Wednesday, November 29, 2006

gratuitous reflection dept.

Much of the violence that infects our world is due, I suspect, to the fact that we have lost the capacity to interact meaningfully with the dead, even as we are tantalizingly enthralled with death. Hollywood reflects this tension in some obvious ways. Capitalism cultivates, among other things, a perpetual present, a life shorn of the capacity to remember meaningfully. Nostalgic sentimentality is not memory. But Robert Pogue Harrison, in a fascinating book I just finished reading, presents an alternative vision that identifies resources for resistance/hope:

“The dead depend on the living to preserve their authority, heed their concerns, and keep them going in their afterlives. In return, they help us to know ourselves, give form to our lives, organize our social relations, and restrain our destructive impulses. They provide us with the counsel needed to maintain the institutional order, of which they remain the authors, and prevent it from degenerating into a bestial barbarism. The dead are our guardians. We give them a future so that they may give us a past. We help them live on so that they may help us go forward.” (Robert Pogue Harrison, The Dominion of the Dead, 158)

OTT: Joanna Newsom, Monkey & Bear

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

what, me worry?

The autumn wind that is making its way through town today is apparently blowing down to Moab too. This courtesy of the live webcam link Charlene passed on. Though not an officially sanctioned FGBC event, some of us are heading there over the holidays to scout it out for a future spring ride. At least we should be used to riding in snow by then.

OTT: Miles Davis, Bye Bye Blackbird

Autumn Wind reminder

Bike klub meeting at Jonny's tonight. Any time after 10:30. Film showing shortly after 11:00.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

cx in the nyt

First fixed gears, now cx. Seems another bandwagon is open for boarding. When you show up in the New York Times, you're no longer a forsaken little dirty girl, but captured firmly within the gaze of the mainstream. This is not all bad. The more the merrier.
“Every race, you want to vomit, you want to quit, your bike’s not working, and then you come up a run-up and everyone’s cheering and you get pepped up. As soon as you’re done, you can’t wait for the next race. It’s kind of like a cruel drug — addictive.”
And it's beautiful too, in a perverse sort of way. When does nordic-cross begin?

OTT: Townes, To Live's to Fly

Friday, November 24, 2006

Floyd and the dude

Yet another reason why Floyd is our honorary captain:

As an aside, before Floyd and I sit down to write his book, I definitely need to watch The Big Lebowski a few times. Landis, who has a particularly keen sense of humor, can riff on that movie like no one's business. (from Martin Dugard)

If that's not the best movie ever, it's very, very close. But I reserve judgment until I've seen the Autumn Wind.

OTT: Sam Roberts, The Gate

sanctoral cycle

Word is getting out. Also here. This could pose a problem since we are running out of room for all the bikes and stuff that has been donated. But there could be worse problems, I suppose.

OTT: Neil Young, Love in Mind

friday fun file

so, i bet you this is exactly what happens when the doors at olympia close at 9:00.

hmmm, do you think she would win a fgbc wheelie contest

shamelessly stolen form fearless gearless

Thursday, November 23, 2006

memo from the poosher

movie night - bond at silvercity

talked to paddy yesterday and it looks like it is still a go. meet at olympia prior to closing, but it would be a good idea to call first.

sadly, i will not be able to make it. have fun.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Autumn Wind - blowing near you

Well, I have seen it, heard it, felt it... yes, The Autumn Wind...

Two showings coming up:
1. At the next Altona Scotch Society meeting in Altona, Saturday, November 25, at the president of said society's home, 8:00pm. (Special arrangements have been made for any FGBC'ers who want to show up.) The film's creator will be there... might even sign a few autographs... maybe not... you know how film people can be.
2. Jonny G's the following Tuesday, November 28. Don't arrive sooner than 10:30pm, movie showing at 11:00ish with the arrival of the hockey crew. Bring your own libation. It should go without saying, but, just in case, I'll say it anyway: No meeting at the clubhouse!

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll whither under the force of the mighty (springish) Autumn Wind.

minutes from last night's meeting

well, not really, because i really do not remember too much.

i arrived at 9:45, thinking that the olympia boys would be there having discussed their attending after sunday's grude cross. 10:10 the olympia boys (paddy, tomek, and dave l) walk in, saying they were waiting for me at the shop (hmmmm, seems like i said i would show up at the shop didn't i...). neuf, jonny g, dave,juan, the president, darryl, vic, mr. b, and james eventually all show up as do several pitchers of fg dark. it is shortly after this that things became murky and the conversation became multi-layered, much like being in an altman film. things i do recall: rehashing the grude; dumping on dr h, or as he was also alled that night "mr. dr."; something about the church of cross (this may have started the whole dump on dr. h thing), team cross, ethical and non-ethical cross, and other cross stuff; movie night this thursday - meet at olympia and go to see the late showing of the latest bond flick at silver city; and a bunch of other stuff that i can not remember. before you know it its 12:45 and were on our bikes going over the bridge with tom doing skids blocking the sidewalk and dave l and i trying to avoid crashing into him. i've said this before, i'm too old for this for this shit - yet, strangely attracted to it.


Monday, November 20, 2006

grudge cross roundup

a sweet race. 15 riders showed up and braved tom's sick course on a mighty fine sunday afternoon. the course was one of the most technical cross courses of the year with more slick mud than one could hope for. everyone had a great time except for one elderly gent who seemed a little miffed that we dragged a fair amount of mud onto the pathways. personal highlights included a race-long battle with tomek that saw plently of pushing, grabbing, and one mock-fight where both of us threw down the bikes and squared-off for a round in true grudge cross fashion.

the following pcitures are courtesy of neuf.

pre-race discussion and strategy planning

jonny g descending (charlene and erin at the top of the hill cheering)

tomek through the woods

up the bank

dave makes it to the top

paddy about to cross the creek (i saw him make it at least once)

jon and dave post race

daniel, paddy and marc finished top three. leanne benson won the thirteen minute premmie(sp?) and jonny g won the cash - beers on jonny!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Flying Scotsman

Sounds like the new movie on Graeme Obree, holder of the hour record, will be released in North America. Might have to arrange a field trip.

Off to DC until Tuesday. Hope Grudge Cross is a hoot.

OTT: The High Dials, The Holy Ground


nice video of the "b" race from the mn state cx championship.

thanks ian.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


paddy's new blog

I think this is it.


paddy's blog

paddy says he has a new blog. hmmm... i think this may be it

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

letter from New York

The same city that spawned the militantly anti-capitalism mutant bikers includes a whack of mid-life crisis sufferers that must make a shop owner simultaneously crazy and giddy. Can't have one without the other, I suspect. Capitalism at its finest. The American dream. Full story in the NYT.

"The Autumn Wind"

So, I've received communications from the creator of this as yet unseen, timeless classic. The Duke wants to know about a date for a showing, or how we want to go about this...

A clip from the promotional material:
Whether you experienced the weekend for yourself or are simply a curious onlooker, The Autumn Wind will speak to you like no other FGBC film has before!!
Let it be on the agenda for this evening.

grudge cross

Don't know about the rest of you, but I'm filled with grudges, hatred, and all manner of generally misanthropic sensibilities--including, now, a grudge against the genius who planned this for a weekend when I'm out of town. I guess I'll have to save it for the winter race series--1-2 races per month starting as soon as the snow is here to stay. Hope some other FGBCers can make a respectable showing this weekend.

Also, FGBC intelligence has been intercepting chatter about a possible race along the Ass. river from the Forks to Beaudry park and back. Stay tuned.

OTT: Ridley Bent, Pastures of Heaven

Monday, November 13, 2006


Not sure who should get credit for these, but they came from here. Lots more available.

Mistakes were made, but at least none of us hit the creek bed like this dude.

Full results available here.

OTT: Bob Dylan, Just Like a Woman

psychoanalyze this!

Fans of the rhizome (now that I know you're out there) may want to look for a new book containing the correspendence between Deleuze and Guattari I just read about in the latest TLS. A few brief excerpts:
The great discovery of psychoanalysis was that of the production of desire, of the production of the unconscious. But when Oedipus entered the picture, this discovery was soon buried beneath a new brand of idealism: a classical theatre was substituted for the unconsious as a factory.
Schizoanalysis tends to make the neurotic break his moorings and, as far as I'm concerned, get him reconnected beyond the perverse familiar, sometimes with a brutality you can't imagine . . . . Schizoanalysis must be violent, brutal: defamiliarising, de-oedipalising, decastrating: undoing theatre, dream, and fantasy.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

hurl and hal

Didn't do so well on the photojournalism front this weekend. Too busy trying not to blow up chunks of biscuits, gravy, and sausage. Turns out that may have been a mistake, as far as pre-race meals go, but so much tastier than mueslix and yogurt. In any case, I did manage to get this photo of Hurl proudly wearing his new velo artisan bread hat. Sweet.

OTT: Sloan, Who Loves Life More?

alberto's account of crossing minnyapples

it was a lovely event to end a lovely season of cross (except of course, for grudge cross - the penultimate event for the truely cross starved soul).

friday started early, very early, as chris and i both wanted to hit the twin cities with enough time to visit a few of its best bike shops and hangouts. by 7:00 we were at the border, and because of the non-threatening nature of a theology/ethics professor and medical rehabilitation librarian we were quickly on our way. 1:00 found us in the heart of minneapolis at matt's bar for a jucy lucy, fries and pitcher of grain belt. satiated, we quickly made our way to the crc coffee bar for a cup of joe and a quick hello with hurl, international legend of the singlespeed world (seems like one of our own, ian hall, has bit of a rep as hurl inquired if we knew ian). jittery on hurl's fine joe (please check out this site - a very cool company that delivers their product via bike around the twin cities), we headed off to one on one bicycle studio to see if i could resist the temptations of walking out with out having purchased a new bike as i was unable to resist this temptation last year; it was a close call because this one caught my eye immediately. after a few words with gene, the shop owner, chris and i made off with our purchases (a for chris, and a larger more functional courier bag and sock for me)it was off to the next bike shop, the hub, a worker owned and operated bike shop. having seen enough bike shops we hit the rei to kill some more time until my friends mark and nancy came home, friends of mine who were kind enough to put us up for the night.

saturday arrived cold and clear (we were lucky because a storm passed south of the us, dumping up to 30 cm of snow in some areas), and we started the day with a hearty and foolish breakfast at the sunnyside up cafe where i had huevos rancheros and chris started his day with biscuts and gravy - in hindsight, not the wisest of decisions. from there it was off to the race. once we got to the race site we quickly registered (chris had to talk his way into the b race as they were only going to let him race c because he did not have a license), met up with cam, got our bikes put together, and scouted the course. it was a little bit of a different set up this year with a double switch back at the bottom of the long hill climb, instead of barriers. this was followed by another 180 at the top of the hill, a quick turn to the right which led into a 40km descent (one of two). the rest of the course was pretty much the same with stairs from hell, and the run through the creek bed (where dallas turned his ankle last year).

the start of the b race saw 87 riders on the line - after some quick instructions the whistle blew and we were off. the course starts on a single lane dirt road which they divide in half 100 meters from the start. because of the number of riders you need to pay attention if you start in the middle of the pack like the three of us did. cam jumped at an opportunity and was off with the lead pack, i saw one for myself and settled into the middle, but chris got stuck in the back, having to brake because of congestion. it quickly became apperent to me that my choice for breakfast was not a wise one, as i started to feel like i might be seeing my breakfast before me again. after two slowish laps this sensation settled, only to be followed by the felling that i might soon be riding with brown shorts - not good. 3 more laps of agony finally saw these demons leave me and i settled into my race, picking off a rider here and there. the worst part of the race however, was with one lap to go when i was lapped by the leader 30m before the start/finish. this meant that i finished the race one lap down - something i was hoping to avoid. cam had a great race finishing 13th overall, chris finished 40th after recovering from his poor start and i finished in 49th overall (8th in the B2 category for 45+ which i was happy with considering the start of the race).

the a race completely rocked with two riders, bjorn ??? and another dude rocketing to the front right off the start. the two riders held on to each others wheel for 55 minutes, with barely a 1/2 meter seperating the two the entire time. other riders were quciker over the barriers and faster up the hill, but none were as consistent and as strong overall as these two. the race began with 3 laps to go; for some reason the un-identified rider decided to run up the hill and bjorn pulled a little bit of lead on him as he rode up the hill. sensing that he might lose the race at this point the second rider busted a lung to catch up with bjorn, which he did by flats at the bottom of the hill. the riders disappered to the other side of the hill, when they came out again, they were still wheel on wheel. as they came to the climb bjorn attacked again and the other rider stayed on his wheel, this time riding instead of running. they flew up the hill and quickly descended down the side. we watch them hit the flats and suddenly bjorn was up on his pedals mounting another attack. well we felt the explosion from the top of the hill as the other rider blew up dropping a meter a second as bjorn rode away. on the final climb bjorn was by himself and climbed to victory - a very impressive ride and race. when the second rider came up you could tell he was pissed - really pissed, because second was not an option. what a cool race.

following a quick shower at cam's hotel room, chris and i headed out for dinner at the modern cafe. after dinner we headed to the windup party at the one on one bicycle studio. this looked like it would have been fun if we could have stayed longer - gene said we could crash upstairs if we decided to stay and have too much fun - but chris and i both felt it would be nice to get home; six and a half hours later we were pulling into winnipeg (record time for myself).

everyone should mark this on your calendar - it is great race and great time

Saturday, November 11, 2006

mn cx champs

Just because I know you all can't wait to hear: Just left the post-race party at One on One and picking up coffee befre we head back. Cam kicked ass: 13th. Hal and myself were solidly in the 40s. See you soon.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Look out Johnny S. The gig is up. Your reign as knockdown champ is coming to an end now that I've picked up the sweetest knockdown bike ever. Can't wait for the rematch at the Vimy Ridge ice rink.

Hal and I are off to Minneapolis bright and early tomorrow for the state cx championships. One last dance with the dirty girl (unless we can settle on a date for grudge cross). I fully expect to get slapped around, beaten down, and generally humbled. But I find myself taken with her all the same. Can't get her off my mind. But it sounds like Hal, Ian, and Tom are cooking up a plan for ever more dalliances with the dirty girl in the future.

OTT: David Bowie, Suffragette City. Classic.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

letter from New York

The best magazine in the world--or at least the magazine with the world's best writing--is running an interesting article this week on bike zealotry in the Big Apple. Includes a reference to Aiden's friend, Reverend Billy.

thought of the day

Computers, in so far as they impose the reign of information, are the enemies of truth and democracy. Our gaze at their screens is the consitution through watching and receiving of inherently violent transactions which in the end, when we step through their looking-glass, always invlove real physical violence.

On line, therefore, we are clubbing each other to death, but invisibly, very gradually and at a huge remove. When this process does appear, then we finally see what we collectively do, but assume that it has nothing to do with us, individually. But just as breathing is the most massive combustion, so this slowed-down and distributed violence is actually increased violence, like a torture that is all the more torture through being long drawn-out. (John Milbank, Being Reconciled: Ontology and Pardon, 37)

Yes, I am aware of the apparent paradox of putting this quote on a blog.

I suspect that in a roundabout way this might have something very much to do with Jonny B's comment about "more blogging than biking," though what, exactly, the connection might be I'm not sure.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sunday, November 05, 2006

cyclocross provincials

(more updates) pictures from kevin braun, dave benson, and results

pictures and words

early morning set up

ice = sand

bill realizing that he has to race in the A category. "what the ...."

dr. h at the start of the B race. as a "license in progress" rider he could only ride in B. that sucks.

deanna wiebe negotiating the mud bog - this only got nastier.

paul benson hopping the natural barrier

the method the rest of us took (dr. h showing fine form)

leanne vs. the bog (check out her new wheels - leanne looks like she might be committing to racing next season...go leanne!)

my turn to negotiate the bog

jon benson with the flying mount (thanks for the correction paddy)

paddy's turn

the bog one more scared the hell out of me

hmmmm, can we say mudfest

(update) the race was a blast, technical and tricky and i'm sure the roadies hated it. results should be up soon. singie speeds rocked, taking 1st in the masters A and 1,2,3 in the masters B. post race included belgian beer, frites avec mayo, belgian accordian music and folk dancers - cool. did i say we had belgian beer....hmmmm, beer.

thanks to all the fans who came out and cheered. you guys made the event rock.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

why cars suck

from the last issue of dirtrag comes an article by nick goddard who puts forth the hypotheses if a car gets so many miles to gallon of gas, what does a bike get.

he found research stating that a gallon of gas contains 31,000 calories of energy. in a very un-scientific experiment he planned to cycle as far as he could, recording how far he could go while burning 31,000 calories of enenrgy. using a monitor that calculated calories burned based on his heart rate etc.; he cycled 633 miles. nice.

his final doesn't really matter, what counts is being on a bike...and that the earth loves you for it. even better.

just in case . . .

. . . anyone still needs a little encouragement to come out and race tomorrow, see Patrick O'Grady's article on cyclocross--a dirty girl, but a pretty one nonetheless.

dept. of skidding

press play.

Friday, November 03, 2006

one more time...

Hi Friends and Neighbours!

This Sunday is your chance to see Manitoba’s best cyclists battle for the gold medal at the Belgian Club Supercross. Riders will be competing in a discipline called cyclocross – a European winter race involving obstacles and running. Starting from the Belgian Club at 407 Provencher Blvd., riders will contest the race on a short 1800m course that twists and turns down Provencher and through the park along the Seine River. The short course will offer you great opportunities to cheer racers on with shouts, the traditionally-used cowbells (doesn’t everybody have a cowbell or two around the house?), or whatever noise-making apparatus you can dream up (accordions are a common Belgian instrument, you know, but pots and pans will work). Age group racers and women race at 11 a.m. for about 45 minutes, elite men race at noon for about an hour.

After the event, (at about 1 p.m.) join the racers inside at the Belgian Club for traditional Belgian music and folk dancing (your participation is optional), ‘frites’ with mayo and a hot coffee or a cold Belgian Brew.

This event is presented by Team Olympia Cycling and the Belgian Club, and is sanctioned by the Manitoba Cycling Association and the City of Winnipeg.

Please join us for this celebration of sportsmanship and Belgian culture in St. Boniface. Hope to see you there!

Ian Hall
Team Olympia Cycling


Word of a new week-long enduro race is making its way around the web. Victoria to Whistler in seven days. Similar format to Trans Rockies, it seems, but the stages are a bit shorter. Interesting.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


My friend Alex (dude in the red jacket), who lives in North Carolina, sent this race report on Double Dare, a two day adventure race in Pisgah National Forest in western NC. I've ridden out there with him once before (Laurel Mountain) and it's one of those epic rides that ends up permanently etched in your memory. I've been wanting to get back ever since, but it hasn't worked out. Sounds like a sweet race. Essentially a mtb enduro alleycat. For more information, see the official website. For confirmation, see the report from Rich of Bad Idea Racing. There is another race in spring, but only one day not two. Anyone interested in heading down to the Christ haunted south for a bike race? Seriously. I've been meaning to get together with Alex for some riding, and this might just be the perfect opportunity. He also has a lake house close by that could be used as a base for more riding.
My goodness there are a lot of trails in Pisgah. I rode for 22hrs, 125+ miles this weekend without ever riding a trail twice and cannot have covered more than 1/3 - 2/5ths of what is there. And it is good stuff as well.

The race was a bit crazy. My bike was 10lbs heavier than normal b/c loaded with spare tire, tubes, lights, clothes, emergency blanket, etc. I also had some pretty heavy Mary bars. I broke my thumb a few weeks ago (although only went to the doctor and got x-rays yesturday) and those swept back bars were the only ones I could use w/o pain. It was hard to see rocks and roots under all of the fallen leaves on many of the trails too.

My partner and I hit it hard the first day, getting 9 out of 11 checkpoints in 10hrs, 45min. We were screwed a bit by faulty lights. We had to make a 30 min detour back to camp to swap those out. We ended up on the top of a ridge at the end of a long day at 10:00pm, low 40's and 20-30mph wind gusts. It was miserable. I was cold for the next 3 hrs, even when wrapped up in my sleeping bag.

But, 5:00am came around before you knew it and it was time to go again. We pushed hard initially but my partner faded fast. I don't think he ate or drank enough the day before. You have to eat not just for that day, but also to insure you will have somethng in reserve for the next. As a result, mthe rest ofthe day became a sort of long long recovery ride. WE ended up on the blue ridge parkway where I helped by pushing him and then leading himmfor drafting when itmleveled off. Lastly I had to keep encouraging him to keep pushing it as we flew down the mtn, trying to beat the 6:00pm cutoff. We got in at 5:55!

Exciting stuff. Only 10 teams showed up and we took 3rd. We should have had 2nd, but 1st was untouchable.

And the weather was awesome. It rained the day efore and could ahve been miserable, but cleared up just in time.

Start making plans for a team for next year. You may want to consider a team for the one day mtn bike adventure race in the late spring. Registration opens on Feb. 1 and fills fast.
Other news of note:

Parts 2 and 3 of the Amber Landis interview are up over at Daily Peloton.

Yet another fixed gear article, this time from Pez. Essentially a how-to primer, so if there's anyone who's still looking for a spot on the bandwagon, here's your opportunuty to figure out how to go about climbing aboard.

The Belgian Club cx race
is this Sunday. Last I checked, the forecast is for +5 with a chance of rain. Perfect. Ian's looking for help getting the course ready. Saturday between 10 - 2, and Sunday morning starting around 7am. I'll try to head over for a bit on Saturday and likely Sunday morning too. If you want to head over together, let me know.

OTT: Fred Eaglesmith, Angel of the Lord

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

will this cyclocross stuff ever end....NO

from our friend the poosher....

Toward a Cyclocross Ethic / Why an outlaw bicycle race is a perfect
metaphor for opposition to the Bush administration's greed-based
Ownership Society

.... About a month ago I was jogging along with my wife and daughter
through a wooded part of San Francisco when out of the brush popped a
man on a skinny and knobby-tired bicycle, pedaling as though the devil
were behind him. He turned onto a dirt path, quickly swung his right
leg over his bicycle, swishing it between his left leg and the bike
frame, then snapped his left foot with a twist. He hit the ground with
a running stride, hopped over two logs, set his bike on the ground as
he continued running, then leapt through the air onto his bike seat,
all without losing speed. Five more cyclists followed him in exactly
the same way. Then five more. I had to stop and watch. The next week I
joined them. The following week I chatted with Snodgrass and learned of
the secret race series' glorious outlaw creed. To distinguish these
races from officially recognized branches of bicycle racing -- which
take color-coordinated spandex and $7,000 bicycles very seriously --
Urban Outlaw organizers give special awards for cross-dressing .....

continue reading.....

this could be the antitheses to the rhizome posting (i enjoyed the posting...really...but i also work in the ivory tower; but not at the same level as dr.h). lifted sometime ago from how to avoid a bummer life and waiting for the proper time to use