Menno SuperKlompen

Persecuted by hostile Spaniards during the inquisition, Mennonites invented the superklompen, special wooden flotation clogs which allowed them to “water skate” over the polders.  Little known to anyone outside of a small circle of superklompen researchers, it was these superklompen that allowed Dirk Willems to elude his pursuers.  After escaping the tower in which he was held prisoner, Dirk used the Superklompen to traverse the thin ice and water of the moat around the tower.  The guard pursued Dirk across the moat, however, without the superklompen he quickly broke through the ice.  Dirk took the admonition to “love your enemy” seriously and returned to save his pursuer.  Later artists depicted Dirk in regular shoes, however recent archaeological work by our own Neil Thiessen has discovered the very same superklompen that Dirk wore, buried in the bank of the moat.  (See Neil Thiessen below in Dirk’s own superklompen.)  Unfortunately, Dirk’s Christian charity resulted in his execution through burning at the stake.superklompenDirk.willems.rescue.ncs


Spartacus and the Most Interesting Man in the World

epa04165913 Trek Factory Racing team rider Swiss Fabian Cancellara (L) in action during the 112th Paris Roubaix cycling race, in Roubaix, France, 13 April 2014. EPA/NICOLAS BOUVY

While Fabian Cancellara speaks Italian, German, French, Spanish and English, the most interesting man in the world speaks every language and two that only he speaks.  While Cancellara’s bikes are worth more after he has ridden them than when they were new, the value of a car increases when the most interesting man in the world drives it off the lot. When Spartacus attacks, his rivals accuse him of using a motor. When the most interesting man in the world attacks off the back, solo, he claims victory. Spartacus will retire voluntarily at the end of the year, a gladiator of gladiators, against the wishes of the citizenry.  The most interesting man in the world was sent to Mars, never to return again, against the wishes of his legions of fans.cancellara The “most interesting man”  is finished, only surviving on youtube, but Cancellara will continue his quest to be the greatest cobbled classic rider of all time with a legendary fourth win at Paris-Roubaix, “L’enfer du Nord”, on May 10.  It should be war!solo

1st MIT Ride Report of 2016

Southeast MB may not have much for canals, polders or windmills, but it does have a bit of that Holland feel with water everywhere. With Curtis R., Neil T. and Merle H. in attendance, the ride bypassed all Nederlander towns in favour of the French Triangle of La Broquerie, Ste. Anne and Richer.  Conversation ranged from Neil’s epic holiday plans to Curtis’s belief that beer is the ultimate athletic drink due to its anti-oxidant properties countering the destructive effects of exercise.

Neil recounted Cliff Claven’s Buffalo Theory from Cheers for us. It goes something like: “Well ya see, Norm, it’s like this… A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest & weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed & health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That’s why you always feel smarter after a few beers.” I can vouch for Neil that he is as smart….. as ever. After dropping Neil a few times between Ste. Anne and Richer it dawned on me that the inverse might be true when it comes to beer and leg speed.  I better stop with the beer stuff though as this is starting to sound like an “Abes” post.

The Lagimodiere Restaurant in Richer provided excellent Reuben sandwiches and the venue for further chat which primarily focused on the refugee experience.  One horn blower and 20km of relaxed riding later we finished the ride back in LaBroquerie. So cheers to the three of us who kicked off the start of the MIT season together.

On the Road Again!

It appears that El Nino will gift us with our earliest start to the road season ever.  This last weekend I logged 40km from LaBroquerie to Richer and back under perfect conditions; 8 degrees, no wind and dry roads.  After finishing off winter with a 25km ski in Sandilands it was great to transition right into the cycling season the next day.  There were still plenty of snowmobilers out, trying to prolong the inevitable end of winter.  If weather forecasts are to be believed we are in for a warm Saturday with almost no wind.  If only Jake would come out of hibernation and post the return of MIT with a new schedule.  Jake, are you out there?

Strava Art

Strava Art

Hey roadies,

It’s been awhile, hope you’re still in the saddle occasionally or doing something else to keep your condition up for the next season. I thought this was a fascinating story about the GPS art that one cyclist is creating on Strava.

Strava Art