Saturday, March 31, 2007

foolz cross

The river is rising and it's supposed to snow, but in case there's any wondering--the race is on. Kind of appropriate, actually, since we've been racing in snow and otherwise shitty weather since December. More info from the head fool.

OTT: Lucinda Williams, Joy

Friday, March 30, 2007


this man's picture is appearing on numerous bike related blogs. why you may ask; well, seems like mr ford is one of toronto's more forward thinking city councillors as evident by this quote: "I can't support bike lanes. Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks. My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it's their own fault at the end of the day." In case you would like to share your opinion with mr. ford regarding his progressive, energy saving, congestion freeing, non-polluting logic you can reach him at: - keep it civil, name calling and vitirol never really works any ways.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tom is an egg

Paddy, his voice ringing with glee, reports that the poosher has cracked. Again! 'Stache-cross casualties are littered all over the course. Along with Jonny B, Tom now has to be regarded as a mysterious double-corpse.

fresh fixie fun... or, minutes for march 27

First post hockey, klub ride of the season. "Super sweet," says sanguine secretary.

I swung by The Shoppe around 16:00 thinking there might be a bit of work to do to get the new fixie going... but, P-diddy rolls out this sweet blue machine with new blue bar tape and everything. (Check out the bottom picture on this post... it's the beautiful blue... do try and avoid the disturbing pic in the middle.)

Maybe it would be good to back up a bit... Fixie say you? Well, you've seen the pictures in a previous post of the start of things, but that Friday ended with P saying, "Well, SS or Fixie?" Despite a few verbalizations in the past week or two about the idea, it hadn't really seemed like fixie would be the way... but, in that moment of decision... I have to admit I saw the face of Cycling Dave flash before me... One evening last fall, he sat at the clubhouse, post ride, turned to me, and started sharing about the virtues of fixed (being himself a newbie to "the way")... I need to admit to you, the reader that, considering I didn't really know him at all, my response was less than generous... I thankfully don't remember what I said... I could at least have said something like, "That's nice Dave"... but I think it was more disparaging... you know, those of you who still need gears, how tiring it can be to hear about all this stuff... I blew him off... not without noticing the look of massive disappointment...
Anyway, back to the moment of decision... The Dr, (who, while highly knowledgeable about many things, did not know all the options regarding drive train) had thought that fixed would be somewhat more expensive than ss... P suggests that fixed would likely be cheaper or the same... so cheaper, plus Dave's face did it... It is what is known in the parlance of the scene, as a suicide fixie. ie. loctite is the glue (so to speak) which is binding the whole business into it's fixed state.

Well, those who rave about fixed are right in doing so... it is something worth raving about... and yet, I'm not sure how to put words to the uniqueness, so I will almost reserve comment and let you know that, "It's beyond words." (I am loath to leave a paragraph hanging with a cliche of this magnitude, but so it must be for now.)

The ride took us from Dr. H's (who, incidentally did not ride do to a domestic issue), to The Shoppe, where that concerning picture of Tom was taken, to a search for post-ride peanuts, which turned out to be more difficult than expected, to Garbage Hill and finally to the Klubhouse. At various points, Paddy, Cycling Dave, Tom, Ian, Jonny G and I were pedaling.

A few highlights: Track-standing outside the shoppe, waiting for Tom, one dedicated rider was pushing the limits and went down (although he claims the ground came up)... just as a fatty SUV comes along with a bunch of punks... we could hear them laughing from inside...
Snowball fight crossing the field by Garbage Hill.
Another rider was just into a one handed catwalk at the base of Garbage Hill when his momentum overcame him and he went over backwards with a beauty crash.

The gathering at the Klubhouse saw the Dr, the president and Alberto join in... it would have been a good night for pen and paper, as there were many quotable exclamations... I either can't remember, or can't repeat them... There was a good deal of talk around presidency... some failed, some endured, some desired... OK, Tom was campaigning... but his major plank was membership fees (to bring needed resources to the people...) so his rhetorical clamouring was eventually tuned out.

All in all, a great start to the spring season. I am looking forward to commuting like never before... I am fixed.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Monday, March 26, 2007

in case of emergency

I discovered this razor stuck to my office door when I got in to work last Monday. Not exactly sure how it got there. A student? A colleague? Perhaps a fellow 'stache-cross competitor. Either way, an asshole of one stripe or another. And I leave it up as a gesture of defiance. But I take comfort in the fact that it is there. If (or is it when?) the subtle adversity associated with this particular endurance race proves too much bear, it is nice to know that the technology required to ease the suffering is close at hand. I must admit, it also give me a certain amount of satisfaction to know that my new mustachioed look has not gone entirely unnoticed. Then again, it has been almost 8 weeks.

Lap 8 officially concludes tommorow night at the F&H. At this point I'm planning on the razor still being stuck to my door. But we're getting to the point in the race where it's hard to predict how the body will react.

Before lap 8 comes to and end, however, the first real FGBC Tuesday night ride of the season must happen. Meet at my place at 9pm. Hopefully the secretary's new wheels make their inaugural appearance.

OTT: The Greenhornes, Too Much Sorrow

Saturday, March 24, 2007


The secretary's getting ready for spring training. It won't be done in time for BHP tomorrow, but hopefully it'll be ready for a debut appearance on Tuesday night.

Everything was going smoothly, until . . .

a recalcitrant bottom bracket cup ground things to a halt
and the heat had to be brung

the secretary managed to hammer it out,
just in time for a delightful lunch of falafel and yam fries at Ami's

I'm planning to head out to BHP for some road laps tomorrow afternoon. Sounds like Jonny G and Jonny B will be there too. Probably won't get there before 1:30. Others welcome.

OTT: Wilco, Box Full of Letters

Friday, March 23, 2007

ain't no jibba-jabba

One final opportunity to get in on the nordic-cross action.

More info from the boss.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

friday morning singie-speed

so, all are welcome at Sanctoral Cycle (CMU Bike Co-op) on Friday morning at 10:30. dr. h and I will begin work on the new (old) singie-speed... with discussion of a few fgbc'ers coming out to heckle, I thought I should open it up to the whole crowd... there is a very bad couch for the gallery.

all going well, we'll run into some snag and have to run over to the Shoppe for parts/moral support.
Speaking of which, that picture on the homepage has to go you guys... unless there's a backstory to it... any number of nordic-cross shots would motivate the masses to a cool new ride before this...

Training Rides

Sometimes it is nice to go out and train on your own, but most of the time it is better to ride with others – so, one of the things discussed during last weekend’s loop-fest at BHP was regular training rides throughout the spring and summer. The idea is to schedule three different rides a week with regular days and start times; then see who wants to come along for the ride. If enough people know we may get a semi-regular group of people who want to train. The hard part is finding the convenient days and times to accommodate most people. Past experience shows that early mornings are best – here is what I am planning:

April (2 rides a week switching to 3 if the weather cooperates and things dry up nicely)
Thusday mornings, 7:00 AM, Garbage Hill – Intervals up the road (short and painful)
Sunday afternoons, 1:00 PM, Birds Hill Park loop-fest

May – July (3 rides a week)
Tuesday mornings, 6:00 AM, Garbage Hill – Loops
Thursday mornings, 6:00 AM, Location to be determined – Intervals
Saturday mornings 6:00 AM, Wolesely to BHP, laps on Bur Oak, return. (5-6hrs)

August – October (3 rides a week)
TBD – will involve switching from mountain bike to cross-related rides.

There will be plenty of days missed due to trips, races, and other events; but this is what I am planning. Anyone else got ideas in the hopper?

burger quest

some of the discussion at last night's meeting revolved around whether vj's burger was good or not - maybe we should plan the next few rides around trying different burgers. the idea is each tuesday night someone puts forth their choice for favourite burger, we ride to the stand/restaurant, sample the burger, then retire to the fnh to discuss the nuances of that burger. the ride for the evening could be just to that burger joint or part of a larger ride.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Good thing he's not racing, or he'd have lapped us all several times by now. Battle stories from the lowly ranks of sport class 'stache-crossers (or is it Kids of Mud?) can be heard tonight at the conclusion of lap 7.

Last night of Hummelt hockey. I think I'll give it a go. After tonight, though, the 2007 FGBC Tuesday night ride season begins.

OTT: Robert Earl Keen, It's the Little Things

Sunday, March 18, 2007

spring? training

Hal, Jonny B, and myself got out for a few laps at BHP this afternoon. Sounds like Dave L was out earlier. The wind and rain were tolerable, but the ice pellets, snow, and (worst of all) slush that followed proved a little less than desirable. I guess that's what happens when you start spring training in winter. But it beats the hell out of rollers in the basement any day. First time on the road machine since last fall. Shifting and freewheeling felt a bit strange after 4 months on the winter fixie. But both of those features were much appreciated by my tendons. Hal discovered that his new gore-tex socks are, in fact, water proof, as advertised. He also discovered that it's better to put your pants over your socks than to tuck them inside. Poured about a cup of ice-cold water out of each sock post-ride.

experienced some wind-resistance from my uber-thick mustache; but I figure it's good for training

another installment in an an ongoing series of photos featuring Hal's feet (see, e.g., mUcr)

The final Hummelt hockey game of the season is this Tuesday, so look for FGBC spring training efforts to begin in earnest soon.

OTT: Richard Buckner, The Worst Way

Saturday, March 17, 2007

spring training

where: BHP
when: Sunday, 1pm or so
who: all the cool cats
what: road laps, clockwise
why: because it's time

OTT: Paul Westerberg, Love Untold

Friday, March 16, 2007

another friday fun file

these guy just might be the offical band of 'stache cross - white cowbell oklahoma. the names says it all. (thanks ian, the link takes you to concert footage in amsterdam. the band, as ian describes them: ...featuring 9 guitarists, 2 drummers and “southern filth”)

i am going to go out and buy a bmx bike, practice my brains out, kill myself learning to ride like steven hamiltion, eventually give up and just be satisfied watching steve ride


discussions have begun with the "club house"

there are many options to be considered.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

lap 6

This is getting serious:

I've still got bad haikus spreading like viruses through my veins. Here's what came together on the ride home this evening:

Bike Club President
Torn between two loyalties
Which will he elect?

This has got me all messed up.

OTT: The White Stripes, Ball and Biscuit

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

more cow bell

in keeping with all things cross....


Of the March variety. The annual FGBC and friends NCAA Tournament pool will take place once again. Fill out a bracket and pony up $5 to enter. Top three get a share of the cash: 60%, 30%, 10%. Same scoring system as usual: 1 pt for correct 1st round picks, 2 for 2nd, 3 for 3rd, etc. But 7 points for correctly picking the overall winner. Be warned: The Devils are hungry.

'Stache-cross continues. Will it ever end? Lap 6 will be completed tonight. Almost need a scorecard to keep track of who's in and who's out at this point. Some seem to have sorted out various difficulties and resumed racing after sitting in the pit area for a few laps. Speaking of 'stache-cross, it appears that the honorary captain is confused. The mustache looks good, but the chin whiskers have got to go.

Tomek says he'll be there tonight to take orders for the eagerly anticipated line of nordic-cross wear. Sounds like it's long-sleeve shirts at this point, not wool jerseys. But I'm sure it will somehow manage to communicate both punk and operatic stlyistic sensibilities, as was the original plan.

Pre-meeting ride tonight. Departs from my house at 9pm. Maybe some laps in the Ass. park. Will be a very light ride on my part, at least. Getting close, but not quite there yet.

OTT: Arc Lab, The Several Song

Sunday, March 11, 2007


bikes and poetry
look out, here comes a snowball
tasty hummus, Dave

Originally billed as fixie's revenge, it was more like a fat tire feast in the end. Soft snow and skinny tires proved to be a rather poor combination. Fat tires finished 1-2, I believe. Almost as many fans as racers this time around. A veritable gimp-fest under the bridge. Good times, as expected. The nordic-cross season is almost done. One more to go. Still possible to join the revolution.


Hal kicked ass. Again. Can he do it in summer too?

Blinded by the flash, Tom ran into a tree right after this. Kind of appropriate, since his haiku theme, submitted earlier, was "tree eats cyclist."

Jonny N, haiku master.

Look for additional race reports and photos here and here and here.

OTT: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Maps

be there

24 hours of ass?
no, it's haiku-cross

haiku-cross tonight
mr. dr. will be there
watching not racing

tomek is confused
7-5-7 is wrong
it's 5-7-5

(for shona)
memory stick? sure
don't know how to work it though
technology's hard

Paris-Nice is on
cycling dot tv is cool
David Millar rocks

fixie foot still f'd
mustache coming in nicely
see you all tonight

OTT: The Gourds, Best of Me

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Sunday, 8pm. Dave L's pad.

OTT: Whiskeytown, Everything I do

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

lap 5

The secretary neglected to mention the current status of 'stache-cross. And I forgot to bring a camera once again. But lap 5 was completed. Early jitters have subsided, the pretenders are long gone, and the contenders are settling in for a long ride ahead. In case anyone missed it, Jonny B has DNF'd. Again. That makes two DNF's in one race. We'll give you three strikes, young Jonny.

Among those who were present last night, the mustachioed included Mr. Dr., Jonny G, Jonny N, the secretary ('stache plus accoutrements).

Johnny S was looking good over the weekend and we'll count Steve H in as well.

OTT: Lucero, That Much Further West

minutes, march 6, 2007

present: jonnyg, jonnyn, tenacious v, president, dunger, mr. dr., alberto, luke, secretary

No real news to report... other than a nice recap of the altona-cross... and some discussion on the dr's leg issues... by and large it was light banter.

oh, i forgot, i passed a small down-payment to the dr to hold a beat up old norco for singiespeeding delight... i guess that's sort of news.

Read the details on Haiku Cross here at cycling dave's site. the nordi-cross season goes on... i'm still looking forward to the wool tour shirts from Tom.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Monday, March 05, 2007

Tour of Altona: the photos

stage 1


rock and roll

cage match

runners up

2007 Tour of Altona winners

the legend

OTT: The Good, The Bad and the Queen, Kingdom of Doom

Steve says . . .

Heard you guys are having a stash-growing contest. here is my application.

That's beautiful.

On the other hand, race radio reports that Ian has DNF'd. Sounds like it may have happened just after the Thriller Chiller lap. I will spare you the details. Rest assured, they are unpalatable. Who's left? Show up at the F&H tomorrow night and find out. Will try to remember the camera this time.

OTT: The Vines, Get Free

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Tour of Altona report

Bracketing out the matter of the basketball game, the 2nd annual Tour of Altona was a whopping success. So good, in fact, that we are staying in town an extra night. Roads are crappy, but it's mostly about wanting the good Altona vibe to linger on a little longer.

14 racers took part, including several first-timers. The course was sweet, incorporating the Altona Mountain, frozen pond crossings, and a cross-style over/under section. mucrs take note: this would be an ideal location for an out of town cyclo-cross race. Good times all around. The mayor of Altona made a brief appearance and was clearly impressed, asking whether this could be advertised as a larger public event next year. We'll have to see about that.

The race consisted of 5 stages, only two of which counted toward the GC--the race and knockdown. The other 3--hockey watching, beers, and bullshit; dogfest; and the bball game--ought to be deemed experimental, I suppose. Look for these to be worked into the actual race next year, pending evaluation. Additional stages have been suggested for as well, including a hill climb, a snow plow competition, and much, much more.

Johnny S passed along the official numbers. The Duke was busy capturing video footage. So much, in fact, that there is some concern that it may not be available before the 2008 edition. But the tentative title is A Summer Breeze. Maybe we will see a trailer soon. Or at least a couple bits of raw footage. But the Duke is an auteur, so it may take some time. Paul B is working on the soundtrack. Photo documentation of the race is forthcoming.

Altona cross (open to all denominations):


1) Mr.Dr./Johnny S - 12 laps (14 points)
2) David S/Jonny G - 12 laps (12)
3) Haiku Jeff/Brenda - 11 laps (10)
4) Simon/Steve - 11 laps (8)
5) Cheryl/Curt - 10 laps (6)
6) Paul/Johnny N - 10 laps (4)
7) Rachel/Chris F - 10 laps (2)

Cage match knockdown: 1st 5 points, 2nd 3 points, 3rd 1 point, 6 rounds

1) Paul B. - 13 points (king of the knockdown)
2) Haiku Jeff - 10
3) David S - 8.5
4) Brenda - 6
5) Johhny S - 5 (new rule: can't switch bikes)
6) Simon - 3
6) Curt - 3
8) Franz - 1
9) Steve - .5

General Classification:

1) Haiku Jeff/Brenda - 26
2) David S/Jonny G - 20.5
3) Mr.Dr./Johnny S - 19
4) Paul B/Jonny N - 17
5) Simon/Steve - 11.5
6) Cheryl/Curt - 9
7) Chris F/Rachel - 3

Saturday, March 03, 2007

cobbles baby!

Het Volk is live on right now. 10 km to go. Boonen has just attacked. O'Grady is trying to bridge up. Super sweet! Kuurrne-Brussels-Kuurrne will be on tomorrow morning.

Tour of Altona begins soon. Stage 1 at Jonny S's tonight? And high noon at the park tomorrow.