Friday, December 30, 2011

CX Pool Roundup

Three more days, three more cx races. How sweet is that?

Hal took the win at Azencross. Ryan won in Bredene. And Ian had the best showing today at the Fidea Classic in Leuven.

In the overall race, we have more changes at the top of the standings. Chris O continues to lead. But Jonah has moved back into second place. He sits just 30 points out of the top spot. I am in third place, 60 points behind Jonah. Andy has dropped down to fourth, but is still lurking close by. He is 25 points from the final podium spot. The top four teams are separated by just 115 points.

Also, for the first time since Nov. 11, we have some changes at the bottom end of the standings. Matt has had a lock on the lanterne rouge for almost two months. But Andrea wrested it from his grip today with a 25 point performance in Leuven. She is the only person other than Matt and Tomek to occupy last place.

Full results and overall standings here.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Eve CX

We will meet at 2pm and plan a course together. Race starts whenever we decide we're ready.

All are welcome. Spread the word.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

TNR Report

There was a ride. I'm not sure where it went. But it was no doubt a good one.

At the klubhaus, we received a late X-mas gift in the form of a free round courtesy of the management. We elected to go even darker than the usual Darkness with some goodness courtesy of Mr. Arthur Guinness.

We sketched out plans for some new course features that will put DarkCross 2012 so far over the top it is unlikely we will ever get it back.

We also confirmed a few key details for the FGBC/RRR 2012 Kickoff Party that will take place next week. The most important detail is that it WILL happen, despite the fact that some important matters pertaining to the planning of this special event disappeared into the dark matter of the President's brain over the holidays and went unconfirmed. The Secretary kindly agreed to pick up the loose ends. Look for more details coming to your inbox very soon. Cousin Thomas asked for help in determining whom he should ask to be his date for the evening. We weren't much help.

But before we get around to celebrating the arrival of 2012, we still have to close out 2011 in proper style. We will do that with a cx race on New Years Eve. Probably some time in the early afternoon. Check back for more details.

We also returned to the Impaler's idea of HorseCross. We gave him the go-ahead to look for a venue.

And then Vic gave us a summary of the 9000 songs that are on his ipod. There is less opera than you might think.

The Dark was dialed in just right. So were the tunes. It was awesome.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Last one of the year.

I am out for the ride, but hope to show up at the klubhaus.

You can still meet at my place if you like. Or feel free to come up with something else.


Jay wins it, thanks to Pauwels, Vos, and Steve Chainel. Dan and Andy rounded out the podium.

In the overall race, Andy has moved back into second place. He is just 20 points back of Chris O. Jonah sits in third, 115 points off the top spot. Looks like we have ourselves a race to the wire.

Full results and overall standings here.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Surhuitsterveen and Diegem

Good news, boys and girls. We have reached the part of the year where there are cyclocross races almost every day. How awesome is that?

There were two races this week--in Surhuitsterveen on Tuesday and Diegem on Friday. They will take a break over the weekend before the awesomeness starts up again on Boxing Day with the next round of the World Cup on the race car circuit in Zolder.

Ian took the win in Surhuitsterveen. He had 285 points with contributions from red hot Marianne Vos, Radomir Simunik, and Mariusz Gil. Terry was second with 240 points. And Jay had 220 points to finish third.

In Diegem, Terry was crowned king of the night. On the strength of another impressive win by Vos, along with contributions from Bart Aernouts, Steve Chainel, Simunik, and Nancy Bober, he managed to grab himself 365 points. Jay found himself on the podium for the second consecutive race, with 320 points. And Hal received an early birthday present in the form of the final spot on the podium. He had 275 points on the day. Swell guy that he is, Terry was kind enough to let Halberto spray the crowd with champagne.

In the overall race, we continue to see changes to the top of the standings. Chris O continues to lead, and even stretched the gap a little bit. Jonah has moved into second overall. He is 100 points behind Chris. King Andy has dropped to third place. He sits another 105 points back of the J-Train.

Full results and overall standings here.

Friday, December 23, 2011

DarkCross, Belgian Style

They call it Superprestige Cyclocross at Diegem. It starts at 12pm Winnipeg time, which is night time over in Belgium. Look for live streaming links here.

Station Wagon Barriers

. . . and van run-throughs!

Holy crap! Did somebody say DarkCross 2012?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

TNR Report

KK's Kristmas Kermesse was more like an enduro alleycat. He sent us to six different holiday themed sites that took us to Lindenwoods, Charleswood, South Osborne, and downtown.

The order by which we visited the various sites was determined randomly. This ensured that we all traveled separate routes, which gave us plenty of opportunity to wonder whether we had actually be suckered into another installment of Wrath Cross. It also meant that some had longer routes to travel than others. It seems JP had the longest trip, clocking in at around 45 kms. Jonny spent the most time on the road, but mostly because he spent 10 minutes in the Exchange looking for Carlton St. before he remembered it is not there. Only Luke elected not to visit all the checkpoints. He picked up some pizza instead and hung out by KK's fire, enjoying Egg Nog and sambuca.

That was probably the smart thing to do. Then again, the rest of us got to ride around for two hours. That was pretty awesome.

The Hipster and I arrived at KK's place, the final checkpoint, at the same time. And JP showed up just as we left for the finish line at the klubhaus. He caught us, of course. So we sat down together and ordered three pints of Darkness, setting up a thrilling three-way sprint to the bottom of the glass. JP took it pretty easily. The Hipster was second and I limped home for third place. Jonny G came in about 10 minutes later.

The full results (including those who showed up but did not ride, just because we want to) are as follows.

Jonny G

After the first two races, the overall standings for the 2011-12 Nordic Cross Series look like this:

Chris 45
Mark 44
Jonny G 39
JP 39
Luke 30
Graham 26
Darryl 25
KK 25
Vic 18
Lyle 16
Craig 15
Kelly 14
Penner 11

There was not much time after the race for the usual confabulatory goodness. But we found a few things to talk about. And tried on our new caps.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Namur, Once More

Watch this video from the women's race at Namur on Sunday. Not only does it do a much better job of capturing the sweet conditions of the course, it also gives a better sense of what looks like a very awesome venue. And of course, it provides a nice window into a side of cx racing that receives all too little attention.

Also, the link to the last lap of the mens race has been fixed below. Thanks Graham. If you're too lazy to scroll down, you can also click right here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Last one before Christmas. KK is planning something special for us, his contribution to the 2011-12 Nordic Cross season.

9:30 pm at my place--unless KK drops a comment with other plans.

Monday, December 19, 2011

CX Pool Weekend Roundup

Holy Crap! Was that awesome or what? Bart Wellens worked some voodoo magic to take out Nys's derailleur and grab a win for himself in Essen. And then, as if the Essen mud-fest wasn't already awesome enough, they kicked it up a notch at Namur on Sunday. If you missed the race, be sure to watch the last lap here.

In the CX Pool, Chris O took the win in Essen with 445 points courtesy of Wellens, Meeusen, Helen Wyman, and Sophie De Boer. Hal had 400 points for second place. And Andrea's 320 point day got her onto the final podium step.The J-Train took a big win in Namur. He had 520 points with contributions from Nys, Compton and her heir apparent, Katie Antonneau. Rachel had 475 points to finish second. And Laura was third, with 465 points.

For the second week in a row, we have a new leader atop the overall standings. Chris O now sits at the front of the race. He has 8760 points. That's a little more than double the amount of points Matt has, down at the other end of the overall standings. King Andy remains in second overall. He is just 45 points back of Chris. I am back in third place, another 130 points back of Andy. Jonah is nipping at my heals. He's just 20 points from the final podium spot. It's all very close. At least among the top four. Good times.

Full results and overall standings here.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Looks like a classic in Essen. Niels Albert is back. Stybar is there too.

Live streaming options here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday Anticipation

Good news boys and girls. The President has something special planned for us. Think of it as the Dark Side's version of the holiday bonus. More information will show up in your inbox soon. But for now, make sure you are able to attend a very special event on Jan. 3 at 8pm. Attendance will be mandatory.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

TNR Report

Whittier, it was the opposite of shittier. Nearly snow free singletrack in mid-December? Weird. But awesome nonetheless.

There were a few icy patches though. And one of them, combined with an errant tree sent the Impaler tumbling down the side of the high line trail and into the burrs.

The President was waiting for us at the klubhaus. Don't believe us? We have proof:

He was there, in part, because we had some big news to digest. But at this point the details must remain top-secret. Almost as secret as the story of the Darkness, which was quite finicky last night. The tunes? I don't recall a single one. That's how big the big news was. We were preoccupied. But not so preoccupied that we missed witnessing two separate incidents in which the Hipster was groped. That beard, it has special powers.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Tuesday? Again? Sheesh, when will it end? We may as well ride some bike.

Last week we went west in search of sweet singletrack. This week we will head east.

9:30 pm at my place.

This Race Kicked Ass

The Vlaamse Druivenveldrit, that is. Though you may know it by its other title, The Mother of All Cross Races. I prefer to think of it as TMOACR and consider it a distant, Flemish cousin to our very own MUCR.

In case you didn't catch it live on Sunday, you can watch the whole thing here, thanks to the crossjunkie:

Monday, December 12, 2011

CX Pool Roundup

Four races, four different winners:

Scheldecross - Vic
USGP #7 - Marcus
Vlaamse Druivenveldrit - Jonah & Vic
USGP #8 - Chris H

Thanks to Ryen Trebon's absence, the top of the leaderboard has a new look this morning. Full results and overall standings here.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Live Tweeting?

That sounds big. Almost as big as the Big Idea. The last time we found ourselves in live tweet territory, Jonny G, the Cricket, KK, Dr. John and I were chasing an ultra endurance cycling legend through the mountains and across the prairies. To be honest, we never figured out how live tweeting differed from the regular sort of tweeting. But it did help to make our effort sound newsworthy. Besides, the nomenclature came from a very big man--our resident media expert, ACE. He had already utilized his bigness to destroy a couch in the RV by that point, so we thought it best not to raise any questions about his choice of words.

Halberto, Gianni, and Co. think they have something big on their hands too. Maybe not Big Idea big. But big nonetheless. So big, in fact, that they are live tweeting their information meeting about it next Wednesday, December 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Olympia. Yes, you read that correctly. They are live tweeting a meeting.

The meeting is about an event they are calling Actif Epica. It sounds exotic. Or perhaps it's just that spelling is hard. Or maybe Epica is to Epic as Sweeterest is to Sweetest? In which case it will be not just epic, but very, very epic. It also sounds very, very cold. So cold that they are bringing in an expert in cold weather safety and survival to provide some tips about how to avoid winding up frozen in a ditch.

Sound like fun? Show up on Wednesday to find out more.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Thursday Anticipation

Some are anticipating Christmas. And some among those are anticipating not-so-good times shopping for gifts. But that kind of anxious anticipation is unwarranted. Because the Dark Side is on your side. The sweetest gift in the world is still available: a pair of FGBC wool socks. They are $10 a pair. Let us know how many you want.

Merry CX-mas boys and girls.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

TNR Report

There were no interventions. We opted instead for a ride in the Ass. Forest.

It was awesome. Very awesome.

At the klubhaus, we chatted some with Red, the bearded one. There was talk of flyovers. And the BF told us a story about how he was nearly beaten up over the weekend.

The tunes sucked.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011


9:30 pm at my place. Hopefully the wind will have died down by then.

Monday, December 05, 2011

CX Pool Roundup

There were four races this weekend. Two in Warwick, RI. A World Cup in Spain, but only for the men. The women raced in Frankfurt instead. There were also two races in LA, but they didn't meet the criteria for inclusion in the pool.

Winners were as follows:

Warwick #1 - Chris H
CDM: Igorre - Jonah
Frankfurt - Rachel
Warwick #2 - Chris H

Andy continues to lead the overall race. But he is racing without Trebon and his lead is shrinking. It is down to 245 points now. Can anyone take advantage? Tune in next week to find out.

Full results and overall standings here.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

The Honorary Captain's New Lid

. . . is looking super sweet.

More here.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Caffeine Cross Report

It is now two days later and I'm just starting to feel sleepy. Just kidding. I slept like a baby. Unlike some others, apparently. Sorry Mark. You obviously need to add more caffeine to your daily routine.

The race started with a mandatory but randomly chosen scattering, just to make sure everyone split up. JP and the Hipster were the first to arrive back at the klubhuas. And they finished their first pint at the same time too. This meant they had they both had the maximum number of entries in the random draw that was to determine the overall winner. From this we learned that Lady Luck was not smiling on JP that night. He defied the odds in the wrong sort of way and plummeted all the way down to 8th place. Mark hung around for second. And the winner, with just 3 entries in the sweaty cycling cap was me. Thank you Lady Luck. KK managed to beat the odds as well. He was second last before the draw but ended up finishing 4th. Luke, Penner, and Darryl did not drink any caffeine. But they showed up and were subjected to Vic's even-more-hyper-than-usual banter. So we included them in the results as well, in the order that they showed up at the klubhaus. No fat tire penalties had to be assessed. But Graham received a bonus for helping me fix my flat tire. Unfortunately, it was negated by the penalty applied for failing to show up at the start on time. So it was a wash.

As for the coffee, the consensus was that Parlour was clearly the best, followed by Bar Italia. Joe Black's was easily the worst.

Full Results:

1) Chris
2) Mark
3) Jonny G
4) KK
5) Vic
6) Lyle
7) Craig
8) JP
9) Graham
10) Luke
11) Penner
12) Darryl

Token photos:

The next race is Dec. 20. KK is organizing that one.

Stay skinny, my friends.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This is going to be very, very awesome

Payment is Woolcomed Now.

Good news. After working out the finer details, Cima Coppi is ready to start knitting up the sweeterest jersey in the world. For that to happen, we're got to pay up, so the faster everyone can get me some money, the faster we'll see our jerseys. Each jersey is $110. That includes the cost to ship the jerseys to Winnipeg.

If you'd like, you can bring cash to the TNR tonight. You can also drop a cheque/cash off at my work (63 Albert Street, room 309), or come by my place (29 Arbuthnot St, Apt. 3). Some of you will need to use regular mail, in which case you should email me and I will give you all the particulars.

The expected delivery date is around mid-January, on account of a slight backup on their end and the holidays.

TNR: Nordic Cross #1

It's the most wonderful time of the year. Nordic Cross is upon us. And we begin, appropriately, with feats of consumption.

It all starts today at 9pm at my place. Yes, 9pm. Not the usual 9:30.

6 cafes have been carefully selected to constitute the espresso drinking portion of the race. Some of them are even opening up just for us. That is very awesome. There will be surprises. And perhaps some bonus points awarded or deducted.

Monday, November 28, 2011

CX Pool Roundup

We are behind. We have two weekends worth of vicarious cx racing to catch up on. Here are your winners:

GVA Hasselt: Andy
SP Gavere: Chris O
Jingle Cross #1: Laura
CDM #3: Koksijde: Laura
Jingle Cross #2: Matt
SP Geiten: Andy
Jingle Cross #3: Matt

Andy still sits atop of the overall standings. Chris O is in second place. I am in third place with the J-Train nipping at my heels.

Full results and overall standings here.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thursday Anticipation

Nordic Cross is upon us. It all starts next week:

Notice that the start time is a little earlier than the usual 9:30 pm meeting. Coffee shop hours tend not to correspond with the regular Tuesday night routine. But we will make it work.

The full Nordic Cross 2011-12 calendar is as follows:

Nov. 29 - Caffeine Cross
Dec. 20 - KK's Kristmas Kermesse
Jan. 10 - Glutton's Cross
Jan. 31 - Arm & Torso Thighs Cross
Feb. 21 - Darryl & Jonny G Cross
Mar. 13 - Impaler's Cross

Some of these could use better names.

This is a series. Standings will be tabulated and the overall winner will receive an award of sorts. The Dark Side reserves the right to apply penalties and bonuses at will. It is entirely possible that there will not be a direct correspondence between success and one's ability to ride a bicycle swiftly.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

TNR Report

Skinny tires + snowy single track = awesome.

The Impaler and the BF had some trouble.

Back at the klubhaus, Brad directed a reenactment of the awards ceremony that took place on Saturday.

The bulk of the meeting was dedicated to constructing a schedule for Nordic Cross 2011-12. There will be six races, one every three weeks. All the races will take place on Tuesday nights. It all begins next week with Caffeine Cross. Stay tuned for more details.

We also pondered the disturbing velobesity epidemic that is plaguing our local cycling scene. A manifesto was drafted and we all pledged to remain skinny this winter. There is some suspicion, however, that KK may have had his fingers crossed.

The Hipster provided an update on the Sweetest Wool Jersey in the World. It is in production. We should receive some photos soon.

The tunes sucked. So much that Secretary was moved to stage an intervention. It worked.

Stay skinny, my friends.

We rode last week too. All the way over to our favourite commissaire's place. We thought it fitting to throw a little party for him in order to say thanks for all the work he did to make the cx season so awesome. So we asked him to host it. We are a classy bunch. So he hosted his own party and made us a nice fire. And he also pretended to like the gifts we gave him. We love you Colin!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Maybe we should ride.

And given that there is now snow on the ground, we should also spend some time planning the 2011-12 Nordic Cross Calendar. The race directing duties will be shared. Come armed with good ideas.

9:30 pm at my place.

How to Survive an Egghead Convention

A step by step guide.

1) There are certain backgound conditions that apply. For example, it helps that the convention takes place in a sweet location. However, the condition of sweetness, whether locational or otherwise, is not entirely in your control. So don't sweat it. But when the stars align and you wind up in, say, San Francisco, it is necessary to take full advantage of the opportunity. In which case, proceed to step #2. If this should not occur, proceed directly to step #18.

2) First of all, find some friends to ride with.

3) And preferably a local guide.

4) A little research will be required to identify a good route.

Note that when portions of a route are referred to with terms like "paradise" and "panoramic," that is usually a good indication that the ride will be rated high on the sweetness index.

5) By sweet, we mean hills.

6) And scenic coastal roads.

7) Ridable monuments are a bonus too.

8) But as all good FGBCers know, good times are about more than just riding. So your advance research must also consider whether there are any local cyclocross races to attend.

9) It is even better when those local races are a world championship of sorts. In which case, the stars have aligned for a second time and your situation may once again be appropriately described as sweet. Some might refer to this as double sweetness. But true wordsmiths such as the Secretary rightly know that the preferred nomenclature here is super sweet.

10) As with the ride, sweetness is really a shorthand way of referring to a number of specific conditions, such as:

11) A Le Mans start.

12) From a valley down below.

13) Subsequent climbs out of which require the successful navigation of beer barriers,

14) Barriers of Unusual Size,

15) And a cesspool ride-through.

16) The presence of local celebrities is a bonus.

17) As is the presence of hot shot professional cxers.

18) Once again, every good FGBCer knows that good times are about more than just riding bikes and watching other people race them. For this reason, steps #7 and #17 are to be followed with generous servings of hoppy goodness.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday Anticipation

The MCA Awards Banquet goes down this weekend. It would be good--very good--if someone was there to represent the Dark Side.

I won't be there. Because I will be representing the Dark Side at this:

Not racing, sadly. But having lots of fun just the same.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


We have a special occasion to celebrate tonight. There will be fire. And presents. Please bring $10 to contribute to the gift(s). Don't know what we're talking about? That is why you should attend meetings on regular basis. But it does not excuse you from the obligation to cough up $10.

We will not make it to the klubhaus tonight. But we will still gather at the usual time and place to start the ride.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Wool Jersey Project: It's Go Time

We have received word from the Assistant VP Style (aka the Hipster) that the Wool Jersey Project is into its final stages. He wants to place the order this Friday. Before that can happen, we need to get a few more details settled.

Here is how Mark put it:
We're ordering the jersey's from a custom Canadian supplier called Cima Coppi. The jerseys are slightly thinner than what we are used to (200gr/sqm double knit wool, as opposed to the Nordic Cross jersey which is around 250gr/sqm) and are designed to function more like a jersey, and less like a sweater. Like traditional wool jersey's from the 50's and 60's, they are created out of a series of panels, lending themselves to easy repairability should you snag a tree branch and tear a hole.

Take a look at the sizing chart to confirm and/or determine your size.

If you find that none of the stock sizes fit you (Lyle? Pitcher?), you can provide your exact measurements and have the jersey custom fitted. Just provide the same measurements that the sizing chart has.

Please leave a comment or email Mark with your sizing details.

If you aren't on the list, it's not too late to get in on the order. But you'd better act soon.

I want to place the order on Friday by 5pm. There is a good chance we can have them by Christmas if we get the order in by then.

I need sizing from:

Chris H
Thomas Epp
Tom K
Tim L
Daniel Enns


CX Pool Roundup

Highlight of the weekend: Tom Meeusen jumping the ditch at Jaarmarktcross on Friday.

(Photo: Kristof Ramon)

As for the vicarious racing, we have five races to catch up on, including, for the first time ever, a non-World Cup race in France. The European field was split on Friday with a handful of riders skipping the C2 Jaarmarktcross in favour of the C1 race in Nommay. Rachel took the win in that one, followed by Dan and Olli. Little M won Jaarmarktcross ahead of Laura and me. And the J-Train swept the other three races. He had 465 points in the first of the two USGP races in Louisville, 245 points in Hamme-Zogge, and then 530 points in the second Louisville race.

Andy continues to lead the overall race. But for the first time in a while, his lead is less than 200 points. It is Jonah who narrowed the gap, moving up into second overall after his big weekend. Chris O remains on the podium, but drops one spot down to 3rd.

Full results and overall standings here.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

FarmCross Report

Here's what you missed: a hay bale run-up. A tall grass maze. A pumpkin patch. A couple of building ride-throughs. Some groping pine trees. A forest ride-through. Something that made the disco look like a miniature wok. Dog fest with chilli. And lots of good times. Thanks Steven and Gavin!