Wednesday, January 31, 2007


What? Are you kidding me? Isn't the whole point of Icebike that the race goes on? That we will not be defeated by winter. I propose we race anyway--if only out of a sense of spite or moral superiority. Besides, isn't it a little too early to panic and cancel? What forecast are they looking at anyway? Environment Canada says they LOW is -29 on Sunday, but posts a high of -23. Definitely raceable. This will not do. Look for a Saturday ride to scout out a potential course. And some sort of race WILL take place on Sunday. Penner changed his work schedule for this! It's bad form to let down the president.

OTT: The Hold Steady, Multitude of Casualties

this just in...

a message from the icebike organizers

Hey all.
The forecast high for Sunday Feb 04/07 is -29C not including the windchill. We will NOT run the race as it too cold and dangerous to the participants. With Festival starting the weekend after and all the scheduled events planned for the Forks we will not reschedule. Apologies for any inconvenience and special thanks to Nolan Koop, Ron Reimer, and Daniel Nemetchek who came out last Saturday to help clean up the course, which promptly blew back in on Monday (but hey if it was warm it would have been far easier to reclean it). Stay warm and hope for a better weekend for Icebike #10.

at least we have mustache-cross (i have made no progress as expected)

I think we need to look at Sten-Erik for the future potential look of the president. Click here for more.


It's been 25 years but we still miss you, Duane. I think my old Allman Bros. LPs will be on heavy rotation between now and June 8. Best 'stache ever.

OTT: Deftones, Cherry Waves

'stache cross is on

The honorary race director.

In the confusion created by Tomek's absence, Ian stepped up to the plate last night and grabbed the mustache by the horns. Previous attempts to dissociate himself from this event are a distant memory, and he's now clearly the boss. A few declarations were uttered. No one was willing to challenge his authority. So it appears these are the rules. There will be no weekly payments. The race is about pride--or lack thereof. The finish line is the Bourkvale Community Centre at the kickoff to the RedAss 300 0n June 8. In the event of multiple finishers, a celebrity judge will be brought in to determine the winner. Fred Penner will be given the first opportunity to fill this post. Given that nobody actually ante'd up, it's not entirely clear who is participating in the race. But hopefully by next week there will some evidence of who's in and who's out. As for me, it may well be a couple of weeks before evidence is discernible. But I'm in.

OTT: Mars Volta, Vicera Eyes

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

'stache cross - tonight

Mustache cross kicks off tonight. The mother of all endurance races. Bring your $2.50 to the F&H tonight. I have a feeling that this one could get ugly--literally. Perhaps because of this, Ian wants to set the record straight on a few 'stache-cross related matters.


The good Dr. packed them it. It was a fine event.

well done!

Some fine support from the FGBC was present.
(not quite sure if the B is ready to stand for BOOK yet)

Monday, January 29, 2007

cultural happenings

come see this man

read from this book

tonight at this place (8:00 start time)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Better than Nothing

Some highlights from today's race. Nice touch with the obstacles in the middle of the course. Can't wait to watch the whole thing. Will it be here in time for 24HofA?

too good to be true

well...i signed up for the wcsn feed in order to watch the world cyclocross championships and it appears that it is blacked out in canada; of course one can only discover this after one signs up. prior to subscribing to the service i checked their list of blacked out events and according to their web site the "UCI Track championships" were not available in canada, but cyclocross, mountain and road championships were not listed as blacked out events. after subscribing i went to the list of archived broadcasts and tried to watch a uci cyclocross event from earlier this year - nothing. attempted viewings of all other uci events brought up the same result. i guess i was a little too literal in my understanding of wcsn's list of blacked out events - 'hey, they list track, but not cyclocross; excellent.' sigh. i guess i'll just have to wait until tom orders the dvd (tom - let me know where you get this stuff, i'd be happy to chip in). long story short - no cyclocross this evening.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

24 Hours of . . .

Just got word that Rene Haselbacher has graciously signed on to help promotional efforts for the upcoming race of the season--24 Hours of ASS(iniboine). We may want to consider adding him to the roster as honorary co-captain. Like many a FGBC member, he goes hard, but has a hard time staying up on his bike.

A recon ride of sorts went down last night. The President, Tenacious V., Jonny's G & N, James and myself scouted out some potential parts of the course. The monkey trails are in great riding condition right now--provided you have lights sufficient to keep you on the trail. And the forest trails are in great shape too. Throw in some of the best that Omand's Creek has to offer, a river crossing or two, and linking it all together with the bike path and it looks like we've got ourselves a race course.

The president, Jonny G, and myself payed a post-ride visit to the clubhouse to end the ride the right way.

The details for the race are beginning to come into focus. Looks like the race headquarters will be Hal's place. Each lap will begin and end there, by the oven, with a genuflection in the presence of the old CCM.

This will be a two-person team event. Teams will be determined at random prior to the start of the race. Since it's a cross race, it will officially be 24 hour + 1 lap. We've been granted permission from the appropriate governing bodies to waive the 3 km lap limit for this event only.

Ian has offered to sponsor a portion of the race. A race within a race, or at least an event within an event, likely consisting of some sort of themed multi-lap segment. Other proposals are welcome.

There will be a screening of The Big Lebowski at some point, and The Triplettes of Belleville too. Maybe some cyclo-cross dvd's as well, if Tom is willing to share his collection.

Penner has been in touch with our man Wayne, from the other FGBC. Word is that t-shirts, caps, and beverages have been secured.

There's another 24 hour race taking place that same weekend, but it will be taking place sans snow and in slightly warmer climes. Hardly worth calling a race under those conditions. In case anyone is wondering, the average daily high for Winnipeg in February is -10C/14F. But since this is a 24 hour race, it may be worth noting that the average daily low is -20.6/-5.

Three weeks from now, the festivities will have just gotten under way.

OTT: Captain Sensible, Smash it Up

Friday, January 26, 2007

there is a way to watch

never tried it but there is an internet sports network that looks like it is going to show the world cyclocross championships.

the name of the company is, and their mandate is to provide access to sports not typically found on north american stations. according to their schedule it looks like they are showing the championships on Jan 28.

and just for the fun of it


CX World Championships go down this weekend. Unfortunately, there's no way to watch. So here instead is the promo video using footage from past races. See also the nice preview from pez, which includes my favourite picture of Bart Wellens karate kicking an annoying fan during the race.

OTT: Morningwood, Jetsetter


Just Finished my long stretch of nights. Missed tuesday's events.
Not feeling that I need an intervention but I would really be up for a ride and reprise at the clubhouse.



'stache cross

Fast on the heels of one race announcement comes another. Nordic Cross #3, courtesy of Ian Hall. Yet another classic endurance event, this one is sure to test your mettle. If ever there was a race that had Jonny S written all over it, this is most certainly it. I suspect it may well drag on to the spring ride.

OTT: Arling & Cameron, Weekend

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

coming soon

More details to follow. Stay tuned.

OTT: The Smiths, That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore

minutes, jan 23

present: jonny g, jonny n, tenacious v (vic), alberto, james, secretary, and the newly self-proclaimed Dr. No (formerly known as Dr. H and Mr. Dr although some confused that with Dr. Mr.)

  • Spring Ride. most significant, and least surprising on the slate was another shift of the spring ride date... it seems the june date conflicted for a lot of people... so, with trepidation, the date has been moved to the weekend before the may long weekend: May 11-13 Yes, there is awareness of potentially challenging weather... Yes, the FGBC can take it... and, yes, there is a back-up accommodations plan which will be kept in-camera until appropriate consultations can be made... but, know that it is heated, and would not cost $$.
    • while the thought of the weather was concerning for James, it didn't seem nearly as grave a concern as the seating arrangements... He brought a chair last year, but didn't always have a chair to sit in so he sat on the bench so his butt got sore... much advise was shared on how he could assert himself next time 'round, but really, please bring a chair and don't sit in James' because the whole business seems deeply vexing to his being. Could someone call a shrink?
  • Icebike. you need to register. it's going to be fine.
  • 24 hrs of Ass February 17-18 The check/crash point has yet to be determined... it's location is swinging wildly back and forth between Dr. No and Hal's. You need to mark the calendar for what is promising to be quite a gathering. Concerns again were raised over the intensity of the event. The race director assured all that it will be open to very different levels of racingness... like, it is rumoured that some may enter the race but have no intention of riding...
  • FGBC registration? Apparently, for as little as $25, we can register as a team with the MCA and race under our colours... there are also a few pricier options. What seems of greatest value is the possibility of some insurance on Klub rides... it really doesn't matter what it insures, as we have a president who seems capable of testing and defying any statistical measures of "reasonable risk"... Bring on the insurance, we'll take whatever we can get. The race director will post further info. One meeting attender was having trouble with team allegiance...
  • speaking of insurance, anybody got $2500 kicking around? Birch teeters on not being accessible again due to various liability and whatever costs.
  • The Tinker Creek Klub plans to host a race in their back 40 this summer... there will likely be opportunities for us to volunteer.
that's it for now.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

tuesday night ride

i have to work this evening, so if you will indulge me, we will meet at omand creek park (meet at the sign for the park) at 9:25. proposing a ride out to the forks to check the river trail which they started plowing just recently.

Monday, January 22, 2007

sunday silly file - a day late

too much red wine (still a part of my training regime) and food on saturday, and 2 hours of riding on sunday left me too tired to post (lame excuse) this link yesterday. very funny.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Minutes ??

Seems to be a distinct lack of minutes from the secretary.
(I’m sure he would like to relinquish his portfolio, but seeing that portfolio's are lifetime appointments and I cannot pass on the figurehead presidency, neither can he).

Since I am not entirely sure of the goings on at last week, I will post some previous minutes which still have some pertinence for yours truly.

A snippet posted from the Technical director (April 29, 2003) In reference to the First Spring ride.
  • it doesn't really matter which multi-tool, you should just have one when you're riding alone. (tools will be available at our event.)
  • to reiterate from a previous meeting: everyone should have an extra tube for our ride.
  • lots of water is also important
Words to live by from the DR.

Hal and I did discuss a potential showing of “THE BIG LEBOWSKI”.
The plan:
When Laura is away. We will ride, drink, ride and watch at his house, not necessarily in that order. Date yet to be confirmed.

Speaking of dates. More about the spring ride. Not entirely written in stone yet.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

when is a brake not a brake?

Some will recall the discussion back in August about how to determine when a brake is really a brake. This grew out of the legal case in Portland, where a messenger was ticketed for riding an illegal bike--namely her fixie, which is illegal because it doesn't have any brakes. The law reads as follows:

A bicycle must be equipped with a brake that enables the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement. Strong enough to skid tire.

And while the trial involved an interesting discussion about the limits of such a definition of a brake, the judge concluded that the combination of legs, gears, chain, and pedal many of us rely on does not satisfy the legal definition of a brake. And then, doing his best Dick Pound imitation, he turned to her lawyer and offered up the money quote:

“If your client had a stick she could rub against her tire, you’d have a case. I don’t believe the defense has convinced me to broaden the definition of a brake. I find the defendant guilty."

In a Nietzschean moment of eternal recurrence, somehow all of this came up for discussion at Scott and Deanna's place on Sunday, while we were waiting for Hal to sort out the answers to his own inane questions. Not exactly sure how or why it came up, let alone who raised it. But that doesn't matter. What does matter is that this allowed Ian bring to our attention the video of cyclists in Portland testing out the feasibility of the judge's stick-braking suggestion. Various methods were tried, with some being more successful than others. Watch it for yourself on youtube. Make sure to stick around for the conversation with the cops at the end. Thanks Ian.

OTT: Buck 65, Blood of a Young Wolf

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

"cycle to work" scheme

The Independent runs a regular cycling column, which is interestingly located in their "motoring" section. Fairly standard stuff most of the time, but worth reading anyway--if only to support the idea of giving regular attention to this sort of stuff by a major newspaper. Last week's column, on why Londoners should commute by bike in January, is particularly noteworthy for the reference it makes to what it calls a "cycle to work" scheme. Here's how it works:

If your excuse is that you can't afford a bike, then it's worth asking your employer whether they offer a "cycle to work" scheme, which effectively grants you an interest-free loan to buy one, repayable in monthly instalments taken directly from your pay cheque. The deductions are made from your pre-tax earnings and you don't pay VAT, so you can save yourself up to 50 per cent on the regular retail cost of a new bike.

If your employer doesn't offer such a scheme, it's worth twisting their arm to start one. As well as any latent benefits from increasing staff's fitness and happiness, companies can also make savings on their staff national insurance contributions. For more information, tell them to take a look at the Department for Transport's website ( which has all the details.

I've never heard of such a program in this fine country. But it would be worth investigating. Who's in charge of the FGBC public policy portfolio?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

ride tonight

hey, it might actually be a reasonable temperature by then...same place, same time; we'll try the assinaboine forest again - found some fun paths before the snow fall, so we'll see if they are rideable by now (lights are very advisable).

read chris' latest post below

this is how we should have started the conscience cross race...

marketing messenger-ness

Yet another account of the commodification of a once pround counter-culture. These narratives are becoming so cliched that one has to think there must be something else going on. Not that there's no truth in them. But something a little bit more complicated, please. The story seems just a little bit too comfortingly straightforward to be altogether true. But here it is, in any case, for those who might be interested in another instance of how we are all complicit in our own captivity to the form of empire known as consumer culture. Or so the story goes. Not sure of the exact count, but I did notice a bunch of Timbuk2 bags at the race on Sunday. Not that those of us who sport other brands are any better off according to this sort of critique. Oh well. Courtesy of the NYT:

Consumed: Biker Chic

Published: January 14, 2007


To be a bike messenger, a former member of that profession explains in the documentary “Pedal,” is to be part of a “whole different culture.” The messenger feels free, envied and looked down on all at once. “Bike messengers fall into the realm of outlaw,” he explains. It’s not clear exactly when people delivering things by way of a bike came to be thought of as a “culture,” but in recent years it has become clear that this image is widespread and probably marketable.

For instance, Advertising Age recently included a messenger-bag company called Timbuk2 in its “Marketing 50” list of up-and-coming brands. With sales to messengers “in the bag,” the magazine observed, Timbuk2 has lately “expanded into an urban-lifestyle brand,” with about $20 million in sales a year and growing quickly. The company’s roots go back to 1989, when a San Francisco bike messenger named Rob Honeycutt started making bags and selling them through local bike shops. When this started to look like a real business, he changed the original name — Scumbags — got some financial backing and opened a manufacturing facility in the Mission District. The brand sold made-to-order bags via the Internet and had a solid cult following by the time Honeycutt sold his stake to new investors and left in 2002.

Soon Timbuk2 started to have success with a more diversified product line. The brand now sells backpacks, laptop bags, duffel bags, tote bags, yoga bags and even wallets. Macy Allatt, director of marketing for the company, says that “urban living” is the common thread. While it is unlikely that bag purchases by actual bike messengers make up more than a sliver of Timbuk2 sales these days, they’re still “the reason this company has been successful,” she says. Presumably that’s both because a bag with messenger-ness in its DNA is bound to be ruggedly functional and because of courier culture’s harder-to-define outlaw chic.

Timbuk2 didn’t conjure this chic: the brand is one of many to notice that messengering seems connected to a more vague, but popular, notion of “urban” cycling, which carries a whiff of progressive politics, creativity and preference for the outdoors, even a paved cityscape, to one of the Man’s cubicles. And of course messengers really do care about their bags: ReLoad, Eric Zo and other small brands have devoted followings. But while, for example, messengers have organized competitions and races for years, it is only recently that these events have started attracting major sponsors like Puma. Meanwhile, the light “fixed gear,” or track bikes (which don’t have brakes), that some messengers use have attracted interest from increasing numbers of people who five years ago might have been drawn to skateboards. The makers of a new DVD called “Mash SF” — full of streety stunts (and painful-looking crashes) in the manner of a skate video but with bikes — were recently recruited to contribute to the influential Japanese style Web site

This messenger-inspired aesthetic is what Timbuk2 has addressed with its newer products (one bag is called the Blogger) and by expanding distribution to places like college bookstores. “We’re still very much committed to the cycling community,” Allatt says, noting that the brand sponsors messenger races as well as events like the Bicycle Film Festival and has produced a limited-edition artist series. And while many of the new products are made in China, the messenger bags are still made in San Francisco; the company has also introduced “sustainable” bags made of hemp. “We wouldn’t want to alienate where we came from,” Allatt says.

That’s always the trick: as is so often the case, the more popular the image of the messenger as outlaw icon gets, the more quickly the reality behind it recedes. One interesting thing about the documentary “Pedal” — completed in 2001 but recently rereleased with a companion book of photographs — is that it goes well beyond the popular cliché of the messenger as a tattooed, vegan, indie-rocking young man or woman who has made a lifestyle choice to avoid working in a cubicle. “It’s a nonunionized blue-collar job,” and many couriers are working-class dads with few other options, says Peter Sutherland, the director and photographer. “In New York, a lot of times it’s one step up from rock bottom.” That’s a little different from, say, a leisure activity like skateboarding. But we’ll take our fresh outlaw role models where we can find them, even if we find them risking life and limb to deliver packages for the Man.

Monday, January 15, 2007

start times

It would also be worth noting the start times. Hal may just playing humble here. But if you figure in the fact that he started behind almost everyone else, it appears he really kicked ass. Too bad he can't count laps and got caught napping at the sprint finish thinking he still had a lap to go. That's a strong start to the nordic cross season. A marked man from here on out.

The start times were, of course, determined by one's mental acuity in dealing with a set of all-too-cryptic clues. Ian walked away with this one, and earned a 50 second head-start on the next to go. This turned out not to be quite enough in the end. It's still not entirely clear what all of the correct answers are. But in the interest of full-disclosure, here are my answers, which, for the record, I still stand by, even though they've been deemed less than entirely adeuquate.

1. Can you see the Lite in Winnipeg? Tell me what it is. The right answer earns you points towards your start and placement.

Local Investment Toward Employment. A local charity.

2. Earn start and placement points by bringing items for Winnipeg Harvest. Do you understand the Lite to earn extra points?

Items will be brought, don't worry. Does Lite mean the same thing in this case? I.e., are you referring more specifically to their food hamper program. As far as I'm aware, this is not officially connected with Winnipeg Harvest. Or perhaps you are suggesting--as LITE does--that the items should be purchased from Neechi foods. If so, that's an unreasonable request and I refuse to do so in principle. It's like Wal-Mart starting what sounds like a well-meaning charity and yet demanding that they will only accept donations purchased at one of their stores. That's bullshit, pure and simple. Or are you asking that we bring less fattening foods? That I am willing to do.

3. Popcorn and dark rooms - name three “physicians” that made appearances in the city this last year? These "doctors" presented ideas and answers to questions about issues you and others are concerned about. (I never said this would be easy). The right answer earns you points.

movies with a moral conscience?

An Inconvenient Truth - the doctor is Al Gore
Fast Food Nation - Eric Schlosser?
Blood Diamond - the doctor is Charles Leavitt (author of the book), or is it Maddy Bowen/Jennifer Connelly, the chief moral protagonist?

4. Earn start and placement points by “visiting” at least one of these “physicians.”

Not going to happen. I've got more important things to do. But I watched Fight Club with one of my classes this week, and I'm sure it beats the hell out of any of those movies, morally speaking. These "doctors" are too unambiguous to be ethically interesting.

5. Have you eaten a meal within “a century?” Tell me what this means to earn points.

I suspect I very well may have, given all the home-cooked meals prepared by my farmer grandparents over the years. Or perhaps the meal I once ate in with real live Bedouins in the mountains near Jerusalem. They don't really get around that much on a day-to-day basis. Of course this experience suggests that the century meal is not all it's cracked up to be, as it left at least one member of our party with hepatitis. In any case, I assume you're talking about a meal in which all the food comes from within 100 miles.

6. Earn start and placement points if you do #5 during this week – you will need to answer several skill-testing questions to earn these points.

What consitutes a meal? What if I eat a huge, plain, unseasoned omelette made of farmer Geoff's eggs for breakfast? I don't see anything that suggest there needs to be multiple courses, let alone ingredients.

See also the race reports from Dave L and Jonny B.

OTT: Smashing Pumkins, Here is No Why

conscience cross results

if we truly stayed with the theme of the event i would say everyone won and we would all walk away holding hands, but that would just be silly. the unofficial results (you have up to 4 months to challenge) go:

dave l
shona, vic, scott ???
jon (definately last)

prize winners: tom, a bottle of red wine; ian 1/2 a loaf of lemon pound cake for getting all the answers and completing all of the tasks; graham, a ritter chocolate bar for getting the coldest feet (cycling shoes with a wool socks over top and wrapped in packing tape - this had disaster written all over right from the start); and a loaf of bread to jon for running the entire race with his bike because his freewheel froze open.

up next, nordic cross #3

Sunday, January 14, 2007

conscience cross

Conscience cross has come and gone. After surviving the cerebral suffering of the past few days, the race itself was a breeze. Yes it was cold: -29 when I headed out the door. But somehow having 9 other fellow sufferers out there helped make it more tolerable, almost even fun. And Hal made sure to incorporate plenty of running sections to keep the feet from freezing. 5 laps in and around Omand's Creek. Just about a perfect length--except for those whose freewheels froze open.

So Winnipeg Harvest now has a bit more food to dole out. And our consciences are clear for now, even if only for not giving in to the cold. As for those of you who decided to stay home--you know who you are--may your winter linger on like a Kevin Costner movie.

Special thanks to Scott and Deanna for supplying a warm pre- and post-race gathering place, not to mention food, drinks, and a coffee roasting demonstration.

Hal has the results, and will no doubt post them soon.

OTT: Dead Kennedys, Holiday in Cambodia

Friday, January 12, 2007

nordic cross - new meeting place

First, don't want to move Dr. Mr's post down so if you haven't seen the top ten rides for the FGBC of 2006 go here

Conscience Cross, the next nordic cross will go as planned. Because it will be cold I am arranging that we will meet indoors prior to the race. You freewheel people might want to test your bikes prior to the race to see if they freeze open; I had problems this morning but the temps were a little bit on the ridiculous side – it should not be that cold. It will be a short race and there will be prizes.

Now for the clues:

Theme: If you are not in the Lite you are out in the cold.

1. Can you see the LITE in Winnipeg? Tell me what it is. Google tells all. The right answer
earns you points towards your start and placement.
2. Earn start and placement points by bringing items for Winnipeg Harvest.
Do you understand the Lite to earn extra points? Break the chain by not going to one of these.
3. Popcorn and dark rooms - name three “physicians” that made appearances in the city this last year? These "DOCtorS" presented ideas and answers to questions about issues you and others are concerned about, some may even say their truth was a little inconvenient. (I never said this would be easy). The right answer earns you points
4. Earn start and placement points by "visiting" at least one of these
"physicians." Your only option may be to rent.
5. Have you eaten a meal within "a century?" Numbers not time. Tell me what this means to earn
6. Earn start and placement points if you do #5 during this week - you will
need to answer several skill-testing questions to earn these points.

When: Sunday, January 14th.
Time: 8:00 PM
Place: 528 Raglan Road (one of the four houses on the west side of the street, with the yellow front porch - Scott & Deanna's place).

Thursday, January 11, 2007

top ten rides of 2006

Because in the end, the FGBC is all about the ride.

The last installment of a series of 2006 top-10 retrospectives.

I realize, of course, that these views are subject to debate and potentially vigorous disagreement. There have been rumblings of dissatisfaction with aspects of the other lists. And so it seems appropriate to note that the opinions expressed here and in the previous 2 lists do not necessarily represent the official views of the FGBC. If you feel the need to register your dissatisfaction with the judgments reflected below, click here.

Too many good rides to choose from, really. But these were the best of the best.

10) Hotter than Hell ride. July 30. Morden lake trail. Short, but less than entirely sweet on account of it being the hottest day of the year. Post-ride beverages and bike films at Jonny S's place. And a discussion about whether we might be able to pull off a winter trip to Moab.

9) Race against darkness. June 23. Epinette Creek trail. Just me and Jonny G. Almost the longest day of the year, but not quite long enough. 30 light-less minutes in the dark to finish it up. And then a battle-royale with the racoons at the campsite.

8) Nick's Inn ride. August 1. Token road ride. Only a few hours after the 7th best ride of the year. Pigeon Lake and back, with a breakfast pit-stop.

7) Extra pickles, hold the e coli please. July 31. Post-ultimate ride to VJ's. A summer tradition.

6) The inaugural foot-down competition. Sept. 2. Ingolf. Jonny S kicks ass. Unger conquers the unconquerable climb--in front of a crowd of speechless Gord's guys.

5) The unveiling. Oct. 28. Trans-Canada trail, south. The official riding debut of the new FGBC jersey, not to mention Juan Eppstein's long anticipated new wheels.

4) Penner's Intervention. Dec. 9. Ass. Forest. It takes more than a toothless cog to hold a good man down.

3) Morden, Tinker Creek, Trans-Canada trail. June 18. Hal and myself, accompanied by Paddy, Tomek, Steve, and Cam. Cam broke his thumb about a kilometre in, the earth opened up and swallowed Paddy, then burped and spit him up so he could keep going, and the skies opened up with a viscious downpour to end it all off. It didn't rain frogs, but it was epic nonetheless.

2) Moab. Dec. 28-30. Three days of pure riding bliss. Does it get much better than this? Barely.

1) The 2006 Spring Ride. June 9-11. Ingolf, Falcon Lake, and various points in between. A mammoth 3-day excursion, really. More like a festival, complete with slow race, bunny hop and skid competitions. Easily the best spring ride so far. 17 brave soldiers. The best accomodations ever. Reaping the rewards of "the book" (i.e., F&H buy-back plan). Scotch club. And on and on. Any ride that gets a movie made to commemorate it has to be #1.

OTT: The Pixies, Where is My Mind?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

In the absence of minutes from our secretary and in the interest of procrastination the following went down last night, (or up in the case of tomek)

Well attended gathering.

Unfortunately there was no "preride". (there was an anarchist cyclocross meeting which pre-empted said ride) maybe next week.

The garthering was cut short by a rather sudden presentation of the "norovirus". (There is of course a chance that this was a rotovirus--or round C virus--but that is less likely since rotovirus infestation of more of a pediatric problem, but cross over does exist.) Regardless, the "end result" is and was the same last night. Many thanks for the good Dr. for giving the afflicted member transportation to his home (and to his own private bucket!)

In the interest of the health of FGBC members, attention should be made to transmission and prevention issues. It is commonly known that the primary mode of transmission is the "F-O" route but here is also a definate airbourne and unkown element to be considered (see pages 4, 6 and 8). Most concerning for those in the nearest proximity to the afflicted, you know who you are.

There was a brief, but focussed, discussion of the annual spring ride. The week-end following this event is option number one. There are some potential conflicts with father's day and the Manitoba Marathon (several of us were planning run). Unless further discussion develops, June 16&17 may be assumed to be pencilled in. Let's here from folks on this.


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

becoming-bicycle, or rhizome revisited

Apparently I'm not the only one willing to risk puzzled glances by throwing the bike and the rhizome into the same stream of thought. From a very different sort of blog, comes this reflection on bicycle logic:

In a way the bicycle is a way of committing to the future regardless of whether that leads to ruin. Thinking as if you’re on a bicycle means you have to learn to improvise with the road itself, with the area of thought you’re traversing, while also being unable to forget your body.

Learning to think with cycle logic as opposed to the logic of the automobile. A bio-mechanical way of thinking that does not play into the modern thinking of the post-human. A way of thinking that presents the best of humanity, a humanity more in the earth that does not move but is traversed. A becoming-bicycle of philosophy is a political task of thought.

For the full discussion, click here.

ride or meeting, meeting or ride

for those who want to ride meet at the same time and place. some of us are meeting at the f&h at 9:30 to discuss Manitoba Union of Cylocross Riders issues.

RE: nordic cross #2

have your answers to me by Thursday night (Jan 11); hints go up Friday. and, for question #3 the key is in the first part of the question - don't be too literal with items in quotes.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

next nordic cross

Conscience Cross – the antitheses of Curry not Hurry

When: Sunday, January 14th.
Time: 8:00 PM
Place: Omand Creek Park at the corner of Wolseley and Raglan. (Note: location may change if we get too much snow in the next week).

Theme: If you are not in the Lite you are out in the cold.

Format: Nordic cross race – that means laps, fun, and pain. Earn your spot on the start line and the time you start the race by answering the following questions and completing the following tasks:

1. Can you see the Lite in Winnipeg? Tell me what it is. The right answer earns you points towards your start and placement.
2. Earn start and placement points by bringing items for Winnipeg Harvest. Do you understand the Lite to earn extra points?
3. Popcorn and dark rooms - name three “physicians” that made appearances in the city this last year? These "doctors" presented ideas and answers to questions about issues you and others are concerned about. (I never said this would be easy). The right answer earns you points.
4. Earn start and placement points by “visiting” at least one of these “physicians.”
5. Have you eaten a meal within “a century?” Tell me what this means to earn points.
6. Earn start and placement points if you do #5 during this week – you will need to answer several skill-testing questions to earn these points.

One more thing, hints will come out on Friday - however you will earn more points if you answer the questions without the hints. So, email your answers to me before Friday is done.

That’s it. Have fun. Talk amongst yourselves.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Planning Ahead

Sounds like the folk who went to Moab had a great time. It would cerntainly be grand event for "the club" to venture on.

I know this might be hard for some to think about, but the banter at my place of work is "the season" once again. "The season" is the 2007 spring/summer vacation schedule. I as well need to interject my "needs", so I am once again raising our annual spring ride to the forefront of the calendar. It may seem early but there are many member's schedules (which are all equally complicated) to be considered and I, if given time, can make changes to mine.
(For those who ask why so early, I requested Feb 4 in the second week of november and has anyone from the club signed up?)


The Moab delegation returned from its fact-finding assignment earlier in the week. The verdict, in a word: stunning. A larger FGBC expedition will no doubt take place at some point. It's just a matter of finding the right time. Jonny S pointed out a number of times that the weather in December was just about perfect. Sure, there was a bit of snow around, but mostly on the north facing slopes. We had to abort a ride on Porcupine Rim because of it. But there were plenty of other trails that were in fine condition. And with 5-7 degree temps, it wasn't nearly as physically punishing as it can be. And there's almost no-one else on the trails either. The downside is that it gets dark early.

Billy at Poison Spider bike shop told us to head to Slickrock first on account of a forecast that called for snow and freezing rain. But he knew it was in good condition right now. By the time we hit the trail, it was snowing. And yet apparently it takes more than a little snow to lose traction on the sandpaper-like terrain known as slickrock. It takes a little while to believe, but not that long. Traction from heaven. Short, steep climbs and descents with smooth, flowing and undulating bliss in between. By the time we were done, the sun was out and the jackets were off. And Jonny S had dislocated and reset his finger, landed on his ass, and been humbled by the mechanical tribulation known as changing a flat.

Day 2: Amasa Back - Ingolf on steroids. Unanimously voted the best overall ride of the trip. The same rocky, technical riding we've come to love from the spring ride, but with 3,569 ft of climbing. And of course, with climbing comes descending. And the geological features were alright too. Our guidebook has this to say about the ride: "Technically very difficult to extreme due to vertical exposure next to 3-foot ledges, loose rock, and deep cracks that can grab a tire. Physically very difficult due to the climb and short bursts of extreme effort necessary to negotiate technical challenges. Extremely rewarding for very experience riders with a good sense of direction." Yup, that pretty much describes us. Except maybe for the sense of direction part. I got lost for a bit and thought at one point I might end up spending the night on the trail. Brilliant.

Day 3: Poison Spider Mesa - In some ways, a synthesis of Slickrock and Amasa Back. Another ride from the bottom of the canyon to the top, but a little less interesting than Amasa Back. The payoff is the slickrock playground at the top. Think the bowl at the Forks skatepark spread out over several square miles. A couple of climbs that made battery rock look like a little curb hop.

Charlene hooked us up with a kick-ass condo just a few miles outside of town. A perfect place to sample the local product while watching episodes of The Office.

Plenty more pictures to come and a few short videos. Will be placed on the media page shortly.

OTT: Neil Young, Red Sun

Thursday, January 04, 2007

top ten: races

Got a bit behind on these. Our condo in Moab didn't have the internet connection I was expecting. But between Jonnys G & S and myself, we got it all sorted out. In addition to the record number of bike acquisitions, 2006 was also the year that FGBC racing got back on track. So here are the top races of 2006 that were either fully or partially brought to you by the FGBC, or otherwise met the official yet intentionally nebulous criteria for FGBC approval.

10) Icebike: No involvement in putting this together. But the FGBC participation was as high as ever, and the fan support was equally solid. Everything was going fine too, until Penner nearly lost an eye in the snowy slide from hell.

9) Louis Riel Race for Treason. Laps around the new, cheerier? cheesier? Louis Riel statue behind the Leg. Not the more interesting grotesque rendition that is now behind CUSB. Tag-team, kind of like a Madison, but on a snow covered ramp. In the dark. Seemed like a good idea until Unger snapped a brake cable and crashed head-first into the concrete retaining wall.

8) Bergen's Cutoff Race: The few who braved the cold weather were rewarded by a fine course, post-race scotch, as well as beverages and toques provided by our sponsor.

7) Altona race, cage-match derby/knockdown, and Duke - Carolina game. A fine race put on by our southern chapter. A combined event. Can't even remember the basketball game. That's how much fun the race was. Post-race feast and awards ceremony at the Sawatzky household. Jonny S(our grapes) blames a mathematical calculation failure for costing him the victory. We'll see in this year's edition on Mar. 4. At any rate, I believe it was Jonny S himself who pointed out that math is hard. So true.

6) King of the (Garbage) Hill race. Head-to-head, single elimination heats up the biggest hill for miles and miles.

5) Grudge-cross. Billed as a race to settle grudges, it may well have created a few new ones. Either way, it was a good time.

4) Omand’s Creek winter race. First race of the 2006 season. This one didn’t get a name, but it deserved one. There were actually two winter races at Omand's Creek. But the other one was in 2005. And besides, it doesn't really count on account of Elizabeth B screwing up the start. At any rate, this one featured a pre-race derby/knockdown on the ice at Vimy Ridge to warm things up. 17 racers in each event, and over 20 in total, plus a post-race fire and dog boil-up.

3) Curry is for Hurry. Finishing up the season in style. A combined event: buffet, cx, and snowball attacks. My stomach is still full from this one. It may well have been a bad idea. But at any rate it was memorable. And you've got to be memorable to appear on a top-ten list.

2) April Alleycat. A first for the FGBC, but no doubt the first of many. In and around Osborne, Saint Boniface, downtown, and ending in style at the coubhouse. Still working out the kinks on the time penalties and bonuses. Last was first, this time around. Prizes of wine and bread courtesy of velo-artisan bread.

1) Menno-cross. Soon to be famous, or so the poster says. Time will tell, I suppose. But it's off to a good start. Jonny S insisted this one was #1. You don't argue with Jonny S.

Plenty more racing to come in 2007. Hal is getting it all started on Jan. 14. Be there.

On deck: top 10 rides of 2006.

OTT: Hot Little Rocket, Are My Eyes too Red?

cycle of denial?

Our honorary captain was, understandably, treated with suspicion by Tom Harrington last night. Armstrong was tarred and feathered. Frankie Andreu was cast as a small glimmer of hope. And Dick Pound was presented as the figure of justice. In case anybody missed yesterday's CBC documentary, Cycle of Denial, you can watch it on the CBC website. Also available is a longer interview with Floyd, in case you want to see how it was edited. And there's all kinds of other stuff too.

OTT: Dog Day, Use Your Powers

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

the year of the bike

this is the year of the bike. hope to do more on the bike and less with the car. after half a bottle of wine it seemed like a good idea to deliver the ol' christmas tree to the tree chipping drop-off thingy/place in assiniboine park by bike (@ 9:00PM). the half bottle of wine interfered with some of my navigation skills, but the tree was deposited at the appropriate location. yea.

bike and tree on top of bob trailer

snow fun

tinker creek ski fun. some say that classic x-country skiing is the cyclocross of skiing. well, backcountry skiing is definately the mountain biking of skiing.

trails are so passe

result of using the "not so passe" trails

james shooting the gap. "i think we can make it through those two trees at the bottom."

next cross race

was to be sechduled for this sunday, but moving it to the following weekend, sunday jan 14. stay tuned for more news soon.

The National

Nice impromptu gathering at the clubhouse last night. Occasioned, I believe, by the presence of Kelly G in our midst. And Hummelt hockey being on after all. But I defer minutes to the secretary. It is, after all, his job.

Heads up: our honorary captain will make an appearance tonight on The National, or so says the Globe and Mail. Part of a larger story on doping in cycling. Everyone else is talking about it, so the CBC wants to give it a go too. If you've given up your tv for youtube, you'll have to wait a little while for it to appear on the interweb. But in the meantime, you can read another interview here.

OTT: Gillian Welch, My Morphine

Monday, January 01, 2007