Sunday, February 28, 2010

Het Nieuwsblad Results

That was a close one. A perfect way to kick things off. Dallas takes the season opener. He finished with 720 points. Charlie was five points back. And Brad was five points back of Charlie. Recall that five points are awarded to any rider who finishes the race (10 for the monuments). Those points were the difference among the top three yesterday. Pete was the best of the rest, with 540 points. Things did not go so well for Steve and Vic. They represent the other end of the spectrum with 10 points apiece. It is early. Things will change. Don't panic.

Full results here.

Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne is on now. The weather looks miserable. Watch here.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Haussler 2nd, Farrar 3rd. Unfortunately, Farrar was somehow left off the list of riders. But by the time we caught it, it was too late. Last year, Haussler and Boassen Hagen were not on the list. But who knew?

There's still lots of data entry left to do before we're all set up. Be patient. Results coming soon.

Game on

Watch here. If that doesn't work, try here. Official race website here.

Friday, February 26, 2010

FGBC Spring Classics Pool Entry Watch

[Update - 8:34 am, the next day, the race has started] Sticking with the theme of fours, four more teams trickled in over the night: Tom K, Hal, Cousin Adam, and last year's runner-up, Rachel. That brings us to 32 teams overall. The wicket is closed and the pool is open for business. Good times ahead.

[Update - 11:14 pm, hockey game over] It seems we are working in fours. Jay, Charlene, Olli, and Mike are in. That is 28 teams. Get your teams in by 8am tomorrow morning and they can still count.

[Update - 9:09 pm, first intermission] We are at 24. Jonny G, Miriam, Jonah, and Dan are in. But where is the rest of the FGBC? And where is Jay?

[Update - 5:52 pm] 4 more teams have joined. We are at 20 now. Andy, Charlie, Pete, and Steve are in the pool. Pete and Steve are FGBC pool rookies. Everybody be nice to them. It's still quiet on the FGBC front.

[Update - 1:57 pm] 4 more teams so far today: Larry, Chris D, Ian, KK. That brings us to 16. RRR numbers are growing. FGBC, not so much. And still nothing from the defending champ. Does the internet go all the way out to Kenora?

We are only one day away from the most exciting series of bike races not named Nordic Cross. The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad begins bright and early tomorrow. That means that today is your last chance to enter the 2010 FGBC Spring Classics Pool.

We begin the day with 12 teams already signed up. That is a good start. But by the end of the day, we hope to have quite a few more. Your task is two-fold. Make sure to get your own team in. And help others to find their way into the pool. It's right here. You will recall that this serves as the kickoff to the 2010 FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge. Both the FGBC and RRR are under-represented so far.

Check back throughout the day for updates as the entries come flowing in to the FGBC Low Stakes Gambling HQ.

Teams so far:

Chris H
Jonny B
Chris O
Chris D
Jonny G

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The FGBC CX Pool is Closed for the Season

It was a fitting way to end it, with Jay taking yet another win. He picked up 495 points to push his season total over the 20,000 point mark. Congratulations Jay. That was an impressive performance. Now let's see if you can do it again in the 2010 FGBC Spring Classics Pool.

Jonny B took second on the day, with 470 points. And Graham kept up his good late season form. He had 430 points, good enough for third place.

There was no change to the final podium. Gary took the silver medal. If only Stybar hadn't caught fire. That really helped Jay stay consistent in the home stretch. And Katie Compton's legs caught fire too. Her absence in the last month of the season didn't help Gary's cause. Brad the Impaler got bronze. There was a change to round out the top five. Prince Dan squeezed by me to finish 4th by just 15 points. It was close and hard fought, right to the bitter end, just like many of our battles at Bur Oak last year. At least here we weren't racing not to finish last.

The final overall standings are as follows:

Jay 20015
Gary 19170
Brad 18560
Dan 17785
Chris H 17770
Jonny B 17415
Chris O 16985
Dallas 16825
Andy 16735
Vic 16725
Hal 16120
Miriam 15420
Chris A 15390
Olli 15295
Jonah 15195
Chris D 15005
Charlene 14930
Kevin 14710
David 14695
Ian 14530
LeAnn 14345
Mike 14015
Craig 13505
Darryl 12775
Rachel 12450
Bill 12390
Paddy 12330
Graham 12305
Naomi 12290
Paul 11810
Adam 11625
Jonny G 11355
Matt 10335

Full results here.

That last race was an interesting one. First of all, it was indoors. And second, is was basically a cyclocross version of Miss and Out. Read the report at CX Mag. And check out Sven Nys pre-riding the course here. Who is going to organize that for us next winter?

Thursday Anticipation

1) There is vicarious racing on the menu:

So far, seven teams have waded into the pool: Brad, LeAnn, Jonny B, Greg W, Chris O and his fellow BCCer Ali, and me. That is not nearly enough. Keep them coming. Tomorrow is your last day. Everything you need to know is here.

2) And there's roller racing too. It's not exactly like vicarious racing, but at the same time you can race without going anywhere.

We expect big things from the FGBC at this one. The Canadian government has scrapped their Own the Podium program. They just chucked it in the dumpster the same way the dispose of other important documents. The FGBC has managed to acquire it. We traded the Secretary's old helmet cam lens for it. With a few tweaks here and there, I think we can put it to good use. Like the women's bobsled teams last night, I expect a gold medal match between FGBC 1 and FGBC 2 in the relay race. The Cricket is poised to take gold in the 1000m race. The only thing we need to identify in order to make it a clean sweep for the FGBC is someone who is willing go after the 500m title. Anyone?

3) And finally . . .

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

TNR Report

Good turnout for a cold night. Hopefully that's the last cold one for the year. Bill very nearly lost a few digits. But we survived. The Impaler, Bill, Jonny G, Cousin Thomas, the Secretary, the Cricket and I were there. But more importantly, so was the President. He lives! He was experiencing some spectacle issues which, combined with the ever-present balance issues, led to a series of falls in the forest. Tom K showed up late and tried to find us by following the tracks. He got close, but ultimately spent the evening riding solo. Vic joined us the klubhaus after Hummelt hockey which, by the way, is only three weeks away from being finished.

The forest was desolate and spooky, as captured by the presence of a nefarious fog that seemed to be stalking us.

Cousin Thomas impressed us with his frosty beard.

But then he went and got us all perplexed by his rather unconventional choice of beverage.

The appearance of whipped cream and cherries precipitated a period awkward and extended silence, and almost brought the gathering to a premature end. But thankfully we managed to get it back on the rails. That was made possible, in part, by the need to confer about an actual agenda item. It had to do with the accomodations for the Spring Ride. Bill has come up with an interesting idea. We decided that it would be worth exploring further. If it works, it will be awesome. If not, we will default back to the accomodations director otherwise known as Juan Eppstein. He has done good work in the past. The President ordered pizza. That was nice. The tunes were better than last week, but still mediocre on the whole. I recall .38 Special and Led Zeppelin. But then it went and got all 80s sappy saxophone on us. The musical highlight of the evening was actually the television coverage of Devo playing at the Olympics. Sadly, the sound was off.

On the ride back home, Cousin Thomas was taken down by some ice even though he had just been warned about it, thereby concluding the evening with the sound of steel encountering concrete which, as it turns out, is exactly the way things began for him. A fitting way to end it. Full circle. And yet it gives us an occasion to ponder the wisdom of having him serve as one of the drivers for this summer's Big Idea. Hopefully his facility with four wheeled vehicles is better than what he has demonstrated recently on two wheels.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


It is time for a ride in the forest.

9:30 pm at my place.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hey Friends, anybody got a wheel set???

I'm looking for a decent(not awsome) road wheel set for my cross bike. I am getting tired of changing tires. I could use the extra set for this summer's big idea. Just curious.

Sloth Cross Video

Yup, Tom K has one, no two, fine little video cameras... and, apparently a good deal more time on his hands than I. This will have to stand for now. Great work Tom!

2010 FGBC Spring Classics Pool

Here we go. The most exciting vicarious race season of the year is upon us. In case you have forgotten, last year's competition was epic. Mike grabbed a huge early lead and looked to be cruising to an easy win. But then Rachel roared back and made it a very close race. But in the end, she came up short by 85 points. Good times.

We will use the same system as last year. The riders are broken down into different tiers and there are three different options for choosing teams. The top 30 finishers in each race will score points. Bigger points are up for grabs at the four monuments. For all the details, go here. But ignore the list of riders on that page. That is last year's list.

There is no entry fee. There will be no prizes. Everyone is welcome to participate. Feel free to invite others.

The list of riders for 2010 is here.

The three options are as follows:

Option 1:

1 from Tier 1
1 from Tier 2
1 from Tier 3
2 from Tier 4
2 from Tier 5
1 from Tier 6
1 from Ardennes

Option 2:

1 from Tier 2
3 from Tier 3
2 from Tier 4
2 from Tier 5
1 from Ardennes

Option 3:

4 from Tier 3
4 from Tier 4
1 from Ardennes

FYI, Mike went with option 3 last year. It was option 2 for Rachel.

Teams must be submitted by the end of the day on Friday. Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is on Saturday morning. Email them here. When submitting your team, make sure to indicate which option you used.

The 2010 Race Calendar (with monuments in bold):

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Feb. 27
Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne Feb. 28
Monte Paschi Eroica Mar. 6
Milan-San Remo Mar. 20
Dwars Door Vlaanderen Mar. 24
E3 Prijs Vlaanderen Mar. 27
Gent-Wevelgem Mar. 28
Ronde van Vlaanderen Apr. 4
Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen Apr. 7
Paris-Roubaix Apr. 11
De Brabantse Pijl Apr. 14
Amstel Gold Race Apr. 18
La Flèche Wallonne Apr. 21
Liège - Bastogne - Liège Apr. 25

Last year's results:

Mike 7275
Rachel 7190
Andy 6885
Adam 6535
Rick 6365
Chris O 6115
Ian 5840
Bill 5785
Matt 5755
David 5715
Hal 5235
Brad 5220
Paddy 5120
Chris A 5020
Donna 4680
Kevin 4575
Vic 4515
Jonny M 4440
Dallas 4240
Darryl 3970
Chris H 3815
Jonny G 3720
Luke 3520
Craig 3250
Naomi 3130

Sunday, February 21, 2010


For a while, Graham appeared to have the battle for the lanterne rouge all sewn up. Someone locked the cellar door, and it didn't look like he was going to make it out. But on January 1 he managed to escape, and now Matt occupies the lonely spot in the cellar. He says Graham didn't leave him any wine. Graham, meanwhile, has righted the ship. He continued his New Years resolve to make 2010 a better year for vicarious racing by picking up 430 points and a victory in the second-last race of the season. Second place went to Prince Dan. He made his second consecutive podium appearance with a 415 point showing. Paddy had 380 points to round out the podium.

In the overall race, I think it's safe to say that Jay will win the 2009-10 FGBC CX Pool. Like the Hamelin brothers yesterday, Gary failed to rise to the occasion today. Jay took back all the points he conceded to Gary yesterday, and then some. With one race to go, he leads Gary by 575 points. Brad the Impaler's grip on the third podium step also seems secure. But Prince Dan is making a late run at 4th place. He is just 35 points back of your truly. Always a slow starter and hard finisher, that guy.

Full results here.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Prince Dan and KK shared the win. They each picked up 340 points. The Cricket was third, with 315 points.

Jay heeded our advice and backed off the gas just a little bit. This was achieved by telling Stybar to stay home. He finished with 125 points. Gary, meanwhile, had 275. So he brought the gap back to a more respectable number. Jay's lead sits at 380 points with just two more races to go. That should be enough, unless Stybar has packed it in for the season.

And finally, from the dept. of feel-good stories comes news that Matt has surpassed the 10,000 point plateau. Well done, lad. We knew you could do it. Now let's see if you can keep your point total at more than half of the winner's.

Full results here.

The GVA series wraps up tomorrow in Oostmalle. And then on Wednesday they conclude the season with the annual indoor race in Hasselt. That gives us three days to rest before the spring classics season begins with Het Nieuwsblad. Good times.

Friday, February 19, 2010

New Shit?

Not exactly. But the Honorary Captain finds himself in a Lebowskiesque situation. Yes, Lebowskiesque. It's Freedom Fries from now on for the FGBC.

A few gems from last night's interview with Larry King:

LANDIS: Yes. These big words -- indictments and warrants. I really don't know anything about that.

KING: So you're replying tonight by saying you didn't do any anti-doping, right?

LANDIS: I did not do hacking.

KING: Or any hacking?

LANDIS: Certainly.

KING: Nor did you do any doping, you deny that?

LANDIS: I don't think they did any anti-doping either, but.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday Anticipation

1) Check it out --------------->

The Spring Ride Countdown has passed under 100. It is down to double digits now. That means we're close. Close enough to launch the official 2010 Spring Ride advertising campaign, at least.


Also, in case you missed it, the Duker has prepared a poster.

3) 2010 FGBC Spring Classics Pool

And finally, Het Nieuwsblad is set to take place a week from Sunday. That means the 2010 Spring Classics Pool is just around the corner. Look for the rider list sometime this weekend.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

TNR Report

After the IceTT and Sloth Cross last week, this was almost like a riding vacation. It was a relatively relaxed ride. Double espressos at the Junk-shon before heading over to Whittier to check out the Festival de Voyageur and hopefully catch a glimpse of Karen's latest work of art. We didn't. It was closed for the day and deadly quiet, save for a lone security guard sitting in his car. Poor guy.

Then it was back to the klubhaus via the river trail. Jonny G and the Secretary got pulled over by the cops for some mild interrogation upon blowing through a stop sign. They got lucky. It was the Secretary's cousin who was behind the wheel.

Bill joined us at the F&H to share some stories from his recent ski trip to Falcon Trails. He had lots of good ideas for the 24 Hours of Falcon Ridge. Pete's Cabin will serve as the first of two checkpoints. We may visit the wolves and deer carcasses in Death Valley. We will see. It will be awesome.

There was talk of dislocated shoulders and spring classics. There was also talk of the spring ride. And the Honorary Captain's latest appearance in the headlines. The need for another Presidential Intervention ride was noted. It worked in the past. There is some definite lameness going on there. And there were birthday toasts. One for the Cricket and one for the Impaler. There was a conversation of sorts with the old dude who often likes to play air guitar and sing along with the sweet tunes that play over the Hi Fi. He was several beers past the point of sobriety. We did not understand a word he said, but gathered it was about the bikes, which he liked, and how they reminded him of a sweet blue snowboard he'd seen while watching the Olympic on TV. There was probably some other stuff too. But old guys like us can only remember so much.

The tunes were off. Way off. At the start, they were different, but okay. By the end of the evening it was full on sock hop. We left early.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


The Secretary has to miss hockey on account of the dislocated shoulder he suffered at Sloth Cross this weekend. That sucks. But the silver lining is that he can join us for a bike ride. As long as it's not too rough. We will do our best to accommodate him.

My place at 9:30 pm.

Monday, February 15, 2010


No, we didn't forget about the action in the FGBC CX Pool. It's just that Sloth Cross took a lot of time and energy. And besides, it's hard to get motivated about writing another report of Jay winning.

Yes, Jay won again. He racked up another 370 points. That's 200 points more than the Lethbridge Chapter totaled between the two of them.

Now look Jay. We've never met. I'm sure you're a good guy and all. The BCC seems like the kind of club the FGBC would get along nicely with. Much better than those RRR punks anyway. I hear some of you have even started riding your bikes in the snow. But do you also have a spot on the Canadian women's hockey team? What else could explain the brazen and relentless need for dominating and humiliating your opposition? We have consulted at the klubhaus. And a few of us caucused again at the poosher's palace this past weekend between movies. It is time to level with you. We are glad you have joined our little vicarious racing thing. But this reign of terror and ruination to which you have subjected the rest of us is getting to be enough. You have made your point. In fact, the point was made several weeks ago. The savage beat down you've laid upon Gary was fun to watch for a while. We play hockey. What's a little assault between friends, eh? But now it's starting to feel gross and sickening. Gary feels badly enough. He's turtled. His body has gone limp. He can barely see through the tears. And if you knew Gary, you'd know that he takes this whole seeing business pretty seriously. He is really a decent guy, especially for someone who doesn't regularly don the sweetest jersey in the world. He puts on great cx races. In fact, the only thing better than the cx races he comes up with are the prizes he gives away at them. That and the cx races that we put on. So let's not kick a man when he's down, okay? As you head into the last few races of the season, just ask yourself "what would Don Cherry do?" I'm not saying you shouldn't relish your victory. It was impressive, and we were all rooting for you there for a while. But just tone it down a little bit. This is a family show. There are kids in the pool.

Brad and Olli tied for second with 350 points apiece. There is no change to the overall standings. Oh, and Matt still hasn't cracked the 10,000 point mark. But he's just 50 points shy. It looks like he's going to do it.

Full results here.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sloth Cross Report

Dante locates sloth at the centre of the moral structure he depicts in the Purgatorio. And since the annual 24 hour race and film festival has become the centrepiece of the Nordic Cross season, it seems fitting that for 2010 the event received the moniker of Sloth Cross. This year marked the 4th time we have gathered to ride bikes and hang out for 24 hours in February. And we had our best turnout yet. 23 racers did at least one lap. That is spectacular! Big, big thanks to our hosts, Tomek, Arlene, and Solomon. The house is sweet and you guys are awesome. Thanks also to Colin and Anita for the garage, food, and for generally tolerating our presence.

In addition to the biggest field so far, this year's edition also featured the best menu. Arlene cooked up a pot of some fantastic split pea soup and also brewed some delightfully strong coffee. Deanna brought some very tasty cupcakes. Matt supplied cookies and brownies. And Halberto brought a few loaves of his signature bread. There was, of course, a dogfest. This year it was supplied by Colin and supplemented with a side order of barbecued chicken. And of course there was the Sal's breakfast lap to finish off the race in the morning.

The neutral media lap was a big success. Among the many highlights was a chance meeting with the designer of one of the warming huts out on the river trail. He was kind enough to take the official Sloth Cross Group Photo. The Secretary and Tom K both got plenty of raw footage. They are no doubt hard at work in the editorial chamber as we speak. Look for their commemorative films to appear sometime in the next little while.

As for the race itself, Juan Eppstein got off to an early lead. Unfortunately, however, some domestic duties derailed his efforts just as it was beginning to look like he was headed for a certain win. Jonny G seemed more determined than ever. He even took a page out of Juan Eppstein's book and snuck out very stealthily once or twice in an attempt to get a leg up on the competition. KK, the Cricket, and I rode the first several laps together, trying to keep pace with Juan and Jonny G. Others, such as Brad the Impaler, the Secretary, and Jonny B, took the more relaxing route. They anchored themselves on the couch and proceeded to pound though a number of movies. Brad managed 11 laps in total, only two of which involved spending time on the saddle. He earned the title of biggest sloth of them all. This being Sloth Cross, however, no effort went into the securing of prizes. So he will have to make his own slothy crown to wear. Solomon and Nick represented the next generation and acquitted themselves well. Other notable performances included Unger's running lap, which counted as two. Just as notably, if not as happily, the Secretary ended up dislocating his shoulder on a crash heading down from the boardwalk. Fortunately, it popped back into place. Unfortunately, it really hurt. Speaking of dislocated shoulders, Lindsay showed up to provide words of encouragement and tales of his latest cycling exploits. And in the dept. of unsolved mysteries, effort is currently underway in an attempt to gain some clarity on how Tom K managed to end up ahead of Scott at one point, even though he set off several minutes later. Tom insisted that this was not a result of cheating. He did not, however, manage to supply an alternate explanation. The defending champion from last year did not defend his title. But at least Gianni showed up for a lap and some high fives for one last commemoration of his 2009 performance. Halberto was second last year. This year he was only slightly better than second last.

There was a flurry of activity after supper at Colin's and leading up to the mandatory Big Lebowski lap at midnight. The Cricket, however, was not involved. He said he had to a birthday party to head to which, upon cross-examination, turned out to be his own. Happy Birthday Cricket. This late night burst of energy was made possible, in part, by the presence of a group of kids who where gathered around a bonfire on the river bank for some good times. They greeted us more and more eagerly with each subsequent lap. They did not, however, make good on their offer of a beverage. And so we were forced to retire to the poosher's palace in order to have our thirst slaked.

From midnight to 4:30 am, the bikes remained inside Colin's garage. But the race continued for those who watched the Big Lebowski and Pure Sweet Hell. 1.5 laps were on hand for those two. By 5am, everyone was asleep. But the activity resumed at 7am. Tomek, Tom K, and I were up first. We headed out for a couple of a couple of laps prior to the Sal's breakfast lap. With the wind howling down the Red, it was cold. But happily the colder conditions served to restore the river bank singletrack to a state that made it rideable once again. The Impaler was up early too and quickly found his way back to the couch to watch some more films.

As far as the films went, The Triplets of Belleville and A Sunday in Hell seemed to be the unanimous favourites. Transitions and BMX Bandits did not manage to capture the attention of the crowd and got ejected before they were finished.

In the end, my 17.5 laps were good enough for the win. The closest race was the battle for 2nd place. Tom K, Jonny G, and KK all ended up tied with 14.5 laps. KK finished his final lap about a minute ahead of Jonny G to secure the silver medal. Tom K was a few minutes further back and wound up without any hardware to show the grandchildren some day. Still, it was an impressive performance, even if he only wound up with a pair of sore knees to show for his efforts.


1. Chris - 17.5
2. Kevin - 14.5
3. Jonny G - 14.5
4. Tom K - 14.5
5. Brad - 11
6. Vic - 10.5
7. Unger - 10
8. Juan Eppstein - 10
9. Darryl - 9.5
10. Scott - 9
11. Tomek - 8.5
12. Craig - 8
13. Liam - 5
14. Colin - 5
15. Adam - 4.5
16. Jonny B - 3.5
17. Thomas - 3.5
18. Olli - 1
19. Solomon - 1
20. Hal - 1
21. Ian - 1
22. Nick - 1
23. Luke 1

Token photos:

After three rounds, the battle for the Nordic Cross 2010 title is wide open. The top four are separated by just two points.

Juan 30
Vic 29
Brad 29
KK 28
Jonny G 26
Chris 23
Tom K 22
Darryl 17
Unger 14
Olli 12
Jonny B 11
Scott 11
Tomek 10
Craig 9
Jonh Paul 8
Liam 8
Colin 7
Adam 6
Graham 4
Thomas 4
Hal 3
Solomon 2
Ian 1
Nick 1
Luke 1

The next race on the 2010 Nordic Cross calendar otherwise known as Sin Boldly will coincide with the 2010 ABES Winter Bike Festival in Altona on March 5. It will serve, for our purposes, as Lust Cross, if for no other reason than that the event will be headquartered at a venue called the sExchange and that it happens to satisfy the one-race-every-three-weeks scheduling criterion. It is also fitting in light of the fact that what we now know as lust was originally named luxuria and defined as extravagance. There is nothing more extravagant than the event Johnny S, David, and Co. put on for us every March. Those ABES are so lust-inducing. It will be well worth the drive south. All the info you need can be found right here.

For those who are following vicariously

The mandatory Big Lebowski lap just finished. It was awesome, as usual. Pure Sweet Hell is playing at the moment. BMX Bandits didn't make the cut. Nobody is riding right now, except for Juan Eppstein, who is riding home.

Current standings (as of 3:28 am):

Chris - 14
KK - 12
Jonny G - 12
Tom K - 12
Juan Eppstein - 10
Johnny S - 9.5
Brad - 9 (1 bike lap, 8 film laps)
Unger - 9
Vic - 9
Darryl - 9
Craig - 8
Scott - 8
Adam - 6
Tomek - 6
Colin - 5
Jonny B - 4
Olli - 1
Nick - 1
Hal - 1
Ian - 1

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sloth Cross Update

We are off and running. Some are running faster than others. Juan Eppstein has jumped out to an early lead. But the sloths on the couch are managing to keep pace by watching films.

Juan Eppstein - 4 (halfway through 5)
KK - 4 (just left on 5)
Chris - 4 (watching A Sunday in Hell)
Craig - 4 (ditto)
Everyone else is at 3 laps or less. The scoresheet is getting hard to decipher.

Friday, February 12, 2010

No Peanuts!

The Poosher's Palace is a peanut-free zone. So if you can't go 24 hours without consuming any peanut products, then just stay home and watch movies on your own couch. You can come and watch us having a good time through the palace's fancy new windows if you must. But you can't come in. No exceptions.

Now, having cleared that up, we can get down to business. This is going to be awesome. Perhaps the awesomest winter 24 Hour Race ever. Jonny G and I have come up with a super-deluxe course. It has a little bit of everything. Except for maybe mountains. But there are two Sals on the course. So that more than makes up for it. Each lap is just a little bit over 10 km. Not too long, not too short.

The weather forecast looks perfect:

Don't forget to bring your movies.

Any questions? Leave a comment and someone will attempt an answer.

Otherwise, see you at 9:30 am.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursday Anticipation

1) Sloth Cross

Only two more sleeps.

Here are some important details.

Pre-race meeting - 9:30 am.
Race begins with a neutralized media lap - 10:00 am
Mandatory Big Lebowski lap - later in the evening
Sal's Breakfast lap - 9:00 am
Film Festival lineup - TBD (bring whatever you have and we'll sort it out)

Jonny G and I are planning to head out on Friday afternoon to finalize the course. But for those who were there, it will be similar to the course we rode in 2008: river bank singletrack and the skating path on the Assiniboine plus the best of what the Forks has to offer, and maybe a little more.

The weather forecast looks promising. High of -7 on Saturday and low of -14. This should be the warmest winter 24 Hour Race we've ever had.

Our HQ for the weekend has us revisiting a project that is very dear to our hearts. Read more about it here.

To provide a bit of a preview, check out the Secretary's films commemorating the first three editions:




2) Altona Winter Bike Festival

Just in case all the big events in February don't leave you thinking that this is the best winter ever, Johnny S and the ABES are planning to make sure we get March started off right. The AWBF serves up yet another reason for renaming Altona as the cycling capital of the province. This will be the fifth annual. And hopefully the first victory for the dark side--by which I mean, of course, dark blue. All the details are available at the Home of the ABES.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

IceTT Report

In short, it was super sweet. Yes, it was hard. It was, after all, a time trial. But as far as hard efforts go, it was on the more enjoyable end of the spectrum, in part because of the incredible dorkiness of it all. Once everyone was back in the safety of the Junk-shon, it was smiles all around. The 12 km course took us east from the Forks to the Hugo docks and then back through the Forks and south to the Churchill docks, before returning back to the finish line/table at the Junk-shon. One of the benefits of the out and back format was the opportunity to see the race unfold in little glimpses as we passed one another. This year we were able to stick to the ice surface. And while there were some speed wobbles and crashes (KK had the most, with 4), and one narrowly averted head-on collision between Cousin Thomas and I, it all worked out pretty well.

As far as the race goes, it was another close one between the Cricket and me. He missed out on the win by just 2 seconds. Jonny G was third. And big Luke, riding a massive gear and road slicks, rode an impressive race to finish 4th.


Chris - 25.18
Craig - 25.20
Jonny G - 26.38
Luke - 27.17
Bill - 28.25
Graham - 28.45
Thomas - 29.44
Kevin - 30.30
Tristan - 31.45

Token photos:

Overall Standings after 4 races:

Chris 40
Craig 36
Kevin 20
Graham 19
Luke 18
Jonny G 17
Thomas 16
Bill 13
Tomek 8
Brad 6
Patrick 5
Tristan 2

The final podium spot is wide open with 5 riders separated by just 4 points. The last two races should be fun.

At the klubhaus, we hammered out the relevant details for the 24 Hour Race and Film Festival otherwise known as Sloth Cross. There will be some sweet bike riding. And some sweet movies. And no doubt other good times as well. The most important thing you need to know is that it begins at 10 am on Saturday and concludes after the mandatory Sal's breakfast lap on Sunday, sometime around 10 am. The pre-race meeting at the Poosher's Palace is at 9:30. Be there.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Snow Crit #4 = IceTT. The race of truth. On ice.

Let's gather at the Junk-shon at 9:30 again. Or my place at 9:15.

Rooting about in the archives, we find the following set of results from the first edition in 2008:

Chris - 13.55
Luke - 14.56
Luc - 14.58
Craig - 15.08
Jonny G - 15.13
Ian - 15.29
Benjamin - 15.40
Dave L - 16.01
Scott - 17.02
Jonny N - 18.00
Jonny B - 18.57
Colin - 20.00
Deanna - 20.42

An interesting cast of characters. Which demonstrates, if nothing else, that each Tuesday night has its own personality. Some Tuesdays you can remember as if they were just yesterday. Others fade into obscurity like old high school classmates. The inaugural IceTT is one of the more memorable ones, at least for me. But I am somewhat confused. Bill says he was there at the first one. And yet there is no record of that in the archives. What happened?

Last year's edition, sadly, did not materialize, on account of some uncooperative weather. But the conditions for tonight look ideal. Let's hope the ice isn't freshly zambonied like it was in 2008.

Post-race, at the klubhaus, we will sort out all the details for the 24 Hour Race and Film Festival otherwise known as Sloth Cross. Only four more sleeps until that one.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Jonny B Awesome

Gary and Jay have received the lion's share of attention lately. That story has worked out better for Jay than for Gary. Brad has gotten plenty of attention as well after grabbing the final podium spot. But the biggest story in vicarious racing right now is Jonny B. He'd been hanging out anonymously in the middle of the pack for most of the season. As recently as two weeks ago, he was sitting in 11th place. Respectable, but not exactly headline-worthy. A solid showing at World's saw him gain a few places. But after this weekend it looks like he's got a legitimate shot at the top 5. He won on Saturday, finishing ahead of Dan and Jay. And on Sunday he finished second, behind Brad and ahead of Halberto.

Jay has extended his lead over Gary. It's over 400 points now. But the big question as the season winds down is whether Matt will be able to break the 10,000 point mark. He's at 9815 with 5 more races to go.

Full results here.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Thursday, February 04, 2010

For your viewing pleasure!

Roller record:

And some music you shouldn't miss:

Thursday Anticipation

We have reached February. That is very exciting. In part, because it means January is over and spring is just around the corner. But also because, short little month that it is, February is packed full of good times.

In order of appearance, here are some of the big events on the horizon.

1) Ice Bike

Always a good time, it goes down this Sunday. It's the 12th annual. Apparently, that means it's too old to make a poster. But you can find more info by visiting its tired old cousin, the MCA website.

2) Ice TT

The next race on the Snow Crits calendar will not actually be a snow crit. Rather it will be the Ice TT. This is the race that introduced Bill to the FGBC's Tuesday night shenanigans. That is all that needs to be said.

3) Sloth Cross

In just over a week, we will begin the 24 Hour Race and Film Festival otherwise known as Sloth Cross. We still have to finalize the course and the program. But you can count on it being awesome. Just like it always is.

4) Vicarious Cobbles

The 2009-10 FGBC CX Pool is winding down. It has been going on so long, one could be forgiven for thinking it was never going to end. But sad as it may be that the end is near, it is also good news. Because it means that the spring classics are coming up. With apologies to the Ground Tours, these are the sweetest road races in the world. It is also, in my opinion, the best of the FGBC cycling pools. It all starts on Feb. 27 with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Mike G destroyed the field last year. This year the results will count toward the 2010 FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge. More info coming soon.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Roller Race Tonight

It doesn't look like there will be a large FGBC presence at the alternate klubhaus tonight. That is too bad. It has been fun. But many of us are otherwise engaged. That it is on Wednesday doesn't help. Be there if you can. That is all.

TNR Report

Good times, as usual. The pieces for the 24 Hour Race and Film Festival otherwise known as Sloth Cross are coming together nicely. The river trail from the Forks to Churchill Dr. is ready to go.

Unfortunately, the riverbank singletrack is not so navigable. We need a volunteer to walk back and forth and pack it down. Something will come together. It always does. Maybe the Icebike course will leave us something to work with.

On the way back to the klubhaus, we checked out the various "warming huts" that are starting to populate the frozen river. To call them warm is perhaps a bit of an overstatement. But they did prove a nice diversion on the long trek back to the F&H.

As for the klubhaus, the confabulation was its usual stimulating and meandering self. We confirmed that we are anti-Bingo. As is RRR. That is no doubt why we get along so well. And perhaps why others just don't seem to get it. Talk of this year's Spring Ride is starting to heat up. We spent some time wondering whether it is possible somehow to satisfy those who loved last year's epic ride while at the same time not further angering those who found it a bit much. The answer is probably not. But that doesn't mean we won't try. The possibility of a mid-ride gear drop was floated as a potential solution. The idea was affirmed as having some promise. Tom K offered to explore that avenue. The Big Idea received plenty of attention, especially now that it is game on. And Lindsay's antics received their share of attention as well. But on the whole it should probably go down on record as a disappointing gathering, because for the first time in five weeks we were not treated to the bounty of auditory awesomeness known as Eddie.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

And the winner is . . .

The relevant results for our little vicarious version of the Arrowhead 135 are as follows:

Pramann finished 3rd in 16:20.
Farrow was 8th in 20 hours.
Gray was 9th in 20:20.
And Lindsay finished 10th, with a time of 23:30.

Full results here. There are still plenty of runners out on course.

Recall that the picks were as follows:

Brad: Charlie Farrow wins in 20:17:00; Lindsay 3rd in 22:31:12
Jonny B: Terry Brannick wins in 20:50:00; Lindsay 4th in 26:15:00
Gianni: Charlie Farrow wins in 17:50:00; Lindsay 9th in 22:40:00
Chris: Dave Pramann wins in 17:00:00; Lindsay 5th in 22:00:00
KK: David Gray wins in 21:22:00; Lindsay 4th in 25:10:00

All the finishing times are still unofficial, but I think they are good enough for our purposes.

Based on some general calculations, the points are as follows (in the following order: winner, winner's time, Lindsay's place, Lindsay's time)

KK: 8+1+6+2 = 17
Brad: 7+0+7+1 = 15
Ian: 7+2+1+1 = 11
Chris: 2+1+5+1.5 = 9.5
Jonny B's score is a little harder to calculate. He picked up 9 points (6+3) for his picks regarding Lindsay. But since he picked Brannick to win and Brannick dropped out, that will cost him enough points to put him out of contention, even if it's not yet clear at this point what the difference will be.

So I win. Woohoo! I love it when that happens. And since this counts toward the 2010 FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge (I did mention that, didn't I?), the FGBC is off to an early lead. At any rate, I will be there at the klubhaus to claim my prize later this evening. But Gianni should be there too. He deserves a prize for basically nailing Lindsay's finishing place and time. He also would have won if, upon realizing three of us picked Red Ass alum Charlie Farrow to win, I hadn't gone and done a little further research on Sunday evening and changed my pick for winner from Farrow to Pramann.



With the 24 Hour Race and Film Festival otherwise known as Sloth Cross on the horizon, it seems a little reconnaissance is in order. We will scout out some potential route options in and around the area of the poosher's palace.

Let's meet at the Junk-shon at 9:30. Be at my place by 9:15 to ride over together.

Arrowhead update

The top 5 are as follows:

1) Jeff Oatley
2) Pete Basinger
3) David Pramann
4) Lance Andre
5) Dan Dittmer

The first three in just over 16 hours, the others around 17.

Lindsay is almost done.

Vicarious Arrowhead update coming after he's done. The prize will be awarded at the klubhaus tonight. You must be present to claim your prize.

More here.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Arrowhead update

They've finally posted an update. It sounds like they are making good time. No word on Lindsay. But from what they say, I think we can conclude that he's not among the top 5. Last year's winner, Terry Brannick, has dropped out. That is bad news for Jonny B. How will we score that?

For the record, the picks are as follows:

Brad: Charlie Farrow wins in 20:17:00; Lindsay 3rd in 22:31:12
Jonny B: Terry Brannick wins in 20:50:00; Lindsay 4th in 26:15:00
Gianni: Charlie Farrow wins in 17:50:00; Lindsay 9th in 22:40:00
Chris: Dave Pramann wins in 17:00:00; Lindsay 5th in 22:00:00
KK: David Gray wins in 21:22:00; Lindsay 4th in 25:10:00

Icebike 2010

Just a reminder that Icebike is this weekend... If I was around, I'd ride. (There's an empty and useless threat.)

What got into Brad the Impaler?

With 500 points going to the mens winner and 300 up for grabs in the women's race, we knew heading in that there was potential for some very large numbers. But even in spite of that, Brad pulled off a massive win that occasioned a collective vicarious jaw dropping by the rest of the field. He picked up 1660 points yesterday and finished more than 400 points ahead of the day's second place finisher. That honour would go to Jonah, the only one to have the top two finishers in the men's race. With 950 points right there, he finished with 1250 points. Jonny B rounded out the podium with a 1230 point day.

In the overall race, Jay finally completed the monumental comeback he's been working on for the last couple of months. He beat Gary 1040-710 yesterday. Having been 1500 points back at one point, he now has a lead of over 200 points. So we have a change atop the standings for the first time in a long time. Gary and Jay have been 1st and 2nd since Nov. 28. Third place changed hands too, to make it a complete shake-up of the podium. Brad has bumped me from the podium and now stands atop the final podium step.

Full results here.

As for the early morning gathering to watch the real race live on the big screen, there was good food on hand and good company as well. The only thing lacking was a video feed. But if good times can be had by watching Twitter race updates on the big screen, then that is exactly what we had.

The season isn't over yet. there are still three weeks or so to go. Can Jay hold on?