Thursday, March 31, 2011

Vicarious Driedaagse

As in Driedaagse De Panne. It's another one of the new races featured in the 2011 edition of the FGBC Spring Classics Pool. Driedaagse means three days. But in reality it's even better than that. They actually manage to squeeze four stages into those three days. We had four different winners for those four stages: LeAnn had a big 475 point day to win the first stage. Steve took the second stage in a photo finish ahead of Prince Dan. Charlene edged out Ian to claim the third stage. And Miriam finished first on the final stage ITT. There are no points awarded for the overall classification. Everyone who appears there has already been duly rewarded. Too many rewards just makes for spoiled cyclists. And whiny vicarious racers. We don't want anything to do with either of those possibilities.

The Tour of Flanders, which goes down on Sunday, marks the halfway point of the Classics season. We have had 13 races so far and 12 different winners. Only Charlene has managed to reach the top step of the podium twice. And each time she was wearing a different one of her sweet cycling caps.

In the overall race, the Fraggle has taken the lead. That is bad news for the rest of us. The Fraggle does not like to lose. Once she tastes the lead, she is less a cuddly little Fraggle than an insatiable raging bull. Does anybody happen to have a red cape handy? Our only hope is that the Fraggle only holds onto a slim lead. She is 70 points ahead of Prince Dan. Queen Val is another 145 points back. Olli and King Andy continue to hang around in the top 5. But Chris O and Miriam are knocking on the door.

Of course, there are big points on hand this Sunday, as it is the second of our four monuments. With potential 1000+ point performances, everything could change in a hurry. But probably not for Andrea. She seems to have a stranglehold on the lanterne rouge, with a grand total of 395 points for the season thus far. Bummer. Or maybe she's just saving her legs for the second half of the season.

Full results and standings here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

TNR Report

There was a ride. I was not there. That was hard. But at least I did not have to endure The Cars at the Lad's Club.

Maybe others will fill in the rest.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

TNR


This week we will actually ride our bikes a bit.

9:30 pm at my place.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Suck on These Beans!

That's what Tom Boonen had to say to all the haters yesterday. His comments were especially directed at those who equated my boyfriend's recent show of domination with the conclusion that Boonen is little better than a cocky Cat 4 HTFU screaming hack. He outsprinted some fast finishers at Gent - Wevelgem and even endured some mechanical tribulations of his own. In doing so, he served notice that his form heading into the Tour of Flanders is not too shabby. Given how things played out at last year's edition of the race, it's hard to imagine a better storyline heading into this year's race than Beans and my boyfriend both coming off big wins.

Charlene was the best of the bunch in the 2011 FGBC Spring Classics Pool. With Boonen and Bennati, she had the top two finishers on the day, and walked away with 650 points. Jonah and Donna tied for second place. They had 625 points each.

In the overall race, Queen Val passed first place back to King Andy. With 2845 points, Andy is 10 points ahead of Val. Olli is just another 35 points back. The top three teams are all within 45 points. Nice.

Full results and overall standings here.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

E3 Prijs Report, as sung by Morrisey

As in Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before. Click on the link to watch the video. It has bikes. And a Lad's Club. We might have to change the name of the klubhaus to the Lad's Club.

In any case, what Morrisey is trying to say is that my boyfriend kicked ass again today. And this despite several flats and mechanicals, which were even more complicated this time around due to the fact that this was one of those radio free European races. Tom Beans was wise to sit this one out and opt instead for Gent-Wevelgem tomorrow. Having to spend the week before Flanders trying to explain to the ravenous Belgian press how he managed to endure yet another spanking from my boyfriend would no doubt be so tiresome. Canuck hardman Svein Tuft rode an impressive race, even though he slipped outside the top 10 at the end. Between Tuft and Dom Rollin, not to mention Hesjedal on the Strade Bianche, it is nice to have some objects on which to project our homerist impulses.

How about some video?

The attack is launched:




The final 5 km:




Meanwhile, over in the 2011 FGBC Spring Classics Pool, Queen Val fired another demonstrative salvo on behalf of the first family of vicarious racing. She won the race easily, thanks to the 1-2 punch of Cancellara and Roelandts. With a third top 10 placement from Haussler, she totalled an impressive 825 points on the day. Brad the Impaler was second with 740 points. And his sidekick KK had 610 points to grab the final podium spot.

Val now leads the overall race. With 2670 points, she leads King Andy by 65 points. Olli managed to hang on to third place, while Prince Dan dropped all the way down to 8th overall. Brad and KK both moved into the top 6. And Major Tom finds himself sandwiched between the two comrades from the Red Brigade.

Full results and overall standings here.

Tomorrow: Gent-Wevelgem, featuring all the classics studs who were too scared to line up against my boyfriend today. Check back in the morning for live video links.

E3 Prijs Vlaanderen

It's the unofficial warmup race for the Tour of Flanders, which goes down next Sunday.

In case you have forgotten, this is what happened last year.


And then on the following weekend in Flanders, he went on to cannibalize poor old Tom Boonen on the cobbled ride up the Kapelmuur.

Live coverage starts soon. Streaming options can be found here or here.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday Anticipation

The big story this week is that the official proofs for sweetest kit in the world are done. Finally. Check it out:




That means it's time to proceed on the order. Thanks to those who have already sent in their orders. Anyone else who wants in, please send in your order ASAP. Send it here. Let's make the deadline Tuesday, if only because it's the biggest night of the week. Make sure to include the following: size, cut (race or club), sleeve length, zipper (full or 3/4), and whether you want your shorts as bibs or as regular shorts. To see what's available, or to look at the size chart, surf on over here.

If all goes well, we may have them for the spring ride. Think about how awesome they would look half submerged in the rock garden.

DDV Report

Apparently, Donna wasn't too thrilled with her recent acquisition of the lanterne rouge. She took care of that yesterday by winning the vicarious version of the Dwars door Vlaanderen and rocketing eight spots up the overall standings. With 605 points yesterday she now has a nice cushion of over 500 points between her and last place. Randy also helped to change the look of the bottom part of the standings. He finished second with 470 points, more than doubling his previous point total and also resulting in a big move up the standings. He now sits one spot ahead of Donna. Patrick (not to be confused with Paddy) claimed the final podium spot with a 385 point day. He moves into the top 10 and now sits in eigth place overall.

While the bottom end of the standings received a fairly significant makeover, the top of the standings has a new look as well. Most significantly, King Andy has reclaimed the lead from Olli. He is 65 points ahead. Dan remains in third place. But he has narrowed the gap to a much less dauting margin of 340 points. Also of note is the fact that Val has moved into the top five. The First Family of Vicarious Racing is making a bit of a statement. They now hold onto three of the top five spots.

And the lanterne rouge now belongs to Steve.

Full results and overall standings here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

TNR Report

It was another short ride. Even shorter than last week. We rode straight to the klubhaus. It was almost as if Mother Nature, having held back on the hatred she seemed destined to heap upon us, elected to shower us with some much needed love. She served up a generous tailwind to assist us in our efforts. Where we encountered some difficulty was with a pedestrian who was as bellicose as he was wayward. Crossing the road while ignoring the red hand flashing in front of him, he took objection to our two-wheeled mode of transportation. Fortunately, the Weasel wasn't there or the situation would no doubt have come to blows. Or at least some significant chest puffing. In the end, he merely cussed at us and we rode on. Brad appeared to mumble something along the lines of "this aggression will not stand, man." But it fizzled in the stiff east wind and didn't reach its intended target. There was little interest in stopping to redress the injustice we had endured, because we had reason to believe that a mysterious package might be waiting for us at the klubhaus. The propsect was too exciting to postpone for a ride, let alone a dustup. When we arrived, we were not disappointed.




So the Impaler's pulchritudinous mug now graces a white t-shirt. KK loves his SOB shirt so much he made the announcement that he was laying claim to his own season. It will be fall. His first forray into cyclocross was not as awesome as he'd hoped. But there is reason to believe 2011 will be better. Get ready of the Fall of KK. You may also refer to it as FOKK. But be careful when you make reference to it in Steinbach or Winkler.

As for the identity of the person behind this campaign of Impaler love, nobody even came close to thinking it might be the Cricket. Brilliant.

The tunes were mediocre. That is because the Cars came on. Again. That's three weeks in a row. It's almost as long as the Cheap Trick streak we experienced a while back. But not nearly as enjoyable. And then, as if right on cue, Robin Zander and his friends showed up on the hi fi a short while later. It was as though they felt our pain and took it upon themselves to make things right. It was a touching gesture. But it wasn't enough to undo the damage. In fact, the emotional wreckage was so devastating that we all left early. For the first time in a long, long time we hit the road before they kicked us out the door.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

TNR


It is starting to seem as if Mother Nature hates us. But we will tell her to stuff it. Such a disrespectful posture may well be part of the problem. We recognize that. But it is Tuesday. We will ride. Somehow.

9:30 pm at my place.

Monday, March 21, 2011

MSR: The Finish

It was actually pretty exciting. Actually, the split from the group containing Hushovd and Freire made the final 100 km far more interesting than they usually are. But it would take too long to watch all that. So the final 3.6 km will have to do. We pick it up with the group chasing down Greg Van Avermaet, who is a bit further up the road:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Do you see what happens Larry?

That is not how it was supposed to play out. Thor did not SMASH. Freire did not get to show off his cat-like pounce. And the question of whether or not he'd take his fourth win fizzled on Le Manie, almost 100 km from the finish. The Garmin-Cervelo machine completely broke down, with not a single one of their big three classics studs around to contest the finish. Boonen barely managed to crack the top 30. The Manx Mouth wasn't there either. And one of his leadout guys snatched the win away from my boyfriend.

Larry won the vicarious race. With both Goss (1st) and Cancellara (2nd) on his team, he pulled off the Primavera 1-2. Add Rollin (16th) and Hincapie (22nd), and he took home 1190 points yesterday. Rachel was second with 1145 points. She had three riders in the group of eight that sprinted for the win: Cancellara, Pozzato (5th), and her Ardennes guy, Nibali (8th). Sacha Modolo was there as well, contributing 20 points for his 29th place finish. Third place went to Tom K. He had 1040 points from Goss, Cancellara, and Hincapie.

In the overall race, Chris O's time at the top of the standings proved to be short lived. He had a mediocre day at the most classic of the classics. With only 465 points he fell off the podium altogether. Olli was happy to take his place and even flashed a rare Finnish smile. He has an even 2600 points. King Andy moved up to second, just 90 points back. And Prince Dan stands on the last podium step. But at 2165 points, he's a long way back.

At the bottom end of the standings, Donna has grabbed the lanterne rouge from Andrea.

Full results and overall standings here.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Classicissima

It is Italian for super sweet.

They are about 200 km into the race with 100 km to go. Live video starts soon. See the options here.

The profile looks like this:



Those last two bumps at the end should be pretty exciting.

Good times.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Nokere Koerse Report

After five races, we have ourselves a breakaway. Three teams have separated themselves from the rest of the field. They are all within just 30 points of each other, but 200 points ahead of the next best team. Chris O is currently driving the pace with 1675 points. Olli is just 10 points back. King Andy is doing everything he can to hold on to the lead group. He is another 20 points behind Olli. That is all very close. Can they extend their lead in Milan - San Remo? Will they be brought back? Or will they start attacking each other? Tune in Saturday to find out.

Olli won the race on Wednesday. He had 600 points thanks to Jens Keukeleire and Gert Steegmans. Ryan's combination of Keukeleire and Bobbie Traksel was second best on the day. They combined for 375 points. Val and KK tied for third place with 350 points apiece.

Full results and standings here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday Anticipation [Updated]

[Update - 5:11 pm] Math is hard. The first Spring Ride was in 2003. Hence the bikeclub2003. 2003 was 8 years ago. That makes this the ninth ride, not the eighth. The poster has been corrected. Also, the FGBC's Dept. of Communications received a package from the 2011SOB HQ earlier this afternoon with a poster for the Impaler's gravel road race. It has been added below. It looks a little foreboding with the dark cloud and all. But the Impaler is a foreboding presence. Some would even say he is himself a dark cloud. But they've never seen him jiggle with laughter. In reality he is a beaming ray of sunshine.

1) Gianni reminds us that the first race of the season is one month from today in Bruxelles. He says it's time to hit BHP for some laps. That will happen on Sunday at 1pm.

2) Gianni was right about riding at BHP. But he was wrong about the first race of the season. It is actually just over three weeks away. The real season begins with Rated RRR, the Impaler's gravel road race. It goes down in just over three weeks, on April 10.



3) More importantly, Rated RRR also features the first dogfest of the season.

4) Vicarious racing turns it up a notch this weekend. Milan - San Remo is on Saturday. Remember there are 500 points up for grabs to the winner of this one. You don't want to lay a goose egg in La Primavera.

To get us all in the mood, watch my boyfriend stick it to the field in the 2008 edition.




5) Last but not least, only 10 weeks to Farrah.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

TNR Report


As far as rides go, it was a short one. But more importantly, we managed to avoid drowning in any of the massive puddles that are springing up all over the place. We hit the parking garage and spent some time pondering the awesomeness of an Exchange District Crit. Especially if it finished with a climb up the corkscrew.

On the way over to the klubhaus, we encountered a kindred spirit of sorts on Portage Ave. She was jogging. That part we cannot identify with. But she was also carrying a bag of chips. We can get behind that. It made us think of the chip buffet, which is now only 71 days away. And Graham's knee.

The klubhaus was noticeably busier than it was last week. Somebody turned the kids loose. Eddie was back too. We hadn't seen him in a while. Or heard him. But he was in fine form again, singing along to the tunes. He was a couple of beats behind, of course, and swaying all the while. But he did not fall down. Still living the high school dream. For something like 40 years. We wondered whether he mistook years for days in his attempt to follow the lenten beer diet. Spiritual disciplines can be so confusing. For a while, he was joined by a duet parter. They sang along to Eddie Money. It is doubtful that our Eddie noticed. He lives mostly in his own little world. It is not a world of flourishing orchids. But at least it has a good soundtrack.

The Impaler was not among us last night. He did not say why he missed the ride. We can only surmise that meant he was doing that thespian thing he does. He is so coy about that talent of his. KK was not there either. He says his back is wrecked. We suspect maybe he has taken up acting too.

Among other things, last night marked the conclusion of another season of Hummelt Hockey. The game was a letdown. The goalies, they are getting so big. But Vic was pretty pumped about the fact that he will be riding with us again next Tuesday. Just as the Secretary was pretty pumped about his trip to Puerto Vallarta.

We probably talked about some other stuff too.

The tunes were hit and miss. The Cars were on again. They sucked just as much as they did last week. Possibly even more. Fortunately, we only had to listen to them once. Sir Elton serenaded us as well. We were not so sure what we thought about that. Early Rush went over quite a bit better. Except for the part about lyrics. Neil Peartless, the Secretary thought they were quite poor.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

TNR


It's the last ride of the winter. The Campaign to End Winter would feel rather redundant at this point. So we'll leave it until next year. Instead, we'll go searching for puddles to ride through.

9:30 pm at my place.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

2011 FGBC Classics Pool Watch

There were no races this weekend. That was not easy. But many of our favourite classics studs were in action, as the early season stage races took centre stage. Paris - Nice was filled with more bad news than good. Martijn Maaskant fell yesterday and broke half his ribs. Haussler was a casualty of the slick roads too. He kept going, but didn't look too happy. In fact, just about everybody hit the deck at one point or another. But the most spectacular crash belonged to Robert Kiserlovski. Somehow he wound up wedged under a truck. The most spectacular non-crash came courtesy of his Astana teammate, Rémy Di Gregorio. How he managed to keep the rubber side down is almost as mysterious as the SOB and DOC campaigns. Watch the highlights in all their brutal glory here:




Speaking of crashes, make sure to take some time to read about this guy. He crashed once and broke his leg. Then he crashed again and broke his arm. Still, he managed to finish 8th in this year's Iditarod Invitational. And here we thought being tough meant running around shrieking HTFU on the interwebs. Damn. Thanks to Lindsay for passing on the link.

Meanwhile, over in Italy, Philippe Gilbert is showing some pretty hot form. Last year's top point getter in the FGBC Classics Pool won today on a perfectly timed jump to the line. Fragile Cadel Evans is looking alright too. He currently leads the race.

The vicarious racing returns on Wednesday--finally--with another new race, Nokere Koerse. Jens Keukeleire won it last year. He found his way onto a handful of teams in the pool, who are no doubt hoping for a repeat victory. Watch last year's finish here.




Of course, the big race we're all waiting for goes down on Saturday with the first of the monuments. Milan - San Remo will announce the beginning of spring, just as it does every year. Will it be a sprint or a breakaway? Last year it was a sprint, as Mike has already reminded us. Oscar Freire won it. It was also a sprint the year before. The Manx Mouth won that one. The last breakaway of sorts was in 2008, when my boyfriend wowed us with a thrilling win. He is so cute when he does that. It feels like we're due for a breakaway again this year. That would be super sweet.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Letter from Japan

Get back on your bikes soon, brothers and sisters.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursday Anticipation

77 days. Bring it.

TNR Report


In the end, the Campaign to End Winter did not get launched. Our ride in the Ass. Forest was so sweet that the Hipster openly admitted to wishing that winter would last a bit longer. The conditions were not right for a table thumping demonstration of defiance. So we called up the media and told them not to bother showing up at the klubhaus. Which is just as well, since the klubhaus was all but deserted when we arrived. There was just a single pathetic soul sitting at the bar. He was not there for the pomp and ceremony of the campaign launch. All he wanted to know was where the nearest strip club was. We were not able to help him.

The tunes sucked. So much so that we had to suffer through Rick Ocasek's hollow voice not once, but twice. We asked for the station to be changed. Happily they obliged.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

TNR


Join us at the klubhaus for a press conference announcing the FGBC's Campaign to End Winter.

We will ride before hand. Probably in the Ass. Forest--a prelude to Lust Cross.

9:30 pm at my place.

Monday, March 07, 2011

in the dying days of winter

has anyone we know tried one of these yet?
http://www.ktrakcycle.com

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Strade Bianche

Tom K had the best day on the white gravel roads. He had 510 points thanks to Cancellara, Wegmann, Hesjedal and Hincapie. Brad the Impaler wasn't far behind. He enjoyed a 485 point day. King Andy continued his hot start. He grabbed the final podium spot with 480 points and pushed his lead in the overall race up to 175 points. Chris O and Prince Dan are tied for second overall. They have 1450 points each. Nice.

We are also pleased to report that there are no longer any teams who have been shut out for the season. David, Steve, Andrea, and JP have all made it on to the scoreboard.

Full results and standings here.

There are no highlights available yet. Hopefully something will show up yet. This race is too good to miss altogether.

Friday, March 04, 2011

GP Samyn

Ian won it, thanks to Jimmy Casper and Sebastian Chavanel. Rachel finished second, just as her man Kevyn Ista did in the real race. Miriam and Chris O were again rewarded for their foresight in picking Yauheni Hutarovich. They picked up 225 points each and shared third place. Hutarovich now has 525 points in just three races. Not bad for a tier 4 pick.

King Andy continues to lead the overall race. But Chris O has narrowed his lead to just 110 points. Prince Dan is in third place, 170 points off the lead.

Full results and standings here.

The pool continues tomorrow with one of the big ones. The Strade Bianche Eroica goes down on the white gravel roads in Chianti. In just a few years, this has become one of the best races of the spring. Live coverage options are doubtful. But if there are any feeds, we will link them.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Thursday Anticipation

1) This is one to plan your summer around:



2) Meanwhile, over in Altona Johnny S and the ABES are planning a party and they want you to come. More info here.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

TNR Report

In retrospect, it would have been prudent to check out the condition of the course ahead of time. But prudent is not exactly what we are. Our course was essentially a long sheet of freshly flooded ice. Which is to say it did not feature any of the texture provided by skate blades cutting the surface that we have enjoyed in previous years. So to say it was just a little bit slippery is like saying the Impaler is just a little bit awesome. There were crashes. Lots of crashes. Maximum heart rates were not even close to being reached in this ITT. It was more a matter of trying to stay upright. Most aquitted themselves reasonably well in that department. I did not. Ice is hard. Much harder than math, let alone waiting. It is especially hard when you encounter it with a knee that is not fully recovered from a previous rendesvous with the ice. Thanks to Bill for sacrificing his race in order to tend to a fallen comrade.

As for the race, the Cricket ate the rest of us for lunch. He must have been very hungry after sanding drywall at Jonny G's place all evening. He won by almost two minutes. It must be the low centre of gravity. Jonny G and the Hipster rounded out the podium.

Full results:

Craig - 14.39
Jonny G - 16.03
Mark - 16.09
KK - 16.55
Brad - 17.06
Bill - 20.00 (a good chunk of that time was spent keeping me from crying)
Chris - DNF

At the klubhaus, we talked about injuries. Bill entertained us with a story about bike insurance and combination locks. The Secretary told us of his recent encounter with Johnny Law, not to mention an errant Hummer. Juan Eppstein showed up to do penance for brushing off the Impaler. We tightened up some of the details regarding the 24 Hours of Falcon Ridge. We tried to make sense of the significance of a recent connection of sorts that was made with the Honorary Captain. And we explained to the Hipster how the ban works. Needless to say, we talked about the new Sweetest Jersey in the World and how sweet it is. Finally, we solved the mystery that is the SOB. It was all very anti-climactic in the end.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

TNR


This week's TNR is the third annual IceTT. The race of truth, FGBC style. On ice. In the dark.

9:30 pm at my place. We will start and finish at the Junk-shon, so meet us there if you prefer.

In case you have forgotten, last year it went like this.