Monday, April 30, 2007

next step in the skidding scene

ok, jonny and I thought we were getting it together, but this is the next level!

gravel grunt

Billed as a Red Ass training ride, it felt more like a Black and Blue Ass ride over some of the bumpier gravel roads. That and a 30-50 kmh headwind on the way back conspired to make it a bit of a slog. A head down, take your turn at the front, and hold on at the back sort of ride. But it feels good to have done it. 233 kms in just under 9 and a half hours, lots of Mennonite cemetaries and, according to Tomek's heart rate monitor, 7000+ calories burned. Sorry, no pictures. I forgot my camera and Paddy forgot to check his batteries.

In addition to being a mini(!) trial run for Red Ass, it was also a test of sorts for my leg. This was, of course, a massive violation of my doctor's 10% rule--don't increase your training efforts by more than 10% from one week to the next. But it's been feeling good and it seemed like the time was right to test it out. I'm doing some heavy pre-emptive icing and waiting anxiously to see what happens over the next day or two.

Thanks to Johnny and Cheryl for cold beverages and some good Altona hospitality.

Can't wait until tomorrow. Half Pints revisited. Maybe we'll get inside this time.

OTT: New Ruins, Flowers

sweet ride report

G and I cruised for about 3hrs last night. Super deluxe evening for a ride. I still love my bike, which may have been in jeopardy had I ridden even a quarter way to Altona like some did yesterday. I'm sure we'll read all about it soon.

We're working on the trackstands and skids... it's coming... The only thing that went wrong was that VJ's was closed 15minutes early... so we got burned. Next time.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

bike for sale

not mine, but my friend's...

For Sale:

Surly 1X1 single-speed mountain bike, size large (approx. 20”).

Frame is 100% Surly 4130 cro-moly steel, main triangle double-butted & TIG-welded and is matched with a Surly 1X1 rigid fork. Frame alone retails for US $430.95. For further details check

Wheels have black Surly single-speed hubs (rear is designed for freewheels on both sides), laced with stainless spokes to Mavic XM317 rims (black with natural aluminium braking surface) 40 X 15/17 gearing.

Reason for selling: my wife says six bikes are too many! (hardly - alberto)



contact me.

Friday, April 27, 2007

gravel baby

Red Ass training ride this Sunday. To Altona and back. 200+ km of backroads and gravel. Departs from my house at 6:30 am. So far, it's Paddy, Tomek, and me. Maybe Jonny G on the way back. Johnny S will provide refreshments in Altona.

OTT: The Hold Steady, Your Little Hoodrat Friend

Thursday, April 26, 2007


I am rather relieved to report that this Tuesday's bungled Half-Pints excursion was not my fault. I spoke to Brewmaster Dave himself yesterday, and he claims to have just plain forgotten about it. Says his wife gave him crap about it too when they woke up on Wednesday morning. Poor guy. He says he feels really bad--as he should--and wants us to try again this Tuesday. And he says he's not going to charge us anything either. But I'm sure he'd still accept some cash if you want to give it to him. And this time he's put it in his palm pilot, so he promises not to forget. I may call to confirm anyway.

This is all kind of appropriate in a way because, as will be evident at the spring ride in two weeks, the FGBC is all about the do-over.

OTT: Mother Mother, Touch Up

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

back in black

When it says on the collar of our jersey that we are exactly what we are, what that means is that we are really just not very good. And yet we don't let details like that get in the way. Dr. last place it is. But a most enjoyable last place finish, if that's possible. First mtb race in almost two years, first race in expert, and first mtb race on the ss rig. Lots of room for improvement. The course at Bur Oak, especially the enchanted forest bit, just doesn't seem to like me very much. But at least it didn't take me down today. I crashed elsewhere instead. Good times. Can't wait for the next one. And by the end of the season, I won't finish last.

Photos courtesy of little m.:

the poosher was working

he loves it

still too fast for the camera

got back before dark . . . barely

OTT: Wendy Bucklew, Buckets of Rain


So at least we now know what it takes to get people out for a ride. Long-forgotten FGBC associates were crawling out of the woodwork at every turn. Nice. There really was no Half-Pints tour. It was all just part of a scheme to boost the numbers for the F&H buyback plan. With 15 or so in attendance, it looks like we'll be well-stocked for the spring ride in just over two weeks. We will have a tally by next week. Good times at Garbage Hill between the brewery and the F&H. The president's hand-me-down Colnago made its debut. And the much anticipated arm-wrestling match between the secretary and Jonny B finally went down.

First Wed. Night race is tonight. It is going to hurt.

'Stache-cross is still on. 12 laps, baby! Six more to go.

OTT: The Frames, Bad Bone

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Monday, April 23, 2007

grand beach report

another lonely race...

beautiful day for a race, not quite the 11C and rain they were calling for earlier in the week. day started early because i offered to help with course setup; lindsey picked me up 7:00, off to get donuts from tim's, pick up tomek, and on the road by 8:00. thankfully paddy did a bunch of the preliminary work on friday, but it still took over an hour to tape, sign, and clear body impaling branches and such.

this would be my first race in expert and first on the 29er, and these will be only firsts i will see all season. the pace is quicker, as to be expected, but it is still the same race experience with crowded single track sections, jockeying for position, and world of hurt - only this time it lasts longer. overall i was pleased with how i finished; not last and within respectable time of some of the riders who i want to stay with. would have been a couple of more positions down on the list if kevin braun and dale cramer did not blow tires. the only thing i can gripe about is losing to this punk (see his race report here) by a second. pictures here.

more "you only need one" video action here by the "mostest bestest unicycle chick ever" (that's how the people in lincoln describe her).


courtesy of Dave Benson

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Saturday, April 21, 2007

bike polo

Shona has a plan. Sounds like a good one. Wish I could be there but I can't. Hope others can make it.

OTT: Over the Hill, Into the Desert

Friday, April 20, 2007

Saturday morning ride

. . . to Lockport.

Late notice I know, but join us if you can. 7am at Tom's place or 6:45 at mine.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

field trip

Forget burgers. It's time to get serious.

OTT: Apostle of Hustle, Fast Pony for Victor Jara

big announcement coming for next week's ride

you'll want to clear your schedule for this one... I'm not saying more until the ride director unveils the plans.

minutes april 17

very little really, the ride report covers most of it. The burger tasted a lot better than it looked.

Camping for the Spring Ride. It has been confirmed that we can camp pretty much anywhere on the dates we're going. We can't reserve, however. So, the camping director is awaiting a return call to make sure we can just show up where we were last year.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tuesday Night Ride report

The first burger ride is done. Daly Burger it was. Open til 10pm. Not enough time for the secretary to get there, unfortunately. But he still got to sample a burger. The Uptown claims it's the 3rd best burger in town. Still waiting for the collective FGBC wisdom to emerge. More chili than burger, it would seem, but tasty nonetheless. And a good bun, which is not to be overlooked. Playoff hockey on tv is definitely a nice touch.

Nick's Inn and Rae and Jerry's were put forward as future burger ride possibilities. Other suggestions welcome.

The ride itself got off to a slow start. First day of Kids of Mud, rough childcare transition, sewer issues in NK, and early burger joint closing times all conspired to delay the quality saddle time--post-burger ride to the clubhouse via Ass. park. Still, by the time I got home, I'd put in just a shade under 20kms. Not bad for a night of burgers, beers, and bullshit.

Always nice to arrive at the clubhouse. Crowbar was there again tonight, but didn't hit on us this time. The new patio was tested and the initial reaction is promising.

Not to be lost in all this is the fact that another lap of 'stache cross is in the books. Jonny G finished lap 11 sporting a new look.

OTT: The Dears, Summer of Protest

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

burger ride

The secretary wants research. Try the Winnipeg burger blog for more than you could ever possibly need, let alone want, to know. A few quick calls suggests that we might have limited options, however. But we can explore, knowing that there's always VJ's to fall back on.

Monday, April 16, 2007


The president was none too pleased last week when we passed by VJ's without stopping for anything to eat. Not that he made a big scene or anything, but his dissatisfaction was palpable. So this week we will make amends by doing a burger ride of sorts. Maybe he will even join us. Come prepared to defend the virtues of your favourite burger. Arguments will be heard as we ride for a while, before finally retiring to sample the winning entry. Apologies to the vegetarians and vegans among us. You're still welcome, but may want to bring a granola bar. Or you may make a case for a veggie burger. Stella's has one that's pretty good. Post-ride, post-burger meeting at the F&H, as usual.

OTT: Glossary, Breathe Life into Me

Sunday, April 15, 2007

don't be afraid of the dark

Didn't make it to the race today. But did manage to ride with Ian, Paddy, Naomi, and Tom to St Norbert before it was time to turn around and head back. I'm sure it was fun, in a wind-swept prarie, gravel dust in the face sort of way. Looks like Hal made the right choice on his team for the year. [correction: wrong choice (see below)] The thought of racing without the sweetest jersey in the world was no doubt too much to fathom. It'll make you go faster. Guaranteed. Can't wait to see what colours the president is sporting next Wednesday.

(shamelessly lifted from Cycling Dave)

For those who didn't make the nordic-cross windup last night, you should know that we celebrated the release of the much anticipated Thriller Chiller tape. You can take comfort in the fact that you all sounded very nice. Silky smooth voices, I think is how Laura put it. If you didn't know about the nordic-cross windup, we missed you. Just like we missed you at the races this winter.

OTT: Dylan, Visions of Johanna

race report

first race of the season went off today with a road race of a 11km gravel loop at la barriere park.

it was decided at the nordic cross windup that it would be a good idea to ride to the race and that we would meet at dr. mr.'s house at 8:15, ride until we found a good coffee shop, park there for a bit and then continue on to the race.

sunday morning i woke up at 6:00 with a headache (too much red wine from the night before). my schedule for the morning is to clean up from the previous night, get my race gear together (to which i haven't even given any thought yet), put together my bike, eat breakfast, and then make it to the meeting place by 8:15. after about .5 seconds of deliberation i decided that i would still ride out to the race, but that i would skip the group ride and make it there on my own; this would give me time to finish all of my chores plus make blueberry pancakes for breakfast, which i could have with the lovely laura (contrary to the rumors floating around later at the race venue this way not a naked blueberry pancake fest). at 8:40 dr. mr. called and wanted to know if i was still coming out; i said yes, but that i would get there on my own. by 9:30 i was on the road. i quickly discovered that 30km winds from the south were going to make for a long ride to race - and indeed they did.

upon arriving at the race i was faced with my first decision of the day when i was asked about which team i was riding for. skipping back to friday i was tossing this around in my mind for the past few weeks and i could not decide which team to ride for: fgbc or tinker creek? because it was getting down to the wire for getting my form faxed in, and because i could not think of which team i was going to ride for i left the box blank on the form thinking that i'll figure this out later. when i get home there is a message on the answering machine from jonny asking what team i am riding for: mucr or fgbc, and if i don't get back to him before 5:30 it will be team jonny - i did not get back to him before 5:30. so on sunday morning when they ask which team i was riding for i said team jonny (i may need to change this since i don't have a team jonny jersey - but apparently that can be fixed with $10 and a felt pen).

the race was more of a time trail than a road race for me; with not enough gear to keep up with a roadies (into the wind was okay - with the wind i could not keep up, maxing out at 47kmh with the gear heads doing mid 50's) i soon found myself in no-man's land by myself battling 30-50kmh head winds (that sucks). jonny b took of like a scared rabbit and stretched out the field pretty quickly. this strategy proved costly and he blowed himself up real good on the final lap. as far as i know i finished mid pack somewhere and was happy with how i held out.

following the race it was back to the city, but thankfully going with the wind. by the time i rolled into my yard it was successful 100k ride - sweet.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

bike auction . . .

. . . goes down next weekend. Pick up an old road bike like Jonny G did a few years back. Or go and watch people bid too much for shiny but crappy mountain bikes. See the story below, courtesy of the WFP:

EVERY year, Brad Mart helps find owners for hundreds of stolen, lost or abandoned bicycles. Some of the bikes get returned to owners who lost them to a thief. But most end up hanging by the back wheel from one of dozens of tall racks in the basement of the Community Services building, where they wait to be owned again.

As the city's bike recovery officer, Mart takes in up to 1,500 bikes a year. About 300 come from the police -- bikes that have been found and turned in to them, or seized as evidence with no known owner.

"Sometimes it's an upgrade, where somebody steals a newer bike and leaves the old one. Sometimes it's transportation to go steal a car," says Mart.

The rest, about 1,000, Mart picks up himself from back lanes and sidewalks and boulevards after responding to calls about abandoned bikes. "A lot of the job is going around throwing bikes in the back of a truck," he says.

He guesses that most of the bikes he picks up may have been stolen by someone as a quick way to get from one place to another.

"When it's hot and dry, we get lots; when it's cold and wet, we hardly get any," says Mart. Or they may be bikes no one wants.

"There's a pattern of junk bike pick-ups and garbage days around the city. Someone sees a bike in the trash and rides it a few blocks before abandoning it."

Mart runs a serial-number check for the bikes in his care against a Canadian Police Information Centre database listing numbers of stolen bikes from around the country. But only about 10 per cent of bikes in the database are found and returned their original owners. Most of the rest get hung up for the city's annual bike auction, which will be held this year on April 21 and 22.

"Some garbage bikes end up in the scrapyard, but all these bikes go every year," says Mart, gesturing to the holding racks that fill the vast basement.

Mart says buyers at last year's auction paid an average $70 per bike, with one custom-built mountain bike selling for $700.

"People at the sale said it would've cost well over $2,000 to build," says Mart. The vast majority of the bikes have a serial number when Mart gets them, but most bike owners don't record it.

And while a tiny purple child's bike with flower decals can be plausibly identified by its description alone, Mart only assures a bike's return to someone who knows the serial number.

The city has bike theft rings "to some extent," says Mart, pointing to a pile of BMX frames and parts that police sent over after a chop-shop bust.

Mart's boss, the city's chief licence inspector, says he hopes to move 650 of the 1,040 bikes currently on hand next Saturday, and the rest on Sunday. "Everything's got to go," says Bryan Verity. "At the end of the day on Sunday, it's a buyer's market. But remember, it's an auction. If you're the high bidder, you bought it."

If you do buy, keep the bill. Mart says it will list the serial number, make and colour of the bike. If he ever picks your bike up off the street, you can prove you own it by showing him the bill.

Mart says if someone steals your bike, you should first report it to police and then to him at 986-2473. If someone took your bike within the last year and you didn't report it but you have the serial number, give him a call now. Your bike might be up for sale.

Get in on the auction:

The auction has a new venue this year -- the Varsity View Sportsplex Arena, at 4230 Ridgewood Ave.

Associated Auto Auction, which is administering the sale, will post a list of bikes up for grabs on its website at

Public viewing is from 7 to 8:45 a.m. on Saturday and bidding starts at 9.

On Sunday, viewing runs from 10 to 11:45 a.m. and bidding starts at noon.

Bidders may register anytime during either day. There is no fee to participate in the auction, but you can't bid without registering.

OTT: Yo La Tengo, I Feel Like Going Home

Friday, April 13, 2007

Geez that's a long line of cars

So, if you followed the links in the previous post to the Vancouver Critical Mass picture used by Geez, you would learn that he's also the guy who makes the fine Long Line of Cars videos:

Thursday, April 12, 2007

six degrees of geez

Their logo is on the back of the sweetest cycling jersey in the world (technically speaking, this is called advertising) and they are linked to our website. There are subscribers among us, and some have even graced the pages of the magazine itself. They seem to like bikes. Sometimes they even ride with us, but pretty infrequently as of late. That's probably because they're too busy colonizing the interweb. Anyone else noticed the proliferation of geez references popping up on bike-related blogs in the past few weeks? For example, there's this one, from a dude in Chicago, who also happens to share Cycling Dave's love of haikus. And this one, out of Vancouver. The facts aren't always spot on (Aiden Enis? A small, socially conscious, publication out in Ontario?), but as the media hipsters at geez know, it's the air time that really counts. Or something like that.

OTT: Okkervil River, Red

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Tuesday Night Ride report

Too much fun on the ride last night to gather much photographic evidence. I did manage to get one picture, but even that is mostly of my melon. You can, however, see some semblance of the group of 10 or so that wound its way up and down downtown Winnipeg--literally. The parkades have been identified and assessed, and the race planning can move to the next stage. Look for some sort of parkade based race, probably an alleycat of sorts, in the next month or so.

Good times at the clubhouse. Large group, including several guests. Lots going on. Will leave the minutes, if there are any, to the secretary.

It does bear noting that for the third week in a row Halberto was missing from the ride. He could be heard mumbling something about Tuesday nights not fitting into his training plan. Upon further query, however, he also admitted his training plan consisted of a rather loosely defined schedule that is seemingly adjusted at whim. Morning rides become afternoon rides, Tuesday rides become Wednesday rides. Clearly something is amiss. We will get to the bottom of this, but it may take a while.

OTT: Ryan Adams, Come Pick Me Up

minutes, april 11

Delightful tour/raid of parkades. We must have hit about six of them... With around 11 riders, we were certainly a presence... Three first time riders came out. Excellent. Hopefully they didn't get the impression that we are too serious...

Jonny G was showing off his sweet new fixie. It was apparently destiny. Speaking of which...
Major props to Paddy! There isn't a person in Canada working harder to try and turn a bunch of middle-aged hosers into hip, fixed gear cyclists... it may not be working (the hip part), but he's stepped up to the plate big time. Support our new found (at least for some of us) habits by buying stuff at The Shoppe. I hope someone out there is paying full price to support the great deals that keep getting worked out there for FGBC'ers...

Post ride meeting was large... Alberto showed up without riding with the team again... since we've acquired a bit of a Klub whip in our server last night, (she invited a somewhat drunken visitor to our table to move on because we were "having a meeting), it may be time to turn that towards members who ride a lot, but not with their posse. If he wasn't riding his bike at all, and coming to meetings, that would be fine.

We will need to shore up the camping arrangements for the spring ride... the camping website, and one info gathering phone call from this secretary gleaned naught more than an extra bit of confusion. It would be nice if the Accommodations Director would step up.

Due to the larger numbers, it was a bit difficult to follow all that was going on... There was a good bit of discussion on racing and the current structure of MCA classes/categories at our end. Not all is well with the system is the general consensus. (Is anybody from the MCA listening? Or want to arm wrestle about it?) More categories, and movement in those categories over the season are necessary to close some of the ridiculous gaps in the Sport Class... It's one thing to know you suck, it's another to find your self 45minutes behind the leader in a two hour race. 'Nuff said for now...

The good news is that one of the new riders is named John (Jonny for short).

Monday, April 09, 2007


Same place, same time. Hopefully warmer than last week. This one involves a bit of a mission: scout potential race venues for the summer FGBC race series. We may not have mountains or even hills, for that matter, but that doesn't mean we can't climb.

The post-ride meeting has some agenda too, namely figure out what to do about lodging for the spring ride. The secretary has done some investigating and will present a brief report.

See you tomorrow night.

OTT: Stiff Little Fingers, Alternative User

Saturday, April 07, 2007

sweet doughnuts

man, if I had sweet riding gear like this, I'd do doughnuts like this too...

Friday, April 06, 2007


They'll be flying when they hit this cobbled climb. And you can watch on Sunday morning. Nice preview over at Pez.

Found a picture of this handsome 'stache-crosser on my laptop. Either I was able to download it after all and didn't realize, or one of the kids figured it out. Looking good Jonny S. The shirt's a nice touch too.

Off to play in the basement. Time to turn the winter beater fixie into the summer supersonic fixie. Hoping that'll help change this crappy weather around. Rode out to Headingly and back this afternoon. Just got the feeling back in my toes a few hours ago.

OTT: Lucero, That Much Further West

Thursday, April 05, 2007

the easter bunny

the easter bunny came early this year. instead of hiding a chocolate jesus (scroll to second story)in my back yard, the bunny hid one of these in a local bike shop - sweet. crappy thing is - i work till 9:00 tonight so i don't get to "find it" until saturday.

part one of two bike changes this year.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Dude, where's my mustache?

Close call. Jonny G very nearly groomed himself out of the race. It seems he got overly zealous with the whisker trimmers over the weekend and almost wound up 'stache-less. The judges consulted following the completion of lap 9 and have ruled that mustache-continuity has not been violated, so he's still racing.

The competition? Johnny S sent an update from Altona, but I can't open the attachement which contains the purported evidence. And then there's this guy:

Sweet but cold ride last night. Jonny N, Tenacious V, Juan Eppstein, Cycling Dave, Jonny G, and me. Hit the skatepark at the Forks for a bit, before taking off in pursuit of something a little less windy. Which turned out to be a six-level parkade in the Exchange featuring a corkscrew ascent against traffic. This will almost certainly be a race venue in the near future. But first we will have to preview a few more downtown parkades next Tuesday night.

Late night excitement at the clubhouse. Some drunken patron got angry and started hurling half-full glasses of beer at the server behind the bar. Turned out his aim was about as accurate as his speaking was articulate, so everyone's fine. You never quite know what you're going to get at the F&H. But the tunes were lovely, as we've come to expect. It always feels right to walk in to Bowie followed by Skynyrd.

The much anticipated arm-wrestling throwdown did not materialize, as Jonny B and the secretary both failed to appear. Clearly they're both frightened by each other.

Hal (no ride; dinner) almost got run over by a bus full of women's world championship hockey players.

The spring ride is just over five weeks away.

OTT: Rufus Wainwright, Hallelujah

Monday, April 02, 2007

tuesday night

The fever has subsided, the aches are gone, and the domestic duties have been taken care of, so I'm all clear for a ride tomorrow. Same place, same time.

Lap 9 of 'stache-cross is being presented by the honorary captain's former teammate, Patrick McCarty:

OTT: Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Zephyr Song

foolz cross report

This fool was sick yesterday. Not much to report. Hopefully someone else has more to say about the race.