Friday, August 31, 2012

ThNR Report

Steven, Lyle, Albert, Shaun, James, Ike, Evan, Steve, Duke and I started out at the running track for a time trial race.  Steven, Lyle and I took the podium and we all hurt.  It's stupid how much it hurt.  Lyle showed great ABES spirit as he left to go to The Hut.  We moved on to scout out Southern Cross lines, ditches and found a movie night at the park.  We retired to the clubhouse to find David waiting.  Minutes included: the Altona Farm Service is the best store ever, cycling around the world - 24,901.55 miles (world record: 91 days), Bunge is bike friendly, Dan did not arrive (boo) but claimed he would not ride to Kenora again, what is a braintree?, David is going to call in sick today, book club with beer and ping pong, "that reminds me of me", the toothbrush was invented in Regina - otherwise it would have been called a teethbrush,  crazy gopro video, David wants his gravestone to feature himself on top of a camero - holding a sword and petting a bengal, Steve rode 160 km/h in Altona, Duke "talks" his way out of a speeding ticket, nature park grass-burn on earth day, Bieber tickets draw for southern cross, getting shocked by electric fence stories, thrift store song - Imma take your grandpa's style, Steven shared stories about uncle Dave getting hurt, and I'm glad I made it home safely.  Good times.  JS


Wednesday, August 29, 2012


This week we'll meet at the WC Miller running track at 8.  We'll start recording individual time trials as people show up and race as long as we can - which won't be long.  The Thursday light situation is fading fast.

Will we see Tall Boy?
Pastor Dan recently cycled from Altona to Kenora.  Attaboy Danny - that is a long ride!  Dan reports he'll give us the details when we'll meet at the WC Miller running track at 8.

Friday, August 24, 2012

ThNR Report

Steve, Franklin, Pole Vaulter, Gavin, Ike, Shaun, Tom, James, Duke, DB, Chris, Steven, Schiesse, Curt, Dan G, and I went on the most grueling Thursday night ride I can remember.  DB, Gavin and Steven seemed to have cross on their minds as the pace was furious through town and country.  I was struggling and got blown apart again and again.  It was great.  In retrospect, indulging in the pre-ride Israeli Lucky Strike smoke may not have been wise.  We were joined at the clubhouse by the gimp where the minutes included: Southern Cross water features and FREE CANDY, Dark Cross flyover alterations, power watt meters, Curt’s back is F’n F’d, Franklins bicycle motor, sneaking beers into movie theatres, kids bike modifications, Stevens screwed threads, donkey baseball in Halbstadt, carbon fiber bike with a tea towel chamois, Ebay is the new crack, Cross Lab, Steven lands on his back attempting to catwalk, 7-11 hotdogs and cheese pump, David’s Cross season is on hold with an infected elbow – hopes to be back for SC, Duke knows: when drinking - choose a friend, Road Trip 2012 aka broke bike mountain, the Can-Am non-invitational bike ride, broke back burger (a hunk of meat between two firm buns), Schiesse says Bob Dylan should stop touring, and DB claims he is “over” PB (he is not).  Good times.

Steve starts "collecting" stakes 

Albert is interested in a Saturday morning breakfast ride.  Post a comment if you want to join him.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Who wants to go for a bike ride?

See you at 8

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tour de Ninette

Duke representing ABES

Every so often it’s good to load up your necessities for living into some panniers and go for a bike ride. Glenn Bergen (ABES Auxiliary--Woseley Chapter) and I ventured west for such an adventure. We settled for Ninette, MB because of its central location to Spruce Woods and Turtle Mountain Provincial Parks. Being wily vets of this region we checked the wind forecast and settled for the advantageous “wind at my back” route. 

Glenn Bergen ready for the road.

Day 1 from Ninette to Spruce Woods was about a 90 km ride. Our Dinner Special inquiry at the Spruce Wood Inn in Glenboro proved too much to resist so after we set up camp we wheeled back for a delicious plate of roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding (not pudding by the way.)

We knew day 2 from Spruce Woods to Adam Lake was going to be a long day--and it was. We started off by sleeping in. By the time we were ready to embark I noticed the tire on my trailer was flat. I forgot to pack a trailer tube. After 2 failed rushed patch jobs, I finally settled for the do it right approach. 

One of too many flat sessions

We left camp at 11:00, biked back through Ninette and agreed to push our way to Killarney for a late, late lunch. We knew there was a 30% chance of rain, but we got 100% wet. We paused at the Killarney Legion to rain proof ourselves and gear (best done BEFORE you get saturated), warmed up with some lunch, shopped for some evening camp supplies and made the final push to Adam. My trailer tire failed once again about 5 kms before Adam Lake. At around 8:00 p.m. and 134 kms later we finally arrived at the camp office to book our site. The non-serviced sites were another 2 kms away (BOO), there was no food to purchase (BOO-er) and when we got to the site we found out there was boil-only water (BOO-urns). But, as chums for nearly 40 years, there is little that can deter this duo. Glenn finagled a 4 liter ice cream pail of Brandon drinking water from some fellow campers, we set up camp, and had a wonderful evening meal of Hickory Sticks (appetizers), Sour Cream n’ Onion Ripple chips (veggie) and a protein drink (steak). The evening was topped off with a Hot-Toddie taste off (Alberta Rye wins over Irish Whisky).   
Hot Toddies and Hickory Sticks

We knew day 3 would be a breeze after our day 2 experiences. But there was the small matter of a wounded trailer tire. Very wounded, as it turned out. An autopsy revealed a 2 inch gash in the rubber. I cashed in all my chips and Frankensteined a repair with my remaining 6 patches. I was able to drag myself and trailer almost until Killarney when the wheel finally flatlined. We hid the trailer in a farmer’s field and I drafted Glenn back to Ninette. We rodded back to the trailer with the truck and headed home. A very grand trips of 300 kms. 
Or you could remember to pack an extra tube or two.
Post Adventure breaky in Killarney

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Nota Bene

Two things:

Kevin Braun has invited us to this....
This is a guaranteed good time.

This exists and I want one...
Best water bottle ever

Okotoks = bike awesomeness!

The fam and I have been visiting the Paul clan out here in southern AB. We drove from Okotoks to Banff (via Turner Valley, home of the Chuckwagon Cafe) and immediately noticed the volume of cyclists out on the highways. Maybe it has something to do with the gorgeous mountain scenery, or maybe the wide asphalted shoulders. Possibly the motorists who respect something resembling the 3 foot rule, even though it's not law. Whatever the reason the culture of cycling seems natural.

A great example is the "town" of Okotoks. I facetiously refer to it as as town since in MB it would be our third largest city. Out here it's a town. Well, this "town" kicks some serious spandex-wrapped ass. On top of virtually instant access to the aforementioned pristine road rides the "town" itself boasts over 50km of paved bike trails. With forethought re: commuting you rarely have to cross streets to commute almost anywhere in this community of almost 25,000.

Sounds sweet, right? So let's get this straight. Sweet road riding. Check. Great bike- friendly commuting. Check. Anything else? Yep! I almost hate mentioning that some of the world's best MTN biking and downhill riding is 1 to 1 1/2 hours away. Okotoks also has a secret weapon. BMX. Nuff' said.

Ok ok...I know I've had some damp panties about BMX racing in the past months. But considering there are NO sanctioned BMX tracks in MB, SK or N. ON it was eye opener to see an established BMX circuit in Alberta. The track here in Okotoks has a paved start gate area followed by hard-packed jumps fashioned from clay based soil. Super nice. Its Maintained by the local BMX club and includes a canteen, grandstand and automated start gate for eight racers. Tuesdays are club coaching nights and Wednesday's are club race nights. Bro-in-law Kyle and I checked out the track today and even he was inspired enough to change his skinnies off his MTB. Or at least talk about it.

I know it's still a pipe dream and I'll gladly leave the money raising efforts focused on the skate/bike park for now. But someday........

Weekend Bike Pics

Saturday Breakfast Ride...
DB, Gavin and Marguerite (and Franklin, Steven and I)
being followed by the police in Plum Coulee
They lined the streets to welcome us for breakfast
They REALLY support cycling in Plum Coulee 
Franklin and Marguerite loved the crackles
Thomas enjoys some backyard fun
while we enjoyed some backyard rest
Sunday afternoon...
Family ride on the Fort Dufferin/Emerson trail
Wild rhubarb and wild child
Cheryl and Kate
Suspension bridge crossing
Great family trail

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thursday Night Ride Report

Shaun, DB, Franklin, Gavin, James, Mike, Chris, Dan G, Lyle and I were out for our weekly rituals.  The ABES welcome mat was out and we had two new riders – Lyle and Dan G.  “New” bikes were on display as Dan was sporting a very purty, 1980’s colour scheme Fiori and Franklin is now extra zippy and skinny tire happy on his Sekini.  This week our ride took us to the usual haunts including the country cemetery for a spin around the min-oval.  The Bomber game and rehydrating were priorities so we returned to our beloved clubhouse where we were joined by Duke, Steve and Paul B.  Minutes include: BOMBERS WIN – I haven’t heard chants ofJoey since this, hula-hoop entertainment, memories of rolling cigarettes, Paul B’s bought a 28’ fifth-wheeler apartment, tall bikes (68 cm) V tall-bikes (double-deckers), Birken-boots, Lyle was happy to move out of the big shitty, James Duthie got caught staring, MCI peep-holes and pee-holes, the Co-ops, smoking pubes, the 2013 sunflower festival Gentlemen’s Ride – 165 km’s of cement and gravel goodness, Eric Clapton is nice but not UGH-good, Coldplay wristbands make the audience part of the light show, Bethany is due in September (but everything is early this year), Steve suggests two cycling destinations in South Dakota: Iron Mountain Road and Needles Highway, cycling efficient V comfortable V fun, needing to buy tailored shirts for gangly and giant body types, Duke and Glenn Bergen are going for a weekend camping/cycling adventure, Shania Twain and Lionel Richie’s sing Endless Love, DB’s bike was stolen from the clubhouse (boo) but abandoned across the street (yaa), Lyle is starting Tall Boy Brewery – the first batch will be called Anne Funk nee Braun ale.  Good times.  JS

Chris and Shaun are digging Dan G's new steed
Franklin is happy to go skinny
DB helps a brother
Mike ensures his son goes fast
Lyle rides the circle of death
Hey it's Franklin, Dan and Lyle
DB ponders, then BS's
Returning home to watch the Bombers 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Thursday Night Ride

This week we welcome Lyle Wiens to ABES.  He and Ashley move to Rocktona today.  Come out on Thursday and find out why FGBC calls Lyle the big frame and the DIY director.

See you at 8:00.  JS

Monday, August 13, 2012

Moose Lake Ride 2012 Report

I’ve never really wanted to cycle the 200 km’s to Moose Lake.  I’ve always admired those that did, but it wasn’t for me.  I thought it was too long to sit on a saddle, battle bad weather, hurt, or (fill in any excuse here), and I continued to talk myself out of participating.  After reading the report from last year, Sweet Cheryl Koop was inspired and wanted to do the ride too.  I wasn’t going to NOT cycle if she was going so I needed to suck it up, make like a Nike and Just Do It.  I was going too!  I guess.  Crap.

The date of the ride was planned in spring and as a coincidence, fell on our 11th wedding anniversary (last year our 10th anniversary fell on the MS fundraiser crossrace at the Penner yard).  Cheryl and I now expect all of our anniversary parties and meals to be planned by Bruce.  Thanks buddy.

Bruce, DB, Chris, Ike, Curt F, Albert, Dan, Ben, Jeff, Shaun, Chery and I met at 6 am Saturday morning.  We left the shop later than we intended thanks to Jeff who was woken by our phone call.  Jeff is now the new Albert (see Road Trip 2012 Report).  Surly/nice-guy Shaun was driving/cycling so he volunteered to retrieve Jeff from Gretna and bring him up to the group.  The rest of us headed out under good conditions (not raining and not against the wind) and peddled 76 kms to Vita for breakfast where the German owners know a thing or two about making delicious snausages.  After the break DB and Dan returned home for the AMC 50thanniversary celebrations - suckers.  The rest of us cycled 63 kms to South Junction where we were going to enjoy the traditional MLR faspa of pie and ice cream.  Our plans were foiled as nary a slice of piece could be found.  That was more than fine with me as Cheryl had been talking about getting a burger and fries and I couldn’t shake that delicious thought from my mind.  After spying the Long-Haul Burger on the menu, I knew I had found what I was looking for.  After refueling, wecycled north on Highway 308 and meandered our way to the promised land.  The group rode in clusters but rarely all together with average speeds varying between 22 – 30 km/hr.  When we arrived at the cabin, my odometers read 188 kms.  Ike, Cheryl and I were determined to make it to 200 so we headed down the road to Camp Moose Lake for a quick visit with Darryl, Christa and Joshua, then back and forth on the road until we made it to 200.  The ride ended with an invigorating dip in the lake, some beer, wine and a steak the size of my head (and I’ve got a HUGE head!).  Once you sit in a chair with a beer and a steak all the pain you felt on the bike seems to disappear – and if it doesn’t, have another beer.  I felt good about the accomplishment but silly for not doing it sooner.  I admit to being easily scared off and intimidated - the thought of pain can be very powerful and dissuasive element.  Once again, against my better judgment, peer pressure was my guide.  I wouldn’t do all the fun and awesome things I do if I only listened to me.  I’m glad I have good peers (and spouse) to challenge and inspire me. 

More MLR moments to report:
- Drafting behind Shauns SUV
- Curt F cycled to the wrong side of the lake and got a motor-boat taxi to the cabin.
- Ben, Cindy and family slept outside to watch the meteor showers.  Ben slept through most of it.
- Ike’s longest bike ride prior to Moose Lake had been to Gretna and back.  Attaboy Ike, that’s awesome and inspirational.
- Ariel made a beautiful and delicious cake to celebrate our anniversary - thank you!
- Curt T and Lacey drove out to enjoy the party  
- Many people reported that “the hill” shrunk considerably since returning from Alberta.
- Cheryl Penner brought a giggle of children to greet Jeff at the cabin.
- Steaks were generously donated by the good folks at Back Alley Cycle.

A few pictures...

Thanks to my favorite first wife for kicking ass, bringing her charm to the peloton and hopefully encouraging more women to join us next year (I’m looking at you Athena), to Bruce and Alexis for offering their cabin as our country clubhouse, and to Deb Hiebert (the real hero) for bringing a truck so that Walter, Cheryl and I could get home.

It was a unforgettable day and we’re looking forward to seeing what Bruce plans for our 12th anniversary.  Good times.  JS

Friday, August 10, 2012

ThNR Report

Tom, Chaz, Gavin, Shaun, Rudy, Franz man, James, PW, Dan, Mike and I zipped around town like we usually do – getting split into groups.  Some of us stopped at Pole Vaulters house so he could get a faster bike, then we stopped at che Chaz for a slower bike.  David is still recovering from suckyitis but did manage to join us at the clubhouse.  Minutes included: the back 40 race contestants, The dark lord/podium queen , Tom’s owns the heaviest steel road bike - 33 pounds, cyclist Victoria Pendleton vows to never race again, Joanne falls on her face and states “I pulled a Steven”, wanted: 24” kids road/cross bike, Paul B and Jonny G were getting into the groove at the Krahn barn concert, the German discuss athlete wins gold medal - loses his Olympic credentials  during his celebration and had to sleep in a train station, the SaHiebzky clan won the Sealy Mattress Race at the Goldeyes game, Garry Bettman is Satan (and looks like The Count), Athena ITT racers were impressive, Jeff Reinbold is a DB, and the Olympics make me cry (and snicker - and laugh).  Good times.  JS

Chaz wanted a change of pace 
I'm not sure why

Thursday, August 9, 2012


The weekend is busy with cycling options: the ever awesome Back 40 mountain bike race, Moose lake road ride and Country Cycles is putting on an alleycat race in Winkie.  Sweet Cheryl Koop and I will be celebrating our 11th anniversary by cycling to the Moose Lake ride together.  Albert plans to ride to Moose lake then come back for the mtb race.  That crazy hippy might mumble a lot, but his actions speak loudly.  ATTA BOY ALBERT!

First things first - the ABES Thursday Night Ride commences at 8:00.  See you then.  JS

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

ITT Report

Bruce Penner reports...

The Sunday morning weather proved to be a beautiful start to the Provincial ITT race in Reinland.  Total racers competed were 73 and 33 of these were a part of the Abes Grossen Preise! 
A steady breeze from the west was going to be the challenge for all riders heading out. 
The day began with registration at the Reinland Community Center.  The officials were kept busy with all the registrants from 12:00-1:00.  From here everyone headed over to the Border Valley School, 1 mile south, to begin the racing! ... Oh, and then James and Shaun showed up to register...
Steady send-offs from the commissars kept most people on their toes.  Carl Penno, I understand wanted to allow for a 1 minute handicap by taking a bit more time in warmups!
Our first ABE, to display his skills was Paul K, who finished 4th in his category.  19.2 kms with a time of 33:09!

Gavin showed the rest of us who deserves the podium with a blistering time of 28:29 in the distance of 16.1 kms!  He finished 3rd!

On to more racing and some stunning'll find many pictures with shared links below...

After a race like this it's good to unwind and talk about the day and hope for more.  Paul and Donna of the Altona Cleaners made this day complete by having a hotdog BBQ with all the fixin's ready for us back at the community center.  A podium built of hay bales, sheaves of wheat for the winners and a special treat by having our very own Sunflower Queen, Sarah Hildebrand and Princess Mandy Peters present the medals.  

Jason Carter of the MCA left with comments congratulating communities like Altona.  "This is why Manitoba has champions in cycling" he said.

Coach Bessie knows how to motivate cyclists
Thanks Bruce.  Sounds like it was a good day.  I was sorry to miss it.  As soon as Bruce includes the "pictures with shared links", I'll add the real ITT pictures to the report.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

ABES movie night?

We all like action flicks, right?  Anyone ever seen an action film based on biking?  Me neither, until I came across this trailer...

I think a movie night might be in order.

Friday, August 3, 2012

ThNR Report

Mike, Steven, Franklin, Bruce, Franz, Douche Bag, Shaun, Dan, Pole Vaulter, Jared and I  took a trip to the Altona mountains known as moto park x.  It was a treat to ride around the little and the big course - it's so fun - and nothing beats fun.  We retired to the clubhouse where we were joined by David, Duke, Tom, James, Lorne and Paul B.  Minutes include: the Athena Race Team kicking ass and looking good in the ABES jersey, Shaun's achy-breaky-irregular heart, James is baack from Baaston Mass., the July 18 2013 wrestling grudge match between SWiebo and Dtwat is greatly anticipated, the techno music at the clubhouse did not hit the mark but the volume was tolerable, Dan is recording Moments of Meditation (medication) for CFAM, Paul is investigating living in a trailer - maybe, DB plans to sail around Greek islands in 2013, Steven reported his amazing hikes in Alberta and getting schooled by 80 year olds, olympic alleycat?, Lorne plans to see The Boss at the Canmore folk fest, dumb dumb David tries in vain to open an opened screen door, all Road Trip pictures should be given to Shaun who will set up a sharing site, Lorne orders chicken-fingers and fries and complains when he gets chicken-fingers and fries, and who else would plan a barn concert to coincide with the ThNR but DB.  Good times.

This weekend is the ITT championships.  I’m sad to say I can’t make it (life ‘n such) but it should be a fun outing so get out there and give’r ya’ll.  The Getnshitdone Committee has already begun to roll out the goodness...

You can also expect to see the newly crowned Sunflower Festival Queen doling out congratulatory kisses at the awards ceremonies.

Next weekend we have two deluxe cycling options.  If you like it fat and knobby, the Back 40 mountain bike race in Morden will see racers enjoy some of the sweetest, flowiest trails in Manitoba.  If you prefer skinny and hard, the Moose lake road ride will see participants cycle the 200 km’s from Rocktona to Moose lake for a well deserved steak and beer.  Decisions, decisions...