Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween at the Harbour Report

The Dark Side wins again! For the second week in a row the sweetest jersey in the world graced the top step of the B womens and A mens podiums. But this time with different riders. We like to spread the joy around. Even Brad the Impaler wanted in on the action. We always had a sense that his heart was filled with darkness. Ever since that fortuitous meeting in Birds Hill Park when he made fun of our moustaches we just knew he was really one of us.

Thanks RRR. That was a sweet race. We hope you do it again next year. Good times.

Token photos (with thanks to Dave Benson and Woodcock Cycle):

Paging Paddy and J.P.

Get in touch about your new jerseys! mhandscombe at gmail

That is all.

Tony H.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Snow is Good for 'Cross

From which we can only conclude that Mother Nature took kindly to the supplications KK and the Impaler have been offering up over the past few weeks. It also allows us to conclude that today's race will be even more awesome than we thought. And since we already knew it would be awesome, it follows that Halloween at the Harbour will be awesomer than awesome. QED. More awesome than awesome? It's enough to make one's mind explode. Good times ahead.

I am dressing up as a bunny in the hopes that it will help me perform the newly permissible (in the A race) maneuver of hopping the barriers on a bike.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Reminiscence

That was lap 6--i.e., 6 weeks in. It would go on for another 6 weeks or so. Good times.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday Anticipation

As they say in Belgium, de cross gaat door.

1) First with this:

More info here.

Jonny G and I will be heading over tomorrow afternoon to help set up. It would be really nice to see other representatives of the dark side out as well. Be at the Impaler's place at 1pm or meet us at the park later in the afternoon. Most of us already know that the FGBC and RRR are really just one big happy, if slightly dysfunctional, family. But if you hadn't figured that out yet, take note of the new RRR jerseys. They're not black like the sweetest jersey in the world. But they're certainly much darker than the original RRR jersey. Don't think we didn't notice. We appreciate the gesture. And we love you too.

I have a couple of really lame costume ideas in the works. One of them will have to do.

2) And then one week later we divide ourselves up into different categories and race for medals. On a golf course.

More info here.

3) After that, we have a bit of a break until the last race of the season at the Belgian Club on Nov. 27. We will keep busy. Keep your calendars open on Remembrance Day. There was some talk at the klubhaus on Tuesday night that it could be a good day for the Springstein Rundfahrt. There was also some talk about a windup ride/party. It might make sense to add a cx throwdown in there somewhere too. Stay tuned.

Jerseys are in

Had a moment of panic when I feared that we didn't quite get the order we were expecting; it turns out that the only thing that got screwed up was the extra jersey for the F & H. But lookey-lookey what got thrown in! Mini jersey with suction-cup mounting! Double plus awesome!

Calculated with a $2 per piece shipping fee, and all prices including GST, here's the final tally:

Dr.H $100 (T-shield jackets look AWESOME!)
Adam $240
Thomas $50
via the Secretary: $56
G $157
Cricket $210
Paddy $180
The Hipster $ 50
Dr. J $110
J.P. $50

Contact me with your mailing info, to schedule a pick up or for the old mailbox switcheroo. mhandscombe at gmail

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

TNR Report

Sometimes the most significant thing about a ride is simply the fact that it happened. Last night's ride was like that. Cold, windy and wet. Very wet. It all seemed to suggest that we curl up under a warm blanket and just go to bed. This is exactly what I was doing when Jonny G showed up at 9:30. But it was just a little pre-ride nap. We rode. Directly to the klubhaus. It was good.

Cousin Adam and the Impaler showed up a short while later. Car Club. The BSer joined us for the first time in a long, long time. He rode. But more importantly, he brought chips. Vic and the Secretary showed up after hockey.

We toasted the Cricket for his win and debriefed Sunday's race. KK and Brad told us how awesome this weekend's race is going to be. We talked about a new skinsuit project and appointed an honorary co-captain to oversee our successful women's cx program. Her hame is Sanne van Paassen. We talked about long winter races and traffic infractions, guns and mutual acquaintances we did not know we had.

Soundtrack: Aldo Nova, Sniff 'n the Tears, old school VH and more.

CrossTastic Results


So the Cricket is now the Oscar Pereiro of CrossTastic. Does this make Paul the Honorary Captain? Either way, we should probably print out that first page, frame it, and hang it up in the klubhaus along with the team photo that the Secretary Slacker will one day come through with. We are not likely ever to see results like that again--at least the second line. If JP would just admit that he's joined the Dark Side, that would be 3 of the top 4 spots clad in glorious darkness. And this to go along with 2 of the top 5 in the Men's B race and 2 of 3 in the Women's B race. Good work boys and girls. Jonny G was not happy with his race. But he did beat the BSer. Small victories.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Meet Toronto's New Mayor

Keep your head up Jonny B.


Rain (or snow?) or shine. 9:30 pm at my place.

Monday, October 25, 2010

CX Pool Weekend Roundup

Now that we've closed the book on 2010, let us turn our attention back to the current season. Since our last update, there have been two World Cups and two more USGP races. Olli took the European races and Matt had the best weekend in Louisville. But the big news was in the overall standings, where Jonny N relinquished the lead he has held for the better part of a month. Gary is our new leader. He's followed closely by Jonah. Olli has moved up to third, almost 300 points back. Jonny N has dropped down to 4th place.

Full results and standings here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Whittier Report

It is all Jonny G's fault. Bill did his part by partying hard with the Woodcock crew at their team windup on Saturday night. So hard, in fact, that the dynamic duo of Olli and Don did not report for duty at the start line on Sunday. Mission accomplished. But Jonny G failed to execute the second part of the plan--namely an FGBC sweep of the podium in the men's A race. The Cricket and I clawed our way onto the bottom two steps. We left the top one for Jonny. Apparently, he is afraid of heights.

The Cricket felt the win was his for the taking. He had a decent lead with two laps to go. But the clay build-up on his cleats left him unable to push as hard as he'd have liked. He was angry at the finish line. Very angry. Like carpet F-bombing angry. It was actually kind of nice to see.

At the end of the day, Paul had more hops.

In the kids race, the J-Train demonstrated his superior remount form.

(via KK)

The kid's form is smoother than most of the A field. Perhaps we should have him lead a clinic on Tuesday night.

The other kids made us all proud too. They rode a short course, but it was all up and down.

B-Rad took the hole shot in the B race. Things went downhill from there. There are rumours of a broken hand. We really hope those rumours turn out to be unfounded.

With Cam's broken hand last week and Gary's broken nose today, things are getting rough out there. Be careful boys and girls.

Jonny G and I spent a good part of the B race at the mud clay pit from hell. We waiting for someone to spill so we could document it with photographic evidence. In the end, we left home disappointed. But we were still treated to a diverse exhibition of different approaches.

The Mennonite Lady kept us entertained with several near misses:

Notice how she's also laying a beat down on Artur. Of course, she won again. But that's hardly news by now.

Cousin Adam just straight up attacked it. He had a good race. Third?

The emergency preparedness award goes to Marc (aka Auckland's Dad). He knows that the river can rise suddenly. After this past spring and summer, we are well aware that it can happen at any time. Had it happened again today, Marc would have been prepared.

Finally, we are saddened to report that our goal of sweeping the Ridley frame draw prizes did not come to fruition. The Fraggle did her part though. She walked away with a sweet new frameset. Dallas and Morgan each got one too.

Big thanks to Gary and Co. for a sweet race and prizing with which we shall not attempt to compete. We hope your nose is okay. Obviously your new bike is still too heavy.

Lots more A race photos over at Dave Benson's gallery. Stefan Isfeld has a gallery too. Good stuff. My favourite is this one of Gianni the Grass Track Czar running through the mud:

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Deep End

2010 is not quite finished. But as far as vicarious racing goes, it is over. The 2010-11 FGBC CX Pool marks the beginning of the 2011 season. It is confusing, we know. But no more confusing than cx provincials, where some are considered to be two years older than you actually are. If we can handle that, we can surely handle this.

With the introduction of the Fall Classics Pool, 2010 saw six different cycling pools for the FGBC and friends. Fittingly, it also saw six different champions: Jay, LeAnn, Dallas, Kevin, Dan, and Jonah each emerged victorious in one of the pools.

But now let's throw all of those pools together to comprise one big pool. Call it the deep end. Using the same scale as the 2009 FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge, the top 20 in each pool will receive points. Not only does this reward dedication--your chance of gaining points decreases considerably if you fail to submit a team. It also looks kindly upon consistency. It is interesting, for example, that many of the names listed above fared more poorly in the deep end than others who have not yet been named.

Except in one case, namely Dan. We used to call him Prince Dan. But for the next 12 months, at least, he should be referred to as Prince Dan, King of the Deep End. It is a very rare occasion when Dan doesn't submit his team just minutes before the deadline closes. This is no doubt because he's doing as much research as time allows. Clearly that research pays off. Congratulations Dan! If you show up to the klubhaus some Tuesday at 11 pm or so, we will happily supply you with a prize.

Second place went to Jonny B. I was third.

Full results here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday Anticipation

How sweet would it be if the FGBC were to win all three of the cx framesets that will be given away on Sunday? We could have our very own mini fleet of team bikes. The Secretary, in particular, is in need of a cx rig. Might this be enough to coax him out to the start line? We can only hope. The possibility of winning those sexy TRP brakes alone should be enough to bring out a big, greedy crowd. The ABES' prizes of chips and golf balls were fine. But Gary the CX Czar is upping the ante in a big way.

Details here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How Not to Ride the Sand

As demonstrated by Coach René:

(photo cortesy of Woodcock)

TNR Report

We thought maybe after almost 4 weeks without rain the forest would be dry. We were wrong. It was a fitting ride for cx season.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


The dark side is after you.

9:30 pm at my place.


Because by tomorrow you might start wanting to do this again.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Good News and Bad News for Ali

One week ago, he said "Just wait! The season isn't over yet." And it turns out he was correct. The good news is that his 850 point day in the Giro di Lombardia allowed Ali to move back ahead of Andy and the Vicarious Cobra. The bad news is that Jonah had an even better day. With 1080 points courtesy of Gilbert, Fuglsang, and Devenyns, he leapfrogged over all three of those guys to take the overall victory in the inaugural FGBC Fall Classics Pool. By winning the final two races of the season, Jonah moved all the way up from eighth place just a week ago to the cherished spot on the top step of the podium. Such a dramatic come from behind win seems fitting for this wild and unpredictable collection of races. Cousin Thomas rounded out the top three on Sunday. That moved him solidly into the top half of the final overall standings.

So the final podium is as follows:

Jonah 3865
Ali 3640
Chris D 3180

Full results and standings here.

Thanks for playing everybody. That was fun. That brings the 2010 season to an end. Check back soon to see who the overall King of the Pool is. Any guesses?

Southern Cross Report

Next time you find yourself in a library, take out an illustrated children's dictionary. Under the entry for "off-camber" you will find a picture of the Altona hill. It has always been nasty, but this year it seemed the technical ante was upped even higher. Maybe even as high as 11. Throw in some loose straw and more bumps than a Winnipeg back lane and it was more than many of us could handle. All the crashes no doubt kept the spectators happy.

As for the rest of the course, it was variously described as twisty, squiggly and, by the race director himself, noodly. Little Luc described it as Bur Oak without the trees. It was also a very long course. Some weren't so excited about that. On the bright side, however, it meant fewer confrontations with the hilly beast.

In the end, Johnny S and the ABES put on another memorable event.

The FGBC did alright in the hardware dept. Charlene won the women's B race again. She was going so fast we didn't get any pictures of her. And the Cricket kept us on the podium in the men's A race with another third place finish. He wound up second in the overall Grand Prix competition. And Charlene handily won her category. The big winner of the day, however, was Artur. He needed to fetch a wheel barrow to haul his collection of prizes back to the car. With all the draw prizes being given away, it seemed like everyone walked away with something. I won three golf balls.

It was a good weekend. But a hard one. Does anybody else feel like they've been run over by a truck?

Token photos:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

St Malo Report

The 2010 Manitoba Grand Prix of Cyclocross is halfway done. St Malo got things started off right. That was a great course. Very fast except for two harrowingly difficult sections: the sand pit and the steepest run-up in the world. It's a keeper.

In the B race, Cam took the hole shot but crashed on the first tight corner. He fought back to finish third. Milo won it again. Artur was second. If memory serves, Bill finished fourth ahead of a larger pack which included the Impaler.

I did not make it to the run-up with the camera. But the sand provided plenty of entertainment.

In the A race, the Cricket got us back on the podium thanks, in part, to the good vibes he received from Francophone version of Daniel Boone.

Olli, Don, and the Cricket got away early and stayed away. Olli eventually pulled away and then Don pulled away from the Cricket. The most impressive performance of the day was that of Paul Benson. His chain broke about halfway through the first lap. He scooted around back to the finish line. Someone was kind enough to give him a spare bike. He had to change shoes too. But he clawed his way back to finish fifth, I think. One more lap and he'd have caught me for fourth.

The fun continues today. The course in Altona is good. It will also be fast. Except, of course, for the hill. There will be sand too. But less of it.