Friday, December 28, 2012

Do you see what happens Larry?

Do you see what happens when you throw beer at Sven Nys? This is what happens Larry. This is what happens when you throw beer at Sven Nys.

This bit of drama took place today in Loenhout. Albert won the real race, ahead of Stybar. And Matt won the vicarious race, finishing ahead of Jay and Jonny G.

On Wednesday in Zolder, Nys bitch-slapped Albert on the last lap once again. And Jay vicariously bitch-slapped the trio of Brad, KK, and Matt, who finished in a three-way tie for second place.

Full results and overall standings here.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Post-Feast Ride Report

It was just Terry, Anna, and me. But we hit the jackpot. Big time. The temps warmed up a bit and the trail conditions are pretty much perfect right now. We rode through Whittier and the Concrete Jungle before dropping onto the Seine and riding the river to Windsor Park. And then we rode it back. We have no photos to prove it. But it was very, very awesome. We will do it again soon. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Maybe we should ride some bikes

Bring your junk to the Junk-shon tomorrow (Thursday) at 10am if you want to ride.

Monday, December 24, 2012

CX Pool Roundup

There will be a lot of vicarious racing happening in the next week. So we'd best get caught up before things start to get real crazy.

There's nothing happening in the US right now. Everyone's in Europe for the Christmas series.

We've had three races in the past five days. The winners were as follows:

Sint-Niklaas: Terry
Essen: Chris H and Dan
Namur: Brad

Matt continues to lead the overall race and looks to be pretty much unstoppable. He and Chris O have both passed the 10,000 point mark. Down at the other end of the standings, Bill has finally surpassed 5000 points.

Full results and overall standings here.

In case you missed the live coverage, make sure to take some time over the holidays to watch the race in Essen. It doesn't get much better than that.

Also, we have a rare opportunity to watch the women race in Namur. Not to mention a rare opportunity for some Czech commentary. Best to take advantage of it.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

EOTW CX Report

If, by "End of the World," they meant a bike handling shit show, then the much maligned Mayans proved to be a prescient lot indeed. At least in the case of my race. I don't think there were very many laps in which I didn't find myself face down in a snowbank somewhere. But at least I didn't wind up getting wrapped around a tree. For a split second, it seemed like it was going to happen. The soft snowbank proved to be a much happier alternative in that case.

Not everyone fared so poorly. Daniel thrilled the crowd with a dramatic victory in the A Race. Technically, we can't claim his results just yet. But it will be nice to have him in the henhouse for 2013. And the Impaler was the first male in the B Race. He was not the first human, however. That honour would go to Leah Kirchmann, racing her first cx race of the year. This distinction also happens to coincide with Anna failing to win her first cx race of the year. The Demon Rooster finished dead last among the women in the B Race.

The Secretary was not there to shoot a video. But JP was there to pick up the slack. He also edited and posted it too. Maybe he could give the Secretary a hand with this year's DarkCross movie, not to mention the last two editions of the 24 Hours of Falcon Ridge. Without archival footage, it's almost as though those three events did not take place.

Results here.

Friday, December 21, 2012


Well, we're still here. At least I think we are. So I guess we're racing tomorrow. By the time we're done racing for the first time in eight weeks, I suspect we may wish the Mayans had been correct.

Don't forget to pre-register. Yes, even if you bought a Season Pass, you must pre-register online for this one. Unless you'd rather pay more on race day.

Everything you need to know is here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Vicarious Leuven

Prince Dan won it. Details here.

The holiday cx craziness begins tomorrow with the GP de Ster Sint-Niklaas race. Some kid named Boom will be there. Stybar will be showing up at a few races too. That should be fun.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Saturday Morning Ride Report

This saturday saw another instalment of the Saturday Morning Ride series. Can I call it a series if there have only been two? Anyway. This time it was considerably warmer and a few more dudes joined in. JP, Daniel, the cricket and I rode Whittier Park trails and some of the Seine River. The trails were snowy and hard to stay on. There were many endo's. Most of them were from me. Stupid bike. The river riding was good, that is until JP smashed his rear wheel through the ice. Good times.

No ride next Saturday, since we will all be busy riding the End of the World Cross race. You should all be there too.


It is not just the home of the largest beer company in the world and one of the oldest European universities. It  is also the site of a cylocross race, of course. This one is less meadow and more forest. And there is a tricky ridge that has to be descended and climbed which should make for some interesting moments.

The women are already done. Sanne Cant won it.

The men's race starts at 8am. Live streams here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12/12/12 Ride Report

Don't worry 9-5ers. It was no fun at all. Dropped chains and riding off cliffs. That's pretty much all that happened. We will do it again next week though. Maybe that will be more fun.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mid-Week Mid-Day Ride

What better way to celebrate the fact that the work week is more than half done than to go for a bike ride? Terry and I are meeting at the Junk-shon on Wednesday at 1:30. Join us is you can.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Hal and Ben

They are an unlikely couple. But their fortunes were linked in that they each picked up two wins this weekend in the 2012-13 FGBC CX Pool. Ben won the two Belgian races while Hal was tops at the USGP finale in Bend.

We had some exciting action at the top of the standings. Matt still leads. But Chris O has secured his second place standing. But the real drama took place on the third step of the podium. First KK shoved JP from the podium. It's the first time JP's been out of the top three since the vicarious cx season started. But KK's time on the podium was short lived. Anna bumped KK down to fourth overall, which in turn bumped JP all the way down to fifth. JP is now over 1200 points back of Matt. How the mighty have fallen. The rest of us can take some solace in this. Maybe it will happen to Matt too. But that doesn't look likely right now.

Full results and overall standings here.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Winter Weekend Ride Report

It's winter, and winter is cold, so sometimes it can be hard to drag yourself out of bed on a Saturday and go ride. The thing is though, riding in winter is actually so awesome. So with that in mind, Daniel and I met at Bar Italia this morning for pre-ride coffee, then headed out for two hours of ripping around the ass forest. On the way out, we were heckled by some hooligan on Wellington who was apparently driving Brad's old truck. I wonder who that could have been.

In the forest we came across two interesting structures - a teepee and a half-build log cabin with a large animal skull inside. Cool

The weather was fantastic. No need for anything more than the sweetest wool jersey in the world today. Days like that don't come very often, so it's best to take advantage of them. 

Good times. Maybe we should do it again next weekend. 

Scheldecross Antwerp

On now. Here.

Lots of sand at this one.

Monday, December 03, 2012

CX Pool Roundup

It was a bad weekend for JP. He came into it sitting in second place, just 85 points behind Matt. By the end, he'd slid down to third overall and now sits almost 500 points off the overall lead. Chris O has moves up into second overall. He is 135 points behind the VP Style. Ali had a bad weekend too. He dropped from fourth overall to sixth. KK now occupies fourth place and, at 35 points back, is breathing down JP's neck. And Anna moves up to fifth overall.

As for the rest of us, it's pretty much over.

Full results and overall standings here.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

TV Listings

Nothing to watch this morning. Unless there was a feed of Tom Beans' charity cx race that we missed. But that would have been bittersweet anyway, since Beans himself wasn't racing. He was in the hospital with an intestinal infection.

But tomorrow, the World Cup series returns to Roubaix after a two year break. If the conditions are anything like they were the last time they raced there, it should be fun to watch.

In case you've forgotten how that one played out, you can watch the last three laps, in all their muddy glory, here:

The course map hardly does justice to how tough the course can get in places. But it is interesting to look at anyway, if only for an example of how to squeeze a cx course into an area in which there doesn't appear to be much green space.
Coverage starts at 7:30 am. Look for links here.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Barn Cross 2013

Save the date:

The Barn has been booked for Jan. 27, 3-7pm.

Same place as last time. More details to follow.

Let's show those horse people how Roosters do it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

CX Season is Not Over

It just feels that way, since the last time we raced was over a month ago. But racing will resume again after the mid-season break real soon. The final race of the season is just over three weeks away! Good thing I haven't cleaned up the basement yet.

All the relevant details are right here.

Needless to say, the Dark Side will be out in full force. We should probably have a Nordic Cross race or two before then, just so we're ready. Anyone up for a race on Saturday afternoon?

Next time someone suggests a mid-season break that is longer than the first part of the season itself, someone remind them that it is a stupid idea. Better to keep racing all the way through.

Little Queens

No, not the Wilson sisters. Rather, it's the women of cyclocross. That's what we're talking about here. Sadly, we never get to watch them race in Europe. Not only because the organizers over there always have them racing ridiculously early in the day. But also because there is generally no television coverage of their races to begin with. That is too bad, because it looks like those races are more competitive than ever this year. At least we have Laurent Charras's cinematic recreations to make up for the relative lack of media attention given to these races. Here' they are tackling the sand dunes in Koksijde.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

CX Pool Roundup

Four races, four different winners. But one of those four actually won twice. That would be John B, who tied with Anna for the win in Koksijde and then won the first BayState race outright. Bill won Sunday's BayState race. And Daniel won in Geiten.

Matt still leads the overall race. But JP is just 85 points behind. These two look set to slug it out all season long. Then again, Chris O is getting closer. He's now just 230 points off the overall lead. And Ali and KK are not much further back. So it is still very much a five horse race at this point.

Full results and overall standings here.

Friday, November 23, 2012

TV Listings

Remember when hung out at Parlour Coffee to watch the Belgies kick ass in the sand? That was awesome. Well, they are returning to Koksijde to play in the sand on Saturday. It is also the third round of the World Cup series. So the field will have an even more international flavour than usual. Needless to say, it should be watched. Then on Sunday, you should watch again as the Superprestige series travels to Geiten in the Netherlands.

As usual, check out for live streaming options.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

CX Pool Roundup

Five races last weekend. Three in Iowa and two in Belgium. Remember when we used to race cx? That was fun.

All the results can be found right here.

The World’s Love Affair with The Bicycle Comes to The Forks: European and Canadian Experts Share in Public Forum

Looks interesting... The World’s Love Affair with The Bicycle Comes to The Forks: European and Canadian Experts Share in Public Forum

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Sweetest Suit and Tie in the World

TNR Report

A bunch of us got together and rode around. Some(who were unwell or knew some that were unwell) went home post ride. Some of us did not ride, but showed up at the bar to hear what they missed (wearing a tie). Some were missed altogether. That's about it.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Nordic Cross #1 Report

We raced. And when it comes to Nordic Cross, the simple fact of racing at all is really the only significant objective.

Upon our arrival at the race venue, we were pleasantly surprised to find that there were some paths that could actually be ridden. And yet in order to complete the circuit, there was also a very long and snow-filled section that could only be traversed by foot. This proved to be a sufficient penalty for Hal and his stupid fat pig of a bike. Turns out running with those thing sucks even more than running with a cx bike slung over your shoulder.

Results, such as they are, were something like this:

Jonny G

More important than the race results was the question of who would win the loaf of deliciously crusty bread that Hal kindly donated as a prize. Acting as commissaire, Ryan called for a mid-race course alteration which would be used as a context against the background of which to judge something he referred to vaguely as the "best descent." This was won by Andrea for her inspired attempt to somersault down the snowy hill.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

CX Pool Roundup

KK was king in Lousiville, winning both races. Vanessa won the Jaarmarktcross on Saturday and Andy with the Superprestige race in Hamme-Zogge on Sunday.

The big news, however, is that we have a new leader atop the overall standings. Matt continued his recent run and has now taken the lead from JP. Matt has 5755 points to JP's 5635. KK has moved up to third overall. He has 5310 points.

Full results and overall standings here.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Nordic Cross #1

There was quorum. So it is official.

The first Nordic Cross race of the season goes down Sunday, 3pm at Omand's Creek.

Post-race gathering to follow. Somewhere.

Did Somebody Say Nordic Cross?

I'd almost forgotten how fun this is. We will need to start racing soon.

Friday, November 09, 2012

USGP live coverage

Watch it here, both Saturday and Sunday.

Women at 1:15 pm Winnipeg time and men at 2:30.

Of course, there is some cx racing in Europe too. The Niel Jaarmarktcross goes down tomorrow morning at 7:45 am. And the Superprestige series resumes in Hamme-Zogge on Sunday. Live streaming options for those races here.

Nordic Cross 2012-13

Did someone say something about snow? That can only mean one thing: Nordic Cross is just around the corner. We will start soon. Possibly as early as Sunday afternoon.

We don't exactly have a full calendar just yet. And it's entirely possible that we never will. But we have made a few decisions about the upcoming season. This year we will return to our roots. That means at least two things:

1) More cyclocross races in the snow, fewer alley cats on frozen streets.

2) More Sunday afternoon/evening races, fewer races on Tuesday nights.

3) Hopefully it also means more Poosher.

We will stick with one principle that was adopted last year, however. Fat bikes will be heavily penalized. Maybe an extra lap. Or we might send you to do run-ups at garbage hill. Those bikes do have a place. But that place is not Nordic Cross.

Stay tuned for more information, boys and girls. This winter is going to be a lot of fun.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

CX Pool Roundup

It was a busy weekend. There were eight races spread across five different locations. It's a miracle that we were able to get caught up at all, really.

The big winner of the weekend was our very own VP Style, otherwise known as Tony H and occasionally referred to simply as Matt. When it started, Matt was languishing in 11th place, almost 900 points behind JP. By the time he was finished going ballistic in Cincinnati, he'd moved up to second and is now sitting just 65 points off the overall lead. Dare to dream, boys and girls. Dare to dream.

There was also a change at the other end of the standings. Marcus seemed well on his way to keeping the lanterne rouge all to himself. Four year olds, they don't always understand that there are some things that are best given away to others. But by the end of the weekend, Bill had gently bumped Marcus out of his spot at the very bottom of the overall standings. And this despite winning two out of the eight races. Always looking out for the little ones, that Bill. Good thing the world isn't filled with people like him. There'd be nobody left to hate.

Individual race results and overall standings here.

Up next: the USGP is in Louisville for a test-run of the worlds course. A handful of the European women flew over for the experience. It should be fun to watch. Check back for live streaming options.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

In case you missed it . . .

watch the whole men's race at Zonhoven race here:

While you're at it, go ahead and watch the men race at Koppenbergcross too:


Sadly, there are no videos of the women racing either of these races. But you can watch the women race at the Plzen world cup:


CX Pool Update coming soon.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Zonhoven Live

Zonhoven = sand. Sand = awesome. At least for watching. Find out where to watch right here. Coverage starts at 7:30 am.

That sandy descent has carnage written all over it.

Roosters, Riding

For the first time in seven weeks, there was no cyclocross race to go to. That was sad. So Olli called the Dark Red Roosters together for a group ride. He introduced us to some of his favourite trails. That made us happy again. Thanks Olli. A happy rooster is a beautiful thing.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Vicarious Koppenbergcross

Nov. 1 is a holiday in Belgium. What better way to honour all the saints than by racing cyclocross? Judging by the number of empty beer cups littering the course, it seems like everyone had a good time. It also helped that the conditions were perfect. All the mud made for brutal back-breaking climbs and wild white-knuckled descents. Perfect conditions, in other words, for Sven Nys to remind everyone that he is still the alpha dog when it comes to racing in the mud. Watch him make Neils Albert look like a little boy on the last lap. Helen Wyman also excels when the conditions are nasty. She continued her hot start to the season by taking a big win in her hometown race. Sadly, there was no video coverage of the women's race.

Chris O won the vicarious race. He had 370 points thanks to Nys, Page, Harris, and Kupfernagel. Gentle Ben was second with 315 points. And Lyle had 260 points to finish on the final step of the podium.

JP continues to lead the overall race. With 3300 points, he leads Anna by exactly 100 points. Peter is another 400 points behind Anna. But he better not look back. King Andy is lurking right behind him and ready to remind all of us who is the alpha dog when it comes to vicarious racing.

Full results and overall standings here.

Up next: the three day cx festival in Cincinnati begins tonight.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Ever wonder what it would be like to ride one of the legendary cyclocross courses in Belgium? This ride through the Koppenbergcross course gives you a good sense of what it might be like. In a word, nasty. Cobbles, mud, a hilly and bumpy cow pasture, and a killer switchback descent.

Check it out below. And don't forget to watch tomorrow morning if you are able. Check for live streaming options.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Last dogfest of the season

TNR is at the Impaler's tonight. He is providing the fire and bad jokes only. Bring everything else.

Train departs the usual station at 9:30 sharp...


(photo: Mark Reimer)
JP came close again. But Willem spoiled it. Stupid Willem. Stupid punk-ass kids in general. Hot Legs Dave looked like a winner early on. But then he rolled a tyre about half-way through the first lap. That was not at all how we planned for it to go. Anna, on the other hand, made it a clean sweep of the season, winning her seventh consecutive race. Then again, she's basically a punk-ass kid herself. At least compared to the rest of us, who are merely stupid and punk-assed. So it serves her right that she lost to Brad. The Hipster had a good day. He finished third in the Mens Cat 3 Race. And Mike won the hearts of all the children in attendance with his inspired rendition of Thomas the Tank Engine.

Full results and links to more photos than you could possibly want to see can be found right here.

After seven consecutive weekends of racing, it will be nice to have a break from the racing routine this weekend. But at the same time, the eight week wait until the final cx race of the season feels a bit like a cruel joke right now. But we will make do. Olli has a plan for this weekend. And there may have to be a throwdown or two in the next couple of months. Not to mention a little something we call Nordic Cross.

CX Pool Weekend Roundup

Anna swept the two races in Colorado and Darryl won the mudfest in Plzen. JP continues to stand atop the overall standings. But Anna has narrowed the gap to 110 points. Peter has moved into third overall. But he is  over 400 points behind Anna. It looks like it might be shaping up to be a two horse race.

Full results and overall standings here.

The next race is the Koppenbergcross on Thursday. With rain in the forecast, it promises to be a good one.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

What KK Said

Click here. No, here. Maybe here.

See you in the morning, Roosters and other CX-loving creatures.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mud, Snow, and Cyclocross

Was anybody else super excited to wake up and see the white blanket of snow covering the ground this morning? If Molly Hurford's recent (and very awesome) book is to be believed, mud, snow, and cyclocross are the three main ingredients in a recipe for grassroots sports that's taking North America by storm these days. So we should count ourselves very lucky that this weekend's big cyclocross party looks set to take place against the backdrop of these perfect conditions. Seriously! Molly wrote a whole book about it. How can you not be quivering with excitement?

And if that wasn't already enough, there will be three additional ingredients that will be added to take what is already awesome and make it even awesomer:

1) Costumes! Cousin Thomas's bear suit, the Cricket's fairy wings, and Lindsay's ode to the Great Pumpkin. These are the things that make for good great times.

2) Tunes! Every party needs good tunes. We are very excited that DJ Ryan and friends will be on hand to spin tunes for us.

3) Last but not least, Winnipeg's answer to the legendary Richard Fries will be there as well. Steve Scoles will be working his usual narrative magic to tie all the drama together just as the rug did for the Dude's living room.

If you are not already registered, stop everything and click on this link right now. You don't want to live with the regret you will feel for the next 12 months if you miss this one.

And if you haven't already done so, make sure to buy Molly's book and read it.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Camp Cross

camp/kamp/adjective [origin unknown]. Ostentatious, exaggerated, affected, theatrical.
camp/kamp/verb. Do or behave in a camp manner.
Lest anybody remain confused, last year's relocation of RRR's Halloween-themed race from Harbourview to Camp Assiniboia is far more appropriate than it might seem at first blush. Camp is not just a place where one might bed down for the night. It is also an aesthetic, a style. So camp it up, boys and girls. This is not supposed to be like other cx races.

You could do worse than to let Susan Sontag, the so-called "Dark Lady of American Letters," be your guide. "The whole point of Camp," she says, "is to dethrone the serious. Camp is playful, anti-serious. More precisely, Camp involves a new, more complex relation to the serious. One can be serious about the frivolous, frivolous about the serious."

Cyclocross racing is already almost too much fun. So it is hard to imagine how much more fun this weekend is going to be.

Details, if you need them, can be found here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

DarkCross, Dutch Style

They raced in the dark last night in Woerden, in the Netherlands. Prince Dan won the vicarious race, with 290 points thanks to Dieter Vanthourenhout, Sanne Cant, and Ellen Van Loy. Little M was second with 195 points. And I had 190 points to finish third.

JP still sits atop the overall standings. He has 2270 points. Anna has moved ahead of Ali and into second place. She has 2065 points. Ali has 2040.

Full results and overall standings here.

No wonder he is so skinny

The Hipster, he really gets around.

See what he's been up to on his new website.

Provincials results are up


Three Golds, three Silvers, and two Bronze medals for the Dark Side. Good work boys and girls.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

CX Pool Update--Corrected

[Update: 7:17pm] One little typo and all hell breaks loose. Somehow we did Pepper Harlton a disservice and misspelled her name in the results for the USGP #3. It's been corrected now. But the implications are rather significant. Ali did not with that race. Anna did. And it gets even worse for Ali. He's not in first overall either. JP is, with 2120 points. Ali is in second place, 80 points back. Anna has 1985 points and remains in third overall. But the top three spots are much closer than we originally though. Full results and overall standings have been corrected. So click on the link below to find out more.

The 2012-13 FGBC CX Pool is finally up and running. It's been a busy couple of weekends already, with five races already in the books. Here's our first slate of winners:

USGP #3 - Ali
BB Trophy #1 - Marcus & Matt
USGP #4 - Ali
Kermisscross - Lyle
CDM #1 - Darryl

Ali currently leads the overall competition with 2040 points. JP is in second with 1945 points. Anna sits in third place overall. She has 1810 points.

Full results and overall standings here.

Note that BB refers to Bpost Bank. It's a Belgian Bank and is the new title sponsor of the series that used to be sponsored by the Gazet van Antwerpen. Same series, different name.

Monday, October 22, 2012

CX Provincials Report

(Photo: Jared Falk)
The course was a bit different. And the consensus is it was better, not worse. Thanks to Gary and Co. for all the work they did to make it happen.

The Dark (Red) Side walked home with a trunk full of medals. But then again, it seemed almost everyone who raced received a medal of some sort. Next year we should carve up the age categories a bit finer. We could group ourselves by age ranges of 5 years instead of 10, or maybe even 2 years as they do with the kids. Then we could all walk away with medals.

Daniel has worn the Sweetest Skinsuit in the World in place of his regular pajamas for some time now. But he pulled on his new Rooster Suit for the first time in a race yesterday and used it to annihilate the field for about 59 and a half minutes of the 60 min. race. Unfortunately, some jerk from Ontario decided to spoil the party sponsored by the Manitoba Medal Clearinghouse with about 500 meters to go on the bell lap. At least he didn't get a medal.

Johnny S's bike shit the bed. Again. But that is hardly newsworthy.

The most interesting moment of the day occurred before the race. During a warm-up lap down by the river I rounded a corner to come upon a couple that were, let's just say, very much into themselves and not cx provincials. They were right on the course and very oblivious to anything else that might have been going on around them. I politely pointed out that they might want to relocate to a different location as there was a bike race going on. They were just a little bit startled and scampered off to find a less public piece of the river bank. It seems they thought all the tape marked out a territory meant just for them.

The Hipster's sore knee did not prevent him from taking some pretty pictures. And Jared also put his camera to good use.

The next race is the costume party at Camp Ass. Everyone will be there on Saturday to help out with set-up, right?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thursday Anticipation

Our task this weekend is to win medals. Preferably, lots of them. It would also be nice if there were a few podiums that were populated only by Roosters. There are likely a few categories in which that might actually happen.

Since this race is technically to determine next year's provincial cx champions, it would seem to follow that those who have signed on to the Dark Red Side for next year's campaign are free to race as the Roosters we know they really are. So take your Rooster Suits out of the closet, boys and girls, and wear them with pride.

Speaking of Rooster Suits, due to an ordering snafu there is one large men's skinsuit still available. First person to send me an email gets it. Cost is $126.

Please note that this is also the last event of the season to include an "Open Race." So Thomas (and others), we expect to see you there.

More information here.

tnr report on the works of charity

There is an open rumour that the Dark Lord lost his way in attending this event. Too bad, it was a doozy, as they say. Charity flowed freely.

While this reporter was not able to join the ride, word is that it was a spirited jaunt along the river trails, down along the Seine River and back. Numerous riders actually had no idea where they were for much of the ride... further, some didn't even quite get what part of town they ended up in... That's a good ride.

Then our affable hosts, Ryan & Mel, opened the gates to charity, and the FGBC was there to ride through. We systematically took care of all their left overs, and when that was done, Ryan vanished into the basement with G to serve up more.... right down to the Innis & Gunn; and whiskey wedding favours.  We definitely relieved Ryan and Mel of their burdens... A further example of the depth of hospitality: when it turned out that Cyclocross Dave's jacket had departed earlier with someone, Ryan lent him the Felt wool jersey off his back for the ride home.

Highlights certainly had to be 1. Cyclocross Dave's dismount into the garden... it very much harkened back to the first spring ride when one of our riders found himself very upside down in the bush after but a few meters attempted pedaling.  Dave claims it was a nasty mismatch between clipped shoes and platform pedals. Who's to know, but everyone found it very funny in a strong, Belgian beer kind of way.
2. Oli wore an ironically fabulous (given the evening's task), green Labatt 50 vest. He likely received a lot more compliments on his dress than he expected.
3. Hot fire, good folks, fine beer, excellent hosts.

Finally, there was more hugging than ever before seen at a TNR. Not sure what to make of that.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lost Shorts

Hey folks. I just checked on the ABES site and noticed a pair of FGBC shorts that are lost and found. Only not found by the owners. Please let them know if they are yours. We don't want their powers to fall into the wrong hands.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Works of Charity

According to the tradition from which this seven paneled polyptych derives, there are seven works of charity: feeding the hungry, refreshing the thirsty, clothing the naked, burying the dead, receiving travelers, visiting the sick, and comforting prisoners. Good works, indeed. But to this list, the Dark Side would like to add another--not so much an eighth (because finely tuned numerology of this sort should not be messed with) as an extension of some of the existing seven. Let us call it relieving the over-prepared of their burdens.

Though they may not (yet) technically belong to the brotherhood and sisterhood of the Dark Side, our friends Ryan and Mel have a problem they need some help with. It seems they purchased too much fine Belgian goodness for their wedding this past summer. Lucky for them, the Dark Side is always ready and willing to help a brother and sister out.

So this week's TNR will be another special edition of sorts. After a short ride, we will gather around a fire in their back yard and help relieve them of this particular burden.

Please note this this is another special "sisters-welcome" TNR. Drastic times call for drastic measures.

Let's meet at the alternate TNR HQ--aka Espresso Junction at the Forks--at the regular meeting time of 9:30 pm. I may have to join in mid-ride due to another commitment.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Deadline Extended

Just checked the schedule for the race in Fort Collins today. The women are scheduled to start at 2:45pm. That is 3:45 pm Winnipeg time. So if you submit a team by then, we will still accept it.


CX Pool Entry Watch

With one hour to go, we have 24 teams in the pool. There is still room for more

Take a look at who's in the pool so far:

Chris H
Chris O

Friday, October 12, 2012

Going South?

What's this? A cyclocross race in Altona? Who knew? We should probably show up.

Everything you need to know, including a link for online registration, is here.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

CX Pool - Updated

[The update has to do with the scoring system. See below]

Good news, vicarious racing fans. The 2012-13 FGBC CX Pool is open for business.

Your task is as follows: 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

In case it's not obvious, "European" here means "races largely in Europe." And likewise for "North American."

When assembling your team, pay careful attention to the values that the FGBC's Dept. of Low Stakes Gambling has assigned to each rider. The combined values of your three European men must add up to 10 or more. The pair of riders in each of the other three categories must have a combined value of at least 6. Math is hard. So be careful. And please include rider values when submitting your picks so that we can get our minions to verify the legitimacy of your team. The trick is to figure out whether it's more advantageous to go high and low or to split the difference in the middle. It is harder than it seems.

The list of riders can be found here.

Submit your team here by Saturday at noon.

The pool is free and open to all. Feel free to invite others.

Thanks to his last place finish in the Vuelta Pool, Ian will supply a six-pack of Belgian goodness to the winner. The loser of the CX Pool will supply the prize for the Spring Classics Pool.

We will use the same scoring system that we have used in the past. It seems to have worked well. Basically, World Cup races are worth more than others and the World Championships are worth even more. See the detailed points breakdown here.

[Update: King Andy raised the question about whether all the North American races should be scored the same. They always have been in the past. But for this year, the USGP races will be scored the same as the World Cups. It is the big national series and actually attracts an international field of racers. It only seems fitting that doing well there should count for more than doing well at a regional UCI 2 race somewhere else. So adjust your picks accordingly, if necessary.]

It is always tricky to specify which races are included. For this year, all UCI races in North America, Belgium and the Netherlands will be included. All races in the World Cup, Superprestige and GVA series will also be included. Other European races will be included only if there is sufficient representation from the list of riders included in the pool. You want me to define sufficient? If five or more riders from our list show up to race, it counts for the pool. Mens and womens categories will be evaluated separately in this regard. The point is to make sure a larger, more internationally diverse field shows up at the races. So, for example, a handful of Czech or French racers travelling to race in their respective countries doesn't make that race count. But if they bring along some Belgies or other top pros, that's a different story. Make sense?

See the full UCI Race Calendar here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Vanessa is a Cross Hottie

It's only been out for a week or so. But the Sweetest Skinsuit in the World is already starting to become famous, thanks to Vanessa's appearance on the Hot Cross Buns site.

There is some debate, however, about whether this is as valuable a presence on the interwebs as Cousin Thomas's awkward bear suit moment. Looking at it again, it all seems so innocent. I forget exactly where this one got off the rails. But somewhere along the way it did. In a big way. It's probably best not to revisit that particular moment.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Walter Sobchak, Creighton Bernette, Same Thing?

For those who missed the reference, this is what the Big Frame was talking about at the CycleChick's cabin. It is beautiful.

St Malo Report

It was a perfect day for cyclocross. There was snow and mud and sand. The wall was bigger and badder than ever. And the wall of hecklers lining the wall made the scramble up the muddy hill at least tolerable, if not actually a little but of fun. The beer and sambuca hand-up section was a nice touch, even if it was somewhat under-utilized. There was no second guessing the appropriateness of the Sweetest Skinsuit in the World this week. And our legs were all shiny and warm thanks to Mad Alchemy's magic potions.

As for the race, it proved the truth of Richard Fries' description of cyclocross, which can be found in Molly Hurford's great new book on cyclocross in the USA (this should be required reading for all Dark Red Roosters):
Cyclocross is a far more emotional cycling event than anything else. I think it's because you're on the limit right from the beginning. It has more tragedy--mechanical tragedy, crashes, rolled tires--it's a game of mistakes, it's very much like a Shakespearean drama.
Happily, the day featured a comedic ending for the Dark Red Side. Anna once again showed that she is in a class all to herself. The way she's riding right now, she can afford more than a handful of mistakes and still easily take the Womens Cat 1/2/3 race. It is only a matter of time until the beats that little punk, Oliver, to take the B Race outright.

In the Cat 1/2 Mens race, Olli experienced the fewest tragedies to make it two wins in a row for the Dark Red Side. JP led for most of the race before falling off the pace in the last couple of laps. Hot Legs Coughlin was right there as well, until a brake in the spokes derailed his efforts. For a short but very awesome period of time there were three Roosters leading the race, demonstrating that our dream of a Dark Red Podium may yet become a reality some day.

(Photo: Vanessa Peters)
In the end, we placed six Roosters in the top 10. Six and a half if you count Daniel. That is pretty awesome.

There were fewer Roosters populating the Mens Cat 3 race. But the Giant was there in his giant skinsuit. And it helped deliver him to his best finish so far this year. Vanessa and Charlene narrowly missed the podium in their races. And Anita's big smile suggested that she had another great time racing the C Race. Then again, I suppose it is possible that Anita simply has the happiest pain face in the world.

Full results here.

There are plenty of photos swirling around the interwebs in the usual places. And even a brief video of the wall run-up. Here are a few of my favourites:

(Photo: Stefan Isfeld)

(Photo: Stefan Isfeld)

(Photo: Jonathan Millions)
(Photo: Jonathan Millions)
(Photo: Stefan Isfeld)

Friday, October 05, 2012

The Wall is Ready

Who is going to be the first to slip on the snow and slide back down to the bottom?

St Malo Update

This just in from Ian:
St. Malo is a go, as planned. Roads and course are in good condition and improving.
Riders and spectators are reminded that there are limited places to get warm. So please dress warmly.

Where's the Beach?

It is very likely under the snow. For all those who thought last weekend was too hot for cyclocross, you got your wish. Now you better show up. We've got skinsuits and embro. There is nothing to fear. Hopefully some of that snow sticks around for the race. Or at least leaves the grass soft and slippery.

Halberto, Gianni, and Co. always serve up a good course. And the CycleChick is serving up chilli laced with Scrapper for the Dark Red Roosters after the race. What's not to love?

Registration closes just before midnight tonight. Don't forget to get yourself on the startlist. The beach will look good if it's covered with a swath of Dark Red.

There will be a couple of sections of sand to ride. And where there's sand, there is the potential for spectacular crashes. As this recent video from Kansas City attests:

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Monday, October 01, 2012

Last dogfest of the season

Juan Eppstein has finally pulled the trigger. As host of the original FGBC dogfest, the pressure has weighed mightily, but the dam has burst. Game on.

The disco will be frying by 10:00. Meet at the usual location at 9:30 if you like.

Bring dogs, buns, lawn chairs if you drive, and $$ for the supplied Half Pints. As the Impaler pointed out to Juan this evening, no good Oma comes up short on dessert. I think that was a learning from a month ago in his backyard. Anyway, there should be adequate supply. Perhaps no more needs to be said.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

MennoCross Results

Good work, boys and girls! That was another awesome day. The Sweetest Skinsuit in the World made its international debut and was warmly received.

Anna and the Cricket kicked ass in their respective races. The top step of the podium looks pretty good covered in Darkness.

Results here.

Friday, September 28, 2012

They are here!

And they are very, very awesome. Much more awesome than this blurry photo suggets.

Come and pick yours up at CMU this afternoon/early evening. Those who haven't paid yet, please bring money.

Too Many Roosters?

If you have too many roosters on the farm, morning never comes. At least that's what an old Turkish saying would have us believe. How many roosters is too many is not exactly specified. But we have twenty roosters coming in the form of the brand new Dark Red Racing skinsuits. They are scheduled to be delivered today.

Twenty skinsuits seems like a lot. But we are a large group of cyclocross enthusiasts right now. We will wear them with proper pride at MennoCross on Saturday. And if morning never comes, that's not the end of the world either. It'll be like a perpetual TNR.

Skinsuits can be picked up at CMU later this afternoon.

Course marking continues today. Swing by and lend a hand if you are able. If you can only spare an hour or so, show up at 5pm to help assemble the Flyover.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Some have suggested that we might need to resort to bribery in order to get people to come out on Friday to help set up the flyover. Then the Dark Red Rooster came storming into the DRR HQ and passed along this memo.

Now we can put up the Flyover dressed up in our fancy new racing outfits.

The Flyover Build will commence at 4:30 pm or so, with the heavy lifting scheduled for 5:30. Yes, we need you to be there if at all possible.

Joey's OK

That is good to know. But frankly, we are more concerned about the Tenor. He went down hard last night and wound up hanging out with the other zombies in ER at HSC. Special thanks to the kind bartender at the klubhaus who lent us her car so that we could take him in.

Get well soon, brother! We have some cyclocross racing to do.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Junior Dark Side

It won't be long until Little M and others will be kicking our old, slow asses. That will be fun.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Our second race of the season, this one a joint effort with CMU Cycling.

Online registration and other details at

Course set-up will begin on Thursday morning and continues all day Friday. The Flyover will go up Friday after work.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Republic of Manitobah Photos

Photos from the weekend are starting to pop up all over the interwebs. The highlight is this series from the Woodcock collection capturing the Hipster performing a trick we once saw the Original Hipster do with a set of barriers at MennoCross.