Thursday, March 30, 2006

jersey debate open

comments please.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

i'm getting neutered

the green machine is getting fixed - they say it will be done by saturday; its natural cycle and seeing is believing.

kudos to the president for becoming a single white male.

bicycle auction

Small gathering last night: Unger, Hal, Chris, Penner, Jonny G were all present at one time or another. Some jersey design discussions took place. Things seem to be coming together. Just waiting for a time to get together to finalize everything for the order form.

Short but sweet inaugural pre-meeting Tuesday night ride, punctuated by a brief pit-stop for fries at VJ's drive in. Previewed the course for the next race on the way back to the F&H. Call it the Louis Riel secession classic if you need a title. Consider it a celebration of springtime in Winnipeg if you need a reason to participate. This race requires what may turn out to be a relatively small window of time, namely that brief period of time between the melting of the snow and the river overflowing the river walk. Get your datebooks out: festivities will take place sometime during the weekend of April 8-9. Precise time to be finalized at next week's meeting. Penner is working on prizes.

Penner picks up his new bike on Thursday. Word at the clubhouse is that things are looking up for the secretary on the new bike front as well. Good news.

Speaking of new bikes: I received a flyer for the annual bicycle auction at work today. The dates are April 22 and 23. Once again it will be held at the Maples arena. Jonny G. picked up his Monterrey for something like $25 a few years back. That bike has taken him farther than the half a tank of gas he could have spent that money on.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Tuesday night ride

Due to a scheduling conflict, this evening's meeting of the jersey design sub-committee has been postponed. The good news is that this frees up some time for a ride before the F&H. Meet at my place around 8:30. Perhaps we can start out by heading to HSC to pick up Hal from work.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

BHP ride

Riders: Hal, Chris, the McLaren brothers, with brief cameos by Paddy H and Dallas S
Dist: 64.19 km
Avg: 26.6 km/h
Max: 54.9 km/h

Good times.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

bike lanes

There is an article on the MCA site right now, reprinted from the Free Press a while back, about a series of grass roots groups working at improving the bike lane situation in Winnipeg. This is in response to the rather chilly reception that bike-related matters have received from City Hall under the Sam Katz regime. Of course, more bike lanes in this city would be great. But the cynical side of me suspects that in classic Winnipeg style we'll end up with some sort of half-assed compromise. Something like the bike lanes in this picture from the UK. We all know hom much fun it is to ride in and around trees. Riding through them, however, is less enjoyable. I've tried it. It sucks.

Also on the MCA site is a list of planned road consturction projects for the summer. Nice to see that Pembina is finally receiving some attention.

Friday, March 24, 2006

the future of the FGBC

I saw this guy riding in fairly heavy traffic on Grant so I had to take a picture. Serene. Knows his destiny. Has great luggage space.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

mutant bikers

A follow-up on the bike culture wars in NYC and the possible connection with the cabbage throwers, courtesy of the Village Voice.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

minutes march 21

Well, it was the last post hockey meeting of the season. The bad news is that hockey's over, the good news is that we can start meeting a bit earlier... incorporating some bike riding, even... (yes, I know, some haven't stopped riding.)

So, Hal, Chris and I will meet earlier next tuesday to firm up what our jerseys might look like... I expect we'd be at the clubhouse by 10:00. See ya'll then.

Here's a link to a blog post with a video of a nice skid competition. Looks like a good blog in general if you're interested in the very urban side of biking.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

bikes and coffee shops

Spent a good part of the evening yesterday delivering about $600 worth of coffee to friends and fellow cyclists. Bikes and coffee somehow just go together naturally. One day in Girona, when he was riding with US Postal, Floyd Landis skipped out on a training ride by hanging out at a local coffee bar and drinking 15 espressos in one afternoon. While our sponsorship and other identity-constituting efforts have thus far looked to alternative beverage forms--equally a natural fit with the bike--it would be a mistake to overlook the significance of the roasted coffee bean. A number of bike-related coffee shops have opened up recently. One of my favourites is Jet Fuel Coffee in Toronto. But there are also some worthy models in Minneapolis, both of which also sell bikes: One on One Bicycle Studio, where Hal got his new wheels, and more recently the Cars-R-Coffins Coffee Bar opened up. If you ever find yourself in Minneapolis make sure to pay them a visit. Check out the article on them both from the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Perhaps we should look into opening up the FGBC coffee bar. Then again, perhaps not.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bike Culture Wars

Things are getting ugly in New York. Bikes are cool, it seems. But cool = commodified. And so bike culture purists are starting to fight back in order to keep corporate culture at bay. Must be those guys with the cabbages. Or maybe Aiden and Will took a trip to NYC recently. Read the story here.

Spring is here. Which means it's time to ride as if it were nice outside, even if the conditions are not appreciably different than those we've come to associate with winter. So Hal and myself, along with Kevin B. of Tinker Creek fame, froze our toes while riding three relatively relaxed laps of the road circuit at BHP yesterday. Nothing to brag about, but at least it's a start. In addition to the arrival of spring, hockey ends tomorrow. So bike-riding season is now officially upon us. Not that it ever stops being bike-riding season. But it's time to ramp it up a bit--if not all the way to 11, then at least to 3 or 4. From here on out, the weekly Tuesday gathering at the F&H shall be preceded by the Tuesday ride. At least until ultimate begins.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Paris-Nice Video

Velo News has put together a nice little video report on last week's Paris-Nice race, which Floyd won. Click here to watch it.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Tourney Time

March Madness starts this Thursday:

1. print out a bracket.
2. fill it in.
3. bring it, along with your $5 entry fee, to the F&H tomorrow.
4. hope your teams win.

Same scoring system as previous years: 1 pt for correct 1st round picks, 2 pts for 2nd round, etc. 7 points for picking the champion. 60% of the pot goes to the winner, 30% for 2nd place, 10% for 3rd.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Floyd wins again

Floyd held on to take the overall win at Paris-Nice today. Two races so far this season and two wins. Not a bad way to start a season. What's even more impressive is that in California he did it by dominating the time trial, whereas in France he simply rode away from the bunch in the mountains. It's that kind of well-rounded ability that has many thinking that "Floyd can win the Tour." Next up is the Tour of Georgia in April. See the results at

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Hell on Wheels

Not a reference to my dismal bike handling abilities, but to the movie that Woodcock is showing this Monday at IMAX. Hell on Wheels is a behind the scenes look at the 2003 Tour de France. See the summary below. For the polyglots among us, more info is available in German at the official site. Hal and myself are going. Feel free to join us. Tickets are $10 and are available at Woodcock. Showtime is 7pm.

The Movie: Hell on Wheels

This Film follows Team Telekom/T-Mobile in it’s quest for victory in the Tour de France.

The Tour de France – the toughest bicycle race of all, celebrated its 100th birthday and Academy Award winning German based director Pepe Danquart was there to produce a terrific film on the T-Mobile Team. Danquart tells about the torture and the pain, the fear and the weaknesses of the men. Hell on Wheels offers a true insight into the Tour and stars the Telekom/T-Mobile team. We see the tears of those who are out of the race and the joy of those, who suffered but fulfilled their biggest dream, to reach the finish line....The film follows two German stars, Rolf Aldag and Erik Zabel, six-time winner of the sprinters jersey as he battles out every stage with his Aussie rivals. Danquart picked a great year to document the race, as this year provided the most dramatic and exciting race for many decades. At 123 minutes, there’s plenty of time for history, for racing and for gorgeous French landscapes. But ultimately, it’s the rider portraits that make the film unique and rewarding.

The film gives a review of the genesis and history of the tour in its hundred years of existence, and shows the gigantic organization of the tour, the fanatic crowds along the route and in front of televisions worldwide. Hell on Wheels presents an outstanding inner view of one of the world's biggest sports events.

Principal Cast Erik Zabel, Rolf Aldag, Andreas Kloeden, Alexander Vinokurow, Steve Zampieri, Mario Kummer, Serge Laget, Lance Armstrong, Jan Ullrich.

helmets mandatory, everything else optional

In case you missed it in today's paper:
By The Associated Press
Friday, March 10, 2006

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The mayor of a New Zealand town wants a nude cycling race to be called off — because the participants won't be wearing helmets.
Mayor John Hurley of the Tasman District said police would look like "fools" if they allowed the race to go on for the third straight year, despite the objections of local residents.

Police said they investigated the legality of the race and found they cannot take any action.

"We have taken advice on the legality of their proposed action and have been advised that it falls short of an offense," Sergeant Arthur Clarence said.

About 100 people are expected to take part in the "clothing optional" race Sunday around Golden Bay on the southern tip of New Zealand's South Island. The race aims to promote safe cycling and alternative energy.

Hurley said police should enforce laws that require all cyclists to wear safety helmets.

"They have ridden bikes in the past down the road with no crash helmets, no nothing on, and people say that's a double standard," he said.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Floyd in France

Though still very early in the season, Floyd is off to such a blistering start that he's generating a lot of buzz about what could happen in July. Fresh off his overall win at the Tour of California, he rode away from the bunch today on the first real mountain stage in Paris-Nice. Though he let his companion take the stage win, he takes the overall and now looks to be in command to hold his lead for the remainder of the race. Though Basso and Ullrich have yet to take to the start line, Floyd is clearly the dominant stage-racer of the spring so far. See the report at

Monday, March 06, 2006

Altona Race Retrospective

Altona Race Convenor extrordinaire, David S, has put together this fine montage of memories from the Altona Open event... Looks like it was an excellent event. The file now resides on our fgbc webspace and you can link to it from here. (Note: I had to install a newer version of Windows Media Player to make it go... make a note in the comments if you can't get it to work, and we'll see what can be done.)

Altona Race Retrospective

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Altona Race Report

Good times at the first ever FGBC race held out of town. The Altona crew put on quite a show. Cool prizes (including urination devices, DVDs, and a martini set), rink dogs galore, and an FGBC-style stage race: a bike race followed by a knockdown. Mr. Sawatzky and Co. deserve another turn at hosting. And they deserve more serious consideration from Winnipeg folks wary of making the long, bumpy trip to the deep south.

The race portion of the event was short and fast, featuring highlights of the heralded Altona "trails system," a snow-covered mountain, and a bridge crossing. A perfect course for the red Raleigh Ltd., which is to say minimal bike handling skills were required. Just pedal hard and go. Stage 1 results were as follows:

Johnny G
Johnny S
Jeff R
David S

Where's the Duker?

Stage 2 was the knockdown--Altona style, which is to say in a cage, with no fixed direction, and with knocked-down riders and wandering toddlers serving as obstacles: 7 rounds with the top three finishers in each round scoring points to be combined with the race. After switching the Softride for his townie bike, Johnny S. proved once again to be the king of the knockdown. He won three and never finished lower than third. The big loser of the knockdown was Johnny G, still reeling from trying to race with his brakes engaged on his back wheel, perhaps. He failed to get any points during the knockdown portion and as a result was knocked down and off the podium, dropping from 2nd place to 4th. Johnny S., as predicted, rocketed upwards. But not quite high enough. In fact, though it only became clear well after the fact, it all came down to the final round, where I beat Johnny in a knockdown for the first time ever and held on to first place overall by a mere point. Johnny S. took 2nd, and Curt rounded out the podium for 3rd place.

Overall standings

9th place - Brenda Schritt (8th in race, 0 knockdown points)
8th place - Cheryl Koop (6th in race, 0 knockdwon points)
6th place (tie) - David Sawatzky (7th in race, 3 knockdown points)
- Rachel Klassen-Huebner (9th in race, 5 knockdown points)
5th place - Jeff Rempel (5th in race, 0 knockdwon points)
4th place - Jon Koop-Guenther (2nd in race, 0 knockdwon points)
3rd place - Curt Falk (3rd in race, 10 knockdown points)
- prize pack included assorted DVD's, insulated coffee mug and strap-on urination bag
2nd place - Jonny Sawatzky (4th in race, 16 knockdown points) (mildly disputed due to vague ruling on single bike entry)
- prize pack included assorted DVD's, Manchurian Candidate DVD, strap-on urination bag, home spa
1st place - Chris Klassen-Huebner (1st in race, 8 knockdown points)
- prize pack included assorted DVD's, THE WHO LIVE DVD collection, portable martini set and CD

Oh yeah . . . there was a basketball game of sorts too. The Devils lost to the Heels. Uggh. Hopefully they'll be pissed but refocused and ready to play in the tournament. Or else what looked like it was shaping up to be a dream season is heading for a disappointing finish. Get ready for the annual March Madness pool.

First race for Cheryl, Jeff, and Rachel

Johnny S, showing he's not just a knockdown expert

Johnny G getting passed by Curt


The final podium

Curt's backyard