Saturday, December 31, 2005

christmas comes late

got home late last night and had a message on the machine...

gene-o at one on one bike snowy minneapolis, minnesota.
your bike is here - its ready.
anytime, we'll be ready for you - all right.
have a good one.


other minneapolis news: looks like cars-r-coffins is getting a retail more reason to go to the twin cities.

Friday, December 30, 2005

New Year's Eve Ride

Location: Altona.
Time of departure to be determined.

All are invited, including El Presidente, and the President too, for that matter.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

minutes, dec 27, 2005

present: dr. hubie, hal, unger, secretary

a relaxing, post family-gathering type meeting.

an initial survey on the christmas bike crap (please feel free to add your items in the comments):
secretary: mec samurai riding shorts, VDO bike computer, assorted lights. no new bike.
dr. hubie: a fancy headset and hubs to build some new wheels.
hal: I can't remember
unger: maybe next year.

there was more discussion on future shirts... and the funding options that could facilitate something higher end. we were hoping someone would be able to provide a report on the status of the fundraising bonspiel... maybe next time.

the Texas hold'em fundraiser took a bit more shape... this may be more a way of levying dues in a fun way. we all put in $10 to play. the winner gets his $10 back, the rest of the cash goes into the common jersey pot. then we repeat on a few more nights.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Race Results

Another fine race took place this evening. A bit more cyclocross style this time around. This perhaps explains why Hal schooled us all. Another record turnout, with a total of 9 racers showing up. And a better showing from the FGBC, with 7 folks present. The course consisted of 4 laps of climbing and descending at Omand's Creek. The loosening of snow on the toboggan runs led to a series of endos and other forms of spontaneous dismount. There has been some discussion concerning the need to clarify starting procedures, but all in all it seems like another successful FGBC event.


Hal (ss)
Johnny G (ss)
Chris (fixed)
Vic (-.5 laps)
Elizabeth (-1 lap)
Penner (-2.5 laps)

The President's excuse for this poor showing is that the potential for footage was too good to pass up. So he played the role of videographer and photographer. Videos and pictures to be posted not later than 2007.

The next event was originally scheduled for Jan 1 at the school across from Hal's place. But in light of some potential scheduling conflict, there is a possibility that this may be rescheduled. The particulars will firmed up at the clubhouse Tuesday evening. In addition, the president promises to be present to request the official Christmas accounting of the numbers contained in The Book.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Race #2

Race #2 is this Sunday, Dec. 18 at Omand's Creek. Meet at Omand's Creek (on the Wolseley side) at 8pm. Post-race festivities at my place. I tested a potential race course on my way back from work this evening. 5 cm of wet snow is not conducive to fast riding. Let's hope it doesn't snow too much more and that it gets colder. But either way, the race will go on. Hope FGBC participation is better this time around.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

and now for something completely different...

we have a long long way to go regarding bike derbys; as received from ian hall....

"In my heaven, this would be every Sunday afternoon (and I wouldn’t have to work Mondays).

Oh. My. God."

lost and found

apparently, someone at this evening's meeting left this behind. anybody guess who's it is? i know i don't really want it...

possible future FGBC events as discussed at the meeting:
- bike and street hockey derby
- biathalon: ride your bike, throw a frisbee to hit a target

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Night Riding

First night ride of the winter last night. Just me and Johnny G. Went out to Whittier Park, etc. Not enough dog walkers there, evidently. Or at least it was too dark to see the trail, if there was one. Everything else was fine though. The red Raleigh made her maiden off-road voyage. Only went down once--a block and a half from home. Only other incident was when I crashed into Johnny. Shoulder hurts a bit from where it impacted his saddle. Better than last year when, for a time, I thought a tree broke my femur. Did some scouting for the next race. Will look to throw in a decent amount of trail. Hope to confirm when that takes place at the meeting this evening.

Plan to get out for night rides on a semi-regular basis (e.g., twice a week), at least for the next little while. Co-conspirators are always welcome.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

minutes nov. 29

...felt like we were back to usual in the attendance department. nice. a good complement of bikers and hockey guys. Even Luke was there.

Reports on the race were positive, although the lack of FGBC members was unfortunate.

A few ice related wipe-outs from the last few days were described.

Sounds like the next race could be on the weekend of the 17th/18th. A number of folks seemed to prefer evening.

It also seems like something is brewing for Jan 1.

Speaking of brewing, the dark was different last night, but the true supporters stuck with the home team. Wow, it won't be long before the thrift stores are full of useless Rickard's glasses.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Race Results

Good turnout for the first race this morning. Seven riders showed up. I believe that's a new record high for racers. Miriam was the lone fan. FGBC participation, however, hit an all time low. Only Unger and myself showed up. The race consisted of 15 laps around an oval in Vimy Ridge Park. The course featured a mix of untreaded snow, sanded walking path, a token technical dropoff, with a few sections of bumpy ice. It took a few laps for the snow to pack down, but by the end the laps were going pretty quickly. Will look to have another race in a couple of weeks, before everyone scatters for the holidays. A short loop of single track in Whittier Park might be nice. After sorting out some confusion on lap counts, the official standing are as follows:

Chris H
Mark W
Dave U
LeAnn F
Jeff F
Jess K
Elizabeth B

Friday, November 25, 2005

Venue Change

There is a venue change for the race tomorrow morning. It will take place at Vimy Ridge Park. Same time. Same setup. See you all there at 10am.

Snow Crit

Did a little scouting on the ride into work this morning. I'm thinking our race this weekend should be a snow criterium: short laps around an oval in the formal gardens. The first few laps will be a bit slow, and might even require a dismount or two. But it will pack down as we go on, and so the speed will gradually pick up for what will no doubt be an exciting finish. Hal, can you bring your markers? Meet at the formal gardens in Assiniboine park (not the gardens by the duck pond, but the one in the southeast corner) at 10 am. Non FGBC racers welcome. Gears and brakes optional.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


I don't see any compelling reason to assume that the race is not on. The conditions do seem to be ideal. There is snow on the ground, after all. And some ice too. So let it be declared that the race is on. Saturday at 10 am. Location to be determined. Will be posted on the blog. Feel free to recruit other racers.

Race on Saturday?

has anyone heard from the race director? We were tentatively on for something Saturday morning. I've now discovered I can't be there... Maybe post comments here as to whether you might be available and interested. Conditions seem ideal.

trainer for sale?

David Sawatzky dropped me a note wondering if anyone knew of an old or unused bike trainer for sale... Does the MCA site every have such? Put your responses in the comments.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

CX Hal

A few more pictures of our cyclocross star and poster boy. Would look nice in an FGBC jersey, don't you think?

Belgian Club and links

Further info on the Belgian Club is available here. Seems I was mistaken about the number of five Belgians. Honorary membership is available for $10 so long as a mere two Belgians (who need not be members themselves) are willing to vouch for someone's freindliness towards the bike crazy land of Belgium. This still poses a problem. I know only of one person of Belgian descent, and after the fiasco that was the Team Time Trial, I doubt he'd be willing to sponsor us. Maybe if we promise to ride with drop bars and brakes on our bikes. In any case, we'd likely all need to get memberships. Not only would this mean $10 a person not headed towards our savings plan at the F&H, it might require more collective leg work than we can muster. Looks like we're doomed to stay loyal to the F&H for the time being. And why not. They have been good to us lately--e.g., the good tunes last night: Yes, Styx and even the post-Skynyrd collection known as the Rossington Collins Band. I believe I have their entire catalogue available on vinyl if anyone's itnerested.

My right knee hurts from Tuesday's commute--not to mention "Mark Messier" knocking me into the boards after another failed breakaway Tuesday night. 46x15 is too much for 27 cm of snow. So for the time being I'm spinning along on 36x15. Is fine so far, but once it's less icy I'll want a little more.

Stumbled on a couple of websites that some folks might be interested in:

Patrick Humenny's blog. Dig around a little and you will also find his account of the Bird's Hill TTT fiasco referred to above.
The Bike Dump.
And also a list of bike blogs.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

First FGBCBC race - November 26

Our first race of the new winter season approaches rapidly:
November 26, 10:00am, location to be announced by the race director no less than an hour before the race.

minutes nov. 15

a rather core gathering. all attendees were actual bike club members:
president, hal, dr. h, jonny g, vic, dunger, secretary.

hal reported on the cyclecross race in Minneapolis. Do you have a link to results/pictures/anything for that event hal? maybe a link to that bike shop where you'll be spending more money would be good too...

unger's glutes are not firing.

set date/time for the first FGBCBC (Fort Garry Bike Club Bubba Cup) race of the winter season... yes, the title is a bit of a carry over from a previous era. there was some discussion of considering a biathalon further down the road: biking and curling.

calling all Belgians... dr. h figures we need five Belgian sponsors to get into their club for future post race gatherings.

the new, longer lasting precipitation precipitated discussion on preparing one's single speed for such riding. dr. h reports decent results with his new tires. (note to non-club readers: while this blog may suggest that the FGBC is an extremely hard core group of riders, it semi-regularly needs to be reported that we are diverse. All riders in the club are not so serious, as much as we like to talk the talk... I, for example, am not examining new tire options. I was thinking about maybe brushing a bit of the mud off my bike from the spring ride the other day...)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Cars and winter. A deadly combination. Had to push out three cars on my ride in to work this morning. Dumbass drivers. At least when I get stuck, I can pick up my bike and walk out of trouble. The early verdict on riding fixed in winter is promising. My new CX tires arrived in the mail yesterday. Good timing. They worked to perfection on the snowy ride in. Omand's Creek was a bitch, and the combination of hard packed car tire tracks in the midst of loose snow presented their usual challenges. But so far so good. Tonight's ride home in the dark could be interesting.

Now that the snow's here we can start talking about the winter race series. Put it on the agenda for the F&H tonight.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

drag races and media watch; all things new york

ever wonder what it is like to be a messenger in NY?

from the NY Times...

November 8, 2005
Proselytizer for Pedaling Acts on His Words

Michael de Jong wants you to take your bike to the plane.

It might seem like a loopy proposition, but Mr. de Jong, a Dutch-born millionaire, real estate developer and cycling maniac, is on a worldwide crusade to get industrialized man out of his car and onto the saddle seat. One prong of that mission is to convince otherwise sensible people that taking two wheels to the airport and back is less daunting than it seems. Cyclists, after all, never get stuck on the Van Wyck Expressway, and they do not have to lug their baggage quite as far as they would if they took the subway to the AirTrain.

As part of his pedal-power mission, Mr. de Jong promotes a 100-day bike race across Africa, sponsors bike ownership in the developing world and invents whimsical biking accouterments, among them a traffic-parting air horn and a tent that overnight travelers can suspend from the trees.

"Imagine how much better the world would be if more people rode bicycles," he said with the dead-on earnestness of someone who regularly cycles from Cairo to Johannesburg and Paris to Geneva.

Go here for the rest of the article

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Icebike 2006

From the MCA homepage:

Icebike 2006:

Good news! It looks like Icebike 2006 is on and the tentative date is January 29th. This will be confirmed at a future date.

Still to be confirmed, but at least worth putting it on your calendars in pencil. The winter race series will help to ensure a strong showing at this important event. Look for the first race to happen in about two weeks. Perhaps something in the vicinity of Whittier, with post-race festivities at the Belgian Club. Or would that be a missed opportunity to add to the impressive progress we've made in "the book" at the F&H? Stay tuned.


the link to the icebike site is fixed.

there was some interest in seeing my first go at designing a new website for my friend Marvin at Marvin's Foods... this is a test so far... totally not complete, nor are the pictures final.... but if you really want to see it...
the Marvin's test site
Marvin's current site This is nice... I asked Marvin why he got the domain name "marvinsfood" rather than "marvinsfoods". He told me, because the guy who did it for him doesn't pronounce "s" very well. Apparently this will be fixed.

minutes, november 8

an intimate gathering of five. hal, jonny, dr. h, juan, secretary.

of note:
1. newest merch idea. black hoodies with the logo high on the back. nice. yes.
2. our book total was tallied. approx. $350 spent at the clubhouse to date. things are coming along very nicely... it would be nice to see a few more folks out... if not to talk to, at least to boost our tally.
3. further to team brown discussion... we might not fair entirely well in a full on race, but a haiku down could give us an edge. would be nice to see the vp external weigh in to make contact. we would need to prime jeff r for a haiku down.
4. november is the first month with snow. the race season is upon is. the commitment from the race director has been one a month...
5. hal's bike light no longer reacts to the usual inputs. it no longer turns off when invited to by the switch.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Fixed Gear 101

For those of you struggling to find a gift for that special someone this holiday season, here's a suggestion: download and print this fine little booklet, courtesy of Puma, of all things. This would even pass the stringent criteria set by those Buy Nothing Christmas scrooges--though the Puma sponsorship might leave enough of a consumerist trace to cast that in doubt.

Winter is coming. Will try to make good on the promise of at least one snow race per month. Consider it training for Ice Bike.

Had a conversation with a member Team Brown (though he says they're not called that anymore) this weekend. The idea of a TB vs. FGBC competition of sorts was floated. This strikes me as an idea with some potential, provided we can find an event or two that we might stand a chance at. Perhaps a post-race bullshit contest or some other event not involving a bike.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

cyclocross pics and new world disorder

Some good pictures from the psychocross race last Sunday. Note: there is a huge difference between riding in the A and B categories.

Anyone interested in riding and bike porn in Morden this weekend; let me know.

And from the department of shamless-self promotion (preparing to dismount):

Sunday, October 30, 2005

off topic - totally - in spite of it all

i have scammed a bit of our fgbc web space, since the site kind of stinks these days anyways, to put up a little Paul Bergman music video i created. I know there are a few fans in the Bike Club... so I thought you might enjoy it. It won't be there forever, so enjoy it while it lasts.


the bogus Paul Bergman tour announcement page

New World Disorder 6

some of the Morden locals have arranged a showing of "New World Disorder 6: Unchained" on Saturday, November 5th, at the Morden Legion Hall. The show starts at 7:30. If the weather holds (as long as we don't get 3 feet of snow) there is some momentum for a ride Saturday before the show. Here's your chance to get a Tinker Creek ride in before the end of the season. Discussion to follow at the Tuesday meeting.

Monday, October 24, 2005

observations from the belgian supercross

Here are a few things that I observed at the belgian supercross:

  • the Belgian Club is way cool; if the Fox and Hound were not so damn convenient, this would be the place to meet - imported Belgina beers are only $4.25
  • cyclocross rocks and is the most spectator friendly type of bike racing around short of velodrome or a knock-down derby
  • you can get mayonaise with your french fries
  • wet leaves + mud on pavement + generally wet conditions = plenty of spills (+ the occasional tossed bike because of frustration - neat)
  • spd pedals + mud does not = successful pedaling
  • folk dancers during the awards ceremony, no podium girls, just folk dancers
  • did I mention they had Belgian beer
  • its embarrasing to hear your name called for a prize and your in the can - couldn't figure out why Scott from Olympia did not want to shake my hand???
Psychocross is this Sunday - if your at all interested in trying a race

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Derby Pictures

So I found a picture of our Knock down derby. I'm not sure who won this round but as you can see both riders have the maniacle smile of a "post dog" Fort Garry Bike Clubber.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

post-turkey ride and derby results

yes - there are actual results, becuase this way no mere ride; but a full-blown competition.

in the team trail event:

Charlen and John in 34:37
Leanne and James in 35:49
Rachel and Chris in 36:36
Alex and Hal in 38:11

in the knock-down derby (waiting for pictures from johnny g)

hal was the winner of the first event and chris won the second event. enough fun was had in the knock-down that it will become a standing event for all future fgbc events (i think juan eppsteins backyard is just big enough....)

stay tunned for the next race/derby

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Hal's comments about cycling and impotence seem to have struck a chord. LeAnn, in particular, seems to enjoy bringing it up.

See below for a little more on the matter, courtesy of's fitness column:

Cycling and impotence

I was reading the Globe and Mail (Canada) yesterday, and came across an article (see attachment) claiming there is new research supporting the notion that cycling causes impotence. Is this fact, or is it more of the same old sensational news that has cropped up in previous years?

The article states that 5% of cyclists will experience impotence problems. What's the statistic for non-cyclists?

I'm in my mid forties and have been cycling regularly for the past 15 years. I have never had any problems having fun on or off the bike, nor do I know of any problems any of my cycling buddies have experienced. The only comment I hear from my wife and other spouses is that endurance increases after years of cycling. Maybe all that interval training is worth it? Thanks.

Ira Birt

PEI, Canada

Kelby Bethards replies


That is an interesting statistic on impotence. I am not sure how they arrived at that number. There are many places to find info, but I just looked it up. The article I read states that about 33% of males over 25 will experience sexual dysfunction at some point. This percentage increases with age. HOWEVER, that is not strictly impotence. That number includes psychological reasons also.

There is merit to the claims. It's not cycling though, it's the seat you set you and your stuff on. If a seat is not fitted correctly it can cause pressure points in the pudendal area and cause nerve damage that would result in true impotence. Someone that suffers from this would not be able to do "as well" with an erection, and possibly not be able to obtain an erection, even without psychological problems.

The other part of what you are speaking about in terms of "prowess" does also have some merit. Fit people tend to have a bit more "lively" sex lives. So, ride hard and protect your stuff.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

post-turkey ride and derby is on

looks like good weather, so on with the show. meet at bur oak trail between 3:30 and 4:00.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

apologies for my first attemp at posting pictures. hopefully the yellow shoes will be more apparent in this shot


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

movies from the fall ride

so the president got a few of the little movie clips going from the fall ride.

Right-click on the links and "save target as" or "save link as" or whatever and then they shall be transported to your harddrive.

Jonny examining his rim in the parking lot.
Darryl crashing on aiden's steps.
Chris being bested by aiden's steps.
Fancy repair work on Ryan's bike.
Testing the fancy repair work.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

arcade fire review

fucking unbelieveable...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Post-Turkey Ride and Derby

kudos to the secretary for the last post and pics. hope we can gets some pics from dog-fest (or is dogfest one word?)

proposing that the post-turkey ride become a post-turkey ride and derby event. we'll meet at the burr oak trail on monday, october 11 at 4:00 and have a couple of derby events and races on the trails (we'll make em handicapped or team events so that everyone is part of action).

just throwing out the idea - discussion to follow on this site and/or at the next meeting.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

weekend ride and dogfest

A fine evening at Juan Eppstein's around the fire... started off with a big group ride... to NK to pick me up, and then back out to St. James. Sweet. Except for the loser in the backseat of the 4x4 downtown... and even then, that was mildly entertaining.

The weekend ride at Ingolf was stellar. Seven riders... a few minor injuries, a bike wheel repaired with a few bangs on the rocks... good times. Started off a little slippery with the rain, but that just added to the fun. Aiden's steps claimed another victim, this time on the way down... Starlene banged her ankle up pretty good... and earlier, new (to the club) rider Ryan managed to turn his front tire into a pretzel at battery rock. See the pics below. Hal shows how battery rock is done, and then the president shows us how it's not done. First "too much front" which delivered him into the drink in fine style, and then "too much back" gave him the butt breaker...

...looks like a ride at Assiniboine Park, but it's actually slippery Canadian Shield.

Hal showing how it's done at battery rock.

The president with "too much back" on... sliding sideways down battery rock. No, he did not pull out of this...

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Fall ride update

We're meeting at the Tim Hortons/Wendy's on Fermor at 8:30. Grab the vitamin c's... caffeine and carbs, and be off. The hope is to be home for a lateish supper.

Let's not forget the dogfest at Juan Eppstein's on Tuesday. We'll try to start a shade earlier if possible... maybe 9:30. Bring dog supplies, beverage, and chairs if possible.

There are numerous, less consequential tidbits that could be posted as minutes... I doubt I'll get to them at this point... I will be scanning a lovely "Bike Dump" poster to be posted at a later date.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Observations from the singlespeed championships

A few random thoughts from the singlespeed championships:

sunday at 6:00 is a strange time to start, didn't finish until 10:00 and there was still a windup to be done.

a 50 meter oval with 22 riders is nuts

if you are not a courier you are at a huge disadvantage in the messenger and road race events (you are at a even higher disadvantage if you get paired with a guy named steve who only moved to the city three weeks ago when you need to find specific addresses)

always carry a pump and tube...flatting sucks when your 4km from the finish; just ask john...

couriers are a weird bunch of people...or, are 43 year-old librarians racing in singlespeed events weird?

you gotta love "the bike dump," a socialist bike repair and counter culture place on main street (in an old deserted store front) where any one can go and use their tools to repair your bike, donate used bikes and bike parts, hold wind-ups for singlespeed championships, etc.

riding home on portage during cruise night is different...i just don't get the cruising and setting up a lawn chair to watch thing

gotta love the chopper bicycles in front of the burger factory on cruise night...note to self: a chopper would be a supreme vehicle for tuesday night fgbc events.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Fall ride and Dogfest dates

Things came together nicely in the discussion over a fall ride and dogfest:

Fall Ride. Ingolf. Sat. September 24.
It seems entirely possible that Westgate is having their cyclathon on the same date which is too bad for Vic and James...

Fall Dogfest. Juan Eppstein's. Tues. September 27.

minutes, september 13

Six members out: President, Hal, JonnyG, Juan Eppstein, VicP, and me, the secretary.

Most primary in the reporting has to be what we've learned from our fair hostess about the arrangements know as being "in the book". The president made the call last week, and sho'nuff, we're "in the book". It seemed prudent to learn a bit more about the arrangement, since the president's good name and phone# are recorded there. The dividend amounts to 15%. Really. At the end of our season, our purchases are totalled, and we receive a voucher worth 15% of that total to spend in one shot next door at the vendor. Some rough tally work brought us in the ballpark of $130-$150. The only limiting parameter is that we are only on Tuesday night, and, while not entirely explicitly said, it seems it would be nice if we were a larger "team" than one person. The hope is that someone will bring a digital camera soon to prove our presence in the ringed notebook know as "the book".

Five out of six rode. We don't really understand why so many people shoot left in hockey, yet 95% of golfers shoot right.

A quick shout out to Ida Jeane Friesen Bergen for having been born... daughter of Glenn and Lisa.

Some good planning took place for the fall ride and fall dogfest. That will go in a separate post to highlight it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Staying Put

Phonak reported yesterday that Floyd has decided to stay with the team for another year. This is an interesting move, as he most certainly had some good offers from some other top teams. A few of his teammates took advantage of the opportunity to leave, leaving them with fewer big names. But this could end up being a good thing, as they suffered a bit this year from having too many potential leaders.

Though Floyd is long gone, as are 56 other riders, there is still a pretty exciting race going on in Spain. As expected, Roberto Heras lost his early lead to Denis Menchov in the early time trial. Then Menchov was able to stick on Heras' wheel in the subsequent mountain stages--assisted no doubt by a nasty crash that left Heras with 14 stiches in his left knee. But that all changed in a dramatic way on Sunday, as Heras blew the race apart. He attacked on the 2nd last climb, over 50 km from the finish and ended up taking 5 minutes from Menchov. He now holds a comfortable lead and should be able to hold on for his 4th Vuelta victory despite the remaining time trial on Saturday. Michael Barry is one of four Discovery riders still in the race. Despite riding with a cracked rib, he's having a strong race, currently sitting in 50th place while largely riding in support of Tom Danielson (8th).

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Minutes and other stuff

Well, the first meeting of the year has come and gone. Present: Penner, Chris, Jon G, and Hal. Various topics discussed, including: the absence of Dave, ultimate, John's adventures with clipless pedals, soft-tail mountain bikes, and a fall ride at Ingolf. Apparently there is some sort of book at the Fox and Hound and we, the FGBC, are going to be added to this book. This should result in some sort of discount or savings for a year-end party (Penner said he would follow-up on this).

Other stuff: The Manitoba Single Speed Championships are on Sunday, Sept 18th. Meet at Fort Gilbrater @ 6:00 PM. Bring a city map, bag (messenger or knapsack), lock and light. First prize - a tattoo administered at the finish line.

Other other stuff: Cyclocross is upon us. Skill rides commence on Sept 25, with the first race on Oct 16. Big event this year is the Beligan Supercross taking place on Oct 23. The Beligan Club in St. Boniface is celebrating their 100 year anniversary and the final event of the celebration is the cyclocross race. There is even talk of podium girls being there for the awards - this could be your only opportunity to be on a podium with podium girls.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

First FGBC meeting of the year

There was talk of this yesterday at the Legends windup...same time, same place. See you there.

Don't try this at home.

Monday, September 05, 2005


Although it wasn't in the bone dry conditions that Morgan led us to believe it was in, I have never seen Ingolf in better riding condition. Rode it twice this weekend, with Jonny G, Johnny S, Unger. Anita also joined us on Sunday. The creek with the flat rock crossing was completely dry, and so easily ridable. So was the so-called steep rock, which usually has a nice puddle that makes your tires slip just when they should be gripping. Each of us was able to clear it--some with more do-overs than others. Also dry was the long wet spot where Luke has taken a few noteworthy spills. Now that we can see what's under that boggy mess, it's easy to see why nobody could make it all the way through. There's nothing but rocks with no discernible line to ride. A new trail has been cut to bypass the logging road, and Jonny G found some more at the end, so that we can avoid the road altogether. It seems there is all kinds of trail left to explore, and hence a discussion about a possible fall ride has been initiated. A few more highlights:

Johnny S ditched the Softride for Cheryl's new Fusion and, among other things, the promise of clipless pedals. The early verdict? You decide.

Unger and his new NRS demonstrating the benefits of full suspension for climbing.

Johnny S, having figured out the new pedals, determined not to be outdone.

Jonny G nailing the hill back up from the lake. It is much trickier than it looks. This is also where we met the first two of a group of 20 or so riders from Gords. This pair, along with their dogs, demonstrated the irredeemably bad form of bombing down the hill while a bunch of us were riding up it, thus violating the rule "always yield to those on the way up." I wish this would have occured to me at the time, but I was mostly taken aback by the dogs hurtling toward me to fire any verbal daggers at them. In fact, I think I may have actually said something nice. I should say that the rest of the Gord's group was much better, and there's something to be admired by their ability to get people out riding. But this only affirms my decision to stay away from that store. Perhaps we should adopt this as a general FGBC principle, in effect placing it under the ban.

Friday, September 02, 2005

More on Floyd's Exit

An update on yesterday's post. Team Phonak now has this to say about Floyd's departure from the Vuelta: "The injuries (hand, arm and hip) that the American suffered during a crash while training last week made riding very uncomfortable." Then they add, in italics, "Floyd Landis struggled with pain the entire time during this year's Vuelta." He sure looks like he's hurting in the picture they supply. Somehow I interpreted the word "morale" in a psychologist fashion, whereas it was clearly intended more in a physicalist way. How thoroughly American of me--I mean to assume that his somehow has to do with feelings and emotions. And I don't even watch Oprah or Dr Phil. I should have known better, good materialist that I claim to be. Floyd's own website puts it this way: "Floyd Landis has abandoned the 2005 Vuelta Espana. After having a frustrating stage 4 where he had a mechanical at the base of the final climb and finished 8 minutes down, Floyd stopped midway through the 5th stage citing fatigue."

In other news: Though not exactly an officially sanctioned FGBC event, a number of us are off to do some riding at Ingolf this weekend. Word from Morgan at Olympia is that the trail was actually dry when he rode it a few weeks back. Hope the rain from the last couple of days hasn't screwed up this rare opportunity. Will try to remember a camera to record any Aiden- or Penner-like incidents.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


At km 138 of today's stage, upon reaching the feed zone, Floyd decided it was time for some beer and a Big Mac--or at least something a bit more substantial than the goo that normally passes for food in these events. And so he got off his bike and quit the race. Phonak's website provides the following explanation: "American Floyd Landis withdrew from the tour today due to reasons of morale." Interesting how they feel the need to point out that he's American, as if to distance themselves (they're a Swiss based team) from such a questionable excuse. Morale? Sure, he lasted longer than anyone in the FGBC would have (though Vic with those new pedals and cleats?), but clearly something wasn't right with Floyd over the last few days. He went into the race with high hopes, despite a crash in training two days before the start of the race. Apparently, yesterday's disaster was due to an ill-timed mechanical at the base of a climb, so maybe it wasn't the legs. Losing 8 minutes in a relatively easy stage has got to be demoralizing. In any case, it wouldn't be altogether surprising if he would end up wearing different colours next season. Wherever he ends up, let's hope he's given the opportunity to be a team leader, as his performance in the Tdf this year definitely demonstrated that he's capable of a high finish.

Floyd's former teammate, Roberto Heras, winner of the last two editions of the Vuelta, rocketed into the golden jersey in today's first mountain stage. He simply left the peloton in tatters, dropping riders one by one, before eventually winning by 0.13 over Denis Menchov. Francisco Mancebo who, like the Living Legends, finished in 3rd place last year, put in a respectable showing, finishing 0.49 back, and 1.20 in the GC. Mancebo is one of my favourite riders because of the sheer torture it looks like he's suffering through as he pushes his bike up those hills. He's definitely a contender, as are Menchov (2nd at 0.06) and Carlos Sastre (3rd at 1.01). Michael Barry finished 4.53 back and now sits at 6.45 overall. His teammate, Tom Danielson, billed by some as the next great American hope, couldn't quite hang in there with the big guns today. He finished 1.40 behind Heras and now sits in 11th place at 1.57, despite being ahead of Heras going into the stage.

Still lots of excitement to come. For some reason, the Vuelta alwas ends up being a dramatic and hotly contested race. In the last few years, the GC hasn't been decided until the last stage or two. Heras is a climber, pure and simple, and so will lose some time, and and most likely the lead, in the long time trial coming up Sunday. With another 39 km TT on the last day, things could very easily remain up in the air until the very end once again. Too bad the Canadian version of OLN doesn't broadcast this. Will have to get working on a satellite TV hookup for the clubhouse.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Team Time Trial

Thought it was time to put in an entry. 'Bout three weeks ago, two fgbc members, along with two outsiders entered a team time trial event at Birds Hill Park. The ride was billed as a funt, come as you are event, but it was anything but that. Chris and I, along with my brother Tim and our friend Cam entered as a team of single speed riders (because as you know, you only need one). We decided on the glorious moniker of 'single white males' as our team name and preceded to get ready for the race. Suddnely there was call for a bike check - what the hell? So we all lined up with our bikes and proceeded to get them checked out; I passed, Chris passed, Tim passed (we don't know how because he had the ugliest frankenbike there), but Cam did not pass. Seems like you had to be riding a road bike (ladeeda) for this event. The cause of this may have a been the other single speed fixed gear team who was busy laying down rubber prior to the start of the race (one of the neat things about fixed gear bikes is you can lay down the longest skid marks with this type of bike). Any ways, the roadie in charge of the race took exception to guys having fun and made everyone pass a bike check before they could race. Since some of them did not have brakes on their bikes they were deemed unworhty of participating in a fun team trial. Alas, Cam was also caught up in this Mcarthy inquisition because his bike did not have drop handlebars. Lucky for us I had brought another bike along (I borrowed my friends single speed) but it was too big for Cam. So what do you do - like any good single speed biker you canabalize; off came Gord's handlebars and on they went on to Cam's bike. The only problem was we were running out of time, but a little frantic work got us to the line 30 seconds before we had to start our race (okay - the brakes looked like they worked on Cam's bike but they didn't; hey, you when you only have so much time, somethings got to give). Solid team work allowed us to finish 5th out 7 teams and only 20 seconds out of fourth. All in all a good showing.

Other news - the rumors are true, Vic is riding clipless; the man is going hard core.

Bad Form?

It appears that Floyd was not able to retain the good form he showed in the Tour over the past month. He came in today with a large group that finished 7.52 behind the stage winner, and now sits in 92nd place at 9.33 back. It may be that he's a little distracted by the need to find a team to ride for next year. It was recently announced that Phonak has given its top riders permission to look to other teams as its future is somewhat uncertain. We at FGBC should consider ourselves fortunate that we can count on rock-solid certainty from year to year. Not having to worry about the future viability of the klub allows us to put all our energy into riding.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Floyd's Vuelta

Floyd didn't have the best start to the Vuelta (Tour of Spain) yesterday. Finished 46th in the prologue time trial, 36 seconds back. Lost a little more time today, but basically finished with the pack, and now sits at 1:31 behind the leader, Brad McGee. Let's hope he finds his legs before too long, or else he might find himself in a supporting role for one of the many Spaniards on the team. Michael Barry, the Canadian who rides for Discovery, is also in the race. He fared a little better, finishing 29th in the prologue (29 seconds back).

Here's Floyd going hard in the prologue. He just looks like a Menno--like a younger Gord Zerbe in lycra, not to mention an alien from some 70s sitcom, with that funky helmet.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Rider Down

It seems James had an incident of sorts with a car this past week. The details are a still a bit hazy, but the general story is that a car pulled out in front of him on Portage, broadsided him, and sent him flying. He's okay. Just a few scrapes on his leg. And the bike is relatively unscathed too. But it sounds like the car sustained some damage on the hood. He suggests better defensive driving on his part may have helped to avoid the situation. And he promises that next time he'll wear a helmet. Cars are the enemy. Be careful out there.

Did the Muddy Waters ride yesterday. It's a fun event. 50k 100k and 160k options and 150 or so riders. I did the 100k route, but cycled to the start and back to get my 160k in. I think next year we should descend en masse and introduce the Winnipeg cycling community to FGBC. Word is starting to trickle out and people are curious, but there still seems to be a lot uncertainty regarding the whole phenomenon.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Spring Ride Pics

I finally have a few pictures from the Spring Ride. Now comes the hard part. This little exercise of posting them has seemingly stretched my intellectual capacities to the near breaking point. Either that or they've long ago been broken and this is feeling in my brain is just a painful aftershock. In any case, here they are. The President looking in fine form. Johnny S conquering the steppes, in a picture that doesn't come close to doing justice to how fucking hard they are. As the picture of Aiden's shin can attest.

In another interesting development, I spoke to one of the dudes from Northern Soul Wilderness Adventures this morning. He lives just down the street. They do canoe trips all over the province. I asked him if he ever considered doing something bike-related and he said they'd love to explore some possibilities. So I said we should get together and chat about it sometime and he agreed. Now we can see which gets further: this or Penner's conversation with the dude from Brannigans.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Of Bikes and Bombs

Looks like the recent terrorist attacks in London have renewed interest in the bicycle as a form of transportation. Glad to see there's some good news, bittersweet as it may be, that comes out of this mess the pundits call the "new world order." Read on.

Bicycle sales have soared in London as commuters prepare for a return to work in the wake of last week's terrorist attack on the transport network.

The four bombs on three Underground trains and one bus killed at least 49 people and wounded 700.

Some 20 people remain missing.

Grant Young, the owner of Condor Bikes in West London, said he sold 50 bikes on Friday compared with the normal 15.

"It was just one person after another coming in out of desperation," he said.

Evans Cycles, the biggest independent bike chain in Britain, sold 400 bikes at its nine outlets in central London last Thursday - four times more than normal.

Director Mark Smith said they had another good day on Friday.

"Now they don't feel safe on public transport so I expect over the next few weeks more people will be trying out bikes," he said.

Mike Blackburn, from independent dealer Onyourbike, said his shop sold more than 17 bikes during Thursday's rush compared with the daily average of about three.

Prior to the attacks bike riding in Britain has been growing at an annual rate of 20-25 per cent.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Final Floyd Update

Time to close the book on Floyd's first Tour as a contender. He ended up finishing 9th overall. Not too shabby. See the report from below, which also includes his take on the Floyd vs. Lance media-generated feud. Sounds like he plans to ride the Vuelta in September, which he led for several days last year. Hopefully he can sustain his good form. Stay tuned for further updates.

After he completed his fourth Grande Boucle yesterday, Floyd Landis explained to Cyclingnews that he was happy with his race, as he ended up 9th overall at 12'44 from Lance Armstrong. "I was happy with my final time trial on Saturday, based on all the energy I spent trying to stay in the front during the Tour. And I'm pretty satisfied with where I finished. Being in the top ten was an objective before the Tour, and looking back on the way things went, I'm happy with it. I think I did everything I had to and I learned some things and I'll go from here. I had some good days and some not so good days, but no terrible days."

As for his supposed conflict with Lance Armstrong, Floyd wanted to clarify things: "I think my comments from L'Equipe [about Armstrong being more about business than friendship] were taken out of context or misunderstood...first of all, I just want to thank Lance and Johan and the team for everything they did for me. That's it."

Landis didn't take offense at Armstrong's comments that even though he would not be racing any more, his Discovery Channel team would still ride against Floyd. "It's the same feeling in the peloton. We're all impressed with what he's accomplished winning seven Tours. I was there for three of them and it seemed miraculous. How he could do it seven times is beyond me! He deserves it and congratulations to him. That's what everyone wants to say to Lance."

We asked Landis what's next for him in the 2005 season and the Phonak rider told us, "I'm going back to California for a while to rest and recover after the Tour. I'm happy about that. In September, I think I'll do the Vuelta (a EspaƱa) again. I like the race a lot and it's less stressful than the Tour; not the racing part, but the rest of it."

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Floyd and Lance

An update on yesterday's post. Here's the full text of the controversy-generating words of Floyd that were quoted in L'Equipe a few days back.

"I will always remember the 2003 Tour, it was the only time that people thought he could lose. Everyone around him was concerned, even us, his team-mates. But the most surprising thing was that he didn't show anything. I will always remember that he directed the other riders around like the boss of a company. For him, the race was business and he was the boss.

In some teams they often talk about their friendship, but in a team like that with someone who behaves as if he really is the boss, I don't think you can go that far in talking about friendship. In everyday life it's hard to be friends with your boss. I don't believe that Lance has ever had that kind of friendship with any of his team-mates, even with George Hincapie, whom he has known since he was 17. Friendship can't exist when you give orders and direct others. It's not necessarily a negative thing. It's by acting in this way that Lance has been able to win the Tour so often."

That doesn't sound too inappropriate to me, but I guess it depends on how you interpret it. The media, at least, seem to want to make a big deal about it, but I suppose that's what the media does. Here's what had to say in its report of yesterday's stage.

"Despite the fact that reducing their deficit to the break actually limited the day's gains in the team classification [the team GC is determined by the combined times of a team's three best riders on each stage - ed.], Discovery blasted down the descent and into Revel. Popovych had over six minutes advantage in the best young rider standings and so this appeared not to be the driving motivation. Perhaps Discovery wanted to distance Floyd Landis, who had angered Armstrong by comments he made in an interview with L'Equipe earlier this week. If so, that goal was certainly achieved. Landis and Evans finished in a small group 0'20 down, with Vinokourov consequently overtaking them and moving up from ninth to seventh overall.

In his post-race comments, however, Armstrong did not allude to any desire to turn the screws on his former teammate. Instead, he said that attack was the best form of defence, and once he realised that he had two teammates with him, he said that Discovery kept the pace high to prevent any further attacks from T-Mobile. This was despite the fact that Ullrich is six minutes behind him on GC, Discovery was actually hurting its chances in the teams classification by reducing the gap to the 17 riders in front, and Popovych sprinted at full gas for 18th place, which could only have been for the purposes of gaining time."

James has suggested that recent disciplinary actions of the FGBC are "junior-high." I wonder what he might have to say about all this. Maybe someone from FGBC should help Floyd liberate one of Lance's yellow jerseys.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Floyd Slipping

In each of the last three stages, Floyd has lost a little ground. On stage 15, an ill-timed mechanical problem on the final climb added more time to that which was already lost to Armstrong, Basso, and others. On stage 16, a big breakaway launched Cadel Evans ahead of Floyd in the GC. And today, he got caught out on a Cat 3 climb 7 km from the finish as Ullrich and Vinokourov attacked, losing 20 seconds to that group and seeing Vino move ahead of him in the GC. So he now sits in 9th overall, 4 seconds back of Evans and 15 behind Vinokourov. 7th place still might be within reach if he rides a good time trial on Saturday, but anything more than that is looking less and less likely.

Floyd has also received some coverage for recent comments he made on Armstrong. He might not be able to beat Lance in a bike race, but at least Floyd is not an ass-kisser like so many others. See below for more, courtesy of timesonline:

As the race left the high mountains, Armstrong continued what is expected to become a lengthy victory parade. As he descended the hairpins of the Col de Marie-Blanque, he even took the time to enter into animated discussion with Floyd Landis, his former team-mate, who now rides with Phonak.

Landis is among those who will perhaps breathe a sigh of relief once his former captain retires. “For him, racing is a business,” Landis said, referring to his spell with Armstrong and the Discovery team. “In cycling teams, people often talk of friendship, but in that team, with someone who really acts as the boss, that doesn’t go very far.

“I don’t think Lance has that relationship with any of his team-mates, even George Hincapie, who he’s known since he was 17. Friendships can’t exist when you give orders and lead others. That’s how Lance has been able to win so many Tours de France.”

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Floyd Hanging Tough

The tough mountain stages are all done and while Floyd was unable to hang with the big guns--Armstrong, Basso and, a little less emphatically Ullrich--he's still showing that he's one of the top riders around. Yesterday he stayed around until the very end, before dropping back by about a minute behind Armstrong and Basso to finish 6th. Today's stage was murderous--with 4 Cat 1 climbs before an uphill finish on the unratable Pla-d'Adet. Not even Ullrich could stick with Armstrong and Basso today, while Floyd finished in 19th place about 4:30 behind. He now sits in 7th place overall at 9:33 behiond Armstrong. 7th place in the TdF is not too shabby. Hopefully he can put in a strong showing on Saturday's time trial and hold that position or maybe even move up a spot or two. As for now, it seems like everyone's waiting until next year to see what it's like to race the Tour without some guy named Lance.

Monday, July 11, 2005


After a few medium days of climbing, the road really kicks up to the sky tomorrow. The first day in the Alps features an always thrilling mountain-top finish. This means plenty of attacks and likely some big time gaps. Floyd is still hanging tough, and is doing as well as anybody not named Lance.

Feel free to drop by the TdF headquarters to watch tomorrow's stage. Coverage starts at 7:30 am and should end sometime between 9:00 and 10:00.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Floyd at the Tour

An impromptu FGBC event of sorts took place this morning, as several of us gathered at the TdF headquarters to cheer on Floyd in the team time trial this morning. There may be more such gatherings in days to come. Stay posted. Things did not go so well for Floyd today, nor for Dave Zabriskie, who lost the yellow jersey in dramatic fashion after he crashed hard just over 1 km from the finish. Floyd is now 1.50 back of Armstrong, but could still be in the hunt for a top 5 finish.

Two Floyd related items of note:

(1) Floyd continues to impress with his musical sensibilities. Check out his current playlist for pre-race warmups on the trainer:

Creedence Clearwater
Guns N’Roses
Doobie Brothers
Van Halen
Rolling Stones
Willie Nelson
Kid Rock
The Who
Van Morrison
The Police
Meat Loaf
and U2.

(2) A brief profile of Floyd courtesy of, with an interesting understanding of what is entailed by being Mennonite.

The Unusual Story of Floyd Landis

By Ian Melvin
Jul 5, 2005, 07:21

Last year Floyd Landis helped Lance Armstrong win the 2004 Tour de France. His athletic qualities are as well known among riders as his coarse comments. Nevertheless, the American is not as relaxed going into this year's Tour de France as it may appear.

Floyd Landis has learned a lot from Lance Armstrong, who is going for his seventh Tour de France win this year. "He's done a lot for everyone on his team and for the sport of cycling. We were able to learn while being part of his team and now have a chance to establish ourselves. At Phonak - as with my previous employer - we work at a top level. Only here, there's not so much pressure. Lance Armstrong always had just one goal: victory."

Happy being able to share responsibility
Although it's a dream for him to kick off the 2005 Tour de France in his current position, Floyd Landis nervously approached the start of the year's biggest cycling race. It's not just all the travel and the stress associated with it. It's also the new role of entering the race as one of the team leaders that is making Landis slightly insecure. The American has no doubt about the quality of the team, but still he's happy being able to share the responsibility with teammates Santiago Botero and Oscar Pereiro. In the past he helped Armstrong conquer mountains. Now, is he looking forward to the support of his teammates in the mountains? "I hope they'll pull me along," he replies with a hearty laugh.

From mountain bike to road racing
Floyd Landis's story is the most unusual of the nine Tour de France riders on the Phonak team. He grew up with Mennonites and first used a bike for going fishing. But with the arrival of testosterone, fishing became irrelevant. As a 17-year-old teenager, Landis began racing together with his high school friends. "My friend had a mountain bike, and of course I wanted to try it out." In 1991, he won his first race in Brickerville. After that, he knew that he wanted to become a professional rider. Six years after his first off-road race, Landis switched to road racing. Today, he only rides a mountain bike in winter for pleasure. "Road races are more exciting."

A very normal family life
Today, Landis lives together with his wife, Amber, and his eight-year-old daughter, Ryan, in Spain. "It's nice. That way we have more or less a normal family life." Surely something about his upbringing has stuck with Landis. "But I wouldn't want to live like that any more." Occasionally, Ryan watches her father race on TV. But not all the time: "That's too boring."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

dirty deeds done dirt cheap

The covert operation has been successfully completed. That is all I can say. Out.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

spring ride update

Hey all,

General thoughts.

Well, we're on. We have 4 sites for 14 people. Should be grand. While it would be hasty to get all organized about vehicles, tents, etc... we should remember that we will only be allowed two tents and one vehicle per site... so joining forces is recommended.

It's true: part of our Ingolf trail has been clearcut, but we have an intrepid team of riders who will be working to mark some of the lost trail. Word is that people from Gord's, etc have been out and have found the trail after a bit of work.

If anyone has space and dry wood, it might not hurt to bring as much as possible rather than being fleeced... $5 for 5 pieces is lame... well, that might be exagerated, but the wood to $ ratio has been decreasing. Any wood we buy will be shared in the group cost.

Speaking of cost, it would be helpful if everyone brought a blank cheque so most of the $$ issues can be squared away at the event. Shared costs will be the sites, dogfest, any necessary wood.

Dogfest for Saturday supper.
I will be bringing 3 dogs/person or so (and Aiden's three will be up for grabs), buns and basic condiments.
It has never hurt when folks have supplemented the event with beans, etc.
All other meals are solo or in small groups.

Friday, May 20, 2005

further on spring ride attendence

now Aiden's in. good thing Dave reserved four sites... really, the most critical part of the event now is determining where we will source the dogs for Saturday's dogfest.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

another attendee at the spring ride

Luke confirmed his presence at the spring ride. This is turning into a very nice gathering. Now we need the weather to co-operate.

Future meetings

Just a quick note to confirm our future meetings.... I haven't heard that anyone showed at the clubhouse this past Tuesday, but perhaps it happened...

at any rate... if you want to touch base with the FGBC in person, there will be fairly regular gatherings at the Cambridge, Monday evenings, after the ultimate games. I suspect this will continue for the duration of the ultimate season. After that, it's back to the regular clubhouse Tuesday nights.

Saturday Morning Ride

Dr Hubie and I are going for an early Saturday morning ride (May 14) to Lockport and back. Meet in front of the Manitoba Leg @ 6:10 (leaving promptly @6:15). I know it is early...but this is so we can accomodate family schedules.


Questions???? -> / 489-0931

Monday, May 09, 2005

Manitoba Cup #2 Race Report

Racing season is under way. Actually, it began a few weeks back, but yesterday was the first time out for me. Discovered that playing Hummelt hockey once a week and riding to work and back is not enough. Felt like shit for most of the race, made lots of dumb decisions, etc. But somehow managed to chug away to a 3rd place finish, which was a pleasant surprise. The course was fast, but slippery. Ended up in the trees just once, and almost got taken down by a fellow Tinker Creek rider. But all in all managed to escape relatively unscathed. 30+ Sport is a big group this year, and a genuine sport class, so it should be a fun summer.

Hal took 3rd place in his category, and Unger nearly took down a tree. But I'll let them speak for themselves.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

dog fest may 3

super deluxe! good weather. good turnout. good dogs.

nice to add Bergen and Hal to the "confirmed" list for the spring event. Juan Eppstein will reserve us a fourth site.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Giro d'Italia

The first of this years grand tours, the Giro d'Italia, begins on Saturday. Floyd is focusing on the Tour this year, and so will not be taking part. But two Canadians, both with Discovery Channel, will be riding--Michael Barry and Ryder Hesjedal.

Turned the IRO into a fixed gear over the weekend. Have come close to getting bucked off a few times, but it's starting to get more comfortable. Stange how it rides a little differently. My legs hurt in places they don't normally hurt because they are now my brakes.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Floyd's bad day

Brasstown Bald, with its grades of up to 24%, proved to be too much for our man Floyd yesterday. He came in fourth, conceding 1:09 to Tom Danielson--the other guy poised to succeed Armstrong as the poster boy of American cycling after Lance's retirement following this year's TdF. Floyd hung in there until the end, but with almost no team support, had to do too much work on his own over the last few climbs. So Floyd now sits in third place, 9 seconds back. Today's change is pretty straightforward, so that's not likely to change. At the very least, he is all but assured of a podium finish.

OLN promises to show highlights from the Tour de Georgia on its weekly cycling show at 6pm today. I'm sure yesterday's decisive climb will receive plenty of attention. They will also feature coverage of today's Belgian classic Liege Bastogne Liege.

Now that the school year is over, it's time to start putting in some miles. If anyone's up for a few longer road rides this week, probably later afternoons, let me know.

Friday, April 22, 2005

minutes april 19, 2005

present: quite a few, including Bergen, Unger, Dr. Hubie, VicP, President, Secretary, Jonny, Hal (I feel I may have missed someone.)

Of significance:
  1. Dogfest Date: May 3 @ Juan Eppstein's... Meet at Juan's between 9:00 and 9:30... bring your favourite dogs, buns, beers... if you're driving, bring a couple of chairs.
  2. Spring Ride: June 17-19
    1. We have a solid list of those committed to attending the spring ride:
      1. Juan, Jonny S, Lonnie P-L, President, Unger, Jonny G, Vic P, Secretary
    2. The bigger issue is the maybe list which is sizeable as well and puts us in an awkward spot for reserving sites:
      1. Luke, James, Bergen, Dr. Hubie, Hal, Duke, James D
    3. The only confirmed non-attenders are: Steve E (who has made it to 0 events thus far), and Jeff R (honeymoon, as if that's a decent excuse)
    4. General consensus was that Juan Eppstein did a fine reserving job last year, and it would be swell if he'd consider doing it again... trying for West Hawk first as per the first year, and then checking Caddy.
    5. While it will be helpful to have some sort of cut-off date, we agreed that it wouldn't hurt to have an extra site...
  3. Bergen picked up a newish bike. There was genuine disappointment that the red CCM would not be at the spring ride... of course, the disappointment was not so deep that anyone asked whether they might ride it...

Floyd in first

Honorary FGBC member Floyd Landis took the time trial yesterday at the Tour de Georgia, and now has the overall lead by 19 seconds. Lance was well back, at 1:49, giving rise to the usual speculation that this might be the year his TdF reign comes to an end. There are still some tough stages to come, including the mountaintop finish at Brasstown Bald tomorrow that should determine the final standings. Let's hope Floyd brought his climbing legs to the race. See the full story at Velonews.

See also the short profile on Natural Cycle in today's paper.

Unger and Hal are racing this weekend at Grand Beach. Hope the season gets off to a good start.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

minutes march 12

present: dr. hubie, hal, unger, secretary

small but pleasant gathering.

most specific klub discussion was about booking our campsite... we will need to get a semi-accurate list of attendees together in the next bit so sites can be booked. please email the club address to indicate your intentions.

dr. hubie is again in a bind with attendence at the most critical event of the year... an offer to do a 24hr race in one of the Virginias... we didn't push him on the matter, although discussion with another bike club member since the meeting recalled some significant claims after last year that he wouldn't miss this next one...

hal will be holding a few library skills seminars with unger... if anyone wants in, let hal know. (he didn't actually make this offer, but i'm sure would be in favour.)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

minutes march 29

well friends... it's back to the pure FGBC... no more hockey... just those who rally under the FGBC jersey... now we can resume with some sense of usefulness, the practice of noting attendence.

Present: the president, secretary, Dr. H, Unger, Vic... and for a while later on, Juan Eppstein.

One topic of discussion which came up again was that of "getting in the book". Our customer service representative at the Klub Haus once again became earnest and encouraged us strongly to "get in the book" for next year. We have decided we will strike a sub-committee to investigate the matter. Jonny hasn't been at a meeting for a while, so it was suggested he would be only enthusiastic about pulling his weight again as chair of the "book committee".

Vic was in good form, candidating for a portfolio... it was really looking like he might be lining up as VP of "ideas". This was a good one: next dogfest, we all bring our favourite dog so that a comparison of the relative dog merits might be made. Now that's forward thinking.

The president made contact with that person selling the Rocky Mountain Hammer on the MCA website. The contact was with possible intent to purchase... a new guitar and new bike in the same fiscal quarter seems risky and it could have sent his shareholders into a bit of a selling frenzy... but it turns out that the deal likely will not go through... and shares in BHP have stabilized.

An early topic of discussion was the ability of sport to bring out the... well... enthusiastic nature of the sporting type... a few personal stories were shared, a number of James stories were retold, and then, a little later, Juan Eppstein walks in and graces us with a little of the real thing. The question unasked is what we should do about the growing statistical likelyhood of a FGBC member losing it at a ride... as we are a fairly intense bunch. Perhaps we should pool our resources for a joint anger management seminar before the spring ride...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

minutes march 22

Last hockey game of the season... next week, attendance will be noted more carefully as it really is Bike Club only then...

Next week's meeting will begin more around 10:00pm.

It seems that Father's Day has fallen on our spring ride date... some are feeling some pressure to be back earlier on Sunday... it will be as it needs to be, afterall, we are exactly what we are.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

new wheels

Picked up the new wheels today. Not road ready just yet. Still have a little building to do. But we're only a few warm days from the roads finally being dry, and things should be ready to go by then. With all the new road bikes that have popped up this year, perhaps some sort of early spring road race is in order. If nothing else, it sounds like the roads at Bird's Hill Park are dry. Anyone up for a Saturday morning ride?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

minutes march 8

while there was some bike related chit chat... the critical discussion was dates for our spring ride. Here's the skinny:
Best option: June 17-19
Next best: June 3-5
As per usual, conflicts exist on all the dates, but it seems June 17-19 was the strongest possibility (although also the MCC relief sale weekend). Now, the only regular member who was not available to weigh-in was doc hubage, who is laid low with sickness... hopefully he will check-in through a comment or post in the next day or two which will help cement it all.
This was surely the quickest discussion on dates we've seen... well... to date.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Spring ride pics up

Hey all! With the impending meeting on planning the spring ride, I thought the time was adequately ripe for the posting of a few pics from last spring's ride... just for encouragement. Don't forget that calendar.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

bring your calendar to the next meeting

The president invites all FGBC members to bring their systems of calendrical tracking to the next meeting of the Fort Garry Bike Club.

The "Spring Ride" date is the main agenda topic. While we have toyed with the discussion in the recent past... it is suggested that we get down to business before the President "gets the shaft" at work.

The secretary (on behalf of the president)

Friday, February 25, 2005

Off the pot?

Time to shit or get off the pot. Or so it felt this morning. Not sure which of the options I ended up choosing actually. But either way, I ended up with a brand new bike this morning. Well a frame, at least, and a long list of parts that will become a bike someday soon. A new member to the wider FGBC family: an IRO Mark V. Will set it up as a fixie, with bullhorn bars. Should be fast. Can't wait for spring.

Monday, February 21, 2005

That good old FGBC Spirit

See below for an update from a friend of mine in NC about a race called the soupbowl that was held the same day we did Icebike. In NC they think wet and muddy is extreme. That is debatable. But there's no question Cody is extreme. That sort of spirit puts us grizzled buke club veterans to shame. More in keeping is his Dad Alex's take on running, which I'm in full agreement with. Perhaps we should give Cody some sort of honourable title. Cody is 11 years old. Read on.

The day before the soupbowl i was thinking out loud about wether or not there might be some way in which Cody could participate. Prior to that I had told him that it was old school, not family friendly and just generally too difficult and dangerous. he did wipe out in one mtn bike race last year on a course that he had not preridden, so he was willing to accept my censure. However, once i opened the door just a little bit he became determined. so i said he should watch while we run the first 2 miles and then join in at the back of the pack when the ride began. i figured if he was fresh and took it at his own pace, he could probably do the ride, though it was all steep and technical
singletrack. but when we got there we learned that the 2 mile run was really two laps of a one mile loop. so now (after talking to the promoter, who had set the age limit at 12 - cody just turned 11 - but was willing to let cody in)we decided he would do one lap and then ride. after that discussion i was out of the loop as i was racing at the same time. natalie and brandon did show up just before start time though. as i came through on my second running lap i asked where cody was and natalie said he is on his second lap! he felt fine, was ahead of some adults, and wanted to do the entire race, including 2 miles of running after the bike ride!whatever, i had to ride... although i was a
bit concerned about him going into the ride all tired. after the run i was about 20th out of 60-70 in the intermediate division, which was fine by me. there is nothing about running that i enjoy. nevertheless, i thought i would really need to hammer on the bike to move up much. not so. all i had to do was keep a slow and steady pace, no dabs, no dismounts and so many of the rest simply fell
off to one side or the other. either they had no technical skills or were too tired from the run. i caught a few more on the descents, proving to be much smoother than i usually feel when riding with the local shop mechanics. in the end i was in second place at the end of the ride, only a second or two behind first place. quite satisfying, although i still bailed at that point. i had no interest in the
ensuing run, and was a little concerned about my knee and Cody. so i went back into the woods looking for cody. he is now so fast that i cannot catch him on a second lap, so had to shortcut the trail in order to find him. he was plugging along, ahead of 5-10 adults. incredibly he did run two more laps as well. and unfortunately, i had to jog most of one more as Brandon insisted that she was going to jog a mile and wanted me to come with her. i did 4/5ths of a lap and then let her
finish out herself where she sprinted to the finish in order to hold off a guy who was finishing the race.

the whole event was a blast. cody, who was one of only 2 juniors - the other guy was 17 and kicked most people's asses, including mine - and they gave him a big trophy which he has declared the best trrophy he has ever received. cody raced for 2 hours. that;s a long time for an 11 year old to be putting in such a hard effort. amazing. as you say, it won't be too long before he is pushing me instead of vice versa when we ride. teh promoter, who saw that i dnf'ed, made sure to point out
to everyone , when presenting cody's trophy to him, that he kicked his dad's ass. cody laughed, but later said that saying ass was not appropriate. so, now at races i am better known as cody's dad than anything else. not a bad designation.

Friday, February 18, 2005

new cast

Got a new cast today. Still no final word on the surgery question, but the hope at this point is that it will not be necessary. The good news is that this new cast is only on my hand, not all the way up to my elbow like the other one. Was also able to hold onto some handlebars they had there, so this version should be much more bike friendly. Thinking of giving hockey a go next week. Now that I can move my wrist again, surely I won't be too out of place in the Hummelt underworld of quasi-hockey.

Maybe that race at Holiday Mtn next week is a possibility after all. We can talk about it on Tuesday.

Monte Montgomery rocks hard!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

minutes february 15

after a week off, it's time to get back to the minutes... here's some of the news:
  • Chris had a wipe out and broke his thumb... no more hummelt hockey for him... it was that little patch of ice half a block from home... back to the doc on Friday to find out if it will need surgery. He should be in fine shape for the spring ride. Any injury is usually a good excuse for most of us to go through our litanies of injuries and medical system insights. Vic's thumb still looks funny from his break in 1976.
  • Vic got Juno tickets by calling 10 minutes early... he was on hold for 9 minutes and about 30 seconds... the call went to Montreal where a nice fellow waited the extra few seconds and sold him the cheap tickets... too bad about having to fix the car that day Vic
  • Juan Eppstein is on the single speed trail... there was a tone of determination to his comments about entering the inner sanctum of the Klub. Hopefully he'll still talk to us people with gears.
  • yes, of course we talked about the spring ride, and yes, someone asked where we were going... there seems a strong consensus that our ride location is Ingulf... it wavers a bit when we talk about which campsite, and nobody has yet had the nerve to suggest a date... seems silly to push the issue. Perhaps the President will show next week with "the book".
  • here's the link to Monte Montgomery, the incredible acoustic guitar player with the cheesy moustache. Check out Romeo & Juliet, and some of the Little Wing footage.

Monday, February 07, 2005

icicle bicycle

congrats to all fgbc (tinker) cyclists who participated in this year's event. the results are posted. rides of note include:

  • dr. hubie's top ten finish (8th overall)
  • dave u. 17th place finish (predicitions are that dave will continue to climb in the results this year).
  • dave epp's top 20 finish, having to start the race late because he was trying to fix the chain he broke on the pre-ride.

special thanks to the fans who came out (anita, anita, rachel, and kids) and cheered on the riders. the only thing left to do is get some of the less committed fgbc riders off their butts and join the ride next year.

later, hal


Icebike has come and gone. FGBC/Tinker Creek put in a good showing, accounting for over 1/4 of the field of 35 that took to the start for the Abominable (20 km) race. All four FGBC riders finished in the top 20: 8th (Chris), 11th (Hal), 17th (Unger), 18th (Juan Eppstein). Juan Eppstein pulled off the surprise of the race. As the rest of us took to the startline, he was feverishly working to repair a broken chain. But got it done and, more importantly, got the race in. Results are online at the MCA site.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

minutes Feb 1

The Icebike Race is but a few days away. Hal, Unger and Chris will represent us fittingly... well maybe not entirely... the whole business is fairly ambitious... and yet that really is some of the beauty of the FGBC: the embrace of diversity within the generous bounds of endeavour known as "biking". No one rider in the Klub captures the full essence.

Really, while the Duke takes the heat for last spring, he still showed, and he "biked". The other positive is that the above mentioned riders can always default to representing "Tinker Creek" when they're too embarassed... so, we try to serve everyone their cake, and let them eat it too. The Fort Garry Bundt Club.

While we talked about the various related clubs, there were some delicious ideas around Hal's proposed "Team Bread" racing group. It did however, just strike me that this name is very close to Team Brown, our parallel club. Just in case you all forgot about them, here's a link to their manifesto: The Team Brown Manifesto

Well, other than some dreaming about trading up in the bike world, that nearly sums up the bike related discussion as this reporter heard it.

Oh, and our favourite former Mennonite rider Floyd Landis rides again.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

minutes jan 25

Really, very little to report... there may have been some bike talk at the far end of the table, but I didn't hear it... a report from the end of the table would be nice if there is something worth reporting.

Jonny and I were at something of a loss for words as we tried to describe to Lorne B why having a single speed is deemed so cool, and that if you have a fixed hub, you are ultra cool. Lorne has been a very serious commuter, so it's not like he's new to bikes. His Rocky Mountain Fusion got lifted from his garage last year... that stinks.

The Nathan G stolen bike recovery was also shared... probably worthy of a full retelling on this blog some time but not tonight.

Monday, January 24, 2005

minutes jan 18

Well, good minute-taking intentions gone awry...

other than the bread being awarded to Vic, and then he having to share it with Lorne, I have little recollection of last week's gathering. Of course, Icebike was mentioned... but nobody nearly lost their life or limb that I recall... so there wasn't really news, was there?

The Minaki Yurts were brought up again for discussion as a Spring destination...

This link will take you to the page on Gord's Cycle where you can download the videos of people riding at Ingolf and Falcon and whatnot. This sort of media should be easily within our reach given adequate leisure time...

Monday, January 17, 2005

Why Ride a Bicycle?

At about this time of year, that question seems to come up more and more often. And with Icebike 7 coming up in just under three weeks, best to settle this once and for all. Call it a pre-emptive strike against the long list of lame excuses that are sure to start making their appearance at our Tuesday meetings.

What follows has been shamelessly lifted from Velonews.


Why ride a bicycle? Ten reasons and counting
By Jill JanovSpecial to VeloNews
This report filed January 17, 2005
"Nothing compares with the simple pleasure of a bike ride."- President John F. Kennedy
Why ride a bicycle? When I asked 10 observers of the bicycle industry, they replied with inspired observations, unprintable expletives, lively endorsements of guilt-free dessert consumption and one common complaint - "Jeez, to pare it down to just one reason is difficult."

Cycling makes you smartA Zen teacher once asked his students why they rode bicycles. One said he rode to carry potatoes. Another cycled to observe the world. A third said it cleared the mind, and a fourth said cycling put him in harmony with all sentient beings. The Zen master was pleased, but when the fifth replied, "I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle," the teacher sat at the student's feet and said, "I am your student."
Albert Einstein discovered the theory of relativity while bicycling. And Ernest Hemingway said that, "It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them."
And with government figures showing that 64 percent of American adults and 30 percent of children are overweight, it seems there are plenty of reasons.
How about gas prices hovering just below $2 a gallon? Or just take a gander at these reasons from 10 of the industry's wittiest and most fanatical cyclists, and you'll brave bitter cold just to hit the road or trails this winter.
* * *
1. Riding a bike is liberating in that I-still-feel-like-a-kid sort of way, and I'm not trapped in a metal/glass/infernal combustion coffin looking at the world through wide-screen television eyes. And parking is always free on a bike. And my bike starts every morning, even in cold weather.
-Hurl Everstone of Minneapolis is the publisher of Cars R Coffins, a Web site devoted to bicycle-punkrock-action.

2. Without cycling, I'd die consuming the quantities of beer that I do. I also ride for the scenery. And what other opportunity do I have for stuffing 250 pounds into too-small Lycra bib shorts?
-Matt Wiebe, a Santa Fe resident, University of New Mexico professor and technical editor of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News

3. I ride because it gives me an excuse for shaving my legs. If it weren't for the six bikes in the garage, I'd be forever trying to explain why I look like a bearded lady on the lam from a carnival sideshow who got her head shaved in the drunk tank after flunking a cootie inspection. Plus when I'm stuck for something obnoxious to write or draw, a quick ride helps jar the nickel loose and set the music to playing. That, and the drugs.
-Patrick O'Grady, a professional rumormonger living in Colorado who vents periodically on this site and at

4. While pedaling over hill and dale, people usually notice and often talk to me. Because of this I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Like a Southern Baptist song, the good has overcome. This has been the best reason of all for bicycling. I'm approachable when on a bike. It's fun talking to kids and strangers about a sport and way of life that I love. Humanity awakens at the sight of a two-wheeled traveler.
-Loretta Esparza is a seven-year veteran of Salsa Cycles and a dog-lovin' barista in California.

5. To coalesce the burning pure horrific rage as you face knuckleheads, debutantes and four-wheeled freaks in traffic.
-Bob Roll calls himself "a man barely alive." A veteran of the 7-Eleven team, the first U.S. pro squad to tackle the Tour de France, he is the author of several books and a cycling commentator on the Outdoor Life Network.

6. Your ass. As in, if you ride a bike your butt ends up looking fairly tight - like two VW Beetles parking.
-Joe Lindsey of Boulder, Colorado, has been riding and racing bikes for 15 years, and covering the sport for the past six for cycling magazines. He's covered the Tour de France, the Olympics and numerous World Cups and world championships. He enjoys photography, telemark skiing and Britney Spears videos with the sound turned off.

7. Riding a bike has always been a major symbol of independence and freedom. But the real reasons I go out and pound the pedals are sex, drugs and rock 'n roll.
Sex: As the gap to geezerhood closes, stayin' in shape for my favorite activity becomes even more important.
Drugs: A long time ago I realized that maintaining my awesome boy-toy bod while enjoying my modest beer habit was going to require a lot more exercise than it did in my studly youth.
Rock 'n roll: While my guitar skills have never surpassed the mediocre stage, the stuff I play in my head when I ride is awesome. Just give me the steady rhythm of my fixed gear, some open road and turn it to 11, Jimi, 'cuz today we're gonna rock!
-Ross Shafer lives with his wife, Mari, on the Rockin' Bar L ranch in Petaluma, California. He is the founder and former owner of Salsa Cycles and owns and operates Six-Nine Design, which provides product design, prototyping, fabrication and tool design services.

8. Some people train so they can race; I race so I can train, so the all-important workout doesn't get shoved to the back burner so easily. Nothing inspires like knowing you're going to get your butt kicked in the next race if you don't train. The fact that I get my butt kicked anyway is completely beside the point.
-Jef Mallett, a former bike racer and current triathlete and cartoonist. His strip, "Frazz," appears in 150 newspapers across America.

9. My wife, Natasha, thinks cycling is great way to spend time as a family while burning a few calories. For her, the family ride is quality time. Then again, she does not have the trailer with 50 or so stuffed animals and the 2-year-old singing "Old McDonald" attached to her bike as we climb what must be Mont Ventoux. Hmm ... now that I think about it, cycling is the best way to burn a bazillion calories and hang with the family.
-John Kibodeaux, a 16-year veteran of bicycle retail, owns High Desert Bicycles in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, and also works full time for his daughter, Marguerite. He has a B.A. from St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in dirty diapers, Sesame Street and anything Disney.

10. I live and breathe bike transportation. Does that make me a granola-crunching, world-saving utopian? Actually, my riding has a lot to do with what's good for me. Riding makes me healthy. It saves me time. It makes me feel good and gives me energy to do more in life. Of course, getting around by bike is a green thing to do. And altruism does have its rewards. Frankly, I wouldn't mind saving the world. Makes one want to crunch some granola.
-Joe Breeze has been building and promoting bikes for more than 30 years. His Breezer bikes from 1977 are considered the first mountain bikes. Today, his Breezer company is solely focused on bikes for transportation.

Jill Janov, a resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico, is the former managing editor of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News and a regular columnist with The New Mexican, where this article first appeared.

Friday, January 14, 2005

new colour

well, as suggested a long time ago... I've changed the blog colours from the weak tan shades to the bold, very dark blue so many people have come to expect based on the website. Unfortunately, some of the tan bits remaining are images that I won't changing, certainly not before I actually spend time to finish redoing our site...

minutes Jan 11

pleasant gathering. the Dark was good... peanuts were plentiful.

Luke mentioneed a Hard Rock available for $350. Vic wondered if he should buy it for Jason? no, it will be ripped off at u of w was the consensus.

the icebike event approaches. Hal posted the link, which takes one to a website under construction... the only useful info (actually, the only info) confirms that I had the incorrect date for the event in my last post. Mark February 6. If it's as cold then as today, you're going to have a lonely ride Hal and Chris.

As Hal also mentioned, there was just the faintest hint that we may be ready to start talking about a date for the spring ride. Good heavens... the very reason for the FGBC to have a web site in the first place... to document the twists and turns in such planning. Penner, get your green book out!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

minutes for jan 4, 2005

with the threat of expulsion, nay, shunning hanging over his head johnny g shows up for bike club. it was a small group with only six brave souls showing up: johnnny g, dave, hal, james, vic and dr. hubie. apparently vic the most goaks that night on the hockey end of things. on the bike end of things talk about the spring ride surfaced as well as participation in the annual ice bike race in february.

hope to see a large crowd tonight (maybe even another cyclist?)