Tuesday, February 24, 2004

minutes - not really

the biggest action today is in the previous posts. most of that detail was reviewed.

In member news, Bergen blew his chance at a little EI by accepting a job at the Uni that makes him something like the assistant to the assistant to the VP, External. The President and I were trying to determine whether that doesnt actually make him VP, External of the FGBC.

The president also raised the question as to whether there shouldn't be a bit of a cabinet shuffle. General consensus was... no.

The president will also be bringing his datebook to the next meeting, so we will begin discussions of the spring event date in earnest. It may be too much to hope that we could keep this discussion down to five or six meetings...

"i guess you didn't get pixies tickets, i heard they sold out in 3 minutes!"

this is what i have been hearing since around 10:30 saturday morning. well, let me tell you about one of my greatest days ever...

it is about 6:30 am as i look at my watch, this is also the time i jump out of bed, throw on some clothes and run out the door - i have slept in on the biggest potential music-making day in winnipegs history!

wiping sleep from my eyes, i am screaming down osborne after picking up shane (brother-in-law) as we race towards a little known gem of an outlet to buy tickets - the winnipeg goldeyes stadium. as we arrive, we see 4 "dudes" in line...we approach with caution.

"hi" they say - we reply "hello" all is good. i look at my watch - 7:30, not bad, 5th in line, this should get us tickets...or will it! patrick (my new best friend) and zach have been there since 6:30 am, and this has granted them 1st and 2nd in line. we proceed to make small talk ie. weather, getting tix at this unlikely venue, what song will they lead off the set with. it is all good - for a while. then self-doubt begins to set in as we begin to question whether or not our early morning line up will get us tix. this is the first show of the pixies in 11 years! we had all heard the rumours of people calling from as far away as australia trying to secure tix. but no, we had to be rewarded for our dedication. we all decide we have nothing to worry about - we were going to be alright!

fast forward to 9:55am. dennis, the keeper of the gate/ticket overlord is amazed to see this many people in line for tix. he has never heard of the pixies. 9:59am...1 minute till we find out if we leave with smiles on our faces, or chairs being thrown through windows. 10am...patrick gets 4 seats in the 5th row. zach is next - he gets 4. then 2 guys whose names i forget get their tix. then, sweaty and excited i step up to the gate, cash in hand, i blurt out "4 tickets please". dennis then says to me "sold out". to this i say, rather loudly, "sold out...NO". immediately, the 30 people behind me fall dead silent. i feel really sick - i look at my watch, it reads 10:03:09am. then dennis says "would you like single tix". "YES" is my response. i get 4 single seats - i am beside myself...i am going to see the pixies!!!

i look back in line, shane has been able to secure 3 single seats. then ice bergen steps up - he gets 2 single seats. we all smile at each other. then the guy with the mullet behind glenn gets 1 ticket, he saw them in vancouver at their last performance ever. until now.

we go home happy and sweaty - that was really intense.

the pixies. april 14, 2004. burton cummings theatre. holy shit - i am going to see the pixies!

i'm oot
mark (marls)

bike advocacy geek

good heavens. i have just our man. too bad he lives in KW. check out this beauty article on Bechtel's dad on trev's blog!

The other "Mennonite Rider".

Can't Afford Enough Money for the Fucking Bus?

Or something to that effect were the words that came hurtling at me as I stood in the slush on the side of the road in front of my house in order to let the rusty red Taurus drive by. I was caught so offgaurd that all I could do was smile, hop back on my bike, and ride on. A month ago I was accused by a colleague at work of being inconsiderate because I ride my bike to work in the snow. On the one hand, I can't for the life of me understand what it is that arouses such passionate anger among those we are trying to share the road with? On the other hand, I know perfectly well as I almost daily unleash foul-mouthed tirades directed at moronic motor vehicles--though mostly underneath my balaclava.

Yesterday, a Duke University MD/PhD student set some sort of first in US legal history in becoming the first person to be awarded significant damages for an accident that resulted in using his bike as traffic. I think he got a quarter of a million dollars, but unfortunately also some severly broken bones. I suppose that's kind of like a backward step in the right direction.

Wait a minute. I'm supposed to be the technical director and race organizer, not the bike advocacy geek. We need someone else to take up the charge. Nominations will be held this evening at the F&H.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Landis wins in Portugal

Though I'm not ready to declare an end to mourning the death of Pantani, there is some significant reason to be happy right now. Floyd Landis, "The Mennonite Rider" and honourary FGBC member, pulled off a big win at the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal this past week. Floyd looks to be in good form early in the season, losing to Armstrong by only a second in the 24 km time trial, and clinching victory with an attack on the final mountain stage.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

a day late with the minutes

Whoa, I'm slipping a bit. It's a busy week.

A fine gathering. Biking discussion did override the noteable concern about Pixies tickets. Of most interest was a turn in the discussion for the spring ride.

Spruce Woods was again mentioned, but then your humble secretary blurted something to the effect of, "but I don't want to go to Spruce Woods". With floor priviledges firmly inhand, said secretary explained that it might be nice if we find a location that might keep the technical level up a bit. This would ensure that the stronger riders would have diversions along the way that might keep the pack together. Without a number of technical stops, the only interesting thing for the strong riders would be to see how many miles ahead they could get from the others. "What about the "south of Morden/Tinker Creek" area?" asked the secretary. So, further discussion began unpacking the options in this part of our fair province. Stayed tuned. We may tackle the date question in the coming months.

Luke spoke about building a single-speed.... perhaps to avoid ever getting his bike fixed from the last spring ride.

Unger did a little show and tell with his new helmut. Original price $150, purchased for under one hun. Not to mention that he was the only member who rode to the meeting.

The race director did a little explaining on the ins and outs of the Tour de France, and brought up the death of the guy in the previous post.

Members gathered: Chris, Unger, Jonny G, the secretary, Marles, Luke, James and then the related hockey collective.

Monday, February 16, 2004

A time for mourning

I think it would be appropriate to have some sort of official time of mourning to honour the memory of one of cycling's great legends. Marco Pantani died this past weekend at 34. Pantani was the last winner of the Tour de France (1998) before some guy named Armstrong decided to make it his personal obsession, and was one of the purest climbers ever--kind of like our very own Luke Snider. Sadly, he was perhaps even more troubled and emotionally fragile than he was brilliant as a rider. While the results of an autopsy are not yet in, it's being suggested he either died of an overdose of anti-depressants or of a heart attack (which would suggest doping). See the coverage at Velo News or cyclingnews.com.

I don't exactly know what would be appropriate in terms of mourning. A black armband wouldn't exactly stand out given the colour of our jerseys. Perhaps wearing bandanas for our next few club rides would be a fitting tribute.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Icebike 2004 pics up

Well, I posted the Icebike pics from Jonny and Charlene. They are there as I received them...

I used a program to very quickly put them in gallery form which is much quicker than the way I've been doing it, but maybe not quite as nice. Let me know what you think of this gallery type.

Chris sent me a link to another picture where he's ahead of some famous cycling guy here in the city, but the link didn't work. Stay tuned. We'll figure it out yet.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

little biking news, but the Pixies are coming

there was little news in our biking world. Chris crashed again, on the same corner that's burned him many times. He did show the wound on his knee. He also reported that the Icebike race was a fine experience. We should all be pleased with his results which are a launching the FGBC into new levels of status. I guess he would have had to tell someone that he rides with FGBC.... you did do that loud and proud, didn't you Chris? at least quietly?

I have been promised a few pictures of the Icebike event, but will not hold my breath for them to turn up in my inbox. Rest assured, they will go on the site if they do arrive.

so, the big news at my end of the table was the Pixies reunion tour which kicks off in, you guessed it, Winnipeg. this is significant because it was clear that we would be participating in our first bke club funeral if Marles doesn't get tickets. Torn between the ecstasy of imagining being at the show (which will take place at the Walker, a fine, small venue for such a show), and the debilitating fear of not getting tickets, Bergen and Marles were fairly roughed up.

I think a change in the weather will bring biking more to the forefront of discussions again... not to mention that it should take us a month or two to nail down a date for our weekend gathering...

Monday, February 02, 2004


I'll try to write a longer update for the blog in the next little while, but for now let me just say that Icebike was a resounding success. The weather was great, and though the cold temps throughout the week resulted in smaller crowd there were still 100+ riders out on the course, which is the most in any race I've ever been to. 45 riders started in the Abominable (20k) men's category, including me and Jonny as well as a significant contingent representing the Tinker Creek colours. I'm happy to report that I finished first among those two groupings, and 13th overall. While I'm pleased with that, I'm still pissed for a spill on the last downhill section that screwed up my gearing and cost me two places in the standings.

Results are available online. Also, Charlene took a bunch of pictures on their new digital camera, which I told her to send you. But in the mean time, the MCA site has one picture with me and Hal in it. In case it's not clear whose who, I'm 2nd from the top and Hal is closest to the bottom. I couldn't find Jonny in any of the pictures they had up.

Postrace consensus among Jonny and myself was that there is no good reason we shouldn't make this a mandatory bike club event. The race course itself was far easier than what we did in and around Whittier park. So no reason to be affraid from the skills/technical standpoint. Charlene is also looking to make a statement in the womens category, having recognized a few women who finished at or close to the top and feeling confident that she could take them. That's the spirit.

We will give a fuller report on Tuesday. Later.