Thursday, April 02, 2009

Thursday Anticipation

Let us begin by considering a couple of events that will not be happening. Not so much Thursday Anticipation as Thursday Lamentation, I suppose. Come to think of it, a list of things that will not be happening could conceivably be rather on the long side. We shall limit ourselves to those that could once have been considered likely. It seems appropriate to mourn their losses. There would have been some good times.

1) Nordic Cross

I seems safe to assume by now that Norwood Cross, originally scheduled for April 5, is off. The editor does not return our calls and nobody else has volunteered to step forward. RRR once hinted that they might take up the cause. But when given the opportunity to host a race they passed on it like a bowl of jello and marshmallow salad. That is sad, especially since the weather this weekend looks like it will be Nordic Cross friendly. Oh well. If only some of that energy being spent in the boardroom these days could be reoriented back to the streets, where it belongs.

2) Roller Racing

Originally, it looked as though the premature termination of the Nordic Cross season would be offest by another racing opportunity, also conveniently scheduled for April 5. Our friends at Woodcock were planning another night of roller racing, and this time at a much more appropriate venue for the time-honoured discipline--Johnny Fox's pub on Academy Rd. They even had a commercial up on their website to help lead the promotional effort, with footage from the inaugural event spliced together with a bevy of product placement shots:

But a recent trip over to their website turned up the following somber notice:
Roller Racing Next Event On April 5th, at Johnny Fox's on Academy has been Canceled [sic]. Please accept our apologies. Due to uncontrollable circumstances on the part of the organizers, the event cannot be organized as planned. We will do our best to try and organize the event somewhere else on a future date. Please stay tuned, and thanks for your patience regarding this.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I can't stop wondering what the unidentified "uncontrollable circumstances" might have been. At least it displaces that dumb Billy Idol song that's been banging around inside my head for almost a day now.

At any rate, what might have been a day to celebrate--two races in one evening--looks like it will now go down as a dark day in Peg City cycling lore. Perhaps we should memorialize April 5 as an annual holiday of sorts. It will be dedicated to mourning the loss of all the things that might have been. Call it the day the racing died. Cue comments by Dallas in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

But the news is not all bleak, boys and girls. It's not all death and darkness. There is plenty of new life to look forward to. It is spring, after all. At least in some parts of the world.

3) Spring Ride

It is fairly safe to say that the Spring Ride is not in jeopardy of being cancelled. As far as I can tell, there are no circumstances, uncontrollable or otherwise, that would conspire to do in the sweetest weekend of the year. With all the snow around, it will almost certainly be a bit on the wet side. But the show will go on all the same. Now that it's April, we are now just one month away from Spring Ride Month. Consider it our very own extended-play version of Vlaamse Wielerweek.

4) Krahn Barn Kermesse

And hot on the heels of the Spring Ride comes one of the more exciting new races in recent memory. Anyone who knows anything knows that any race Johnny S is involved in putting on is not to be missed. Fifteen starting slots have been allocated to participants from Winnipeg, with another 15 being reserved for those from Altona and surroundings. Let me know if you are interested.

5) The MCA race season

It's not just black market racing though. Those aforementioned denizens of the boardroom have given us a legitimate race season to look forward to as well. It all begins just over two weeks from now with the gravel road race on April 19. And the week after that is the first mtb race of the season at Grand Beach. I wonder if there will be posters. Or does the establishment think it doesn't need to promote its events? In any case, let the FGBC-RRR FGD Challenge commence.

6) 2009 FGBC Spring Classics Pool

Nor is it just about real bike racing. Vicarious bike racing is fun too. It all continues this weekend with the biggest weekend of the year in Belgium--the Ronde Van Vlaanderen. Think of it as the Flemish version of Holy Week. It's not so much a sporting event as it is a religious experience, as this short video beautifully demonstrates:

"God is Terug" = God is back--a reference to flawed hero known as Frank Vandebroucke. Pez has some sweet coverage too. Someday, we will make a pilgrimage.

7) Grass Track Fridays

Last but not least, we conclude, as always, with some grass track wisdom from Gianni, the grass track czar. This week, he offers not so much a glossary as etiquette--essential tips for keeping safe when doing crazy things in a small space like, say, tandem sprint (amazing nerves, truly) . . .

. . . or this (amazing disintigration, truly) . . .

. . . or, more recently, this little encounter between Gregory Bauge and Kevin Sireau at this week's track world championships in Poland . . .

As far as I know, there will be no tandem races on the grass track. But Gianni's point is that it is sometimes possible to avoid these sorts of incidents. He can't guarantee that your wheel won't spontaneously disintigrate. But he knows that if everybody were to internalize the following set of basic rules, things would be better for all concerned.
Track Etiquette & Safety

Riding safely should be the rider’s first priority. Track riders should try to be polite, friendly and always aware of others. Here are some common rules and advice to keep in mind while riding on the track:

· The faster rider is responsible for passing safely.

· Slow riders are responsible for riding straight and allowing faster riders to pass predictably.

· Never get out of the way of a faster rider. Maintain a straight line.

· Never ride more than two abreast while going slow.

· Generally, only in a pace line should four or more riders ride together. At all other times, riders should be in groups of 4 or less, including speed efforts.

· Turn your head in the direction you want to move, and glance back as you gradually move up or down the track, paying attention to where you’re going and over-taking traffic at the same time. Do not rely wholly on your peripheral vision.

· As you approach a slower rider with their heads turned in the direction you want to pass, sound-off with the command “STICK” in order to keep the slower rider from moving into your passing lane.

· If you hear “STICK,” ride straight. If you are maneuvering and hear “STICK,” correct your line so you’re riding straight.

And finally, NEVER cross the track while a race is in progress. Wait until the race has ended. Always look before crossing the track, as slower riders may still be finishing a race.
That is all for this week, boys and girls. Get out and ride your bike this weekend. And don't forget to check back next week.


Anonymous said...

April 5th is also the first of the road running races. Lace those runners up after biking to assinibione park and go through 5k of whatever ugliness you want. Trust me on this though 5km can get very ,very ugly. I have seen sub 3 hour marathoners walk during a 5k.

$35 gets you three races , food and coffee till April 3 after that it's $40.
That my friends is cheep pain with a fair size Field.

I am looking forward to helping out at the grand beach race where my cowbell and heckling will be heard for three to 5 laps.

Dallas " 8 days till my hundred miler and I'm excited." Sigurdur

The Dark Lord said...

We do not officially condone running, unless it is involves carrying a bike on your shoulder and hopping over barriers. But we will take this into consideration. Some FGBCers have been known to enjoy running from time to time.

PaddyH said...

bumbee's in the mtns....allegedly

Erick Oland said...

Hey Guys,
regarding the Roller Racing that was planned for April 5th...... I can clear a few things up for you dr.h, as I was the one planning the event. Woodcock didn't do anything so please don't assume or blame them for anything.
I met with the owner of the pub a couple of weeks ago, showed him a demo video of what roller racing is, and asked if we could have an event at his local. He suggested a Sunday to me as he is normally closed, but would open for us and we could have the place to ourselves. We left it that evening with the agreement that I would choose a date and let him know. I chose April 5, invited a pile of people, and started planning the event, assuming it wouldn't be a problem.

After 2 email messages, and two phone calls, with no return, I pulled the plug last Monday.
I had 40 people confirmed for the event ! I was pretty pissed off when he didn't return my calls.

So that's the scoop ! Sorry I jumped the gun before he actually confirmed. Just wanted all the guys to get together and have a fun time.

Next time, I'll make sure the venue is rock solid.
It's probably too late now as the weather is about to turn, but watch for a cool race series next winter ! Cheers,
Erick Oland