS. 
A good group ride for everybody but Paul who led the entire time.  Thanks Paul, you’re a machine.  Breakfast was good.  Rode to the Roseau bridge to assess the flood – still floody.  My flat tire on highway 75 was fixed with a new tube and cardboard.  Albert found a roll of electrical tape - if it’s yours and you can describe what it looks like, contact Albert.  Good times. 

Next breakfast ride – Emerson; could anybody suggest a good restaurant there? 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Moab Report

From the desk of Albert Falk...

The trip down was basically uneventful except for detours in North Dakota and east South Dakota due to water, and then snow in western S.D.
No snow in Utah though, a bit cool in the mornings, usually quite warm in the afternoons except for the one day we got rained out. 
We spent 4.5 days in Canyonlands National Park, a remote backcountry area restricted to 4wd vehicles cyclists and hikers.  It is located south of Green River Utah and more or less directly west of Moab.  The Colorado River begins in this area west of Moab, so if you were to head south and a bit west you would end up in the Grand Canyon in Arizona
Our first camp was an area known as the Horseshoe Canyon.  After setting camp we hiked down to the ‘Holy Ghost’ panel in the and area known as the Great Gallery, that contains ancient paintings on the canyon walls that are believed to have been done by the ancestors of the Pueblo Indians sometime before 1300 A.D.
The next day we headed to the Canyonlands Park checking in at the Ranger station at Hans Flat.  We rode the bikes from the station into the canyon and had the support vehicle take the tents and supplies to the camp site, a distance of about 20km a ride that was not too technical, but had its ups and downs and ended with a good downhill ride via switchbacks into the campsite at Golden Stairs. We followed this up with a 12 mile ride to the Maze overlook the next day and a 22 mile jaunt to the Teapot campsite
We moved to additional sites in the much the same fashion.
On the last day in the park we got rained out and since we had left some vehicles near the ranger station several of us got to bike back up to where they were through what at times reminded me of good old Altona gumbo.   We made it out though, and after visiting the pizza bar, or was it pizza and bar, at Zaks, found a friendly Super 8 in Moab.

We set camp the next day and got in a good days ride on Slickrock trail.  That night was tequila night, and though some of us were slightly worse for wear the next morning we set off to the Porcupine Rim trail.  Unfortunately rain the previous night and some snow in the morning resulted in an aborted ride as our bikes plugged up with mud, much like our last day in the Maze.  This resulted in a stop at the carwash and then of course the brewery for lunch (liquid and solid).

At this point I headed south to check out the Grand Canyon and the rest of the group headed north for Salt Lake City and home.

I could drone on and on, I am still trying to recover some pictures from my phone as I ran over my camera with my bike, but it appears I need to go to work.

I can perhaps fill in some additional details at the clubhouse after our Thursday nite ride, but this week at least I’ll be at work.

It was a great time, and no broken or bent bones this time.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Thursday Night Ride Report

James, Dan, Shaun, Chris, Steve, Myron, Evan, Gavin, Curt, Mike, Tom, Schiesse, Pauls W, Paul B, and I tooled about town, raced through the village and braked our way around the mini track.  It was nice to see Paul B back on his bike and riding in the ABES peleton – I hesitate to mention my appreciation as it likely ensures he won’t come back for another 5 months – but it was nice.  We were met at the clubhouse by David, DB and later by Thomas.  Clubhouse minutes:  the table was full – on one half, Paul K was regailing us with stories of France, biking and sideburns, on the other half there was talk of Schiesses sweet new ride, detailing how and where he got his bike refinished.  It seems Curt played bike shop hero by rushing to assemle the bike, completing it  15 minutes before our ride began - well done Curt.  There was also talk of starting a regular mountain bike ride in Morden/Tinker – leaving every other Tuesday at 6:30.  Me lika.  We have three locals confirmed for the Spring Ride in three weeks – DB, Thomas, and myself; the more the merrier, so step up and ride.  Other minutes included: the elections, finding airplane wreckage in the ocean, the painful ordering process of the ABES jerseys, Obama Bin Laden, chicken truck, Bomber potential, W’s high heeled bike shoes, Giles and his broken pinkie video, Firebag Alberta V Jerkwater Alberta, and bro-ners.  Good times.
Saturday morning breakfast ride - meet at my place at 8:30 and we’ll bike to Lettelier for some grub. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Thursday Night Ride

Did you know that?  
We should totally ride bike.  
My place at 9.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Le DB Rapport

Okay, so I've been a bit nervous about the ride since I've heard from people that says it's really tough. On Tuesday when we head over to the bike shop in Bedoin to pick up the bike, I bring my stuff along, but I'm really intending to ride back to the place we're staying (about 30 ks) and ride around a bit (there are hills and crazy roads everywhere) just to see how it goes. So we get the bike (it's great!), I get changed, and set off, away from Ventoux. Then I say to myself, what the hell, I could just ride up the first bit of the hill to see how it goes. So I turn around after about half a km and head toward the hill. As I'm riding back past the bike shop (which is right at the bottom of Ventoux) three riders are just on their way up (it would appear). I fall in behind them. I hear them speaking in German(!), so I talk to them and it turns out they speak English too. Johannes (56) is with his brother (47) and son (26). He's been up three times before. He thinks they'll do it in more than two hours, maybe two and a half. These guys don't look intimidating, so this sounds like a good way to try it. I ask if I can follow along, and since they're bikers, of course they say that would be fine.

The first five ks are pretty reasonable. At about a 5-6% grade you're riding through farmland and a couple of villages. Typical. Scenic. Deceptive. It's a hill, but it's not a MOUNTAIN. But around five ks up that changes. Abruptly. The grade goes to 8%, and doesn't relent from that for the next 10 ks. In fact, 10 ks up the hill the grade is 10%. No switchbacks. Just twisting and climbing, in a coniferous forest. Damn it's beautiful, if you've got the time to look up from your grunting! 

I left the German guys behind by around 6 ks. I was "spinning" (you don't really spin on this hill) a 34t in the front and a 25t at the back, which was as "easy" as I could get it. When I kept the cadence steady around 75 (not as fast as I'd have liked, but the best I could manage) I was averaging between 11 and 12 kph. When the grade got to 11% I'd be between 10 and 11 kph and the cadence just got lower. You keep your head down and try to breathe steady. Panting is not helpful.

I stopped twice. Once at around 8 and 12 ks, just to steady myself and do a bit of a gut-check. I ate half of an energy bar, took some water, and then went at it again - maybe a minute or two total. Then I settled into a steady breathing pattern and it seemed possible. By 10 ks I was grinning at everyone I met because I knew I was going to do it. I could hold the pace, and my breathing was controlled. I was passed by four riders (who, I'm guessing, averaged about 13-14 kph and would have finished it about 10 mins faster than I did). 

Six ks from the top (at Chateau Reynard) the trees disappear and it's open with steep chunky limestone slopes. The grade for the last 6 ks is mostly about 6%, because the road uses switchbacks to control the ascent. You wind your way up and every corner feels like a great break because thing flatten out. There was almost no wind up there, which was very fortunate, given what I've heard about huge winds that are possible. 

At this point my biggest worry is that I haven't brought my camera (because I wasn't expecting to go up on this day). I stop one more time at Tom Simpson's memorial, then I'm at the top! It's huge guys! There are all these other riders up there. They're all so happy! Through the whole ride guys have been descending, so I'm already pretty confident that I can do the descent too. I asked a guy with a camera if he'd take a pic of me and send it to my email. He (Alain Auberger) was happy to. Then I took his picture too. Then I helped others take their pictures. The descent was fantastic! I hit 65 kph on one stretch and, if you knew there wouldn't be cars coming up, you could let it run faster!         

My ride time was 1h 47m 37s. Total time was 1h 52m.

DB vs Ventoux

I went up again on Thursday morning, with the camera this time. Stopped a few more times to take pics, and then Margruite and my fellow travellers showed up at about three ks from the top and took a lot of pics. It snowed and sleeted for the last five ks (see the pics) and the cars couldn't make it to the summit. I managed to keep enough of my fat ass on the back wheel to have enough traction to make it all the way up again (The front wheel slipped a bit on the corners.). I couldn't descend that day. The brakes wouldn't work, and there was no way to control your speed, much less steer.   

My ride time the second day was 1h 45m 39s. Total time was 1h 50m.

Biking really is the way to world peace! If Obama and Osama could only have biked up Ventoux together. Baguettes and croissants and beer at the top. That would be a summit! The Pax Ventoux. Bikes would save the world if we'd only let them.

In heaven the ABES would spend one Thursday a year ascending Mt. Ventoux, and then racing to the bottom, for beers and wine of course. There are cafes and bars everywhere out there!


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Remember this...

Covert ABES agents have uncovered the bikes latest transformation at AMS...
The double black stripes on the yellow version will be replaced with Italian green and red

New feature - Italian beer label

Reports also mentioned new Campi wheels, a Brooks saddle and eventually new leather wraps.  The inaugural viewing seems likely for the next ThNR.