Saturday, January 31, 2009

Coen Recon Complete

A fine ride. The jonnys and Tenacious V showed up later... because Unger had joined them, only to have his wheel explode (not just the tube, apparently) half the way to my place. Sick.

Anyway, the greatest concern was the river crossing, so we tackled that first, and I am pleased to report that we have a fine location, so our route now becomes a loop. We quickly realized that we'd need to go in reverse of our exploration because it will be easier to go down a steep bank than up... see the picture below, from our return trip.
Our path will meander through Kildonan Park... including the creek from the duck pond to the witch's hut. Nice. We checked into the golf course area, see pic below, but the single track was too single... ie. infuriatingly narrow and soft. So we took a pit stop under the old train track.
Great day for riding except the wind which nearly knocked us off the trails for a short time. Turns out the Sals close to our place is awesome. Triple cheese nips almost all 'round.
It's going to be a nice loop. You don't really want to miss this. Granted, it won't be the same without Dr. H's snotcicle. (See the poster in the post prior to this one.)

(EDIT later: I've tried to make a route with an online tool. Try this:
24hrs of Coen Route)

You Are Entering a World of Pain

Friday, January 30, 2009

Dept. of Misadventure

Not all ideas are good ones. Like this one, for example:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

24hrs of Coen reconnaissance ride

This saturday, G and I will take a ride to try and determine a route for the 24hr event. We're hoping for a river crossing so it can be a loop. Meet at my place (headquarters for this year's event), at around 3:30 to join us. Email me at dnbarg at yahoo dot ca for directions.

Despite the relative silence of the Editor, the 24hr race will go in some fashion. Colin is bringing the films, someone will figure out how we will engage the films and race in the usual madcap fashion. A few ideas have been launched on this, but I believe we're still taking submissions.

Reminder: The event goes Saturday, Feb 14, 10:00am to Sunday Feb 15, 10:00am. Yes, we're aware of a particular cultural event that takes place on the 14th, and yes, we're riding instead.

tnr minutes

a fine gathering. Craig and the Impaler went for a ride, south down the trails along the Red... which brought them back well after 11:00. Good work riders. The hockey crowd wandered in to find Colin and Halberto (stretching it out way late)... the remains of a MUCR meeting. Very nice to see/hear that MUCR is taking things seriously in a way we refuse. G rode in later from Vball. Drive ins were Tenacious V, secretary (hockey) and Luke (always better to drive in than not show).

Cycling topics: an explanation of the Olympia Cycling Club meeting by Halberto; 24hrs confirmation and reconnaissance planning; probably some others
Non-cycling: the main piece revolved around a certain procedure G is signed up for... this devolved in a number of ways including concerns around anesthesia and infection... a shame the President wasn't around because he brings graphic description to this in a way us non-medical folk would prefer not to even dream about.

Thursday Anticipation

1) Spring Ride

2) Nordic Cross

Here we go again. Does the Editor have anything to showcase?

3) Ice Bike

Sunday, Feb. 1 at high noon. Anyone going?

4) River Parade and Party

This is what they're saying:
its official - rain? slush or snow !
join us for a 9.34 km " Longest Soul Rhythm Hip Hop Pied Piper Skate Dance Party Parade - in The World ! "

CONFIRMED DATE: Sunday, February 1 2009

Timing as follows:

12pm - Parade leaves The Forks Historical Port
12:30pm - Arrives at Hugo docks
1:00pm - Arrives at Dominion access point
1:30pm - Arrives at Bourkevaile access point
2:00pm - Arrives at Assiniboine Park

City of Winnipeg Transit bus will be waiting to return people to The Forks (bring your own fare)

Watch for additional info here.
Strange that they would do it at the same time as IceBike. But in case racing isn't your thing.

5) Gianni's Grass Track Glossary

The grass track czar writes:
Match Sprint

Often when people think about track cycling, the image is one of massively muscled guys with explosive power. This association probably comes from match sprint. Like track & field sprinters, these riders are specialists – different training methods (heavy, heavy weights), different equipment (heavy, heavy duty) and special skills (many of which are tactical and psychological).

There are an inconceivable number of rules for match sprint with such a degree of complexity that I was actually dreading writing this event up. Fortunately, Phil Liggett covers most of them in the old race video below.

What he doesn’t tell you is that the 2 guys in the final have done (probably the day before) a flying 200m for seeding, and then have gone through a ladder system (usually 4 or 5 rounds) to get to the final. Each match is a best of 3. The loser of the match in some rounds goes to a B-side (called repechage), and sometimes the matches have 3 riders in them. The planning and flow of these ladders at high level competitions is standardized, but is so rule-bound that it resembles some kind of intricate ritual of a royal court.

Oh, and the red line on the track (the sprint line) is important in this event, because once a rider commits to their sprint (as you see in the closing moments of this video) they are not allowed to cross it – you either pick the “lane” (as it is called) below the sprint (preferable) or the line above it. Crossing it means disqualification (and/or a crash).
This is how you do it:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Examined Life

The only thing missing is bikes. Real philosophers ride bikes.

Official Beverage of the 24 Hour Race?

Courtesy of the WFP.

Bird in a Cage

The Orioles Bike Cage will be opening soon. An initiative of the group known as the WC3.

This is what they say:
We envision a bike-friendly community where everyone has a reliable bike and the skills to maintain it.

Our mission is to empower and improve the community by sharing our knowledge of bike repair, by providing access to bike repair tools, by encouraging reuse of materials and by providing an open space where money is not a barrier to bicycle ownership.
Right on. Surf on over to TNW for more.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

For Johnny S

Listen to this.


Who, what, where, when?

Watch out for the scary monsters. They are out there. And they are hungry.

We were waiting for this?

The MCA has finally unveiled its new website. We've been hearing about this now for, what, 8 months? So it's about time. Unfortunately, it's not discernably better than the old one. But if this one gets updated more than once a month, it'll still be an improvement.

Monday, January 26, 2009

El Presidente Rules Milano

As far as the World Cup competition was concerned, there wasn't really anything up for grabs at yesterday's season finale. Nys had already clinched the series title thanks, in part, to the extended absences of Albert and Boom earlier in the season. But he made sure to show that his series victory was legit by taking the win ahead of a pretty elite group of six who led for the better part of the race. The last lap was basically a battle between Boom and Nys. Boom attacked at the start of the final lap, but Nys chased him down. Then Nys got a gap when Boom slipped out of his pedals on a short climb, and Boom brought it back together. Boom led coming out of the final corner, but Nys overtook him with a sprint to the line that he made look all too easy. Boom was second and Stybar was the best of the rest, finishing third. In the women's race, it was a battle between van den Brand and Kupfernagel. Van den Brand came out on top. Salvetat was third. Compton did not race.

Last lap:

Over in the FGBC CX Pool, El Presidente (not to be confused with the President) made good on his stated intention of emerging victorious in the race for second place. He finished atop the podium with 640 points on the day, barely edging out Ian, who had 635. The only problem is, Rachel no longer cares about the race for second place. She has her eyes firmly fixed on the overall prize. She finished third on the day with 625 points and picked up another 100 points on Gary. She no doubt benefitted from the fact that Compton did not race and Lloyd did. But 100 points is 100 points, and we have ourselves a race. Only 215 points separate first and second now as we head into the biggest weekend of the year. Remember, points are double for the World Championships. With 500 points at stake for the men's champion and 300 for the women, next weekend in Hoogerheide might just settle this thing. We shall see.

Yesterday's Results:

David S 640
Ian 635
Rachel 625
Chris A 575
Vic 535
Gary 525
Olli 525
Hal 505
Charlene 500
Brad 485
Chris H 465
Jonny G 450
Andy 440
Paddy & Naomi 415
Matt 395
Dallas 385
Deanna 370
Bill 340
Tomek 335
Adam 325
Jonny M 320

Overall Standings:

Gary 13525
Rachel 13310
David S 12980
Chris A 12515
Jonny M 12235
Olli 12140
Chris H 11420
Ian 11330
Paddy & Naomi 11245
Vic 11230
Matt 10790
Charlene 10385
Deanna 10260
Tomek 9960
Brad 9780
Jonny G 9760
Adam 9730
Dallas 9655
Hal 9010
Bill 8895
Andy 8600

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Like Glue?

The Sweetest Skinsuit in the World has infiltrated someone else's YouTuberry.

Evidently, Howard needs to find some glue with better adhesive qualities, as demonstrated by this next clip taken a few laps later. The Sweetest Skinsuit in the World is far up ahead by this point. You'll have to take my word on it.

Are we really that slow? It sure feels a lot faster on the bike.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

cultural event

tenacious v and the good mrs. dr. and a cast of thousands (okay, maybe just a few others) are playing a gig tomorrow evening, something called a schubertiad. i think it should be called schubert-o-rama, but they wouldn't listen to me. what is a schubertiad, as far as i can tell it is an evening of music by schubert, some german poetry and stuff like that. on top of some cool music they are also mixing in some sampled recording and some other media. eva clare hall @ 7:30

Sometimes There's a Man . . ., Part III

From here:
DZ: Like this morning I downloaded some software to transfer music from my ipod to my computer, that was good times.

schmalz: Seems like ipods, cellphones, facebook, has really helped with...

DZ: It's definitely a valuable device. It was a valued rug, man.

schmalz: What?

DZ: Valued rug, man.

schmalz: Valued rogue?

DZ: Valued rug, man (laughing).

schmalz: You got me lost. Valued rug?

DZ: This was a valued rug, man.

schmalz: I have no idea what you're talking about.

DZ: Oh, I'm sorry. Lebowski.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Roller Racing

Is anyone planning to show up tomorrow?

I hope so. If you can't post photos and a report yourself, send them here.

I Know Who I Am

That's what the Honorary Captain says. And we are exactly what we are. See, it all makes perfect sense. Read the whole story here.

More jibba-jabba here and here.

Tuesday Night Photos

From Craig. Just to supply evidence that they actually rode on Tuesday. And also to show that those reflective bands really reflect. My eyes still hurt. This completes the TNR Report.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

There He Goes Again

Is Gianni stalking this guy? Or is he stalking Gianni? Either way, it's kind of spooky. He's everywhere. Or is it even the same guy? A mystery.

Also seen at The Next Winnipeg. FGBC'ers are encouraged to participate in this new collective venture that dares to imagine a better future for our fine city. Or rather, I suppose it is an attempt to show that the next Winnipeg is already here, if only we could cultivate some new ways of seeing that are capable of recognizing it. Or is Mayor Katz still looking for help with that attempt to come up with a new slogan to replace the old "One Great City" signs? Either way, it's coming. Do your part by sending an email (with images or words) here. That blue bike looks really familiar.

Speaking of the next Winnipeg, Hollywood has been trying to conjure it for years:

Surely we can do better.

Thursday Anticipation: Supplement

A couple of late-breaking developments to report.

1) FGBC Productions is proud to present:

What is a kermesse?
Kermesse is a general name for a bicycle race held on a short circuit of public roads, usually closed to other traffic. There is no precise definition; the same race can be called a criterium, but the origins of the name come from its frequent association with village fair - kermesse in French or kermis in Dutch - when a bike race would be another attraction of a village fĂȘte.

Round-the-houses [or in this case housebarns--ed.] races of this sort are still popular in the Netherlands, where dense population and busy roads make the organization of more classic cycle races more difficult than elsewhere. They were also popular in neighbouring Belgium but their number and the consequences on traffic, whether the roads were closed or not and even if the circuit were longer than the kilometre or two of the classic kermesse, led the government to restrict their number in 1967. Since then, the number has declined, although they remain popular in Holland.
What better place to have a Kermesse than historic Neubergthal? The people who built those housebarns have their roots in the Netherlands. It's only fitting that we bring some Dutch-style bike racing there as well. Post-race good times to follow in the Krahn Barn dance hall.

Here's some footage of a kermis in Belgium:

The KBK will take place on a route that is more gravel and grass than cobbles. Exprect something more like this.

Participation will be limited. If you want in, we would be willing to consider bribery.

This exciting event will take place the day before the Back 40 in Morden. I'm sure the good folks in Altona would be glad to help arrange accomodations for those who want to make a weekend out of it.

2) River Trail Parade Update
Last night's decision was to put the Parade & Party on the River Trail on HOLD till NEXT SUNDAY, Feb. 1st.

Only in Winnipeg can you have near record braking cold temperatures followed by above average temperatures!
The river trail snow removal has been completed to Assiniboine Park, but with this week's mild weather, the new ice is in very poor condition.
Paul wants to wait one more week.

there absolutely will be a parade & party celebrating the river trail from The Forks to Assiniboine Park - some Sunday in the very near future :) !
I will keep you updated on this 'fluid' event ! (this gives you more time to prepare a parade outfit ! )
That makes it the same day as Icebike. Could be a long day.

Thursday Anticipation

1) Spring Ride 2009

We are basically two-thirds of the way there. Johnny S is getting excited.

2) Nordic Cross

The next race is scheduled for Jan. 31. Billed as the Editor's Showcase, one can scarcely imagine what it might involve. It is safe to say you will not want to miss it. Unless you are one of those anal types who has a hard time dealing with seemingly arbitrary rules being made up on the fly. You guys should probably avoid the FGBC altogether, for that matter. Your tight sphincter chokes off our pursuit of good times.

The following day is Icebike 11 (note to promoter: you need to update your website; 2008 is over). The Impaler reports that the course is looking good. It all adds up to a sweet weekend of racing in the snow. Consider it a double cross weekend, Nordic Cross style.

Two weeks after that is the annual 24 hour spectacular--24 Hours of Coens. I hope Cohens too. Any ipods used during the race must be filled exclusively with Leonard Cohen's peaty voice. I believe this year's race is being hosted by the secretary. I've even heard a rumour that the course will cross the Red River into Kildonan Park. Might we have an update on how the planning is coming along?

3) IceTT v.2

As previously mentioned, Bill and Jonny G are planning it. It will be as sweet as ever. Stay tuned for more information.

4) Gianni's Grass Track Glossary

Omnium (with a bit about Flying 200m)

What do you get if you add up all the events we have learned about over the last few weeks? You get an Omnium.

Omnium is a multiple race event in track cycling in which all contestants compete against each other in five different disciplines, kind of like the bike version of pentathlon. Traditionally, an omnium consists of the following disciplines:

A 200m flying start time trial (flying start meaning you get a lap or 2 to “get up to speed” before entering the timed 200m segment).
A 5km scratch race (or the number of laps closest to 5km).
An individual pursuit with the riders seeded on how they finished in the scratch race.
A 15km points race with a minimum of five intermediate and the sixth final sprint.
A 1km time trial

Points are recorded in reverse order. The rider who finishes first in an event receives one point, the second rider will get two points and so on. The rider with the fewest points after all events is the omnium overall winner. When two riders are tied on points the recorded time of the time trials will make the difference between the riders. A rider needs to have ridden and completed every event in the omnium. When a rider fails to enter or finish one of the disciplines he or she is recorded as "Did not finish".

Now about the flying 200m. First, it's used to seed riders for the Spring event (I think that will be next week's entry). Second, riders go really, really fast -- up to 75km/h. Incidentally the world record for the flying 200m was held by Curt Harnett (from Thunder Bay) from 1995 to 2006. His legs were almost as beautiful as his hair. And here's a video of the guy who beat him:

5) River Trail Parade

Courtesty of Paul Jordan, via Gianni:
Parade & Party on longest river trail in the World !

. . . . if . . . . . if . . . . . if . . . if
- the weather cooperates
- the kids can shovel through to Assiniboine Park Bridge this week
- if the Zamboni doesn't konk out

DATE: Sunday, January 25th
TIME: 12:00 noon departing from The Forks through to Assiniboine Park
We will kick off a parade & party departing from The Forks and travel along the river trail to Assiniboine Park. Dress up in your winter finery (i.e., Nordic Cross and FGBC jerseys or MUCR skinsuits) - lace on skates, hiking boots, or whatever and join in at any of the many access points.

More info at the River Trail Website.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

You Only Need One

Taken by Gianni:

TNR Report

Submitted by Brad the Impaler:

Craig, Bill, Kevin K. and Brad showed up.

We rode most of the Icebike course, which Bill had a hand in designing. Thanks Bill. The section on the skating path should provide some drama on race day as usual. Then down to the river all the way to Bourkevale Park, and up to the clubhouse. The river trail is in great shape, hard packed and fast. It was a beautiful evening to be out and it made last week's ride at minus 35 seem like a distant memory.

As usual, good times at the clubhouse, where we were joined by Colin, G, Tenacious V, and Juan Eppstein.

Pictures coming soon.

This isn't Winnipeg

It's Durham. That little taste of winter chill we experienced last week was apparently just a prelude to the real thing which showed up yesterday. Of course, this being the south, it was treated as if it was a small-scale natural disaster. People were told not to drive and everything was shut down for the day. That and the inauguration of some guy named Obama kept everyone at home. So I basically had the city to myself as I rode around town. Good times.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Sounds like it's warm enough for some of the thinner skinned ones to make it out.

As for where and when, dicuss.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Junk Yard Cross

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better. This is awesome. They say imitation is the best form of flattery. We must flatter these guys. That use of the semi-trailer is simply brilliant.

Courtesy of Bull City Cycling.

River Trail

Bill provides evidence that it now goes all the way to the Ass. Park foot bridge. Bill and Jonny G are teaming up to organize this year's edition of the Ice TT. More details coming soon. This would be a good time to hit the ice for some practice. Note that studded tires are strictly disallowed.

La Bicicleta del Nono

Sunday, January 18, 2009

canuck cross report

5 brave souls showed up for the 09 version of canuck cross. for those who do not know the format, it is a biathlon combining the skills of hockey and cross racing. this year's course started and ended on the river trail which now extends past omand creek park, eventually making its way to assiniboine park. where omand creek enters the river they have cleared a small rink which was the perfect spot for the start and finish of the race as well as the shooting gallery and penalty loop.


the race course started by going up the creek. you had to go under the bridge (an under-barrier) and continue up the creek. about 150 meters past the bridge you had to dismount your bike and zig zag your way up the left bank, get on to the trail and get back on your bike. from there you made your way on to the path that

headless nordic cross riders

circles the ball diamonds and headed back on the east side. this was followed by a precarious downhill descent down a path/tobogganing run, a right turn back on to the path only to dismount the bike again to climb up the larger toboggan slide. from there you rode along the ring path, completed a hairpin turn to go down the path to the bridge and back on to the creek taking you to the river. the race consisted of 4 laps, and three shooting events. craig, patrick, tenacious, the impaler and myself showed up. as with last year, accurate shooting made all the difference; i made 5 of 9 targets and i think craig made 3.

tenacious on the penalty loop

i can't remember what tenacious and the impaler did, 1 and 2 i think, but i do know the patrick put down the big goose egg. finishing order was: halberto, craig, the implaer, tenacious, and patrick.

No Country for Old Men?

One might think a place associated with the Hell of the North would be hostile to the grey haired crowd. But Erwin Vervecken, one of the elder statesmen in the world of cyclocross, picked up a big win today in the Roubaix World Cup. He won an extremely muddy race ahead of Stybar and Nys. Compton won the women's race ahead of Kupfernagel and Van den Brand. The American has made no secret of her desire to take home the rainbow jersey in a couple of weeks time. At this point, she's looking like as good a bet as any.

Last lap:

Over in the FGBC CX Pool, the Impaler stuck with the theme of the old guys sticking it to the younger generation. He picks up 675 points to take the win ahead of Ian (635) and Rachel (625). In the overall race, Jonny M's freefall continues. At one point, he looked like our best hope to unseat Gary from his perch atop the standings. But now it looks like he's a long-shot even to reach the podium. Chris A has moved ahead of him into 4th place overall. Rachel picked up another 35 points on Gary. His lead is down to just 315 points. With another World Cup next weekend followed by the World Championships--where the podium spots are worth 500, 450 and 400 points--now would be a good time to make a move.

Today's Results:

Brad 675
Ian 635
Rachel 625
Chris A 600
Tomek 595
Gary 590
Dallas 555
Adam 550
Olli 545
Paddy & Naomi 540
Hal 535
Vic 525
Andy 525
David S 465
Jonny G 460
Charlene 460
Bill 410
Matt 375
Deanna 375
Chris H 295
Jonny M 290

Overall Standings:

Gary 13000
Rachel 12685
David S 12340
Chris A 11940
Jonny M 11915
Olli 11615
Chris H 10955
Paddy & Naomi 10830
Vic 10695
Ian 10695
Matt 10395
Deanna 9890
Charlene 9885
Tomek 9625
Adam 9405
Jonny G 9310
Brad 9295
Dallas 9270
Bill 8555
Hal 8505
Andy 8160

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Polar Bear Cross

Apparently, the temperature last night was the coldest it's been around here for more than ten years. All the way down to -12 C. Still, by the time the whistle blew at 11 am, the mercury had risen to -3. Lots of griping at the start line. But just another Sunday in October for the Winnipeg cyclocrosser. These people don't know how good they have it. They have a season that lasts 4 months. And even when the weather is at its nastiest you don't really need a jacket to race, let alone something so exotic as Cousin Adam's wool balaclava. The sweetest skinsuit in the world held up well. Some serious R value there.

Two hour drive to Charlotte. Strange course. Not terribly technical. But bumpy. Very bumpy. The frozen ground probably didn't help. With the bike bouncing all over the place, it was hard to keep the speed up. It's not entirely clear why, but there were plenty of crashes too. At one point I could hear bodies and bikes getting all tangled up behind me. Better there than in front. 5th place out of nine for me. Full results here. Sorry, no photos. The photographer and her assistants stayed home.

The season finale goes down tomorrow. I will not be there. Cyclocross season is officially done.

Sweet burgers and fries at Five Guys, post race. I think it's an east coast chain. Go there if you can. This one was just down the road from the Lowe's Motor Speedway. Yes, we are in NASCAR country. Apparently they run a time trial series there as well. One big velodrome.

Friday, January 16, 2009

canuck cross

we just may have enough for this to work, here are the details:

where: omand park
when: staurday, january 17th
time: 8:00 PM
particulars: you need to bring a hockey stick, fashion a method of carrying your stick with you as you ride. you also need to bring tennis balls (as many as you got) and three water bottles (empty). that's about it.

who's in for sure?

(okay, not exactly a spiffy keen poster but you get the idea)

Winter Has Arrived in the Bull City

Apparently that mass of arctic air that has parked itself over Winnipeg for the last little while has made its way down to Durham. The mercury bottomed out at a jaw-dropping -11 C. last night and today it's not expected to rise above the freezing mark all day. Needless to say, cold weather-related chatter has gone into overdrive. It's kind of charming.

All of this, of course, adds up to perfect cx weather for those of us who have been hardened by the rigors of Nordic Cross. The organizers of Polar Bear CX should have thought more carefully before coming up with a name for their race. There's always the possibility that you might get what you ask for. This will no doubt keep the numbers down. At this point, I'm one of three registered for the 35+ race. Maybe I will finally manage to crack the top 10.

I had good intentions of doing a bunch of these, but some nagging knee issues and scheduling conflicts conspired to prevent that from happening. The knee is feeling better and the schedule's now clear. So tomorrow the sweetest skinsuit in the world will see the outside of the closet, perhaps for the last time before next fall.

Speaking of riding in the cold, did anyone else see this article on our favourite 60 year old bike messenger?

Gas may be dead, but at least we have yogurt

Brought to you by Nike?

Also, this agression will not stand.

The Doughman

Just in case anyone thought these combined eating/bike racing events were just an FGBC thing. Check out Durham's own Doughman

Here's the official description of the race:
Have you ever wanted to eat an order of bacon cheese fries and run 2 miles only to have to eat more food? The Doughman is the world's premier team relay quadrathlon--combining competitive eating with a traditional triathlon. Teamwork. Local food. All wrapped in a perfect philanthropic package.

✦Four team members are required to start the race. However, if anyone would like to attempt the race alone please contact us for information.
✦The race consists of eating from a local restaurant followed by either a bike ride, a run and/or an aquatic activity.
✦each team is required to supply their own bike.
✦all riders MUST have a helmet.
✦Obey all traffic laws.
✦Vomiting is strictly discouraged.
✦Have Fun! Costumes are Encouraged.
Right on. Too bad I'm already back in Winnipeg by the time it happens.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Survivors Of Gas Station Explosion Mourn Tragic Loss Of Gas

if you don't visit the "how to avoid a bummer life" site on a regular basis (i've mentioned this before) you should, stevil is good at finding stuff...


I'll get some info about the Nordic cross event this Saturday up soon - I hope. Who's participating?

Thursday Anticipation

Another big week on the anticipation front. Behind the scenes, boardroom bureaucrats have been trying their best to hammer out a race calendar for 2009. I'm sure it's not easy. But we are thankful someone is willing to do it. The calendar is not final yet, but it's starting to take shape. Once it's done, Team FGBC will meet to determine their big goals for the season. Before we get there, however, let's take a moment to ponder something far more exciting, namely . . .

1) The Spring Ride

Just over 130 days away, it's time to launch the 2009 Spring Ride advertising campaign. Expect more of the same good times you have come to love. New for this year is an opportunity to explore some new terrain. And no doubt Johnny S will talk about looking for that mysterious other section as well. Maybe he will actually help look for it this year.

The Back 40 is on June 7, so no clonflict there. But the aforementioned tentative schedule has races at Falcon Lake on both Saturday and Sunday. This is less than ideal. The Sunday race is one of the joint races with the Kids of Mud. That likely means a rather different end to the weekend for some of us. I'm sure we can deal with it.

We can expect a report from the accomodations director in the next little while.

2) Operacion MUERTO

It was announced this week that there will be no Red Ass this year after all. Reach the Beach, however, will be back. And then they will be held in alternating years. Don't despair, lovers of long distances. It looks like there are plenty of long rides in the offing this year. Operacion MUERTO will consist of the best of those, plus a few more. Based on the current schedule, here's how things might look:

June 7 – Back 40
July 5 – Reach the Beach
July 19 – White(s)hell Enduro
Aug. 30 – Alter Ego Marathon Race
Sept 27 – Birch Fall Classic
Oct ?? – Tinker Cross

3) Spring Training Camp

The North Carolina chapter is hosting a spring training camp during the week of March 2-6. We will ride in both the Asheville/Pisgah area and sample the best the Triangle has to offer. We will no doubt sample some fine craft brewing as well. Halberto has already signed up.

4) Canuck Cross

The schedule says Saturday, Jan. 17. That's two days from now. It would be nice to have that confirmed by the race organizer. A poster is always appreciated as well.

5) Roller Derby

City Park Runners and Woodcock Cycleworks


Roller Derby 2009


When : Saturday, January 25. 6:30 P.M – we're done.

Where : Woodcock Cycleworks, 433 St Mary's Road

A free, fun, roller racing evening. You don't have to know how to ride rollers as these bikes are fixed for your balancing pleasure ! Come on out, bring some friends, and have some fun. Google search 'roller racing' to give you an idea of what this is all about.

We will have two events,

1) 500 meter sprint ( bikes are provided, fixed gear )

2) 1000 meter Freestyle ( use your own bike, max gear 53 X 11 )

No admission fee. Please bring a non-perishable food item (for Winnipeg Harvest) and a used pair of running shoes (for an inner city school) and you're good to go.

6) Gianni's Grass Track Glossary

The grass track czar would like you to spend the week thinking about the event known as the pursuit:
Pursuit is a track cycling event where two cyclists (in the case of individual pursuit) or two teams of four cyclists (in the case of team pursuit) begin the race from a stationary position on opposite sides of the track. The event is held over distances ranging from 2km to 5km, with 4km being the standard for elite men. Riders start at the same time and set off to compete the race distance in the fastest time. They will ride on the pursuit line (black line) at the bottom of the track to find the fastest line. Note in the photos below that sandbags (now often weighted foam blocks instead of actual sand bags) are placed on the apron a the bottom of the track (or "cote d'zur" as its called, and it is always painted azure) in order to ensure riders do not cut distance off by riding lower on the track. I'll explain about the other 2 lines (sprint line and stayer's line) on the track some other week.

Pursuit makes for a good spectacle as the two riders/teams are pursuing each other to order to attempt to catch the other rider starting on the other side of the track. If the catch is achieved then the successful pursuer is declared the winner, however they can continue for the rest of the race distance in order to set the fastest time in a qualifying race or a record in final. In the team version of pursuit, the lead rider usually changes off every lap or lap-and-a-half by swinging sharply up the banking and tucking back behind the third rider (think of an echelon on the road). Because the riders in team pursuit ride very, very close together (wheels inches apart) for maximum drafting effect, and because they are riding this close in full aero tuck at maximum power, it's not uncommon for team to crash. It ain't pretty.

One final thing . . . when the teams in team pursuit start, they will have their order in figured out ahead of time (e.g. who will lead the first lap). Many teams will have the riders shout "ON!" when they have made contact with the line (usually in the first 10-20 pedal strokes). Nothing looks worse than the first 2 riders getting away to a fast start but dropping the other 2 guys . . . .

Some photos of pursuits (individual and team). The last one shows a change off. Again, use your imagination to supply the grass.

Boom is Back

After all that racing at the end of December/beginning of January, it felt like forever since the last race. The various national championships wend down last weekend, but that didn't really do us any good in the FGBC CX Pool. But they were back at it yesterday in Surhuisterveen for Centrumcross.

After spending some time on the shelf for the second time this season, Lars Boom showed that he's back on form. Good timing too. His opportunity to defend his world championship is coming up soon. Al and De Knegt rounded out the podium. Jonny G took the win in the FGBC CX Pool with 285 points. Hal was right there as well with 280 points. Where have you been all season? Bill stood proudly on the third podium step with 265 points. In the overall race, Rachel looks to have the race for second place firmly in command. She leads David S by almost 200 points. In fact, she's closed the gap to Gary to just 350 points, leading us all to dream yet again about how sweet it would be to see his near season-long lead come to an end.

Back at it on Sunday with World Cup #8 in Roubaix.

Surhuisterveen Results:

Jonny G 285
Hal 280
Bill 265
Andy 260
Chris H 240
Vic 210
Rachel 205
Brad 195
Ian 175
Olli 160
Matt 150
Paddy & Naomi 145
David S 135
Tomek 115
Deanna 90
Dallas 75
Jonny M 55
Gary 55
Charlene 55
Chris A 0
Adam 0

Overall Standings:

Gary 12410
Rachel 12060
David S 11875
Jonny M 11625
Chris A 11340
Olli 11070
Chris H 10660
Paddy & Naomi 10290
Vic 10170
Ian 10060
Matt 10020
Deanna 9515
Charlene 9425
Tomek 9030
Adam 8855
Jonny G 8850
Dallas 8715
Brad 8620
Bill 8145
Hal 7970
Andy 7635

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ride With the Honorary Captain

Team OUCH wants your attention. In exchange they're offering a chance to win a ride with the honorary captain and his new team. Enter here. Then again, since I am going to win, why not just send an entry here and I will conduct a random drawing to determine who gets join me on a trip to SoCal for the ride.

Speaking of the honorary captain, it turns out he has his very own ballad. It's no Rock the Casbah, but I bet the Paul Bergman Band could come up with a better version and use it to launch their big breakthrough.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Espresso Junction, 9:30 pm. Or not? You know the drill. Have at it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

And then there were six

Matt and the Impaler have signed on with the sweetest bike racing team in the world. Right on.

Anyone else?

We are exactly what we are.

IceTT v.2

Last year's innaugural edition was awesome. One of the better ideas of the year, in fact. Who is going to organize this year's edition? Apparently, they've opened up a portion of the river trail already. But it would be best to wait until it extends all the way to Ass. Park. That would make it more like a 30 minute effort. It could work nicely as a Tuesday Night Race, ending as it does near the F&H.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


The 2009 roster is starting to take shape. Last years trio of racers--Jonny G, LeAnn, and me--will be back and better than ever. We are pleased to announce that the promising young talent, Craig, has recently signed on too. As a rookie, he will be in charge of such important housekeeping matters as filling water bottles, doing the laundry, and applying the chamois cream to our shorts. We are looking forward to another exciting season of showing off the sweetest jersey in the world, and maybe even showing up at some races.

The team still has a few vacant spots left. Send your expressions of interest and race resumes to the race director.

New for this year, licenses for those who have never had one before will be available at a fraction of the cost of a regular license. Or at least that's what they are saying.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Friday, January 09, 2009

pictures in the news

been meaning to do this for sometime...occasionally the photo sections of the newspaper websites post interesting photos, this one comes from Macedonia. winter cycling is alive and well around the world.

Thursday Anticipation: Special Friday Edition

This just in:
The 2009 Icebike will be on Sunday Feb. 1 at The Forks.
/registration inside the Tower Atrium from 9:30AM to 11:15AM.
Kids race goes at 11:30 am under 13, 9, 7 categories
Adults races start at 12:00 pm
There are three adult categories
Snowflake: 1 lap (approx 4 km)
Icicle: 2 laps (approx 8 km)
Abominable : 3 laps (approx 12 km)
For more information...Rhino Fitness and Icebike homepage

Thursday, January 08, 2009

TN(R)RRR (Tuesday Night (Red) River Ride Report)

Submitted by Cousin Adam

There were actually two rides last night: Luke’s solo jaunt from the coffee shop to the clubhouse along the Assiniboine , and The Impaler and I on a recon ride spanning both sides of the Red.

Setting off from EK and heading up Kildonan Drive , the first significant discovery of the evening was a means of gaining access to the Chief Peguis Bridge while avoiding Henderson . The 24 hour route can straddle the river without actually riding across the river if need be; there was some discussion as to whether the ice is safe at that point, but the Secretary is going to test that with his snowblower in advance of the race, so no worries.

A portion of the Yerba Cross route was revisited, including the sketchy single track and the even sketchier descent into the park. Once across and into Kildonan Park , it was determined that the park has serious promise as a race venue: lots of cleared paths, a few hills, and some very slippery ice. We will have to avoid the many cross country ski trails, though. This was supposed to be an illustrated ride report, but the batteries in my camera froze soon after taking these two shots of The Impaler at a bridge:

From the park, the ride followed Scotia south down the west side of the river, past the cemetery (no creepy groundskeeper this time) and onto Main . Then the ride took a gritty turn, down Mountain and then Salter. The fellow running (fleeing?) up the Slaw Rebchuk Bridge with us could have been the shirtless gentleman from the bus shack, but there were no police this time (and he had on a parka) so it’s hard to be sure.

The ride was then briefly delayed by snowplows on Sargent before arriving at Omand’s Creek and the trail alongside, which was unfortunately not cleared past the Wal-Mart parking lot, much to our disappointment. Empress to Portage to the Clubhouse.

Tuesday night product review: New product testing for the night’s ride included a wool balaclava I picked up over the holidays (big thumbs up), and The Impaler experimented with the judicious placement of duct tape over the mesh on his riding shoes to block wind (surprisingly, a big thumbs down – very cold, very quick; maybe related to moisture build-up).

Upon arrival at the F&H, Luke was in attendance, having started late from Espresso Junction on his own. The hockey turnout was good – Vic, James, and the Secretary showed, Jonny G arrived sans beard (again, some disappointment) and the President made a welcome appearance (and not just because of his spacious van).

Tunes consisted mainly of 80s one-hit wonders. Bonus trivia points: What is a “Kasbah”, exactly?

The camera finally thawed enough to get a shot of the revelry, and Jonny led us in a toast to the New Year with shots of Jaeg.

Big topic of the evening: Insurance. What is it, who needs it, do we want it, and would it change us for the worse? Some concern that the President and Dr. H, as titular heads, may actually be liable if anything should happen to someone at an FGBC ride. Yikes.

And signups for Kids of Mud is apparently underway or will be soon; get your kids on bikes, folks.

Thursday Anticipation

After a short holiday-fuelled hiatus, we are back with much to look forward to. By all accounts, 2009 promises to be more fun than a Friday evening at the disco with Tom Boonen. Giddyup boys and girls. This year is going to be super sweet.

1) Nordic Cross

Next up on the Nordic Cross calender is Cancuk Canack Canuck Cross. It's scheduled for Jan. 17. Last year this involved riding while holding a hockey stick (harder than it sounds) and shooting at targets with that stick. Penalty laps were imposed for missed shots. Truly a multi-disciplinary event.

2) Spring Ride

The dates have been set. In fact, we've been counting down for over 220 days now. May 29-31, 2009 will be the sweetest weekend of the year. Those of you who need to, clear your calendars. And if you're planning a race and want the FGBC and friends to show up, stay clear of that weekend. The advertising campaign will commence shortly.

3) Gianni's Grass Track Glossary

I've been watching a bit of the Rotterdam 6 Day here and there. I can't say I get it, but it sure looks like a good time. I hope Gianni can find a way to incorporate the light show, disco balls and bad music. This grass track series promises to be a tonne of fun. Here's what Gianni would like us to know this week:
The Team sprint (also sometimes known as the Olympic sprint) is not a conventional cycling sprint event - it is a three-man team time trial held over three laps of a velodrome.

Because tracks vary in length (typically from 200m to 400m) and the race duration is fixed at 3 laps, the actual distance of the event can vary.

Like the pursuit event (which will be discussed in a week or two), two teams race against each other, starting on opposite sides of the track. At the end of the first lap, the leading rider in each team pulls up the banking leaving the second rider to lead for the next lap; at the end of the second lap, the second rider does the same, leaving the third rider to complete the last lap on his own. The team with the fastest time is the winner.

The best teams have a mix of riders: a starter with great acceleration (often a sprinter), a second rider who can hold the pace, and a third rider with a mix of power and endurance (often a kilo [1000m time trial] rider). All 3 have to be comfortable riding very hard (60km/h is the average speed maintained by the top teams… and that’s from a standing start!) and staying very close together for maximum drafting benefit.

Photos of the world’s best team sprint team (2008 Olympic Gold Medalists) – the British. In the second photo you can see the first rider pulling up after the first lap.

I saw these guys ride against the French at the 2006 world championships in front of a packed house (14,000) of French fans at the Bordeaux velodrome. They lost by a couple hundredths of a second to the French team, and the crowd went absolutely wild. It was the most amazing bike racing moment I have ever seen.


The North Carolina chapter is looking forward to this:

Looking forward to? Dreading? Being terrified by? Yes. Yes. And yes. Either way, it is now very clearly on the horizon. It begins at midnight on Feb 7 and ending at noon on Feb. 8--i.e., 36 hours of racing. That's 9 hours more than the poosher and I spent riding the inaugural Red Ass. And this one includes two nights. At any rate, in exactly one month from how we will be just over two hours away from finishing--if we're still alive, that is. Apparently, there are still a few spots open. So if you're looking for an excuse to head south, this is as good as any. Pisgah is recognized for some of the sweetest and toughest singletrack in the southeast. Of course, this race is geared towards those who know Pisgah well. But I'm sure you'd be welcome to tag along with us if you like. My partner has done these sorts of races several times and knows have to navigate the forest pretty well by now.

If you want further details, here is what the race organizer has to say:
1. Venue Change: The start/finish/camping will be at UPPER COVE CREEK CAMPGROUND. Cove Creek is off of FS475, at the end of the pavement, past the Fish Hatchery. Be aware that you will need to cross a shallow creek in your vehicle to access the camping area. Please close the gate behind you. The lock combo will be posted on the information kiosk next to the gate.

2. Team configurations: We will have two classes, solo and duo. Solo racers need to carry every piece of required gear. Duo can divide the required gear however they choose. Duo racers must stay within vocal contact at all times, must visit the checkpoints together, etc. Think of your teammate as 'required gear'. If one team member drops out, the other cannot continue to race.

3. Camping / sign-in: The campground opens at 4PM Friday Feb 6 and closes 2PM Monday Feb 9. Sign-in will open at 8PM Friday.

4. Format: There will be six stages that must be completed in 36 hours. Each stage will have 6 checkpoints. Some stages will have 6 MANDATORY checkpoints, others will have just 1. Make sure you understand the rules of each stage before leaving the start/finish area. Teams will receive their passport for the next stage upon arrival from the previous stage.

5. Entry Fees/Prizes: None. Zero. Zip. Nada.

6. Amenities: We will try to keep a fire going. We will try to keep beer and vegetarian chili flowing. However, we cannot guarantee that anything will be available at any time. Bring everything you may need to keep yourself fed and comfortable for the weekend. There is well water and outhouses on site.

7. Duo Mandatory Gear:

1.Whistle, 1.compass, 1.pisgah map, 1.knife, 1.lighter, 2.emergency blanket, 2.front light, 2.rear light, 1.first aid kit, 1.water filter or iodine, 1+.RELIABLE digital camera (You will prove you were at the CP's by taking photos. No photo, no CP). 2.winter tights, 2.mid/heavy fleece upper, 2.rain jacket, 2.helmet (duh),1. 50* or better sleeping bag (night sections only)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Espresso Junction, 9:30 pm?

It's the first Tuesday of 2009. Start the new year off right.

Monday, January 05, 2009


It's not on grass, but it does serve as a nice complement to Gianni's grass track glossary, to which we shall return on Thursday. Check out the live coverage of the Six Days of Rotterdam. We're on day four right now. Part bike race, part discotheque. If you've got a good internet connection at work, it could help you get through those first few post-holiday work days that always feel way longer than they should.

Honorary Captain's New Colours

Bike Shop Blues

And things were starting to look so good this summer too. Gas prices were sky high and people were taking to the pavement two-wheeled-style in record numbers. But now the NYT reports that bike shops are hurting too. I hope things are better in Peg City. Support your local shop. They can't rely solely on Halberto's insatiable appetite.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Double Cross

First, an explanation. I had originally included the Sint-Michelsgestel race on the 2008-09 FGBC CX Pool calendar. This is essentially Richard Groenendaal's answer to the GP Sven Nys. You will recall from the 2007-08 FGBC CX Pool poster that those two don't necessarily consider themselves BFFs. In any case, Nys didn't show up to Groenendaal's race, even though Groenendaal showed up at Nys's, finishing 9th. But this isn't necessarily one for the gossip columnists. It has more to do with the fact that there was also a race going on in Tervuren, Belgium--the Vlaamse Witloof Veldrit. With one race in Belgium and another in the Netherlands, the field was basically split along national lines. I had not originally included this one on the calendar since it was listed as a C2 rather than a C1 race. But since more than half the racers were there, that seems wrong. So I've decided to include both of them for the purposes of teh FGBC CX Pool.

Unlike Nys, Groenendaal did not manage to win his own race. That honor went to Eddy Van Ijzendoorn. Groenendaal was third. Bart Wellens, who interestingly broke the trend as a Belgian racing in the Netherlands, finished second. Otherwise, it was pretty much an all Dutch affair, as evidenced by the fact that there were eight guys name Van Something in the top 20. Full results here.

In Belgium, it was Fast Albert, followed by Franzoi and Stybar. Nys evidently took the day off. He finished in 10th. Daphny Van den Brand won the women's race. Rachel Lloyd took second and Helen Wyman was third. More from CN.

Lars Boom was supposed to show up in Sint-Michelsgestel. But his elbow got infected and he ended up in the hospital instead. Bummer. Get well soon, Lars.

That brings to an end a very busy stretch of racing. Next weekend they battle it out for the national championships. Those should be fun to watch--at least the Belgian and Dutch races--but they are not included in the FGBC CX Pool. The next race, as far as we're concerned is Jan. 14. That feels like a long way away. But with all the racing over the past two weeks, a little break will probably be good for us.

Over in the FGBC CX Pool, Rachel found herself back atop the standings for the day. She finishes with 485 points. That puts her back into second overall. Jonny M drops down to fourth and David S slots into third. Expect a lot of jostling between those three for the rest of the season. Deanna and the duo of Paddy & Naomi set out to show that their good showing in the last race was no fluke. They finish second and third, with 440 and 420 points, respectively.

Jan. 4 Results:

Rachel 485
Deanna 440
Paddy & Naomi 420
Chris A 395
Vic 390
Chris H 385
Tomek 375
Dallas 350
David S 345
Hal 345
Gary 340
Ian 335
Olli 325
Charlene 315
Adam 295
Andy 260
Jonny G 250
Brad 235
Bill 170
Matt 150
Jonny M 140

Overall Standings:

Gary 12355
Rachel 11855
David S 11740
Jonny M 11570
Chris A 11340
Olli 10910
Chris H 10420
Paddy & Naomi 10145
Vic 9960
Ian 9885
Matt 9870
Deanna 9425
Charlene 9370
Tomek 8915
Adam 8855
Dallas 8640
Jonny G 8565
Brad 8425
Bill 7880
Hal 7690
Andy 7375

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Back from holiday. Back on the bike.

Manitoba cold beats the driving Ontario rain any day.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Holy Crap, P&N Win

Nys and Stybar took the day off. Boom was still sitting out with his banged up elbow. So the field was a little thinner than usual. Wellens didn't seem to miss them as he picked up his first win in over a month. Vantornout has been sitting out the GVA races this season, so he was fresh, not having participated in the past two races. But he was not fresh enough to take Wellens at the line. Vantornout finishes second. Simunik soloed in for a third place finish, 17 seconds back. More from CN.

Over in the FGBC CX Pool, there was a rather bold statment overheard out in Lethbridge today. Paddy & Naomi grabbed the victor's big beer glass and ran out west with it. On a day when the numbers were generally a lot lower than normal, they 415 potted points and jump from 11th place all the way up to 8th. They may be gone, but they're not about to let us forget them. In fact, today's podium had a stinkingly different look to it all around. Deanna was second with 290 points, her first time on the podium since December 6. And Cousin Adam finished third with 285. His last podium appearance was November 22. Rachel, on the other hand, ended up giving back much of the ground she'd gained over the past several races with a 50 point last place finish. Jonny M, by constrast, had a respeactable day with 195 points. He's back in second for now and El Presidente holds onto his third place standing. It's all very tight between those three. There are only 60 points between them. Gary looks to have things all sewn up for the overall victory, but the battle for second place should be fun to watch.

They're back at it again on Sunday.

Today's Results:

Paddy & Naomi 415
Deanna 290
Adam 285
Tomek 270
Jonny M 195
Bill 190
Chris H 170
Matt 170
Olli 165
Jonny G 160
Chris A 150
Dallas 150
Andy 135
Charlene 135
Hal 130
David S 125
Gary 110
Vic 100
Brad 70
Ian 60
Rachel 50

Overall Standings:

Gary 12015
Jonny M 11430
David S 11395
Rachel 11370
Chris A 10945
Olli 10585
Chris H 10035
Paddy & Naomi 9725
Matt 9720
Vic 9570
Ian 9550
Charlene 9055
Deanna 8985
Adam 8560
Tomek 8540
Jonny G 8315
Dallas 8290
Brad 8190
Bill 7710
Hal 7345
Andy 7115