Tuesday, October 31, 2006

more rhizome

while my potentially negative response to the rhizome discussion Friday night might have suggested that I cared little for the topic, it has rattled about for a bit.
My poke at the exclusivity of language in the ivory towers only sent our ivory tower dweller into a bit of a sullen silence on the matter... (Incidentally, that silence is a very effective tool... leaving the less enlightened to wallow in their ignorance. Usually I'm ok there, but curiosity got me...)

Today's reread of dr. h's posting proved relatively fruitless. What next? The people's tool of course, where people can pretty much make up whatever they want and pass it off as correct. Hurray for Wikipedia.

What really prompted me to post this, however, was the wikipedia entry on rhizome. Further down in the "See also" section, is a link to Critical Mass... described as a "rhizomal self-propelled rider event". Not bad, but not as good as "we are exactly what we are".

Monday, October 30, 2006

psychocross, snow and fixies

pictures from psychocross and the ride home today...

there is a lemans start, bikes are mixed up and moved from where you left them

ian digging his bike out

the benson boys take a more relaxed attitude to the race, we were debating if they may have been down a lap before they even got to their bikes. i think they may have completed two laps with two bananas, two beers and two cigars consumed during their race (i think there is huge upside for future fgbc participation in this event, taking the benson lead)

bill "vampire boy" algeo over the barriers

dallas, a.k.a. jan, making the turn around the toboggan slide

winter arrives, different mindset, different challenges

first ride of winter is always cool

same ride, different view

no wipeouts on the first snow fixie ride, potential is there

Sunday, October 29, 2006

race scene

Tomek sent me a bunch of pictures from pyscho-cross today, including this one of Hal and Cam. I think it's his way of saying you shoulda been there. Don't know the results, but I'm sure Hal kicked ass.

Belgian Cross is next weekend. Ian's cool poster is worth another look. There will be a sign-up at the F&H on Tuesday for those willing to help set up the course.

The following weekend is the MN State Cyclocross Championships in Minneapolis. Hal & I will be representing the FGBC. More info here.

Finally, the dates for Icebike 2007 have been announced. Mark it down on your calendars for February 4.

OTT: Tricky, Feed Me

Saturday, October 28, 2006

last dance

Sweet ride this afternoon on the southern section of the TCC. Juan, Jonny G, Johnny S, and myself. This may be the last ride out there before the snow flies. Word is the hunters take over next weekend.

Yes, they know they look like dorks all kitted out in FGBC team colors. Why Juan Eppstein isn't wearing his is unclear. Still bitter about his failure to get some jersey space for Epp Siepman, perhaps.

He loves it.

Juan's new wheels have officially been christened.

He loves the Softride, but Johnny S isn't so big on climbing.

Darryl and Jonny G did the FGBC proud rockin' out in Paul Bergman's show at the Krahn barn last night in Neubergthal. Cozy post-concert gathering followed at the Bergman homestead.

Our honorary captain back out on the road with his bike, only one month removed from receiving his new hip. And Daily Peloton interviews his lovely lady, Amber.

OTT: The Postal Service, Sleeping In.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Juan's jueels

Looks like the 2006 FGBC season is ending just like it began. Juan Eppstein has stepped up to the plate and acquired some new wheels, namely Dave L's old wheels. I know there are some in the FGBC who thought this day would never come. Better get a roof on the pig pen Darryl, because the old sow's about to test her wings.

Needless to say, Juan is eager to try out the new ride. Maybe Saturday.

Somehow Johnny S manages remain faithful to the Softride. How does he do it?

OTT: Wheat, Working Man's Manifesto

Thursday, October 26, 2006

word of Floyd

I suppose this shouldn't be terribly surprising. Sounds like Floyd's working on a new book. Here's what the press release says:
"Rather than stand on the sidelines while he is publicly vilified for a doping offense he didn’t commit, 2006 Tour de France winner Floyd Landis is will tell his side of of the story in a book tentatively titled Positively False: The Real Story of How I Won the Tour de France. Mel Berger of William-Morris Agency today submitted the book proposal on Mr. Landis' behalf to major publishing houses. As its working title suggests, the book will express in Landis’ own words what really happened on the historical, and now controversial, ride that brought him to international prominence. Landis will expose intimate details of his life; telling the story of his Mennonite upbringing, relating the personal struggles he faced to rise to the top ranks of his sport, talking about his years working for Lance Armstrong, and giving new and unique insights into his fight to clear his name."
OTT: Nothing. I'm watching Detroit vs. St. Louis, game 4. Go Tigers!


That video reminds me of Cairo. It also brings to mind Deleuze and Guattari's notion of the rhizome:
"Principle of asignfying rupture: against the oversignifying breaks separating structures or cutting across a single structure. A rhizome may be broken, shattered at a given spot, but it will start up again on one of its old lines, or on new lines. You can never get rid of ants because they form an animal rhizome that can rebound time and again after most of it has been destroyed. Every rhizome contains lines of segmentarity according to which it is stratified, territorialized, organized, signified, attributed, etc., as well as lines of deterritorialization down which it constantly flees. There is a rupture in the rhizome whenever segmentary lines explode into a line of flight, but the line of flight is part of a rhizome. These lines always tie back to one another. That is why one can never posit a dualism or a dichotomy, even in the rudimentary form of the good and the bad. You may make a rupture, draw a line of flight, yet there is still a danger that you will reencounter organizations that restratify everything, formations that restore power to a signifier, attributions that reconstitute a subject -- anything you like, from Oedipal resurgences to fascist concretions. Groups and individuals contain microfascisms just waiting to crystallize. Yes, couchgrass is also a rhizome. Good and bad are only the products of an active and temporary selection, which must be renewed." (From A Thousand Plateaus)
OTT: The Smiths, Bigmouth Strikes Again

not so long line of cars

cool, but what do you do when the cars don't stay in a line

long line of cars

press play.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

concert - late notice

sometime fgbc rider (this year's spring ride), Paul Bergman, is doing a little CD release event Friday in the hamlet of Neubergthal, just outside Altona. All welcome is my understanding, as is BYOB. (I have understood incorrectly before, so I'll check with Paul and correct if necessary.)

Jonny G (our horse-riding friend) will be one of the musical sidemen, and it sounds like i may lend a little something to the proceedings as well.

long time rider

sorry i couldn't meet ya'll last night... this was likely my one personal leave due to work...

in the meanwhile, it looks like jonny g. has been a rider for a long time... does he smile this much when he's riding a bike?

sweet jersey

Courtesy of Gary Sewell via the MCA.

Hal marking the official race debut of the new FGBC jersey. And he was doling out singlcspeed hats last night at the F&H.

OTT: Say ZuZu, Moonshiner

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Belgian Club race

If you thought menno-cross was a blast . . . then wait until you experience the spectacle known as Supercross--i.e., the Belgian Club cx race, which is set to take place on Nov. 5. It's never too early to start planning ahead.

A note from Ian Hall: The course is going to be awesome – we are keeping everything that was good from last year, improving the flow a bit, adding a few more technical sections (a flight of stairs, courtesy of Hal), and then Tom is adding some serious off-camber speed sections. All in all, it’s still a bit easier than some courses, so good for first timers. It’s also a really great course to watch a race at – you can see almost the whole course from a couple of vantage points, and there are places to warm up if it’s chilly. Cowbells (I need more cowbells!) and pots/garbage can lids/air horns are encouraged. Of course, the fact that there is a bar at the finish line with a half-dozen kinds of Belgian brew on hand also helps.

For those who do not have race licenses, one day licences will be available.

If anyone's available to help set up the course earlier in the morning, that would be appreciated too.

OTT: Jason Ringenberg (with Steve Earle), Bible and a Gun

a way of seeing

Iris Murdoch, good neo-Platonist that she was, argued for the primacy of a certain type of vision:

"I can only choose within a world I can see, in the moral sense of 'see' which implies that clear vision is a result of moral imagination and moral effort." (The Sovereignty of Good, 37)
John Berger, not exactly a neo-Platonist, puts it this way:

"It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world with words, but words can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled." (Ways of Seeing, 7)

Both of which nicely set up this nice quote from an old article in the Village Voice:

"At its deepest, riding in the city becomes a way of seeing, a form of self-expression, a consciousness. Usually it starts as a simple case of convenience. . . . At times in New York, which puts a price on everything, the freedom and mobility of a bicycle can make you feel . . . rich. Gliding by the limos of fat cats mewed up in traffic, you know that life is just and fortune has many guises."
So true.

OTT: Nadine, So That I Don't Miss You

Monday, October 23, 2006

off-camber cross

tomek managed to appease the cross gods becuase they blessed him with perfect weather for his sunday death march. unfortunately winnipeg seems to have breed some fine-weather cross riders as there were smaller fields in both the b and a races. those that showed up were treated to a fine course with two sand pits (one that caused a lot of nose wheelies and piched me off course, taking out a marker and tape to mark the course), long slogs into the wind two runs up the big hill, a ton of off-camber sections, scary fast decents and a long speedy straight-away. the results should be up soon, but we do know that tomek managed to win the "a" event, beating a good field that included a new import from finland who raced his first manitoba event.

of course, i was psyched to wear the new fgbc colour for the race, including the "singlcspeed" hat. new hats are on the way and for $10 you can get a corrected hat (while they last i'll give you one of the others to boot). see you all at the meeting tomorrow (i will probably show up early to watch baseball if anyone else is interested).


the monday file

Not the busiest weekend ever on the bike front. Picked up a few old bikes and an assortment of parts from Colin B and brought them over to Sanctoral Cycle. Cleaned up the IRO and switched the wheels back so that it's road ready once again. It seems I panicked a bit with the first snow a few weeks back and switched over to the winter beater somewhat prematurely. Way too early for that.

The 2nd MCA cx race of the season went down yesterday at Civic Park. I trust a race report is forthcoming from Hal.

A few links worthy of note:

GTed nails it as far as what makes for a good long race.

Check out the story of Louis Bobet, who refused to don the yellow jersey because it was no longer made of pure wool. Old school.

Pez Interview with Michael Barry, the lone Canuck in the pro peloton. Now that he's parted ways with Discovery, maybe we can even cheer for him.

Following up on Penner's earlier post, the message below somehow made its way into my inbox late last week. I was told to spread the word. Consider it spread:

Gail Kauk of the Transcona Trails Association has asked me to put out a
call for enthusiastic volunteers interested in designing a mountain bike trail.
They're looking to develop the trail on Cordi Hill in Transcona, which is an old
landfill site.

Interested people can contact Gail at gkauk@mts.net
OTT: Tom Waits, Warm Beer and Cold Women

Raleigh/Gateway Trail

For those of you who have some interest in a proposed bike trail between Raleigh and Gateway there is a community meeting Nov 15th.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Floyd's fury

Our honorary captain is pissed. And he's on a mission too. At a recent appearance in Wisconsin, Floyd declared "I'm going to do everything I can to bring the down the UCI." Look out Mr. McQuaid. Full story below (ripped off from here).
Cycling champ on mission to clear his name
By Mike Ivey

Hobbling on crutches from painful hip resurfacing surgery, still battling doping allegations after winning the 2006 Tour de France, Floyd Landis could have bailed out of his scheduled appearance Friday in Madison.

"But that's not Floyd," said Chris Fortune, president of the Saris Cycling Group. "He's always done what he said he's going to do."

Landis was in town both to promote his sponsor, Saris, and to keynote the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin's annual fundraiser.

And in an interview with The Capital Times, Landis said he's committed to putting as much energy into clearing his name as he's put into racing.

Instead of feeling angry or depressed, Landis said he's looking at the doping case as another life challenge, like trying to beat the world's best bike riders or deal with a degenerative hip condition. He said the hip problem is proving severe enough he may wait until 2008 to ride the Tour de France again, even if he's cleared to compete in 2007.

"I could just give up on everything and go home but that's not me," said Landis, seated at a table and munching on peppermint candy inside the Saris headquarters off Verona Road on Madison's southwest side.

Part of the problem, Landis maintains, is that he never knew exactly what he was accused of. Within days of becoming the third American to win cycling's premier event, news leaked out that a urine sample taken after his decisive ride in the Alps had shown high levels of the male sex hormone testosterone.

Landis said he has been tested 30 times or more during his career and had never produced a positive result. He still doesn't have a explanation for the positive following his Stage 17 victory in the Tour other than faulty testing, dehydration, medicine used to treat his hip or a contaminated sample.

Those test results were not shared with Landis or his lawyers until late August. The rider's own doctors have since gone over the results and have prepared a scientific defense they are convinced will clear the 30-year old Pennsylvania native.

The defense, which was posted Oct. 12 at www.FloydLandis.com, details lab results. It shows that Landis did not have high levels of testosterone in his system; rather, he had low levels of epitestosterone, leading to a high testosterone/epitestosterone ratio. That distinction is quite an important one, he contends.

"This isn't as simple a matter as it's been made out to be," Landis said.

In either case, Landis is still facing sanctions that could both strip him of the Tour de France title and ban him from racing. A decision from the World Anti-Doping Agency and the United States Anti-Doping Agency could come as soon as January.

The case has not only cost Landis a $1 million contract to ride next year for Phonak, the Swiss team that fired him shortly after the test results were released, it is also proving expensive in its own right.

"We're trying to set up some sort of defense fund for Floyd," said Saris' Fortune. "You're really fighting a Goliath on this thing."

While Landis was candid Friday in discussing his legal problems, he also made sure to offer his support for bicycling and bike transportation. After all, that was the official reason for his visit to Madison.

Landis said he was well aware of recent budget cuts in Wisconsin that have put on hold completion of the Badger Trail between Madison and the Illinois border, along with other bike projects around the state.

"I know how big cycling is here," he said. "You've also got a lot of bike companies here (Saris, Trek, Pacific, Planet Bike) which is why I was so surprised they could pull this off."

The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin used the Landis appearance, which was open to the public for a $25 donation, to beef up its lobbying efforts. Fortune, who also serves as chairman of the Governor's Bicycle Coordinating Council, said he's personally committed to making sure that bicycling gets its fair share of state transportation dollars.

"We need to do something to raise the visibility on this issue," he said. "The road builders are pirating funds that should be going to bicycling."

The Saris Cycling Group grew out of the old Graber Industries. The firm was purchased in 1989 by Fortune and has expanded through acquisitions and product development. It now has over 110 full-time employees and sales approaching $25 million. It makes a variety of bike products and accessories, competing with names like Polar, Minoura and Blackburn.

The Saris relationship with Landis goes back three years to when he was riding with Lance Armstrong for the U.S. Postal team. Landis began using a Saris-made "PowerTap" hub, which accurately measures the amount of energy a rider is delivering to the wheels. When Landis changed teams, his sponsor came with him.

So what's in the future for Landis if cycling's governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale, keeps him from racing again?

"I'm going to do everything I can to bring the down the UCI," said Landis with his usual candor.
OTT: Frog Holler, Adams Hotel Road

Friday, October 20, 2006

Thursday, October 19, 2006


A big F-U to fixies, or at least to fixie frauds. Poached from How to Avoid the Bummer Life:

Firing off at fixed-gears

Those fashionable fixies, now on film RANT/FILM. I'm all for the current bicycle renaissance in San Francisco. As the Indian summer heats up, you'll notice the bike lanes will be nose to tail with bikers — like a line of baby elephants. This is a good thing. Maybe the notoriously free-form, Tijuana driving style of SF residents will ease up a notch and they'll return to mowing down pedestrians exclusively. There's safety in numbers. Of course, every revolution has its drawbacks. There's always going to be that crew that wants to convince the world they're that much more revolutionary, devoted, and pure than everyone else. And as the rubber hits the roads in San Francisco, a clan of tight-trousered, mullet-headed, vintage-T-shirt-clad Robespierres has coalesced around the fixed-gear bicycle, or as it's called in its proponents' cutesy parlance, the "fixie."

What's a fixed-gear? Imagine yourself cruising down the street on your bike. You get tired and so you stop pedaling and coast. The freewheel mechanism in your hub disengages the drive train and lets the back wheel continue to spin while the cranks and pedals are still. On a fixed-gear the rear cog is bolted directly to the hub. There is no freewheel or cassette mechanism, so if the hub is moving, the cog is moving. Which means if the chain is moving, the pedals are moving, and if the bike is moving, you're pedaling. There is no coasting.

Sounds like a pain in the ass. If you're like me, the first question that comes to mind is "why?" Well, the modern SF two-wheeled steel, aluminum, and rubber hipster fashion accessory has its roots in racing, like other wheeled vehicles that don't really translate to street usage. They were — and still are — used on banked, velodrome-style tracks during races that employ all manner of strategies, including slowing down to a stop or near stop and doing a "track stand" — balancing at a standstill without putting your feet down — so your opponent can pass you and you can ride in the draft.

Since you're not likely to be drafting anyone on city streets, a track bike is a highly impractical choice of wheels. What’s more impractical is that fixed-gears often appear to lack brakes. The bike's speed is controlled by the rider's pedaling cadence — slow the pedaling, you slow the bike. Stop pedaling, stop the bike. This effect can be augmented by adding a front caliper brake, but that's frowned upon by fixie fashionistas who do things like cut their handlebars down to a foot and don't run bar tape or grips. The problem with using pedal cadence as a braking mechanism is that stopping is dependent on rider skill.

Now there's the rub. Like trucker hats and PBR, what started as a bike messenger thing has become a fashion statement and status symbol. You've got kids in the Mission with the left leg of their jeans rolled up, a little biker hat on crooked, slip-on Vans, and a brand-new fixed-gear Bianchi; and they don't know their ass from a light socket. Cadence? You may as well be talking astrophysics. They just know that it looks cool. It looks less cool, however, when one of these lemmings comes screaming down the Haight Street hill unable to keep up with the speed of the pedals and wrecks in the middle of Divisadero. A friend was riding down Stanyan with a box in his hand when some goon on a fixed-gear, unable to slow down, ran into his back wheel and crashed him in the middle of the street. He didn't even stop to see if my friend was OK.

So what was the original draw that caused the person I'll call "Biker Zero" — to crib epidemiological lingo — to ride a track bike on the street? The people I know who ride them talk about being at one with the bike, feeling part of it, in the bike instead of on the bike. I'll go with that. But this human-bike-cyborg crap has reached the level of "I like the East Coast because I like to see the seasons change" tripe. Respect to the old-school heads who've been riding them since way back, but as someone who's done way gnarlier things on wheels, it's just not all that impressive. The Bicycle Film Festival had scheduled a screening of M.A.S.H., an unfinished fixed-gear documentary by Mike Martin and Gabe Morford, until it got pulled at the last minute. It was shot here in San Francisco and showcased the "skills and beauty of these riders." Beauty, no doubt — as in perfect hair. So you can ride down a hill and lift up your back wheel and do little skids to slow down. So what?

Riding a fixed-gear is like handicapping yourself. The bikes are so awkward to ride that not looking like an idiot while riding one is an accomplishment. It's like riding a three-legged horse in the Kentucky Derby. To do that well, you'd have to be an excellent jockey. At the same time, why not be in it to win it and ride a horse with four legs? To me, it takes the choices — and therefore some creativity — out of riding. I don't ride a fixed-gear for the same reason I won't drive an automatic: no car is telling me when to shift, and no bike is going to tell me when I can pedal. If you've got bike skills, why not take them to a higher level? Go home and search for "Steven Hamilton" or "World Cup Downhill" on YouTube and see what can really be done on a bike that has the capabilities to be pushed. (There is a whole European tradition of flatland tricks on fixed-gears that takes serious skills, but it doesn't seem to be a part of the current SF scenester fixie explosion.)

Not everyone is riding a bike to push limits. Still, the fixie cabal sticks in my craw, and it's not because I'm unimpressed with the virtuosity. It's not the misuse of a track-racing bike on city streets that bugs me. BMX bikes came about through the misuse of Schwinn Stingrays in dirt lots, and mountain bikes were the result of chopped-up road bikes on dirt. Misuse can mean progress. What kills me is the sinking feeling I get when I ride down Valencia and think, "Does anyone in this town ever do anything original?"

Now there's even fixed-gear graffiti, Krylon line art of single-speed bikes with bullhorn handlebars, and the dubious slogan of "gears are for queers." The fact of the matter is, the popularity of these bikes has nothing to do with the bikes themselves or the few people who actually have the chops to ride them with style. The fixed-gear is to 2006 what the Razor scooter was to 1996: a wheeled freak show for wannabes. Test it: send the right guy with the right clothes and the right haircut out around town on one of those old-timey bikes with the enormous front wheel with the cranks mounted directly to it like a tricycle. You know, the ones you need a ladder to get on and off of. Just see how many giant-wheeled ladder bikes are locked up in front of Ritual Coffee Roasters next week.

Do what makes you happy, but also do some soul-searching, champ: does riding a fixed-gear make you happy or does fitting in make you happy? Ask yourself, what bike was I riding last year? Was I riding one at all?

God will . . .

Darryl and Jonny G were talking on Tuesday about an upcoming show with Paul Bergman. Just in case the discussion about which songs should be on the setlist is still open, let me suggest this one.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

music and silliness

sorry to miss the meeting last night, sure a good time was had by all and a pint or two of FGD was had

attended the greg keelor / sadies event at the pyramid last night. fun show - much like an uber(sp?) garage band event. left the venue at 1:30 with ears ringing and legs aching(stood at the stage for 3 hours - too old for that shit, but had a blast).

now for something completely different (lifted from the how to avoid a bummer life blog)
music and silliness
just plain sillines, but guarenteed to kill time or distract you from your work (look for the download)


Monday, October 16, 2006

The lone ranger...

A fine course was laid out for the Fraser Meadow cross race yesterday. It involved a nice bit of BMX track, some very bumpy straight away sections through a stubble field (keeping company with a farmer who was baling hay), and some deep ditches to carry your bike through. I was hopeful that I was not going to be the only FGBC member in the group, especially when I was passed by Juan in his car (with bike on top) - on my way over to the park. No such luck...but they were a friendly bunch who waited at the park, and a good time was had (complete with tea and cookies after the race).

Here are the results...

Marc 58:32
Kevin 59:32
Dallas 60:05
Gary 60:54
Ian 62:49
Allan 63:53
Lee Ann (-2) 60:10
Johnny (-2) 63:57 - I was a dominant force in the 200+ lb class, complete with accompanied wheezing.

Note to self: next time, don't ride to the race (everyone else chauffered their bikes) - plus the ride home felt like eternity. Wish I would have had a jersy to show off...oh well - looking forward to getting it tomorrow night.

Letter from New York

Not really bike club related, but noteworthy nonetheless. The end of an era in NYC: CBGB is no more. See the story in the NYT.

crossing saskatoon

more fun then would could imagine, coupled with pain and some great companions - what a blast.

friday - started with a horrific battle with traffic in downtown winnipeg, after picking up brian s on home street i tried to make it downtown to pick up jon and cam from mec. problem was there was the fear of death from above because some window installers could not secure the windows they were putting in on highrise downtown. traffic was a mess so we had jon and cam hoof it the van which we had parked because we weren't going anywere fast anytime soon. finally we were on the road and just outside of brandon we see a vw golf tdi on the side of the road with four bikes on the roof - the gang had pulled off the road to resecure their bikes because of the previous incidnet with paddy's bike and the hihg head winds we were bucking. arrived in saskabush at 1:00 am sask time and promptly crashed.

saturday - up bright and early for the race. after a proper breakfast of coffee, fruit loops and a bagel it was off to the race with rancid's out come the wolves on the deck for our warm up music. a quick pre-ride of the course indicated that 40X16 was going to kill me - a lot of climbing and thick grass to deal with. after a quick change to a 36X16 set up i get to the line 1 minute before the start of the race (this works almost as well as riding hotlaps for getting your heart rate up before the race). race went well and the course was a blast which included getting air of a retaining wall and what felt like a near vertical wall climb up an embankment. after the race it was lunch, a ride out to the sunday race site to check the terrain for the next race, a trip to beer store (scored some st ambroise oatmeal stout, which you can not get in winnipeg, but grew to love when i lived in montreal - sweet), pizza while watching the movie speed in room with the gang, and bowling. the team of cam, dave, jon benson, and myself victorious over paddy, brian, tomek, and namoi.

sunday - different course, much faster with some great muddy sections. the wind was up so i was a little scared of putting the 40 ring back on so i stayed with the 36 - mistake. the 36 saved me some pain on the windy sections and some of the softer parts of the course but cost me a ton when it came to fast flats when guys would pull away. live and learn. a qucik shower at the fitness centre (located at the race course) and we were back on the road lisening to southern culture on the skids, johnny cash, bad religon, and elvis amongst other selctions. of note, the only singlespeed racers at both races were manitobans - yeah we got kicked by some of the local hot young guns but we held our own as well.

lessons learned - if you want to do well stand up and attack every up hill and false flat; know who is behind you and sprint sprint sprint to the finish (on saturday's race i caught and passed one rider about 3/4's of the way through the race, he dropped back a bit and i thought he was done. on the sprint to the line i was trying to real in one more rider and realized that i was going to fall short so i let off a little just to have guy i thought i had dropped beat me by half a wheel at the line as he mad a super charge to the line - that sucks).

race results will hopefully be up sometime soon.

the jerseys look sweet - wish i had it for the races. too bad about the hats (would have settled for singiespeed or stinkyspeed, but not singlcspeed) hope they come soon.

cool cx video from youtube (use speakers if you have them).

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Letter from Toronto

Spent the weekend sitting inside a boardroom at the U of T when all I could think about is how fun it would be to do an alleycat in downtown Toronto. Teeming with fixies, that city is. I did manage to get to the Urbane Cyclist, a courier and commuter oriented worker co-op right around the corner from Much Music. Definitely worth a visit if you're ever in the neighborhood. That, along with visits to Atticus Books, The Bob Miller Book Room, and Crux Books made for some good times in between meetings. But these guys could sure use some help with their websites?

Also stumbled on a scene I had not previously witnessed: trials unicycling. About 10 guys hopping around and doing assorted tricks on the stairs and flower beds at Sidney Smith Hall, across the street from Knox College, where I was staying. Very impressive.

Looks like I missed the event of the year on Friday night. Too bad we didn't order an extra jersey for Wayne, or at least loan him one for the press release photo. I've already had a few people asking where they can get one. But I suppose now that we have the artwork on file, more can be done if there is sufficient demand. And a ray of darkness casts its glow on the mean streets of Winnipeg.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

SpringRide 2006 Movie Trailer exclusive

Well, to whet your appetites for a smashing new documentary movie release in November, a trailer has been leaked... After seeing this, you will lose sleep waiting for November. As it sweeps the internet, the producer is apparently hard at work... for, what could be a more gripping than an epic story about.... friends.
The leaked trailer

jersey unveiling at fgbc

In a remarkable turn of fate, the new fg bike club jerseys were unveiled in the fg brewing company loading area friday night. Pictured with Wayne, of the fgbc, a few Living Legends sport their new jerseys proudly.

Those who have ordered, I'll be needing $42 upfront, and then the jersey is yours.

Here, the Duke tests the back pockets.

Bad news on the Velo Artisan Bread hat front... another typo. Hal now has forty hats that say "Singlcspeed"... not nearly as catchy as "Singiespeed" or "Stinkyspeed"... Champ-sys has acknowledged the error, and is printing up another 40, ASAP.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

missing in action

dr. h. where are you?

huge floyd day and no floyd updates. nytimes had a story about floyd making the case for his innocence via his website. i fully expected to see the imporant portions of his defence summerized by dr. h.

what's up?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

another cx throwdown

A note from Marc Fournier (Hummelt Hockey super sub):
After all the fun of Menno-Cross, I thought I would return the favour by hosting the Charleswood Cyclo-cross; an un-sanctioned and un-affiliated cyclo-cross event this Sunday, October 15th at 2 pm. The start is located at the Fraser Meadow parking lot at the end of Municipal Road off Roblin Blvd. 30 minutes for little kids, 60 minutes for big kids. There will be tea and cookies afterwards. Your $5 donation is appreciated.
Looks like we have ourselves a scene. This is an opportunity for those who couldn't rearrange their Thanksgiving plans last weekend to come out and experience the pleasure of pain.

OTT: Kathleen Edwards, National Steel

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

menno-cross: a photojournal

Photos courtesy of Laura Braun.

Was there actually blue sky? I don't remember the weather feeling as good as this picture makes it look.

LeMans start. Hey, that's my bike! No pushups, thank God.

The early leaders. The late leaders too, for that matter. Ladies and Gentlemen, here is the podium, in order of finish.

This is how you do it, Kevin.

The catch.

Ride. Hurt. Smile. I said smile.

Nice FGD gut.

OTT: Digable Planets, 9th Wonder (Blackitolism)

Monday, October 09, 2006

la vita buona

Stumbled on this magazine at De Luca's the other day. Just about sums up everything that's good about life. Kind of appropriate for Thanksgiving too, it seems.

Didn't get out on the bike today, but we went for a hike in the Pembina Valley Provincial Park. Which gave me an idea for a ride I can't wait to try next year. Starting at the lake in Morden and doing the standard Trans Canada ride. But then carrying on from there on Hwy 201 to the PVP park. From the TC trail, it's about 10-15 km of undulating gravel before plunging into the Pembina Valley and climbing (climbing!) back up before reaching the park gate. There's probably about 10 kms of trail in the park, and it's all up and down. By the time we ride back to Morden, I'm guessing we'll have done somewhere in the range of 100-120 km. Who's in? This would make a nice enduro race too.

Things are heating up in the Floyd camp. He's started contributing to the online forum at Daily Peloton. Promises to post 300+ pages of documents on his website later this week. USA Today has also picked up on the story, providing a brief hint of the defense plan. But it's not only doping and legal stuff from Floyd at the forum. He's also shooting his mouth off about all kinds of things, just like the good old days. My favourite is this comment on Tom Boonen complaining that the TdF stages are too long: "Tom Boonen is not a stage racer. I don't go to the Tour of Flanders and complain about needing a new diaper. It is incredible how so many complainers can exist in such a difficult sport but that's the way it is. I think that they should shorten the Long Jump." Full coverage of this and (way, way) more at trustbutverify.

Got a package from the Duke via Johnny S this weekend. Let's just say it looks like he's been working hard. You will not be disappointed. I'll bring it to the gathering on Tuesday so someone who knows more about computers than I do can get it up on the website.

OTT: Sex Pistols, I'm a Lazy Sod.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Menno-cross results

Menno-cross has come and gone. All that hype and it's over in about an hour. Then again, the wind, loose stones, and uncut grass more than made up for the relative briefness of it all. Good work boys and girls--even if FGBC participation was a little on the weak side. Good fan support too. Check out the Olympia site for more. Maybe some pics coming, they say. All in all, lots of fun. Kind of makes me want to run out and get a race license for the last few cx races of the season. But then again, since I've made it this far, it only makes sense to stick with the sabbatical year right through to the end.

Paddy - 55.05
Tomek - 55.26
Jonny B - 56.35
Chris - 57.54
Cam - 59.20
Adrian - 1.00.47
Hal - 1.01.25
Marc - 56.20 (-1 lap)
Dave L - 56.22 (-1 lap)
Gary - 57.33 (-1 lap)
Ian - 1.00.31 (-1 lap)
Juan Eppstein - 1.00.42 (-1 lap)
Blake - 57.30 (-2 laps)
Vic - 58.23 (-2 laps)
Johnny S - 59.49 (-2 laps)
Shona - 1.01.05 (-2 laps)
LeAnn - 58.05 (-3 laps)
Elizabeth - 54.30 (-4 laps)

Future generation FGBC'ers Alex and Nick raced 2 laps. Not sure who took it, but apparently it was close.

baby steps

But a step in the right direction nonetheless. In case you missed the article in yesterday's paper. Almost makes Winnipeg look like Toronto.

Parking meters become bike racks

The installation of 300 solar-powered parking pay stations (in background) is making street bike racks possible. THE city has begun transforming dozens of rusty old parking meters into new bike racks all over downtown. Crews from the parking authority are already popping the heads off the old meters around the University of Winnipeg, down Portage Avenue and along Broadway so they can install bike rings around the leftover poles.

It's part of a plan to salvage some of the 2,500 obsolete parking meters now that the city is replacing them with 300 solar-powered pay stations. About 100 bike rings should be installed over the next few months, and the Exchange District BIZ is overseeing the installation of 50 more in the historic warehouse district. Those will be concentrated around Red River College and near the shops and cafés around Albert and Arthur streets.

"It's now going to be a novel way to encourage people to use an alternative mode of transportation," said Brian Timmerman of the Exchange District BIZ. Already there are a few bike rings in place in front of the Public Safety Building, but it may be spring before they reach a critical mass in the Exchange. Dave Hill, head of the new parking authority, said old meters that aren't turned into bike rings will be removed to make snow-clearing easier.

More bike rings can be added at any time, he said.

The new solar-power pay stations are part of a major overhaul of the city's parking facilities. They accept credit cards and all kinds of cash and allow for about 10 per cent more curbside parking.

OTT: Townes Van Zandt, Heavenly Houseboat Blues. Neither Asia nor Europe.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

the final countdown

We're leaving together
But still it's farewell
And maybe we'll come back
To earth, who can tell
I guess there is no one to blame
We're leaving ground (leaving ground)
Will things ever be the same again
It's the final countdown...
The final countdown
Ooh oh

We're heading for Venus (Venus)
And still we stand tall
Cause maybe they've seen us
And welcome us all (yeah)
With so many light years to go
And things to be found (to be found)
I'm sure that we'll all miss her so
It's the final countdown...
The final countdown
The final countdown (the final countdown)
Ooh ooh oh

The final countdown
Ooh oh
I'ts the final countdown
The final countdown
The final countdown (the final countdown)
It's the final countdown
We are leaving together
The final countdown

Menno-cross. Only hours away.

OTT: Gillian Welch, Long Black Veil. Definitely not Asia.

Friday, October 06, 2006


The course has been scouted and planned out. Just under 2 kms of sick masochistic pleasure per lap. I even got a key to the playground for the kids. Menno-cross is going to rock. Hard. Maybe even harder than Pete Townsend did on Tuesday night. Definitely worth driving in from Altona for. And worth changing around your Thanksgiving weekend plans if need be too.

Be there! Sunday, 2pm @ CMU. Bring $5.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Floyd's back on the bike, just a week after receiving a new hip. And he's back on the airwaves too. Check out his appearance on the CBS Early Morning show earlier today (don't miss the video). Known for his hard-nosed determination and his never-say-die attitude, he's sounding as tenacious as ever: "Now I'm even more motivated to prove to them that I didn't (use performance enhancing drugs), first of all, and after that, to go and win the race so I can have a proper celebration," Landis said. "And I think when everyone gets to see that I was innocent and am innocent, that they'll want to celebrate with me."

Might do some scouting for menno-cross later this afternoon. Change your Thanksgiving weekend plans if you have to. You wouldn't want to miss the event of the season.

OTT: Gillian Welch, Revelator. Can't get enough of her, not to mention David Rawlings' idiosyncratic guitar and harmonies.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


interbike has come and gone, here are some pictures from the fixedgeargallery

day 3 - check out the grumpton bike, it weighs in at 7lbs 6oz - complete

loose the turkey, one way or the other...

menno-cross: the poster

This is what an announcement can look like if you actually have some artistic sensibilities. Thanks Tomek.

menno cross

sunday oct. 8, 2pm

cmu, north campus

This is an unsanctioned race, so the the excuse I've been using all year--I don't have a race license--doesn't count. Come out and see what all the fuss is about.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


more cross stuff.

good pictures on the mca site and the birch site (are they still alive???).

cx/lab4 or whatever number it is: paddy, naomi, and alberto. relived woodhaven race minus the mud bog - good times.

forgot to mention this little tale from the A race: johnny benson from team johnny flatted within the first ten minutes of the race - fininshed the race by running with his bike for the next forty+ minutes. way to go johnny.

sightings - vic on his new singie speed on the way home from work - sweet.

Monday, October 02, 2006

pilgrimage report

well, Farmersville, PA was discovered... I was anticipating difficulty because it doesn't exist on any maps... but I should have known... I mentioned the hoped for pilgrimage to one of the MCC East Coast staff hosting us, and he says, "oh, that's easy, I know the Landis family... I used to go to the same church... in fact, I think I taught Floyd in Sunday School". Out comes the map, and away we go... the road painting is at the Portage and Main of Farmersville. The white house is, of course, the Landis home.

Next stop, Green Mountain Cyclery, which is where it got more fun... Mike, the owner is still buds with Floyd... had spoken on the phone with him the day before... and loves talking about Floyd. The honourary captain is doing well, it seems... in fact, Mike is more worried about the wife and child because Floyd doesn't take well to not moving much... Turns out Mike is also extremely confident in Floyd's innocence... he was at the Landis home when Floyd got the B test results, and that clinched it. Floyd's biggest concern is that they're going to drag this thing out as far as they can, especially since he's asking for a public hearing... he's hoping for the hearing in early 2007...

Mike greets the FGBC and insisted that the next time I come, I have to bring a bike because he thinks they have some of the best flowing and technical single-track around. Right, next time.

the few, the pround, the strong

Low key, gentle ride tonight. Just me, Vic, and Johnny N. Swung by Olympia to check out the renovations. Looks like a lot of work. Proceeded from there through downtown and eventually to Lyndale Dr. for some FGD by the river. Also previewed a potential race course that would feature the ramps of the Polo Park parking deck. Stay tuned on that one.

More tomorrow: cx lab # 4 leaves from Starbucks @ 6 pm. The late show takes place at the F&H. Hummelt Hockey players should be sometime after 11pm.

From the Floyd file: check out the first post-surgery interview with our honorary captain.

OTT: Neil Young, Ohio.


From the "cheaters are always one step ahead of the testers" dept.:
Urine samples being tested for EPO are supposed to show a certain amount of EPO, which is naturally produced in the body. But what if the sample shows absolutely none? This is happening more and more frequently, according to the Neue Züricher Zeitung, and allegedly some cyclists are using some sort of powder to affect their urine tests. The paper reports that Swiss TV SF1 has identified this powder as protease, an enzyme in laundry detergent which usually works as a stain remover. And a familiar big name is mentioned in association with the new problem - Jan Ullrich.

The theory goes this way: The athlete puts a little of the powder in the pockets of his pants. Before urinating, he puts his fingers into it, and urinates over his fingers at the control, so that the enzyme is mixed with his urine in the container. This little amount is sufficient to destroy the protein, and therefore the EPO, in the urine. "Protease is simply easy to use, cheap and available without prescription - and thus an almost perfect aid for the deceptive athlete," says the NZZ.

The process doesn't seem to have become too popular yet. Marial Saugy, director of the Lausanne doping laboratory, said that "less than 10 percent of the samples" showed a zero EPO value. This did not necessarily mean that protease was being used, but the lab is currently testing the enzyme. "We should have legally acceptable evidence within a few months," he said.

Matthias Kamber, head of the antidoping department of the Swiss federal agency for sport, was reportedly the first to identify the problem. He noticed that over the last few months, more than a dozen doping samples containing no EPO at all were delivered. He listed the cases and noticed that some of them matched certain athletes. "That led us to suspect manipulation," he said. After conferring with other experts, he came to the conclusion that protease was involved and turned the matter over the Lausanne lab in spring 2006.

According to SF1, one of the doping samples without EPO belonged to Jan Ullrich and was taken in South Africa in December 2005. The NZZ reported that there were at least two other similar samples form Ullrich according to its sources, and that a link to the evidence uncovered in Operation Puerto was possible: Certain documents uncovered by the Spanish Guardia Civil relating to Ullrich repeatedly used the word "polvos" - powder.
Looks like Jan is in big trouble. Then again, lots of the big names implicated in Operacion Puerto are being cleared. Today it was Floyd's teammate, Santiago Botero, and word is that Basso will be the next to walk.

ride tonight

Hummelt hockey starts tomorrow, which means the late night festivities at the F&H shift to Tuesdays from here on out. A little later than last year, as hockey ends at 10:45 this year. Unger and the secretary are tentatively slated in for a report on The Who show.

That doesn't necessarily mean we can't still ride on Mondays. Anybody interested in a ride tonight, say 9-ish? Leaving from my place at 9pm.

There's also some talk about a ride shaping up for this weekend. Ingolf and Tinker Creek have both been mentioned as possibilities. Not sure on dates and times yet, but stay tuned for further details.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


fun, fun, fun - but i'm still hurting. mountain bike races are great, but i don't hurt like this after one of those. don't get me wrong, its one of those good types of pain, but i'm whipped.

one of the best parts of the moring was making the mud bog, after all it's not a race unless there's some mud. here is a picture of cam going through said bog.

of course paddy flatted yet agian. i don't know what is worse lindsey popping out his shoulder everytime he races or paddy and his deflated tire issues. sheesh.

quote of the day: alberto to kevin b. "you need to work on your dismounts and mounts, i was always catching you at the barriers" kevin to alberto "you had a great vantage point to see that" (kevin kicked my a** - i had it coming).