Monday, February 28, 2011


The dark side loves do-overs. Especially during the Spring Ride at Ingolf. That is the glue that holds it all together. But the do-over appears in other ways as well. The TNR is arguably one long extended series of do-overs. It is not so much about hoping that one of these days the dark will be perfect as it is enjoying each serving in all its fractured (and occasionally soapy) glory.

It is in this spirit that we recently initiated a do-over project that dares to mess with what is arguably the closest thing to perfection we know--namely the sweetest jersey in the world. We do believe, however, that we have made it even sweeter. Especially when paired with the sweetest shorts in the world. Now that we have shorts, this also means that the sweetest skinsuit in the world has just been made possible. That shriek you just heard is Vic failing to contain his excitement about his new one piece outfit.

Check it out:

We hope to place the order next week. Let us know what you want by next Tuesday. For options and prices, go here. Send your orders here.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

We Have Winners

It took a while, but all the data has finally been entered. All systems are go.

King Andy kicked ass in Het Nieuwsblad. That is only fitting. He also caught several mistakes on the rider list. There is a reason we call him the king. Andy had a whopping 930 points in the opening race of the season, thanks to Langeveld, Flecha, Terpstra, Rollin and Van Avermaet. Second place was a long way back. That was Melissa, who had 575 points on the day. KK was third with 540 points.

Fortunately for the rest of us, we had a chance for redemption today. Dallas made the most of it. He took the win with a 545 point performance. Chris O and Miriam shared second place. They had 480 points each.

After two races, King Andy is our leader. He sits at 1080 points. Chris O is second with 810 points. In third overall is Prince Dan. He has 780 points.

At the other end of the standings, there were several teams who laid goose eggs in at least one of the two races. But five teams managed to go the whole weekend without scoring a single point: David, Steve, Andrea, Graham, JP. Bummer.

Full results and standings here. Note that the most recent race is always on the left.

We have added a handful of new races this year. One of them, the GP Samyn, goes down on Wednesday.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Game On

We didn't quite hit 40. But with two more entries submitted, we have 37 teams in the pool. That is awesome. Larry and Terry are the latest to join.

It will take a little while to get everything set up. Thanks in advance for your patience.

To answer Ryan's question below: only one team has both Langeveld and Flecha. You guessed it . . . King Andy! He will almost certainly be leading after all the results are tallied. Welcome back to the top.

Five teams have Langeveld: Dan, KK, Melissa, Mark, and Ryan.

Four teams have Flecha: Graham, Adam, Olli, and Val.

As for the rest of us, maybe things will be better tomorrow.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Deadline Extended

The season starts in five hours. Live coverage comes on at 7am CST. If you want to watch it, look for streaming options here.

Teams will be accepted until the riders pass under the 20 km to go banner. After that, the pool is closed and the competition is on.

Classics Pool Entry Watch

[Update - 11:33 pm] We are at 35 teams. Chris D, Adam, Graham, Dan, Donna, Mike, and JP are in. Can we hit 40?

[Update - 9:28 pm] While I was pigging out on curried Thai goodness, eight more teams found their way into the mix. Sort of. Some rosters still need attention. In any case, welcome Tom K, Chris O, Andy, Val, LeAnn, Olli, Melissa, and Jonny G to the pool. That brings us to 28. The clock is ticking.

[Update - 4:34 pm] Seven more teams have joined in the past three hours. Randy, KK, Bill, Steve, Rachel, Jonah, Miriam have signed up for some cobbles and bergs. That is 20. And counting.

[Update - 1:19 pm] Teams have been trickling in at a steady pace all morning. Pete, Brad, Ryan, Matt, and Mark S have waded into the pool. That brings us to 13. Keep them coming.

It's always a good time watching the teams trickle in. Brad the Impaler is usually first, by a huge margin. Apparently, his new job doesn't have him sitting at a computer all day long. Ali was the first to submit a team this time around. So far we have eight teams in the pool, including a couple of vicarious racing rookies. That's a good start. But keep them coming. And feel free to invite others to the party. Check back throughout the day to see who the competition is.

Teams so far:

Chris H
Tom K
Chris O
Jonny G
Chris D

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spring Classics Pool

Giddy up, boys and girls. The most exciting vicarious race season of the year is upon us. The 2011 FGBC Spring Classics Pool is open for business. We have had some exciting races over the years. In 2009, Mike grabbed a huge early lead and looked to be cruising to an easy win. But then Rachel roared back during the Ardennes classics and kept us on pins and needles until the 30th finisher came across the line in Liege-Bastogne-Liege. In the end, she came up short by just 85 points. Last year's competition wasn't nearly as exciting. LeAnn grabbed the lead at Gent-Wevelgem and never really faced a serious challenge. In the end, she won by over 1500 points. Let's hope 2011 is more like 2009.

We will use the same rules and scoring 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 the points breakdown, go here. But ignore the list of riders on that page. That is the list from 2009.

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 2011 can be found 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

Teams must be submitted by the end of the day on Friday (i.e., when the clock strikes midnight). Send your entries here. When submitting your team, make sure to indicate which of the above options you used.

The 2011 Race Calendar (with monuments in bold):

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Feb. 26
Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne Feb. 27
Le Samyn Mar. 2
Monte Paschi Strade Bianche Mar. 5
Nokere-Koerse Mar. 16
Milan-San Remo Mar. 19
Dwars Door Vlaanderen Mar. 23
E3 Prijs Vlaanderen Mar. 26
Gent-Wevelgem Mar. 27
Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Mar. 29-31
Ronde van Vlaanderen Apr. 3
Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen Apr. 6
Paris-Roubaix Apr. 10
De Brabantse Pijl Apr. 13
Amstel Gold Race Apr. 17
La Flèche Wallonne Apr. 20
Liège - Bastogne - Liège Apr. 24

And the winner is . . .

Me! Albert finished third yesterday in Hasselt. Vantornout was 16th. So Gary's bid to win the FGBC CX Pool for a second consecutive season came up short by just 25 points. The battle for third overall also changed hands at the last race of the season. Olli moved ahead Jonny B to claim the final podium spot.

Cousin Adam had the best performance of the day. He came up with 425 points. Miriam and Josh shared second overall with 420 points each.

Full results and overall standings here.

And with that the 2010-11 FGBC CX Pool is done. As is the cyclocross season more generally. It was fun. Thanks for playing everybody! Next year's cx season is just 6 months away.

That seems like a long time. We will bide our time with more vicarious racing. The Spring Classics season begins this weekend with the Omloop Het Niewsblad on Saturday and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne on Sunday. As far as pro bike racing goes, the next two months are my favourite time of the year. Cobbles and bergs, it's a winning combination.

The 2011 FGBC Spring Classics Pool will be launched later today. Check back early and often.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

TNR Report

After all the riding and not riding that went down on the weekend, it seemed like a leisurely ride was in order. So that is what happened. We rode to the Junk-shon to meet up with the Impaler. There was coffee and confabulation. Then we rode over to the klubhaus for some more confabulatory goodness.

The President was there. He did some presidential things. And then disappeared into the night.

The Hipster came dressed in his hippest threads. It was almost as if he was headed to a show.

That is fitting because we were treated to a show of sorts by a rather boisterous group whose enthusiasm was matched only by their inability to carry a tune. Still, they had a good time trying to guess the songs that came our way over the hi-fi. And, when able, they attempted to sing along with those songs. Their assistance was appreciated and timely, especially since Vic forgot his iphone and his fancy song identification app.

We debriefed the weekend. All agreed that it was awesome. It was also agreed that the decision to screen the films in chronological order was a mistake. Some thought was given to next year's film festival. At this point, the front runner seems to be 24 Hours of Bill Murray. But 24 Hours of Steve Buscemi received some nods of interest as well. My suggestion of 24 Hours of Cronenberg did not receive the affirmation it warranted. I will bring it up again. Vic suggested we go with a theme instead of an actor or director. As worthy as that idea seemed, it did not produce a theme worthy of further consideration. Fortunately, we have a little bit of time. The trial chip buffet was assessed as well. We decided that it was worth repeating at the spring ride, but thought that a little more effort might be in order so as to ensure sufficient variety. We do not want to get into a chip rut. Somebody will be appointed to head up this process.

We didn't just reminisce. We spent some time looking forward as well--specifically to the cyclocross season and the new race we will be doing on the dirt track at the Speedway. It will take place on Sept. 17. And it will be called Dark Cross, of course. Not only in honour of the Dark Side. But also in honour of the darkened sky under which we will be racing. Fortunately they have lights at the Speedway. We will put them to good use. They also have a fully stocked concession area. We will try to use it generously as well. It will be awesome.

We acknowledged the fact that Hummelt Hockey is fast approaching the end of another season. We did some sleuthing over the mystery that is the Summer of Brad campaign. We were unable to come to agreement on the likely mastermind behind this venture. But we were unified in our desire that the product line include t-shirts.

It was a good evening. But little did we know the highlight of the night would happen only after we were pushed out the door. It seems the Summer of Brad can not come soon enough. Winter is dragging him down. Way down. He waged another epic battle with his lock. This time it was not his eyes that failed. It was the lock itself. He tried some TLC. And he tried some tough love. Neither worked.

The Hipster and his delicate hands didn't fare any better.

Nor did the tripartite coalition of the (s)willing.

In the end, the bike stayed the night. We hope it was still there when Brad came back to retrieve it. Where is Juan Eppstein when you need him?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


It feels like forever since we spent any quality time with one another. We will get reacquainted tonight.

9:30 pm at my place.

Laatste Ronde

After 70 races, we are down to the last lap of the 2010-11 FGBC CX Pool. The season wraps up tomorrow with an indoor race in Hasselt. It is all very exciting, in part because the makeup of the overall podium is still very much in the air.

There were three races this weekend. Jonny G and King Andy shared the win in Cauberg. They had 375 points each. Prince Dan finished third with 365 points. Olli took the win in Eeklo with 295 points. Gary had 285 to finish second, while Jonah and Tomek tied for third with 275 points apiece. And in the final race of the GVA series in Oostmalle, Miriam took the win with 415 points. Chris O was second with 405 points. And Olli once again found the podium. His 380 points were good enough for third place.

In the overall race, Gary lost his lead for a brief moment on Saturday. He took it back later in the day and pushed it up to 130 points. But after Sunday it was down to just 50 points with one race to go. Given the significant overlap between Gary's team and mine, it all comes down to Albert vs. Vantornout and Franzoi. If latter pair concede less than 55 points to Albert, Gary wins. If Albert beats them by 55 points or more, I win. According to the start list, Franzoi will not be racing. So it's a head-to-head battle between Albert and Vantornout. The Big Forehead vs. the Lanky Blond. The battle for third is equally up for grabs. In fact it's even closer. Jonny B currently holds onto third overall. But Olli is just 10 points back after his big weekend. Jay was right there for a while, but dropped back after a poor showing on Sunday. Unless he comes up with something very special, it looks like the final podium spot will go to either Olli or Jonny B.

Full results and overall standings here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

This is why we do our track racing on the grass

Grass stains wash off. Massive splinters have to be removed surgically. That is gross.

The best part is how they all grabbed their bikes--even the impaled Awang--and ran across the finish line to complete the race. Death before dishonour. No DNF Divas in this group.

Sloth Cross Report

First of all, huge thanks to the poosher! Not only did he transform his palace into an arena of acedia. He also made us soup and coffee. And served us breakfast in the morning (with Halberto's bread, for which thanks are also in order). Very, very awesome.

But even more important than all that, he kept us entertained all day by showing off his mad Pugsley skillz.

The singletrack was pretty much buried at the start. Fortunately this was a cross race, so we were prepared to push and/or carry our bikes. It got better for a while. Then worse. And finally, after the Eiger Sanction lap, it was pretty much perfect.

The Pugsleys did not enjoy the road section.

But KK is still consumed with lust for one. We expect him to be riding his own next year.

With the colder weather, the Forks was not nearly as busy as it was last year. That was nice.

We heart Johnny S.

And Luke too. Once again, he won the prize for best attire.

The Sal's lap ended it off right.

Good times. We should probably do it again next year. The poosher has set the bar pretty high as far as venues go. But that's not to say it can't be pushed even higher. We welcome submissions from anyone who thinks they can provide a better setting for our annual winter party. There will be an open bidding process for host sites. Competition is good. Send your proposals here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sloth Cross Results

Just the raw numbers for now. Photos and maybe some words later.

Liam - 18 laps
Tom K - 17
JP - 16
Craig - 16
Mark - 16
Graham - 15
Dallas - 14
Chris - 14
KK - 14
Brad - 13
Vic - 12
Jonny G - 12
Johnny S - 12
Thomas - 11
Tomek - 11
Scott - 11
Darryl - 10
Albert - 7
Hal - 5
Luke - 4
Wayne - 3
Matt - 1
Colin - 1

There are some strange bookkeeping practices in evidence on the results sheet, and a few interesting rule interpretations. We decided to let sloth win the day and let them stand as is. To try and get everything sorted out would be far too much work.

Good work boys and girls. And congratulations Liam! That was a well deserved win. He found the perfect balance between riding and movie laps.

Current standings after four races:

Craig 105
Chris 97
Graham 74
Jonny G 69
JP 59
Brad 58
Liam 50
KK 46
Ian 45
Tom K 45
Mark 36
Tomek 35
Dallas 32
Darryl 27
Hal 26
Vic 24
Johnny S 20
Dave E 19
Thomas 18
Charlene 14
Scott 14
Albert 10
Luke 6
Wayne 4
Matt 2
Colin 2
Lindsay 0

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Don't ever watch Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

Current standings:

Liam - 9
Dallas - 8
JP - 8
Tomek - 8
Chris - 7
Craig - 7
Brad - 6
Thomas - 6
Mark - 6
Graham - 6
Vic - 6

After that, it gets a little messy.

Now playing: The Eiger Sanction

Six hours in

The Good the Bad and the Ugly just finished. It is long. Very long. Thunderbolt and Lightfoot is up next.

Current standings:

Dallas - 6
Liam - 6
JP - 5
Craig - 5
Hal - 5
Chris - 5
Tomek - 5
Graham - 5
Brad - 4
Tom K - 4
KK - 4
Mark - 4
Darryl - 4
Vic - 4
Thomas - 4
Albert - 3
Scott - 3
Jonny G - 3
Johnny S - 3
Wayne - 2
Luke - 2
Matt - 1

It seems we have miscalculated the movie laps. Actually, we had it right originally and KK convinced us to change it. We should have remembered that KK is a problem. There is currently a debate about how to adjust it. That would mean the standings above will change. It could get animated. Animation is fun. Stay tuned.

We may have miscalculated the running laps to. Dallas is destroying us. The running laps will not be adjusted, however. Dallas is awesome.

Sloth Cross: The Preview

It all begins in just over three hours. For those of us racing, it is far too exciting to sleep. For those following along from the comforts of home, you may well be treated to a special race. Early indications suggest that the competition is wide open this year. The defending champ is still smarting a bit from his recent knee injury. Gianni is the only other person ever to win this race. But he will not be there this year, so the target on the Dark Lord's back is getting too big to miss. JP had fire in his eyes when he caught a glimpse of that target at the klubhaus on Tuesday. The Cricket got his birthday celebrations out of the way and won't be leaving us early this year. He was in contention when he left us last year without a word, just as the darkness was starting to take hold of the night. And we all know how much KK hates to lose. Especially to the Dark Side. Tom K will keep chugging along and could surprise. One of these days Jonny G will stop smiling and discover the killer we all know lurks inside of him. Maybe Dallas will run his way to the title. And with all the darkness lurking around the poosher's palace, there may well be another overlooked dark horse who will run away with the win.

Bring on the chips.

Speaking of horses and racing, not to mention chips, make sure to take some time to enjoy this sweet offering from the Hold Steady.

We will do our best to provide updates for the homebound from time to time. Needless to say, you will not enjoy the race in the same way that we will. But feel free to feed vicariously off of it for a while. We all know that vicarious racing is sometimes more fun than the real thing.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sloth Cross: The Map

It's just about 11 km on the nose. In some respects, the course is very similar to last year--the laps are about the same length, there is the same amount of singletrack, etc. That is good, since last year's course was pretty much dialed in to perfection. But at the same time about 80% of the course for this year is new, so that will keep things fresh as well. Familiar and fresh--it's a winning combination, really. The freshness will no doubt wear off after a lap or two. But at the same time, the familiarity factor will skyrocket. So it should all balance out in the end. Balance is what the FGBC is all about, after all. That is what the B really stands for. The course gets a little tricky by the Forks. But there's a good reason for that. This year's course set out to take the "cross" part of Nordic Cross seriously and features not one but two cx style run-ups. If you must try to figure it out, go here and then zoom in to your heart's content. Follow the km markers and arrows, and you should be able to make an educated guess. The media lap will take care of any lingering questions.

Thursday Anticipation

1) Two more sleeps!

We are ready. We have a course. A roster of films. And some rules. Let's begin with the rules. We have nine rules so far. There will no doubt be more by the time the race starts. The editor will be there, after all. And we all know she loves her rules almost as much as she loves her moustache. There may well be still more rules by the time the race is finished on Sunday morning. Sometimes things come up.

1) The entry fee is $20.
2) You must be at the poosher's palace by 9:30 am on Saturday. If you don't know where that is, send us an email. If we like you, we will tell you how to find us.
3) Everyone is required to bring at least 500 g of chips.
4) Nobody is allowed to bring peanuts or peanut-related products.
5) The Big Lebowski lap is mandatory. It begins at midnight. If you miss it or nod off at any point, you DNF the entire race.
6) You can race by watching films. That is what makes it Sloth Cross. The rate is 1 lap per hour, rounded down. For example, if a film is 1 hour and 45 minutes, you get 1 lap. If it is 2 hours and 13 minutes, you get 2 laps. Note that a film must be watched in its entirety in order to count. Should you nod off at any point during a film, you get no credit for that film. People will be watching.
7) You can run a lap (or even the whole race) if you must. We do not recommend it, however. In fact, we actively discourage it. Running is hard and is to be attempted only when absolutely necessary. Should you feel yourself compelled to run, however, your efforts will be recognized--more out of pity than admiration. You are not a hero. Each lap completed on foot will count for two.
8) If you miss the race on account of skiing or some other such second rate activity, it is quite possible that disciplinary action will ensue. The Dept. of Punitive Measures will convene at some point during the race to consider this grave matter on the eventuality that it should arise.
9) Sloth Cross is the 4th race of the 2011 Nordic Cross Series. Double points are being awarded for this race--50 points for the win, 45 for 2nd, 40 for 3rd, and then down by 2 points for each subsequent placing.

Current standings after three races (Gluttony, Greed, Envy):

Chris 67
Craig 67
Jonny G 47
Ian 45
Graham 40
Brad 32
JP 19
Dave E 19
Tomek 19
KK 18
Hal 18
Darryl 15
Charlene 14
Tom K 0
Liam 0
Lindsay 0
Mark 0
Thomas 0
Vic 0

Last year's results for Sloth Cross looked like this:

1. Chris - 17.5 laps
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

For the films, the draft program stands. But we decided to include everything on the alternate list as well. This will give us more films than we can watch in 24 hours. That is what we like about it. The process of determining which film to watch is part of the race. We will address that matter at the pre-race meeting.

Check back later today for the map of the course.

Finally, if you have forgotten how awesome this is going to be, check out the movie of the inaugural edition five years ago. That was the year of the moustache, the chinsicle, and the microwave dogfest. You will have to supply your own soundtrack, because they killed the audio. Maybe the Secretary will fix that.

To revisit the three most recent editions, visit the FGBC home video archive.

2) 2011 FGBC Spring Classics Pool

There is one other item to mention this week. The FGBC's Dept. of Low Stakes Gambling is buzzing with excitement. This is the last weekend of the 2010-11 FGBC CX Pool. The last race of the season is on Wednesday. Perhaps even more exciting than the close finish of this six month competition is the fact that vicarious cobbles are just around the coner. The Spring Classics season begins next Saturday, Feb. 26. The pool will be launched next week.

Top 10 from last year:

LeAnn 6950
Dan 5360
Adam 5185
Matt 5110
Jonny B 5060
Tom 4765
Hal 4615
Pete 4555
Jonny G 4530
Charlene 4490

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

TNR Report

We are exactly what we are.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

TNR [Updated--not so much polemica as memoria]

Two Three things will make tonight special:

1) We will preview this weekend's race course. Jonny G and I got out there on Sunday and came up with something we think is pretty much perfect. Most importantly, it is quite a bit different than last year. Five years and five entirely different courses. This year's course is roughly 11 km long. There is about 1 km of riverbank singletrack and three kms on the river (in three separate segments). There will be some stairs to run up and a portion that will no doubt end up being unridable after a while. Actually, neither of us rode it on Sunday. So you can expect to shoulder your bike every now and then. It is, after all, a cross race. We also need to finalize the route in and around the Forks. After tonight, it will be all set.

Other details of the weekend will be finalized tonight as well. We will revisit the program for the film festival. This is your last chance to make a case for your favourite Clint film.

2) Take a look at the countdown. It will be sitting at exactly 100 for the bulk of the day and stay there through the ride and meeting at the klubhaus. A nice round number like that needs to be acknowledged. We will do that tonight with a toast. And then next week we will celebrate the fact that it is down to double digits.

[Update: 10:20 am] 3) We will also celebrate the tragically truncated life of Marco Pantani. He kicked ass and we miss him. Yesterday was the anniversary of his death, so the Pirate gets a toast as well.

9:30 pm at my place.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Heerlen and Lebbeke

The field was split pretty evenly between the two races, so we will include them both. Olli and Ryan tied for the win in Heerlen with 340 points each. Miriam had 280 to finish third. My 250 points were good enough for the win in Lebbeke. Jonny G and Gary rounded out the podium, with 230 and 220 points.

Gary still stands atop the overall standings. But his lead is down to just 20 points heading into the final weekend of the season. There are two minor races on Saturday before the GVA series wraps up on Sunday. The season concludes on Wednesday with the annual indoor race in Hasselt. We will try again to jump on that bandwagon next year. The barn that Brad the Impaler found did not end up being finished in time for this year.

Full results and overall standings here.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Thanks to Klaas Vantornout's first win of the season, Gary wins the final round of the Superprestige series and reclaims the overall lead in the 2010-11 FGBC CX Pool. He finished with 275 points. Olli was second, just five points back. Jonah took the final podium spot, with 230 points.

Full results and overall standings here.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday Anticipation

We will stick with the same schedule as last year. The race starts at 10 am on Saturday and concludes with the Sal's lap on Sunday morning. That worked out nicely last year. There will be a pre-race meeting at 9:30 am. Whether the editor and her fake moustache make an appearance will remain a mystery until then. There will, however, no doubt be a long list of rules.

But one rule should already be stated at this point: the poosher's palace is a peanut-free zone. So kindly leave your peanuts and other potential allergy inducing products at home.

The program is coming together nicely. Here is what things look like after the meeting at the klubhaus on Tuesday. There may be some changes yet. But after next Tuesday, it will be set.

High Plains Drifter
Gran Torino
Dirty Harry
Fistful of Dollars
Pale Rider
All the President's Men
Million Dollar Baby
Mystic River
The Eiger Sanction

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
Revenge of the Creature (his first ever appearance, though uncredited)
Any Which Way But Loose
The Outlaw Josey Wales
Escape From Alcatraz
Thunderbolt and Lighfoot (featuring not only Clint, but the Dude before he was the Dude, Daisy Duke before she was Daisy Duke, and Gary Busey before his motorcycle crash)

Of course, the mandatory Big Lebowski lap is once again on the program. And yes, Juan Eppstein, by mandatory we mean mandatory. Also, should you fall asleep during any film, you do not get credit for having watched it. In fact, we talked about the possibility of a one lap penalty for anyone who nods off at any point while watching a film. This would mean, for example, that the poosher's results from the 24 Hours of Coens edition would be negative. We will revisit that matter on Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Lille and Hoogstraten

The cobbles and bergs of the spring classics are just around the corner. But there are still a couple of weeks of cyclocross left before we get there. Olli won the Saturday's sandy Krawatencross ahead of Josh and Jay. I won in Hoogstraten on Sunday. Gary was second and dropped back to second overall. Miriam finished third.

They're back at it this weekend. The Superprestige series wraps up in Middelkerke on Saturday. There are a couple of races on Sunday too. At least one of them will count towards the pool. Maybe both, depending on how the field breaks down.

Full results and overall standings here.

TNR Report

"Ice is bullshit." That is what Brad the Impaler had to say about the conditions we rode in last night. He is amassing quite the list of items that fall under that general designation: geese, the human rights museum, and global warming. Not to mention a handful of others that might best be left off the record. It is not always the case that the Imapler's assessments are met with unanimous nods of approval. But as far as the ice last night went, nobody seemed to disagree.

That is not to say, however, that our ride was not a good one. In fact, it was as sweet as the air was crisp and the trail slippery. We made our way via the monkey trails over to the junkshon, where we enjoyed a well-deserved coffee break.

KK showed up with Ian's Pugsley.

He said it handled the ice better than the crappy old road bike he usually rides. He also seemed resigned to the fact that he would be following Halberto aboard the ffffat tyred bandwagon long before next winter roles around. Others, however, insisted that they would not give in to temptation. We will see.

Graham was again awesome--especially when he admitted experiencing the dreaded Tuesday night bonk on the ride over to the klubhaus from the junkshon. Jonny G, ever the good samaritan, dropped back to ensure that he arrived safely.

I had to leave the klubhaus early, just as the discussion about the sloth cross film festival was getting started. That is too bad, since it deprived everyone of the opportunity of buying me some birthday darkness. But it sounds like it was a productive meeting. We have a first draft of a program. But it still needs to be refined. Fortunately, we have another week to do some fine tuning. Check back tomorrow to see what we have so far.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


There are superheroes among us. They don't always wear their outfits. But when they do, they look real cute. Whether we are accompanied by superheroes tonight remains to be seen. But we will ride either way.

9:30 pm at my place.

At the klubhaus our goal is to come up with a preliminary program for the Sloth Cross film festival.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Pride Cross Report [Updated, with polemica]

[Update: 9:35 pm] Who doesn't love a little polemica every now and then? For some of us on the dark side, it makes our world go round. In any case, questions have been raised and bullshit called. How does Tom K stand there snapping photos for two laps and then finish ahead of those who passed him when he was actually on the bike? It does not add up. The commissaires have consulted. Tom K has been relegated. Whether due to pride or bad math, it does not matter. Math may be hard, but that does not mean you can just blow it off. Pride, meanwhile, is a mortal sin. Either way, it's bad. Very bad. This decision is final. The standings below have been corrected.

Forgive me Father Halberto, for I have sinned. And yet I am still trying to make sense of that gerrymandered confessional exercise you served up for us last night. Some of us were punished for having good memories. Or impeccable stylistic sensibilities. What has any of this to do with the sin of pride? Needless to say, I did not fare well in the pre-race "pride assessment." I think Graham and the Cricket were best off. They only had to do one pride penalty lap each. Some of us had to do three. And they were long. Almost as long as a lap of the course itself. And yet by the time we had finished dining on Halberto's delectable pizza, all was forgiven. Any time you want to feed us, just let us know. We will be happy to subject ourselves to your capricious will.


Tom K
Jonny G
Tom K

Overall standings after three races:

Chris 67
Craig 67
Jonny G 47
Ian 45
Graham 40
Brad 32
JP 19
Dave E 19
Tomek 19
KK 18
Hal 18
Darryl 15
Charlene 14
Tom K 0
Liam 0
Lindsay 0
Mark 0
Thomas 0
Vic 0

In case there is any doubt, let it be known that Graham is awesome:

The next installment of Nordic Cross 2011 is the Big One. Some call it Sloth Cross. Others refer to it as the 24 Hours of Clint. Either way, it is the social event of the season. And it is not to be missed. February 19-20 at the poosher's palace. Double points are up for grabs in this one. And some pretty sweet films as well. It all adds up to good times that are even better than usual.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Pride Cross Start List

Jon G
Tom K

Overall standings after 2 races:

Chris 47
Ian 45
Craig 42
Jonny G 32
JP 19
Dave E 19
Graham 18
KK 18
Brad 15
Darryl 15
Charlene 14
Liam 0
Lindsay 0
Mark 0
Thomas 0
Vic 0

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Back to our regularly scheduled programming

The weeks leading up to last weekend's cx world championships were exciting. But they were also a bit lean on action. Having been fed a steady diet of cx over the holidays, three races in three weeks felt rather thin. But we are back on track with two races this weekend, as the GVA and Superprestige series both resume after their three week break for the world championships. The GVA race, Krawatencross, is on right now: here. They are riding through the beach, just like we did at St Malo. The Superprestige series travels to Hoogstraten tomorrow.

Even better, we were treated to another mid-week race on Wednesday at Parkcross. Cousin Adam won that one ahead of Gary and me. But the big news is that Gary reclaimed the overall lead for the first time in a month. It's still very, very close. He was down by five points after the weekend. And now he leads by five points. This could go down to the wire. That would be fun.

Full results and overall standings here.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Nordic Cross in the Free Press

In case you missed it, turn to page A13 for a photo of Little Luc modeling the sweetest wool jersey in the world. It is from Supercross two years ago. And it accompanies this letter on the proposed new helmet law. Weird.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Thursday Anticipation

Is still Thursday. Barely. We are still on track.

This week's word is pride. Some think it's your best friend. Others your worst enemy. Aristotle hedged his bets. He spoke of "proper pride." Neither too much nor too little, but just the right amount and in the right circumstances, etc. Halberto thinks he can do better than Aristotle. He will help us get it all sorted out. With a bike race, of course.

Please note that he is asking for an RSVP. This can only mean that big plans are in the works. As we all know, Halberto likes to think big. Sometimes he even delivers.

TNR Report

Dedicated to Cousin Thomas. We miss you.

It was a small group of riders. Some of us were hobbled by injury. Some were playing around in the Magic Kingdom. Others were busy playing volleyball and hockey. Most, however, missed it for no good reason at all. Still, those who rode said they had fun. It was a short ride, though. They went to the Ass Park toboggan hill and played around a bit. But it was cold. Very cold. So they retired early to the klubhaus.

The klubhaus gathering eventually swelled to reach numbers more along the lines of what we have come to expect. The tunes were wildly unpredictable, as was the dark. When they were on, they were really on. When they were off, it was a chore just to survive until the next number. But it didn't really matter this week. In fact, for the first time ever, some openly wondered whether we should ask them to turn off the tunes altogether and just turn up the volume on the TVs. That is because Big Air was playing. It captured our collective attention and brought the conversation to a near standstill for about an hour. Except for Tom K. He just kept talking. Things picked up again and became more genuinely dialogical when the trick shot billiards competition came on. We talked about our friends at the Arrowhead 135 and how awesome they are. We also revisited Graham's ugly incident at last year's Spring Ride. But the bulk of attention was dedicated to a series of 24 Hour Races: beginning with 24 Hours of Clint, we spent some time in conversation about which films to include. Do your homework and come prepared to vote next week. We will bring a list. We also came to a preliminary decision on next year's Sloth Cross and Film Festival. This occurred when Jonny G pointed out that it was Groundhog Day. At this point, the early favourite is 24 Hours of Bill Murray. Next, we gave some consideration to the 24 Hours of Falcon Ridge, and in particular the lodging arrangements. Bill confirmed that we have officially been given the green light on camping. There is no need to be clandestine this year. That is good news. It will be a party. From there we turned our attention to the potential of a third 24 hour event. This one would happen on the weekend of the summer solstice, probably June 17-18. It would start on Friday evening and end on Saturday evening. There is still some work to be done, but everyone should pencil it in on their respective calendars. Let's call it "24 Hours of Arvid" for now. Arvid can ride over 700 km in 24 hours. How far can you go? More info to come on that one.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Vicarious Arrowhead

Two entries:

Brad picked Ian to finish 4th in 18.5 hours, Lindsay to finish 6th in 19.5 hours, and Dallas to finish 3rd in 42.5 hours.

I picked Lindsay to finish 8th in 21 hours, Ian to finish 15th in 25 hours, and Dallas to finish 6th in 50 hours.

In actuality, Lindsay finished 10th in 22.5 hours and Ian was 14th in 27 hours. Dallas's DNF does not factor into the equation.

The score:

Brad: 25.5 points
Me: 5.5 points

I win.

Good times.

The Ballad of the Honorary Captain

We love him as much as ever. Maybe even more.

His extensive interview with Paul Kimmage was made available yesterday. The Impaler and I both read it last night. This is required reading for all members and associates of the dark side. It is not a happy story. But it still needs to be read. Here.


9:30 pm at my place.

We have survived January. That alone is worth celebrating. Some of us survived it better than others (more about that tonight). The next big milestone happens in two weeks when we pass under the century mark in the countdown to the Spring Ride.

Vicarious Rainbows

Cousin Adam gets to wear them for the next year. He managed 1880 points on Sunday and moved up six places in the overall standings. KK was second, only 30 points back. And Gary took the final podium spot with 1790 points. More importantly for Gary, he showed that he still has what it takes to contest the overall race. It is close. The only way it could be closer is if it were tied. Gary is just 5 points back heading into the final few weeks of the season. That should be fun. Jonny B has moved up into third overall. But Dan and Jay are lurking in the shadows.

Full results and overall standings here.