Friday, April 15, 2016






Denis Buchwald
ITSM Web Tools Lead,

ITSM Technology
Service Management Branch - ITS
Treasury Board Secretariat

Phone: 705.494.3071
Mobile: 705.492.7380

200 First Ave. West 5th Floor
North Bay, ON  P1B 9M3


Monday, August 26, 2013

Riding around Lake Nipissing

As I understand, this year marked the 5th edition of the Ride around the Lake.
It is a charity event that challenges cyclists to complete a loop of nearly 300km around Lake Nipissing over two days. This year was the first year that I would be able to complete the entire loop as past years have seen me unable to enter or just do the second day. This year's event had thirteen cyclists start out for Sturgeon Falls which was the first "rest stop". We left North Bay at 7:00 am on Saturday (Aug. 24th). This early start ensured the traffic on HWY 17 is relatively low for us to travel safely. When we arrived in Sturgeon we rolled into the Tim Horton's parking lot (the smaller of the two venues and the one on the right side when entering town from North Bay) where we were joined by an additional rider. After some refreshments we left Sturgeon Falls and our peloton of fourteen cyclists maneuvered through town headed towards Noelville where we would have another "rest stop" before continuing onto Alban. We would enjoy a few more "rest stops" along the way before reaching our destination in Alban.
Once in Alban we would spend the night at the Beausejour Inn & Restaurant. The journey up to this point had taken us some 116km part way around Lake Nipissing.
As we arrived at the Beausejour Inn in the early part of the afternoon there was time to enjoy some "liquid libations" before refuelling at dinner for the coming day's ride!
The next day, which was Sunday (Aug. 25th), saw us departing the motel around 8:00am and head towards HWY 69 where we would have breakfast at the the Hungry Bear Restaurant. After breakfast we continued along HWY 69 until we reached HWY 522 where we turned in and began heading towards Port Loring. We had a good tailwind as we rode along on HWY 522 and made good time as my average speed along this section was 27kph. Once we reached Port Loring it wasn't much further to our next rest stop where we had lunch and a surprise visit from Denis' inlaws (Sue and Rob) along with Denis' spouse, Amy who is also a Burnt Helmets team member along with their son, Nolan who is currently the youngest Burnt Helmets member.
As we prepared to depart and tackle the remaining 80km, which takes us thru Golden Valley, Restoule, and Nipissing Village, it began to rain. As we continued along our route the rain steadily increased until it was a downpour. This was somewhat tolerable but does make riding as a group difficult as riding directly behind another cyclist only results in a continuous spray of water in your face along with being rained on. We also began encountering some tough hills that started to break the group up. It was not long before I found myself riding alone thru these hills separated from the others for quite a while. It is times like these that force one to dig deep and not give up as it was sometime before I was able to drag myself onto the back wheel of two other riders. By then we were on HWY 654 and into the final leg of the journey. At the final "rest stop", known as the Wasi Lookout, we took a group photo before continuing thru Callander and onto the Kate Pace Way as we arrived back in North Bay finishing our Ride around the Lake with a total distance of 285km.

As always, thanks for spending your 30 seconds with Scott!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Solo to Restoule

Even though vacation calories are flooding in like a broken dam failing to hold back a lahar of thick maple syrup with cakes, chips and meat sticks, one must get out on the bike. Maybe not for the futile effort to loose a pound a day vacation fat but to see the sites and enjoy the breeze.

Maybe this will justify the juicy butter tart that got left behind in my figurative mental dam failure.

Friday, June 21, 2013

All set up for the 2013 summer solstice race

Well we have our site set up.
Now its time to relax the pre ride.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

... And there off without a bang!

Seems like a quiet start to the 2013 race season. Life's little activities seem to be creeping in pulling out attention and perhaps some enthusiasm out of racing. 2012 wasn't so much injury plagued but did take its toll on everyone. On a specific note for theMacs, our adoption plans are moving forward and 2013 finally looks to be the year. If you're interested you can find more information here on my wife's blog about our pending journey.

This weekend will mark the first official entrance by a BH team member into an Ontario Cup road race! Dave, apparently, has been talking about doing a road race for a few years and Jenn has called him on it essentially forcing him (that would be Dave) to MAN UP! So, plus 1 for Dave for registering for the Lake of Bays Road Race. I know I'll be looking forward to your race report.

As for the remaining team members, looks like this weekends Saturday Group Road Ride will be in the cards. For those not already in the know, I became a certified SPIN instructor last Fall and have been regularly instructing at the CFB North Bay Recreation Centre. I was to have been instructing this Saturday (which was to be my last Saturday for the Summer), however, there is also a Cadet Marching Band competition being held at the Rec-Centre and they require the extra space (that being the SPIN room) for staging the competitors as they prepare to march about the Gym being judged. Fortunately, the forecast, having been up and down all week now looks promising with cloudy but rain free weather predicted.

Looking forward on the race schedule the next race is the 24hrs of Summer Solstice on June 22nd/23rd. This is a full team event with Dan, Derek, Denis, Amy, Dave and myself. Unfortunately, without a 2nd female rider we won't qualify as "mixed" and thus be competing in an all male category. Perhaps we can convince Dan to add a few letters to his name... we could introduce him as Daniella! Hmm, maybe not.

Thanks for spending your 30 seconds with Scott!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

... And now for the rest of the story.

Yes, we are well into the offseason now. This past race season saw the Burnt Helmets in three Ontario Cup races, one 24hr race, a team triathlon, a two-day tour around lake nipissing (just under 300km), and what was likely the last Crank the Shield as Chico Racing has reposition itself and will no longer be solely focused on Mountain Bike racing.

Anyway, back to recaping the last two events this past season. My 'ride around the lake' was shortened to a one-day 'out and back' as my Cousin got married on the Saturday and I did not want to miss the big event. So myself and two others left from North Bay and rode out, in some of the worst wet and raining conditions I might add, to meet up with the group just west of Golden Valley at a road side picnic and rest stop. Fortunately, by the time we arrived the weather had changed dramatically and it was sunny and warm - which helped dry us off. Much to our dismay the group hadn't encountered any bad weather following their early morning departure from their overnight stay at the Beausejour Inn and Restaurant in Alban, Ontario. On arriving at the rest stop, we had about 20 minutes to eat and prep as we were soon on our way back towards North Bay. This would be my first 160km (a.k.a. Century Ride) road ride. Now, I have ridden this same 'out and back' route several times in the past as Amy's parents have a Cottage out that way. However, this would be the first time I've ridden out in back the same day. It was a tough day nonetheless, especially since I lost contact with the group and missed the final rest stop before reaching North Bay. Regardless, it would prove to be a good warm-up to what was to come in September for Crank the Shield.

Going forward about one month, we are prepared for our 2nd time entering the Crank the Shield race... and what would be my 1st time racing the full length course. We arrived on the Thursday afternoon at the course, a beautiful fall day, to pickup our race kits and in addition each of us purchased a 2012 Crank the Shield jersey - at the time not knowing it would be the last CTS. We enjoyed fantastic company and a great dinner with Gary, an old roomate of Deny's from college. Gary was also kind enough to put us up for the night as he resides in Haliburton which is quite near the race's start at the Haliburton Forest.

Race Day#1 morning saw a continuous light drizzle of rain, just enough to be annoying. The start of the race seemed to drag as we had to gear up in the rain and stand around waiting for 11AM and the official race start. There was the typical build-up to the start, but as with most distance races the "GO" is somewhat anti-climatic. Following the long gravel road towards the the entrance to the singletrack, the hope was the field would thin out before reaching the singletrack that might present as a bottle-neck. For the most part it worked, the bottle-neck was lessened but the course would take a beating as a result of that continuous light rain. The hours seemed to blur together as the afternoon progressed and when I crossed that finish line on the first day moments before 5:30pm - I have never been so glad to see the end. Dave and Denis were there to greet me, having had time to freshen up and change their clothes. Having seen my ease with 'Rockstar Service' during our previous entry in Crank the Shield, both Dave and Denis joined me this year and what a blessing it was! Unfortunately, there would be a casuality that first day... my Chamois Bike shorts. Having spent much of the day in wet weather the chamois material and shorts separated resulting in my ripping the bottom of them at somepoint during that afternoon - oh, well it would be easy cleaning as I tossed them into the trash.

Race Day#2 was a little dryer and would prove to be a warmer yet equally gruelling day in the saddle. A total of 80km consisting of a mix of singletrack, fire road, and paved road. The start was a short 1km doubletrack section before jumping into singletrack and an instant bottle-neck. As the field thined the course began to flow. Again it challenged me with singletrack obstacles and features. I made my way thru the course refueling at each aide station along the way and was able to enjoy the beautiful vistas as the afternoon brought the sun which warmed things dramatically. Late afternoon came as I neared the finish. I had been on the heels of a small group of riders for about the last 10km and in the final 2km I caught them. Pushing thru I managed to cross the line in front of three of them. Yet another long day in the saddle as I would again cross the line just before 5:30pm.

Race Day#3 was cold and frosty. The race itself was beginning to take its toll on me. The ride to the start we'd learned from previous was about 13km and gruelling it would be as keeping a balance between quickly ticking off the kilometres and fighting the windchill would be difficult. Arriving at the start, there was ample time to warm body parts and prepare for the final day's race. I guess it was either the earlier morning start or maybe the windchill froze my brain, but somehow I neglected to take a five-hour energy booster before the start and I was one hour into the race before I realized something wasn't right. At the first opportunity I took the five-hour booster but it would still be rough as it took time to take effect. At this point, I could already feel the tiredness taking over. Even the thought of the boost from the caffine in the five-hour wasn't enough motivation to want to continue, but I pushed onward. It was another hard hour before I started to feel positive as the five-hour gave me energy and I came to feel alert again. Continuing to push forward I could hear the loudspeakers from the finish area in the distance.
The singletrack had us looping back and forth for what seemed like hours until finally breaking out onto the fire road that led to the finish line. Unknown to me at the time, my Mom and In-laws in addition to my wife (the only one whom I knew was to come) had made the journery from North Bay. As well, both Jenn and Amy (along with little Nolan) would also make the trip to see Dave and Denis finish. Unfortunately, after waiting for my arrival for sometime my Mom and Inlaws had to leave. As luck would have it, this was only a short time before I would final cross the finish line (just before 3:30pm) and complete the race. I have to say, it was quite an adventurous way to celebrate my 40th birthday!

Now I'm sure you're asking yourself, "How come it took so long to update us?". Yes, well... It has taken a long time to recover fully from Crank the Shield. As well, my interests shifted a little this fall and many of you might also know that I've recently become a certified Spin Instructor and teach weekly classes up at the CFB Fitness Centre.

Hopefully big things are in store for 2013... stay tuned for what it will bring and the races the Burnt Helmets will be in. Thanks again for spending your 30 seconds with Scott! Well Okay... maybe more like 35 seconds. :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ride around the lake 115 km

Well we have rode 115km and now we have stopped for the night.
Here is a view from the motel room and the sign by the highway.
Any Dave and i are enjoying a creemore and watching some olympics before dinner.
Tomorrow is a 180km back to North Bay.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ontario Cup 2012 - Race #5: Naughton Trails

The fifth race in the O-Cup series (held July 7th, 2012) was the Burnt Helmet's final O-Cup race for this season. As none of us purchased a race license this year we are limited to participate in a maximum of three races in the series. For this last race, the series made its way north and the closest its ever been to North Bay as O-Cup #5 was held at Naughton Trails - a cross-country ski/mountain bike destination near Sudbury.

With such a short drive to the race, Denis and Amy opted to bring Nolan to his first O-Cup race. He's not ready to compete but it seemed to be a race just trying to keep up with him. We departed from North Bay in a caravan of vehicles with each of us in our our own trucks, just simplier with the extra cargo needed for Nolan and Dave opting to bring his two bikes (hard tail and fullie). In addition to the apparent needed space for the proposed haul of purchases the girls were discussing.

Arriving at the course we were directed to park across the highway from the trails. This didn't prove too challenging as there was a Police Officer poised to aide racers and spectators across the highway by bring passing traffic to a standstill. As we approached the new venus on foot (our usual routine has us registering prior to pre-riding the course) all our preconceived notions were wiped away. We'd all had visions of racing a course in Sudbury and of course Sudbury is known for having little in the way of vegetation including trees. This would not entirely be the case... there were trees! I had also been reading rider's recants of their pre-rides and based on those accounts had visions of huge rocky descents... fortunately my imagination had got the better of me.

Once registered and suited up for a pre-ride, Jenn and Julie watched over Nolan as he rapidly explored the surrounding areas in quick succession. Exploring the course we found it quite dry and dusty with the single-track corners being much like talcum powder but nothing overly challenging in the first half. As we came thru the feed/tech zone at the "approximate" half-way point, the last half lap would prove to be challenging but not unridable. Lots and lots of Canadian Shield rock that would prove challenging for riders; translation - high potential for pinch flats and tire gashes. Returning to the parking lot, we found Julie, Jenn and Nolan trying to stay cool in the hot, hot sun. We packed up and headed for the hotel where Denis, Dave and myself would relax and hangout with Nolan while the Ladies took to the lead looking for bargins at the "Big Box Stores".

Nolan enjoyed some hide and seek with Dave. Along with some freedom roaming the halls with myself. When the Ladies returned, shopping bags in tow, we regrouped and headed out to the Keg for an enjoyable steak dinner.

Race Day!

We enjoyed some luxuries for this race, short distance drive and premium beds at the hotel but lacked some customary features such as a microwave for preparing a quick and easy breakfast. So a stop at the nearby Tim Horton's was in order prior to making our way to the race venue. It was shaping up to be a nice day, with a cool breeze to combat some of the heat as the sun moved higher in the sky. Amy and I both had our race starts for 10am. After getting ready I headed out for a warm-up, but not before the In-Laws showed up (along with the trusted sidekick - Rudy) to see me race (their very first time). This race, I was looking for some redemption, the previous two races I failed to finish - the first due to a mechanical and the second I missed the 3rd lap cut-off time. Marginally encouraged by the noticable smaller numbers lined up in the start pens, I was also hoping to avoid having Amy (who's been faster than I on the Mountain Bike this season) pass me before the finish line. Although it has been a tough transition into Master Sport from Beginner I do believe that I'll stay the course for next year and continue in the Master Sport category. As I have enjoyed the longer distances (even as I finish DFL) and challenge the longer courses offer. So, having said that - I am pleased to say that I successfully finished my first O-Cup race in the Master Sport category. Yes, I made the 3rd lap cut-off time plus Amy did not pass me... Looking back, I might have been a little faster but again its been difficult to gauge things upto that point not having finished a complete race of 3 laps (approximately 25+ kms). Amy also did well finishing in 6th place at just a bit more than 5 seconds behind 5th place.

Unfortunately, I missed the start of Dave and Denis' category as I had not yet crossed the finish line before they left. From the reports I'd received it was a fast start but not the blistering pace of O-Cups past. Both Dave and Denis found themselves amongst the pack. Dave said he was feeling good and as the pack sped down the doubletrack start when a gap would open ahead of the rider in front of him - Dave thought to himself "Oh no you don't" and leapfrogged that rider to close the gap. Doing this two or three times Dave found himself in the leading pack heading into the single track with Denis not far behind. Coming into the first pass of the feed/tech zone it was Denis leading Dave. Oh no, what happened?!? Well, unfortunately one of Dave's tires burped in a corner causing it to lose air and the few seconds Dave took to stop and send a couple bursts of CO2 into the tire to re-inflate cost him those places. Denis continued to press onward but Dave was holding that original gap and at the last lap Dave was about 2 minutes behind Denis as they came thru the last pass of the feed/tech zone. Not long after, Denis crossed the finish line and we expected Dave to do the same at anytime. Sadly, our suspense grew to dismay as Dave gallantly sprinted out of the wooded doubletrack towards the finish line with his bike in tow. He had gashed a tire on a rock in the last quarter of the 3rd lap. He was unable to repair it and thus forced to run the last 2 or so kms of the lap. Dave finished in 14th and less than 2 minutes behind 13th! (Dave, you should consider switching with Denis to do the run for next year's Triathlon!) Denis finished in 2nd, recapturing some of his racing form of 2010 - when he finsihed 1st overall in the O-Cup point standings, Denis was also less than 3 minutes behind 1st place held by an old rival from previous seasons.

You can view the full race results for O-Cup #5 by clicking here.

We topped off the day with an impromptu stop at the Riv.

Thanks for spending your 30 seconds with Scott!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ontario Cup 2012 - Race #3: Hardwood Hills

DISCLAIMER: Yes, this race report is late. O-Cup #3 was June 3.

The third race in the O-Cup series, Hardwood Hills was the Burnt Helmets second race this season. A bit of a slower start for BHR this season, but that was the plan.

We departed on Saturday morning (June 2nd) as per our usual routine - with some carpooling involved. The resulting drive south was uneventful as usual and upon our arrival at Hardwood Hills we headed to the Chalet to register and browse the wares at the onsite Bike shop. After some window shopping we headed back to the vehicles and prepared for the pre-ride. It would be an interesting course, as some of you might know I took a header during the pre-ride which left me shaken but unscathed. Being not just an Ontario Cup race, but a Canada Cup race - the course would be challenging... Hardwood has always been my nemesis dating back to my first ever race in September 2007 (which was also in the Master Sport category).

After the pre-ride we packed up just in time to avoid a lite drizzle of rain and headed to Midland where we would be staying at Grandpa Campbell's House (Dave's Grandfather has always been a gracious host whenever we've been racing in the area). A few of Dave's relatives joined in for what was to be another impressive BBQ feast. Seriously, we just don't take photos of the food - cause you'd simply wanna eat the photos!!

It was an early night, but thats only because some beverages were consumed earlier in the day. I must confess that racing at 10am has been a refreshing change - that extra hour of sleep has been joyful.

Arriving at the course, the weather was overcast. All four of us (Dave, Denis, Amy and Myself) would be starting at 9:30am. This is due to Hardwood being a Canada Cup series stop. This results in the Senior Elites required to ride an UCI approve course length of approx. 6km per lap (instead of the usual 8-9km) but of course they do more laps with totals between 30-36km depending on gender. Anyway, as we all started at 9:30am it was important to have support in the feedzone. Jenn and Julie were instrumental in fulfilling this requirement - with out which we racers wouldn't have succeeded as best that we did. Unfortunately, the rain only held off for so long as a light drizzle began around the start of lap #2.

Everyone persisted, and Denis achieved a top 10 finished (10th place) in the MasterSport 35-39 category with Dave, in the same category, just 4 minutes behind to finish in 13th place. It was a deep field of racers with 32 competitors of which 6 did not finish (DNF). Amy, racing in the Women's MasterSport 30-39 category, finished in 7th place. The women aren't as well represented with a field of racers totaling 9 racers of which just one did not finish. Great job Denis, Dave and Amy!

As for me, well Hardwood continues to be my evil nemesis. Prehaps I was spooked from crashing during the pre-ride or just an overall head game that Hardwood has over me. I did not make the cut-off and finished just two laps, which placed me DFL. So that's two O-Cup races down, leaving just one last O-Cup race this year in which to achieve redemption...

As always, thanks for spending your 30 seconds with Scott!

Monday, June 25, 2012

2012 24 Hours of Summer Finish

2012 24 Hours of Summer Solstice done!!

Here is the final race board and a link to the results.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

First night lap done

First night lap done.
Its just past midnight and time for a nap. The team is in 31 out of 97

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fw: 5 laps in

-------- Original message --------
Subject: 5 laps in
From: DB <>

We are 5 laps in and The Burnt Helmets are riding strong.
Here is Scott grabbing some video for the documentary. Derek is getting ready for his lap.