Obituary for the MIT 2006 Cycling Season
It is with sadness and little fanfare the MIT Cycling’s 2006 season moved on to that great ride in the sky. Left to mourn it’s passing are 34 current riders. Who after 32 weeks of riding, some or most, each Saturday & Sunday morning to different locations in Southeastern Manitoba it took it’s last turn of the round wheel. The MIT Cycling Club season was predeceased by lonely rides, lost stories, some bad bonks, broken down bikes and many want-to-ride cyclists who promised to show up. Coming to life on the afternoon of Sunday, March 18th for the 2006 season with a brief, wet & cold ride to Kleefeld by members, Paul Harakel, Rob Sidorchuk & Jac Siemens. The last ride was to the same Kleefeld on Saturday, October 17th by 7 riders including Hans Epp, Curtis Rempel, Merle Hiebert, Neil Thiessen, Ron Janzen, Rob Sidorchuk & Jac Siemens; all intent on keeping warm in a pace line and partaking of those almost World Famous waffles. In between those dates MIT ate breakfast in Richer, Woodridge, Grunthal, St Malo, Deacons Corner, Kleefeld and Tim Hortons. MIT was well represented, again, at longer established rides like the MS rides to Gimli & Clear Lake and who can forget the Muddy Waters Ride that makes a believer out of each of us completing the 100 km or 100 mile loops. Left to cherish the memories of at least one ride are Jac Siemens, Paul Harakal, Curtis & Jackie Rempel, Hans Epp, Ron Janzen, Rob Sidorchuk, Marcel Jodin, Patrick Siemens, Rudy & Sue Nikkel, Justin Schinkel, Jason Hiebert, Merle Hiebert, Jason Rempel, Randy Fender, Roy Loewen, Gord Penner, Darren Reimer, Dale & Shannon Sawatsky, Curt Guenter, Jamie Falk, Werner & Karen Pries, Garth Friesen, Neil Thiessen, Jim Nadler, Patrick Fredette, Chantel Frechette, Darcy Friesen, Claro Alcantara, Dean Zimmer & Pete McAdams. A number to things have stayed consistent over the season. Meeting at the Water Tower corner at times established the pervious Wednesday in the form of an email. The general comments about bikes, both new & used, the weather, the clothing we each wear, discussions of direction to ride and where breakfast would be best. The absence of bugs, except for those horse fly’s during a Woodridge ride or those little black Canola bugs that came our evenings in June, but no mosquito’s to plaque each stop. The rules that governed MIT were simple including must wear helmet, able to ride in a pace line, last rider in is always supported. New riders are encouraged and looked upon to pull just like everyone else, and if you invite someone to ride it is your responsibility to get them home.. But it is always about the ride, all 4,592 km’s as a group, more than 160 hours riding time at an year end average speed of 28.7 km/hr. No one rider rode all those km’s but many completed well over half. This year MIT completed 64 rides to different locations for breakfast including Kleefeld (20), Richer (16), Grunthal (10), Woodridge (6), New Bothwell (4), St Malo (3) and Dugald, La Broquerie, Winnipeg, Muddy Waters & Tim Hortons once. A complete listing of rides & riders will be posted on the web site. New items this year included a web site to update members around the world. The continued talk of MIT clothing. The best part being the pictures each week by group photo bug, Paul as he races ahead to catch us working for the line or our shadows pacing through the fall fields. Then the articles in The Carillon & Winnipeg Sun as our riders started to gain a footnote on the local & provincial scene. In the end each rider came for different reasons. Some to continue riding after years of riding on their own, some to show off new equipment, some just because, others to lose weight and those who just wanted belong to a brotherhood of sorts. Some rode because it continues the quest for fitness by working up a good sweat, to others it is a social gathering. And others want to ride with a group between triathlons and duathlons. After all it is the bike that is common, as we come from diverse backgrounds giving us the ability to provide answers to world problems, build relationships from outside our usual peer group and just laugh. But mostly we rode because of the bonds built by tolling together into a strong head wind that made us feel good about who we are. We wish to thank the staff of Body Driven Sports & Source for Sports in Steinbach for their support and tender care during anxious times of broken spokes, flat tires and dreams of new parts. Cremation has taken place. Date & time of celebration services will be announced, as not all family members believe it is truly over. Final viewing is on a first click basis at the www.MITCycling.com site. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the MIT ripped spandex fund. Ride on!