Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday Anticipation

1) We're just three short months away now. Almost time to start the marinade.

2) 2009 FGBC Spring Classics Pool

It's time for heilingen and cobbles, boys and girls. It all starts on Saturday with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. And it continues on Sunday with Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. Did someone say good times?

Eight teams have been submitted so far: me, Matt, Brad, Dallas, Paddy, Ian, Vic, and Bill. Luke almost has a team submitted. He still has a little work to do. There is still a day and a half to get your act together. Everything you need to know is here.

3) Spring Training Camp

The North Carolina chapter is eagerly anticipating next week's spring training camp. Halberto arrives on Saturday night. And I will take a leave of absence from my windowless 5'x5' carrell for the week. The riding begins on Sunday and continues through Thursday. Sunday and Monday in and around Durham. And then we head to the mountains for three days of singletrack paradise. Alex will join us, and possibly some of the Bull City Cycling crew as well. It will be awesome.

The itinerary looks like this:

Sunday - cx ride in the Duke Forest
Monday - road ride: tour of Durham and Chapel Hill
Tuesday - Kitsuma & Heartbreak Ridge
Wednesday - Laurel Mountain (more here)
Thursday - Turkey Pen/Squirrel Gap & Black Mountain

4) BN Ballyhoo

The president has a new parchment. Cousin Adam has called for a ride to commemorate the occasion. That is the right call. Who is going to organize it?


Johnny S would like to remind everybody that Rocktona rocks. Or maybe he just wants to see himself on that poster one more time. He's almost as pretty as those Rapha guys.

Don't forget to RSVP. More info here.

6) Gianni's Grass Track Glossary

This week: Kierin

Note: we will not be doing this on the grass track. [ed: does that mean we will be doing it, but somewhere else or not doing it at all?]

Kierin is not for the faint of heart. Put 6-9 of the biggest men on bikes behind a derny, let them motorpace up to 50km/h over a kilometre or so and then sprint it out for 2 laps, finishing at (typically) more than 70km/h. Roughness (headbutts, shoulder throws, elbows) is an acknowledged part of the sport. Someone once told me that just about anything is legal in kierin as long as your hands stay on the handlebars - I don't know if that is true, but it isn't far from the truth.

In Japan, it is a huge parimutual betting enterprise, with detailed rituals and rules (see here). Since I doubt we'll be doing any betting, it may not be necessary to get into Japanese kierin in detail, but those of you with fixie fascinations may be interested to know about the little "NJS" stamp you see on some high-end track parts: it's for Nihon Jitensha Shinkōkai (Japanese Kierin Association), and means that the part meets the standard required for professional kierin racing (meaning, in practical terms, that it is sturdy and reliable, even for big dudes who rough it up. Even more practically, it usually costs a fortune). Bikes used in Japanese kierin races must be completely NJS approved (from the frame to the headest, even down to the toeclips).

Since 1980 Kierin has been a World Championship event and since 2000 it's also been an Olympic event.

In 1982, Canadian Gordon Singleton won the worlds - amazingly his rather rough victory is on Youtube:


Anonymous said...

You forgot to promote the Altona Winter Bike Festivus - March 8, 2:00. Its going to be sweet. I hope you city slickers can come down for a fine afternoon of bikes, beers and dogs.

Johnny S

The Dark Lord said...