Monday, August 11, 2014

My First 1000 km Brevet!

My First 1000 km Brevet!
If somebody had asked me 5 years ago if I could do a 1000 km Brevet I would have answered No!   But I did it! We started our club schedule in the month of May with two 200 km Brevets, followed by two 300 km Brevets. Then came our 400 km that took us into the USA. That was followed by our tough 600. And finally our 1000 km Brevet. As the distance goes up our numbers got less. For our 600 there was just 2 of us.
Speeding to the start.
But for our 1000 km we had 4 of us going. Two of us had done it before and two of us had not.
Left to Right: Mark, Sam,Pete and myself at the start.

Leaving Winnipeg at 6:00 am
The route had been used before so we had a plan to borrow on. And we had a volunteer to drop off and pick up our drop bags at our planned stops. There was still lots that could go wrong but everything worked out great. The plan was do 400 km on the Friday with a 6:00 am start, do 300 km the second day and 300 km the third day to get us back to the start.The route was set up to use the town of Neepawa twice as a control and allowed us to keep the hotel room.

First Control

Our first control was a coffee shop in the town of Mordon after 106 km. Great choice as I run on coffee. They also have food too. After this we start to climb in elevation heading in a westerly direction.

Waiting for the others to catch up in Cartright, Manitoba
Our second control was in a town called Killarney at the 246 km. This was where we had an early supper.
From here we headed north to a town called Glenboro for our third control at 315 km. On the way to Glenboro I came across a valley where they had made lots of round hay bales. Now a lot of times I might have to stop and use the ditch for a bathroom and I find people will often stop to talk and delay your call to nature. I quickly jumped out and ran behind the hay bale for some privacy. When I was finished I walked back to the Quest only to find 2 cars stopped taking pictures of it. A lot of time was used up in this trip talking to a lot of nice curious people.

Part of my fan club leaving.

Waiting for the others to catch up at control 3

Heading north to Neepawa as the sun goes down.
  This last 50 km turned out to our only night riding. I am not great riding fast in the dark as on coming cars sometime blind me. I slow down and follow the other closely.

Our hotel by night as we arrive.
We checked in to our hotel after 401 km of riding. The pool was closed so they let us store our bikes indoors by the pool. Talk about a luxury ride, showers, sleep and indoor parking.

Indoor parking.

We were on the road before 6:00 am chasing the clock but with the shower and 5 hours of sleep I felt great. It was also great having the drop bag with a change of clothes.

On the road to Dauphin.
After the control in Dauphin we were heading though Riding Mountain park where there is a lot of climbing. I left the others behind on this stretch as I wanted to get a head start on the climbing.
The town of McCreary on the way to Dauphin

 I arrived at control 5  about an hour ahead of the others.I was at 541 km. I grabbed  a quick lunch and headed for the climbs. At the park gate to lady warned me about them. I was prepared. I took "Da Hood" off and taped it to the hump on the Quest. Now Adri is used to climbing and he would laugh at what I was climbing but he lives in Norway. I geared down and pushed on. I could stop and take pictures and keep going as I felt. The others could not stop on a 11% slope like I could. It was + 30 C as I started to climb. There were some long slopes and some short slopes that were less steep but more climbing than this flat lander was used to. I took it slow and easy in my lowest gear.

Part way up one of the climbs at about 8%

Looking back as I was climbing.
A black bear watching us go by.

Lots of these signs but only one camera shy moose seen.

Part way though the park Pete caught up to me on his recumbent. Pete is a very strong rider with lots of Brevet experience. We rode for a while until some of the down hill sections and I pulled away. We met up and waited for the rest to catch up at the next control at Erickson at 628 km. From here it was mostly down hill to Neepawa and our hotel room. It was on Little Mountain Road that I hit my fastest downhill speed of 90.3 KPH. Lots of FUN! It made up for all the climbing. Here is the link to this days Garmin file Garmin file link  I sprinted back to the hotel before 10 pm and got the first shower in before the next person showed up. That was control  7 at 690 km.

Pete and the Quest ready to leave for the final stretch home.
The final ride home was started with an early departure again. The next section would have lots of rolling sections but less long steep climbs. A late Breakfast was in the town of Austin where I was last to get there as I was taking a picture of this old steam tractor mounted high up as a sign.
Steam Tractor sign at Austin

Picture of me being last for breakfast in Austin
After a great brunch we headed for our next control in Holland Manitoba. Control 8 was at the 799 mark. There were a few river valleys to cross along the way. More climbing!!!
Stopping for pictures again.

Looking back at another climb.

Just before Holland I had a pinch flat on my right front tire. I told the others to go on as I would catch up later. I emptied out the Quest to get at my spare tubes. I put the Quest on a blanket on it's side and I had no less than 6 cars and trucks stop and offer help. Those country people are real friendly and curious. It turned a 10 minute job into 1/2 hour job.
Empty Quest ready for tire repair.
In Holland I was delayed at the control. The local bar owner had to take some pictures and I got interviewed for the local paper. The price of fame!
I got to travel though La Riviere but I couldn't speed  as I had a truck in front of me in town.

Going up my favorite hill in La Riviere Manitoba.

I caught up to the group just before Morden  which was control 9 at 902 km.We had coffee and sandwiches for Supper. It must have been good coffee as I sprinted the rest of the way home. On the final stretch sports writer Gregory C. McNeill met us along the way to take photos in several places.
Speeding to the finish. Photo by Gregory C. McNiell
The rest of the group drafting Pete. Photo by Gregory C. McNiell

Photo by Gregory C. McNiell

Sam's son greeting his dad. Photo by Gregory C. McNiell
 I got back to the final control at 10:15. I change my jersey and waited for the rest to show up. We toasted the great ride with some apple juice. It was Sam's and my first 1000 and it was sure great to have a great finish. Great people, a great plan and great weather. It sure was FUN...

A toast to great ride.


  1. Great ride report Kevin.
    You guys are just amazing!
    Well done.
    I love that photo of you passing by the silos, it is kind of surreal looking.

    1. I was lucky with having Sam,Mark and Gregory taking pictures besides me. It gave me a chance to be in some photos for a change. The one of me flying past the grain silos was Gregory's and it speaks Canadian prairie all over it.

  2. well done respect for a great ride

  3. Now I guess it's onto the 1500 km Winnipeg-Saskatoon-Winnipeg brevet.
    Just so you could have the Guess Who's Running Back to Saskatoon playing on the velo stereo. :)

    1. It funny you mention that. Our club did a Flete with the club from Saskatoon. A team rode from Russel Manitoba to Saskatoon in time to beat an Alberta team. I don't know the details as it was before I joined.

  4. The photo captioned "Going up my favorite hill in La Riviere Manitoba." looks like a scene from the the 1971 film Duel.

  5. Hi Kevin, An other impressive brevet, where do you stop?

    1. Next month we do the hardest Brevet. It's a 200 km on gravel roads and trails. I will be doing it on a recumbent trike or a SWB recumbent.

  6. Hi Kevin,

    Impressive! Well done! You don't have to excuse yourself, this climbs you are mentioning in your great ride report are looking tough to me too, and considering the temprature it must have been hard!

    Greetings, Adri.

    1. Hi Adri! I mentioned you because you climb on all the rides that you do and I respect your climbing ability. For most of our riding our land is flat like the Netherlands.
      Greetings from Canada

  7. Enjoyed your report! Congratulations on the 1000K finish.

    1. Thanks for comment. The 1000 km has been the highlight of my riding this summer.

  8. Well done! Congratulations.
    A good report, and nice pictures
    It may be an irony of fate that you got a flat tire in "Holland"

    Greetings from Denmark
    Soren (