Saturday, June 25, 2011

Thursday Anticipation: Special Weekend Edition

We apologize for failing to keep up with the regular schedule. We have been busy planning races. But since we at the FGBC believe that thinking about what might happen is often more fun than the happenings themselves, we return with our weekly run down of what's coming up, even if it's a few days late. We will make up for our tardiness by serving up a long one. Make sure to read it all, boys and girls. This information is all very, very important. And, yes, it will be on the final exam. So grab yourself a hot cup of coffee or a cold bottle of beer and drink it all in.

This week, we dissect the 2011 Manitoba Racing Season, both on and off the grid.

The season can basically be divided into three parts.

The first part was essentially cancelled. It is probably best to just forget about it and move on. Thankfully, it is almost over. But there is one last opportunity to get your racing kicks in this weekend, thanks to our dear friends at the OCC. They share our conviction that cancelled races are geese. And so they've picked up the final cup race of the mtb season that was dropped by the Junkyard Dogs and moved it to Grand Beach. They have even prepared a poster. Because a race is not really a race if it does not have a poster.

You can find more details on that here.

The third part of the season is really the only one that ultimately matters. It is called cyclocross and it takes place in the fall. Last year's season was awesome. But we are confident that this year will make last year's look like an entirely uninspired effort. In particular, we have some big plans in store for Dark Cross, our race under the lights at the Red River Co-op Speedway. So big, in fact, that we have teamed up with our BFFs from RRR and the eloquent and persuasive cycling evangelist known as the Winnipeg Cycle Chick to help us bring it all together. The main ingredients of Dark Cross include four things that are dear to the Dark Side's collective heart: The sky will be clothed in darkness. There will be a beer garden. There will be energetic live music. And last but not least, there will be a kick-ass course on which to race. It will snake in and out of the dirt track oval, race past the beer garden, run up the grandstand and through the throng of screaming, cowbell shaking spectators, and rail the many sexy curves that the speedway has to offer. Look for a poster and a website coming soon.

Of course, Menno Cross will be back with another sweet flowing course and a second serving of faspa. Last year's race in the mud was a lot of fun. But we are hoping for dry weather this year, because that is a course that is really at its best when it can be ridden fast. There are plenty of other exciting races on the schedule as well. In fact, from top to bottom this year's season consists of one quality race after another. To keep up with all things related to the 2011 Manitoba Cyclocross season, or if you just need your daily dose of the Cricket, surf on over to Cyclocross Manitoba's virtual HQ.

The second part of the season, then, consists of the two big summer months that sit in between the first and third parts. Its primary purpose is really to provide us with an opportunity to get ready for cyclocross. The Dark side likes to approach this task with a two-pronged attack. So, like the Summa Theologiae of St Thomas Aquinas, the second part is itself divided into two parts. The first part of the second part, or the prima secunda, involves a series of really long races. We like to refer to it as Operación MUERTO. For the uninitiated, MUERTO stands for Manitoba Ultra-Endurance Racing (and Talking) Organization. It also means "dead" in Spanish. And, as if that weren't already enough, it rhymes with Operación Puerto. The three interwoven layers of meaning signal that it is an exceedingly serious endeavor. This notoriously demanding mission is dedicated to the task of cultivating an essential, if somewhat paradoxical, character trait of the successful cyclocross racer, namely the desire to keep riding hard even when things really start to suck. This year's calendar is full of opportunities that are guaranteed to hone this crucial skill.

It all starts next weekend with a race whose radness goes a long way toward inclining us forgive the cheesy pun that constitutes its name.

The Dark Side is planning to send a solid delegation to this one. We will be doing the 100 km version, of course.

Our primary contribution to Operación MUERTO is the 24 Hours of Falcon Ridge. We like to think of it as the Spring Ride, Part II. It is our opportunity to give back by sharing our patented approach to good times with those who fail to satisfy the stringent criteria (some call them testicles) for inclusion in the Spring Ride. It's less exclusive, but no less fun. Some say it's even more fun. Show up and you will see.

Online registration is now open. What are you waiting for?

We are also giving some thought to an off the grid contribution to Operación MUERTO in the form of a 100 mile gravel grinder through the Pembina Hills. Call it the Dark Side's Gran Fondo, if only because that's the trendy term of the moment. And we are nothing if not trend watchers. It may or may not happen. But if it does it will take place on the August long weekend at some point. Don't worry, we will let you know if the plans for this one find a way to come together.

The second part of the second part of the season--Thomas would call it the secunda secunda--helps to prepare us for cyclocross by providing an opportunity to get used to intense, lung-searing efforts on the grass. We call it grass track. And it comes complete with its very own cult of personality. Some know him as Gianni, but in July and August he takes the mantle of the Grass Track Czar. Then there is the Little Dicke. He is the reigning Provincial Grass Track Champion and is salivating at the opportunity to defend his title. Together with the Grass Track Czar, we are planning a series of three or four mid-week races. We are currently reviewing applications for potential host sites for both races and post-race festivities. Stay tuned for information.

Finally, it would be an egregious oversight to give the impression that racing is only about actually riding our bikes. We at the Dark Side are firmly committed to the value of vicarious racing. And the highlight of the vicarious racing season is coming up in the form of the 2012 FGBC Tour de France Pool. Rosters are just starting to trickle out onto the interwebs. Once they are all in, we will open the pool for business. That will probably happen sometime Wednesday or Thursday, with teams due early Saturday morning.


Anonymous said...

I was already pumped about the bike season this year but with some fine wordsmanship on your guys part I'm crazy pumped.

Dallas " Giver " Sigurdur

the secretary said...

It's been a while since I read "radness" in a sentence. Nicely.

Further, let's not forget that along with real racing and vicarious racing some of the FGBC enjoy anti-racing. ie. chips and beers. A veritable trinity of racing.

The Dark Lord said...

Fair enough. We are certainly behind that. But I think "unracing" might be a better term for that particular form of racing.

the secretary said...

correction noted. I was hasty. Very undude.

CycleChick said...

Thank you for reminding us that all is not lost. Or geese. And for providing some very rad alternatives to the state of geese we find ourselves in. Can't wait for all of the pending racing and unracing!