Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This is going to be very, very awesome

Payment is Woolcomed Now.

Good news. After working out the finer details, Cima Coppi is ready to start knitting up the sweeterest jersey in the world. For that to happen, we're got to pay up, so the faster everyone can get me some money, the faster we'll see our jerseys. Each jersey is $110. That includes the cost to ship the jerseys to Winnipeg.

If you'd like, you can bring cash to the TNR tonight. You can also drop a cheque/cash off at my work (63 Albert Street, room 309), or come by my place (29 Arbuthnot St, Apt. 3). Some of you will need to use regular mail, in which case you should email me and I will give you all the particulars.

The expected delivery date is around mid-January, on account of a slight backup on their end and the holidays.

TNR: Nordic Cross #1

It's the most wonderful time of the year. Nordic Cross is upon us. And we begin, appropriately, with feats of consumption.

It all starts today at 9pm at my place. Yes, 9pm. Not the usual 9:30.

6 cafes have been carefully selected to constitute the espresso drinking portion of the race. Some of them are even opening up just for us. That is very awesome. There will be surprises. And perhaps some bonus points awarded or deducted.

Monday, November 28, 2011

CX Pool Roundup

We are behind. We have two weekends worth of vicarious cx racing to catch up on. Here are your winners:

GVA Hasselt: Andy
SP Gavere: Chris O
Jingle Cross #1: Laura
CDM #3: Koksijde: Laura
Jingle Cross #2: Matt
SP Geiten: Andy
Jingle Cross #3: Matt

Andy still sits atop of the overall standings. Chris O is in second place. I am in third place with the J-Train nipping at my heels.

Full results and overall standings here.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thursday Anticipation

Nordic Cross is upon us. It all starts next week:

Notice that the start time is a little earlier than the usual 9:30 pm meeting. Coffee shop hours tend not to correspond with the regular Tuesday night routine. But we will make it work.

The full Nordic Cross 2011-12 calendar is as follows:

Nov. 29 - Caffeine Cross
Dec. 20 - KK's Kristmas Kermesse
Jan. 10 - Glutton's Cross
Jan. 31 - Arm & Torso Thighs Cross
Feb. 21 - Darryl & Jonny G Cross
Mar. 13 - Impaler's Cross

Some of these could use better names.

This is a series. Standings will be tabulated and the overall winner will receive an award of sorts. The Dark Side reserves the right to apply penalties and bonuses at will. It is entirely possible that there will not be a direct correspondence between success and one's ability to ride a bicycle swiftly.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

TNR Report

Skinny tires + snowy single track = awesome.

The Impaler and the BF had some trouble.

Back at the klubhaus, Brad directed a reenactment of the awards ceremony that took place on Saturday.

The bulk of the meeting was dedicated to constructing a schedule for Nordic Cross 2011-12. There will be six races, one every three weeks. All the races will take place on Tuesday nights. It all begins next week with Caffeine Cross. Stay tuned for more details.

We also pondered the disturbing velobesity epidemic that is plaguing our local cycling scene. A manifesto was drafted and we all pledged to remain skinny this winter. There is some suspicion, however, that KK may have had his fingers crossed.

The Hipster provided an update on the Sweetest Wool Jersey in the World. It is in production. We should receive some photos soon.

The tunes sucked. So much that Secretary was moved to stage an intervention. It worked.

Stay skinny, my friends.

We rode last week too. All the way over to our favourite commissaire's place. We thought it fitting to throw a little party for him in order to say thanks for all the work he did to make the cx season so awesome. So we asked him to host it. We are a classy bunch. So he hosted his own party and made us a nice fire. And he also pretended to like the gifts we gave him. We love you Colin!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Maybe we should ride.

And given that there is now snow on the ground, we should also spend some time planning the 2011-12 Nordic Cross Calendar. The race directing duties will be shared. Come armed with good ideas.

9:30 pm at my place.

How to Survive an Egghead Convention

A step by step guide.

1) There are certain backgound conditions that apply. For example, it helps that the convention takes place in a sweet location. However, the condition of sweetness, whether locational or otherwise, is not entirely in your control. So don't sweat it. But when the stars align and you wind up in, say, San Francisco, it is necessary to take full advantage of the opportunity. In which case, proceed to step #2. If this should not occur, proceed directly to step #18.

2) First of all, find some friends to ride with.

3) And preferably a local guide.

4) A little research will be required to identify a good route.

Note that when portions of a route are referred to with terms like "paradise" and "panoramic," that is usually a good indication that the ride will be rated high on the sweetness index.

5) By sweet, we mean hills.

6) And scenic coastal roads.

7) Ridable monuments are a bonus too.

8) But as all good FGBCers know, good times are about more than just riding. So your advance research must also consider whether there are any local cyclocross races to attend.

9) It is even better when those local races are a world championship of sorts. In which case, the stars have aligned for a second time and your situation may once again be appropriately described as sweet. Some might refer to this as double sweetness. But true wordsmiths such as the Secretary rightly know that the preferred nomenclature here is super sweet.

10) As with the ride, sweetness is really a shorthand way of referring to a number of specific conditions, such as:

11) A Le Mans start.

12) From a valley down below.

13) Subsequent climbs out of which require the successful navigation of beer barriers,

14) Barriers of Unusual Size,

15) And a cesspool ride-through.

16) The presence of local celebrities is a bonus.

17) As is the presence of hot shot professional cxers.

18) Once again, every good FGBCer knows that good times are about more than just riding bikes and watching other people race them. For this reason, steps #7 and #17 are to be followed with generous servings of hoppy goodness.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday Anticipation

The MCA Awards Banquet goes down this weekend. It would be good--very good--if someone was there to represent the Dark Side.

I won't be there. Because I will be representing the Dark Side at this:

Not racing, sadly. But having lots of fun just the same.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


We have a special occasion to celebrate tonight. There will be fire. And presents. Please bring $10 to contribute to the gift(s). Don't know what we're talking about? That is why you should attend meetings on regular basis. But it does not excuse you from the obligation to cough up $10.

We will not make it to the klubhaus tonight. But we will still gather at the usual time and place to start the ride.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Wool Jersey Project: It's Go Time

We have received word from the Assistant VP Style (aka the Hipster) that the Wool Jersey Project is into its final stages. He wants to place the order this Friday. Before that can happen, we need to get a few more details settled.

Here is how Mark put it:
We're ordering the jersey's from a custom Canadian supplier called Cima Coppi. The jerseys are slightly thinner than what we are used to (200gr/sqm double knit wool, as opposed to the Nordic Cross jersey which is around 250gr/sqm) and are designed to function more like a jersey, and less like a sweater. Like traditional wool jersey's from the 50's and 60's, they are created out of a series of panels, lending themselves to easy repairability should you snag a tree branch and tear a hole.

Take a look at the sizing chart to confirm and/or determine your size.

If you find that none of the stock sizes fit you (Lyle? Pitcher?), you can provide your exact measurements and have the jersey custom fitted. Just provide the same measurements that the sizing chart has.

Please leave a comment or email Mark with your sizing details.

If you aren't on the list, it's not too late to get in on the order. But you'd better act soon.

I want to place the order on Friday by 5pm. There is a good chance we can have them by Christmas if we get the order in by then.

I need sizing from:

Chris H
Thomas Epp
Tom K
Tim L
Daniel Enns


CX Pool Roundup

Highlight of the weekend: Tom Meeusen jumping the ditch at Jaarmarktcross on Friday.

(Photo: Kristof Ramon)

As for the vicarious racing, we have five races to catch up on, including, for the first time ever, a non-World Cup race in France. The European field was split on Friday with a handful of riders skipping the C2 Jaarmarktcross in favour of the C1 race in Nommay. Rachel took the win in that one, followed by Dan and Olli. Little M won Jaarmarktcross ahead of Laura and me. And the J-Train swept the other three races. He had 465 points in the first of the two USGP races in Louisville, 245 points in Hamme-Zogge, and then 530 points in the second Louisville race.

Andy continues to lead the overall race. But for the first time in a while, his lead is less than 200 points. It is Jonah who narrowed the gap, moving up into second overall after his big weekend. Chris O remains on the podium, but drops one spot down to 3rd.

Full results and overall standings here.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

FarmCross Report

Here's what you missed: a hay bale run-up. A tall grass maze. A pumpkin patch. A couple of building ride-throughs. Some groping pine trees. A forest ride-through. Something that made the disco look like a miniature wok. Dog fest with chilli. And lots of good times. Thanks Steven and Gavin!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday Anticipation

The cyclocross season may be over. But that doesn't mean we have to stop racing. Thanks to Steven, Gavin, and the ABES, the dream will be kept alive for at least another week.

The J-Train and I are planning to participate. It would be nice to have others join us.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

TNR Report

As for the ride, it was a short one. But not so short that it was without incident. The Hipster went down on some black ice upon our arrival at the klubhaus, thereby kicking of the winter crashing season. He almost went down on the way home too, but somehow managed to keep the rubber side down.

The shortness of the ride was inversely proportional to the length of the meeting. Which was just fine, since we had plenty of business to discuss:

The Hipster provided a second report on the Wool Jersey Project. He has been doing some research and offered us a brief lecture on the difference between a wool sweater posing as a jersey and an actual wool cycling jersey. When it came to the vote, the verdict was decisive: will be getting a wool jersey. It will be old school. It will be (more or less) local. And, yes, it will be awesome.

The BF also filled us in on his new venture, which he is calling Project Pit Boot. Some other custom Dark Wear options were considered as well. But those must remain top secret for the moment. The VP Style tells us that fashion world is a cut-throat one and we are not terribly interested in having our collective jugular sliced open.

We also sketched out a plan for the upcoming Nordic Cross season. The most significant change this year is that all races will be on Tuesday nights. It is just easier that way. Sometimes we may have to start a little earlier than 9:30 pm, such as Gluttons Cross. But otherwise, the race will take place in lieu of the regular weekly ride.

Needless to say, the recently completed cx season received its fair share of attention. As did some big projects we have in store for next year. 2011 was awesome, but we have every intention of doing our best to make 2012 even better. And speaking of 2012, the Secretary promised he would have a DarkCross movie for us before the calendar turns over to the new year.

We were happy to hear a report that disconfirmed our fear that Ryan was dead. Neither is the President dead. He was seen earlier in the day. But there was no word on Cousin Adam.

The Dark was off but the tunes were on fire.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

CX Pool Roundup


TNR: Special Readers Choice Edition

Some have suggested we head to the St Nob trails tonight. Do we still want to do that? Discuss.

Among other things, this discussion should spend some time considering the pre- and post-ride scenarios. Where will me meet and when (Kevin B's place is an option) and where will we head for the weekly meeting?

Have at it.

Monday, November 07, 2011

CX Provincials Report

(photo courtesy of TOS)

Bart Wellens did not show up. And the Impaler kept his pants on. Or did he?

The Dark Side collected some hardware in what must have been the most cramped medal presentation ceremony ever. And we enjoyed a nice meal mixed with many smiles and a handful of strange looks from the locals. That is fair. We'd no doubt look askance at them if they joined us at our table on Tuesday night too.

The highlight of the day came courtesy of Jonny G. He went airborne, executed a perfect tuck, roll, and summersault, and then ran back to fetch his bike in the sand--all without breaking a smile. The CycleChick caught it on camera. We can't wait for her to share it.

And with that, the best cx season we have ever experienced is history. The ABES are having a hard time coming to grips with that fact, so they are trying to extend the good times for at least another week. Some of us may show up.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Thursday Anticipation

And still on a Thursday no less. We are on top of our game this week. Which is good, because it's time to crown some provincial champions. The klubhaus needs to be decorated with some hardware. So we need the Dark Side to be at its very best.

Hal and the OLY Boys are putting on the race. And the poster seems to suggest Bart Wellens will be there. That is awesome! Hopefully someone told him he does not qualify for a medal.

Or maybe Bart caught wind of the rumour that the Impaler has discovered a new method for serving up some dollar primes he brought back from a recent visit to the US of A.

Either way, it will be super sweet on Sunday. The weather will be sloppy and the good times will be flowing. It will be nice to share it all with our special guest from Belgium.

For more info, including online registration details, go here.

Now, back to the wool jersey count.

We Wool Rock You!

This is pretty sick. We only need 15 orders to make this happen with a price point somewhere between $85 & $95. Can you ever have too many wool jerseys?
The only difference is the size of the logo on the back. I didn't catch if this would open for klub discussion, or whether the graphical juggernaut that is the Hipster and the CycleChick would bring down the final ruling. Thanks to them for the work on this thus far.
I believe the comment area would be the place to register interest in purchase.

tnr report

JP threw down a very fine alley cat. Nine riders reported, eight actually started, one stood victorious by only a narrow, at times confusing margin. Instructions were to attend to three locations and pick up a small envelope from within the large envelope. At one of those locations, the large envelope would have on it the instructions to a secret, fourth location. The three locations were 1. Riverwood area, 2. Whittier Park, and 3. JP's back yard.
In the end, the order made a difference. The fourth location was the McPhillips Street Station. Once all locations were visited, it was back to the klubhaus. The first four to the klubhaus also picked up an envelope on arrival. Turns out, the envelopes contained cards for the closing poker hand. Coming in sooner meant you got more cards. ie. great odds of victory.
Here, JP, race meister, attempts to explain to the bewildered crew, kind of how a poker hand works.
The discerning, regular reader might note a number of the usual suspects in this low quality image, and said reader might also note a few unusual suspects in the back right. Yes, every so often, at our quiet klubhaus, confused folks come in assuming our tavern is a bawdy niteclub. When they discover we are the only good time present, they invite themselves to the party. After some time, usually too much time, they realize that they have no idea what we're talking about, and they move on. At least this gropy threesome didn't attempt to make off with anyone's goods, as per a memorable visit some years ago.
At first it seemed like big Luke had won, but the (minimal) collective poker wisdom eventually discerned that, in fact, KK was victorious with some sort of hand that must have been good. The (exceptional) individual wisdom of KK also discerned that the $45 he had just won was actually almost spot on one free round. Most excellent discernment KK.
Of note was a new attendee. One Dan E on a very speedy Ridley. Not speedy (or lucky) enough to win the race this time round, but a formidable riding talent nonetheless.
Finally, there was an attempt at some business. While it was very exciting business indeed, the state of affairs with the unwelcome guests and the small presentation size made it difficult for the collective to galvanize around the topic that eve. Please see the next post entitled: We Wool Rock You.

The Secretary (of State) or VP Ontological

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

CX Pool Roundup

First, watch the elite men's highlights from this weekend's Superprestige race in Zonhoven. Notice the generous gift of rope for help in the run-up. And don't miss Tom Meeusen and Bart Aernouts doing their best Terry Macyk impression on the sand pit descent. Then try to think about where we can find sand like that for a course in Winnipeg. Spruce Woods would no doubt work. There is no shortage of sand there. But it is just a bit too far away.

While we're watching videos, why not watch the highlights from yesterday's Koppenbergcross. Because that was pretty awesome too.

As for the vicarious racing, we have had six races since the last update--the above two in Europe, two in Colorado, and two on the US East Coast. The winners are as follows:

Colorado CX Classic: Brad
Boulder Cup: Brad
Superprestige Zonhoven: Andy
Beacon Cross: Laura
HPCX: Laura
GVA Koppengergcross: Andy

King Andy continues to lead the overall. He has 3540 points and looks to be an early lock to pull on the prizewinner's pair of FGBC wool socks. Chris O is in second place, 295 points behind Andy. And I am in third place, another 270 points back. Matt continues to carry the lanterne rouge. But there was a brief time this weekend when it was in the poosher's grip.

Full results and overall standings here.

This weekend will be another busy one, with seven races. There are three races in Ohio and a couple more with the Cycle-Smart International races. In Belgium, we visit the French speaking part of the country with the GP de la Regione Wallonne. And then on Sunday the GVA series continues in Ronse.

The Canadian Championships also go down this weekend. They will not count toward the FGBC CX Pool. But they are worth following, especially since some of our local talent will be there racing.