Tuesday, February 28, 2006

note from Altona Race Co-ordinator

Hello all,

Just a quick word to let you know about the upcoming Altona Bikeathon this Saturday, March 4th. We'll be having the race portion of the event starting at 4 PM at the South side of the Altona Park (right across from Rachel's parents place). There is lots of parking right there on the North side of Parkside Junior High School. After the race we'll proceed to the knockdown tournament and then head South to the Hiebert/Sawatzky household for some dogs and stuff (BYOB). There will be prizes and for those who think the winners are a given fear not! The grand aggregate is a combination of placings in both the race AND knockdown so even if you're not that fast, your balance might earn a victory!
We're hoping a bunch of folks can make it out but we ask that if you are planning on coming just let us know ASAP so we know how much food we'll need. We may also ask some folks to bring some chips or things.
If you need directions I'm sure Hubie can help you out or I'd be glad to help too. Hope everyone can make it and we'll surely have a good time. If you know of anyone else who'd be interested please pass along the word (just let us know who's coming please!)


p.s. Hubie - Duke-Carolina - 8 PM

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Floyd's Win, Altona, Icebike

Floyd held on for the win at the Tour of California. Not a bad way to start the season.

Closer to home, the Altona Open goes this Saturday, March 4th. The race organizer down there reports that things are coming together nicely. He is also wondering what kind of numbers to expect--for planning purposes. Check your calendars, talk to whichever interested parties need talking to, and let's have another attempt at a tally at Tuesday's gathering.

Does anybody remember what time the race starts?

Also, check out this video for a different approach to racing bikes on ice. Think the Altona cage rink would be big enough?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Floyd = First

Floyd kicked ass in the time trial today at the Tour of California. Dave Zabriskie can really fly in the TT, but Floyd bested him by almost half a minute over 27 km. This gives him the overall lead and puts him in good position to hold on for the final GC. The race continues through Sunday, but the more decisive stages are done. See the brief report from velonews.com.

Makes the Team Canada implosion a little easier to swallow.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Bergen's Cutoff Race Report

Bit of a smaller crowd than we've had at recent races. Plenty of underwhelming excuses were offered up by the absent ones. And of course these were duly mocked by the few, the proud, the hard core who did brave the long, lonely journey to NK for the race. But the continuity has been preserved. The race season goes on. There is even talk of extending the once-a-month race schedule into summer. This was, of course, a sponsored event. So loyalty was duly rewarded with donated FGD and toques. The secretary will post a picture.

As for the race itself, a nice little course that looks promising as a repeat venue. Several endos were performed--the result of a rather steep dropoff down the old rail bed and the diminishing snow conditions in later laps, not to mention poor bike-handling skills. But no major injuries to report.



Next race is the Altona Open on March 4th. Perhaps our goal should be at least to match the participations numbers that Altona will put up.

In other news, Floyd sits in 4th place after the 3.1 km opening prologue TT at the T of CA. The race continues this afternoon. Check out the latest interview with Floyd from cyclingnews.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Sunday race update - new time: 9:00pm

As the president has mentioned, we did plan a loop for sunday's race.

What you need to know:
1. If there's no moon, it could be quite dark. Should be interesting.
2. New start time: 9:00 pm so Dr. H can make it. Meet at my place... check the google map in the previous race post to find it. Note the instructions if you arrive a little late. You'll easily find us.
3. There will be a $5 draw if you're interested... as per last time... I've heard there will be a prize or two.
4. Boil-up. Bring dogs and buns, we'll have basic condiments.
5. There will be a bike toss, and hopefully a knock-down event if Hal brings the cones. The little mermaid would have been a perfect toss... sorry Miriam.

Little Mermaid, RIP

Good day for bike buyin' yesterday, it seems.

In addition to Penner, Miriam and Jonah both picked up some new wheels. In M's case, a Norco Mity Macho. This means that the Little Mermaid has been laid to rest. Actually, it's back at that great little bike shoppe on Portage waiting to make some other kid happy. She served us well, but evidently it was simply time to move on. It was tough for Miriam to decide between the Macho and the pink, flowery Trek with the white faux-wicker basket. But the Macho won out in the end. Whew.

Nobody is happier about this exchange than Jonah, since the Mermaid essentially became the more male-friendly Shogun in all its yellow (or at least not-pink) splendor. His masculinity is now appears to be safely secured, at least for the time being.

Looking forward to the race on Sunday. The course looks good. Let's hope it warms up a tad by then.

New Ride

Thanks to some networking by Dr. H. I will be making a significant upgrade.

Darryl, Chris and I planned out a sweet little loop for Sunday's event but I will be riding my current wheels for this event.

See you there

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Motorist vs Cyclist, part II

It's not only couriers who get into trouble with car drivers. Pros (or perhaps former pros in this case) have thier share of run-ins too. Check out the latest instalment in an ongoing litany of poor relations between motorists and cyclists, courtesy of cyclingnews.com. Not clear who's to blame in this one, but either way it's the cyclist who bears the brunt of the damage:
German rider Danilo Hondo, currently in training while serving a two-year suspension, was injured on Monday when struck by a car in what appears to be a road-rage incident in Somerset West, near Cape Town, South Africa. Tony Brown, an acquaintance of Hondo, and Matthias Kessler, were training with the German sprinter on the Paarl Vallei Road when a car drove past and abused the riders. Both Brown and Kessler said the driver, aged around 65, waited for them to pass before ramming Hondo's bike "with intent".

The extent of Hondo's injuries is not yet known, and Hondo himself isn't sure when he'll be riding again. "The doctors will have to check me out," he said. "Sometimes you get internal injuries from a fall like that - I'm not so worried about crashing, you can crash in any country. The problem is that drivers can do this."

In a strange twist Somerset West police said that the driver of the vehicle called the police station after the incident and reported the cyclists attacking him, something denied by both Brown and Kessler. Hondo is reported to be taking action against the driver.
Keep riding. But be careful out there in the jungle.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Floyd at the TofCA

A new high-profile stage race on North American soil is set debut this weekend: the Tour of California. It runs from Feb. 19-26 and will mark the start of the race season for many of the big names. This is a nice compliment to the Tour of Georgia, which happens in mid-April. One thing that makes this latest race interesting is that it is sponsored by Amgen, otherwise known as the world's leading manufacturer of EPO. Our man Floyd will be at the start in San Francisco and he's bringing a strong team. Sounds like he's approaching this as a race rather than a mere training exercise. Good news. Stay tuned for updates. In the mean time, check out the article on Floyd from velonews.com. He's now the clear leader of the team and looks to be poised for a big year, with the Tour being the main focus.

Just back from a weekend in Ontario and it feels like forever since I've been on a bike. Then again, it's a nice break since I'm still bruised and banged up from the comedy of errors called Icebike. I did manage to stop in for coffee at Jet Fuel Coffee, messenger hangout and sponsor of Canada's only pro cycling team. Check it out if you're ever in Toronto.

Friday, February 10, 2006

sponsors etc

A rather lengthy report from the Jersey Committee

I am not quite sure how the figurehead leader has taken on this portfolio, but just as I am about to retire my efforts with this endevour, I am pulled back into it by some very faint glimmer of light.

The Fox and Hounds is in!! They are giving us $200.00. They would like a 3-4 inch logo. I said that we can easily accomondate that.

I am hoping that Snider othodics will come onboard as well as Eppsiepman!

On a similar note, Wayne, the other sales guy at FGBC returned a call I made weeks back. I indicated his counterpart was less forthcoming than hoped for. Anyway, we got to talking and Oerst is out, Wayne is in, but we still do not have any cash. It seems that FGBC has been burned in the past with sponcerships like this, teams not even buying jerseys. That being said, Wayne would like to "foster a relationship" with us and would like a letter or at least an email about "us". (Maybe someone could assist me with that.) He needs this to bring his boss onboard. He will see what he can do about some cash. It is easier to get FGBC shirts and beer than money right now (and that he offered)..."we are in a beer war!!" We talked about our needs etc, If all the planets line up we might get 150 -200 if his boss gives him the green light. In the fostering of a relationship, he sincerely offered the occasional use of the FBGC board room for the use of planning big events, like our spring ride. I am going to try to get a FGBC Tshirt or hoodie for the prize on the 19th, failing that, it will be the twin rivers touques.

Since we have a sponcer, Who is in??? 15 jerseys are about $720.00 Canadian (10 are about $550.00) There is NO duty so therefore no brokerage fees. They require a 50% deposit before work is started. A designed committee has been formed, Darryl, Chris and Hal. Let me(your presedent) know if you are in!


Thursday, February 09, 2006

velo artisan bread

let me know if you want a "velo artisan bread singlespeed cyclocross racing" shirt. i'll probably be getting both synthetic and cotton t-shirts from mec.

Other interesting bike stuff : a piece from the nytimes magazine about Jan Robic, a sloveanian soilder who is the world's best ultraendurance cyclist. Some of Jan's achievements: winning the 3,000-mile Insight Race Across America (RAAM), setting a world record in the 24-hour time trial by covering 518.7 miles,.last year following up his RAAM victory with a victory six weeks later in Le Tour Direct, a 2,500-mile race on a course contrived from classic Tour de France routes - Robic finished in 7 days and 19 hours, and climbed some 140,000 feet, the equivalent of nearly five trips up Mount Everest.


From time to time it has been suggested that FGBC is more a vehicle to talk about cycling than it is actually about riding bikes. The pendulum seems to be swinging back to the riding side of things, if this winter's race participation is any indication. But lest we lose sight of our roots, I offer the Cycling Dictionary, made available by T-Mobile (Jan Ullrich's team), in order to facilitate future bike-related discussions. More road than mtb, but it's a start.

Next race - February 19 - Bergen's Cut-off

So, it seems we've confirmed that there will be a race at Bergen's Cut-off on February 19th. We'll meet at my place (see the google map here) at 8:00pm. The race area is in the green space just north of my place. (If you are a bit late, go to Kildonan Drive, hang a right (North) and where it ends will be race epicentre.) The race director is planning a trip out next week, to help establish an adequately rigorous course.

There is also a strong rumour that related activities (will not include rotten vegetables this time) may include a bike toss. Stay tuned.

It seems the draw and boil-up were popular enough last time that they may take place again... that will likely be confirmed at our next meeting.

Don't forget to keep Mar. 4 open for the Altona Open.


Saturday, February 04, 2006

New Event?

Could this be a new event to work into future rides and races? As a whole, FGBC seems to prefer more of a slow-ride ethos. I've even heard one of us talk about the importance of slow-food. But 163 kmh on a bike has got to be a rush and I heard someone say once that you don't know what you're missing until you've tried it. I hit around 70 kmh once riding down a mountain in Utah. That was pretty cool. Finding the right spot would pose a problem. That hill in Altona probably isn't big enough. This event has Jeff R written all over it. Definitely not a slow-rider, that guy. Clearly the problem with the rocks and all a few years back was due to the slowness imposed by the conditions--tight trail, obstacles. But this definitely wouldn't be a Penner-friendly activity. It would no doubt suck on a fixie too. I love it that the dude is wearing a heart-rate monitor. Wonder what it registered when he noticed his bike start to disintigrate?

Friday, February 03, 2006

Motorist vs. Cyclist

Carrying on in the same general vein of attempting to purchase self-legitimation through stories of victimization . . . Actually, I find this sort of gesture--a kind of manipulative wallowing in self-pity that is blind to the power it seeks--to be perverse and morally repugnant. Egghead that I am, I've even written an essay on this topic. But this isn't that kind of forum. In any case, I will wallow away and participate in it anyway. Not all of us are as sophisticated as James in the dialectical rhetoric of disclamation/legitimation, so why not just acknowledge the contradition straight up? A different, though not entirely unrelated, social convention. At any rate, the following photos of a confrontation between a bike courier and an angry motorist in Toronto have been making the rounds lately. That dude needs to chill out. Watch out Johnny G. The next time you flex your muscles at a car full of young punks, they might not be as intimidated by you as the rest of us are.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Still We Ride

More treats from the world of NYC bike culture. See this trailer for Still We Ride, a documentary about the police crackdown on the NYC critical mass in August 2004. Bikes + cops = trouble.

Closer to home: Check out this picture of the secretary plunging to what looks like certain death.