this might be on the menu for next year seeing as i blew the bike budget for this year (in fact, i have blown half of next year's budget this year) - this is perhaps one of the coolest things i have seen, ideal for anyone who looks to use their bike as their major form of transportation, and would like to take their bike with them when they need to fly to a conference, etc.


bur oak ride

plan on riding out to bur oak tomorrow after work. i will be leaving from work at 4:30ish, which should get me there by 5:30-5:45. let me know if you are interested.



jonny g and dave u for the half marathon efforts


one more after the road

what 27 hours and 500 km in the saddle gets you


redass report (long)

after some back and forth i finally decided that i would enter my first long distance race - 480 kms in 36 hours or less. the following words and pictures are my tale of the redass (boy - do they have that right) race held on the weekend.

the race began with a pre-race meal at deluca's, my favourite food store in winnipeg. they put on a great spread that included three types of pasta, pizza, and salad

here dallas and dave, two race participants enjoy the meal. one only hopes that dave has learned his lesson from his last pre-race meal.

many of the guys that i ride with entered this race. here is a picture of tom and chris enjoying their meals and no doubt planning their strategy for the race the next day.

after the dinner it was time to go home and get my bike and stuff ready for the race. this included picking the right gear ratio (riding the single speed means living and dying with the right gear ratio for the ride you are doing), planning your food intake, and getting the rest of your gear togehter (clothes, lights, tools, etc.), including a way of mounting the route information.

this is everything that i decided i would need for the race. the bigger blue box contained food, a change of clothes, and my lighting system and was destined for the 1st drop off point (which was about 1/2 way through the race) and the smaller box with more food and clothes for the second. the pack had what i needed while i was on the course: tools, clothes, and food.

the following morning i was up at 5:oo (went to bed at 12:00 - because it took so long to get all this stuff ready), had a quick breakfast and loaded my trailer and rode off to the race.

for the race i decided that i would ride my 29er mountain bike. this bike was set up for a 61 gear inch ratio, with 1.8 xc tyres, and double-wrapped bars,

here we are just after the start of the race. 22 riders started the full race (480+ kms). the 8 riders who were riding the half-ass (300 kms) would start at noon in la riviere.

from the shop we headed south towards carmen. the strongest riders took off quickly, followed by the single speed group with one fixie and a couple of geared bikes.

here is a picture of graham wiebe, one of the single speed riders.

mike, another ss rider

at the start of the race people still look happy and somewhat alert - this would change.

we soon rolled into carmen where we made a quick pit stop to pick up a few essentials - by this time a few of the riders in our group had dropped off, deciding that the pace we had chosen was not for them.

after carmen, we proceeded along the trail till we hit what was supposed to be a dry creek crossing - seems like the recent rains had changed that.

the next destination was morden and then onto tinker creek and the first check point (140+ kms). it sure was sweet to see friends waiting for us at this check point (thanks john and jon) a huge thanks goes to james and jon for setting up the check point and having water for us - tinker creek rocks. at this point we lost a couple of more riders from our group, graham who pulled out and nathan, the fixie rider from grand forks who needed to go at pace which would suit him better.

leaving tinker creek meant leaving the flats and into the hills. jon and tom reached speeds of 71 kmph on this downhill.

of course, what goes down must come up. jon made the climb out of the valley, but may have paid the price later on in the race.

it was also at tinker creek where tom caught up with us. tom started the race late - something about faulty alarms or something like that. any ways, tom pulled hard and made up the deficit and was able to join the band of single speed riders on the ride from tinker to la riviere.

another downhill, just enough time to snap a quick pic before i had to put the camera away and put two hands on the grips as the speed picked up.

after another 120+ kms of gravel, three extended climbs, missing turns, it was into la riviere and the 2nd check point.

here we could change into fresh clothes, eat something else besides granola bars and energy gels (yuck), get water...

and to get a quick rest

because la riviere is at the bottom of the valley the first thing we had to do was climb out - yeah.

it was this point that tom and chris decided to pick up the pace, so they took off while dave and i continued on at our own pace.

it is also at this time when the effects of riding for 12 hours starts to show.

and to make things even more plesant, the rain clouds start to appear - double yeah.

so, what do you get when you mix rain and dirt (not gravel - big difference) roads?

answer - bad and evil thoughts.

dave and i did get lost a little earlier, just as the rain started, and then again after the rain stopped. when we were back tracking we ran into jon (who decided he wanted more rest before la riviere) and cory (who got into la riviere after us and teamed up with jon). between the four of us we could not figure out where we were, but knew how to get the next location , even if it was not the exact road we were supposed to be on?

on the way to roseisle we had to pass through the birch ski area. if you know that area, you know it means more hills

from roseisle we pushed onto st. claude where jon decided the sidewalk looked like a comfortable place to stretch out (about 318 kms into the race). the next stretch would take us into portage la prairie and the next and last check point. of course the next stretch was over 30 kms away; does this man look like he wants to ride another 30+ kms?

at portage la prairie we found ourselves at don sissons farm where there was food, cots, water, a hot tub if you needed - a bloody oasis. some of the olympia mechanics where on hand manning the station; luc even offered to clean and lube the chain on my bike.

here john, one of the olympia boys calls in the results to scott wiebe, who stayed up all night updating the website with race results.

it is also at portage la prairie where we caught up to chris and tom (they got there about 1.5+ hrs ahead of us). here chris is just getting ready to leave with tom on the last leg. it was also here where dave and jon decided that they needed more rest so cory and i decided to head out on the last leg after about a 1.5 hr rest (did not fall asleep during this time).

our first destination was delta marsh where we had to cross the spillway...

which was a little slippery.

it was also at this time that the sun began to rise, giving us much needed energy. after delta marsh we only had another 60+ kms to go.

the last 60 kms took a long time, with many rests and studying of the route sheet

finally, some 500kms and 29 hours later, the end of the gravel road and end of the race.

this is how i looked at the end of the ride.

this is how i found chris when i came in - was probably like that for quite some time.

some thanks need to go out. first, i want to thank the guys i rode with: chris, dave, jon, tom, cory, graham, nathan (from n.d.), john ford, and mike. riding with others makes this type event fun. everybody at the check points: james and jon from tinker creek (good friends), the people at la rivere (sorry don't know your names), and the sissons for opening your place up to us. thanks to the lockery's for the windup - wish i could have stayed longer. to colin for taking care of us on the course. to john and luc at portage. scott and deanna for their work on the website and updates. and finally to lindsay, andy and dan for setting up the course and event.


so yesterday - who cares

some say blogs are 'so yesterday' - so what. i figure this is a good way to communicate with my friends. so this my new blog about the stuff i do for fun.