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.