Thursday, September 23, 2004

Floyd out, more Hamilton

At kilometre 115 of today's stage, Floyd abandoned the race. Bummer.

As for Hamilton, here's the latest press release:

"The blood samples examined in the B-Test under the UCI procedure are positive. The B-Test blood samples taken under IOC however will turn out negative. Since the new method is an effort based on probability and interpretation measurements, uncertainties will remain in this examination and procedure in any case."


I tried breaking into my u-lock this morning, but failed. I wish I could say that I now lock up my bike with confidence that it will be there when I'm done for the day.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Minutes, September 21

Present: Dr Hubie, Bergen, Hal

A bit of a small turnout at the F&H last night. For a while it looked like it might just be me and the book I brought along to read just in case, but eventually a couple of others srtaggled in--and Penner did put in a showing of sorts via the phone. It took a few calls of "Johnny G? Is there a Johnny G here?" from the bar before Bergen and myself clued in that the bartender waving the phone in the air might have something to do with us. But while there may have only been three of us who were physically present, once again we had 100% participation in the bike ridership program. Not sure which is the more significant figure. Perhaps the meeting was more of a success than we first thought. Once again, the Dark was good--almost as classic as the F&H tunes.

No significant actions to report, but a wide ranging conversation covered such topics as enrollment trends at Manitoba's universities, Donald Rumsfield, Aiden's piece in the Free Press as well as the larger issue of rapid transit and the relative merits of the critical mass as a form of bike advocacy, Bergen's powerpoint skills, and Hal's oven, not to mention the u-lock/Bic pen crisis, and Tyler Hamilton's apparent blood doping problem.

We'll see how this latest saga turns out. But things don't look good for Hamilton and the world of pro cycling in general these days. David Millar, Phillipe Mierhage, and now Hamilton. Those are some pretty big names in the world of cycling. A couple of world champions and an Olympic gold medallist. I have to say I'm a bit bummed about this, as Hamilton always seemed like the good guy of the peloton. Even Dave of Evil Cyling's Pro Cyclists Suck has a soft spot for Tyler. Perhaps Floyd is also a bit sidetracked by the dim outlook of the guy he's signed on to ride for next year. He lost over 15 more minutes today in the Vuelta and now sits almost 25 minutes back, suddenly hurtling towards the middle of the pack. Heras increased his lead on Valverde, who also cracked today, and now has a lead of just over 1 minute over Hamilton's Phonak teammate, Santiago Perez. If Valverde can stay within 2:30 minutes, though, the final time trial should still be interesting, as Heras will likely lose some time on the final stage.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

evening gathering is on...

still on for tonight, (and each tuesday thereafter). the rumour is that Hummelt hockey starts on Oct. 5. See ya there!

Monday, September 20, 2004

for the greater good...

nice to see some fgbc members on the eden foundation fundraiser ride this weekend. members in attendance included dave u, johnny s, and myelf. 42+ km of riding was enjoyed, much of it into a stiff headwind. to show for our efforts, i believe that all of came away with spiffy new cycling socks.


Sunday, September 19, 2004

Floyd's fading, Valverde's closing in

Sadly, Floyd continues to fade in the Vuelta. He lost another couple of minutes in the uphill ITT today, and now sits in 7th at over 8 min. behind Heras. But Valverde is closing in. After picking up 44 seconds on Heras today, he sits only 5 seconds behind the GC leader. Once again this is turning out to be an extremely tight and exciting race. Why is the Vuelta always so close? The last two years were won on the final day. There always seems to be much more drama and suspense than the Tour. I suppose the absence of some guy named Armstrong helps. Too bad we can't get it on TV. One more week of racing left and all kinds of things can happen yet.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Floyd's bad day

Even though everyone could see it coming, nobody could stop Roberto Heras from attacking on the final climb today. Floyd rode well and looked strong up until about 8km from the finish. But that's when the elite group of 9 started to blow apart. First Valverde and then Heras put in big-time attacks that splintered the group to bits. Floyd ended up conceding just over 3 minutes to Heras on the stage, and now sits in 5th place, 2.19 behind Heras and about 1.30 from Valverde for the final podium spot. Sunday's uphill ITT looms large and should allow for Heras to further solidify his grip on the golden jersey. But hopefully Floyd can hang in there and gain some time back on the final ITT to at least get back to the podium. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Minutes, September 14

Well, since I missed most of the meeting, someone else will need to chime in with what is missing...

Present: James, Penner, Unger, Juan Eppstein, Jonny G, Dr. Hubie, Hal, Secretary

The comments I walked into were related to the status of various members in the Klub...
... while we did start off with a more open, kind of, "everyone's in the Klub, they just don't know it yet" kind of feeling, there are clearly regular attenders/riders that want a bit more definition and hierarchy... Like, if you've never been to a meeting or a ride, are you in the Klub? At this point, this agenda seems fairly strong with a couple of members... only time will tell if this discussion turns into some sort of codification....

More discussion about the "new" Ingolf riding... and how it turns out the larger mountain bike community seems to know all about it... so we turned to looking for scapegoats to hide our embarassment... the two guys, the girl and the dog are to blame for us not knowing more...

The fall ride option is faltering a bit... that weekend (Thanksgiving Long) is admittedly, a little tricky.... a couple of members have announced they simply cannot be there, the majority of us seemed to be looking for a leader who will rally the flagging hopes, and put new life into the discussions we have had and will be having on the various home fronts. If three members could say, "Yay and verily, we shall ride!", I think we'd have something.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


No big news on Floyd to report. Same 9 second lead as yesterday. But Valverde had a nasty crash and, while he finished the stage, is being Xrayed for broken bones, etc. But the big news of the day was fellow Postie, Dave Zabriske, who got off the front just 3 km into the stage and held his lead right up to the end. He led for as many as 20 minutes at one point, and held off the peloton to finish over 1 minute ahead of a bunch of frustrated sprinters. Breakaways like this are a dime a dozen, but almost never succeed. Pretty exciting. Almost worth investing the the 2004 Vuelta DVD when it comes out. But I'll wait and see how Floyd does before pre-ordering.

meeting tonight???

inquiring minds want to know...

since i did not hear anything more about a dogfest at juan eppstein's i'm assuming that there will be a regular meeting at the fox and hound.


Monday, September 13, 2004

Floyd faltering?

After two mountain-top finishes, Floyd still wears the golden jersey, though he's lost some geound to the Spanish climbers--particularly former teamate and last year's winner Roberto Heras and new kid on the block Alejandro Valverde. Fancisco Mancebo is also in the hunt, as is Isidro Nozal who held the lead for most of the race last year before conceding over 2 min. to Heras in an uphill time trial on the last day of the race--Mike Wier style. Floyd will have to find his climbing legs if he wants to stay in the mix, because after a relatively easy day tomorrow and Wednesday's rest day things get crazy again. Aside from a few more tough mountain stages, there are two time trials left. One is uphill and favours Heras and the Spaniards. But the last day of racing is a 30 km flat time trial, which could be an opportunity for Floyd to gain back a couple of minutes. Hopefullly, he'll still be in it at that point. Go Floyd!

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Floyd update

Our man Floyd showed good form in today's time trial, finishing third--18 seconds behind Tyler Hamilton. More importantly, however, he regained sole possession of the overall lead. He's now back in gold and can't wait for the chance to race for more kisses from the podium girls. Each of the next three stages ends with an uphill finish, so things should really start to take shape. Let's hope those climbing legs he showed off in the Tour are still there. Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 09, 2004


It seems some sort of ongoing watch of the Vuelta a Espana is in order. Honourary FGBC member Floyd Landis is currently tied for the GC leadership with hit teammate Manuel Beltran. He's looking strong, and appears to have as good a shot at winning the whole thing as any of the other serious contenders. We'll just have to wait and see how things shake out in the upcoming time trials and mountains. Check out this picture of Floyd in the golden leader's jersey after Stage 1. Go Floyd!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Minutes, sort of...

The big news: eight attendees on a couple hours notice, eight attendees all arriving on bike!

Is there anything more to say? This whole silly business is getting a little serious...

Present: Juan, Unger, Jonny G, President, Secretary, Bergen, Hal, Dr. Hubie.

The other important news is the date for a potential fall ride: October 9. Yes, the Saturday of the Thanksgiving Long weekend. Seemed to be the best chance of decent attendance. Everyone now needs to check their calendars and more importantly, check in with the family plans, or explain why the FGBC is more important than the family plans. (perhaps we could have an open brainstorming session in the comments section to help those who a) aren't as creatively gifted, and b) will have a significant "discussion" on their hands.)

A good deal more information was shared about the Ingolf ride that was mentioned in the last post. Jonny S apparently claims something to the effect that discovering the new trails was as exciting as going into DisneyLand when you thought the parking lot was awesome... (someone else may need to sharpen the delivery of that line.)

One fine story that surfaced from Hal's riding recently was how his friend Gord F. bust his derailleur hanger, so the Loewen boys helped him turn it into a temporary single speed... while experiencing some trouble with the chain not staying on the right ring in the back, he managed to get his hand jammed in between the chain and the teeth of the back chainrings... ouch.

While there may have been other good stuff, it's been forgotten by now...

Oh yes, it sounds like next Tuesday might be a dog fest at Juan Eppstein's. Stay tuned for confirmation on this.


Labour Day weekend, which means another weekend rendezvous with one of those offshoot bike clubs that has loose connections to the FGBC--"loose" in the sense that they are the kind of bike club where the bikes are actually for riding. This time around that meant a couple of wet, muddy rides at Ingolf and camping near the inaugrual Spring Ride site at West Hawk. The exciting news is that what was previously thought to be the end of the trail turns out to be merely a place for Juan Eppstein to show off his shiny white ass on a mid-ride skinny dip. Johnny S discovered more trail close by, which turned out to be a virtual goldmine: 10-12 more kms of trails, which eventually hook back up with Ingolf, along with a series of other forks that promise still more opportunities. Generally more of the same sort of technical riding, though perhaps a bit more trail-like than the old stuff. Highlights include a couple more lakeside stops for Juan, a section of sweet, rocky, and hilly singletrack, a 100 metre plus section of continuous flowing stone riding, a beaver dam crossing, a hike-a-bike cliff climb, and a few bridge crossings to begin perparing for the Northshore trip in years to come.

Consensus was that all of this--plus the possibility of still other trails that weren't explored--easily catapults Ingolf back to the top of the list for next year's spring event.

Despite the usual scrapes and bruises, no broken bones or hospital visits to report, though Johnny S is sporting a swollen middle finger.

Cheryl fought hard to retain the post of bike club wench, amidst all the rumours which are starting to circulate that there are others interested in trying to wrest that title away from her. Still, since we are a serious club always looking for good support services, other interested parties should send resumes to the secretary.