Monday, October 31, 2011

!!! Casino Cat !!!

Ok folks- it's time for a little night-time romp. It's been a few weeks since DarkCross now so let's keep the night time adrenaline going!

Bring: Bike, Light (if possible), and $5 cash.

Time & Place: Tuesday Nov 1st at 9:30pm on the front lawn.

Garage Sale!

I have been thinking about starting an FGBC "For Sale" page for a while. A place where we can buy, sell and trade bike stuff or make members of our community aware of stuff posted elsewhere (kijiji, ebay, a sign in the co-op...) that may be of interest. I'll run it to start and we can see how that shakes down and others can be added as necessary.

In the meantime, send me a picture and description with price of anything you'd like to move. I'll see about getting the Garage Sale added to the blogs list on the main FGBC page, add it to your blogroll or follow via the top right.

I've posted some of my stuff to get it started and will be posting a bike or two, more stuff and a frame in the next couple of days.

mhandscombe - at - gmail

Halloween at the Camp Report

Good times, boys and girls. Very good times. That was a lot of fun. Camp Ass. turned out to be as sweet as we thought it would be for racing cyclocross. Some might even say it was super sweet. The whoops were a big crowd pleaser (stupid Graham). As was the biggest barrier in the world. The run-up was old pure skool goodness. And the twisty section in the bowl by the pool was a lot of fun too.

The Dark Side did alright in the A Race. JP had a good start and held on for fifth place. Graham and I found ourselves in an extended scrap and spent much of the second half of the race trading punches. He may have won the hearts of the crowd with his brazen moves on the whoops. But at the end of his day it was his skinny ass that got whupped. So the Awesome One had to settle, once again, for seventh. And while his results cannot technically be counted for the FGBC just yet, our newest recruit, the Finnish Funkmaster, channeled his inner darkness to give the young phenom a run for his money. In the end, Brother Olli found himself standing upon the second step of the podium. Nice. And finally, but perhaps most importantly, Jonny G bested his Butter Belt twin KK, who may have had the crash of the day at the biggest barrier in the world. Sadly, the Cricket was not there to witness that or any of the other good times that were had.

Other than the fact that Unger caused a major pileup at the whoops, we do not know how things played out in the B Race. But rest assured, everyone was at their awesomest. Almost as awesome as the ursine awesomeness that was Cousin Thomas brought to the C Race.

Token photos:

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday Anticipation

Yes, we know it's Friday. But we are tired of apologizing. And most of our apologies are less than entirely sincere anyway. Besides, we find that days are overrated. Nights, however, are another thing altogether. And so is conistency. We are fans of consistency. So for these purposes of looking forward to future good times, think of it as Thursday. Or suck it. Whichever is easiest.

It will be a busy weekend. Maybe the busiest weekend in the world.

Tonight we get to party with the cycling establishment. Yes, we appreciate the irony.

Tomorrow we get to spend the day setting up a cx course at a venue we've been salivating over for some time.

And then in the evening, some of us get to party again at the Wolseley Wheels windup.

Then on Sunday we get to race our bikes. In costumes no less. How sweet is that?

Two parties and one cyclocross race. Which, in effect, makes it a three party weekend. If only every weekend could be like that.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

TNR Report

We rode some trail. It was awesome. Especially the part from the Forks to Churchill Dr.

On the way back we stumbled upon a new paved trail that runs alongside the the new rapid transit corridor from Jubilee to Confusion Corner. That is a promising development. We also noted it would make a nice TNTT course some day. Probably in winter.

At the klubhaus, Tom K gave us a run-down on the last 4 months of his life. The long and short of it is that the Saudis think he's old. Very old. Or at any rate, too old for them. We told him that we figured the Saudis were correct. But we assured him that, unlike the Saudis, we are okay with being old. The Hipster told us some stories of his recent trip to San Francisco and even showed us photos of the yerba mate beer he tried when he was there. We talked about the race this weekend at Camp Ass. and how awesome it's going to be. It's RRR's race. Which means it's our race too. So anyone who is able should plan to help set up the course on Saturday. Maybe Brad and/or KK would be so kind as to drop a comment with the particulars. The Giant also shared some ideas about a potential Tuesday Night CX race at his farm. It sounds like there is lots of potential and we thought we should probably explore it further. Sadly, it will not feature a barn ride through, as there is no barn on the premises. But there is a large machine shed. There was also talk of a possible combine run-up. Given Tom K's presence, this led us to wonder aloud about how cool it would be to do a Hercules ride-through some day. Tom assured us this was something he would have no problem arranging. That was nice to hear, almost as nice as it was to hear about the beer drop he was planning to arrange for us on Spring Ride Friday a few years back. We finished off the evening by inquiring into the status of the wool jersey 3.0. There was little to report. We confirmed that the new wool jersey project will be followed by the construction of the sweetest skinsuit in the world. And then the Giant dropped the bombshell of the night, announcing that he was in the early stages of researching a project the outcome of which would find us sloshing around the mud in the sweetest rubber boots in the world.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dark Side in the Nooze

This time in the special cycling edition of the Uniter. And not once but twice. There is a profile of the club, with a special guest appearance by our friend Brad the Impaler. And our very own JP contributed a column on the awesomeness of cycling. That's the WFP and the Uniter now. Up next: who wants to be the Sunshine Boy?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Vicarious Nacht van Woerden

It was a big win for Jonny G. He got points from four riders, including the top two finishers in the men's race, Bart Aernouts and Lars Van der Haar, the latter fresh off a big win of his own in the U23 race at Tabor. With additional contributions from Steve Chainel and Gabby Day, he took home 415 at the night time cx race in the Netherlands. Terry was the best of the rest with 225 points. And Brad was another 10 points back to grab the final podium spot.

There is no change to the top three overall. But Jonny's big day moves him from 13th all the way up to 5th overall.

Full results and overall standings here.



MTBs? Remember those? It has been a while. Let's dig them out and hit some river trails before they get snowed under. We haven't done that in almost a year.

In case anyone is wondering, no we haven't forgotten about JP's alleycat. It's just that he has a work conflict this week. So we'll try again next week. We have one strike yet to give.

9:30 pm at my place.

Tuesday Night CX?

That is what heaven must be like. From which it follows that heaven is in Woerden, the Netherlands. Woerden is clearly awesome. So is racing cx in the dark. Remember that?

It doesn't look like there's any way to watch it live. But look for results later in the day, as it will be included in the 2011-12 FGBC CX Pool. If they are on schedule, the kids will have just started--each of them accompanied by an elite racer (if my Dutch is correct), a very cool idea. The elite women start at 1:45 Winnipeg time, with the elite men taking the start line an hour later. Notice how they have the kids starting just before the top two races, just like the Dark Side does in our races.

More info here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Thanks Andy

For pointing out that we forgot to include Spooky Cross in last weekend's results.

With that, plus three races this weekend, we have five winners to announce.

Spooky Cross #1 - Andy, Chris O, Mike, Ryan tied for first
Spooky Cross #2 - Andy, Mike
Downeast Cross #1 - Chris H
Downeast Cross #2 - Chris H
World Cup #2 - Andy

After two weekends, King Andy leads the overall race. He has 2395 points. Chris O is in second place, 115 points back. I am in third, another 135 points back. From there it's a big gap to the rest of the field. Dan is in fourth place, 380 points from the final podium spot.

Full results and overall standings here.

With a bunch of racers heading back to the US after their little Czech adventure for the first two World Cup races of the season, things should return to normal. It is hard to get a read on the teams without the usual split between European and North American races.

Speaking of teams, take a look at all of them and size up the competition in the pool right here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vicarious CX

The 2011-12 FGBC CX Pool is up and running. Chris O took both races in Granogue. And Vic won the first World Cup race of the season. The overall leader, with 995 points after last weekend, is yours truly. King Andy is in second place, just 45 points back. And Chris O is another 60 points behind him. Matt has started slowly. He is at 110 points and, for that, get to lay claim to the lanterne rouge.

Full results and overall standings here.

The second World Cup race of the season is Sunday morning, with live coverage starting at 8am Winnipeg time. For live coverage options, go here.

Fall Classics Pool Wrap-up

KK won the Giro del Piemonte and Queen Val owned the Giro di Lombardia. Her 1115 points were more than JP got for the entire season. But it was not enough to unseat King Andy. Andy managed to hold on for an impressive wire-to-wire victory in the 2011 FGBC Fall Classics Pool. Pete gave it a go in the end and at least managed to make it close, but it was not enough. In the end, Andy wound up with 4290 points. Pete was second with 3930. And Val grabbed the final podium spot with an even 3700 points.

Congratulations Andy! We will drop off a pair of FGBC wool socks for you next time we head over to Olympia.

Full results and overall standings here.

An update for the Cyclocross Pool is on deck. But there is still some data entry to do before we have some standings there.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thursday Anticipation: Special Friday Edition

It is hard to beleive, but this weekend is the final race of the 2011 CXMB Series. Happily it's not the end of CX for the year. We have some dressing up to do and we need to crown some provincial champions. But the so-called Cup Series ends on Sunday with Gary the CX Czar's Cross-Tastic Race. There is no poster. And as far as we can tell, we will not have the same big splashy draw prizes we had the last couple of years. But as long as we get the same sweet course that we've had, we will be happy.

You may recall that last year found the Dark Side, rather controversially, occupying the top two steps of the podium. Can we do it again? Probably not. But that doesn't mean we won't try our best.

Find all the relevant details, including registration and waiver forms here.

In other news, we hope to get all caught up on the vicarious racing scene this weekend. We have to see if Andy managed to hold onto his lead in the 2011 FGBC Fall Classics Pool. And we need to know what's going on in the CX Pool as well.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

TNR Report

It was cold. So the Giant chose a route that went as far south as possible. It made no difference. It didn't get any warmer. The turn in the weather led us to consider the annual winter 24 Hour Race. It's not clear what the implications will be from the big winter race Gianni is planning on the traditional weekend. Things will probably change a bit. But we will find a way to make it work. One thing we are able to say is that a proposed program for the Film Festival portion of the weekend is gaining some traction. Things may change yet, but the early leader is 24 Hours of Bill Murray.

Cold as it was outside, it was warm inside the kulbhaus. Especially since Brad the Impaler was spewing fire as he recounted the recent MCA Town Hall meeting. We wondered whether we could round up nine folks to fill the vacant board positions. That way we could move the board meetings to the klubhaus.

We spent some time debriefing Altona and confirmed once again that this year's course was the best we've ever had there. And we also looked ahead to the next couple of cx races. Details for CrossTastic are up. And we learned that there are changes in store for the big RRR Halloween Bash. But we are pretty excited about the new location they have chosen. It has everything you want in a course. We will let them make the announcement though. Hopefully that will happen soon.

We also talked about the new offering from the other FGBC. It was affirmed as a promising new development. We hope the new "Brewmasters Series" is more than just a series of one. That would be pretty disappointing. Almost as disappointing as the not-exactly-sweet tunes Malorie spun for us.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Yes, we will ride.

No, we do not have a poster.

But The Giant has a route in store for us, so all is well.

We may or may not be joined by a special guest. But make sure to show up ready to demonstrate exactly what we are, just in case.

9:30 pm at my place.

Next week, JP has an alley cat in store for us.

Monday, October 17, 2011

MCA Town Hall

Anybody going to the MCA Town Hall meeting tonight? I have a class, so can't be there. But it would be nice if someone was there to speak on behalf of the Dark Side.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Southern Cross Report

It wouldn't be the first thought that comes to mind, but this guy and his gaggle of ABES knows how to put on a great show of cx goodness.

This year was the 5th anniversary of Southern Cross. And the consensus was it was the best ever. The weather was not as nice as we've had in past years. And the wind. Oh, the wind. But the course was pretty much perfect. Thanks you Johnny S. We love you!

The death spiral. It doesn't seem like it should work. But somehow, it does.

Unger's massive calves were cramping up on him. That can't have felt good. But he looked smooth over the barriers. Way smoother than some other loud mouth who goes by the name of Dark something or other. His shorts got caught on his saddle during a poorly executed remount attempt. He went ass over tea-kettle. And took down JP with him. It was not cool.

The Hipster had the best ride through the sand.

Perhaps even more importantly, he took a sweet photo that demonstrates once and for all how not to ride the sand. It looks something like this:

The Cricket did not win. But he was still awesome, finishing third.

JP had his best race of the season. He finished 5th.

We still have yet to achieve our goal of sweeping the podium. But to have three FGBCers in the top 5 of the Cat 1/2 Mens race was closer than we have been all year.

There were plenty of others flying the Dark Side's colours as well. That was nice to see. The Fraggle and the Mennonite Lady beat each other up in the Womens Cat 1/2/3 Race. Vanessa kicked A in the Womens Cat 4 race. And Anita took a break from her lap counting duties to try out her first cx race. It seemed like she had been racing for years. Jonny G did not have a day to remember. So we won't dwell on it.

And finally, Cousin Thomas not only flaunted his jersey whoredom by kitting himself up in jerseys representing every club to which he claims membership. He was also an inspiration to Clydesdales everywhere by taking home first place in the C (is for Clydesdale) Race.

Results and more photos here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Deadline Extended

There is no cx race in Europe this morning. But there are two in the USA later this afternoon. In SoCal, there is Spooky Cross, the final race in the Cross After Dark Series. On the other side of the country, is Granogue Cross in Delaware. Our very own Ali will be racing in that one. Good luck Ali! We will be looking for the results.

The point, however, is that there is still some time to enter a team in the pool. Submissions will be accepted until 1pm Winnipeg time.

In the mean time, we welcome five more teams to the pool. That brings us to an even twenty. See the full roster below.

Friday, October 14, 2011

CX Pool Entry Watch

The deadline to enter the 2011-12 FGBC CX Pool is just over 12 hours away. Don't forget to submit your team. Details here.

The winner gets a pair of FGBC socks.

We have eight eleven fifteen teams in the pool so far. The list will be updated as new teams trickle in.

Chris H
Jonny G
Chris O

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday Anticipation

This week is Southern Cross. Back in 2007, it was our very first foray into putting on a cyclocross race. It is all grown up now and the ABES run the show these days. But it should still hold a special place in the Dark Side's collective heart. To say that every FGBCer is expected to be there is to state the obvious. But sometimes we find the obvious worth stating. Which is why we find ourselves calling out "pole" every time we see one up the road on a night ride.

There hasn't been an edition of Southern Cross in which it hasn't set a new record for highest attendance numbers for a cyclocross race in Manitoba. Last year, they got 134 to MennoCross's 133 (though we never did hear back after requesting a recount). This year, they will have to go over 178. Can it happen? Show up Sunday to find out.

Head over the CXMB for all some very important stuff from Gary the CX Czar.

And find your Southern Cross info here.

Who Knew?

Thanks, whoever you are.

MCA Website

What the hell? Were the last three years just a dream?

TNR Report

Another sweet night for a ride. Apparently winter is coming soon. And they say it will hit us hard. But there was no evidence of that on Tuesday.

We were joined by a stranger in a DarkCross shirt. That was kind of cute.

The Hipster has wool on his mind. Stay tuned.

There were some tricky sections to navigate. But we survived.

And the Secretary did some secretarial things.

Back at the klubhaus, a good bit of time was spent trying to figure out why the Impaler wouldn't see fit to join us after his test. We were unable to come up with anything that made sense. We also spent some time weighing the relative merits of some potential new cx venues. There are some changes coming down the pipe. But don't worry boys and girls. Nothing's fucked here. Except for maybe the tunes. Which went all country on us for a moment. But we voiced our displeasure and managed to get it back on the rails.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


More above average temps for a TNR. It has been a good fall.

We return to the klubhaus tonight to see if they missed us when we failed to show up last week.

9:30 pm at my place.

2011-12 FGBC Cyclocross Pool

We are open for business! Better late than never.

Your task: assemble a team of nine riders consisting of 5 men and 4 women to compete vicariously at high level cx races in both Europe and North America. Specifically, your team will be broken down as follows:

3 European Men
2 European Women
2 North American Men
2 North American Women

When assembling your team, pay careful attention to the values that the FGBC's Dept. of Low Stakes Gambling has assigned to each rider. Your three European men can't total more less than 10, while the other categories each max out at must be at least 6. Please include rider values when submitting your picks.

We will use the same scoring system as we have in the past. See it here.

Which races will be included? This year we will include all UCI 1 and 2 races at which there are at least five riders (in each of the mens and womens races) who appear on the rider list below.

Riders here.

Submit your team here by Friday at midnight.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Did Somebody Say Vicarious Racing?

The FGBC's Dept. of Low Stakes Gambling was forced temporarily to shutter its doors for a little while. DarkCross was such a massive undertaking, all of the Dark Side's operatives were called in to provide assistance. But we are done now and things are slowly starting to return to normal. The Fall Classics Pool is finally up to date. And the 2011-12 FGBC Cyclocross Pool is set to launch tomorrow morning.

We missed seven one-day races while we were gone. The winners are as follows:

GP Wallonie - Dan
Worlds ITT - Chris O
Worlds Road Race - Chris O
Coppa Sabatini - Chris H & Val
Paris-Bourges - Terry
Giro dell'Emilia - Pete
Paris-Tours - Val

Andy still leads the overall race. He is 480 points ahead of Pete with two races to go. The battle for the lanterne rouge is tight. Dallas currently sits in last place. But JP and Jay are both within 60 points.

Full results and overall standings here.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Thursday Anticipation

There is no cyclocross race this week. The break will be nice. But the realization that the season is half over is a little depressing. In four more weeks, it'll all be over.

But life's too short to waste time on being sad. The smarter ones among us will head to the theatre. Our very own VP Style has been working diligently at more than just socks. His new theatre project is called Zone 41. You will know it from the mosquito that graces the bottom right-hand rear pocket on the new and improved sweetest jersey in the world.

The big debut is today! And the show runs until Oct. 16. More information here.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

TNR Report

Brad the Impaler's idea was a good one. It did not, however, come to be realized. We were shut down about 1km into the recon ride for the proposed ITT course on the not quite completed Chief Peguis extension. "Hey, hey, hey! There are chemicals out there," shouted the security guard. "Chemicals?" we asked. He shot right back at us with a new angle: "And people driving around. Like me." His argument was fatuous. He knew it every bit as much as we did. But we obliged him anyway and called off the race.

This made for an earlier than planned arrival at the Impaler's back yard fire pit. That was alright, since it was a beautiful night for a fire. We spent some time debriefing MennoCross. The general consensus was that it was awesome. Especially since the Cricket bagged the win. That we arrived at this conclusion had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he treated us to some Dark Goodness with his winnings. We also spent some significant time analyzing the quirky characteristics of some odd yet charming acquaintances of ours. We neglected to consider what, if anything, might be concluded from the fact that we have such an extended collection of exceedingly odd acquaintances. It is surely just a coincidence. And we learnt that Hummelt Hockey is not dead after all. It has just moved to Mondays.

There were no tunes. And there was nobody there to push us out the door at 1am. So it was a little bit later than usual by the time we got home.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

MennoCross Report

Photo courtesy of the Hipster

The Cricket found his hops. It was beautiful.


Brad the Impaler has an idea. We will test it out.

Meet at my place at 9:30 pm. We will ride over to the Secretary's place. So the NK Chapter may simply want to meet us there at 10 pm or so.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

MennoCross Results

173 riders. 2 less than DarkCross. Not bad. Actually, there were 178 riders in total. We missed a few DNFs on the first count. So we've set a new record for participation at a cyclocross race in Manitoba, surpassing the old record we set two weeks ago at DarkCross by 3. Well done, boys and girls.

The FGBC is committed to same day results. Except for DarkCross, where we are still enjoying the Dark Side's post-race rehydration program well into the next day. We made it just under the wire for MennoCross. Thanks to Humulus Ludicrous for the help.

Results for MennoCross are available here.

Also, make sure to check out the Hipster's sweet photos.