Saturday, February 28, 2009

Johnny S Wins?

Has anyone else noticed that the Cervelo Test Team jerseys bear a certain resemblance to the sweetest jersey in the world? They've got mirror-image accented and italicized e's on the front, while we at the FGBC employ a butchered beer logo to draw attention to our ripped chests. Beyond that one minor difference, the jerseys are virtually identical. So much so that when Thor Hushovd came flying across the finish line in a blur of black and red, one could be forgiven for thinking it was Johnny S who took an assertive win in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad today. See for yourself:




Behind Hushovd, it was Kevyn Ista (who?) in second place, while Juan Antonio Flecha took third. A couple of small crashes in the final km may have affected the outcome. A group containing most of the favourites came charging to the line, but they never really managed to get it set up for the final sprint. So Philippe Gilbert fails to defend his title and Tom Boonen will have to wait another day to show us that he's back from the little holiday that was last season. Full results and report from CN. Sporza has some video. And Pez takes you beyond the race and into the streets and weiler cafes.

Over in the FGBC Spring Classics Pool, a sizable group of Daves may have conspired to shun us, but David S showed how much he loves us by taking the first win of the season. He racks up 745 points on the day and now wears the target on his back. Kevin was second with 680 points, followed by FGBC Pool rookie Chris O with 625 points. The carefully crafted selection process resulted in a relatively even field of teams, so it's all pretty close so far. But somehow Dallas still managed to end up digging a rather large hole for himself to begin the season. He was only able to muster 20 points today and looks to have a firm early grasp on the lanterne rouge.

They're back at it again tomorrow with Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. If you want to watch, check in here sometime around 8:30 ET.

The Top 30:

Hushovd 350
Ista 300
Flecha 275
Van Avermaet 250
Burghardt 225
Amorison 200
Klier 175
Haussler 150
Terpstra 125
Boonen 110
Voeckler 100
Tankink 95
Boucher 90
Nuyens 85
Gilbert 80
Posthuma 75
Chavanel 70
De Vocht 65
Feillu 60
Goetarovitsj 55
Sentjens 50
McEwen 45
Cooke 40
Verheyen 35
Coenen 30
Mondory 25
Hayman 20
Rasch 15
Lemoine 10
Sijmens 5


Today's Results

David 745
Kevin 680
Chris O 625
Hal 595
Rachel 580
Jonny M 565
Ian 560
Chris A 510
Luke 500
Chris H 485
Jonny G 475
Donna 465
Mike 430
Paddy 375
Vic 340
Andy 340
Matt 310
Darryl 305
Craig 280
Brad 245
Bill 245
Adam 245
Naomi 140
Dallas 20


Overall Standings

David 745
Kevin 680
Chris O 625
Hal 595
Rachel 580
Jonny M 565
Ian 560
Chris A 510
Luke 500
Chris H 485
Jonny G 475
Donna 465
Mike 430
Paddy 375
Vic 340
Andy 340
Matt 310
Darryl 305
Craig 280
Brad 245
Bill 245
Adam 245
Naomi 140
Dallas 20

24 Teams

It might not be a bad idea to check your team over. Mistakes happen.

Chris H (option 1) - Fabian Cancellara, Alessandro Ballan, Marcus Burghardt, Karsten Kroon, Greg van Avermaet, Enrico Gasparotto, Frederik Willems, Thomas Vaitkus, Damiano Cunego

Matt (option 1) - Tom Boonen, Philippe Gilbert, Sylvain Chavanel, Mark Cavendish, Robbie McEwen, Ryder Hesjedal, Anthony Geslin, Svein Tuft, Franck Schleck

Brad (option 1) - Tom Boonen, Philippe Gilbert, Stijn Devolder, Mark Cavendish, Robbie McEwen, Enrico Franzoi, Ryder Hesjedal, Svein Tuft, Franck Schleck

Dallas (option 2) - Alessandro Ballan, Filippo Pozzato, Leif Hoste, Stijn Devolder, George Hincapie, Karsten Kroon, John Gadret, Enrico Franzoi, Frack Schleck

Luke E (option 3) - Filippo Pozzato, Juan Antonio Flecha, Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Lance Armstrong, Allen Johansen, Andreas Klier, Baden Cooke, Stuart O'Grady, Alejandro Valverde

Paddy (option 1) - Tom Boonen, Nick Nuyens, Sylvain Chavanel, Karsten Kroon, Stuart O'Grady, Thomas Voeckler, Enrico Franzoi, Yaroslav Popovych, Thomas Dekker

Ian (option 2) - Philippe Gilbert, Filippo Pozzato, Juan Antonio Flecha, Sylvain Chavanel, Fabian Wegmann, George Hincapie, Enrico Franzoi, Nikki Terpstra, Danilo Di Luca

Vic (option 1) - Tom Boonen, Nick Nuyens, Lance Armstrong, Robbie McEwen, Oscar Freire, Thomas Voeckler, Luca Paolini, Robbie Hunter, Andy Schleck

Bill (option 3) - Filippo Pozzato, Stijn Devolder, Leif Hoste, Marcus Burghardt, Oscar Freire, Mark Cavendish, Fabian Wegmann, Berhard Eisel, Franck Schleck

Chris O (option 2) - Philippe Gilbert, Filippo Pozzato, Juan Antonio Flecha, Stijn Devolder, Greg Van Avermaet, Oscar Freire, Manuel Quinziato, Anthony Geslin, Franck Schleck

Chris A (option 2) - Nick Nuyens, Steven De Jongh, Sylvain Chavanel, Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Mark Cavendish, Greg Van Avermaet, Thomas Vockler, Sergei Ivanov, Franck Schleck

Craig (option 1) - Fabian Cancellara, Davide Rebellin, Juan Antonio Flecha, Bernhard Eisel, Oscar Freire, Ryder Hesjedal, Steven Cozza, Alexandre Usov, Cadel Evans

David S (option 3) - Filippo Pozzato, Sylvain Chavanel, Thor Hushovd, Juan Antonio Flecha, Baden Cooke, Mark Cavendish, Oscar Freire, Stefan Van Dijk, Alejandro Valverde

Kevin (option 3) - Juan Antonio Flecha, Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Leif Hoste, Thor Hushovd, Fabian Wegmann, Mark Cavendish, Murilio Fischer, Robbie McEwen, Franck Schleck

Adam (option 1) - Tom Boonen, Philippe Gilbert, Stijn Devolder, Fabian Wegmann, Mark Cavendish, Bert De Waele, Roy Sentjens, Olaf Pollack, Cadel Evans

Andy (option 3) - Filippo Pozzato, Leif Hoste, Stijn Devolder, Sylvain Chavanel, Fabian Wegmann, Karsten Kroon, Greg van Avermaet, Stuart O'Grady, Damiano Cunego

Darryl (option 1) - Tom Boonen, Philippe Gilbert, Wouter Weylandt, Stefan Van Dijk, Stuart O'Grady, Steven Cozza, Thomas Voeckler, Yaroslav Popovych, Thomas Dekker

Jonny G (option 1) - Fabian Cancellara, Philippe Gilbert, Thor Hushovd, George Hincapie, Robbie McEwen, Enrico Gasparotto, Ryder Hesjedal, Jesus Del Nero, Ivan Basso

Jonny M (option 2) - Alessandro Ballan, Thor Hushovd, Sylvain Chavanel, Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Mark Cavendish, Robbie McEwen, Thomas Voeckler, Ryder Hesjedal, Samuel Sanchez

Naomi (option 1) - Fabian Cancellara, Davide Rebellin, Lance Armstrong, Baden Cooke, Oscar Freire, Sergei Ivanov, John Gadret, Bram Tankink, Damiano Cunego

Rachel (option 2) - Philippe Gilbert, Filippo Pozzato, Marcus Burghardt, Martin Maaskant, Greg Van Avermaet, Matti Breschel, Anthony Geslin, Sergei Ivanov, Robert Gesink

Mike (option 3) - Filippo Pozzato, Thor Hushovd, Stijn Devolder, Sylvain Chavanel, Mark Cavendish, Oscar Freire, Fabian Wegmann, Karsten Kroon, Danilo Di Luca

Donna (option 1) - Tom Boonen, Alessandro Ballan, Thor Hushovd, Berhnard Eisel, Nico Eeckhout, Janek Tombak, Ryder Hesjedal, Franco Pellizotti, Danilo Di Luca

Hal (option 1) - Tom Boonen, Philippe Gilbert, Thor Hushovd, Stefen Van Dijk, Robbie McEwen, Lars Bak, Ryder Hesjedal, Svein Tuft, Danilo Di Luca

Friday, February 27, 2009

D-Day

First, watch this:



Now, after your tears have dried up, I know you're all wondering how you could possibly have the experience of participating in something so beautiful. The hard truth is that you can't. You are not good enough. Sorry.

But we at the FGBC low stakes gambling dept. are pleased to offer you the next best thing: The 2009 FGBC Spring Classics Pool. It provides the possibility of vicariously participating in these races through a team of riders that you construct. It's free. And picking teams is just about as easy as it can be. The thrill of winning will no doubt not be as exhilarating as it would be to beat Tom Boonen at the line in the Roubaix velodrome. But on the plus side, the pain should be a little bit easier to tolerate.

You have until the clock strikes midnight tonight to get your team in. If you need to look over the details again, you can find them here. Send your team here.

We have 12 teams submitted so far: me, Matt, Brad, Dallas, Paddy, Ian, Vic, Bill, Luke, Craig, Chris A, and Chris O. Chris O joins us from Durham. He's a key member of our sister club, Bull City Cycling. He like cyclocross, singlespeed mountain biking, and hoppy beverages. He fits right in. Welcome Chris. We are now international. That gives us three Chris's. But no Jonnys or Daves so far? That's different.

Update - 9:33 am: We have our first Dave. El Presidente has submitted a team. That brings us to 13. Still no Jonnys though. I think Red River Racing could step up as well. It would be nice to surpass 20 teams. Giddy-up, boys and girls.

Update - 9:56 am: RRR steps up. KK has submitted a team. You guys sure like alliteration, don't you? In any case, that is 14. Who's next? How about someone from the Training Co-op?

Update - 10:41 am: Cousin Adam is next. We have 15. Keep them coming.

Update - 11:32 am: Andy and Darryl are in. That brings us to 17. And still no Jonnys!

Update - 1:54 pm: You can exhale now. We finally have a Jonny! G has submitted a team, with some strategic help from little E. Right on. But there are still more Chris's than Jonnys and Daves combined. Jonny M? Jonny B? Are you out there? Maybe Jonny N or Johnny S would like to give it a go. And then there's the Daves. There may be lots of them, but for some reason they tend to shun FGBC cycling pools. Dave L participated for a while, but then he declared it immoderate. Or maybe he fell in love. I can't remember. Coach Dave? Too busy riding on his trainer with one leg, I guess. Unger? There's more to life than your eight hockey pools. Juan Eppstein? We know you're a Dave at heart. Is that why you shun us? Why do you hate us, Daves? Where have we wronged you? How about a few women? E has finally broken the gender barrier. She's a tough little tiger, but probably shouldn't be expected to shoulder that burden all by herself.

Update - 3:32 pm: Naomi is in. Little E is no longer all alone. And Jonny M answers the call for Team Jonny. They're still withour their captain though. Meanwhile, the Dave's are still thumbing their noses at us. We have reached 20 teams. I don't suppose we could make it to 30. Everyone call two friends.

Update - 7:17 pm: We've received a team from Mike G. That's three from RRR. Nicely done, boys. That gives us a total of 21 teams, which equals our total in the 2009 FGBC CX Pool. Speaking of which, where is Gary? We want to see if you can do it again.

Update - 9:09 pm: The teams are still trickling in. Donna and Rachel are the latest to wade into the 2009 FGBC Spring Classics Pool. There's still about 3 hours left to go. If you're reading this, you obviously don't have anything better to do on a Friday night. Get your team in before you're stuck watching from the sidelines with a bunch of drunk Belgian dudes.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday Anticipation

1) We're just three short months away now. Almost time to start the marinade.



2) 2009 FGBC Spring Classics Pool

It's time for heilingen and cobbles, boys and girls. It all starts on Saturday with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. And it continues on Sunday with Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. Did someone say good times?

Eight teams have been submitted so far: me, Matt, Brad, Dallas, Paddy, Ian, Vic, and Bill. Luke almost has a team submitted. He still has a little work to do. There is still a day and a half to get your act together. Everything you need to know is here.


3) Spring Training Camp


The North Carolina chapter is eagerly anticipating next week's spring training camp. Halberto arrives on Saturday night. And I will take a leave of absence from my windowless 5'x5' carrell for the week. The riding begins on Sunday and continues through Thursday. Sunday and Monday in and around Durham. And then we head to the mountains for three days of singletrack paradise. Alex will join us, and possibly some of the Bull City Cycling crew as well. It will be awesome.

The itinerary looks like this:

Sunday - cx ride in the Duke Forest
Monday - road ride: tour of Durham and Chapel Hill
Tuesday - Kitsuma & Heartbreak Ridge
Wednesday - Laurel Mountain (more here)
Thursday - Turkey Pen/Squirrel Gap & Black Mountain


4) BN Ballyhoo

The president has a new parchment. Cousin Adam has called for a ride to commemorate the occasion. That is the right call. Who is going to organize it?


5) AWBF

Johnny S would like to remind everybody that Rocktona rocks. Or maybe he just wants to see himself on that poster one more time. He's almost as pretty as those Rapha guys.



Don't forget to RSVP. More info here.


6) Gianni's Grass Track Glossary

This week: Kierin

Note: we will not be doing this on the grass track. [ed: does that mean we will be doing it, but somewhere else or not doing it at all?]

Kierin is not for the faint of heart. Put 6-9 of the biggest men on bikes behind a derny, let them motorpace up to 50km/h over a kilometre or so and then sprint it out for 2 laps, finishing at (typically) more than 70km/h. Roughness (headbutts, shoulder throws, elbows) is an acknowledged part of the sport. Someone once told me that just about anything is legal in kierin as long as your hands stay on the handlebars - I don't know if that is true, but it isn't far from the truth.

In Japan, it is a huge parimutual betting enterprise, with detailed rituals and rules (see here). Since I doubt we'll be doing any betting, it may not be necessary to get into Japanese kierin in detail, but those of you with fixie fascinations may be interested to know about the little "NJS" stamp you see on some high-end track parts: it's for Nihon Jitensha Shinkōkai (Japanese Kierin Association), and means that the part meets the standard required for professional kierin racing (meaning, in practical terms, that it is sturdy and reliable, even for big dudes who rough it up. Even more practically, it usually costs a fortune). Bikes used in Japanese kierin races must be completely NJS approved (from the frame to the headest, even down to the toeclips).

Since 1980 Kierin has been a World Championship event and since 2000 it's also been an Olympic event.

In 1982, Canadian Gordon Singleton won the worlds - amazingly his rather rough victory is on Youtube:

TNR Report

The Impaler comes through with a Haiku TNR Report:

Kevin, Craig and Brad
Sat stalling, stalling, stalling,
Finally we rode.

Down the river then
With cold beer drawing us on
Straight to the Klubhaus.

It was a grinder,
With the fresh snow over ice
None of us were graceful.

River time trial
Will have to wait till next year
The river's a mess.

Detoured to the streets
Beelined to sanctuary
Homer knows: Mmmm beer.

Some words seldom heard
Vasectomy, Billinkoff
Servers were impressed.

It seems like winter
Has been here for long enough
Please no more snowing.

Any ride is good
But they're more fun in the spring
Please no more snowing.

The Secretary may have more to add. He seems to retain the gist of table conversations much better than I do.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Small Accomplishment

The "Parchment", as the Uni calls it, came in the mail yesterday. This makes it official.

Brew Tube

Here's another entry to add to the collection of bike related beer commercials.

1) Downhill both ways! That is the High Life. Too bad it's an ad for MGD.




But it's not just the breweries who like bikes. Always pushing the cutting edge, Coke has been riding the two-wheeled bandwagon for a while.

2) Check out this ad featuring the man folks from Winnipeg know simply as Hamlet.




3) They've been at it for a while. At least as long as 1974:




4) And since they're smart, they know better than to give up on a winning formula. They learned that in the 80's with the New Coke experiment. And they've applied that lesson to their marketing campaign as well, as evidenced by this more recent effort they served up featuring the Welsh chanteuse, Duffy.




5) Apparently they like fixies too:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

TNR


Am I correct in understanding that the Seattle chapter is in town? Will he be making an appearance?

Monday, February 23, 2009

2009 FGBC Spring Classics Pool


There is no entry fee. There will be no prizes. There will, however, be plenty of good times. So don't miss out.


The Races:

Omloop Het Volk Feb. 28
Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne Mar. 1
Monte Paschi Eroica Mar. 7
Milan-San Remo Mar. 21
Dwars Door Vlaanderen Mar. 25
E3 Prijs Vlaanderen Mar. 28
De Brabantse Pijl Mar. 29
Ronde van Vlaanderen Apr. 5
Gent-Wevelgem Apr. 8
Paris-Roubaix Apr. 12
Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen Apr. 15
Amstel Gold Race Apr. 19
La Flèche Wallonne Apr. 22
Liège - Bastogne - Liège Apr. 26


Scoring:

We will employ a slightly different scoring system than last year. For most races, points will be awarded to the top 30 riders just as we did last year. But the so-called monuments (Milan - San Remo, the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Paris Roubaix, and Liège - Bastogne - Liège) will be worth more just because they are so monumental. Also like last year, in order to recognize the accomplishment of just finishing one of these races, 5 points will be awarded to every rider who successfully finishes a race (10 in the monuments).

[Update - 02/23/09 - 9:33 pm] I had previously mentioned that riders grouped under the Ardennes heading would not have their results counted if they should participate in any other races. Andy, King of the Cycling Pool, has convinced me that this is a mistake. So strike that from the record. It's not likely, but if any of these little guys should show up and win one of the really hard ones, you get to keep his points.

Regular Classics:

350
300
275
250
225
200
175
150
125
110
100
95
90
85
80
75
70
65
60
55
50
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5


Monuments:

500
450
425
400
375
350
325
300
280
260
240
220
200
180
160
150
140
130
120
110
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10


Choosing your team:

Assemble a team of nine riders by employing one of three ways of navigating the list of riders below. Based on averages for the respecitve tiers, each of these options should result in roughly the same score. By giving you a few different ways of going about it, you are provide with the illusion of control and a heightened sense of strategic cunning. Of course, we won't be dealing in averages here, so the results will no doubt differ wildly. The best strategy will be revealed in a couple of months when we find out who wins.

When submitting your team, please indicate which option you are going with.


Option 1:

1 from Tier 1
1 from Tier 2
1 from Tier 3
2 from Tier 4
2 from Tier 5
1 from Tier 6
1 from Ardennes


Option 2:

1 from Tier 2
3 from Tier 3
2 from Tier 4
2 from Tier 5
1 from Ardennes


Option 3:

4 from Tier 3
4 from Tier 4
1 from Ardennes

Send your team to the FGBC low-stakes gambling HQ by the end of the day on Friday. Any questions?


Rider List:

Tier 1:

Fabian Cancellara
Tom Boonen


Tier 2:

Allesandro Ballan
Davide Rebellin
Nick Nuyens
Philippe Gilbert


Tier 3:

Filippo Pozzato
Juan Antonio Flecha
Kurt Asle Arvesen
Lance Armstrong
Leif Hoste
Marcus Burghardt
Martin Maaskant
Steven De Jongh
Stijn Devloder
Sylvain Chavanel
Thor Hushovd
Wouter Weylandt


Ardennes:

Alejandro Valverde
Andy Schleck
Benoit Vaugrenard
Cadel Evans
Christian Pfannberger
Damiano Cunego
Danilo Di Luca
Franck Schleck
Ivan Basso
Jerome Pineau
Joachim Rodriguez
Maxime Monfort
Robert Gesink
Samuel Sanchez
Thomas Dekker


Tier 4:

Allan Johansen
Andreas Klier
Baden Cooke
Berhard Eisel
Borut Bozic
Fabian Wegmann
Geroge Hincapie
Greg Van Avermaet
Karsten Kroon
Mark Cavendish
Martin Elmiger
Matti Breschel
Murilio Fischer
Nico Eeckhout
Oscar Freire
Rinaldo Nocentini
Robbie McEwen
Stefan Van Dijk
Stuart O'Grady


Tier 5:

Aitor Galdos
Anthony Geslin
Arnaud Gerard
Bert De Waele
Daniel Lloyd
Enrico Franzoi
Enrico Gasparotto
Frederik Willems
Gregory Rast
Guennadi Mikhailov
Janek Tombak
Johann Van Summeren
John Gadret
Lars Bak
Luca Paolini
Manuel Quinziato
Nico Sijmens
Nikki Terpstra
Pavel Brutt
Roy Sentjens
Ryder Hesjedal
Sergei Ivanov
Staf Scheirlinckx
Steven Cozza
Thomas Voeckler


Tier 6:

Aart Vierhouten
Alexandre Botcharov
Alexandre Usov
Allan Davis
Allesandro Petacchi
Bastiaan Giling
Benoit Salmon
Bert Roesems
Bram Tankink
Christian Murro
Christophe Mengin
Danilo Napolitano
Dominique Rollin
Fabio Baldato
Franco Pellizotti
Gabriele Balducci
Gabriele Bosioso
Geoffroy Laquatre
Gert Steegmans
Jesus Del Nero
Jukka Vastaranta
Kevin Van Impe
Lars Michaelson
Luca Solari
Manuele Mori
Marcel Sieberg
Mario Aerts
Max Van Heeswijk
Michael Schar
Mike Friedman
Olaf Pollack
Pieter Ghyllebert
Robbie Hunter
Salvatore Commesso
Sebastian Chavanel
Steffen Wesemann
Svein Tuft
Thomas Vaitkus
Tyler Farrar
Vincenzo Nibali
Vladimir Gusev
Yaroslav Popovych

Birthday Ride Report

The Impaler reports:

Thanks to Luke, Craig, Mike and Kevin for sharing my birthday ride with me. We road north on Raleigh to Dunning, up 59 into the park, did one loop, headed out to Zora road, through the floodway again, west on Dunning to Henderson, south to Bowen, east on Bowen to Mowat, south through Bird's Hill to Raleigh and back home.

It was a great ride, but there are still a lot of icy sections on those country roads. Inside Bird's Hill Park especially is mostly polished ice. A few hit the floor, but thankfully no injuries. Thanks to my son who set up a feed zone for us in the park. That hot coffee sure went down easy.

Special mention go to Luke and Craig who rode out to the wilds of North Kildonan, did the 50 kms with us and then rode back home, adding about 40 kms to their day. Luke apparently didn't get the memo about not dropping the birthday boy. He pretty much rode us all off his wheel any time he wanted. His size, power and appearance had us calling Luke 'Maggy'. He looks like Magnus Backstedt and rides like him too, except for the crashing. See photos below.

We finished with a dogfest. Fire, smokies, bikes and beer. Some of life's greatest things. A great day out.

















FGBC CX Pool: Done

The 2008-09 cyclocross season is done. Sven Nys wrapped up another dominant season with a victory over Albert. Those two were unstoppable in the second half of the season. Sven Vanthourenhout finished third. More from CN.

Gary sealed his overall victory in the FGBC CX Pool by taking another stage win. He and Olli each had 365 points on the day. Congratulations Gary! That was an impressive run. He led this thing for all but two stages. Rachel was the only other person to sit atop the standings, and that was just for two brief moments in the first couple of weeks. Gary took over the lead for good on Oct. 19. While it got close at times, he managed to fend off a list of list of challengers--me, early on, and then Jonny M and finally Rachel--with the calm efficiency of a true champion. Well done. Chris A capped off a strong second half of the season by taking third place with 345 points. Rachel and David S were second and third in the overall standings.

Thanks everyone for playing along. That was fun. But now it's time to turn our attention to the Spring Classics. It all starts on Saturday with the race formerly known as Het Volk. I'll have the 2009 FGBC Spring Classics Pool details up later in the day.


Yesterday's Results:

Gary 365
Olli 365
Chris A 345
Ian 335
David S 325
Vic 300
Charlene 300
Paddy & Naomi 275
Deanna 270
Rachel 265
Adam 245
Chris H 225
Jonny M 220
Tomek 215
Hal 190
Dallas 180
Jonny G 180
Andy 145
Matt 125
Brad 120
Bill 100


Overall Standings:

Gary 16520
Rachel 15920
David S 15660
Chris A 15430
Olli 15235
Ian 14200
Paddy & Naomi 14140
Jonny M 14010
Vic 13850
Chris H 13435
Charlene 12875
Deanna 12870
Tomek 12855
Matt 12175
Adam 12020
Jonny G 11965
Dallas 11700
Brad 11495
Hal 10960
Andy 10740
Bill 10275

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tour of Cali

It hasn't been going so well for the honorary captain. Crashes, ill-timed flat tires, and less than stellar ITTs. Bummer. Just another entry in a long list of not-so-good times. The NYT chimes in as well. Gone into "Mennonite mode" and "the simpler, the better," they say. It sounds like he's been employing the highly refined FGBC training program too. He may not be winning, but it seems like he's right on track.



The stylemongers from Rapha Continental are also riding the route. They're so pretty.



See their series of short films from the Tour of Cali here.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Words


Check out this article on cycling in Winnipeg in winter from today's Globe and Mail. Some of you will know the author. Right on.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday Anticipation

1) Operación MUERTO

We have a schedule. Five races. Each of them rather long. It's going to be a good summer. There will be pain. There will be pleasure. And there will be a belt buckle for the overall series winner. Your best four results count toward the overall competition. Look for some MUERTO exhibition events as well. Coming this spring. Spread the good news.



2) Altona Bike Festivus

The next event on the Nordic Cross calendar is the the celebration of bikes, ACC basketball, and good times formerly known as the Tour of Altona. But "Tour of . . ." race names are so lame. This will be the 4th annual running of this outstanding event. It's always a good time. Definitely worth the drive south.



Race promoter extraordinare, Johnny S sends along the following details and instructions:
Bike games, rink dogs and bragging rights.

Race headquarters: The Exchange – 116 Main St., Altona

Cost: $5 (and a salad, dessert, or munchies to share if your staying for the potluck supper)

B.Y.O.B.

R.S.V.P. A.S.A.P. here.


Events:

- Slow races, Knockdown tournament, Relay race

- Prizes – Home-baked goodness!

- Potluck supper featuring David Sawatzky’s Rink Dogs - “They’re so famous, they’re IN-famous”

- Duke V North Carolina basketball game


Itinerary:

2:00 registration - make teams, explain rules, drink coffee

2:30 slow races

3:00 knockdown tournament

3:30 relay race

5:00 prizes

5:30 supper

6:00 basketball game

3) Brad's Birthday Ride: Last Call


50 kms for 50 years. Don't make him ride alone. That would be cruel. Details here. RSVP here.


4) Spring Ride

In case you haven't noticed, the countdown recently passed under the 100 day mark. We are down to double digits now. I wonder if the Duke is going to show up this year.



5) Gianni's Grass Track Glossary

The Grass Track Czar is busy researching his entry on Keirin. Like Tom Waits, it's big in Japan. But it's taking longer than originally planned due to some miscommunication with the Japanse translation experts. It seems they don't understand the sorts of deadline pressures that Gianni faces in his line of work. He is confident that this will all be cleared up in time for next week. In the meantime, enjoy this commercial for Keirin racing from Berlin as well as two commercials from Japan that it's clearly trying to poke fun at.





Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Classics Pool Preliminaries

The 2009 FGBC Classics Pool is almost ready to go. It will include the same races as last year. But unlike last year, we will use the same system for choosing teams that was used for the CX Pool--i.e., choosing riders from a series of lists. But there will be a slight variation in that there will be three different options for how those picks must be distributed. This will allow for a little more strategic thinking while still keeping it relatively simple. More about that later. For now, take a look at the list of riders below. The tiered groupings are based on the points that riders accumulated last season, with a few adjustments that attempt to take into consideration injuries and people like Armstrong and Basso who weren't around last year. There is also a separate category called "Ardennes." This groups together those riders who only do the Ardennes Classics--i.e., Amstel Gold, Fleche Wallone, and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Should any riders on this list show up at other races, those results will not be counted. In other words, only their results in the Ardennes will count toward the pool.

For those so inclined, here is your opportunity to make some comments on the list. I'm particularly interested in hearing whether anyone who deserves to be there has been overlooked.

The 2009 FGBC Classics Pool will be launched on Friday. So we have a few days to make sure everything is in order.


Tier 1 (1100+ points):

Fabian Cancellara
Tom Boonen


Tier 2 (900-1100 points):

Allesandro Ballan
Davide Rebellin
Nick Nuyens
Philippe Gilbert


Tier 3 (500-800 points):

Filippo Pozzato
Juan Antonio Flecha
Kurt-Asle Arvesen
Lance Armstrong
Leif Hoste
Marcus Burghardt
Martin Maaskant
Oscar Freire
Steven De Jongh
Stijn Devloder
Sylvain Chavanel
Thor Hushovd
Wouter Weylandt


Ardennes:

Alejandro Valverde
Andy Schleck
Benoit Vaugrenard
Cadel Evans
Christian Pfannberger
Damiano Cunego
Danilo Di Luca
Franck Schleck
Ivan Basso
Jerome Pineau
Joachim Rodriguez
Kim Kirchen
Robert Gesink
Samuel Sanchez
Thomas Dekker


Tier 4 (300-500 points):

Allan Johansen
Andreas Klier
Baden Cooke
Berhard Eisel
Borut Bozic
Fabian Wegmann
Geroge Hincapie
Greg Van Avermaet
Karsten Kroon
Mark Cavendish
Martin Elmiger
Matti Breschel
Murilio Fischer
Nico Eeckhout
Rinaldo Nocentini
Robbie McEwen
Stefan Van Dijk
Stuary O'Grady


Tier 5 (150-300 points):

Aitor Galdos
Anthony Geslin
Arnaud Gerard
Bert De Waele
Daniel Lloyd
Enrico Franzoi
Enrico Gasparotto
Frederik Willems
Gregory Rast
Guennandi Mikhailov
Janek Tombak
Johann Van Summeren
John Gadret
Lars Bak
Luca Paolini
Manuel Quinziato
Nico Sijmens
Nikki Terpstra
Pavel Brutt
Roy Sentjens
Ryder Hesjedal
Sergei Ivanov
Staf Scheirlinckx
Steven Cozza
Thomas Voeckler


Tier 6 (<150 points):

Aart Vierhouten
Alexandre Botcharov
Alexandre Usov
Allan Davis
Allesandro Petacchi
Bastiaan Giling
Benoit Salmon
Bert Roesems
Bram Tankink
Christian Murro
Christophe Mengin
Danilo Napolitano
Fabio Baldato
Franco Pellizotti
Gabriele Balducci
Gabriele Bosioso
Geoffroy Laquatre
Gert Steegmans
Jesus Del Nero
Jukka Vastaranta
Kevin Van Impe
Lars Michaelson
Luca Solari
Manuele Mori
Marcel Sieberg
Mario Aerts
Max Van Heeswijk
Michael Schar
Mike Friedman
Olaf Pollack
Pieter Ghyllebert
Robbie Hunter
Salvatore Commesso
Sebastian Chavanel
Steffen Wesemann
Svein Tuft
Thomas Vaitkus
Tyler Farrar
Vincenzo Nibali
Vladimir Gusev
Yaroslav Popovych

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Arrowhead 135 Report

A guest post by Lindsay:

It was 4 am and I was struggling to push my 70 pound Surley Puggsley bike up one of the interminable hills and I found myself thinking about where this event fit in among the races I have done. I’ve found that there are two basic levels they fall into. This didn’t reach the “ Please let me keep going for just 5 more minutes level. It was more where I found myself asking why a supposedly sane and well adjusted 60 year old would want to do this to himself. For those of you who’ve read of some other race I’ve been in, you’ll recognize a common theme but it once again seems totally appropriate to this event

I was participating in the Arrowhead 135 winter endurance race near International Falls, Minnesota. The event is the brainchild of Pierre and Cheryl (Madame Frog Dog) Ostir and involves traveling 135 miles on the Arrowhead snowmobile trail by foot, ski or bicycle. I had heard of the event for several years but hadn’t been able to consider it while I was having ongoing issues with a chronically dislocating shoulder. All is well on the shoulder front now so I decided that this would be a worthy event to use as a return to competition. The old go big or go home mentality.

The Arrowhead is the smaller cousin to the Iditasport 350 or 1100 in Alaska. That race uses the same course as the famous Iditarod dogsled race. The Iditabike race resulted in many equipment developments as riders took to welding 2 rims side by side and modifying their frames to accommodate the extra width. This was all in the interest of having a much larger footprint for the tires to avoid sinking into the snow. The bike industry took note and there are now several versions of large tired winter bikes with the most common being the Surly Puggsley.

When I thought of doing this race, I immediately talked to Scot and Morgan at the store ( Olympia Cycle ) and had them order the frame and wheels and piece together the rest of the bike. It was a communal project at the store and I need to thank Liam, Greg, Luc and Morgan as well as Scot who let them spend time working on the bike and it’s setup. I already have a Surly Karate Monkey on which I’ve ridden about 80,000 km in all kinds of weather while couriering. Surly makes great durable bikes, which you obviously want when you’re out in the backcountry on your own.

There was along list of mandatory gear you had to carry on the bike at all times during the race. This included a -30C sleeping bag, a tent or bivie sac, a thermarest, a stove, fire starter, 3 led lights, a headlamp or flashlight. And bike repair tools. There was no requirement for spare clothing but my previous experience with winter adventure racing made me take spare mitts, headgear, a set of underwear, as well as my old down jacket. The gear had to weigh at least 15 lbs. not including water. In order to build in an adequate margin of safety all competitors had to finish the race with at least 3,000 calories of food and 8 ounces of fuel for their stove.

I studied pictures of previous races to figure out how best to distribute the weight on the bike and ended up with a rack on front and back as well as a handlebar bag. I ended up with most of the gear on the rear. In my handlebar bag, I kept food, as I tend to want to continually eat to keep up my energy and stay warm. Water or other fluids are crucial and I saw that a number of bikes had insulated cases on the sides of their forks. I ended up with 3 nalgene 32 ounce bottles in insulated cases, 2 on the forks and the other in the usual place on the downtube. The scale at the store only went up to 50 lbs so I had to weigh the total beast by standing on a bathroom scale and subtracting the difference with and without the bike. Just over 70 lbs.

Our cold winter made for good preparation as I was spending 8 hours a day outside while couriering. The cold made me realize that I could have problems with both my hands and feet if we hit a real cold spell at race time. To solve my foot issues, I went to platform pedals, hiking boots, xc ski overboots and finally Neos overboots. I’m truly ready for the arctic. For my hands, I ordered a pair of Moose Mitts on the Internet. These are overmitts that go on the handlebars of the bike . You still wear mitts or gloves inside of them but they add at least 10 – 15 C in warmth.

As far as clothing for a long spell outside, I am truly a fan of Sporthill and it’s 3SP material which claims to be windproof up to 35 MPH and yet it still breaths extremely well. For underwear, I have some old Swedish underwear called Ullfrotte as well as Craft Prowool. Both are high wool content. The new wicking products are good for a 3-hour event but this promised to be at least 20 hours and I’m a great believer in wool as it keeps you warm even when damp. I also wear wool next to my skin on both my feet and hands for the same reason.

Food for a long event was another issue and it was complicated by the cold and the need to carry items that would still be edible when frozen. Anyone who’s tried to eat a power bar in winter will agree that you probably burn more calories trying to chew it than you consume. Scot Miller gave me a recipe for homemade powerbars that works great. For winter, I simply add less protein powder and at is very soft at room temperature but firm and very easy to eat at cold temperatures. That was the staple of my diet but I also had some bagels, Lays potato chips, Hammer gels, as well as a supply of Perogies from my official sponsor Elsie Szcklarczuk. I ate several on the trail but had a heaping plate of them at the checkpoint just past the halfway mark.

My good friend Blair “Buster” Saunders got me on to Hammer nutrition products and I used a combination of Heed and Perpetuum the whole way. It’s excellent and my energy was pretty good throughout the event. Over the last number of years, I seem to have had cramping issues so I now take Succeed Electrolyte capsules at regular intervals during a long event and they seem to really help me. I’m the first person to complain about our society popping pills to stay “healthy’ but I’m a regular junkie on race day.

The race was on Monday February 2nd starting any time between 7 and 8:30 am. This might seem strange but the race is on snowmobile trails and you wouldn’t want to share the trail on the weekend. It is run with the local club’s blessing and the few sleds that I saw were very courteous.

I’m not good at tapering for most events but I took off from my courier job form Thursday afternoon on. I’m used to riding every day but I knew I needed to be well rested. My friend Ian Hall was coming down to help me and we left for International Falls on Saturday at noon. We arrived in the late afternoon and checked in at the Holiday Inn, which was the race headquarters. My wife Lynne describes it as getting together with my own kind as if we are some kind of unique species. In thinking

support. He has a trailer, which he’ll use there and I was hoping to see it but he opted not to use it for this event I’m pretty slow in getting around to writing about my events which means that I’ve just had the opportunity to read Mike’s piece on the AH 135. Its great writing and his pictures are wonderful. (BIG WHEEL BUILDING A135 THE WHOLE STORY)

Sunday dawned with at least 3 inches of new snow and I immediately added at least 3 hours to my estimated finish time. Charlie had asked if I wanted to start with them about it, I suppose she’s right. There was a large hall where the gear check was being held and I saw some familiar faces in Charie Farrow and Dave Simmons . Both have raced in the Red Ass and it was good to see them again. My gear passed muster and we all got together in the restaurant for dinner and to swap war stories.

On Sunday, Ian and I drove to the start and went for a short ride to check out the trail conditions. We also drove down to the 35 mile checkpoint at the Gateway restaurant as I wanted to know where to go and also to check out what was available there if I needed anything.

There was a race meeting at 3 pm. They explained the course intricacies and reviewed what was available at the checkpoints and answered any racer’s questions. This was followed by a slide show by Mike Curiak. He is the closest thing to royalty in long distance winter ( and also summer ) mountain biking. His list of wins is impressive and is topped by several wins of the 1100 mile Iditabike race in Alaska. He showed us a beautiful range of slides from his numerous iditabike adventures. He was entered in our race but was using as a training run for a trip to Iditabike this March where he will attempt to do the whole 1100 miles with no but I was sure they would be going out far harder than my comfort range. As it was, I started several minutes in front of him and defending champion Dave Pramonn. I think I was barely out of sight of the start when they flew by at a pace that I’d have trouble going for 2 hours, let alone 24. As I’ve gotten older, it has become easier to accept this horsepower deficiency and I happily watched them fly ahead. We went out for about 9 miles and the turned and retraced our route to the start. This allowed us to both participants and spectators. I was the 4th rider back to Hwy 53 .

After crossing the highway, the track became a lot slower as there were only 3 tracks in front of me. Cyclists are always trying to ride the wheel but this offered a different slant on the term as you literally tried to stay in the same track the others had packed. I wasn’t great at it so I spent enough time out of the track to realize how much harder it was to break trail. This was a real learning experience and one of the lessons I came to understand was that it was better to let some air out of my tires. I’m a bit of a slow learner so I didn’t get around to it until several miles before the 35-mile checkpoint at the Gateway store. It definitely tracked better.

At about the 30 mile mark I was passed by a train of guys including Lance Andre, Terry Brannick, Dennis Grelk and Chuck Lindner. By the time I reached Gateway they’d all gone except Chuck. I filled all my bottles, bought a great bowl of soup and ate a fair amount of my food. Based on my pace to this point, I already realized that I was going to be out there at least 24 hours and didn’t want to run short of fuel by rushing through this checkpoint.

As I headed out, 7 or 8 snowmobiles came down the trail towards me. As it turns out they were coming from where I was headed. When snowmobiles have just been over the trail it is much softer so my timing wasn’t great. There were virtually no bike tracks left. Bummer!!

The last 10 miles before Gateway and the next 30 miles after are quite hilly. This led to another learning experience for me and that is that walking up hill after hill pushing my 70 lb. bike is HARD!!! It was very tiring and I found myself bent over with my chest virtually on the bars in an effort to take the pressure off my arms. I had only got the bike several weeks before the race and I’d never gone up a hill on it either riding or pushing. I remember reading an article in the Duluth paper about Charlie doing hill repeats and not really understanding. Next year I’ll know better. The only issue for a Winnipegger is where to find any kind of hill.

Throughout the race, I was stopping every 5 miles to have a drink. With the loose snow it was impossible to drink on the fly. A lot of guys used camelbaks with insulated hoses but I’d never used one in winter and was afraid it would freeze. I’ll have to work on that for next year as I probably stopped 30 – 35 times at an average of 3 minutes each. With a camelbak I might be able to cut it down to 10 or 15 which would save an hour. I learned a lot.

I had hoped to arrive at the Melgeorge checkpoint before dark but that was not to be and as I headed across the lake I was like a moth drawn to the cottage lights. I arrived at 6:45 to find two other riders there ( Josh Peterson and Dennis Grelk ) I hoped to spend about an hour there. The checkpoint had hot soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, cookies, hot chocolate and I had all of those items as well as Elsie’s perogies, which I fried up. They had a dryer and I dried my socks, headwear, and my jacket. I added a warmer layer of underwear I’d been carrying as well as warmer mitts. I thought that the cold of night was coming and this would be coupled with a gradual lowering of my energy stores. It would be much easier to open my jacket a bit if I was too warm than to stop and have to add clothing along the trail if I was too cold.

I guess it was just too comfortable or my sense of survival was too strong but my one hour stop turned into 1 hour and 35 minutes. I’m sure I could cut that down considerably. While I was there several other riders arrived ( Chuck Lindner, Greg Ames ,Dave Gray from Surly who won the bitterly cold race in 2007 and Bill Shand). Dennis Grelk who’d been there when I arrived, headed out about ½ hour before I left. I thought about hurrying to go with him but reminded myself that I had at least 12 hours to go and needed to make sure I had enough fuel in me.

I headed out in full darkness for the long haul to the Tipi at Wakemup hill. It was a hilly stretch and I found myself outrunning my headlights on the downhills. I’m pretty sure my shoulder is solid now but elected to be cautious. There was no potential for a timely rescue if anything happened and a dislocation could literally be fatal. It cost very little time and made good sense.

At one point I was pushing my bike up one of the many hills and saw that my computer was showing zero. In knew I was going slowly but this was ridiculous. Sure enough, the computer had stopped working at 87.68 miles. Those of you that know me will be surprised to know that I didn’t stop on the spot, as I’m more than a little compulsive about recording every km. It did torment me for a while but I decided to drink every 40 minutes rather than every 5 miles and carried on. As I progressed along I saw Mike Curiak’s Moots parked at the edge of the trail and could see where he’d headed into the bush to camp. Very impressive to have the discipline to do the prep for his long haul in Alaska.

I figured the 39miles ( 62 kms ) should take me about 7 – 7.5 hours. I started wondering where the checkpoint was at 3:30 am and by 4:30 I was at the end of my tether. It’s not like I needed a long stop but just a sense of actually making progress. I even wondered if I’d somehow missed it. At this point, I remembered that my friend Vern Nelson had set up his GPS with many waypoints along the way including the Tipi. I took a water break and switched it on and was greatly comforted to see that I was very close.

I arrived at the Tipi and found two bikes parked there which gave me a little lift. I went in to use the fire to loosen the lid of my last nalgene bottle, which was frozen closed. Lance Andre and Dave Pramonn as well as the two volunteers were snug in their sleeping bags. I got the lid loose and ate a bagel with peanut butter and honey and then got on my way before I became too comfortable. It was 5:30 am, which meant that I’d covered the last 62 kms in 9 hours for a startling 7 kms/hour. The amazing thing is that I’d moved up from 8th into Melgeorges up to 4th. This of course is partly due to the fact that Mike Curiak was using it as a gear and systems shakedown for Alaska.

I remembered that Pierre had said that the last 25 miles was basically flat and that was the case. I was actually getting sleepy and had that nodding off feeling that we’ve all experienced while driving. I was trying to stay in the rider’s tracks but there were only three riders in front of me now so the track wasn’t quite as defined. With my fatigue and resulting inattentiveness I spent more time out of their tracks than in them. The time rolled by and it was great to see the light starting to appear in the sky. There were long straight stretches and the corner ahead never seemed to get any closer. I carefully spaced out the remaining fluids I had and at 9 am I took a look at the GPS again to see how much time I had to go. Not too Far.

I finally passed the turnoff to the old finish at Bayview and started to see signs for Fortune Bay Casino. The last 3 or 4 kms were the best snow conditions of the whole race as the groomer had been out and it was firm and fast. I came around the corner and had one short uphill. With an event that can last anywhere from 16 hours to 60 you can’t expect a crowd to cheer you in. The finish line was basically the back door to the casino. I came in at 10:11 for a total time of 26 hours and 40 minutes. Ian was up in race room as were Charlie, Dennis and the many cheerful volunteers. Pierre makes individual trophies for all the finishers. I had to pick out an arrowhead from a large supply of them and he turns it into a really attractive molded glass trophy. I’m looking forward to it..

I had come in 4th. The winner was Terry Brannick who blazed the course in 21 hours flat. In 2nd spot was my friend from Duluth Charlie Farrow who finished with Terry but started earlier and had an elapsed time of 21 hrs and 58 min. In 3rd was Dennis Grelk who finished in 25 hrs and 23 min. I was 1 hr and 17 minutes behind him which is almost like a photo finish in this type of event.

The next two finishers deserve special mention as they were two of the strongest guys in the race. Lance Andre ( who is from Iowa but now lives in Florida, not the ideal exercise ground for this )crossed in 5th but disqualified himself for going off course and getting a ride back. He just flew by me and a lot of others early on. Dave Pramonn came in 5th officially in 28 hrs and 31 minutes. That tells little of the story of his race as he broke trail for all of the rest of us followers for the first 110 miles before he had to take a break at the tipi. He’s the course record holder and with that kind of power, I’m sure he’ll be back on top again in the future.

I also want to mention Bill Shand , my fellow Canadian from Red Lake Ontario . He came in at 31 hrs and 47 minutes. Bill has done this before as well as Alaska and a good deal of other adventures. Finally I want to say how impressed I am with Joel Austin from Iowa who came to the event with Lance Andre. Joel finished the event in 39 hours and 41 minutes on a Gary Fisher mountain bike. With that snow, I can’t imagine doing the race on a regular bike and my hat would go off to him but it was simply too cold for that with my hair challenged head. I think you need to talk to Dave and the boys at Surly and come back better than ever next year.

I really enjoyed my return to racing after some lost years with my shoulder woes. This is a really well run event and all of the competitors are very supportive of each other. Before the race Rick from Fargo lent me an Esbit stove to save carrying weight and Lance Andre lent me some extra fuel tablets. There’s truly a feeling that we’re all in it together .

I’m very satisfied with my result. I think I could save a couple of hours with a better water system and more organization at the checkpoints. For sure I will spend time riding hills before the race next year and I will also spend time pushing that fully loaded pig up hills. At 61 I don’t expect to come back next year a whole lot faster but I can be a little better prepared.

I talked with Charlie about maybe going to the Iditabike in 2011. I think that sounds like a good timetable. Next year I’m thinking that we should finish at the casino and then turn around and ride back. I’m thinking either back to Melgeorges (200 miles) or back to the start, which would be 253 miles. It would be cruel punishment to do the out and back at that point so we could perhaps ride down the highway into International Falls. Any takers?

TNR


Don't make Craig ride all alone this week.

Monday, February 16, 2009

FGBC CX Pool Roundup

Two more CX races went down this weekend. Al won ahead of Berden and De Knegt in Heerlen on Saturday. And then on Sunday in Vorselaar, Nys beat Albert and Vervecken to wrap up another Superprestige title, his ninth overall and fifth in a row. Not bad.

No big changes in the FGBC Pool. Gary's still kicking ass. Rachel's still holding on to second spot. And David looks like he will hold off a late surge by Chris A to hang on to the last podium step. And Ian continues his late season migration up through the standings. Too bad he dug himself such a big whole in the first part of the season. One more race next weekend. And then it's time for the Spring Classics.

GP Heerlen Results:

Chris H 240
Vic 225
Jonny G 225
Bill 215
Rachel 195
Hal 180
Paddy & Naomi 155
Brad 135
Tomek 135
Ian 90
Deanna 90
Andy 80
Matt 80
Adam 75
Dallas 55
David S 0
Chris A 0
Jonny M 0
Gary 0
Charlene 0
Olli 0


Superprestige #7:

Gary 365
Olli 365
Paddy & Naomi 330
Charlene 330
Deanna 310
Jonny M 280
Ian 280
David S 275
Tomek 265
Vic 240
Chris H 235
Chris A 235
Jonny G 230
Rachel 220
Bill 210
Andy 195
Hal 185
Matt 185
Adam 150
Dallas 105
Brad 45


Overall Standings:

Gary 16155
Rachel 15655
David S 15335
Chris A 15085
Olli 14870
Ian 13865
Paddy & Naomi 13865
Jonny M 13790
Vic 13550
Chris H 13210
Tomek 12640
Deanna 12600
Charlene 12575
Matt 12050
Jonny G 11785
Adam 11775
Dallas 11520
Brad 11375
Hal 10770
Andy 10550
Bill 10175

24hrs of Coens wrap-up

a quick video-like memory. You probably had to be there to find the movie ordering bit funny, but that was funny.
Lost and found:
  • not one, but two sleeping bags... yes Luc, yours, and I'm kind of guessing Tom on the other because it's orange
  • convertible mitt/glove (one only)
  • thermos
I'll bring this stuff to the klubhouse tuesday.

The official word would be that Gianni "won"... rode over 100miles of that bumpy, slippery track. Halberto not far behind... nice work.
Sweet times.


24hrs of Coens Race from dnb on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Coen Cross

I was feeling kind of bummed about missing the annual FGBC winter 24 hour race. But Jonah cheered me up by showing me the cyclocross course he's made in our yard. He rides it several times a week. We ammended it a bit by adding the hills down around the back of the house. Now that I think about it, we could run a sweet cx course right out of our house. The yard keeps sloping down toward a creek for about 250 ft, and on the other side is a city park. Too bad it's all covered in kudzu. That stuff is worse than sand. In any case, here's a video of the course. It's a little over-exposed at points. Sorry about that. It was warm and sunny.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

intense racing

Miller's Crossing lap.

on the creek

it's pretty (OK very) slippery on the ice on the creek... mandatory part of the ride though...

team shot on the Red

Coen Update

with Dr. H in the lead with 11 laps (Ian and Hal trailing at 9 laps), and Raising Arizona on the TV, it's hard to tell where we're at. Five on the couch... Tom is winning the film race.

Happy Valentines Day

From Couer de Pirate.

Thanks to Gianni for the link.

What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than with a 24 hour bike race/film-a-thon?

What Would Ed Crane Do?

Friday, February 13, 2009

24hrs of Coens - more news

so, I just rode the loop. After adding a bit in Fraser's Grove park, it comes to 8.9kms... for us slower folk, it'll end up being just over half an hour, and by nightfall, I don't want to guess.

For the faster folk, we may figure out a way of them checking in without having to come inside and be tempted by couches, drink and film.

Don't forget about dogfest sometime later in the evening. With the right ambition and peer pressure, a fire will be made, so bring dogs/buns/sticks. I have condiments.

Dr. H called me this afternoon. He's having trouble coping with not being present at this event (not his words)... so we may leave the computer on and have folk blog at will for his sake. He's thinking about renting a bunch of Coen films for solidarity.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

24hrs of Coens

prepare for crosscheck and landing.

Saturday, February 14. 10:00-ish am start of the media lap. Ends Sunday, February 15 at 10:00am... prizes/awards to follow. Bring some of those to contribute if you can/wish.

as mentioned, bring everything you need to live... food , drink, sleeping gear, bike/s, attitude, a scribbler for your Coen essay.

Thursday Anticipation

This is going to take a while. We are a busy group. But before we really get into it, take a moment to ponder with Aiden how sweet the sweetest weekend in the world is going to be.

1) Spring Ride



2) 24 Hours of Coens


It's just around the corner now. You don't want to miss this one. Among other things, we have a new venue and a revamped entertainment program. And we will have a new winner. Bring it on Anton.


3) Spring Classics Pool


The cyclocross season is almost over. I find that a little bit sad. But the good news is that the spring classics are just around the corner. The cobbles and sharp leg-burning burgs are coming. Once again, the low stakes gambling office of the FGBC presents the FGBC Spring Classics Pool. It starts in just over 2 weeks, on Feb. 28, with the race formerly known as Het Volk.

One question: we have used two different approaches so far: (a) the original salary and cap approach and (b) picking riders from a series of lists approach that was used for the CX Pool. I can go either way. Any preferences?


4) Spring Training Camp


Halberto's plans are coming together nicely. He will join Alex and me and perhaps some guys from our NC sister club, Bull City Cycling, for five sweet days of riding. We are going to ride him into the ground. Needless to say, others are welcome to join.


5) Birthday Ride


The route is planned. Don't forget to RSVP. Details here.

6) Gianni's Grass Track Glossary

Last but not least is the latest entry from our grass-stained friend Gianni:
Derny

Note: I don’t if or how we’ll work this into the grass track series, but hey, a guy can dream… and it’ll be something to think/talk about during those lonely hours in the early morning during the 24h race.

A Derny is a motorized bicycle for motor-paced track cycling events such as during six-day and Keirin racing) or motor-paced road races (relative uncommon thesedays). It is driven by a 98cc Zurcher two-stroke engine and by being pedalled through a fixed gear, typically of 70 teeth on the front chainring and 11 on the sprocket on the back wheel. The combination allows for smooth acceleration and slowing, important when the rider taking pace is centimetres from the pacer's shielded back wheel. A coupling between the motor and the back wheel ensures the machine will not stop dead if the motor seizes.

The first Derny 'Entraineur' or 'Bordeaux-Paris' models, with their characteristic petrol tank across the handlebars, were built by Roger Derny et Fils of the avénue St Mandé, Paris, France in 1938, but the name derny is now applied to all such vehicles, regardless of manufacturer.

On a derny, the driver (often a fairly large dude … for aerodynamic reasons) sits close to the back in an upright position to provide an envelope of low wind resistance for the cyclist drafting behind. The machine can pace riders up to 90 km/h, although races rarely exceed 80 km/h.

For most derny races, the cyclist sits in the slipstream of the derny for the duration of the event. In keirin races, common in Japan and familiar elsewhere, the derny brings several riders up to speed, at which point it pulls off and the race finishes in a sprint without the pacer (a future post will deal with keirin in more detail).

Even the most modern of dernies are noisy and smelly. Part of the “atmosphere” of a six-day. It goes without saying that racing behind a derny requires nerves of steel and a massive ability to handle high speeds.

Video of a derny race from the Ghent Six Day:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

tnr minutes

a fine gathering, however, distinguished by the lack of bicycle riding. Craig proved to be the only tnr'er, and G commuted from his place. Two bikes on the rack... We'll chalk it up to the near inability to move on unsalted surfaces.

colin, tomek, tenacious v, the president, the impaler, juan eppstein, the aforementioned riders and your humble secretary in presence.

despite repeated attempts to steer the conversation to the Coen part of this weekend's 24hrs of Coen, it was tough to herd the cats. it took quite some time to determine the order of filmage... but we may have come to consensus: the initial discussion was chronological vs alphabetical, but we ended up with number of letters in the title, and should a tie ensue, then alphabetical, then chronological, then which brother is listed first in the credits. So, I think we covered the bases. Beyond that, we have no idea what the point of the films are, other than to focus attention when setting on the couch not riding. "You need to watch a whole film to win" was mentioned, but I believe we are still open to suggestions. I expect it should take us no time at all on Saturday to figure this out. Self governing collective indeed.

There was a majority move to drinking the "dark and tan" (is that what it was called?). A mixture of Guiness and Keith's. I missed that move, and it was soon over, deemed "not worth it" by my immediate neighbour, Colin.

There was a good stretch of time where people took turns talking about how badly they'd been schooled by Jonah C. It even included some of us ne'er-do-wells who continue to avoid racing for the most part... Ice Bike a couple of years ago...

This weekend's course also received due attention. G's bold suggestion to shovel a path across the river is now, clearly, all wet... and in due course, hopefully, frozen. We could only speculate on the state of sidewalks and trails... it could be interesting.

I mentioned an email exchange I had with Ian where he suggested that it was go time on saturday, and Tom threw a riposte that I will not repeat here, so here's hoping for some old skool grudgery. Without Dr. H here, the podium seems a bit more wide open... although there's a frightening rumour that skinny Luc is, wait for it, training! Spin classes? Yikes.

Look for a post shortly with directions to the race headquarters and suggestions of what to bring... oh yeah, that's easy: everything you need to ride/drink/eat/sleep.

Out.

Hike-a-Bike

That nasty climb they made us haul our bikes up two hours into the race? Here are a couple shots of Alex and me as we get close to the top (courtesy of Michael R.). By this point we'd been pushing and carrying our bikes up the mountain for about 45 minutes. These capture the "horrible" in TMHTE much better than any of my photos do.





At least we can take some consolation from the fact that we resisted the temptation to take this trail on the second stage. It looks way shorter on the map, but Alex had heard that it's not a good idea. This is why:




Here's the profile of our ride:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

TNR


Last one before the annual 24 hour race. This would be a good week to show up at the F&H.

FGBC CX Pool Roundup

Two more races this past weekend. Only three more to go. Here's where things stand.

GVA #7 (Krawatencross) Results:

Paddy & Naomi 420
David S 370
Ian 360
Charlene 355
Gary 350
Deanna 350
Olli 345
Chris A 340
Tomek 315
Vic 295
Jonny G 285
Rachel 270
Chris H 255
Adam 250
Dallas 245
Andy 225
Hal 195
Jonny M 180
Brad 140
Bill 100
Matt 90


SP #7 (Hoogstraten) Results:

Gary 365
Ian 360
Olli 340
Deanna 335
Chris A 320
Vic 315
Rachel 315
Charlene 310
David S 300
Jonny M 300
Tomek 295
Paddy & Naomi 290
Chris H 240
Adam 230
Jonny G 225
Dallas 215
Bill 190
Hal 180
Matt 175
Andy 135
Brad 90


Overall Standings:

Gary 15790
Rachel 15240
David S 15060
Chris A 14850
Olli 14505
Jonny M 13510
Ian 13495
Paddy & Naomi 13380
Vic 13085
Chris H 12735
Charlene 12245
Tomek 12240
Deanna 12200
Matt 11785
Adam 11550
Dallas 11360
Jonny G 11330
Brad 11195
Hal 10405
Andy 10285
Bill 9750

Monday, February 09, 2009

OBC

Orioles Bike Cage Update

The Orioles Bike Cage (they call it a cage because it is a cage) is on the cusp of "opening". The OBC is a community-owned bike repair station, with used parts and skills training available for those in need and willing to help out. The permissions and insurance and all that for the space are in place, and last week FGBC'ers Bill and Teagan A. and I, and a host of other west Winnipeggers got the space cleaned out and a bunch of tools and gear dragged in.

The opening hours for the space are shaping up as Thursday nights, after 7 p.m. At least for now. I could see a weekend shift being added once warmer weather hits. This Thursday (and for the next couple, probably) will probably be set up work - getting tools, workbenches, etc. sorted out. It's a pretty loose, take-all-comers sort of a collective, so anyone who has a spare hour to help out would be most certainly welcome.

Orioles Community Club (part of the larger ensemble of Valour Communuty Centres) is at the corner of Burnell and St. Matthews, and the OBC is at the back of the gym.

Horrible


Tecnically speaking, I'm sure there are things that are more horrible. There is, after all, Celine Dion. And Edmonton. But in terms of being on the bike, this was most definitely a nightmarish proposition. Six consecutive stages in 36 hours is bad enough. But as if to kick you in the balls once more, they make you miss two nights of sleep by starting the race at midnight. Race organizer Eric Wever seems like a decent guy at first blush. He loves to ride. He puts on free races and even supplies the beer and chili. But that is all bluff. In reality, he is a vile and despicable man who delights in watching people slowly and inevitably come to pieces. He hit us hard from the start with a monster of a lap that was punctuated by sending us up one of the nastiest descents in the forest. This meant an hour-long hike a bike scramble up to 4200 ft., hauling our bikes over rocks and downed trees. Having made it clear that he wasn't joking around when he said "horrible," it was like he looped the tape, pressed play and let it go all night long. And then another night. And another half a day.

Our hope going in was simply to finish. This we'd hoped to achieve by banking time for sleep on some of the adventure race stages where you only have to get one mandatory checkpoint out of a possible six. Stage two was like that. But by the time we got our one checkpoint and picked up a second one on the way back to the campsite, we'd done a few more hour-long climbs and logged another 7 hours on the bike.

After about 12 hours of reciting What Would Lindsay Do? faint whispers of We Are Exactly What We Are elbowed their way past my crippled resolve and into my increasingly fading consciousness. By the time we began the final climb of the stage that faint whisper had turned into a rousing chorus, complete with the secretary's signature falsetto. When it became clear that we could not possibly finish 6 of those stages in 36 hours, the lure of beer, a campfire, and sleep was too powerful. We pulled the plug at 3pm after two stages, having spent 13 hours on the bike, covering 130 kms, and climbing over 10,000 ft. That Alex's heart refused to go over 110 beats per minuted did not help our collective morale. Being told that we'd be in third place on the road if we kept going enticed me enough to pose the question of whether we should try one more stage. But Alex would have none of that. He muttered something about never having really believed in the concept of this race from the start. He was clearly determined not to be further violated by letting himself be a part of Eric's evil fantasies. Or maybe that was his way of saying "I'm tired of waiting for you at the bottom of all the descents." Either way, we were done. Sorry Lindsay. We are exactly what we are. We are not heroes.

After being entertained around the fire by the local cycling celebrity known as Team Dicky, we dragged ourselves into the tent and slept for 14 hours. Just like almost everyone else. Of 29 starters, only 3 were willing to soldier on through a second night. Another team managed to get themselves started again after some sleep and managed to get back into contention. A few others got going again too, but by this point they were facing too much of a time deficit to have a chance at finishing and were not so much racing as riding. We elected neither to race nor to ride. Instead we went hiking.

Once again, nobody finished the race as it was originally envisioned. But ever the cunning devil, our sadistic race director quickly changed tack. He reloaded his trap with fresh bait by shortening the race from 6 stages to 5 and granting an extra two hours to finish. This was enough to seduce five racers into "finishing." Their souls are no doubt burning in hell right now. The top finisher was actually the guy Alex usually rides with in these races. He logged 283 kms and climbed over 22,000 ft. in about 37.5 hours!

How hard was it? Alex and Dave did Trans Rockies this year. After finishing the first two stages, they said each of them was comparable to a single TR stage. Which led to the analogy that we were being asked to complete the entire TR stage race in a single extended race. Or, for Jonny G and Johnny S, I'd say the first stage would be comparable to our second day at Moab if we'd done it three times in a row. Red Ass? It's like a Wednesday Night Race compared to this.

Would I try it again? Yes. Am I relieved that I'm moving away and won't be able to make good on that claim? Yes.

Taken in more reasonable doses, Pisgah is a super sweet place to ride. Unfortunately, I don't have the pictures to back that up. But here are a handful. You can find better pictures and plenty of post-race chatter here, here and here.



















The winner, Dave Anderson (with evil Eric smiling on the left).