Wednesday, March 31, 2010

TNR Report

Fort Garry Burger Couriers. It has a certain ring to it. If you ever happen to find yourself in need, give us a call. We may be able to help you out. If for no other reason than that it may save us from having to decide what the ride should look like. Assignments are good. And of course this gave us an opportunity to visit the Secretary in his studio and to get a taste of Cousin Bill's sweet dobro sweetness.

Aside from all that, there was some excitement that came our way courtesy of another close encounter with Johnny Law. Coming out of the back lane from VJ's, we turned left, as usual. Which meant that for a brief period of time we were heading the wrong way down a one-way street. Yes, it's true. The one car waiting at the lights across Broadway turned out to be the fuzz. He gave us a long, angry stare as he drove by. Very slowly. We avoided eye contact and rode on. The Cricket, Big Luke, and KK panicked and looked for an alternate route. Which turned out to be a dead end. By the time they got themselves sorted out, Johnny Law was back for more and attempted to corral them. He missed. Missed Luke and the Cricket anyway. When they caught up to the rest of us, we noticed that KK was missing. We assumed he was being interrogated, if not pepper sprayed. But when we went back to look for him, there was no trace of anything untoward going down. Apparently he made his escape after all. Close call.

All this excitement got Big Luke into a frisky mood. So on the way back from the Secretary's studio he put the pedal down and took off for the F&H. High speeds were reached. Lungs burned. Or maybe that was just the VJ Special making its journey back up our esophagi.

There was much talk at the klubhaus about future races. The off-the-grid variety received more attention and interest than the more official fare. Plans were made, the most important of which concerned the Impaler's forthcoming spring classic. More info coming soon. We also wondered why there is no short track mtb racing in MB. We thought maybe we might do some. Then again, we might not. We will see.

Our on-again-off-again relationship with the tunes was back off. Green Day? Seriously? But then all of a sudden--at 12:42 am to be exact--things changed. It just so happened to coincide with the Secretary's entrance onto the scene. Steely Dan, ELO, and more 70's sweetness. That was a good decade.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


We will ride some. But the highlight of the evening will be a visit to the guy in the grey polyester slacks and Black Flag t-shirt. It just feels like it's time.

My place at 9:30 pm.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Vicarious Gent-Wevelgem

The last couple of races have not been kind to Mike. Larry and Chris D haven't exactly flourished either. But the RRR trio collectively bounced back yesterday at Gent-Wevelgem. Mike picked up 350 points, thanks to Bernhard Eisel's win. Larry and Chris D tallied 390 and 200 points, respectively. But good as those numbers might look after the skimpy totals they have been posting over the last little while, they weren't nearly good enough to find the top step of the podium. That honour would fall to the Fraggle. With points from Gilbert, Hincapie, Paolini, and Gasparotto, she finished with 670 to take the win. Seven races, seven different winners. Pete was second with 630 points. Charlie and Jonah shared third place. They had 450 points apiece. This time around, it was King Andy and Jonny G who were shut out.

In the overall race, the top of the standings has a new look after the weekend. The Fraggle has moved into first overall. She has a 250 point lead over Jonny B heading into the Tour of Flanders. Charlie has moved into third place, while Dallas has been bumped from the top three for the first time all season. He now sits in fourth place, 60 points back of Charlie. Pete rounds out the top five. Down at the other end of the standings, Ali still have sole occupancy of the cellar. But Vic and Steve are not far from joining him. The three of them are separated by just 20 points.

Full results and standings here.

The Tour of Flanders is up next. It's the second monument of the season, which means the point totals will likely be higher. The third monument is a week later with Paris-Roubaix. Sandwiched in between is the Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen. Good times.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Live coverage is on. 75 km to go. Here.

The hard times continue for the FGBC's pro team double, CTT. Martin Reimer hit the ground and was taken away on a stretcher:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Vicarious E3 Prijs

Charlene is going to be a major factor in the 2010 FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge. That is what the new cx bike is all about. But today she showed that she can contribute on the vicarious racing front too. Placing three riders in the top 5 (Cancellara, Pozzato, and Boom), she picked up 825 points today and scored a big win. That's the second highest winning score so far. And the highest for a non-monument race, where the point totals are a little less. She moves up all the way from 18th place to 5th overall. King Andy was second today, with 760 points. He's sitting right behind Charlene in the overall race. And Miriam had 640 points to round out the podium.

The 2009 Champion laid his second consecutive goose egg. Fellow RRR'ers Larry and Chris D sucked again as well, as did the BCC duo of Ali and Chris O. Ali has slipped back into the cellar, giving Vic another reprieve.

Jonny B is still leading. But Dallas has moved into second. He sits just 60 points off the pace. The Fraggle drops down to third. And Charlie is holding steady in fourth place. He and Dallas have not been outside of the top five since we began on Feb. 27.

Full results and standings here.

Note that after six races, we have had six different winners: Dallas, Jay, Chris D, Jonny B, Kevin, and Charlene. Too bad the Secretary didn't enter a team. After whining about the relative rigidity of the standings in the cx pool, he is missing out on the opportunity to experience the wild variation that the FGBC Spring Classics Pool has to offer.

We're back at it tomorrow with Gent-Wevelgem. Check back in the morning for live video options.

E3 Prijs

Live coverage just started. Hushovd has pulled out. And there's a Cervelo rider lying in the ditch. Bad luck for the FGBC lookalikes.

Live streams here.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Thursday Anticipation: Special Friday Edition

Whoa. Thursday has come and gone. Just like Tuesday in that Skynyrd song. It happened so fast. I was still chuckling about Johnny S and his Ingolf misfortunes. But that's okay. We at the FGBC are not slaves to the calendar. Friday will work just as well.

1) Spring Ride

Each year, we are treated to the experience of watching a Spring Ride novice or two. Last year it was Luke's turn to supply the giggles. There were moments on the Saturday ride that we thought he might be left for the vultures. But he pulled through and made it to the end. Thanks, in part, to his improvised t-shirt chamois. Notice how he's not sitting on the saddle. There was some significant pain being sucked up right there. This year, he will have proper shorts. And maybe even his own bike.

2) Vicarious Racing

It's a big weekend on the vicarious racing front. E3 Prijs Vlaanderen goes down on Saturday. Think of it as a prelude to next weekend's Tour of Flanders. And then there's Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday. Good times ahead. The standings will no doubt get thoroughly shaken up once again. Check back for live streaming options.

3) Cleaning House

You may have noticed that the Secretary has spent some time tidying up the website. A link to Erick's shop has been added. We like him. And we've also deleted a few links from the blogroll. Not necessarily because we don't like them. It's not personal. It's just that there are some deadbeats out there in the blogosphere. Anything not updated in 4 months or more is gone. We did them a favor and pulled the plug. Watching corpses rot away. It can be engaging. But after a while it just stinks. Others are gone because it felt like they were wasting our time with nothing interesting to say. There are a few more on the chopping block. This isn't a charity. But we'll be gracious and give them some time to pull their act together.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Vicarious DDV

Five races into the Spring Classics Campaign, and things aren't going terribly well for our defending champion. There was a time when he could proudly boast that he had won every FGBC cycling pool he'd ever entered. But those memories are no doubt starting to become a little faded around the edges by now. Mike did not manage to score a single point today. He now sits in a very un-Mike like 24th place. Things weren't much better for his trio of RRR teammates Larry, Chris, and Brad. Larry also notched a goose egg. Chris D managed just 5 points. And Brad had his second consecutive crappy outing. Only 25 points for the Impaler today, which drops him down another six places to 17th overall. Bummer. Remember the first weekend of the season? That was awesome for Brad. Fortunately for the White Brothers, however, they have KK on their side. He scored a big victory today with a 460 point outing. Rachel was just 5 points back. And Jonah rounded out the podium with 365 points.

There is no change to the top three. But it has gotten a lot closer. Jonny B now leads the Fraggle by just 50 points. And Dallas is 80 points back of her. Charlie is still holding down 4th place. But Rachel and KK have moved up to 5th and 6th, respectively, with their good showings today.

Full results and standings here.

New Wheels For Charlene

Thank's Hal, Morgan, Luc, Tomek, and Scott.

That was a good afternoon.


TNR Report

Basically the same ride as last week, but in the other direction. And with fewer misfortunes. But then again, Graham wasn't there. Vic, Jonny G, Thomas, Craig and I were, however.

The highlight of the evening came as we arrived at the klubhaus and spotted a somewhat unconventional looking bike. It looked something like this. We knew that this could only mean one thing: Matt was there. That is good news. The last time he rode with us, it did not exactly turn out well. To be more precise, it turned out rather badly. One second he was enjoying a pleasant conversation with Vic. The next, he was down for the count.

But last night he was back and better than ever. He educated us with a brief rundown of the late 80's/early '90's Massachusetts mountain bike frame building scene. And thought out loud about how we might go about the light project, if it ever gets back on track. Balls have been dropped. Fingers were pointed.

But Matt was not the only special guest in attendance last night. Phil was there too. He provided an update on the fairly significant renovations he is about to undertake. This led to a discussion of multi-generational living arrangements more generally. The conclusions: sometimes they work, somethimes they don't.

With two such esteemed guests in attendance, it was decided that we should proceed with another hat race to finish off the Snow Crit Series. The President took an early lead. But just as he was boasting about winning his first-ever race, the Secretary came around for what appeared to be a tie. So a coin flip was required to determine the sole winner. And the Secretary prevailed. Full results were as follows:

Jonny G

Final overall standings:

Chris 55
Craig 47
Thomas 25
Kevin 24
Jonny G 24
Graham 19
Darryl 19
Luke 18
Brad 14
Vic 14
Bill 13
Penner 9
Tomek 8
Phil 8
Patrick 5
Tristan 2
Matt 2

Jonny G and the Secretary shared about their recent coaching session. Penner and Vic told tales of the big anniversary sale at B&B. We got Matt caught up on the mtb highlight of the summer also known as 24 Hours of Falcon Ridge. And finally, the evening was concluded with some talk about the Big Idea. We tried to determine where and how exactly things were going to head south. We concluded that we have no idea, But we remain fairly certain that things will head south at some point. This sort of uncertainty will no doubt keep us entertained for months. And when it finally does head south, the good news is that the Secretary will be there to record it on film.

Almost as exciting as Matt's return was the return of the regular tunes. Zeppelin was playing when we first sat down, and it only got better with the Allmans, Skynyrd, Journey, and more. The Weezer streak has come to an end.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


If we were to stick with the calendar, today would be the last of the Snow Crits. But who knew all the snow would be long gone by now? That doesn't mean we shouldn't race. But at the same time, it's the first TNR since Hummelt Hockey has wrapped up for another year, and so the feeling might be a little more festive. We will play it by ear.

My place at 9:30 pm.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The President has a new bike

We think it looks something like this:

Hopefully we will see it tomorrow. In the mean time, a more detailed report is in order.

just your average TNR

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Vicarious Milan - San Remo

She is a harsh mistress, that Lady Primavera. Or at least she had her way with the Impaler today. Averaging almost 400 points per race and sitting pretty after the first three races, Mrs Spring slapped him silly and put him back in his proper place. Brad picked up just 160 points today and limped all the way down to 11th place. Ali was also a victim of a savage vicarious beating. He had the bad fortune of being the only person not to have a single finisher among the top 30. Fortunately, five of his racers did manage to finish the full 300 kms, so he didn't get shutout. But that 50 point performance was enough to drop him into last place, below the likes of even Vic and Steve.

Jonny B, LeAnn, and Larry fared much better. Jonny B won the race, thanks largely to the fact that he had the day's first, second, and fifth place finishers. He picked up 1355 points today and now finds himself at the front of the pack with a fairly sizable lead. The Fraggle placed four of her riders in the top 13 and finished with 1210 points. She now sits in second overall. And little Larry Sellars finally had his homework pay off today. He wound up on the final step of the podium with a 1045 point day. Dallas, however, did not have a good day. It was not as bad as Brad's and Ali's. Our leader heading into the day finished with just 420 points and dropped down to third overall.

Full results and overall standings here.

In Milan - San Remo, the question is always whether it will stay together for a sprint or break apart on one of the race's late climbs. Some big names (Cavendish and Boassen Hagen) were casualties of the Cipressa and the Poggio, but it largely stayed together today. And we were treated to a sweet sprint. Check out the final km here:

After waiting two weeks between races, we are back on track with a busy week of racing ahead of us. Dwars Door Vlaanderen goes down on Wednesday. And then on the weekend we have E3 Prijs Vlaanderen and Gent-Wevelgem. Too bad Heinrich Haussler will not be there. He re-injured his knee in Paris -Nice, and it looks like his entire Classics campaign might be in jeopardy. That is bad news for Greg, Mike, Ali, and me. Geert Steegmans is also out. Greg and Mike have him as well. As do Chris D, Tom, Brad, and Vic. But the good news is that he seems to think he will recover from his broken collarbone in time to race Paris - Roubaix.

La Primavera

On now. Looks like Universal Sports is showing it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

KOM course

G and I are off to the KOM Community Cycling course tomorrow and Sunday. Will we ever have tips to share on Tuesday! Here's the second question we had to answer for pre-course homework:
What do you think are the top five reasons participants are involved in your community sport program? Rank them in order of importance.
Feel free to answer in the comments. We will mark your responses on our return.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday Anticipation

1) Grass is Good. Starting next month, the last Wednesday of the month is for Grass Track.

2) Johnny S is also good. Riding with him is always an adventure. Or perhaps more like absurdist performance art.

3) Motocross Cross

Johnny S was telling me yesterday that the much discussed dream of doing a cx race at the Altona motocross course will finally become a reality. It will be sometime toward the end of August. And it will be off the grid, which means good times will be off the charts.

4) After a one week hiatus, vicarious racing returns this Saturday with Milan-San Remo. It's the first monument of the season, which means there are plenty of points up for grabs. This would be a good time to make a move.

Roller Race Report

Good turnout. Good times. Johnny S and the ABES brought four from Altona. And the FGBC put in a good showing as well. Jonny G had a good run, taking down the Cricket and making it to the semi finals (I think).

Pitcher took the solo race over Don S.

But that was all a lengthy prelude to the race that really mattered: the 3x1000 m relay. We didn't exactly manage to achieve our dream of sweeping the podium. But at the end of the day, one of our teams (FGBC 1) did end up on the top step of the podium. Sort of. We shared it with RRR. Those performances were due largely to these guys.

The ABES finished third. Nice.

The ABES have the videos.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

TNR Report

Sweet ride. Dry and warm. Just Jonny G, Craig, Thomas, Graham, and me. We began by heading over to the poosher's palace for an attempted intervention. We were unsuccessful. He was sick. Too sick to ride. But he did muster up the energy to host us for a brief visit.

Shortly thereafter, Graham's run of bad luck began. It started with one of his pedals. Not only did it break. His attempt to right the problem by standing up and applying the full force of his body on it did not achieve the desired result. It came completely disengaged from its crankarm. Permanently. So Graham pedalled one-legged, yet still smiling, as we headed south to Kingston Row and BDI before stopping in at his place to pick up a spare bike.

He impressed us with his ability to get ready while entertaining us with tales of late night encounters with strange characters from the Corydon Ave patio scene. Tires pumped up, everything looked good. But then, after returning the aforementioned gimpy bike to the garage, he stepped on a rake and drilled himself in the face. After which, he proceeded to slip and fall down the stairs.

Things got better after that, at least for Graham. We made it to the klubhaus, where Juan Eppstein was waiting to share the good news that the Spring Ride accomodations at the chalet have been confirmed. Bill and Vic showed up a little later. At our end of the table, Bill and Juan treated us to an enlightening discussion of all things engineering. We also spent some time planing the relay teams for tonight's roller racing finale. We will have at least two teams. But a third would be nice. That would allow us to sweep the podium.

The tunes were dialed in to the 90s again. The run of consecutive Tuesdays with VH we experienced earlier in the year has been matched by a Weezer streak. I think we're up to three weeks in a row now. It could be worse. But it could also be a lot better.

On our way back from the klubhaus, Graham's run of bad luck was transferred to Thomas. He had a flat tire. Fortunately for him, some of the rest of us were prepared for such an eventuality, and he was spared a long, lonely, and late walk back home.

The best thing of all is that we get to do it all over again tonight. 8pm at the alternate klubhaus.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


9:30 pm at my place.

Among other things, we need to sort out the teams for this:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Game On

It wouldn't be quite right to say that the season officially began today. But that's only because the FGBC doesn't really define the flow of time in terms of "seasons." We prefer to think of time as marked by the passage from one Tuesday night to the next. And beyond that, from Spring Ride to Spring Ride. Nevertheless, it does feel like we turned a significant corner on the bike riding front today. Jonny G and I hit Ass. Park for a few laps this afternoon.

It was bustling. Everyone and his reindeer was there.

Apparently it's name is Jazz.

Vic was there too.

As well as Bill and Co.

Good times.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Right On

Via VeloNation.

More on the project here.

And here:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

MCA Road Meeting

There is an MCA Road Committee Meeting this evening. Although the FGBC has a less-than-overwhelming presence on the strictly road side of racing, cyclocross still officially falls under the Road Committee's bailiwick, so sometimes issues are raised that affect (the rest of) us. I haven't been at all the meetings, but if there are issues to discuss that we want input on, I can be there tonight.
The agenda is posted here:
Things that we might want to weigh in on include the idea of a Cup Series in cyclocross - certain designated races counting toward a points series, with its own jersey. There are a lot of these on the mountain side of things; do we want to see something like this for cross?
The second thing is the Commissaire issue. The MCA is considering running a one-day class for Commissaires. At least part of the cost, and possibly all of it, may be covered by the MCA. Is anyone interested?
Please post some feedback on these or any other issues. Given the inclusive nature of our collective, I would encourage anyone to comment, regardless of whose flag you race under.
If anyone wants to attend the meeting, it's at 5:00 tonight at the MCA's new office at 145 Pacific.

Thursday Anticipation

Even though we are all bracing for a late blizzard to beat down the hope we are beginning to experience, it is starting to feel a lot like spring. That means there is really only one thing to think about. This week, that thinking is dedicated to Bill. His awesomeness does not need to be pointed out. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't talk about it. Thanks to Bill, we will be trying out a new venue for this year's Spring Ride, namely the chalet at Falcon Trails Resort. I believe this will be the fifth different venue we have used. The dingbat is still welcome, as are the tents and the Weasel's camper van. But it will be nice to have shelter and washrooms close at hand, not to mention a place to leave the road bikes. But most importantly, for the first time ever we will be staying right by the trails. This is good. Thanks Bill.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

TNR Report

A report in photos only this week:

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Monday, March 08, 2010

This seems like a really dumb idea

Via the WFP:
Bridge could kill toboggan slide

It could be the final run for a Wolseley winter play area. The recreational space, a popular toboggan hill on the edge of Wolseley near Omand's Creek, could be in danger thanks to a city plan to build a $1-million bicycle bridge over the creek. The city revealed the two bridge proposals to residents last week. One would put a 75-metre bridge high over the creek, anchoring on what is now the toboggan hill on the west side and Raglan Road on the east. The other proposal would see the bridge farther south, taking away a section of the hill used by smaller children. The bridge will replace an older, low-lying crossing point that is at risk of flooding in the spring. A meeting with community members and city officials about the bridge is scheduled at the Portage Avenue Mennonite Church on Thursday (open house at 5:30 p.m; meeting at 7 p.m.).
Longer story here.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

AWBF/Lust Cross Report

If there were any lingering doubts about the awesomeness of Altona, yesterday's event will have erased them once and for all. I believe this was the 6th annual Altona Winter Bike Festival and Duke vs. Carolina Basketball Game. But it was the first time it was planned by the ABES. Johnny, David, the Dyck Bros. and their ABES brethren outdid themselves this time. Altona may be but a small prairie town. But in cycling terms, it outshines many an urban centre. There were 40-45 people on hand. That is already a good turnout. But to put it into perspective, the per capita equivalent would be a crowd of 10,500 if this were Winnipeg. So while the presence of some urban mag schwag in a town of 3000 may have struck some as odd, it could be argued that it was actually rather fitting.

After coffee and hot chocolate, the festivities began with a kid friendly bike ride. That is good, because the kids were out in full force.

This was followed up with the Hell Freezes Over Alleycat, presented by the Brothers Dyck. Appropriately, the race was based on Dante's Divine Comedy. There were pellet guns, snow angels, tequila shots, talk of Big Macs and dznuts, and much, much more. Good times. And they did their best to accommodate the visitors from out of town, which was much appreciated. If those guys are for hire, we should rent them for a race or two this summer. Good times.

And then it was time to hit the rollers. And hit them we did. Or rather, they hit us. Hard. 28 racers participated in a grueling tournament. Everybody was guaranteed two races, with draws determined randomly. The winners names kept going back in the that for further random draws. This system worked well, and gave us all kinds of interesting matches. Such as this one, which was my personal favourite. And no doubt Jonny G's too.

There were a few winces and grimaces, as exemplified by the Secretary, shown here in the midst of his first round race against Gavin.

But on the whole, it was pretty much smiles all around.

Erick and Tim deserve big thanks for making the drive out to Altona with the equipment. A nice way to say thank-you would be a significant FGBC/ABES turnout at the March 17 roller racing finale. The ABES almost owned the podium on Saturday, with three out of the four semi-finalists. A few head-to-head relay races pitting the ABES against the FGBC would be nice.

There were home-baked prizes:

Sweet socks:

Cute kids:

And, finally, a Duke victory.

The attentive among you will recall that the AWBF doubled as Lust Cross, the 4th race in the 2010 Nordic Cross Series. This was deemed appropriate in light of the venue that served as the HQ for the day:

The results were based on the combined points for both the alleycat and the roller races. The top three spots in the alleycat (two of which were teams) received points. We would go deeper, however, if full results were supplied. The quarter finalists in the roller race were also rewarded with points for their efforts.

Alley Cat

Darryl 10
Jonny G 10
Paul B 10
Jeff 9
Ben 9
Chris H 8

Roller Race

Johnny S 10
Chris 9
Gavin 8
Charles 7
Jonny G 6
Juan 5
Vic 4
Ben 3

Total points

Chris 17
Jonny G 16
Ben 12
Darryl 10
Paul B 10
Jeff 10
Johnny S 10
Jeff 9
Gavin 8
Juan 5

After 4 races, we have a new leader:

Jonny G 42
Chris 40
Juan 35
Vic 33
Brad 29
KK 28
Darryl 27
Tom K 22
Unger 14
Olli 12
Ben 12
Jonny B 11
Scott 11
Tomek 10
Paul B 10
Craig 9
Jeff 9
John Paul 8
Liam 8
Gavin 8
Colin 7
Adam 6
Graham 4
Thomas 4
Hal 3
Solomon 2
Ian 1
Nick 1
Luke 1

More photos and video over at the home of the ABES, including the roller racing finale that pitted the FGBC and ABES in direct competition. We prefer to work together. But that was still fun.