Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thursday Anticipation

Are you planning to race on Sunday? Vic needs to know. Sooner rather than later. Comment below please. No comment, no racing.

Vic and Juan are planning a recon ride this afternoon. They say you are welcome to join them. 1 pm at the Junk-shon.

Confirmed riders so far:

Juan (2007 champ)
Jonny B (defending champ)
Jonny G
Hal (inaugural champ)
John Paul

All previous winners will be back for one more shot at glory. That tells you a little something about how important this race is.

Make sure to click on the poster to appreciate the detail of Pieter Bruegel's fine artwork.

Post-recon ride update:

Sweet course. There will be stairs to ride down, hills to run up, some snowy single track, some fast sections, and something not unlike the whorl. It is a little longer than usual. You won't want to do the full six laps. So eating at least two plates is essential.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

TNR Report

Good times, as always. After coffee at the Junk-shon, we got the post-Christmas lead out with a short 10 lap race around the Forks Market. The start was a little messy with crashes, crooked handlebars, navigational malfunctions, and all manner of mayhem. But eventually things got sorted out. There were a few near misses courtesy of an ice patch on the corner leading to the ramp behind Muddy Waters Smokehouse. But everyone managed to stay upright. The Secretary and the Saskatchewan chapter were there to spectate. They also took some impressively artsy photos.


Jonny G

After two races, the series standings are as follows:

Chris 20
Craig 18
Graham 14
Kevin 13
Thomas 12
Luke 8
Patrick 5
Jonny G 4

At the klubhaus, we were joined by Philly, the Chaplain. We explained to him the accidental beauty of the Tuesday Night Ride and general FGBC awesomeness. He didn't seem to get it. Fortunately, the Saskatchewan chapter stepped in to save the day. Just as things were getting awkward, he entertained us with tales of his dugout fly fishing exploits and other assorted oddities. He and the Secretary also provided a brief history of our association with the F&H. We are going on 13 years now. We collectively wondered where in Winnipeg we might find a place to buy a pair of Rock & Republic jeans so that we can lend out support the Honorary Captain's new racing ventures. The tunes were decent, highlighted by Eruption. The bartenders apparently did not appreciate it as much as we did. The station was changed before Eddie was able to finish his work. But at least they let us stay past closing to watch the #1 sports blooper of the decade.

Sylvester CX

Gianni wins his first vicarious cx race of the year, just as Dieter Vanthourenhout won his first real race of the season. It was thanks to Vanthourenhout, in fact, that Gianni wound up on the top podium step. His win combined with Albert's third-place finish netted 250 points for Gianni. Brad the Impaler was second with 215 points. And Jay found the podium for the third consecutive race. He had 190 points.

In the overall race, Jay gained another 90 points on Gary. It's just over 1000 points now. That sounds like a lot. But Jay has narrowed the gap by 430 points in the last three races. So maybe Gary will have a fight on his hands yet. We can always hope. The Secretary has moved 100 points ahead of KK and is now just 105 points behind the Cricket. And all of a sudden it looks like Graham may escape from the cellar. Paul is only 130 points ahead. Jonny G and Matt are not far away either.

Full results here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Two wins in a row for Jay. And three out of the last five. He picked up 465 points today in Loenhout. Dan and Jonny B rounded out the podium with 450 and 440 points, respectively.

In the overall race, Jay has been gaining a little ground on Gary. But he's still over 1000 points behind. I think that should be enough. But it would be nice to end up with a battle yet. Speaking of battles, the Secretary has moved back up to 23rd place. But he did not manage to move ahead of KK. They are currently tied with 9835 points apiece. Paddy has moved all the way up to 5th last. It is Jonny G who now sits in 2nd last place.

Full results here.


9:30 pm at the Junk-shon.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Winter is Here

The race begins at 6pm sharp. You must swallow your last bite by 7:30 pm.

One plate plus a pint of beer gains you an official entry into the the race. Each subsequent plate counts as two laps. The scale will be there to keep everyone honest. If your plate comes in under the official limit, not only will you be sent back to fill it up, you will also eat an extra samosa.

The buffet costs $20. That does not include your drinks.

The riding portion will be 6 laps of a course much like the one we have used in the past. There will be stairs, long fast stretches, and some singletrack. The first lap will be neutral. Eat 3 plates and you effectively have only a 1 lap race.

The proprietor of the restaurant kindly asked that we let him know how many people to expect. That seems fair. If you are planning to be there, let Vic and Juan know by leaving a comment below.


Big win for Jay. 405 points for the BCC stud. He is the Zdenek Stybar of vicarious cyclocross racing. Really, really good. But he doesn't get the attention he deserves thanks to that glory whore named Gary. The Fraggle's 300 points was good enough for second. Olli rounded out the podium with 280 points.

In the overall race, KK extended his lead over the Secretary. And Paddy moved back up a spot to 3rd last, thanks to Paul's goose egg.

Full results here.

Up next: Azencross (GVA #5) in Loenhout, tomorrow.

So it turns out...

after our last roller racing event I had to play a challenge match in v-ball. We have not played well this round. By the third set I was cramping pretty badly from the 45 seconds of bike riding I had just done. (oh yah...45 seconds of sweet pain...serious good times.) So the long and short of it is that we lost and I now do not play on Tuesday nights.

I love tuesday nights even more again.

oh yah...snowboarding in fernie is super duper sweet. They have more snow than southern manitoba. I saw a dude riding the hill on a bike with ski things instead of wheels.

see you tuesday.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Gary and Jay reasserted their dominance in Zolder yesterday. Gary tallied 725 points to win the 7th round of the World Cup. Jay was right behind with 705 points. Olli had 695 points, finishing third.

There was only one change in the top 10. Halberto moved ahead of Dallas to take 9th place. But down at the other end of the standings, we did get some much anticipated excitement. The Secretary has become dislodged from 23rd place. He now sits in 24th, 10 points behind KK. That battle should be worth paying attention to as the season winds down. The Secretary has been trying to get under the skin of the smiling face of RRR for some time now. There hasn't been a Tuesday night at the klubhaus over the last little while that hasn't featured some sort of comment about the superiority of a social club to a narrowly oriented racing outfit. KK has not yet taken the bait. The Impaler, however, has bitten so frequently that his jaw is starting to swell. That guy loves him some bait. Which is why we love him. Meanwhile, Paddy inches closer to the cellar that the Young Carpenter has been renovating for the past few months. Sitting in 7th from last after the US Nationals, the Alberta chapter has been in a free fall ever since. He's now only 420 points ahead of Graham.

In the real race, for the first time this season the top podium step was occupied by someone other than Albert, Nys, or Stybar won. Kevin Pauwels pulled off a surprise victory. Nice.

Full results here.

Next up: Superprestige in Diegem. It starts at 10 am. Which is night time in Belgium. Watch here.

Friday, December 25, 2009

We love you all. Almost as much as we love ourselves.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thursday Anticipation

There was some talk at the klubhaus on Tuesday about kicking off the Nordic Cross season next Tuesday. But that is not going to happen, since it turns out the race organizer has another commitment that evening. Instead, Gluttony Cross will take place on Jan. 3. If you are facing some Christmas feasts over the next little while, consider than an opportunity to get into shape. We will return to the East India Company for the fourth year in a row. But Vic has working on some new challenges for this year's edition. It is safe to say that your consumptive capacity will be tested.

We will still race next Tuesday. It's the second Snow Crit of the season. There is no Hummelt Hockey next week, so hopefully the TNR crowd will swell a little bit.


Yesterday's race in Middelkerke gave us a podium that looked a bit different than what we've been seeing lately. We've seen Jay and Gary up there a lot in the last little while. But Gary was a mid-packer yesterday, and Jay finished in a three-way tie for fifth last. It El Presidente's turn to spray the champagne yesterday. He notched his second win of the season, and first since Sept. 27. Bill hasn't been on the podium since Oct. 17. But he stood on the second step yesterday. And Charlene also made a return to the podium for the first time in a while. She's been too busy sewing cycling caps. But yesterday she put that aside to concentrate on finishing third.

Nys won the real race. U23 stud Tom Meeusen was second. And Klaas Vantornout finished third. Albert and Stybar sat this one out. Jamie Driscoll put in a solid effort, finishing 11th. And Powers was 17th. So some are starting to pick up points from the Americans who have shifted their attention over to Europe.

Full results here

Up next: World Cup #7 in Zolder on Boxing Day.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

TNR Report

Sweet ride last night. Very, very sweet. Some went so far as to declare it the best Tuesday Night Ride of the year. But the cautious among us wanted to wait and see what next week brings before making such audacious claims. We did the same ride as last Friday, namely river bank trail from the Forks to the BDI. The trails are in fine shape right now. Ride them if you can.

There was some stimulating confabulation at the klubhaus as well. It was so wide-ranging and fast-moving that a summary is not possible. The only thing I can remember is that there were several different occasions that resulted in some sass being directed toward Juan Eppstein. Despite rumours of an appearance, the President did not show up. He was not sassed, however. We do not sass the President.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Last one before the holidays.

9:30 pm at my place.

Monday, December 21, 2009

FGBC CX Pool Roundup

The North American cx season is done. We turn our attention to Europe for the rest of the season. The action is about to really heat up. Seven races between Dec. 26 and Jan. 3. Good times.

Yesterday's World Cup race in Kalmthout was particularly awesome. Very Nordic Cross-ish. Highlights here. You can watch the whole thing here.

Jay won the vicarious version of that race. And Duester won the Scheldecross on Friday. Results and standings here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

TNR: Special Friday Edition

8pm at the Junk-shon.

In case anyone is wondering . . .

Nordic Cross will not begin tomorrow. The organizers have other commitments, and so do most of the racers. The season will begin sometime after we've turned the page to 2010 and we'll just have to race more frequently to cover all seven sins. It could be worse.

There may, however, be a ride tonight. Stay tuned for further details.

Brew Tube Fridays

Another one from Guinness:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday Anticipation

Presented this week by the Dept. of Style.

One of the many highlights of 2010 will be the debut of a new line of FGBC casual wear. Simple, but to the point.

Spin City

What happened at the Belgium Club stays at the Belgian Club. It wasn't necessarily pretty. Unless your name was Dave Pitcher. He remains the man to beat on the rollers. In the end, the Impaler didn't mount much of a challenge at all. But he did provide some thrills in a couple of very close losing efforts against the young carpenter that were easily the most exciting matches of the evening. Voted best loser of the night, he kept advancing in order to keep the numbers even. And he almost made it to the semi-finals. In the end, however, neither he nor the FGBC trio of the Cricket, Jonny G, and me did not get anywhere close to the podium. But the Cricket and I happily walked aways with some prizes that Pitcher generously donated.

That was a lot of fun. But my legs sure feel like they raced for more than 75 seconds. We managed to fanagle a scheduling change. The next couple of events will take place on Tuesday nights. And they will start a little later too. Much more FGBC friendly. That means we have to show up. And maybe kick a little ass.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

TNR Report

Good times. As always.

But tonight promises to be even better. The Impaler is going to kick Pitcher's ass. That should be fun to watch. The FGBC will be there, as will RRR. We have, however, become increasingly aware of the need to sort out the matter of appearance fees. We are all too happy share our general awesomeness for the good of the local cycling scene. But it only seems fitting that we receive a little something in return for our efforts. The benefits of the 2009 FGBC-RRR FGD Challenge to the wider cycling community are undeniable. And yet with the symbolic slap in the face we received by being shut out of the recent MCA Awards, we are no longer willing to let ourselves be brazenly used in this ungrateful manner. The time to take action is now. While some have advocated a full-scale boycot, we have decided, for the time being, to continue to show up at races and such. But it will cost you a couple of cases of FGD per event, one for the FGBC and one for RRR. We are also working on a tiered scale that would sort out what level of remuneration might be appropriate for less than full FGBC/RRR participation. And, of course, some of us are more costly than others. The president, for example, can make an event awesome all by himself. Others can be had a little more cheaply. This will allow promoters to tailor their event to create the particular vibe they are after. Is it simply numbers you're after or quality of entertainment? The secretary will draft a document, which will be made available through our public relations dept. That office is currently being managed by Brad the Impaler on behalf of the newly amalgamated FRRGBC.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Short ride this week. Basically from the TNR HQ to the klubhaus. The 24 Hours of Falcon Ridge planning committee has some work to do.

As for the regular meeting, we need to settle the date for Gluttony Cross. Unless Juan Eppstein doesn't show up. In which case we'll stick with Dec. 19.

My place, 9:30 pm.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Yes Darryl, you're still 23rd

But at the same time, you're just behind the Cricket.

Halberto won the vicarious version of the GVA race today in Essen. He picked up 340 points thanks to Albert, Nys, and Franzoi. Jay was second with 315 points. Jonny B and me tied for third. We had 290 points each. Tony H, the Vice-President of Style, had a grand total of zero points. But he's always been more about looking handsome than securing points anyway.

In the overall race, there was no change to the top three. But King Andy has leapfrogged Dallas to move into 4th overall. And Chris O has switched places with Prince Dan, moving up to 6th place

Full results here.

There are three races on the docket for tomorrow. One in Overijse, Belgium. One in Wetzikon, Switzerland. And, of course, the big one in snowy Bend. It's looking very Nordic Cross-ish out there (via AHTBM):

Friday, December 11, 2009

Brew Tube Fridays

Brought to you this week by Bud Light.

One question: has anyone ever participated in or witnessed a bike race where the finish line was marked by a ribbon? That strikes me as potentially disastrous.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday Anticipation

Racing outside in the cold is fun. But racing inside is fun too. And warmer. The second roller race of the season--otherwise known as the Dave Pitcher show--goes down next Wednesday. All FGBCers will be expected to report for duty at the alternate klubhaus. Maybe a special edition of The Challenge is in order. It's been three weeks since the windup and I miss it already.

If racing isn't your thing, how about pancakes? Gianni sends the following notice:
This Saturday morning...
Daniel McIntyre-St.Matthews Community Association Pancake Breakfast!
Saturday, December 12, 2009

Everyone is welcome to join us at the DMSMCA Community Pancake Breakfast

Pancakes, Sausages, Fruit, Coffee and Juice!

25¢ / person or $1.00 / family

Saturday December 12 9am-12pm

VCC Orioles (444 Burnell St.)
And maybe you can check out the bike cage while you're there.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

TNR Report

That was cold. And yet with evenly spaced breaks to warm up, not so bad. The ride from the TNR HQ to Espresso Junction was tolerable. But the pre-race espresso very easily could have become the main event.

And yet we decided to soldier on with the plan to race.

We pretty much had the Forks to ourselves. That is, until Tristan showed up on his unicycle to cheer and do tricks.

The race involved 10 laps of a course that led us down to the docks and back up to the ice rink. It ended up being a bit of a leg burner. But between burt legs and frozen digits, it all kind of equalled out it the end.

It was a close one between the Cricket and me. The Cricket made his move on lap 6 and looked to have things under control. On the final lap, I tried to pass on the inside while heading down the ramp. He swerved and I had to hit the brakes. But that Cricket is such a nice fellow. He got himself caught up in Cousin Thomas's ice patch and handed over the lead. He almost made it back. But not quite. I suspect, however, that he will have plenty of opportunity for revenge. Now that he's discovered he's fast, his appetite for kicking our asses has becoming insatiable. Luke rode a strong race to grab the final podium step. KK had the green machine out. But the beefy 29er didn't do him any favours in his quest for another wearable trophy.


Chris - 10 points
Craig - 9
Luke - 8
Graham - 7
Thomas - 6
Kevin - 5

After the race, another warm up session was in order. By the time Thomas was finished regaling us with the story of his on-the-job ass puncture incident, our fingers and toes were sufficiently thawed. And so we proceeded over to the klubhaus, where Crowbar was on hand to greet us. He was as impressed as ever with our resolve in the face of the deep freeze. This led to a round of Crowbar reminiscence. And yet we avoided eye contact, so as not to encounter another round of awkwardness. The tunes were better than they have been over the last little several. Perhaps that had something to do with the fact that we had the tatooed server for the first time in a while. Until Steve Miller showed up on the hi fi, that is. This led the Secretary rather quizically to wonder whether his musical tastes are in fact superior to those of the younger generation or whether he was just lucky to be born at the right time. Thomas, at any rate, wasn't able to identify anything that moved him. But it is not entirely clear where that left us. Vic changed the subject by giving us a rundown on earplugs. And the Impaler gave us a rundown on his recent dinner theatre performance. Jonny G did not show up.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


It seems Old Man Winter has responded to our gentle prodding. Winter is most definitely here. And so it is only fitting that we embrace it. We will do so by launching the annual winter Tuesday Night Race series otherwise known as the Snow Crits.

Beginning tonight, we will race every three weeks. Results will be tabulated and someone will wind up winning the overall series. That person will receive all kinds of honour and acclaim. Maybe even a trophy.

Because it got cold rather quickly, some may be motivated to show up by the opportunity to take shelter. So we will begin at the Forks.

Meet at my place at 9:30 pm or Espresso Junction just before 10pm.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Southern Invasion

Lock your office doors boys and girls. Bull City Cycling has taken control of the building. Chris and Jay from our sister club down in Durham combined to make it a weekend sweep for BCC in the 2009-10 FGBC CX Pool. Who invited those guys to play anyway? Chris had a home filed advantage of sorts in Portland. And he made the most of it, finding the top podium step on both Saturday and Sunday. Having an in-form Todd Wells back on his team didn't hurt either. Meanwhile, over in Spain, Jay's combination of Stybar, Albert, Page, Franzoi, and Chainel added up to 645 points and another impressive victory.

In the overall race, there was no change to the top three. Gary still has a lead of 1300 points. That should be good enough. But Gary is still working to get better. He travelled to Portland this weekend to get some tips from the pros. Dallas has moved ahead of Andy for 4th. Chris O has moved up into 7th, bumping Vic down a spot to 8th. And Jonah has cracked the top 10 at the expense of Charlene.

Full results here.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Brew Tube Fridays

It turns out we were only just scratching the surface. There are way more commercials than we ever could have imagined. Consider this the FGBC version of the Cannes Lions. More coming over the next several Fridays.

Given that winter has finally arrived, it seems fitting to revisit the Gold Standard as well:

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Thursday Anticipation

Just in time for winter, we have a Nordic Cross calendar. The season will look something like this:

Dec. 19 - Gluttony
Jan. 3 - Anger/Wrath
Jan. 24 - Lust/Extravagance
Feb. 7 - Envy
Feb. 13-14 - Sloth (aka the FGBC 24 hour race and film festival)
Feb. 28 - Greed/Avarice
Mar. 14 - Pride

Given the journey we are about to embark on, you might want to keep this in mind:

While we are talking calendars, draw a big cicrle around March 6. That is the date for the 5th annual Tour of Altona/Duke vs. Carolina showdown. Johnny S is already busy cooking up all kinds of treats for us. And David may well have a bunch of rink dogs already warming in the over too.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

TNR Report

A good turnout. Made even better by the unexpected appearance of an old friend. Aiden made a rare TNR appearance, along with Cousin Adam, Craig, Cousin Thomas, KK, Tom K, and me.

KK arrived on his new post-accident replacement bike--a far too colour coordinated 29er.

Having just come from work, Adam was hungry. And so a trip to VJ's was in order.

From there, we hit a few tunnels in the Exchange. And checked out the parking garage beside the MTS Centre. This did not go over so well with the security guard who happened to be on duty. When we got to the top, he was flitting about, Penner style, and apparently waiting for us. Clutching something on his belt, or maybe just trying to prevent his trousers from falling down, he looked very concerned. He claimed we were endangering our lives and his job. We politely disagreed, but nevertheless obeyed his orders to leave the premises. We did not, however, obey his order to take the elevator down, and elected to ride the corkscrew instead. By this time, fingers frozen, we made out way to the klubhaus, where the Secretary was waiting to greet us in the parking lot.

At the klubhaus, Adam proudly showed off the $500 worth of Sugoi gear he won as part of the cx participation series. After getting our attention by buying the first round, Tom K excitedly shared the details of a new enduro race he and the Training Co-op gang will be putting on out in the Pembina Valley. It looks like 2010 could be a banner year for the OperaciĆ³n MUERTO crowd. As usual, the state of the tunes received some significant attention. It was a disappointing night on the music front. But once again, it gave Vic an opportunity to show off one of his new apps. That guy is so cool with all his fancy technology. And finally, the 2010 Nordic Cross calendar was finalized. We are ready for liftoff. Good times.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Hey winter. Yes. Winter. Don't bring that weak-ass shit into our house. This TNR poster was supposed to directed at those . . . how shall we say . . . losers whose weakness places them at the margins of the proud and mighty TNR tradition. You know, those so-called FGBCers who mysteriously disappear when the snow accumulates and the mercury heads south and leave Craig and the Impaler to ride around in the cold all by themselves. But now it seems the message is best directed at Old Man Winter himself. What are you afraid of? I hauled out my winter bike last night. For this smattering of tiny flakes? Come on. It is December. Nordic Cross is supposed to begin in less than two weeks. Giddy up.

We may not get the snow we were promised. But we will ride anyway. Just like we always do. 9:30 pm at my place.