Monday, May 31, 2004

Falcon Gold Race Report

With the foul toxicity of all the smoke and bad excuses about not biking from Friday night's dogfest still fogging my normally coherent sensibilities, I headed out to Falcon Lake early Saturday morning for the inaugural Falcon Gold Race. It wasn't easy to leave in the midst of the great location debate, but it had to be done. The race consisted of three stages: a 14.5 km time trial, a 25 min. plus 3 lap criterium, and a 53 km road race. Things got kicked off with the time trial on South Drive--an out and back to the Falcon Trails Resort, on a windy and slightly undulating course. I felt alright, not great, but ended up winning the time trial by half a minute. But the euphoria of my first ever race win was short lived, as I lost all that and more in the afternoon criterium. The 30 minutes of racing around the small park in the town square were both faster and scarier than I had expected, but a good learning experience nonetheless. After a brief stint at the head of the pack, I got caught off guard at the halfway point and gave up the 15 second intermediate sprint bonus to the guy who finished 2nd in the time trial. It would have helped if I knew who he was, but I hadn't seen him at a race before and didn't really have the best sense of who the competition was. Not a great move on the tactical side of things. With about 10 minutes left, he and another guy got off the front again, and somehow I ended up a further 20 meters or so behind the chase group. Not really sure how that happened, but now I was stuck on my own having to chase back to the group. Another tactical fuckup in a quickly growing list. I did manage to bridge up after another 5 laps or so, but had to work so hard in the process that there was no hope of catching the two leaders. The revised plan was now to stay ahead of the 3rd place guy and to try and take the 30 second time bonus for 3rd place. This was briefly interrupted by a crash that I nearly got tangled up in. Two riders touched wheels and one of them went down right in front of me. Luckily I wasn't boxed in and was able to swerve around and avoid it, but a few of the others ended up with some nasty road rash and found themselves out of the race. But Mr. 3rd place was ahead of the crash and now had a small gap on me with only a few laps to go. Together with one of the Kids of Mud riders I pushed hard to bridge back up to him and we managed to do that with only one lap to go. Now we had the momentum, left Mr 3rd place in our wake, and fought a hotly contested sprint for third place. KoM guy went out first but I was closing in as we got to the line. Neither of us were sure who took it, but the officials decided it was him not me. We were 15 seconds behind the winner, the former 2nd place guy, and I lost another minute to him in time bonuses. The 30 second bonus for third would have limited the damage to a 30 second deficit, but as it was I ended up being bumped down to 2nd place by a full minute. Not sure how things would have turned out on Sunday for the road race, since I wasn't able to be there. So instead I'll try to repeat my time trial success and try not to repeat my mistakes in the criterium and hope things go better at the next stage race I'll be doing instead of the annual Bike Club weekend event. All in all it was a great day. The weather was perfect and I learned some valuable lessons. Too bad the FGBC-Tinker Creek contingent was so small, but there's always hope--Juan Eppstein and Jonny G both have fully functioning road bikes and would make solid additions to the sport classification. And now that Hal and Dave have acquired some new road wheels, things are looking up. If nothing else, anyone is welcome to come out and ring cow bells along with Miriam and the rest of my personal tifosi on the side of the road.

Until next time . . . ride yer bike!

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Latest camping news + Friday evening's dog fest...

Well, a fine evening for a dogfest... and a fine turnout. Juan (hosting), Unger, Bergen, Marls, Jonny G, Chris, Hal, Secretary... Country Meat and Sausages dogs were consumed by some. They are, afterall, the official dog of the club. We'll need to look into sponsorship. The good news is that they are currently available at Harry's Foods. Go support your small town (Blumenort) dog producer. (Perhaps we're not quite in a position to change our name just yet.)

There was a good deal of bike related discussion... what with there being a couple of racers in the club these days. (Hal, you're clearly part of the club, but you're not currently one of the racers. I hope that's OK.)

Attendance at our spring ride did get a bit more airtime... since the technical/race director has decided to race instead of join us, and then there's the whole matter of the Duke...

Unger's arrival, was the key to get down to serious business. Since the whole Morden area thing has hit the skids, location was the critical agenda. After numerous twists and turns in direction, we settled on West Hawk because of the potential diversity in riding options and if that area didn't work, to Spruce Woods with the FGBC.

This just in... an email from Juan Eppstein who was good enough to check into camping options on behalf of the Klub:

I have some news re: the camping arrangements. Group reservations are for groups of 31 or more, so we are limited to reserving a cluster of individual sites. Unfortunately, our favorite spot (sites F-1,2,3) at West Hawk were full. The only cluster there was E-6,7,8, but these seem to be a bit close to the neighbors still. My executive decision was to book at Caddy Lake, where I reserved sites 32,33 & 34 (see Caddy map under the minutes archive), which are at the end of a bay with no sites directly opposite.

Further info: - $27.75 per site for a total of $83.25. Bring cash or cheque to the event to square up the costs. - Sites are reserved under Darryl, Brian, and my name. - 4 people per site, 2 tents/site. - Reservation numbers are 209506, 209507, 209508. - Check-in 4:00 pm, check-out 3:00 pm (Sunday). - Cancellations/changes can be made until 4 days in advance of the booking.

Thanks Juan. So, we're in busines!! Go ride your bikes!

Friday, May 28, 2004

Tinker Creek Website

Looks like our bretheren in Tinker Creek have been doing more than just riding lately. Well actually, since Hal bust up his leg a while back he's actually had some time to work on the Tinker Creek Cycle website. Check it out.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Dogfest moved to Friday

sounds like the weather and attendance issues has moved the dogfest to Juan Eppstein's on Friday. Please let him know if you are able to attend.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Birch Reopened

It's now official. The best place for mountain biking in the province is set to open once again on June 2. See the official statement from the Manitoba Cycling Association. I realize the $50 fee will seem a bit too steep for some, but hopefully at least a handful of FGBC members will pony up so we can do some group rides.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Minutes May 17, 2004; dog fest news; and more

Well, as you've learned, the meetings have migrated to the Cambridge on Monday evenings for now. Since it's an ultimate gathering as well, it's not all bike business, and in the interest of not segregating the whole thing, only the most serious agenda really gets proper discussion, but there is news to report...
  • first, the bad news. Hal had an ultimate injury, and last we heard, his ankle was broken. There seemed to be some uncertainty, so we'll update you on that asap.
  • second, the other bad news. It seems camping right in the Morden area is out. The Stanley Park option will under no circumstances tolerate us consuming any of our namesake beverage... and the general consensus on the campground is that it is not an option. The bit of good news is that Marls has done some quick research, and found us a bit of info on the Stephenfield campground which is less than half an hour from our desired riding area. Here's a link to the pdf. Seems promising. Shall we commission him to proceed with a booking? (This last bit of news is the "more" that the title refers to.)
  • dogfest. since there is no ultimate game next week, we will move our gathering to Tuesday, and enjoy a dogfest at Juan Eppstein's. Let's gather at 9:30 unless you hear otherwise. The president and I, the secretary, have been on dog duty before, and will have a go at it again. So please RSVP to the bike clube email address:
  • certainly nice to gather with some of the Altona contingent. More discussion of a southern cluster... the latest possible name is "The Old Dutch Bike Club". Very complementary.
Present: Unger, Jonny G, Jonny S, Jeff R, Juan Eppstein, Chris, Marls, secretary, and other assorted ultimate folk.

The Norc Redux

The tastefully rusted, blue Norco--my trusty single-speed steed--is back on the road. Winter and spring were unkind to it. But the wonky bottom bracket, which necessitated a month-long mothballing, has been replaced with a brand-new cartridge and now she's (a female steed?) pedalling smoother than ever. Plus, as a reward for her loyalty, I've outfitted her with a new chainring. Now running a 46x16 drivetrain, I can barely keep up with her. Sure would like to spoil her with some shiny FGBC stickers.

May 17-21 is Bike to Work Week. For those of you who don't already, get with the program.

Trev, your quest for a new bike presents you with an ideal and long overdue opportunity to return to Winnipeg. Natural Cycles' Prairybike has Bechtel written all over it. It would suit you well for the annual spring ride.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

quick update, take 2

well, I just posted a good update and then my MS Explorer crashed and lost it all...

so, quickly, meetings seem to have moved to Mondays at the cambridge because that's where most of the ultimate crowd goes that intersects with bike club. tough to get down to business with such a large and diverse crowd.

Unger is still working on site issues for our June gathering.

We haven't had a chance to talk about Trev's bike recommendation request in the comments of the previous entry...

hopefully there will be something new to report in the next couple of days...

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Minutes. May 4, 2004

Present: Chris, Unger, Juan Eppstein, Hal, Secretary

Two riders. No peanuts or chips. Is there more to be said? Oh yah, the dark was fine, and everyone at the table enjoyed one... even Juan Eppstein. We may not keep the company alive by volume, but by persistence.

In discussion:
  • lots of racing talk. Unger, Chris and Hal raced at Birds Hill wednesday, and Unger raced at Grand Beach on Saturday. New experiences for Unger which seemingly put a few things into perspective... like, wow, those guys are fast.
  • some minor concerns for the June ride... Hal cannot join us, so we may not be able to do the Tinker part of the ride, but apparently the riding in the trans-canada trail bit is good too... we just need to be able to find it. Unger is almost convinced that he needs to do a reconnaissance ride. Some club encouragement would be a good idea. Juan even went so far as to suggest a change of location to West Hawk...
  • on the social scene, turns out Unger was at Olympia this week, and sees this guy in shades and a khaki jacket walking around picking stuff up to buy with little regard to price. As Unger's finishing up at the till, the guy comes up and brings his stuff to the counter. Robin Williams.

Well, there was likely much more, but remembering is not working, so there is little recourse but to hope other attendees will chime in, in the comments to raise other points.