Cheap Indoor Virtual Training Option

MTBR_Zwift_Zeppelin

A snapshot of the virtual world of Zwift Island.

I know for most of the hardcore MIT’ers out there, indoor training season never really arrives. Less hardcore riders, however, might be interested in exploring the virtual training world offered by Zwift. Essentially, it allows you to view your effort and progress as you compete against the other online riders zipping around the virtual world of Zwift Island. Any indoor trainer works, but you’ll need a power meter and ANT+, or bluetooth, supported cadence sensor and hrm.  Interested? Check it out.

Hwy 12′s Getting Paved Shoulders?

 

edited road by stanne

Here’s what it could look like in the near future around Steinbach. 15 feet of asphalty goodness  will transform Hwy 12 from a very dangerous, poor pavement ride into a route that opens up some great loop options. Ghost trucks, however, could still pose a hazard…

When construction began this past summer on improvements to Hwy. 12 north of Steinbach, I had high hopes that the road renewal would include paved shoulders. It looks to me, judging by this photo I took about a month ago, that it will. My understanding is that they’ll eventually repave it all the way to Steinbach. Nice. Road riding around here is looking up. Now if only we could get paved shoulders to La Broquerie.

Bad Time for a Burger?

Picture quality really doesn't do this meal justice. My phone lens is totally scratched...

The picture quality really doesn’t do this meal justice. My phone lens is totally scratched…

Is there ever really a bad time to order a bacon cheeseburger and fries? That’s what I was thinking when Saturday’s MIT ride rolled into Richer and the Cat Sass Tavern for the mid-ride food stop at just around 9:30am. To a man, all of the guys ended up ordering the “Provencher“, a typical, and delicious, breakfast special that the menu claims is a house favourite consisting of meat, eggs, hashbrowns and toast. Me? I boldly ordered the “Nor’wester Burger“, a local favourite – I know that’s true because it says so in the menu. In this case, I don’t doubt it as I consider myself a pretty good judge of a great burger, and I’d say this one ranks in the top 5 I’ve eaten anywhere, even out ranking VJ’s in Winnipeg. The homemade fries were also excellent. So if you’re ever in the neighbourhood, forget Gepetto’s down the road and try out the “Nor’wester”.

MCC Recycle: Journey For Justice 2014

Greetings MIT,

Next week I will be riding in the MCC Manitoba Thrift Shop Recycle: Journey For Justice. This week long ride (Aug 25 to Aug 30) will start in Brandon on Monday and finish in Riverton on Saturday. I will be riding about 100KM per day and visiting every MCC Thrift Shop in Manitoba. The ride’s purpose is to promote the thrift shop network and to raise funds for MCC’s Restorative Justice program (Initiatives For Just Communities). All of the stores will be donating their net sales for the day and we have a foundation sponsor to match the first $25,000 raised, plus individual donations. Last year we raised a total of $55,000 and I think we might even beat that this year.

YOU are invited to ride with me (the ride schedule and donation instructions can be found here).

Last year Pete rode with me on the final day from Winnipeg to Riverton. It was a nice ride through the interlake and along the lakeshore from Winnipeg Beach to Gimli and on up to Riverton (about 135 KM). Please let me know if you want to join for any part of the ride – it would be great to have the company (and the draft!). I will see if I can arrange transportation home for you. There is a short 30 minute celebration at each thrift shop where I give a speech and other staff tell some program impact stories. Lots of fun!

New Version of MIT?

I was thinking about how excited I was that my son Brett was interested in the different bikes that hang in my garage.  It’s not that I have too many bikes because the commonly accepted formula for how many bikes one should own is ‘current plus one’.  For clarity I own a number of bikes; my Cannondale R800 road bike for nicer days, my older Cannondale for rain rides, my Brodie mountain bike, a Rocky Mountain cruiser used mostly for commuting to work and then the Montenni which has been converted to a spin bike that doesn’t leave the garage plus a carbon fiber road bike that just needs a few parts and will be ready for the road next year I guess that last one is currently my plus one.

But back to Brett eying up my bikes in the garage.  I thought wow my son wants to start riding bike after all he was asking many questions and looking at the bikes even asking if could take them down, sit on them not really asking to ride but too me that was the next obvious step.  It didn’t take long and bikes from Self-Help Thrift Store appeared in our garage along side of my bikes.  Brett would tinker on the bikes and work at understanding how they functioned often taking apart the rear hubs then not putting it back together.

What did seem strange at the time is he asked for an electric hand grinder for his birthday.  I have asked different friends about their adult children and even co-workers and none of them has ever remembered someone asking for an electric hand grinder for their birthday.

Shortly after his birthday I came home to find Brett busy cutting up the bikes he had brought home.  There was this idea somewhere in his head on what a bike should or could look like.   As he put the bike parts together they started to resemble a one-of-a-kind of bike and the vision of what the end result was only in his head.  Brett has always been the kind of person who would get a Lego box for his birthday, put it together once then rebuild the same thing in what he thought it should look like.  That first bike parts adventure in our garage didn’t result in a bike as much as a huge mess that I cleaned up without telling Brett.  For the most part he has forgiven me.

Now 6 years later and he can make the mess in his own garage.  I noticed that he was collecting different bikes again.  So out came the grinder and with a friend who knows how to weld and lots of advice from Pat from Body Driven Sports they came up with the first comfort bike that suits Brett as he rides the 7 foot low rider.  Up close it’s alittle rough but it does function well and he is able to ride it to work and with his kids around town.

Brett on #1

With the first one built the ideas started to flow for the second bike, this one for his wife Natalie.  Brett is abit of an artist so he drew what it might look like.

the idea

Then as the different bikes started to fall to the hand grinder he put the pieces together to start to resemble the bike that he had on paper.

Pieces

Then with his friend they welded it together, gave it a paint job and presented it to his wife Natalie.

Natalies

Both bikes ride beautifully, tough to describe the feeling of a comfort ride that rolls over speed bumps, takes wide corners and attracts many looks.

So my son doesn’t ride road bike with me, he isn’t into speed or spandex but he is growing up and found a passion in bikes.  Makes me proud of how he has put his dreams into reality by working at the vision that was in his head which has resulted in two bikes (so far) that he can be proud of.