Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Introducing the 2009 FGBC Tour de France Pool

Well, here it is. The official launch of the 2009 FGBC Tour de France Pool. The Tom Boonen situation still hasn't been resolved. But I'm tired of waiting. I am working on the assumption that Boonen is out, Davis in. Should that situation change, you can replace Davis with a rider of equal value. But I will not add Boonen. That would be unfortunate, I know. But blame Tornado Tom and his hankering for the nose candy. If he'd have stuck to the regular doctor-supervised doping program, we wouldn't be in this mess.

It all starts on Saturday with a 15 km time trial. Once again, I've tried to make things as easy and accessible as possible by grouping the riders into categories with some nominal ranking to differentiate between different riders within the categories. We will use the same system that we used for the Giro Pool, with some slight tweaking. This should ensure a relatively close competition and a series of well-rounded, yet different teams. Good luck.

Once again, the final results will count toward the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge. As with the Giro Pool, only those who have valid race licenses are eligible to get in on this special action. In case you have forgotten, RRR won the last round, 53-29. I expect a 100% participation rate and a better showing from the FGBC this time around. Mike will not win this round.


1. Pick a team of nine riders. Send your team here before they start racing on Saturday morning.

2. There is no entry fee. There are no prizes. Feel free to invite others to participate.

3. Points will be awarded based on the scoring system below (scroll down).

4. Any rider who is disqualified from the race for a doping violation forfeits all his points.

Choose your team based on the five criteria listed below. The list of riders can be found here. A lot of people messed this up last time. Please read these five criteria very carefully. This exercise will require some basic math skills and an understanding of simple logical operators (esp. "and," "or," and "not"). Criterion #3 proved to be especially tricky for some last time around, since it requires the simultaneous negotiation of two different lists. Pay attention to the bolded words and it shouldn't be too hard.

1. Pick two GC riders. Their numbers (to the right of the rider's name) must add up to five or more.

2. Pick two sprinters. Numbers must add up to five or more.

3. TT Men & Climbers - Pick one rider from each list. Their combined numbers must add up to four or more.

4. Pick one Stange Hunter.

5. Pick two Wild Cards. Note: if there are any riders listed under the wild cards heading who are also listed under a different heading, that is a mistake. Don't pick them as wild cards. They belong under the other heading. I think I've got it right. But I missed a few last time and, while we got it all sorted out before the race began, it got a bit messy.


Individual stages:


For the TTT, each rider who finishes with the team will be credited 25% of the points earned by the team for the stage.

Final GC:


Final Points Classification:


Final Mountains and Classification:


Final Young Rider Classification:


Notice that I have discontinued the 25 point bonus for the daily wearer of the yellow jersey. I just don't like the way it plays out. It makes sense in theory, but in actuality ends up piling more rewards upon those who already get their fair share. So it's gone.

Math is Hard

According to KK, we have a 90 point lead in the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge. By my count, it's more like 35. I'm pretty sure I am correct. Nothing new there, I suppose. Not so much the fact that I'm correct--that is often not the case--but that I think I am--that is pretty much a constant. In any case, that is not a very big lead at all, especially heading into the second MUERTO race of the season, where double points are once again on the line. Paddy and I will be there. Naomi too? Jonny G has ultimate, the Cricket is in Ontario, and the Fraggle is staying in her cave for this one. It sure would be nice to have some reinforcements.


Meet at my place. 9:30 pm. Should we move it up to 9pm now that KOM is done? Or should we leave it at 9:30? Discuss.

Monday, June 29, 2009

TdF Pool: Coming Very Soon

The final rosters are basically all in. We're just waiting to hear the verdict on the Tom Boonen situation now. It'll be either Boonen or Allan Davis. That decision is to be made tomorrow. So check back tomorrow afternoon for the official launch of the 2009 FGBC Tour de France Pool.

Fort Garry Birthday Club

Seriously good times. That is the right way to do it. Well done, Victor. And KK too, for that matter. There were so many riders out, I won't even attempt to list them all. 50 miles of road and trail. A couple of stops for food. And wind. Lots and lots of wind. Post-ride Scrapper and chit-chat at the Birthday Boy's residence. A very good day.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Challenge: Statistical Breakdown

Through this past Wednesday, the current score is 405-324 for the FGBC (but we are still waiting on the results for Penner and Larry from Wednesday). These stats are based only on the races, i.e., the Giro Pool is not included.

The FGBC has participated 24 races. RRR has done 23.

The FGBC has fielded eight different racers. Three of those have done just one race. RRR has had seven racers. Three of them have raced only once.

Mike is The Challenge's busiest racer, by far. He is also the biggest contributor of points, with 109. He has done 10 races so far. He has finished 7 of those. Chris is the FGBC's most active racer, with 6 races under his belt so far. He has finished all of them, for 100 points.

RRR has showed up to 6 races in which it did not receive any points. Three of those were at the Back 40, and two were last Wednesday. The FGBC has received points in all but two races. Both of those were at the Back 40. Those four extra zeroes for RRR could very well be the difference, especially considering that the Back 40 was a double points race. Remember, you must finish a race to receive any points.

LeAnn has the highest average of anyone in The Challenge. She's won each of her races. 75 points over three races, for an impressive average of 25 points per race. Adam is second, averaging 21 points per race. Nobody else is averaging more than 17 points per race. Does anybody think those two need to move up a category?

Full breakdown:


Chris - 6 races, 100 points, 17 point average
Jonny G - 5 races, 83 points, 17 point average
Craig - 4 races, 37 points, 9 point average
LeAnn - 3 races, 75 points, 25 point average
Adam - 3 races, 62 points, 21 point average
Johnny S - 1 race, 19 points
Unger - 1 race, 0 points
Penner - 1 race, unknown points


Mike - 10 races, 109 points, 11 point average
Kevin - 4 races, 62 points, 16 point average
Brad - 4 races, 52 points, 13 point average
Gilles - 2 races, 32 points, 16 point average
Chris - 1 race, 16 points
Lorne - 1 race, 0 points
Larry - 1 race, unknown points

Saturday, June 27, 2009

For KK

I know you are hurting. Maybe this will cheer you up:

And this:

I don't believe you guys have chosen an honorary captain yet. But clearly someone should nominate Farrah for the post.

Friday, June 26, 2009

What are you waiting for?

KK reports that RTB needs 10 more registrations in order to fly. Get off your ass and get registered. Now!

Entry, waiver form, and other details here. Early bird (i.e., discount) deadline is tomorrow, June 27.

Dept. of Fashion

No Friday Profile today. We've profiled everyone from Team FGBC with the exception of our longest-serving member. The Secretary and the President are working together on that one. Look for it next Friday.

Instead, we are pleased to announce a couple of exciting new opportunities in clothing:

1) SSSWJITW: The Sweetest Short-Sleeved Wool Jersey in the World

It will look something like this:

Cousin Adam is working on this project. Here is what he says:
I'm thinking Fort Garry in red script (like the Nordic Cross) on the white stripe, and Bike Club in white block letters on the red stripe. With embroidering, they'd be $66 US if we get at least 12, otherwise $86 (and only $54 if we do 30, but that's probably pushing it). And for $91, they'd do up a one-off replica Nordic Cross jersey for Brad. Spread the word and I'll handle the arrangements.
The word has now been spread. The ball is in your court, boys and girls. Drop a comment if you are interested.

[update - 11:38 am]

2) RRR Wool

As it turns out, our friends over at RRR are working on a similar project. Upon seeing Adam's proposal, KK sent me this. He says he mocked it up earlier this morning. I suspect, however, that they're simply trying to keep pace with their much hipper rivals.

3) MUERTO Hoodie

MUERTO Operative Gianni is heading this one up, with assistance from Halberto and myself.

It will be a full-zippered black hoodie with this on the back:

It looks like it will all add up to around $50, give or take. Again, drop a comment if you are interested.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thursday Anticipation

1) Vic's Birthday Ride

First things first. The Tenacious One is having a birthday and we need to help him celebrate.

50+ miles. Two food stops. Post-ride Scrapper. Good times guaranteed.

2) Wednesday is the New Friday

At least as far as the Grass Track Series is concerned. The next race had been scheduled for July 10. But that is Folk Fest Friday. And that is sacred. So the next race has been moved to the following Wednesday. Hopefully that will help attendance. The cottage set won't be tempted to head to the lake. And the retail crowd should have Wednesday nights permanently cleared because of the WNRS at Bur Oak. Be there to experience the awesomeness.

3) Reach the Beach

I registered on Tuesday. At that point, I was lucky #6. I trust there will be more. RRR will be fielding a strong team. Who will be there from the FGBC to help me counter their attacks?

Lindsay assured us last night at the race that it will be awesome.

Don't wait too long. After Saturday, the price goes up to $45.

4) 2009 FGBC Tour de France Pool

I know you are all giddy with excitement. I am too. Among other things, the Alberto and Lance show should keep things interesting. About half the rosters have been announced so far. As soon as the rest are set, we can get the party started. Hopefully that will happen by the weekend.

5) FGBC Work Day

And last but not least, don't forget about the poosher's plea for manpower. Saturday, 9pm. 147 Pinedale.

Listen Here

Bill A has something to say:
That Wednesday Night Race #3 was a blast! A great course, well staged start groups, a safe start and finish zone, and hot dogs and a fire to warm you after an epic downpour. Now that's what mountain bike racing is all about. Thanks to the Olympia group.
Nicely put. Kevin and Co. have been doing a fine job with the WNRS this year. Hopefully the remainder of Team FGBC will show up to experience it before the season is done. There are three more races to go, the next one being two weeks from yesterday.

WNR #3 Report

On a course where a good start is imperative, my race didn't start out so well. I got tangled up with some dude at the start and ended up dead last heading into the bush. At first, it seemed this must be the work of an RRR collaborator. But later Mike and KK encountered problems of their own and ended up not even finishing the race. Clearly there is a raving lunatic out there who has problems with the whole idea of the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge. It shouldn't be surprising, really. When something this exciting comes along, bitter fools always seem to come out of the woodwork. We will caucus on Tuesday to decide how best to approach this disturbing situation. This agression will not stand, man.

Reflecting on his first race of the season, the President stated, "the objectives were met." Exactly what that means, however, remains a bit of a mystery. See below. The Fraggle won another race. With ease. And Jonny G narrowly missed out on the podium. After a horrible first lap, I did manage to pass a few folks--some riding, others standing beside the trail looking forlorn, and some with foggy glasses issues, who in turn passed me back when my chain came off. I ended up in 12th place.

The Sweetest Jersey in the World in action (courtesy of the OCC):

RRR showed up at the race with a plan to make a bold statement and narrow the gap on the scoreboard. They started a season-high six racers, including Larry and Chris D making their season debuts, and could be seen strutting around like a gaggle of self-assured roosters before the start. But the plan did not exactly unfold as envisioned. Only four of those six would finish the race. The same number as the FGBC. Or so it would seem. Penner and Larry are missing from the results. I wonder whether they are the mystery riders who gave Colin headaches last night. Colin/Kevin, take note.

Provisional Results:

Fraggle - 1st
Jonny G - 4th
Chris H - 12th
Penner - ??

Brad - 4th
Chris D - 6th
Gilles - 6th
Mike - DNF
Kevin - DNF
Larry - ??

Based on the results as posted, it looks like the FGBC eeked out a narrow victory, 54-51. If the situation with Penner and Larry gets sorted out and things change, the scoreboard will be updated. But for now it looks like this:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

TNR Report

Finally, a night without drama. No crashes. No heated debates regarding the details of the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge. No bar fights at the F&H to observe. Just a night of good riding and good times. Jonnys G, B, and D, Bills A and W, Craig, Patrick, Brad the Impaler, KK and I started out from the TNR HQ.

We rode in an easterly direction and discovered, much to our delight, that the river trail is finally open for business.

We returned to the site of the Pinedale Project, whereupon we happened to find Colin and Luc hanging out in their living room. Jonny G, ever the sweet-talker, managed to coax them out for the ride.

Little Luc was proud to show off his sweet new wheels:

From there we headed south to Kingston Row, crossed the bridge to the BDI, and rode down Lilac to Wellington Cr on the way back to the klubhaus.

The poosher was waiting for us when we got there. He was in a generous mood and eagerly sprung for the first couple of rounds, down at my end of the table at least. It turns out he was trying to soften us up before asking a big favour. The Pinedale Project could use a little manpower for some demolition work on Saturday. Call it an FGBC Work Day. This is where we all pull together to help a brother out. Think of it as a barn raising, even though it's more like house razing. The poosher will supply pizza, beer, masks and tools. If you can show up at 9am with a hammer or a crowbar, he would be very happy. Jonny B will be there. Colin too. I will be there as well. Others are most welcome.

Laurent (sp?) was also there to welcome us when we showed up:

Missing, however, was the bike rack. Down to one rack already last week, yesterday we showed up to find the remaining one leaning against the wall behind the dumpster. We pulled it back into position and used it anyway. But clearly the parking situation needs some attention. It sounds like a perfect job for the President and the Impaler.

Jonny M showed up a little later--with pizza.

Just as there was an awkward lull in the conversation, KK hauled out the Back 40 Butter Belt and proceeded to do the RRR strut all around the room.

This managed to liven up the mood once again and gave us the energy we needed to press on with the bonhomie and jollification until the lights came on and they pushed us out the door. Good times all around. Another Tuesday Night success story in the books.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


It's shaping up to be a nice night for riding. Jonny G has requested a longer ride. We will oblige.

My place at 9:30 pm.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hold Steady

This should probably be mandatory. We will talk about it on Tuesday. Thanks to Halberto for the heads up.

Watch These

Where Are You Go

Bicycle Dreams (aka the RAAM Movie):

And, since cx season is just over two months away, watch this one too:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Grass Track Goodness

Another lovely evening of grass track racing took place last night. The rain held off and the new venue was as good as advertised. Much smoother and no chunks of concrete to dodge. Gianni served up another full and diverse program of racing. We concluded with a short Madison, which was as much an educational experience as a race. The racing was hard. But it was also a lot of fun.

Jonny G, the Cricket, and me were there for the FGBC. Brian S was also there and showed off his fancy track racing tricks. And Mike from Brandon showed up again. Very nice. We also had some fans in attendance: Beth, Ross, and April. But no one from RRR was there. Not a single person. Which, of course, meant that we could head into the racing feeling relaxed. No matter how it played out, we knew the FGBC would end up with some nice totals for the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge.

Post-race good times at the Belgian Club, where karaoke was added to the race program. Brian picked up 3 points for a fine rendition of Folsom Prison Blues. On the ride back home, we came upon a rather impressive looking fire at Westminster and Chestnut.

The program:

The sweetest jersey in the world x 3:

Craig was feeling good:

So was Jonny G:

The racing:


Points race results:

Johnny Szklarczuk:

Post-race conviviality:

Final Results:

The fire:

The man they call Elvis (Best viewed by either turning your head or your computer):

The Scoreboard:

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Profile: Cousin Adam

Crime is on the rise in the city of Winnipeg, and not surprisingly anxiety levels are also spiking to new highs. But while a sense of collective dis-ease is understandable, there is also good reason to remain calm. That reason is known as the Wheels of Justice. He cruises the mean streets in and around downtown on his trusted wire donkey, waiting to hear those anguished calls that spur him into action. His task: to save innocent victims from the purse snatching vermin and other criminal lowlifes that disrupt our placid civil order.

But like any superhero, the Wheels of Justice also has an alter-ego. That alter-ego is known as Cousin Adam. Comparatively little is known about Cousin Adam. They certainly don't write newspaper articles about him. And he seems to have a knack for avoiding the camera lens. So we sent our crack team of investigators to the archives to search for evidence. What did they come up with? Not the law-abiding and order-preserving ├╝ber-citizen you would expect. Rather, they found a photo of Cousin Adam seemingly acting in deliberate breach of the law--sneaking through the "Caution: Do Not Cross" tape! To be a superhero is no doubt to carry a tremendous burden. But to sink to depths so low is something we would expect only from the anarchists who occasionally consort with us.

Cousin Adam is also an avid collector of bike paraphernalia. You might even say he is a certified bike geek. Late at night he can usually be found in front of the computer scouring Ebay for vintage Campagnolo derailleurs, moustache bars, and other bits and pieces of arcane cycling gear. For this and other reasons, he is a bit of an outlier among the FGBC. He has never been to a Spring Ride. And for his racing exploits, he prefers to take to the road and challenge the 12 year old set than play in the mud and dirt with the 40-50 year old crowd as the rest of us do. Although these unusual preferences have led some to raise questions about him, his string of second place finishes and point contributions to the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge are much appreciated.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday Anticipation: Late Edition

Before heading out to the mountains for some intense pre-Birthday Ride training, Vic sent a note with the following details about the ride itself:

There will be two stops for food: first at Dairi-Wip and then at Nick's Inn. Scrapper will be waiting at the finish line for those who manage to make it back alive. I can't remember the exact details of the route, but he gave us a rundown on Tuesday night and I recall that it sounded pretty awesome. Expect a mix of trail, gravel, cobbles, and pavement. A good excuse to dust off the cx rig. I think it was around 90 km, or just a shade over 50 miles.

Thursday Anticipation

1) Grass Track Fridays

The regular season kicks off tomorrow. Come and see what Gianni the Grass Track Czar has in store for us. It's awesome. It counts toward the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge. And it's free. Win, win, and win.

Warm-up at 6:30. Racing begins at 7pm.

Note that the venue has shifted from Whittier Park to the Bertrand Arena Field. Should it rain, however, check back here for an announcement of an alternative venue.

View Larger Map

2) Wednesday Night Dogfest

The FGBC loves a dogfest. And Kevin B loves the FGBC. First he ups the ante at the Back 40 by offering double points for The Challenge and introducing the Back 40 Butter Belt. Now he has announced that next week's Wednesday Night Race at BHP will be followed by a dogfest. Unlike Juan Eppstein's, dogs and buns will be supplied. I'm not sure about the beverages. At any rate, I'm going to go out on a limb here and declare this one a mandatory event for Team FGBC. That means you have to be there. Especially those three members of the team who have yet to race. You know who you are.

3) Reach the Beach

The details are all getting sorted out now. It will cost $35. Ouch. But it will hurt even more if you fail to register before June 27. It goes up to $45 after that. The race will begin in Beausejour this year. And it will start at 8:30 am. Get your entry and waiver forms filled in now.

And yet we continue to wait as our pleas for a poster have seemingly fallen on deaf ears. But we FGBC'ers are an industrious bunch. And so we have taken matters into our own hands and come up with a special FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge RTB poster. We also have a suggestion for a Back 40 Butter Belt style special prize. In keeping with the beach theme, how about a pair of used Speedos? Just think how much more proud KK would be if his Butter Belt could be worn over some swimwear.

4) 2009 FGBC Tour de France Pool

Vicarious racing will return soon. The 2009 FGBC Tour de France Pool just over two weeks away. It will use the same format as the Giro Pool. It will also count toward The Challenge. And the FGBC will win this round.