Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Le Samyn Results


Up next: we take to the white gravel roads of Italy on Saturday. This is one worth watching.

Let's find some movies

It's movie finding time.  
So far we have confirmed that these movies have been found and will be coming with these dudes:

Mark Reimer:
- Darjeeling limited
- Life Aquatic
- Royal Tenenbaums
- Rushmore

- Ghostbusters 1 and 2
- Lost in Translation
- Groundhog Day

This next list is of movies that we still need to find:
- Stripes
- Caddy Shack
- Quick Change
- What about Bob?
- King Pin
- Zombieland
- Wild Things
- Charlie's Angels
- Fantastic Mr. Fox
- Get Low
- Little Shop of Horrors
- The Razor's Edge
(feel free to add any other Bill Murray movie that you'd like)

A few dudes have offered to help with the download process.  If you are going to download a movie, identify it in the comments below and I will assume that it will be taken care of.  You can leave the movies on your USB sticks (make sure they are .avi files) or burn them to DVD.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Classics Pool Teams

Check out the competition here.


9:30 pm at my place.

It's the last ride before the 24 Hour Race this weekend. We have a couple of things to settle:

1) The Course. Brad the Impaler, Jonny G, and I have plenty of good ideas. But we are also a little bit stuck as to which of them is best. Tonight we will get unstuck. Probably after testing out some of the route options during the ride. It may come down to a vote at the klubhaus. Or perhaps a cage match.

2) Movie acquisition. Lyle and Tom K are heading up this initiative. But they'd like to know what, if anything, we already have. I have the Big Lebowski, so that's settled. But take a look at the list of the Bill Murray movies below. If you have any of them, please drop a comment below so that we can strike that task from the To Do List. Lyle thanks you in advance.

Caddy Shack
Ground Hog Day
Ghost Busters
The Royal Tenenbaums
Life Aquadic Aquatic
Lost in Translation
What about Bob?
King Pin

Monday, February 27, 2012

Classics Pool Update

First we get schooled by a punk-ass seven year old in the CX Pool. Now we are getting schooled in the Classics Pool by a couple of rookies who haven't yet had their date with the Dark Side's Dept. of Hazing and Other Miscellaneous Initiatives That Are Best Kept Secret. This aggression will not stand, man.

Jason took the win at Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, finishing ahead of Andy and Troy. Brad and Jonny G drew a line in the sand and crossed the finish line holding hands to claim a victory for the Old Guard on Sunday.

But after the first two races of the season, the leader of the 2012 FGBC Spring Classics Pool is Troy. Congratulations Troy! Now, can you please introduce yourself to the group? It's hard to visualize the enemy when you can't, well, visualize him. Jason is in second overall. Go ahead and introduce yourself too, Jason. Brad sits in third place. He's fumbling around for something inside his duffle bag and keeps asking "Am I wrong?" Jason and Troy, if you should find yourselves entering a world of pain in the next little while, don't say you weren't warned. The Impaler thinks you may have crossed over the proverbial line.

Full results and overall standings here. For the newcomers among us, the most recent race is always on the left. So read right to left. Consider it a tribute to Walter Sobchuck.

We are back at it again on Wednesday with Le Samyn.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cyclocross Pool Final Standings

Before we get any standings for the Spring Classics Pool, we need to wrap up the 2011-12 FGBC CX Pool.

The J-Train managed to defy the odds and hold off a hard charging King Andy. He actually managed to gain some ground in Hasselt. Needless to say, he is very, very happy about this. The victory came at a good time too. He was running low on clean socks.

Andy finished second overall. He was 125 points back. I beat Chris O to take the final podium spot.

Terry won the race in Hasselt ahead of Jay and Hal.

Full results and overall standings here.

Thanks for playing everybody. That was fun. We'll have results for the first two races in the Classics Pool by the end of the day.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Spring Classics Pool Watch

[Update - 7:29 am] Five more teams have joined the pool. Welcome to Dan, Ali, Patrick, Randy, and Mike.

There is 30 minutes left to get in on the action.

The race is on! Live streaming options here.

With just nine hours left until the deadline, there are 28 teams in the pool. There is still plenty of room for more. Keep them coming.

Entries so far:

Chris H
Jonny G
Chris O
Chris D

Garage Sale madness!

Long time no garage sale, but tons of stuff - courtesy of Ian - just posted on the FGBCGS page.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Spring Classics Pool [Updated: Please Read]

Update: Yoan Offredo has just received a one year ban for failing to disclose his whereabouts with sufficient precision. He is out of the pool. Please replace him if you picked him. Also, Hayden Roulsten was mistakenly listed twice--in both tier 6 and tier 8. He belongs in tier 6. If you picked him as an 8, please correct that.

Teams are trickling in at a steady pace. I don't have the time or internet connection to look through all of them. But keep them coming. And continue to invite others. A couple of new folks have already joined. Everybody say hi to Ben and Joe from Harrisonburg, VA.

No rest for the awesome! The final race of 2011-12 FGBC CX Pool takes place later today. And the 2012 FGBC Spring Classics Pool is now open for business. That is very exciting. Not only does it mark the beginning of the real road racing season. It also includes a series of very, very awesome races in which we can vicariously participate. The first race of the season, Het Nieuwsbald, goes down this Saturday. Our friends at Parlour Coffee have invited us back to watch Paris-Roubaix together. The next couple of months will be fun.

In case you have forgotten, Prince Dan won last year’s edition of the pool. King Andy and the Finnish Funkmaster rounded out the podium.

If you are interested in playing, please read the following explanation very, very carefully. This year's pool features a few minor, but significant changes.

As in other years, the first task is to decide on an option on the basis of which to assemble your team. Riders have been divided into eight different tiers and teams are assembled by choosing riders to fill slots based on various groupings of tiers. But this year we have four options to choose from rather than the usual three. This is due, in part, to the fact Gilbert can pretty much win any of these races if he wants to. So he occupies the first tier all by himself. But since Cancellara is equally a threat to win all but the Ardennes races, he sits alone in the second tier. After that, the tiers are more generously populated, so you will have some decisions to make in choosing your riders. You can build around both Gilbert and Cancellara and their guaranteed haul of big points, if you like, but the rest of your team will be collectively weaker. There are two options for building a more well-rounded team. One of these is designed especially for those who prefer to limit the range of decision making as mcuh as possible. Option four allows you to narrow your focus to the fourth tier alone and pick nine riders from that one group. How straightforward is that?

Based on average points for the respective tiers, the four options are more or less equal. They should all add up to 5400 points, give or take 100 points. But that is based on projections which are in turn based on averages. In reality, it is safe to say that teams will be spread all over the map. Nevertheless, each of the options can potentially win this pool so long as you pick a few diamonds out of the rough or just get lucky.

The second significant change has to do with the Ardennes riders. In the past, these climbing specialists have been grouped into their own tier. This year, they are mixed together with others based on their projected points for the season. They still represent a separate group and your team must include at least one of them. But choosing them is now part of the task of navigating the various tiers more generally. And this year you are allowed to have as many as two Ardennes guys if you want a team that is geared more toward the races that end with uphill finishes.

To summarize, the rules are as follows:

1) Assemble a team of nine riders based on one of four possible options.

2) Each team must include at least one and no more than two Ardennes riders (the ones whose names are bolded in the rider list).

3) Any rider who is busted for a doping violation during the season is booted from your team and you lose all his points.

4) Submit your team here by Saturday morning at 8am CST. You must indicate which option you used in assembling your team. Failure to navigate the tiers properly may result in exclusion from the pool. The Dark Side’s Office of Low-Stakes Gambling is a busy place and we can’t guarantee that we will be able to check your team prior to the start of the season.

5) Entry is free and open to all. Please feel free to invite others to join.

6) The winner will receive a prize package consisting of a pair of FGBC socks and a six pack of fine Belgian beer. Unless he or she is one of my kids (or their peers), in which case the prize package will consist of the socks and a six pack of Italian soda.

For the rider list, the four team options, the point scoring system, and the races included in the season, click here.

Any questions? Drop a comment below and we will do our best to answer.

Notes on Wool Care

Just passing on a note from our friend at Cima Coppi on caring for your new wool jersey:

"1. Please follow the tagged care instructions. Hand wash cold. You probably will find you can wear the jerseys about 14 times before they need washing, cause wool doesn't get stinky like poly/synthetics. Use little soap. No need to scrub them. Lay flat to dry.

2. They will shrink a little if you wash by hand as was explained. If you put them in hot water or the dryer, they will shrink significantly, so you should not do this.

3. The backing paper around the stitching will soften and it's best left in unless it's bothersome. It can be torn out carefully at no harm to the jersey, unless you rip out stitches. If you're careful that won't happen.

4. Keep in mind, they are all handmade by me, so each jersey will be unique. Swap jerseys around until everyone is satisfied with their size (although there isn't much noticeable difference). All the sizes are marked on the neck tag, and the custom length ones are noted as well."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

TNR...let's ride.

There is much to celebrate this evening. Fresh snow, double digits until the spring ride, beautiful black wool, and general super happy fun times.

The DL will be absent this evening. (The last time this happened we had a ricockulously fun ride.)

I suggest that we meet at the regular spot (the dark lord's front yard) at the regular time (NK drive club could bring bikes in a truck) and proceed from there into the woods and drifts and rivers and whatever.

Then off to the Klubhaus for Wool and re-hydration.

The Wool Is In!

Ladies and Gentleman. Thank you for your patience over the last few months. The wool arrived safe and sound at noon today and I have to say, the jerseys look AWESOME. I'm really happy with how they turned out and I know you will be too. Not sure what the TNR plan is, but perhaps we will have to arrange a pickup at the klubhouse? The box is big and heavy, so someone will have to help me transport them.

Perhaps if you are planning on coming out, leave a comment and we'll carry your jersey to the bar. Or if someone is driving, let me know and we can bring the whole box.

Monday, February 20, 2012

CX Pool Roundup

The J-Train is still leading. But just barely. He went into the weekend with a lead of 195 points over King Andy. Andy took back 120 of those points in Cauberg on Saturday. And he took back another 45 in Oostmalled on Sunday. With one more race to go this Wednesday, the lead is down to just 20 points. Andy has gotten the better of Jonah in each of the last four races. But Jonah has beaten Andy a couple of times recently too. So it really is up in the air. It all depends on who shows up. But the smart money is on Andy.

Full results and overall standings here.

In other vicarious racing news, the 2012 FGBC Spring Classics Pool is almost ready to go. We're just doing a bit of last minute haggling over the rider values here in the Dark Side's Dept. of Low Stakes Gambling. We've made a few changes on how riders will be selected. More info coming soon. The first race of the season is on Sataurday. So be prepared to submit teams by Friday evening. Details will be up by Wednesday, at the very latest.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thursday Anticipation: Special Friday Edition

We have reached a very important milestone. The Spring Ride countdown is down to double digits. A mere 14 weeks from now we be celebrating our tenth anniversary.

The annual 24 hour race and film festival is just around an even closer corner. Normally we would do that this weekend. But we accepted a generous buyout package from Gianni so that he could have this weekend for Actif Epica. So we'll do our celebration of sloth and snow biking in a couple of weeks. There are some rumours going around the interwebs about the availability of a possible new venue for the weekend--one that would place us closer to single track and river riding options in and around Ass. Park. Hopefully we can get that question settled at the next TNR. Brad the Impaler thinks we should consider it. The Secretary, however, has been silent. Very silent. So much so that we are starting to wonder whether he and the President have finally become the same person. It was only a matter of time, really. In any case, since it is his place that is currently penciled in as the host site, it's really up to him to say whether this is worthy of any further consideration.

On the vicarious racing side, this is the last weekend of racing in Belgium. The season ends on Wednesday with the annual indoor race in Hasselt. Can the J-Train hold off King Andy? It looks like it is going to be very close either way.

Good luck to JP and everyone who's racing Actif Epica this weekend. Clearly this is not a race for the FGBC rank and file. The ratio of chips to miles was just too low for it to register on our collective radar screen. But we will nevertheless be watching with interest from a safe, warm, and chip rich distance.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Sweetest Wool Jersey in the World has shipped

They should be here in time for next week's TNR. If all of a sudden they show up earlier, we may well have to organize a special gathering at the klubhaus.

TNR Report

The VP of Good Times came through. We raced. It was a stage race. The first stage was a handicap race from the TNR HQ to the Duck Pond, featuring as much singletrack as possible. We left 40 seconds apart from one another, based on an inversion of our usual order of finishing in cx races. This turned out to be perfect, as we all arrived at the Duck pond within a few seconds of one another. Except for the Cricket, whose lack of a light resulted in him taking a few too many wrong turns. The second stage has us racing a very short loop up and down the toboggan slide a couple of times. The Cricket exacted his revenge and won that stage pretty easily.

After Jonny G did some math and applied bonus points for the more hirsute among us, we ended up with the following results.

And yet somehow everyone ended up a winner. The Secretary brought prizes for all of us.

The mini chip buffet proved a fitting segue as the conversation turned to the one rather weighty agenda item. In the end, however, it was all very easy. The Spring Ride stays on the same weekend. And we are back to camping. The Accommodations Director will work on finding us a place to pitch our tents.

Graham brought the evening to a close by telling us just how much he loves us. It was kind of awkward. But at least it was tasty.

After 5 Nordic Cross races, the overall series standings look like this:

Chris 103
Mark 102
Jonny G 95
Graham 76
Vic 71
JP 68
Craig 66
Darryl 60
Lyle 51
Luke 46
Brad 28
KK 25
Penner 24
Andrea 18
Unger 16
Dave E 15
Brandon 14
Kelly 14
Tom 13
Daniel 12
Vanessa 11
Colin 9
Tomek 8
Bill 7

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

TNR [Updated]

There is a good chance we will be racing tonight. Nordic Cross #5. Yes, that would be a week earlier than it was originally scheduled. Deal with it. The Secretary, in particular, has put a lot of thought into this. We look forward to seeing what he's come up with.

9:30 pm at my place. Unless subsequent comments state otherwise.

[Update: 1:04 pm] At the klubhaus, there is one very important agenda item that will need some consideration. Some new shit has come to light. The Accommodations Director reports that the chalet is not available for the Spring Ride. It appears there are two options: (1) keep the weekend and find another location or (2) keep the location and find another weekend. Give it some thought and come prepared to state your case. Needless to say, this calls for an appearance from the President. This might be one of those situations where he just needs to make the call.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fun with Google

The FGBC blog is like a neighbourhood bar--populated, for the most part, by a small group of regulars. From time to time, however, new folks wander into our virtual stomping grounds. Sometimes, those wanderings yield good fruit. For example, we are not exactly sure how the VP Style found us after he moved here from the Big Smoke, but we are sure glad he did.

Lately, we have had a number of new visitors to our humble strand of the vast interwebs. Usually, they find us via a Google search of one sort or another. And it is interesting to see how they find us. The Dark Side's Dept. of Pointless Research spent a little time looking into this phenomenon over the past few weeks. Here is what we found.

By far the most common Google search is "Tom Meeusen jump." Type it into Google and a link to the FGBC will show up on the first results page. Click on the link and you will be directed here.

Pretty straightforward stuff for a cycling blog that spends regular time paying attention to the pro cx circuit. But after that, it gets a little more interesting.

A close second, in order of popularity, is "nude cycling" or sometimes "nude cycling calender." Click on the link that search provides and you wind up here, no doubt more than a little underwhelmed by the result.

There's still a cycling term in that one. But sometimes even that is missing. It is at this point that things start to appear rather random. But arguably far more interesting.

Another very popular source of traffic to the Dark Side is a search for "red ass pics." It is not clear what the recent visitors from Brazil, India, and Redding, Connecticut were looking for when they typed that string of terms into Google. But this is what they found. Don't worry, it's safe for work.

A visitor from Madison, Wisconsin was looking for information on "inadvertent self-mutilation." Among other things, they found my haiku rendition of a far-too-close encounter with the former Omand's Creek pole.

Sophisticated search engine users will know that it is possible generate more specific search results by grouping terms in quotation marks, or even to string together a few such groupings. A recent visitor from Keyport, New Jersey did that with "Sandra Bullock" and "sexy nose" and ended up with this TNR Report from May 5, 2010. This is even more interesting in light of the fact that in our discussion the two search phrases had different referents. The "sexy nose" was mentioned in connection to Uma Thurman. And it was specifically contrasted with Sandra Bullock, who was described as possessing a more "straight ahead beauty." Too bad Ms. Bullock didn't leave a comment after she stumbled upon our website. We are curious to know what she thought of us.

Sandra Bullock isn't the only individual people were looking for when they found the Dark Side instead. Some came our way searching for the likes of "Brenda Schritt" and even Ice Bergen's daughter. While perhaps a bit strange, neither of those is entirely surprising. But someone from a molecular biology lab in Grenoble, France was looking for a certain "Thomas Springstein" and wound up looking at a photo of our own Cousin Thomas all kitted up in the sweetest jersey in the world. Another Google explorer was searching for information on "Ania Gonzalez." Who is Ania Gonzalez? We have no idea. But Daniel Ania Gonzalez is a guy who did even worse than the group of four Canadian CXers in Hoogerheide back in January of 2011. And for that we gave him a public word of thanks.

Interesting stuff. But not altogether surprising. In ten years worth of barrom chatter, you can cover a lot of ground.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

CX Pool Roundup

Oh my. It looks like this is going to go right down to the wire. The J-Train padded his lead a bit on Saturday with a third place finish in Middelkerke. He gained 100 points on King Andy to push his lead back up to 465 points. But Andy put the pint-sized trash talker in his place and exacted some revenge on Sunday. He took back 135 points on Jonah in Heerlen and another 135 points at the GP Stad Eeklo. With just three more races to go, Andy is now just 195 points off of the overall lead. The way things are going, it may very well come down to the final race of the season--the annual indoor race in Hasselt.

The top three for each of the three races this weekend were as follows:

Middelkerke: Mike, Marcus, Jonah
Heerlen: Andrea, Miriam, Jay
GP Stad Eeklo: Andy, Chris H, Miriam

Full results and overall standings here.

For Jonny S. Rated 18A

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Thursday Anticipation

Coming soon, it's hard to imagine a better collection of vicarious races:

Also, the real racing season starts next weekend with Gianni's 130 km ride through the barren snow-swept prairie. Will the Dark Side be represented?

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Wool Update!

Great news everyone, the wool is finally out of customs and the sweetest wool jersey in the world is slated to be in the mail a week from today. Thank you for all being so patient, I know the wait will be well worth it.


Has anybody heard of this new hockey team called the Jets? They are playing tonight and I am planning to check them out. That means I will miss the ride. But Jonny G has a plan. Which he will communicate in the comments below.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Sweetest Jersey in the World

Some have suggested it is time to place another order. We have some new recruits set to join the Dark Side and they are eager to get themselves kitted up right. So if you are in need of a new jersey and/or shorts, drop a comment below. I believe all we need is five of each in order to make that happen.

Also, in case you're wondering, the wool jersey project is still in the works. The Hipster reports that they are close to being finished. But some new wool needed to complete the project is hung up at customs. So we're kind of in a holding pattern. They should be ready to ship soon though. Unless the whole thing was a ruse to get Mark the cash he needed to buy a new motorcycle.

And finally, let it be known that the Sweetest Skinsuit in the World is going to be a reality in time for next cx season. Project Unitard was officially launched a few weeks ago. It is still in the R&D phase at this point, so don't bother asking for photos just yet. It will take a little time, since we are going with a brand new design and not just the one-piece version of the Sweetest Kit in the World. We will supply some visual treats when the time is right. Don't worry, it will be very, very awesome.

CX Pool Roundup

The J-Train is apparently running out of gas. And King Andy is taking advantage, thanks to a couple of wins by Tom Meeusen this weekend. Andy won the GVA race in Lille on Saturday. He had 395 points. Jay and I tied for second place with 325 points each. Jonah had 215 points so conceded 180 points to the King of Vicarious Racing. He did a little better in Hoogstraten on Sunday, eking out a second place finish over Andy to take back 10 points in the overall race. Mike won that one with a 260 point day.

Jonah's overall lead is down to 365 points with two more weekends of racing to go. For the second year in a row, it looks like the final outcome of the FGBC CX Pool will go right down to the wire.

Full results and overall standings here.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, KK won the 2010 FGBC TdF Pool. He did NOT have Clenbutador on his team. So his victory remains untainted. Chris D, however, did benefit from some vicarious steroid enhancement. We trust he feels appropriately dirty about finishing second overall under such dubious circumstances.

Friday, February 03, 2012


No, the pro cx season isn't over. In fact, the men were back at it with Parkcross on Tuesday, just a couple of days after the world championships. Nys and Stybar weren't there. And Albert seems to have approached it more or less as a training ride. That was good news for the Vanthourenhout cousins, who took advantage of the opportunity to grab two of the top three spots.

Over in the 2011-12 FGBC CX Pool, it was a day for sharing. Andy and Jay shared the win. They had 125 points each. Andrea, Mike and I shared second place with 80 points apiece.

Jonah is not sharing the overall lead, however. He still has a cushion of 500+ points. Andy's second-place standing is starting to look pretty safe as well. But Chris O and I are currently sharing third overall. We both have 12,660 points.

Full results and overall standings here.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Barn Cross - a video report

Barn Cross
Barn Cross 2012 from dnb on Vimeo.

TNR Report

Last night was the fourth race in the nordic cross series. We kicked off the evening by meeting Lyle under the Maryland bridge, where he produced a pellet gun from his ski bag. The rules were simple - hit a paint can in one shot, get a 2-minute head start. In two shots - one minute. It turned out to be trickier than one might expect, and only Graham, Luke and Vic managed to hit the can.

After the shootout, everyone raced to four menno landmarks around the city, and ended up at Lyle's place where a bonfire, dogfest and wine awaited. Most people rolled in at the same time, but a few seemed to get lost on the way...

We had the good fortune of being joined by Colin and Tomek as well. It was Tomek's birthday, and he lit a birthday smoke much like mongo does in Blazing Saddles.

After warming up, the second half of the race started: a sprint to the club house with a concluding beer sprint, though we ensured there was no trickery involving unlocked bikes this time.

In the end, we averaged the finishing order from Lyle's place with the beer sprint results, added points bonuses for marksmanship, and Lyle applied a surprise penalty to those who left their lights on outside as a demonstration of bad form.

The final results were:

CommunionCat Results

Craig 25
Graham 22
Vic 20
JP 19
Chris 18
Luke 16
Jonny G 15
Brandon 14
Tom 13
Brad 12
Mark 11
Lyle 10
Colin 9
Tomek 8
Darryl 7

Overall Standings after 4 races

Chris 83
Mark 77
Jonny G 73
JP 68
Graham 61
Vic 52
Lyle 51
Craig 48
Darryl 48
Luke 46
KK 25
Andrea 18
Brad 17
Dave E 15
Brandon 14
Kelly 14
Tom 13
Daniel 12
Vanessa 11
Colin 9
Penner 8
Tomek 8
Bill 7