Monday, August 31, 2009

Vuelta Stages 1-3

The pool is open for business.

Winners of the first three stages were Olli, Penner, and Rachel.

Olli led for the first two days. But Johnny S edged ahead of him today. He has a 5 point lead over Olli, with Darryl holding down the 3rd spot.

At this point, the battle for the lanterne rouge is between me and Dallas.

Full results here. Rosters coming later.

Remember when we were winning that race yesterday?

That was awesome. Too bad it didn't last. But at least Jonny G's dad Bill got some photos of the sweetest jersey in the world at the head of the pack. That Cricket, he sure hops gracefully. That other guy is decidedly less graceful.

I'm almost done with the Vuelta Pool setup. Just waiting on the Cricket to fix a minor roster glitch. Results for the first three days will be up later this evening.

Crescent Drive CX Report

Cyclocross season is here. And the FGBC is excited. So is everyone else, apparently. The A race had 28 riders lined up at the start. Big numbers for MB. RRR, however, was nowhere to be found. Not even KK, the one-legged Superfan.

The FGBC fanclub was out in full force. Normally, they would be racing. But the B race conflicted with ultimate. And the Living Legends had a championship to win.

Cousin Adam and a newly licensed Vic got things off to a good start for the FGBC. Adam was 2nd in the B race, and Vic finished 3rd in the Citizen race.

With all the support out on course, it felt like we needed to give them something to cheer about. So we went out hard and tried to stay as close to the front as possible, if only to ensure that everyone got a good look at the sweetest jersey in the world. A few laps in, Craig and I found ourselves at the very front of the pack. We were as surprised as the Secretary and Co., whose enthusiastic, though not uncritical, comments on our barrier form were greatly appreciated. It seemed a bit too good to be true, especially after a season of mtb races in which we've been preoccupied with the goal of not finishing last. And indeed it was. It wasn't long before I dropped a chain after a particularly poor post-barrier attempt to remount my bike. And all of a sudden it was back to chasing. The Cricket was still there, though. He was hanging with the Woodcock trio of Olli, Dan N, and Don S, who were leading the race. A couple laps later, though, I came upon him standing beside his bike on the muddy trail portion of the course. He looked a bit stunned and was straightening his handlebars. It seems he lost a little skirmish with the mud. I managed to get back to 3rd place for a while, but couldn't hold off a final charge by Don S at the finish. Woodcock swept the podium. But the FGBC was 4th and 5th. Jonny G was 16th. And the Fraggle finished 2nd in the women's race. Good times.

Token photos. Evidently, we were going too fast for the camera to capture things clearly.

Full results here.

As for the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge, it was a 107-0 win for the FGBC. After Mike and Brad TT'd RRR back into the lead, we have taken it back yet again.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dallas, your team is a disaster

Check the number values and try again, please.

Basso (1) and Evans (2) adds up to 3, not 4
Davis (1) and Farrar (1) adds up to 2, not 4
Cancellara (1) and Horner (2) adds up to 3, not 4

Your reasons go some way toward suggesting that we should disregard the stringent criteria in your case. But not far enough.

Math his hard.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

40 Teams

That's how many we ended up with in the 2009 FGBC Vuelta Pool. Not bad at all. Scroll down to see who's playing.

With ultimate playoffs and cyclocross this weekend, it will take a little while to get it all set up. So relax that sphincter and be patient. The rosters and results may take a little while.

As for today's stage, it went like this: (1) My boyfriend, Fabian; (2) Snortin' Tom Boonen; (3) Tyler Farrar.

Deadline Extended

As of this morning, we're up to 32 teams.

It starts a little later than I thought. So the deadline has been extended. The window of opportunity into all the vicarious racing action slams shut at 10 am CDT.

Coverage options here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

2009 FGBC Vuelta Pool Entry Watch

Seven eleven eighteen thirty-two forty teams in so far:

Matt H
Brad E
Dallas S
Luke E
Darryl NB
Jonny B
Chris H
Chris O
Andy L
Charlie C
Vic P
Chris A
Greg S
LeAnn F
Craig P
Ian H
Mike G
Gilles C
Kevin K
Jonny G
Paul V
Johnny S
Tom&Lori K
Dan L
Adam B
Chris D
Greg W
Mark S
Paddy H
Naomi H
Larry K
Jay S
Jonah H
Miriam H
Charlene G
Olli H
Melissa H
Rachel H
Harold L

Keep 'em coming. And if you're one of those pack following types, check back throughout the day to see which other cool kids have hopped aboard the bandwagon. Giddy up.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

2009 FGBC Vuelta Pool

This week's exercise in anticipation is dedicated exclusively to the 2009 FGBC Vuelta Pool. The last grand tour pool of the season. The 2009-10 FGBC Cyclocross Pool will be launched shortly. It kicks off on Sept. 23 with Cross Vegas.

We will use the same rules as in the 2009 FGBC Tour de France Pool.

Choose a team of nine riders from this list, using the following criteria:

Pick 2 GC men; combined values must add up to 4 or more
Pick 2 Sprinters; combined values must add up to 4 or more
Pick 1 TT man and 1 climber; combined values must add up to 4 or more
Pick 1 stage hunter
Pick 2 wild cards

Send your teams here by Saturday at 8am.

Yes, the results will count toward the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge.

As usual, feel free to invite others.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

TNR Report

Strange night. Lots of standing around. Not so much riding.

We started, as usual, by waiting for the Secretary to fix his latest mechanical issue--this time a loose bb on the Puch. While waiting, we decorated a few telephone poles with posters advertising the upcoming cx season.

Some could not wait and took off, including KK who brought out a sweet old skool set of wheels that made the elders among us quite nostalgic. As any five year old would immediately notice, he's not wearing a helmet. We will come back to this. When the Secretary and Cousin Adam finally arrived, we set out to find the rest of the group.

After locating them, Tom K commenced to lead us on a ride-through of the upcoming Bourkevale/Bruce Park cx race. Upon reaching the first slightly off-camber section, KK learned (the hard way) that his bike was better suited to eliciting nostalgic pre-teen flashbacks than it was for actually riding. He ended up on the ground with a pretty severely twisted ankle. Fortunately, he didn't whack his unprotected melon.

Tom K assured him that nothing was broken. And it wasn't long before KK was back on his feet and even attempting to squeeze out a little smile.

The rest of us, in strict observance of the unwritten rule that you shalt never abandon a fallen comrade, stood around and engaged in idle chit-chat, and maybe one or two jokes at KK's expense.

Until the broom wagon arrived to take him back to the safety of home.

At this point, it was getting on in the evening, so a decision was made that it was time to proceed to the klubhaus. This was easier said than done, however, at least for TNR rookie Max. His chain came off and ended up getting tangled in such a way that proved exceedingly difficult to undo.

Eventually, the Secretary's chain tool came to the rescue. But not before another 30 minutes were spent standing around in a state of bemused awe at this mechanical mystery.

Eventually, we made it to the klubhaus, where we once again filled the big table with lively conversation and good cheer. For the second week in a row, the Bud Man made an appearance of sorts. This time, in connection with tales from Kevin B's misspent youth. Wierd.

Not to be forgotten in all of this is the pre-TNR excitement supplied by Jonny G. He showed up at the Tuesday Night Crit with the goal of helping Cousin Adam to achieve his ambition of taming the twelve-year olds. Adam, however, was not there. And Jonny G was equally frustrated by the kids. But he did manage a strong finish thanks to a flurry of excitement that was set off when he attacked on the bell lap. There was some inadvertent grass-track racing due to an overshot corner, a blown tire, and even a little bit of screaming. In the end, Jonny was third.

There was no RRR representation last night. Which means it was a shutout victory for the dark side: 20-0. We have reclaimed the lead. Thank-you Jonny.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


9:30 pm at my place.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Highway 71 Revisited

Rolling hills, twisty roads, serene vistas, and strikingly jagged streetscapes thanks to all the blown-up granite. There is a paved shoulder and the traffic is relatively calm. The last time I rode Hwy 71, there was a very close encounter with a deer. Far too close for comfort. It came bounding out of the trees and darted across the road not more than 10 feet in front of me. There was no warning, and it didn't really register until it had lept the ditch on the other side of the road. On the one hand, it was an elegant, fluid, and impressively agile performance on the deer's part. On the other hand, the deer and I were but one second away from a rather unfortunate rendezvous. That was about five years ago. And yet it is seared in my memory like a still smoldering brand upon the brain.

On Saturday I had the opportunity to ride it again. This time there were no deer. But I was accompanied by the President and Rudy D. There was nothing especially noteworthy about the ride. It was relatively short, and we didn't go terribly fast. But it was a ride with the President. And that is itself enough to make a ride special. His quirky conversational tidbits, wierd observations, contagious entusiasm, and all-around charm are enough to make any ride with him a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I highly recommend it.

Good times.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Are You a Skoler?

Another entry to add to the brew-tube collection:

This one is particularly fitting as it's only one more week until cx season begins. Are you thirsty?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

TTT Report

(via Tom K)

Well, we didn't lose. Nor did we end up sprawled all over the road like these guys in the 1986 Tour (about 1:50 min. in). Road kill might make for a tasty meal every now and then, but that doesn't mean you want to find yourself on the asphalt abattoir. So our two main goals were accomplished.

That's not to say we put on a clinic on how to ride a TTT, however. Despite some rolling thunder in the distance, we got off to a decent start, just as it began to rain. For the first three km we were flying, as the footage gathered by our very own media entourage will no doubt attest. And then we somehow ended up dropping Jonny G. By the time we realized, there was already a rather large gap. That was not part of the plan. Or maybe it simply reflected the fact that we didn't really have a plan. I dropped back to try and tow him back up to the dark train of awesomeness. But he had already blown a gasket by trying to chase back on his own. Not being on the bike for the last few weeks as he played the part of ultimate all-star did not help, I'm sure. Bummer. But don't worry about Jonny G. He will bounce back. So our 4 person team was now 3 and, with RRR having started one minute behind us, we set ourselves an interim goal of not letting them pass us before the first lap was done. We managed to hold them off until about a third of way through lap 2. Another goal accomplished. But shortly after the second time up the hill, a line of soggy breakfast cereal came dribbling past us on the long, gradual downhill toward Bur Oak. We managed to hold the pace, sitting about 20 metres back for the next few kms. And then, with about 2 km to go, just after Larry fell off the pace, we decided to try and reclaim our rightful spot on the road. We gradually upped our speed and then the Wheels of Justice took off like one of the purse snatchers he is accustomed to chasing. I managed to grab his wheel and we pulled up beside the RRR train long enough to enjoy their startled expressions. It was at this point that Mike yelled out "Big Ring, Big Ring!" and KK bellowed "Thor Smash!" Clear signs of panic, and a momentary psychological victory for the dark side. And then we noticed that the Cricket was limping along about 50 metres back. Any gains were quickly erased as we had to pull out the dagger and ease up on the gas long enough for the Cricket to hop back on board. So instead of limiting our losses to less than a minute, we came in 1.22 back of the White side.

RRR was 3rd at 33.19 and we were 4th at 34.41. There were five teams. For the record, we were a bit faster than the time posted by the team of Halberto, Tommeke, Gianni and me in last year's TTT. Speaking of those guys, the Olympia team was a no show. That is strange, since it was their special pleading that led the Dept. of Petty Rivalries to loosen its rigorously policed strictures in order to give the Oly Boys a little taste of excitement known as the The FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge. Lesson learned. Keep the poseurs at a safe distance.

Tom K is processing the photos and mixing the videos. Look for them here. Thanks Tom.

As for The Challenge, the FGBC picks up 19 points for each of its three finishers, while RRR takes 20 for their three. They win this round 60-57. It's still very close. Which means it will all come down to cyclocross. As it should.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday Anticipation

1) Bring It On

We have moved out of the basement. We are ready. More than ready, in fact. Darkness is about to descend on the local road racing scene. They won't know what hit them. Three cx bikes and one old school Rossin. We will no doubt be quite dreadful. But we will be the most handsomely clad foursome on the road. Jonny G, Craig the Cricket, Cousin Adam, and I will be representing Team FGBC. If anyone wants to join Adam's kids in cheering us on, that would be super. Details on the race here.

2) T Minus 10 Days

The real season is about to begin:

This race is being put on by the Olympia squad. And they chose Jonny G decked out in the sweetest jersey in the world for the poster. Interesting.

The big news is MUCR's initiative to get some new racers to experience the thrill of cx racing:

Anyone who obtains an MCA citizen license (it's just $40) gets free entry to all cx races this year (with the exception of the provincials race)! Note that a citizen license is available only to those who have never held an MCA license before. And it only allows you to race the B race. But if this is your first license, that's where you belong anyway. This a such killer deal that even the frugal brothers, Juan and James, should be salivating. Something tells me the sweetest jersey in the world might figure prominently at cx races this season. Right on!

You can pick up your license and start racing at the race on August 30th.

For this and any other information on cyclocross racing in Manitoba, there is a new sheriff in town. It replaces the MUCR website which, for some reason, has been mothballed. It is not clear why. You'll have to ask Halberto.

That is all for this week, boys and girls. There is so much here to lick your lips over, it's prbably best not to think about anything else.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

TNCX #1 Report

Good times. Very good times.

The group consisted of the President, the Secretary, the Cricket, Juan Eppstein, KK, Luc, Jonny M, Dave P, Tom K, Tristan, and me. Another solid turnout.

The Secretary's Puch made its long-anticipated official debut. It was duly admired.

And then it promptly broke down, dropping a chain on the way down under the Osborne St bridge. Good thing about that emergency brake. The Secretary very nearly came to ruination only a few minutes into the ride. But he managed to keep the rubber side down and, with the chain tension adjusted, survived the rest of the evening incident-free.

Dave P also showed up with a brand new set of wheels. It looked something like this:

I believe the Secretary described it as super deluxe. But unfortunately, it was not ideal for cyclocross. Dave stuck around for the first lap before heading off on his own to ride on some more suitable terrain.

Upon arrival at the Forks, we spent some time watching Luc show off his impressive set of skillz.

And then we raced. The course came together very nicely. The Forks is a perfect venue for cx. Cobbles, gravel, pavement, hills, sweeping corners, ramps, built in barriers and other assorted obstacles, and stairs. Lots of stairs. The course went something like this:

Five laps, the first two of which were controlled as we fine-tuned the details of the course. Highlights included the run-up at the Scotia Bank Stage, which featured what can only be described as Giant Steps. They were steep and more than knee-high. Apparently, the Cricket made them look easy. They were not. This was proven by Kevin, who managed to bungle a high-speed dismount and bum-skidded, feet-first into the bottom. Being concrete, the steps did not have much give.

The President made his cx racing debut. Like many others, he did not finish the race. But more importantly, he also didn't wreck anything.

The original inspiration for the course was a little grassy hill on the north-east side of the Union Station parking lot. It was discovered during a wedding photo-shoot a few weeks back. Off-camber switchbacks and, despite trees that could have used some trimming, some sweet lines for cx.

We also used the Oodena Celebration Circle. Down the ramp, around the top of the circle, back along the bottom, and then up the stairs. Here's Tom K and the President on the way out.

KK actually had two crashes on the evening. The first one happened when he misjudged a corner heading into the Union Station parking lot. This came at the end of the half-kilometre or so down Main St, so he was carrying some speed. But everything was okay and he managed to finish the race. As usual, he was strong. Apparently, this was his first ever cx race. Once he gets the hang of it, look out.

Luc bunnyhopped his way to the win. His ability to ride up the stairs was particularly impressive. The full results look like this, I think:

Tom K

Correct me if that's not right.

The younguns elected not to join us at the klubhaus. That's too bad, because they missed Tom K's explanation of how he's related to Geoffrey Dale and the Bud Man. And some reminiscing about the humble beginnings of the FGBC, as well as the ever-popular tales of the President's stint as a paint delivery man.

Before heading home, we finally noticed the President's signature in the newly re-installed bike racks. Nice.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Let's try this again.

My place at 9:30 pm.

It is finished

Operación MUERTO, that is.

And the winner is . . .

Prince Dan was second. And Dave D, with one less race under his belt, was third.

Final overall standings here. Good work, boys and girls.

Now, it's time to change our focus to 60 minute chunks of time.

Alter 8 Results

The formatting got a little screwed up during the process of uploading the file into Google Docs. But it'll probably be a couple of weeks before they appear on the MCA site, so here they are. Thanks Al & Co.

As far as the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge goes, it was a shutout for the dark side: 32-0. Heading into Thursday's showdown--and after a total of 125 real and vicarious races--we are basically back to where we started. 1799 points worth of water under the bridge, and we are separated by a single point.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Alter 8 Report

Cold and rainy at the start, it made for a muddy first couple of laps, including a switchback section that was, like David Lindley, very greasy. But after the first lap it stopped raining and the trails got progessively better. Which is good, because it supplied a little extra motivation to keep heading out for another lap. The course was super sweet. Birch at its flowingest. The only thing lacking was the presence of spectators out on course. The first picture shows what looks like a superhero effortlessly flying up a hill. But in truth it is the ghost of a defeated rider, another sad and lonely victim of the subtle anguish doled out by Operación MUERTO. Head down, his lifeless body is slumped over the handle bars. And, though you can't see them, his sunken eyes confirm that the dwindling reserves of his spirit have just been sucked out of him thanks to yet another little climb. Though he is still riding, he is dead. But upon seeing Greg S with his camera hiding in the bushes, he perks up, flashes the international Fonzy salute as if to say "I'm okay," and even musters a little smile. Thanks Greg. Just what the doctor ordered. This confirms that life requires the presence of others. And also the truth of Berkeley's "to be is to be perceived."

10 laps for me. Dave D pounded out 12 to take the win. Nicely done. The boys from Portage put in a strong showing. The Morden/Tinker duo of Jeff and Alf rocked the team race with 13 laps. Results coming soon.

Overall, a very fine event that should have been enjoyed by more. RRR was absent, confirming that they are a bunch of fairweather sissies. But Halberto and Luc were there, along with Gianni, Jonny M, Prince Dan, as well as recent TNR attendies Graham and Josh competing as a team. Curt F was there for the ABES, with Back Alley Curt along for moral support. And the poosher was there too! His first race of the season, just in time for cx. He went out hard, finishing five laps before finding himself a cozy chair and settling into the portion of the race that was sponsored by Half Pints.

More photos here and here.

Other reports: DJ, Luc, Dave D, Nathan, Cory.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dia de los MUERTOS

Operación MUERTO wraps up today with the Alter8Enduro at Birch. Halberto and I will be there. Not sure about anyone else. Check back later this evening for results. With double points at stake, there are always significant implications for the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bike Tickets

I wonder what a ticket for Johnny S's bike would look like? It it quite possible that it would require a whole new template.

Full story here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday Anticipation

1) Today

CX season officially begins! As they say on the PdC, it's business time.

Speaking of the cx season, there has been a change to the calendar. See below. But first, #4 in the postcard series. Whether these actually hit the streets or not will be decided at the MUCR meeting tonight.

The calendar change has to do with the second race. It has been changed from Sept. 20 to Sept. 19. That's a Saturday. There are three Saturday races this year. And also a bunch that will start later in the afternoon: MBCX #1, MBCX #2, MBCX #4, and MBCX #6. Interesting.

MBCX #1 - Aug. 30 - Crescent Drive Park
MBCX #2 - Sept. 19 - Kings Park
MBCX #3 - Sept. 26 - CMU
MBCX #4 - Oct. 4 - Bourkevale/Bruce Park
MBCX #5 - Oct. 10 - Belgian Club
MBCX #6 - Oct. 18 - Altona
MBCX #7 - Oct. 25 - Whittier Park
MBCX Provincials - Nov. 1 - Woodhaven
MBCX #8 - Nov. 8 - Kildonan Park

2) Sunday

Operación MUERTO wraps up with eight hours at Birch.

Anyone going?

3) Next Thursday

4-Person TTT at BHP. In addition to the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge, this race will feature a special three-way cage match between the FGBC, RRR, and Olympia. Good times.

4) Two weeks away

Vicarious racing returns:

The preliminary start list is out. More details to come once it gets firmed up.