Friday, August 31, 2007

The One Five

15 to go. My SO will take one as will el Presidente.

Coming soon

I don't want to take any momentum away from Matt's wool jersey campaign. But I think it can run alongside the FGBC cx campaign for a while. In fact, they can probably coexist in a mutually beneficial sort of way. Wool and cross just go together like vareniki and varscht or kjielje and schmauntfat. So here it is. The official announcement of the 2007-08 FGBC cx Pool.

Here, briefly, is how it will work. You will field a team of nine riders from a list to be provided. Points will be provided for the top 20 finishers at each of the world cup races plus the world championships. Rider list and more details coming soon.

The 2007-08 calendar is as follows:

Oct. 21 - Kalmthout (BEL)
Oct. 27 - Tabor (CZE)
Nov. 11 - Pijnacker (NED)
Nov. 24 - Koksijde (BEL)
Dec. 02 - Igorre (ESP)
Dec. 08 - Milan (ITA)
Dec. 26 - Hofstade (BEL)
Jan. 13 - LiƩvin (FRA)
Jan. 20 - Hoogerheide (NED)
Jan. 27 - World Championships, Teviso (ITA)

Also, here are last year's results, which might be useful for those, like me, who don't really know who any of these guys are:

Oct. 1 - Aigle (SUI)

Oct. 22 - Kalmthout (BEL)
Oct. 28 - Tabor (CZE)
Nov. 4 - Treviso (ITA)
Nov. 12 - Pijnacker (NED)
Nov. 25 - Kosijde (BEL)
Dec. 3 - Igorre (SPA)
Dec. 8 - Milan (ITA)
Dec. 26 - Hofstade (BEL)
Jan. 14 - Nommay (FRA)
Jan. 21 - Hoogerheide (NED)
Jan. 28 - World Championships, Hooglede-Gits (BEL)

Hopefully by the end of the season, everyone'll know who the two guys on the poster are. This year they won't be teammates. Could be interesting.

Finally, as a bonus, here's a short video of the 1986 junior cx worlds which kind of sums it all up in all its sloppy, muddy, painful glory. Sometimes the fastest way to ride your bike is not to ride at all. I bet that really hurt.

OTT: or, the whale, Call and Response

Going all off-topic

Anybody else see this and think it might be career change time?

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Matt has grabbed the bull by the horns and is running. Hard. Sounds like it's wool jerseys. A retro-styled special Nordic-Cross edition FGBC jersey, if I understand correctly. For those too lazy to read the comments, here it is from the bull rider himself:
Woolistic will be our jersey maker. $88 USD with embroidery FOB Atlanta. Minimum order is normally 40, but he'll go as low as 25 for us. These are probably the nicest jerseys in the industry (emphasis added).

I've specified a black jersey with white bands on the cuffs, collar and chest. Nordic Cross in scripted black embroidery on the chest band. F.G.B.C. in white caps over the rider's right breast. 1/4 zip.

The thought, as discussed a bit at the F&H is to get custom embroidered snowflake patches with the year and sew them on an arm or possibly one of the rear pockets.

40-45 day turn around.

He'll deliver samples for sizing if I provide him with a CC, but also states that their sizing chart is "dead on after 9 years of doing this".

Well whatdya know? Go Switzerland!
For the rest of the discussion, go here.

We've got 5 takers already. 20 more to go. Drop a comment and speak up. The sooner the better. You won't want to miss out on this. I scored me some wool for Christmas last year. I can't think of any superlative super enought to express my satisfaction with it.

OTT: Wax Poetic, Swing Swing


2002-2007. RIP, Black Beauty.

2007- Bring it on.

Cyclocross season is just around the corner. This year promises to be better than ever.

FGBC is putting on a race in Altona on Oct. 21. Mark your calendars. Now.

We're working out the final details for the 2007 FGBC cx Pool.

If you're not excited yet, go check out Scott W's retrospective of the 2006 season.

The local race calendar is as follows:

Sept. 23 Cyclocross 1 - Woodhaven Park
Sept. 29 Cyclocross 2 - Civic Park
Sept. 30 Cyclocross 3 - location TBA.
October 21 Cyclocross 4 - Altona.
October 28 Psycho Cross - Whittier Park
Nov.4 Cyclocross Provincial - Belgium Club
Nov. 18 Cyclocross 5 - Bourkevale Park

In addition, look for Menno-cross: The Sequel. Not to mention another groundswell of grassroots cross racing.

OTT: The Mendoza Line, Tell it to the Raven

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tuesday Night Tribulation

So much adversity, so little time. It's a wonder we made it home alive, really. First we almost got run over by a mini-van. Some chump figured he could beat us around a corner--when we were going straight. Next we had to endure the threats of a menacing band of 12-year old thugs. Then it was the ice-rink slippery skate park surface. And all that was before the disclosure of Matt's penchant for warm nuts. Yes, there was another jersey discussion. It will get resolved. Eventually.

Where's the poosher?

Stalking Gianni.

The ice rink.

Safe and sound at the clubhouse. Sort of.

OTT: The Veils, Jesus for the Jugular

Weekend at Wenatchee

Finally got out of the city and explored some trail riding in the Wenatchee National Forest. There are literally hundreds of miles of trails in the area. I went with my nephew and brother-in-law to the Nason Ridge Trail. It is considered a medium difficult 18.0 mile round trip, with 4500 feet of elevation to climb on your way up to the ridge - where you enjoy spectaular views of the valley and mountains beyond. Next weekend I am returning to the area, but this time to ride highway 2 from the top of Steven's Pass down to Leavenworth.

The descent was fabulous, but after nearly dislocating my shoulder on the way down, I am beginning to contemplate the need for a ride with suspension. Any recommendations? Oh, and the beer of the weekend? It is not a dark, but it is quite a fine brew.

On another note - the Seattle cross season begins in a couple of weeks I hope to get out and watch, but also ride under the FGBC banner. The only thing that sucks is that the races are all on Sunday mornings, which doesn't jive with the pastoral gig very well. Peace to all you good people.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Tuesday Night Ride

Ultimate season is done. The regular Tuesday Night Ride is back. Finally.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Good Times in an easterly direction!!

Johnny S and I had a great ride at the Bruce Peninsula Bike Park this Summer. There are a few more clips on U-tube.

This place is free and lots of fun. We rode here for about six hours and loved every second of it. This was a playground for big kids like us and we rode way more stuff than we thought we would.

Check it out

Look forward to a ride soon

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Belgian Triathlon

Sounds like fun. Too bad it's time for the Living Legends to win another ultimate championship.

OTT: The Mendoza Line, Aspect of an Old Maid

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bike Lanes Are for Bikes--Right?

Maybe the lack of bike lanes in these parts isn't such a bad thing after all. It would probably end up being just one more thing to get frustrated about. A gallery courtesy of the Village Voice.

OTT: Elk City, Cherries in the Snow


= Sustainable Low-Cost Urban Transport. Nothing we don't already know. But a reminder every now and then doesn't hurt.

The FGBC train of SLUTters was 10 cars long last night during the Parks Tour. Thank-you Colin. Sensibly paced and, in Ian's case at least, sensibly dressed too. Conversation ranged from building permits for decks to dragon boat security to utopian private gardens to exotic foliage to polish opera posters to roof-top bike rack run-ins with roofs, and many, many points in between.

OTT: Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris, If this is Goodbye

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

FGBC colors at the Clear Lake Tri

It was nice to go camping and see the FGBC colors at this years Clear Lake triathelon!

Nice work!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Tuesday Night Ride

On a Tuesday, no less. Be there. Sensible pacing. Can you ever really ask for more?

head for the hills

head for the hills is coming up again - sadly, i will be missing this year's fund raiser for xc8. i promised my pledge to the good doctor if he rides, but if he does not, give me a shout and it is yours.

on different hills, don sissons and bill benson finished first in their category of the trans rockies race. cool.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Charlie Prinsep

We lost another one of the good guys recently. I heard an interview with a few of his friends on CBC earlier this week. Tragic. Sometimes it feels like it's only a matter of time. I really hope that feeling is wrong. Be careful out there boys and girls.

OTT: Amos Lee, Long Line of Pain

Friday, August 17, 2007

bike for sale - again

go here for details

The Honorary Captain is a Muppet

That's what Sara Corbett thinks, at least. Not sure which one she has in mind. Maybe Sam the Eagle.

Barn-door ears? Nerdy grace? For better or for worse, this is our honorary captain.
Landis, like most successful bike racers, is not a big guy. He has narrow shoulders, shortish legs and a long, blade-like torso. The only unaerodynamic thing about him is his set of barn-door ears, which, coupled with a low-hanging brow and the flat line of his mouth, give him a vaguely Muppet-like aspect. At 5-foot-10, he does not swagger but rather carries himself with a nerdy kind of grace, his physical power masked by his unglamorous, everydude appearance.

In conversation, he exudes an affable charm that can be alternately gentle and smart-alecky. He's also a natural contrarian, happy to take the unpopular side of any argument, spouting off the moment something strikes him as illogical or misguided. “It makes no sense!” he will cry, addressing with equal levels of passion everything from the efficacy of immigration policy to why on earth people think tattoos are cool.

At age 20, he left the flyspeck town of Farmersville, in Lancaster, County, Pa., and moved alone to Southern California to pursue not only bike racing but life outside his pared-down Mennonite upbringing. He sorted through an onslaught of new experiences — alcohol, sushi, rock 'n' roll, horror movies, immodestly dressed women and so on — deciding on the spot what he would accept and what he would reject. The habit has stayed with him. Things are either good or not good, people are either friends or enemies. There is very little that Landis is not emphatic about. And whatever churchly uplift his mother, Arlene, delivers to him in her regular phone calls — “God is allowing you to go through this because you have the strength to endure it,” she tells him — it seems to get lost quickly in the deep well of his outrage over his situation.
This is from Sara Corbett's long, well-written, and refreshingly un-surgarcoated profile of the honorary captain fighting to salvage what little shreds of honor he might have left. It will appear in the NYT this Sunday, but is available here right now. Well worth the read. Every once in a while there's a journalist who can actually write.

If there's room in this outfit for an assistant honorary captain, Chris Horner should probably get some attention as a potential candidate, if only for his response to LA's self-serving account of why they are pulling the plug on Team Disco.
"I read what Lance has said about the sport, and it is just ridiculous to read something so stupid, from a guy who has made his career off the sport. Now they can't find a sponsor and say they are pulling out just because they don't want to look for one? I don't believe it. You tell me Lance is giving up money? He raced his whole career looking for it, because he was a businessman more than the love of the sport. Now he is telling us that it isn't a good place for the sport so we are pulling out. Are you really telling me that?

"All it is is he can't find a sponsor. Instead he's saying, 'I'm Lance Armstrong, I finally couldn't accomplish something so we're pulling out instead.' If I'm wrong, prove me wrong Lance -- go out and find a sponsor! Instead it was 'we're leaving, I don't like the sport anymore'. No, just leave and get out. I'm sorry if those weren't his exact words, but if what I am reading is, then it is ridiculous and irresponsible."

"It makes it a bit tougher for guys like myself, but at the same time I don't see that too many of those guys affect me. But some riders might not have jobs next year, assuming that more teams don't come in. Or they won't be with a ProTour team. That's a possibility, and that might be me too! Because Lance wants to get out of the sport he is going to unemploy half of his team. Personal opinion again, but that has to be the biggest bullshit story I have ever read!"

OTT: The Dexateens, Naked Ground

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tuesday Night Ride report

Not bad for a Wednesday. For a while, I thought it would be just Matt, James, and myself. We were hanging out in the kitchen, absorbed in some significant conversation about something I can no longer remember. But all the while, the multitude was converging on the front lawn. I think it was a solid group of 11 that rode out to King's Park to meet the secretary, before heading back to the clubhouse.

The great affiliation and jersey discussion resolved, well, very little. Resolution, however, is highly overrated. So we don't really come out any worse for wear, near as I can tell. There was some discussion that took place. But any attempt at a summary is best left to the secretary. Sounds like an order of some sort will be placed before too long. So think about what you want, because the question is coming. One of these days.

A discussion was initiated about what it would take to make Dave's wares available on tap at the F&H. Looks like it might be worth a follow-up conversation with Lawrence at some point. A job for the president, no doubt.

Crowbar was spotted at the F&H toward the end of the evening. He left us alone last night. I can only assume that's because he had already lined up company for the night. And we were all set to sacrifice Luc and Jonny M. in order to keep him off our backs. Next time.

I don't have any photos, but Bert was busy taking a bunch. Hopefully he'll share a few.

OTT: Sunset Rubdown, Snake's Got a Leg III

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

One of these things is not like the other

Nice to see Paddy and Dallas bust out the FGBC colours. But what about mr. velobread? First he gets his own website, now this. Notice how he can't face the camera. And there's the whole affiliation thing he went and started. Something's afoot. We'll get to the bottom of it. Sounds like a job for dr. divisive.

(photo stolen from Mike Howard, via Paddy)

OTT: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Am I Only

Make it stop already

As if this whole can of worms hasn't been opened way too wide already, the poosher adds the following submission for consideration:
Meanwhile, down in Wisconsin the sweetest jersey in the world was spotted during 24 Hours of 9-Mile a few weeks back.

(photo stolen from Dave Simmons)

Which is as good a segue as any for me to offer my two cents on this matter, for whatever it might be worth. The FGBC is and always will be the FGBC, not the HPBC. When it says we are exactly what we are, one thing that means is that we're not the HPBC. That just has a terrible ring to it, as far as I'm concerned. I'm as excited as anybody for what Dave has brought to town, and I'm all for cultivating connections with him. But that doesn't constitute a change of identity so much as the opening of a new avenue for expressing one that's already well-established. The so-called takeover of the other FGBC by a BC company does not constitute a major identity-crisis for me, nor a minor one for that matter. It's just paperwork. The official FGBC jersey is the one in the picture directly above. It is, after all, the sweetest jersey in the world. No reason to mess with it. If people want to play around with other possibilities, that's fine. Obviously, I'm willing to participate. But I see this as an expansion of the FGBC signature clothing line, not a replacent of one clothing line by another. So long as 10 people are willing to pony up, we can do pretty much whatever we want. More tonight--if necessary. But more than anything, I want to go for a bike ride. Anywhere.

OTT: John Prine, Blue Umbrella


This may be relevant for tonight's post-ride discussion:
To place an order with Champion System you only need to order 10 of any same-style main item (jerseys, jackets, vests, shorts, tights, knickers, skinsuits) to get started. After that, you can order any main item one-at-a-time. Confused? Here are some examples of acceptable orders:

10 short sleeve jerseys, 1 long sleeve jersey, 1 vest.
10 bib shorts, 1 skinsuit, 1 short sleeve jersey, 1 winter jacket.
10 wind jackets, 1 wind vest, 1 bib short, 1 bib knicker.
* Accessories (gloves, caps, warmers etc. have separate minimums. See below for details).

That's right, you can order items ONE AT A TIME as long as you are ordering at least 10 of any same-style item. Finally, your time trial teammate can order one long sleeve skinsuit and your teammate that trains all winter can order one pair of custom fleece bib tights.

Incredible, right? Compare our minimums to other companies. None of our competitors will allow you to order items one at a time!

Accessory minimums:

Gloves - 10 pieces
Shoe Covers - 10 pieces
Arm/Leg/Knee Warmers - 10 pieces per style.
Cycling Caps - 10 pieces if part of a jersey/short order. 25 pieces for cap-only orders.
Socks - 50 pairs
Reorder minimums:

If we have your artwork on file and you are not making any changes, the minimum for reorders is 10 total main pieces. Examples:

5 short sleeve jerseys, 5 shorts
9 bib shorts, 1 short sleeve jersey
1 short sleeve jersey, 1 wind vest, 1 wind jacket, 1 short sleeve skinsuit, 1 long sleeve skinsuit, 1 bib short, 1 bib knicker, 1 bib tight, 1 winter jacket, 1 winter vest.
There better be at least one person willing to order a skinsuit or this whole discussion is off the table, as far as I'm concerned.

Hope everyone can make it tonight. 9:30 at my place.

OTT: Sonic Youth, Computer Age

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ride and Meeting

Will get back to Tuesdays eventually. For now, Wednesday seems to work best. Meet at my place. Post-ride gathering at the F&H.

OTT: The National, Gospel

Monday, August 13, 2007

Argyle, Aussie style

Looks like Cadel is into the argyle too, or at least some close cousin of it. This is from one of his post-Tour appearances. Would look nice in one of those new HP jerseys, don't ya think? Is he perhaps dropping a hint that about a move over to Slipstream? Could be interesting.

Nice relaxing ride yesterday at Muddy Waters. Tom, Colin, Luc, Shona and myself, along with some dude named Ryan (I think) were fighting it out with a bunch of cops on full squish mountain bikes for the lanterne rouge. I had to ride ahead in order to make it back home in time for a wedding, so not sure who took it in the end. We were going so slow that they shut down the 2nd checkstop before we got there. It would have been nice to know that in advance, especially since there was a gas station 5 km earlier. By the time I rode back home it was 194 kms and 7+ hours in the saddle. That's probably more than I've ridden in the last month. Not a good scene.

OTT: Podington Bear, Airliner

Saturday, August 11, 2007

forecast calls for mud

Be there. I'm planning to ride there and back as well. Leaving from my place at 6:30 am.

The honorary captain did alright today in his return to racing at Leadville. He was riding together with four-time consecutive defending champ, Dave Wiens, the whole way. Apparently he crashed just before the finish, caught back up, and then flatted, finishing just under 2 minutes back. More from VN.

OTT: The Changes, Changes

more argyle

Okay, so these ones actually have HP colours. Cast yer ballot.

[Updated: for Matt]





Dave and co. are actually celebrating their first anniversary today. Congratulations guys! Can't wait to try out the new commemorative brew.

OTT: Dolorean, No Name

Friday, August 10, 2007

Flemish not spoken here

Nice hats, losers.

photo stolen from Bert

Anyone planning on doing Muddy Waters on Sunday?

OTT: Devendra Banhart, A Sight to Behold

Thursday, August 09, 2007

new jersey

Blame Matt. He asked for it:

Or maybe we can stick with the original and use the Slipstream paradigm, adding a "powerd by" sub-title: Fort Garry Bike Club powered by Half Pints.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


. . . is the new green and yellow. Slipstream is my new favourite pro cycling team. It goes without saying that their jerseys kick ass. And Jonathan Vaughters has always had a nice look going with the burns. But recently they turned it up a notch by going out and getting David Millar, Christian Vande Velde, and Crazy Dave Z. Now they've announced the signing of 2004 Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt. And it sounds like they're not finished yet in rounding out their 2008 roster. Apparently, they're gunning for a TdF wild card berth next year and a Pro Tour spot in 2009. And as if all that wasn't good enough, they're "powered by" burritos. Sweet. I love burritos.

The honorary captain returns to racing this week in Leadville, CO. 100 miles at 10,000 ft. Sounds like fun. Sort of.

OTT: Venice is Sinking, Undecided

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Noticed this monument in the Exchange while doing a little bike tour of downtown with some friends who were visiting from the US of A this weekend. It's on the east side of Cinematheque. The sign reads:
This bike is here in Memory of our
Dearest friend Dave, Who passed away
this monday july 9th 2007. please respect
what this means for our comunity who love
him dearly. Thank you.
I believe all the FGBC Daves have been accounted for. Anyone know anything about this? There's no ghostbike tradition here that I'm aware of. Maybe this is the start of one.

Hal and I are staffing the cx booth at the Belgian Pavilion tonight: 6:30 to 10:00 pm. Would be a good day for other FGBCers to get their Folklorama fix in.

OTT: Joan as Police Woman, Flushed Chest

Saturday, August 04, 2007

let the discussions begin...

since fort garry beer is no longer a manitoba company, having been acquired by russell brewing in bc, maybe we should change our allegiance to a truly manitoba company....

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Burger Report

Nice night for riding on the streets of Seattle. Am actually finding the hills less intimidating every night. Perhaps my next time at Falcon will not repeat its previous impact - think ghost. The burger of the night is the 'Dick's Deluxe'. A double burger with cheese, mayo, chopped pickles (nice touch). Extra toppings available at $.05/squirt are mustard, ketchup, relish, or tarter. Cost - a burger and fries, with a squirt of ketchup - $3.91. Any takers?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

wednesday evening ride

tom and i are off to scout potential cross courses this evening. if you are interested in joining us meet us at carlos and murphys in the village around 6:00ish (we'll start by having a beer)