Wednesday, January 28, 2004

-51 with windchill

sorry, this secretary took no notes last night. Perhaps others can chime in on the comments to remind about a piece of discussion that was significant. With today's temperature, it might be interesting to hear if Juan and Chris actually rode... guys? any comments? do you live?

Bike Club related:
  • Chris has sort of convinced Jonny to ride this sunday in the Ice Bike race. That will be the extent of FGBC participation in the event. It's a growing phenomenon however, I can feel that next year will be a big year at this race for the club. Results will be posted on the race page.
  • Marles is thinking about turning his current bike into a single speed and buying something new in spring.
  • Jonny had a very nice one hour clinic with the Olympia people on Portage. I forget the tech's name, but Jonny was allowed to watch/help change his cables and adjust the derailleur (I can't spell helmut [sic], but I love derailleur). Very nice of the Olympia people.

  • The Darkness Website Miss this new rock band at your peril, apparently. I hope to check the site out later today.
  • work issues continued to dominate discussion. Marles going for an interview today, Unger writing his ticket for a 22hr work week, Bergen doing well with uncertainty, Chris also living with some uncertainty. No work = No $$ for bike stuff.

  • Tuesday, January 20, 2004

    the stinky dead guy was in the Collective

    well, there was a bit of biking discussion, but larger discussions raged about where they found the dead guy who had been dead for quite a while. Marles insisted Ozzies, the general consensus from the rest was in the basement of the Collective Cabaret, just a block away.

    Other significant discussions, or rather, ones I found entertaining were:
  • Marles holding forth on the state of the record industry, having been an insider for many years. The general consensus here is that the state is not, in fact, good. There seems to be a new level of revival in the indie scene, but it's an uphill battle. If he would open a record shop, it would have to be a specialty shop of some sort. Vinyl, or classical or something. In fact, opening a diner seemed a greater interest. So much for the music industry.
  • James continuing to insist, against a strong majority, that the second Matrix was worth the plastic it was printed on, and that the third Lord of the Rings was really bad. He seemingly was not in tune with the rest of the gathered assembly. The crowd was analytically sharp and condemned almost every piece of the second Matrix, and then in a group switch, went into a softer, forgiving, nearly sentimental stance for the efforts in the last Lord of the Rings.

    Attendees of the club included: jonny, marles, the president, james, chris, juan eppstein, and the secretary.

    From this reporter's standpoint, every effort at raising the issue of club participation in the Icebike race was almost ignored. I tried (which, admittedly is easy because I can't ride yet) and the technical/race director tried, but with basically no response. The president did at least say something, which is the same as every other time, "I've used up all my sick time for this year." Not really encouraging stuff.
    Forge on Race Director. I hope I can be there to cheerlead...
  • Friday, January 16, 2004

    the link for Simpsons and "Breaking Away"

    Here's the link Chris was trying to get going in the previous post:
    Simpsons and Breaking Away
    It's a nice article.

    Thursday, January 15, 2004

    A couple of things

    First, it turns out my new helmet purchase was less of a deal than it appeared at first. Yesterday I got a bill from FedEx for an additional $25 for duty, etc. Should have seen that one coming. Just a warning to anyone who might be tempted to order from US online companies.

    Had an adventuresome ride into work yesterday. Everything was going fine until Omand's Creek, which I was prepared to hike through. But I was not prepared for Wellington Cresc. to be such a mess. Lots of loose snow, and it was a sheet of ice underneath. It took me about 35 minutes to get in rather than the usual 15-20. There were good stretches where it was simply impossible to stay on two wheels. At one point--I guess I was looking a little bit screwed--a pickup truck pulled up beside me to ask if I wanted a lift. Turned out to be one of my students, who probably now thinks he's set with brownie points for life. But we all know better than that.

    At school, one of my colleagues suggested that it was "inconsiderate" of me to have biked into work in those conditions. It seems Charles Adler had a little rant on CJOB on the drive in to work attacking all of Winnipeg's loyal bike commuters for shutting down the morning commute. It seems we staged a critical mass ride without even knowing it. I'm not sure if these sorts of vitriolic responses on redneck radio are a good or a bad thing. In the no news is bad news sense of things, I suppose its not all bad that people are talking about bikes as traffic. But in the good old USA, Clear Channel (a top 40/redneck radio network) is in trouble with the law for having several of its DJs making on-air encouragements to run cyclists off the road. A number of incidents in North Carolina and Texas seem to suggest that drivers were more than willing to heed their advice.

    Spain apaprently just passed a law permitting cyclists to ride two abreast on all roads. Still this didn't prevent some pro cyclists out for a training ride from getting run into a guard rail by some overly aggressive old man. Seems the world has it in for us these days. But let's be strong, resist the coffin-driving evildoers, and stay on the narrow path.

    Apparently last Sunday's episode of the Simpson's featured an homage to the old classic cycling movie "Breaking Away." Did any one see it or, even better, happen to record it? Perhaps we should hold a screening of the film as a Bike Club even in the near future. This could be the sort of Bike Club event that even the Duke might come to. In any case, see for more on the Simpsons and "Breaking Away."

    Starting to get excited about the Icebike race. Anyone interested in in a ride this weekend?

    Wednesday, January 14, 2004

    last night's gathering

    Nice to see Marles and the President out on a wintery Winnipeg evening. With no specific agenda, conversation went in the usual places... starting with, how's the Dark this evening. It was good.

    Chris showed up with a lovely catalogue of cycling accesories. He just ordered a helmet from these folks.

    There is some excitement building about the Icebike Race Feb. 1. Check the post below for the link to the site and the registration form.

    Club members gathered: The president, Luke, Jonny, Marles, Chris, James, the secretary plus some of the usual hockey guys.

    For the record, there was some debate as to when we began formal planning for last year's trip. A trip to the minutes archive revealed that minutes were first kept on March 25, 2003. That isn't to say that discussions didn't take place sooner... years sooner in fact.

    Monday, January 12, 2004

    Icebike Race 2004 website up

    The website for the 2004 Icebike race is up. There had been some discussion that we would try to attend as a team, flying our colours, or, in the case of black, the absence of colour.

    The Icebike Race 2004 Site

    This link should not be confused with the Icebike Site link in the links section on the right which connects to the fine Icebike Site in general.

    Wednesday, January 07, 2004

    Fruitful Christmas, delightful gathering

    Well, a gathering of the gift laden bike club members... an excellent turnout at the club house (despite the fact that they were out of dark... pathetic) turned into a sharing of Christmas bike riding booty. It seems there were no Buy Nothing Christmases for those attending the meeting. As if Aiden would want to see the bicycle industry collapse.

    How's this for a list of goods for those present:
    Jonny: helmut (after my "helmet" misspelling in the previous post, i feel i might stick with the slightly revised version... this would not be a bad name for the kid Jonny); bike stand (for cleaning/tuning, not "kick stand" apparently); jersey; bike tool.
    Juan: bike computer
    Unger: bike computer; socks; under-the-helmut toque
    Chris: big $$ racing helmut; shoes; socks; sunglasses
    Penner: (not actually present at the meeting due to work commitments) helmut; clipless pedals
    Bergen: jersey; back flashing safety light
    Luke: winter riding jersey
    James: balaclava
    the secretary: as mentioned below in the previous post.

    Some excitement surfaced about the spring ride. Location was, predictably, the priority. Spruce Woods got some very good billing. It seems many of us were looking forward to another spring ride.

    Juan shared about his latest wipe-out in Assiniboine Park, and we heard about Chris crashing because a dog swerved at him. The trials of hardcore winter riding.

    In related news.
  • Unger shared that he's quitting his job. Some freelancing will set the stage for a nice bicycle/wallpaper/drycleaning shop in the retail space that's expected to open up shortly in Wolseley where the two organic foodstores are duking it out for the granola belt's loyalties. (Check out The Meatrix for a nice pro-veggie bit of Flash animation.) There is usually only one winner... and it will be Unger's Bike and Paper Hanging and Cleaning Emporium. The primary news should increase Unger's time for riding bike and coming to meetings anyway.
  • Not mentioned directly, but strongly inferred was the fact that Jonny and Charlene are great with child. No predictions should be made on how this affects his time riding bike...

  • The bike club shirt saga is about to come to a close.
    The last available bike club shirt should perhaps never really have been considered "available" as such. It is being hand-delivered to the Duke at the Chicken Chef in Altona tomorrow noon. The transaction will hopefully slip under the storey starved vigilance of the local press. Better not to attract too much attention...
    While it seemed that Duke was not fielding his physical presence at bike club gatherings, this quote from a recent email makes it clear that he is the rightful owner of the shirt, and not Bechtel, as the pendulum had been swinging...
    "As for Bechtel's supposed claims...what can I say? He is on the left
    side of right but I can claim better intentions than he so with that
    moral authority I claim the shirt as rightfully mine."

    Thus saith the Duke. Who's going to argue with that?

    As a visual post script, you may want to point your browser to this link to a picture of the inside of my shoulder on the media page of our site. It's a little tough to tell what's what, so I have annotated it. Good luck.