Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Espresso Junction? At any rate, not Expresso Junction (see last week's discussion). White people like espresso, not expresso. In fact, Christian Lander's very first entry makes this clear, even if only implicitly.

Monday, March 30, 2009

FGBC Classifieds

Pssst. Hey buddy. Wanna buy a bike? Gianni might be able to help you out.
Medium Giant Bowery (fits riders 5'9" to 6'1") with fancy bits - carbon bars, avid ultimate lever, dura-ace brake, surly cog, Serfas ti rail saddle, Easton stem. New tires, new chain. Bike looks new (almost no scratches).

Hanging up at Olympia if you want to take it for a ride. $490 OBO.
He forgot to mention the Hippies Suck sticker on the seat tube. That seems a clincher to me. If you're interested, send an email to Gianni.

Speaking of hippies:

Look Who's Moving Up

While some are busy basking in their recent glory, others prefer to fly below the radar. One such low flyer is better known as Andy, King of the Cycling Pool. You can refer to him simply as King Andy.

We haven't really heard from him in a while. But he is making his presence known once again. Evidently, he thinks the patient and humble workmanship of a master craftsman will ultimately prevail over the boisterous barking of today's hot shot kids. At any rate, he finished tied for second today with Mike, sending a not so subtle signal to our current leader. Both had 500 points. Mike has extended his lead to just over 1000 points. But Andy has quietly moved into third place overall and seems to be hinting that we should not forget who the patron of the FGBC Cycling Pool is. Neither of those two won the day, however. That honour goes to Rachel. She's not the king of anything. But she regularly cleans my clock in these dumb pools. She collected 540 points today and I have been having to put up with her trash talking nonsense ever since. Will somebody please make sure she doesn't win again next weekend? My team is clearly not up to that task. Finally, let us not overlook the Wheels of Justice. Cousin Adam has moved up into second place overall.

Anthony Geslin won the bike race. He was the fastest sprinter in the breakaway of eight that managed to stay away. Philippe Gilbert won the sprint for ninth place. CN has the full story. They also have a preview of the Ronde up already. So does the Podium Cafe. As far as races go, it's a big one! As the second monument of the season, remember there are more points up for grabs than the usual run of the mill classics. A good day there could easily vault a team back into contention.

Final km:

The Top 30:

Geslin 350
Pineau 300
Wegmann 275
Leukemans 250
Kroon 225
Willems 200
Florencio 175
Knees 150
Gilbert 125
Vaugrenard 110
Eeckhout 100
Lowik 95
De Waele 90
Coenen 85
Van Hecke 80
Davis 75
Martens 70
Pauwels 65
Breschel 60
Rolland 55
Dumoulin 50
Hermans 45
Ten Dam 40
Weening 35
Reda 30
Kadri 25
Bole 20
Van Braeckel 15
Hoj 10
Mondory 5

Stage Results:

Rachel 540
Andy 500
Mike 500
Adam 490
Matt 475
Chris O 475
Chris H 425
Ian 400
Kevin 285
Bill 275
Rick 275
Dallas 225
Paddy 225
Darryl 130
Hal 130
Brad 125
Jonny G 125
Donna 100
Chris A 10
Luke 5
David 5
Jonny M 5
Naomi 5
Vic 0
Craig 0

Overall Standings:

Mike 4395
Adam 3360
Andy 3340
Matt 3260
David 3215
Donna 3215
Paddy 3180
Rick 3095
Bill 2990
Ian 2880
Kevin 2845
Hal 2735
Brad 2635
Chris O 2620
Jonny M 2545
Rachel 2460
Chris A 2450
Vic 2400
Darryl 1845
Dallas 1780
Chris H 1745
Jonny G 1675
Luke 1305
Craig 1075
Naomi 365

March Sadness

I'm still hurting after Thursday's train wreck. At least I'm winning the 2009 FGBC March Madness Pool. Go Wildcats!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I Wanna Be Like Mike

Everybody sing it with me now:

Sometimes I dream
That he is me
You've got to see that's how I dream to be
I dream I move, I dream I groove
Like Mike
If I could Be Like Mike
Like Mike
Oh, if I could Be Like Mike
Be Like Mike, Be Like Mike
Again I try
Just need to fly
For just one day if I could
Be that way
I dream I move
I dream I groove
Like Mike
If I could Be Like Mike
I wanna be, I wanna be
Like Mike
Oh, if I could Be Like Mike

That Mike is so awesome. He can handle the rock almost as well as the Duker. He wins vicarious bike races. And sometimes real ones too. And of course we all know about his refined sensibilities in the bike culture dept. That photo above of Mike finishing ahead of Boonen and Iglinsky is appropriate in more ways than one. It has been conclusively demonstrated that Cervelo stole the sweetest jersey in the world from the FGBC. But check out Katoosha's faux RRR jersey.

Mike made it look easy again today. With Pozzato, Hushovd, Chavanel and Devolder in the top 6, he wins his second race in the last three with 1025 points. He also extends his overall lead to almost 700 points. It looks like we might be witnessing another Andy or Gary style ass-whuppin'. I'm starting to wonder whether anybody can stop this guy. From my perspective, at over 2500 points back, it all looks mighty impressive. Oh, and for the record, Mike picked his team using option 3.

Rick was second on the day with 940 points. Just behind him was David S, who brought home 925 points. In the overall race, Mike is way out front. David (option 3) and Donna (option 1) round out the podium for now.

In the real race, it was Tom Boonen who made it all happen today. He attacked with 25 km to go and only Pozzato and Iglinsky could stay with him. Those three stayed away until the end, where Pozzato won the sprint ahead of Tornado Tom. Nice win for Pippo. And Boonen is having another fine season too after last year's much maligned and rather average campaign. Evidently, he's stopped playing around with the nose candy and looks focused and on form. Watch out for him next weekend in the Tour of Flanders.


Final 3 km:

The Top 30:

Pozzato 350
Boonen 300
Iglinsky 275
Hushovd 250
Chavanel 225
Devolder 200
Nuyens 175
Hincapie 150
Langeveld 125
Burghardt 110
Eisel 100
Offredo 95
Flecha 90
Bole 85
Terpstra 80
Haussler 75
Hoogerland 70
Bandiera 65
Goddaert 60
Muravyev 55
Schierlinckx 50
Tjallingi 45
Vandenbergh 40
Hoste 35
Klier 30
Baossen Hagen 25
Spilak 20
Van Avermaet 15
Van Impe 10
Westra 5

Today's Results:

Mike 1025
Rick 940
David 915
Ian 900
Andy 825
Bill 795
Dallas 740
Paddy 705
Chris O 660
Donna 650
Hal 560
Matt 530
Adam 510
Brad 500
Rachel 485
Vic 480
Jonny M 480
Luke 475
Chris A 420
Jonny G 405
Kevin 390
Darryl 300
Craig 190
Chris H 125
Naomi 5

Overall Standings:

Mike 3895
David 3210
Donna 3115
Paddy 2955
Adam 2870
Andy 2840
Rick 2820
Matt 2785
Bill 2715
Hal 2605
Kevin 2560
Jonny M 2540
Brad 2510
Ian 2480
Chris A 2440
Vic 2400
Chris O 2145
Rachel 1920
Darryl 1715
Dallas 1555
Jonny G 1550
Chris H 1320
Luke 1300
Craig 1075
Naomi 360

Friday, March 27, 2009

Myrtle Beach

Part II of the birthday party. Good times.


It rhymes with "beer." Website here.
Veer explores America’s fast-growing bicycling culture by profiling five people whose lives are inextricably tied to bicycling and the bike-centric social groups they belong to. The film follows these characters over the course of a year, offering a behind-the-scenes look at their personal struggles and triumphs. Veer examines what it means to be part of a community, and how social movements are formed.

March Sadness


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday Anticipation

1) Grass Track Fridays

Gianni has been found! It turns out he was holed up in the dingy basement office in the Exchange District that serves as the Grass Track Fridays HQ, among other less honorable things. The poosher discovered him one day while he was out searching for the editor. The editor, I'm sorry to say, is still at large. But we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief that our good friend Gianni is back. Apparently he was looking rather disshevelled, and he was in need of a shave and a shower. He had been working on the final details of the series. He got bogged down trying to decide which of the many different events would work best on each of the four nights that will make up the series. He's so dedicated, that guy. Needless to say, we are all in his debt. Thank-you Gianni.

With Gianni's reappearance, Grass Track Fridays is now so much more than just a good idea and a lexicon. It is now a real race series with actual dates and details. All of the dates have been added to the FGBC Calendar, which I trust you are all consulting regularly by now.

Also, there will be a special FGBC prevue night/dress rehearsal on May 15 to test things out and work out the bugs . . . . Non FGBC'ers are welcome too, of course.

Each meet will start with a time trial event of some sort to determine handicaps/heats/categories. And they will conclude with a post-race gathering at the Belgian Club.

This is going to be so sweet!

2) WhitesHELL Endurance Fest

Gianni is not the only worker bee who is slaving away to ensure that your bike racing experience this summer will be a good one. Bill A has been toiling quietly behind the scenes on some of the details regarding the WhitesHELL Endurance Fest. We have settled on the following: The race will start and finish at the West Hawk Lake Campground--i.e., the inaugural Spring Ride site. It will also pass through there at about the midpoint of the race, at which point it will serve as a feedzone.

Bill, Jonny G, and I (along with our respective families) have reserved campsites for Friday and Saturday nights. The event starts early on Sunday. People are strongly encouraged to show up to camp on Saturday for the pre-event good times. Show up Friday too, for that matter. I'm sure your help in getting everything set up on Saturday would be much appreciated. But you are on your own as far as reserving a campsite goes. Make a reservation in the West Hawk Lake Spring Ride area. If this important reference does not mean anything to you, it refers to sites 4-11 in section F on this map. I believe you can start doing that on April 6. Right Bill?

In case you have forgotten, this will be race #3 in Operacion MUERTO. We will have the Back 40 and Reach the Beach in our legs by then. It will be awesome.

3) Nordic Cross

Is it still alive? All the evidence, or rather lack of evidence, suggests that it is not. But perhaps the editor will show up. He had originally scheduled the season finale for April 5. That is a week from Sunday. It seems there is a good chance that there will still be snow.

4) Vicarious bike racing and basketball.

The 2009 FGBC Spring Classics pool continues this weekend with two more races: E3 Prijs Vlaanderen on Saturday and De Brabantse Pijl on Sunday.

And March Madness resumes tonight as well.

This is why March is one of the best months of the year. Even if it feels like winter has overstayed its welcome.

5) And last but not least, let us not forget about the Spring Ride.

It's just over two short months away, boys and girls. Are we getting excited yet?

In case you're wondering: no, I didn't clear it. Not so many trix in this kid, fixie or otherwise.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Holy Haussler!

Heinrich Haussler is having quite the season so far. He finished 8th at Het Nieuwsblad and 12th at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne to kick off the Classics season. Then he came just a tire width shy of winning Milan-San Remo ahead of the fastest man in the world. And in the Dwars Door Vlaanderen today, he was the guy who really shook up the race. With 24 km to go, he launched a blistering attack that Quick Step was able to chase down only due to the fact that they had three guys in the leading group of five.

Haussler wasn't able to win the race in the end. Van Impe took it ahead of Eeckhout. Nor was he able to hold off Boonen for third place. But that's only because Boonen, not having to chase down his teammate Van Impe, was able to hitch a ride for the last 20 km. Nevertheless, today only confirmed that Heinrich Haussler is an emerging Classics star.

What is the secret to his recent success? Clearly it has everything to do with his new and very FGBC-ish kit. Though hardly in the same league as the sweetest jersey in the world, it is without a doubt the sweetest jersey in the pro peloton. As we have become accustomed to in our own racing exploits, the competition is so taken in by the sweetness of the jersey that Haussler, Hushovd, and co. are seemingly able to ride away uncontested. This no doubt explains the odd situation in the local race scene where so much of the competition has taken to wearing the sweetest jersey in the world for themselves. They're just lucky the MCA is, let's just say, lax in enforcing the rules regarding racing attire. You wouldn't get away with that nonsense in Belgium. At any rate, as if it wasn't already obvious with the ripped off jerseys that Cervelo is taking their cues from the FGBC, this photo of Haussler's new post-race routine should settle it.

Those Cervelo cats are so sneaky. They even stole our idea for a fashion show to highlight the sweetness of the sweetest jersey in the world:

Was there a bike race today or something? CN has the lowdown. Watch the final 2 km here:

The Top 30:

Van Impe 350
Eeckhout 300
Boonen 275
Haussler 250
Devolder 225
Hutarovich 200
Chavanel 175
Hayman 150
Weylandt 125
Goddaert 110
Hammond 100
De Kort 95
Hoogerland 90
Sieberg 85
Sentjens 80
Nuyens 75
Burghardt 70
Hoj 65
Leukemans 60
Coenen 55
Boucher 50
Rasch 45
Goss 40
Hunt 35
Guesdon 30
Ladagnous 25
Spilak 20
De Weert 15
Emden 10
Barbe 5

Over in the 2009 FGBC Spring Classics Pool, Cousin Adam, the newly appointed captain of the FGBC road squad, found himself on top of the scrap heap, serving notice to the RRR crew that the FGBC is not about to roll over and die in the FGBC-RRR FGD Challenge. Adam and Donna tied for the win today with 580 points apieve. Paddy took third with 525. Mike G still holds the overall lead. While riding on a BMX no less! But Donna and Adam have bumped KK and David S from the podium for now.

Stage Results:

Adam 580
Donna 580
Paddy 525
Brad 500
Matt 450
Andy 400
Darryl 400
Mike 400
Vic 350
Bill 295
Hal 275
Chris A 250
Dallas 225
Chris O 225
Ian 180
David 175
Jonny M 175
Chris H 70
Rachel 70
Luke 5
Craig 0
Kevin 0
Jonny G 0
Naomi 0
Rick 0

Overall Standings:

Mike 2870
Donna 2465
Adam 2360
David 2295
Matt 2255
Paddy 2250
Kevin 2170
Jonny M 2060
Hal 2045
Chris A 2020
Andy 2015
Brad 2010
Vic 1920
Bill 1920
Rick 1880
Ian 1580
Chris O 1485
Rachel 1435
Darryl 1415
Chris H 1195
Jonny G 1145
Craig 885
Luke 825
Dallas 815
Naomi 355

According to all the media outlets I've seen (both English and Flemish), only 37 riders finished the race. But that seems wierd. So if that turns out to be changed, I will redo the standings in case any finishers were stripped of the 5 points they had coming.

Van Impe!

... over Eeckhout. Boonen and Haussler 3rd and 4th. Devo 5th.

More later. I have a birthday party (Jonah's) to go to.

tnr minutes

the ugly weather did not prevail!

the impaler, g, tenacious v and the secretary met at g's, rode to expresso junction and met cousin adam and craig. the riding was tentative in pace certainly, but good times were had. we were met by juan eppstein and kk at the klubhouse. a fine turnout.

various topics unrelated to bikes were discussed... in particular, after we had cousin adam recount the matter of his pursuit of street justice, we talked about crazy people for a long time. seems most of us have had experiences with folks struggling to keep their stick on the ice.

we heard the continuing saga of juan eppstein's toe. diligent readers will recall that he showed up at the 24hrs of Coen sans bike... because he'd messed up his toe at soccer that day. the common wisdom, "even if it's broken, they won't do anything about it" prevailed. another stroke against common wisdom. when he finally went to the medical establishment two or more weeks later, it was discovered that the fracture was longitudinal (split like a bad weiner, as Brad put it) and that they would have pinned it immediately because it's not together. well, it well never be together again. not only is he still wearing a walking cast, he's looking at a fat toe with decreased mobility for the long term. there you have it for common wisdom.

a brief biking note: cousin adam mentioned that he's been doing a few road oriented rides with the road racing coordinator who is a colleague of his. the sweetest jersey in the world will see a number of road races this year he claims (no he hasn't signed up yet, but the intention is there). this brings our number to eight, and now we're covering more disciplines. the blackness is oozing.

ok, now i need to go find more fixed gear videos for mike g. (who's a fine fellow, by the way, but somehow is choosing to take a particular brand of bike hype fairly personally... I would maintain it's pretty tough to ride any bike without being labeled these days.)

Dwars Door Vlaanderen

Here we go. Dwars Door Vlaanderen means Across Flanders. And for the next couple of weeks, that's where our attention should be squarely focused. As far as the Spring Classics go, Flanders means bergs and cobbles. In othe words, it means good times. It all starts today with Dwars Door Vlaanderen and culminates with the Ronde van Vlaanderen, the second monument of the season, on April 5. In between there is the Vlaamse Wielerweek, a week-long celebration of cycling in Flanders that serves to wratchet up the excitement for the Ronde. The Podium Cafe has a brief preview of today's race. They also turn their attention to other important matters. Startlist here. Live coverage options here. Check back for Pool results later today.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


With Hummelt Hockey done for another year, the Secretary is eager to get this noble tradition back on track. After last week's nadir, there's nowhere to go but up, I suppose. But he's also a bit anxious about the rather disconcerting forecast. If nothing else, I suppose you can gather at the clubhouse and come up with a flood plan. Does this mean we can expect Ingolf to be especially soggy this year?

Note the time change. With hockey done, we shift to an earlier start time. It's our version of daylight savings time. Except we're not so much saving the daylight as extending the night.

I suppose you can meet at Espresso Junction again. But when I get back, the meeting place will be restored to its rightful location.

is march almost over? i'm going mad.

anything's better than posts about basketball. i'll make you people a new blog if you want.

this short film is nice. "it means we can all live together, fixing bikes in the warehouse."

Fixed. from Charge Bikes on Vimeo.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Another Day, Another Leader

Four days into the 2009 FGBC March Madness Pool, and we have had four different leaders. Cheryl sits atop the leader board after the first weekend of action with 52 points. Yesterday's leader, Margaret, is just one point back. Agnes and Ramon are tied for third with 50 points each. Full standings here.

So far, I think it's fair to say that things are shaping up nicely. We've had plenty of change at the top, and yet it's all pretty close. The fans have to be pleased. Good times.

Perhaps we could get a report from our field correspondents in Minneapolis.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

March Madness Pool Update

As of last night, Margaret holds a slim one point lead with 39 points. She's followed by Cheryl, Johnny S, and Ramon, who sit in a three-way tie for second place with 38 points apiece. It's all pretty close still. With the exception of Rachel and Jonah, who apparently peaked too soon in his March Madness Pool debut, everyone can still legitimately dream about winning it all. Full standings here.

There shouldn't be any big changes in the standings today. With the exception of a few unconventional brackets (e.g, Katie V), all the picks look pretty much the same. But the one game that will make a difference is the Xavier - Wisconsin mtach-up. Most picked either Xavier or Florida State. But Florida State is out. So if Xavier wins, there will be a bit of a shakeup in the standings. Most significantly, we will have a new leader.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Milan - San RRRemo

Yes, Mark Cavendish is a stud. He managed to prove the doubters wrong by hanging on up the Poggio. And then he closed the gap to Heinrich Haussler just when it looked like Haussler was going to win it going away. He almost made it look easy. Impressive, that little Manx man. Haussler's having a bit of a breakout season too. Why is he not in the pool? Hushovd led home the sprint for third, giving the podium a lovely FGBC-ish look courtesy of Cervelo's black and red of Haussler and Hushovd. Full results and report over at CN.

The podium in the FGBC Spring Classics pool was less FGBC-ish and more of the white, blue, and red of RRR. Mike G claimed a rather conclusive victory with 1285 points, while teammate Kevin K grabbed 1035 points for third place. Pay attention girls and boys. Those guys are not going take the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge lightly. Fortunately, David S managed to break up the RRR party with a 1045 point second-place showing. Those three currently find themselves atop the overall standings as well. Mike holds a 300 point lead over Kevin, with David just a little further back.

They're back at it on Wednesday in Belgium with Dwars Door Vlaanderen. And then there's a double-header on the weekend with E3 Prijs Vlaanderen and De Brabantse Pijl. Don't you love spring?

The finish:

The Top 30:

Cavendish 500
Haussler 450
Hushovd 425
Davis 400
Petacchi 375
Bennati 350
Galdos 325
Rossi 300
Paolini 280
Velits 260
Mondory 240
Elmiger 220
Van Avermaet 200
Kroon 180
Boonen 160
Bazayev 150
Gavazzi 140
Knees 130
Dean 120
Mori 110
Langeveld 100
Pozzato 90
Gilbert 80
Wegmann 70
Martinez 60
Scognamiglio 50
Geslin 40
Vaugrenard 30
Flecha 20
Visconti 10

Today's Results:

Mike 1285
David 1045
Kevin 1035
Jonny M 955
Matt 820
Adam 810
Brad 760
Chris A 730
Hal 705
Bill 660
Rick 625
Donna 615
Jonny G 555
Andy 550
Vic 490
Chris O 430
Rachel 430
Chris H 390
Paddy 380
Ian 300
Dallas 275
Darryl 260
Luke 130
Craig 40
Naomi 30

Overall Standings:

Mike 2470
Kevin 2170
David 2120
Jonny M 1885
Donna 1885
Rick 1880
Matt 1805
Adam 1780
Chris A 1770
Hal 1770
Paddy 1725
Bill 1625
Andy 1615
Vic 1570
Brad 1510
Ian 1400
Rachel 1365
Chris O 1260
Jonny G 1145
Chris H 1125
Darryl 1015
Craig 885
Luke 820
Dallas 590
Naomi 355


The FGBC low stakes gambling HQ is a busy place these days. There's plenty of basketball chatter going on in the hallways over in the March Madness division and Milan - San Remo has the energy level running pretty high in the Cycling Pool office as well. Good times.

Yesterday's leader of the March Madness Pool made a little trip down through the standings yesterday and now resides close to the bottom. After picking 15 of 16 games on the first night, Jonah could only muster 7 of 16 yesterday. And having picked Wake Forest to go to the finals, his hopes for a comeback are all but done. LeAnn's chances are also looking rather slim after her overall winner, Flordia State, is heading back home after losing their opening game. Johnny S is our current leader with 26 points, followed by Katie and Margaret with 25 apiece. More here. In past years, it is usualy in the second round where the contenders are separated from the pretenders in the FGBC March Madness Pool. So today and tomorrow should be fun.

MSR is currently on the ticker. Poor little Stuey O'Grady has already crashed out. Boonen has gone down too, but he seems fine. They're about two-thirds of the way there, with 198 of 198 covered so far. Surf on over to cyclingfans.com for live coverage options. And check back later today for a run-down of all the implications for the FGBC Spring Classics Pool.

Friday, March 20, 2009

March Madness Pool Update

After one round, Jonah and Margaret are leading, having picked 15 of 16 games correctly. David has moved out of last place and into a tie for second last. Rachel might very well have already sewn up last place. Her "Year of the Mormon" theme doesn't appear to be paying the dividends she'd hoped for. More here.

For Juan Eppstein

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday Anticipation

Let us begin the week with something new, shall we?

1) Dept. of Petty Rivalries

With this week's exciting news that RRR is back in the racing business the Impaler and I are pleased to announce a new competition:

Simply put, we are racing for a case of FGD. Let's face it, most of us won't get anywhere near a podium this year. But now we have something to race for anyway. The team that performs best in the 2009 MCA race season wins. Points will be awarded for any top 20 placing in any category and any discipline--road, mtb, cx, enduro, grass track, etc. Every MCA race is eligible, along with the Grass Track and the MUERTO races.

Good times ahead!

2) Spring Ride

It's not all about the racing though. In fact, sometimes it's not even about the riding. As Juan Eppstein knows, every good ride involves a break for a swim.

3) 2009 FGBC Spring Classics Pool

Milano - San Remo goes down on Saturday. Sadly, my team will be without its two stars. Allesandro Ballan is out for the season . . . sniff . . . with a "herpes-type" infection. "The virus," they say, "is passed through bodily fluids, including sweat, saliva, and blood. It often shows up among children in day care centers and on occasion, can be transmitted through blood transfusions." Dammit, Allessandro, I told you not to take the kids to the day care. Fabian Cancellara says he's not race ready either. Oh well. It will still be fun to watch. Will the sprinters teams be able to keep it all together? Or will the inevitable splintering on the Poggio allow a break to stay away. Pez has a nice preview, as does CN. The Podium Cafe will have plenty of coverage as well, some of it more informative than others.

If you're still finding it hard to get excited, take a minute and watch last year's finish:

4) FGBC March Madness Pool

The games start in just a few minutes. We have received 18 teams. Follow the standings here.

5) Grass Track Glossary

Finally, I regret to inform you that Gianni has gone missing. If anyone has any information regarding his whereabouts, please contact the FGBC Grass Track Headquarters as soon as possible. While you're at it, keep your eyes open for the Editor. He hasn't been heard from in a long time either, and he has a Nordic Cross finale to organize.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

2009 FGBC March Madness Pool

So far, 18 teams have waded into the pool. Or at least accepted the invitation. I don't know when CBS will stop accepting entries, but it's safe to assume they will be a lot less lenient with late entries than I usually am. The games begin tomorrow morning. Best to get your brackets in by the end of the day today.

If you know of anyone else who wants to play, let me know soon and I can send them an invite.

Who's in the pool?

Agnes H
Charlene G
Cheryl K
Chris H
Cindy H
David S
Hal L
Harry H
Isaac V
Johnny S
Jonah H
Jonny G
Katie V
LeAnn F
Margaret K
Rachel H
Ramon R
Tim K

David and Johnny S (and families?) are headed to Minneapolis to catch the first couple of rounds. I assume they will be cheering for NDSU.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Shall we say Espresso Junction, 9:30 pm? You slackers better get back on track this week. At least we have Craig.

If anyone's looking for something to do before 9:30, Gianni passes along the following notice:
There is a come and go meeting from 6 till 9 p.m. tonight at Olympia Cycle (1813 Portage Avenue). Drop by and share your thoughts on the draft club plan, fill out a membership form, try on some cycling clothing/place a clothing order (***the order deadline is the end of this week***) or just talk shop.
FGBC'ers, you can still show up and not feel beset by inner-conflicts. As a subsidiary club of the FGBC, the Olympia Club is not a rival in a straightforwardly horizontal sense.

At the clubhouse, don't forget to raise a pint in honour of Mick Murphy. And Craig.

Monday, March 16, 2009

2009 FGBC March Madness Pool

It's that time of year again. Time for most of us to suffer the ignominy of losing to a five year old. This year, I have signed up to have CBS manage the pool for us. Same scoring system as always. But now you don't have to worry that my poor math skills will screw everything up.

There is no entry fee. There will be no prizes. It's all about the glory. And the shame.

If you want to participate in the Sweetest March Madness Pool in the World, you have to be invited in order sign up. So send me an email and I will send you an invitation.

Good times.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cousin Adam is a Hero

The WFP has the story.

2009 Team FGBC Roster [Updated]

So far we have five six seven:

Jonny G

Five Six Seven is good. Better than ever before. But applications are still being accepted. The season is just over a month away. The dark cloud is spreading. Maybe it will even start raining FGD.

Also a about month away is our last day in Durham. We leave on April 16 and will arrive back in FGBC country on April 22 or 23.

Friday, March 13, 2009

all is not lost

paddy posted a comment in the blog about how the prices are going way up for 24-9 mile. i contacted last year's organizer about this and here is what i was told...

Hi Hal,

Kevin forwarded your e-mail to me. You may be pleased to know that you will have the option of racing in what Kevin referred to as the solo "freak" class for $100. The fees that you are referring to are for our Pro classes. 50% of these fees go into the cash purse for each of these classes.

Based on feedback like yours we are adding in both a men's and women's Solo freak and the Duo Open, both of which will have sport-level entry fees. The addition of the non-cash-prize solo and duo classes in the registration will be in place by the end of next week.

Fees are going up but until April 15th, we are keeping the entry fees in line with last years fees. After that the entry fees will be going up to what we have been charging at our other events since 2003 (I think the solo freak will be going up to $120-140 depending on how late you register). Kevin has done an excellent job and we're honored that he offered to sell the event to us. It's a risky proposition for us but we hope that folks will come to appreciate the dedication that we bring to continuing 24-9's superb quality and that they will understand that higher fees are necessary for the event to succeed.

As for the Pro fees, the feed-back that we have gotten from the folks who want to race for a cash purse is that this is a fair way to do it. At our larger events like Moab this mechanism creates a cash purse in excess of $20,000. In any case, you will have the option to race in the cash class or the "freak" classes.

Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns. I hope you will plan on returning to 9 Mile this year, I trust you'll have a great time again. Feel free to write back if you have any other concerns or suggestions.

Happy Trails,


PS, I've attached two letters that Kevin and I are mailing out next week so you can get the preview.

looks like 24-9 could be a go again. this is a great event and all should consider putting this on their calendar; either as a team or solo

It's Official!!!!

I don't know if it's the milder temps., or the dreams of singletrack and the "Sweetest Jersey in the World" that I have been having lately, but I have just signed up as a card carrying member of the FGBC again. Dr. H...how many is that now? Who is on the team? Are there more to come? Did we lose anyone? Why am I so excited? How many beers do I owe you to help pay for the team signup?

Answers to these questions (and i'm sure much more) to come.?

Cow's Blood and Raw Meat

(photo courtesy of The Bike Show)

This guy is awesome. And just in time for St. Paddy's Day too. Mick Murphy: the legend of the Ras, Ireland's national stage race.
The legend goes a bit like this: he trained with weights made from stone, he made a living as a circus performer, on one stage in the 1958 Rás, after his bike had broken down, he stole an ordinary bicycle from a farmer and chased down the leading pack. It 's said that he rode for three days with a broken collar bone, that he would cycle for forty miles having completed a gruelling stage just to cool down, that he drank cow's blood and ate raw meat. It's said he was indestructible. (from the RTE radio documentary, "A Convict of the Road")
Listen to the documentary here. It's long (40 min.), but well worth the time.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday Anticipation

1) Spring Ride VII

T minus 77 days. The Impaler is sick of winter. "Death to winter," he roars. "I will attack you the way I attack wounded bats and narrow bridges."

2) Nordic Cross

The Impaler and the RRR crew have inquired about putting on a race. A date and location would be a good start. The season is scheduled to wrap up on April 5 with Norwood Cross, right editor?

Update: The Impaler reports that RRR has decided to pass on Nordic Cross after all. They think it is in the midst of breathing its last, gurgling breath before dying and want nothing to do with it. I'm sure the editor will prove them wrong with a rousing season finale.

3) MCA MTB Racing

The 2009 race season is just around the corner. The first cup race is shceduled for April 26, just three short weeks after the final race of the Nordic Cross season. I've already got my race license. Apparently, for the first time ever, so has the secretary. What about the rest of you?

4) Grass Track Glossary

Currently, all is silent on the Grass Track front. Gianni, are you out there? He's probably out scouting potential race sites. Always working, that guy. Check back later, Grass Track fans.

Update: There will be no Grass Track Glossary this week. The Grass Track Czar is busy preparing a quiz to test your proficiency with the terms he's introduced us to so far. Start studying, boys and girls.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

History Lesson

Given all the new participants in the last few editions of the sweetest cycling pools in the world, it seems a little history lesson is in order--just so everyone is clear about who the FGBC Cycling Pool royalty are. Here are the podium finishers for all the pools going back to the inaugural edition, the rather controversial 2007 TdF Pool. Anyone can reach the podium once by fluke, right David? But take note of those whose names appear more than once below. You will be expected to treat these people with appropriate deference.

2007 Tour de France Pool

Clean Pool: (1) Chris H, (2) Matt, (3) Rachel
Dirty Pool (1) Matt, (2) Chris H, (3) Jonny B

2007-08 CX Pool: (1) Andy, (2) Chris H, (3) Vic

2008 Classics Pool: (1) Andy, (2) Chris H, (3) Arlene

2008 Giro Pool: (1) Arlene, (2) Andy, (3) James

2008 Tour de France Pool: (1) Mike, (2) Donna, (3) Vic

2008 Vuelta Pool: (1) Chris H, (2) Arlene, (3) Brad

2008-09 CX Pool: (1) Gary, (2) Rachel, (3) David S

Speaking of FGBC Cycling Pools, here are a few more videos from last weekend's Eroica Toscana, featuring more of the white gravel roads (strade bianche) the race is known for. Our boy Ryder Hesjedal gets some decent air time as well.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The NY Times come through again

We need more of these.

Here is one for Dallas.

Good News

Courtesy of the BK and the WFP:
Trail-building money is finally going to flow to the long-neglected North End, as a $3.3-million plan to create new bike and pedestrian paths this year will connect Waterfront Drive with Kildonan Park. Winnipeg's 2009 active-transportation plan, which comes before city council's public works committee this morning, calls for the city to spend $405,000 on the North Winnipeg Parkway, a recreational bike and walking path on the west side of the Red River.

Along with the North Winnipeg Parkway, the city's active-transportation plan calls for three other major recreational paths to be built this summer: the western portion of the Bishop Grandin Greenway, the Silver Avenue Trail in St. James and the Donald Street Parkway, which will run parallel to the first phase of the southwest Winnipeg bus corridor.

The $3.3-million trail-building kitty will also be used to create new Exchange District bike lanes, a bike-commuter route on Eugenie Street in St. Boniface, $250,000 worth of new regional sidewalks and $170,000 worth of bicycle-parking facilities.
Full story here.


After tonight, only 6 more Tuesday Night Rides until I'm back in Peg City. Then everything in the world will be right again. And we will resurrect the occasional Tuesday Night Race. Better start training now.

When does Hummelt Hockey end?

Has the accomodations director booked a campsite for the Spring Ride yet?

Monday, March 09, 2009

Halberto's Spring Training Camp Report

In case you missed it.


A decidedly un-Italian podium for Italy's answer to Paris-Roubaix. A Swede, a German, and a Swiss dude on the podium: Lovkvist, Wegmann, and Elmiger. The top Italian was Visconti in 6th. The top Canuck was Hesjedal in 10th place, same as last year. Results, report, and photos here.

Watch the finish here:

The Top 30:

Lovkvist 350
Wegmann 300
Elmiger 275
Boasson Hagen 250
Gerdemann 225
Visconti 200
Velits 175
A. Schleck 150
Lloyd 125
Hesjedal 110
Bennati 100
Ivanov 95
Konovalovas 90
Hammond 85
Chiarini 80
Gatto 75
Righi 70
Rollin 65
Belletti 60
Breschel 55
Giordani 50
Maaskant 45
Eisel 40
Cavendish 35
Longo Borghini 30
Failli 25
Mazzanti 20
Grivko 15
Bernucci 10
Caccia 5

Rick Y was the day's big winner, with 545 points. He submitted a team a couple of days after the deadline and I decided to accept it. But he did not get credit for Hushovd's opening day win. Good thing too, as he'd probably be in the lead by now, no doubt generating all kinds of griping. Instead, he moves up from the bottom third of the standings and into third place overall. Bill took second on the day with 380 points, while RRR'ers Kevin and Mike tied for third with 340. There was no shortage of poor performances in the FGBC Classics Pool. Seven teams finished with fewer than 50 points. But none were as bad as me. My team accumulated a grand total of zero points. Paddy still holds the overall lead despite a 5 point performance. But Donna has closed the gap. She now sits just 75 points back of the lead. Beyond the podium steps, it's all very close. Seven teams separated by less than 150 points. Dallas has slipped back into the cellar, but Naomi is still lingering around down there as well. The race for the lanterne rouge is shaping up to be a fierce one.

We have to wait two weeks for the next race. But it's a big one. The first monument of the season: Milan - San Remo. Remember, extra points are at stake for this one. There should be a big shakeup in the standings. In the mean time, enjoy some interesting early season racing at Paris-Nice, where some dude named Contador is seemingly trying to make a statement.

Eroica Results:

Rick 545
Bill 380
Kevin 340
Mike 340
Adam 335
Andy 310
Ian 305
Rachel 200
Brad 155
Matt 150
Vic 150
Craig 150
Jonny M 150
Donna 150
Chris A 135
Hal 115
Jonny G 110
Naomi 95
David 40
Luke 20
Chris O 10
Dallas 5
Paddy 5
Darryl 5
Chris H 0

Overall Standings:

Paddy 1345
Donna 1270
Rick 1255
Mike 1185
Kevin 1135
Ian 1100
Vic 1080
David 1075
Andy 1065
Hal 1065
Chris A 1040
Matt 985
Adam 970
Bill 965
Rachel 935
Jonny M 930
Craig 845
Chris O 830
Darryl 755
Brad 750
Chris H 735
Luke 690
Jonny G 590
Naomi 325
Dallas 315

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Altona Report

Courtesy of Johnny S:

The Altona winter bike festivus did not go off as planned. I can't remember a time when they did. Usually a late dump of snow meant we needed to shovel a mile of snow, but a race always worked. This year it was ice. The course was a pure ice; the paths, the roads and the top, bottom and middle of the hill. Brutal. Change of plans.

About 17 riders started the afternoon with a group ride slowly sniffing out the ends of town, an attempt at a knockdown on the pond left us slipping and unfulfilled until we found a patch of dry, deserted street and played some fun games of knockdown - Dan, his son Kehler and Albert Falk often found their way in the top three in that event. The ride then took us south through the village and back along a snowmobile track around the darp and back to The Station. The slow race saw me and G take first and second riding the only fixed bikes at the event - it was unfair. The ride was documented nicely by David and Myron who caught all the action from dukes sweet truck. Back inside for some hanging out, potluck dogfest, home-baked/pickled shwag, then UNC takes it to Duke - again.

Several newbies to the day and nice showings by Greg Loeppky, Brenda Schritt, Lorne and Nada and of course all the moms and kids.

Paul Bergman gets a punch in the gut for walking to the festivus. That guy is the BEST!

David has the pictures. We hope to see them soon.

Big props to Myron, David, Paul and Sweet Cheryl Koop in making it happen.

Good people, riding bike, good grub, beer and a basketball game. Very good times.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Altona Winter Bike Festivus

Johnny S and Co. always put on a good event. If you like good times, you will want to head to Altona this weekend.

Let's go Devils!

FGBC Spring Training: The Photos

Here's a bunch. I will upload the rest to the FGBC Flickr account. Eventually. Halberto will no doubt have his own to share as well.

This collection of photos probably makes it seem like there was more snow than there really was. But there was snow--especially once we got up around 4000 ft. The mercury topped out at 21 C. the day before Halberto arrived. It is supposed to hit 20 today and 26 tomorrow. While he was here, we had a snowstorm. Bummer. Still, it was awesome. First time for me in Pisgah on an ss. 32x20.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

FGBC Spring Training, Day 5

4.5 hours. 41 kms. 4000ft. And on the last ride of the day, no snow. Pisgah is awesome. Good times.

Photos coming tomorrow.

Halberto is on his way to Louisville. I just got back home. But I'm heading back to the mountains tomorrow. This time to the Shenandoah Valley. Yes, I am a lucky boy.


Sorry these are late. I was busy riding.

The Impaler, it seems, has found his muse. Another haiku rendition of this week's minutes:

Brad the Impaler,
With Craig, 'The Cricket'
Familiar faces

Sometimes there’s a man,
Tenacious V they call him
Great to have him ride

Warm night with sweet air
River better for skating
Than riding a bike

Arrived in City Park
Rode around the trails a while
Perfect night riding

Then to the Klubhaus
Beer is proof that God loves us
Can’t argue with that

The Secretary,
Colin and The Editor
Helped fill the table

Talked pro sports spending
Formula one excesses
And movies we’d seen

Good times as usual
Night ended on a sour note
Bikes were molested

I hate friggin thieves
Seat bag and lights were taken
At least no tires slashed

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

FGBC Spring Training, Day 4

4 hours. 35 km. 4000 ft. Halberto has a wonky hamstring. Still, good times. Pisgah is kickass. One more day.

Sadly, we have run out of FGD. This is a milestone of the wrong kind. But we will manage. We have some Guinness. And High Life.

FGBC Spring Training, Day 3

5 hours. 65 kms. 5000 ft of climbing. Lots of snow above 4000 feet--i.e., hour-long hike-a-bike in the snow. Good times.

Photos coming later.

More of the same today.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Monday, March 02, 2009

Snow Ride, Take It Easy

FGBC Spring Training, day two is in the books. We fared a little better today. Gravel grinder. Fire roads in the forest. 3.5 hours. Good times.

FGD tastes so yummy.

Tomorrow we hit the mountains for three days. Back on Thursday night.

Paddy Power

Paddy's numbers came up right today. With four riders in the top ten, he pulled in 965 points to trounce the field and grab a big lead in the overall race. Donna and Vic rounded out the podium with 655 and 590 points, respectively. David's wire-to-wire overall victory will not happen. He's now in third place overall, behind Paddy and Donna. You may recall from last year that the results in the Spring Classics Pool tend to vary wildly from race to race. This makes it far more exciting than the rather predictable CX Pool. Oh, and Dallas is out of the cellar. Naomi's there for now.

Big bad Tom Boonen won the bike race, ahead of Eisel and Cervelo/FGBC'er Jeremy Hunt. CN and Pez have it all covered.

The Top 30:

Boonen 350
Eisel 300
Hunt 275
Kroon 250
Leezer 225
Lequatre 200
Ladagnous 175
Nuyens 150
Chavanel 125
Flecha 110
Meersman 100
Haussler 95
Wijnants 90
Voeckler 85
Portal 80
Veelers 75
Breschel 70
Duyn 65
Hoornaert 60
Cooke 55
Rasch 50
Geslin 45
Devolder 40
Ivanov 35
Grabsch 30
Ciolek 25
Langeveld 20
Steegmans 15
Mortensen 10
Clerc 5

Stage Results:

Paddy 965
Donna 655
Vic 590
Matt 525
Darryl 445
Craig 415
Andy 415
Mike 415
Brad 395
Chris A 395
Adam 390
Hal 355
Bill 340
Dallas 290
David 290
Chris H 250
Ian 235
Jonny M 215
Chris O 195
Luke 170
Rachel 155
Kevin 115
Naomi 90
Jonny G 5

Overall Standings:

Paddy 1340
Donna 1120
David 1035
Hal 950
Vic 930
Chris A 905
Mike 845
Matt 835
Chris O 820
Ian 795
Kevin 795
Jonny M 780
Andy 755
Darryl 750
Chris H 735
Rachel 735
Craig 695
Luke 670
Brad 640
Adam 635
Bill 585
Jonny G 480
Dallas 310
Naomi 230

3 inches

It goes years without snowing here. So the unluckiness of Halberto's timing is rather stunning. At least we are used to riding in snow. And this is better than the rain we rode in yesterday.

By the end of the week, it will be much better. Too bad Hal leaves on Thursday night.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Nordic Cross

No, it's not dead. It's just moved south.

Yup, it's snowing. Damn. The good news is we will have the city to ourselves tomorrow. The plan is a for cx ride in the forest. As long as it's not raining, my not-exactly-waterproof clothing should be fine. It didn't fare so well this morning. Cold and wet is not my favourite combination. I prefer cold and hoppy.

Spring Training is On

Unfortunately, the weather is not exactly spring-like. 3-5 inches of snow tonight and the mercury is going to go as low as it has all year. Oh well.

60 min. tour of Durham in the cold and rain this morning. We'll try and do better in the snow tomorrow. At least it should be drier. Tuesday through Thursday in the mountains still looks promising, though camping plans have given way to a hotel.

Good times.