Prieses, Nikkels, and Thiessen meet the Richer challenge

On what proved to be the longest day of the year, Rudy & Sue Nikkel, Werner & Karen Pries, and Neil Thiessen braved the elements and struck out for Richer. The summer sun was beaming down on us, the wind gave us only occasional relief, and the mosquitoes stayed out of the way for the most part. Still, we were determined. Working as a team, we took turns lagging behind, checking out the scenery and stopping once in a while to have a swig of gatorade. We even slowed down to greet Merle Hiebert, who was already speeding back to town, having takien off on us before we even arrived at the water tower! But we had a goal, and our grit and determination finally paid off when we reached Richer. Rudy had a bacon and cheese burger, Sue had the Swiss and mushroom. Werner opted for a chicken burger while Karen and Neil also had cheese burgers. And then came my large order of fries! Thank goodness that I didn’t have to eat those all by myself! I think if I had been wearing a heart monitor it would have beeped at least four times if I hadn’t had a lot of help from everyone else! MIT teamwork! After some discussion it was determined that these Richer burgers may in fact be even better than the Woodridge variety.Having achieved a personal best in burger-wolfing-down, we headed back out onto the open road. Again, the weather was a factor. Now the sun was beginning to set, and there were times when the long shadows of the trees actually shaded our pathway and cooled our sweat-beaded brows. And sometimes we had to squint a bit. I believe that too much squinting was probably to blame for us missing the LaBroquerie ice cream stand. One might think that, having already attained our goal, our flight back to town would be a let-down. But no, there were warm showers and cool brewskies waiting for us at home. And it didn’t take us long to get there! Not that we were racing! No, this was not a day to use the big chain ring. We wanted to savour the experience, to make it last forever. It may just have been the finest Manitoba evening of the year.So, just for the records (if you’re keeping score), mark us down for nearly 70,000 calories consumed (actually, I have no idea what that means — you’ll have to check that number with Neil), a few dabs of sunscreen on our noses, a couple of decent stories and even a laugh or two. I’m not really sure about our minimum or maximum speeds, or even what our total tire pressure was; suffice it to say, when you get a beautiful Manitoba summer evening like we had tonight, and a hearty home-made burger waits for you at the other end of a bike ride, it really doesn’t matter how the first half of your day went. All is well. It’s as good as it gets.

6 thoughts on “Prieses, Nikkels, and Thiessen meet the Richer challenge

  1. Sometimes we forget the basics of riding a bike. Thanks for putting things into perspective. My heart was there, you can keep the calories.
    Ride on!

  2. I’am sure I would have enjoyed the “luxury tour” more; unfortunately my progeny were demanding my return by six so that I could make them a gourmet meal. I said goodbye to Neil at the water tower at 4:10 and determined to make it to Richer by 5:00. I remebered reading that it was 38 km. to the service station which would mean an average time of just over 40 km/hr. I had a great ride out except for a date & oatmeal cookie and a handful of grapes which I had eaten before I left. I checked in to the restaurant at exactly 5:00, sweating all over the floor of the restaurant, made a reservation for the luxury tour, and sweated my way over to service station for a chocomilk. The gas jockey pointed out a 12 year old kid traveling with his dad on a fishing trip. The kid was smoking a cigarette right in front of his father. I guess it is all about bonding. Have a smoke together, do a little fishing, maybe tank back a 24! What could be better than building that father-son relationship. Stomach full of chocolate milk and undigested cookie and grapes I set out for home at 5:12. Passed Neil and the gang with a brief hi! By this time it was a battle to keep the choco, cookie and grapes from finding their way onto the road. I have had this experience before but am a slow learner. By LaBroquerie my back and arms are killing me. Amazing how hard it is to maintain 40 for sustained periods. I passed the water tower at 6:04 and pulled in at home at 6:10. Andre and Madeleine asked me what was for dinner as I lay prostate on the kitchen counter trying hard not to wretch the cookie grapes and choco into the container with the raw steak and chicken. Next time I’ll do the luxo tour and enjoy the Richer than Woodridge burgers with the rest. The kids can order in Pizza.

  3. You don’t even know your average tire pressure per KM – sheesh, you hardly deserve to wear the MIT shorts!

    Wish I was there, but my own version of slow and savoury last night was a walk to Clearspring Mall with Noreen. What a great evening – toe blister was well worth it. Thanks for the post!

  4. Rudy, you missed the almost best part of the Richer ride! The baptism! Sue was baptized (with ice water, yet!) at the Richer restaurant in front of an appreciative audience, and she didn’t even get a free meal out of the deal. At least her soul is safe now and her shorts are finally dry.

  5. Longest day of the year, and no riding by yours truly. It’s my Birthday none the less. Took the day off due to taper efforts in prep for Sunday. Also, had a wonderful dinner at the newly re-opened Medicine Rock Cafe in St Francois Xavier. Missed the tornadoes by about 15km as when the tragedy was happening in Elie (see Stbh on-line), we were still having dessert. Hope and pray all is OK with the residents of Elie. Merle, with the speed you were showing today, after I leave transition on Sunday, we’ll do a quick switcheroo on the bike and you can give it all you got for the 40km (try to keep the cookies in check) and we’ll switch back before the final run. Seems like a plan … are you in?? Enjoy the Richer ride Sat. a.m. as Darren R and I are doing a 20km pre race shakedown at 8. See you next weekend either Sat or Mon or who knows, maybe both.

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