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


  1. I sincerely enjoyed being the first one to the lake (unless you count Albert driving Shaun's truck), though next time I decide to take off on the others I'll ask directions first.

    Curt F