Charts and Logs
2005 - Last Chance
2004 - Great Southern
2004 - Manitoba 1000K
2003 - PBP
2002 - RM1200
2008 - USA
2008 - Australia
2007 - Europe
2007 - Canada
2006 - Canada
2005 - Canada
2004 - Australia
2003 - UK
What Works For Me
Audax Club Parisien
Canadian & International Randonneuring Links
Various Western USA Events
More Long Distance Rides
Books & Bicycle Bits
My Professional Portfolio
My Cycling History
I started cycling when I was 6 years old and have been
doing it on and off since then. My father was a cyclist, and we often
rode together as a family. When I got into my teens, I started focusing more on track and
field (running) and less on cycling. Then when I started college and got into the workforce
in my early 20s, I pretty much stopped cycling altogether.
My first cycle
At end of race in Brandon
February century - Machak and father's catrike
On April 29, 1990, at the age of 23, I started cycling seriously. That first ride was a
grand total of 2 miles long, and I had to take a break after the first mile ... I was
much more out of shape than I thought! For the next few years I put on about 1000 miles
a season, and thought I was doing really well.
Then I started increasing my distances,
and in the summer of 1994, I rode my first century - alone. It was so difficult and
painful that I said I would never do a ride that long again. The next year, I rode
Jasper to Banff (the Icefield Parkway) in 3 days, which had been a goal of mine since
I was 17, when my father did it. I loved it!! And that would have to be when I really
started to cycle! I did another century in 1997 - alone again - but this time I rode
smarter and ate better, and it was not a problem. Iíve done centuries every year since
then ... usually several each year.
In 1998, at the age of 31, I decided to try racing!
I figured I was pretty fast, but had no one to compare myself with because
I did most of my cycling alone. I still remember my first race - a very hilly course (for
Manitoba), cold, raining, on a borrowed bicycle with TT gearing. I DNFíd.
For the next 3 years I struggled to train to develop speed - and I was successful to a certain extent, but it was a lot of work. I tried out road racing - and always got dropped.
I tried crits - and did OK with them, but hated them because of the high risk of accidents.
And I tried TTs - and did OK, and liked them. In my 3rd year of racing, I only rode
Meanwhile that year, 2000, I had been riding some longer distances on my own - centuries
and 200 km rides exploring the neighborhood, and I really enjoyed those. So I began considering devoting my time to touring instead of racing.
I looked into touring over
the summer, but it just wasnít quite what I wanted to do. Late in the year, I remembered
that I had cut out an article from the newspaper about something called "Randonneuring"
quite a few years earlier.
I dug the article out, reread it, and decided that was what I wanted to try.
It took me a couple months to track down the club in
Manitoba - they werenít well advertized - and in the spring of 2001,
I decided to try my first 200K brevet. If it went well, I would do the 300K ... but I wasnít
committing myself to anything.
Hailstorm on 200K near Red Deer, AB
About a month before the 200K, I tore the rotator cuff in
my left shoulder, and the only bicycle I could ride was my heavy Mongoose mountain
bike because it didnít require me to put weight on my left arm. So, I rode that
first 200K with my mountain bike! I was very tired, but I enjoyed the ride and decided
to do the 300K. I rode that on my road bicycle, was much less tired than I had been
on the 200K.
After feeling so good on both the 200K and 300K, I decided to do the 400K, that went well too, and next thing I knew I was on the
600K! I was hooked! I also did a few more centuries and 200K rides on my own throughout
that year, just for fun! You can read about these rides on my brevet stories page.
Charlene tries a recumbent
Golden Triangle tour - Canadian Rockies
Me and my Marinoni Machak
I had heard about the Rocky Mountain 1200 (2002) and
the Paris-Brest-Paris 1200 (2003) that year. I really wanted to do the PBP,
so I decided to use the RM1200 as a test ride since it was in my country and close to
I had a plan all worked out for training over the winter prior to it - but that
plan came to a screeching halt on November 1st when I dropped a pot of boiling water
on my left foot which resulted in a bad 3rd degree burn.
I was off my bicycle and off my
feet entirely for the next 3 months - so much for training! I couldnít even lift upper
body weights because as soon as my heart rate increased, my foot would swell and
become very painful. At the end of February, 2002 I finally got back onto my exercise
bicycle, and started working diligently to get ready for the RM1200. That experience made
me even more determined to do it than ever.
I completed the Rocky Mountain 1200 in 2002,
the Paris-Brest-Paris 1200 in 2003,
the Great Southern Randonee 1200 in 2004,
and the Last Chance Randonnee 1200 in 2005. I have completed brevets
every year since 2001 (my brevet stories),
and I've also had the opportunity to tour the UK, France, Australia, and parts of Canada and the US. More recently, I've started racing 24-hour Time Trials
which I thoroughly enjoy!
Iíd really encourage anyone to give Randonneuring a try ... you never know where it will lead!
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.
-- Mark Twain