About bigjac

Just a middle-aged man whose blood pressure and cholesterol were out of wack and needed a tuneup, bad. Then I rekindled my love for riding a bike -- just the simple act of turning the cranks. What happened next is I met a lot of neat people who are as nuts as I am. Ride on.

How Fast Was That?

Interesting article of a Canadian besting his own world record in a human-powered machine.

I can just imagine him on a practice run between LaBroquerie and Richer concentrating on getting his line right, working on his spin and speed.  Then hears Merle with his loud carbon wheel pulling even, with Curtis right behind him both of them thinking “finally a new MIT rider!”

Full article http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/aerovelo-speed-record-1.3239241

Eden East Ride update

Saturday August 29 is the first Eden East Road Ride leaving La Broquriere at 8 am.  A few of the MIT riders are planning on riding from Steinbach leaving at 7 am from the tower gathering spot.

The 8 am ride for others is still on for those that want to ride that ride.  Either way it looks to be a great day to ride a bike.

Enjoy the ride.

Another Bike Ride for the South East

Another bike ride is announced for Southeastern Manitoba.  This ride is for ROC which stands for Recreation Opportunities for Children.  They started a number of years ago with the main focus to get kids involved with sport/recreation that can not do so for financial reasons.

The ride is a supported ride with stops at various locations.  Cost to the riders is whatever $$’s you are willing to donate.  The 100 km ride leaves from Source for Sports in Steinbach at 7 am travelling down hwy 12 south, touring communities of Sarto, Grunthal, Kleefeld, Randolph, Blumenort, Giroux, La Broquerie then ending up back in Steinbach.

ROC 2015

Eden’s East Side Road Ride

The first ever Eden’s East Side Road Ride is scheduled for Saturday August 29th, 2015.   Eden’s East Side Road Ride is a fund-raiser to support mental health recovery programs for individuals living in our Southern Health region.  By registering for this first ever event and raising funds, you’re making a profound difference in the lives of many individuals living with a mental health challenge.  One in four Manitobans will be directly affected by a serious mental health concern in their lifetime.  The pledges raised from the bike ride will go to support Eden’s mental health recovery programs. Click HERE to go to Eden Health Care Services website.  These programs include supported housing and employment programs for individuals dealing with significant mental health issues.  Subsidized counselling services through Recovery of Hope help individuals and families on lower incomes access needed support.  The good news is that with the right supports and services, individuals can recover from mental illness.  Your participation in this cycling fundraiser can help us maintain this valuable service, restoring hope and healing in people’s lives.

Click HERE to go directly to the on-line registration page to join us for an 80 km group ride along the gently rolling paved highway #210.  You can join as an individual or create a team together with co-workers or friends and get a “buzz” going about what you’re doing.  You can down-load a Cyclist’s Manual HERE which will give you lots of information about the event, how you can participate, how to prepare for the ride and some very helpful fund-raising tips.  When you register on-line you will also have an on-line fund-raising vehicle available for you to use.

Eden’s East Side Road Ride starts at the La Broquerie Hotel and heads east and south past fertile farm land.  Within a few kilometers the road has a gentle rise and fall which leads the cyclists into the wooded area that has the Sandilands Provincial Park at its heart.  Not far down the road is The Ranger Station camping spot inside the Sandilands Provincial Park where you’ll have an opportunity to stop and use bathroom facilities.  At this location, you’ll be resupplied with water and snacks for the stretch to the turn-around point at Woodridge.

Once you’ve reached the turn-around in Woodridge you’ve ridden about forty kilometers and the total climb has been about 100 meters.  If you’ve maintained a nice leisurely pace of about 20 kph, you’ll have been rolling for a little over two hours.  You’re on your way back and knowing that you climbed 100 meters, it’s pretty much down-hill back to La Broquerie.

Our event ends at Gospel Chapel in La Broquerie, where we’ll have a BBQ going and we’ll end off with a few awards and a silent auction so bring along a few extra bucks. Funds raised as a result of this event will be used to support those services and programs that are part of the community’s dream in achieving hope and healing.  The most needed areas are for financial support for counselling services as expressed through Recovery of Hope and for employment services as provided through Segue Career Options program.  The big dream this year, is to build up a financial resource to purchase a parcel of land to build a new supportive housing apartment building in Steinbach using Penfeld Court and Concordia Village IV as models for this new building.  It’s a need that has been identified by concerned and engaged citizens of Steinbach and Eden has been invited to partner in this project.

I have registered the Mennonites in Tights as a team.   Look forward to riding with you or the donations you’ll provide for me to ride.


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.


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


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.