Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Special Projects

With cyclocross season just over a month away, we are busy working on some special projects that will make our courses even more awesome than they already are.

The Bunker Project continues today at 5pm. We will work until the steps are done.

The Flyover Project shifts into high gear on Saturday, when we commence the construction phase of the project. We like to think of it as a barn raising of sorts. Mike's place will be equal parts construction site and party patio. We will see if we can get it built in a day. The good times will be flowing freely.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

TTT Results

The results for yesterday's Team Time Trial are now up.  Thanks to everyone who came out to race, officiate, and volunteer.

Fall Classics Pool?

Sorry, boys and girls. There will be no Fall Classics Pool this year. The FGBC's Dept. of Low-Stakes Gambling is short staffed these days on account of the Dept. of Big Ideas putting out an emergency call for extra help. They are a busy bunch right now and we need to do everything we can to support their efforts.

Don't miss the road races at the Olympics on Saturday and Sunday, though. They start early, so set the PVR.

We will get back into the swing of things with the Vuelta Pool in about a month.

Don't Get Mad, Get Mad Alchemy

We are very pleased to announce a partnership with Mad Alchemy Embrocation. Their sweet logo will no doubt enhance the sweetness of the forthcoming sweetest skinsuit in the world that we are designing for Dark Red Racing. But more importantly, they will help our bodies survive the rigours that a cyclocross season in Manitoba can throw at them. If ever there was a place where warming balms could be considered a basic necessity, it would probably be Winnipeg. We may not be the fastest CXers on the local circuit, but we will be the warmest and best smelling thanks to Pete Smith's aromatic blends. And his chamois creams will help us tend to the situation on the inside of the sweetest skinsuit in the world as well.

For those not associated with the Dark Red Side, you will have an opportunity to get your hands on some of their magic potions if you show up at DarkCross. MAE is also partnering with us on that effort by supplying us with some of their sweet products for draw prizes and special race primes.


There was only one team whose Darkness was rated at 100 proof. We didn't win. But neither did we lose. Good times. The Dark Side's newest member was also there. Her team didn't win or lose either. And Charlene rode with a team from Altona. They are practicing for the Provincial ITT Championships that will take place down in their part of the world next weekend. And they did win! Probably the best prize of all. They each took home a pair of the Sweetest Socks in the World for winning the Best Team prize.

The Cricket wasn't allowed to stand beside us
because he forgot to bring his cyclocross bike.
Dogfest. Please note the cooking utensil.
Mike once again confirms that there isn't a job
for which he doesn't have adequate tools.
Awards ceremony.
Who needs a stage when you have the back of a pick-up truck?
These guys were the fastest team.
They won a broken clock.
Lots more photos from Tom K here.

Thanks to Adam and Mike for organizing. And for all the volunteers who helped out. That was a lot of fun. We should do it again next year.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Like we said, more big news . . .

Welcome to the Dark Side WCC! Somehow it seems fitting that I was listening to my girlfriend sing "Dark Turn of Mind" as I read the announcement.

Still more big news coming tomorrow. And the day after that. New shit is being piled upon new shit. It is going to be a very large pile by the time we are through. And we haven't even begun to talk about DarkCross yet.

These are heady times.


Or is it now the DRRTTT?

Either way, it goes down tonight. Don't be a dumbass and miss it.

More info here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Better Dark Red than Dead

It has been a while since we've heard anything from the Dept. of Big Ideas. It's not that they haven't been busy so much as they've been working away quietly behind closed doors, often into the wee hours of the morning. That is about to change. Here is the first in a series of big announcements.

We are very pleased to announce that the FGBC and RRR have decided to recognize more formally what has long been a reality on the ground. We are combining our efforts and forming an alliance that will result in the formation of a brand new team. It will be called Dark Red Racing and will be comprised of those who belong to one of the two clubs. Note the distinction between club and racing team. The clubs will continue to exist very much as they always have. But they will cease to have any formal affiliation with the MCA. Dark Red Racing will be registered for the 2013 season and replace the two existing clubs. When it comes to racing bikes and organizing races, we will now function as a single team. So in some ways, nothing really changes. In other ways, however, there will no doubt be some significant new developments. It may take some time to figure out what, exactly those are. But rest assured, it will be awesome. Very awesome.

Of course, this also means that there will be some new kit. Do not worry, boys and girls. The sweetest jersey in the world isn't going anywhere. It will remain one of the official costumes of this new operation. And you are all encouraged to wear it proudly, whether racing, riding, or just lounging around the house. Those who recently received their new kit are especially encouraged to clothe themselves in darkness as often as possible. It has special powers that take some time to have their effect. The two RRR jerseys will also be recognized as official jerseys of the team. But with the capable assistance of the Cycle Chick, we are also working on a new design that will be a sartorial symbol this new reality. It will debut first of all in the form of a skinsuit that will hopefully be ready in time for the beginning of the 2012 season.

I suppose this also means that the Impaler's favourite red brew might now be recognized alongside our preferred FGD as an official beverage of the team. See what I mean by "significant new developments?" Hold on to your hats, boys and girls.

That's all for now. More big news coming tomorrow.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sunday Night Ride

Letter from Canmore

(photo via Paddy)
In case you missed it, JP did okay in Canmore. He finished second to Paddy. Way to go boys!! The only question is, why did they not pull on the sweetest jersey in the world for that podium photo?

That's two previous winners of the 24 Hours of Falcon Ridge right there. If Alex had been there as well, they'd no doubt have swept the podium.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Did Somebody Say "British Invasion"?

Since that has apparently become the official theme of the real race, we at the 2012 FGBC Tour de France Pool have evidently decided we should follow suit. Unlike the yawner that was the real race, however, that meant there was some excitement in the vicarious version.

Those who have played our silly little games before will know that King Andy, our British-born veteran, has been known to relate to newcomers in a manner that can only be described as icy. Troy is still licking his wounds from the savage beating Andy unleashed on him in the Spring Classics Pool. Jason proved to be a much more formidable opponent in the Tour de France Pool. So much so that King Andy had to enlist the help of Prince Dan to wrest the vicarious yellow jersey from Jason's seemingly impenetrable grip. Dan may not have the accent that his father does, but apparently he still has the mean streak that the Brits are sometimes known for. And poor, unsuspecting Jason bore the brunt of it. Jason led the race from the Prologue all the way through to Stage 17. And he could be forgiven for thinking he had the whole thing pretty much sewn up. But just as he does when he races bikes for real, Dan started slow and got progressively stronger as the race chugged along. On stage 2, while Jason had already been in yellow for three days, Dan was all the way down in 26th place. By stage 9, he was still in 9th place. And he only moved into the top three on stage 12. But from there it was a slow and steady rise until he finally pulled on the vicarious yellow jersey after stage 18. And then on the next stage, after Dan had delivered the decisive kick to the groin, King Andy moved into second overall, bumping Jason down to third place. It was actually quite an impressive performance--a one-two tag-team reminiscent of British Bulldogs' Davey Boy Smith and the Dynamite Kid from back when it was pro wrestling rather than pro cycling that captured the hearts of the Dark Side. In the end, Jason was lucky to remain on the podium at all. Once the dust settled, Brian was just 10 points from pushing Jason from the podium altogether. The difference between Dan and Andy was also very close. The King finished just 20 points behind his crown prince.

The stage winners since our last update were as follows:

Stage 16: Thomas
Stage 17: Patrick
Stage 18: Adam
Stage 19: Brian
Stage 20: Chris H

Full results and overall standings can be found here.

Now we have some prizes to sort out. I guess Jason wins the Revolution Wheelworks socks. We'll let Dan choose between the FGBC socks and the free entry to the Brandon Race. Andy gets whichever prize is left over. Sound good?

Thanks for playing everybody. That was fun.

If I can get my act together, we'll get the Fall Classics Pool launched in the next little while so that we can include the Olympic road race and ITT. Those take place on July 28 and August 2, respectively. And then the Clasica San Sebastian is on August 4. So check back in a few days if you're up for more cycling geek fun courtesy of the FGBC's Dept. of Low Stakes Gambling.

And finally, I apologize for not being able to update the results in a more timely fashion. But watching a bunch of kids participate in their first big cycling event was way more fun than watching this Tour. Just think of the party we could have had in Swan River if you'd all joined me up there.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Team Time Trial - July 25

Hot on the heels of the 24 hour event comes yet another collabo race, the Fort Garry/Red River TTT.  Get your teams of four (or three) organized, and then check out the website for all the details.  There are very few restrictions on team composition, and categories for every ability.  No special equipment is required.

Please feel free to bring friends and family out to BHP for the evening to cheer for their favourite team, and then to join us for the post-race BBQ.

MB Summer Games

Miriam and Chloe, of the Junior Dark Side, are off to Swan River for the MB Summer Games. Wish them well. You can follow them here, if you like.

I am off to cheer them on.

This means that there will be no updates of the 2012 FGBC TdF Pool until Sunday. Sorry about that.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


My place, 9:30 pm. Bring it.

24 Hours of Falcon Ridge Report

We call it Spring Ride II--a bigger, more public and family-friendly version of our annual weekend of mtbs and good times. And once again, it lived up to the lofty expectations such a designation suggests. That was a lot of fun. There were White Russians, a dogfest, a keg party, bridges, quad rides, and plenty of big smiles.

To get a sense of the vibe, check out the photos that Paul V took.

And to get a sense of the course, watch JP's video of the first lap:

Maybe the Secretary will actually finish his movie this year. That would be super deluxe.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Bunker Project

Cyclocross season is less than two months away. And the Dark Side is starting to get excited.

The Flyover Project is not the only big initiative we are working on for this year. Everyone's favourite bunker is getting a facelift as well. This one is a joint project with our good friends at CMU Cycling. And it is a bittersweet pill. On the one hand, it will make the mound of grass in the middle of nowhere look much nicer. But it will also dole out another kick in the groin per lap. This is on the north (golf course) side, which is longer and steeper than any of the other three sides. You can look forward to ten big steps up to the top, before you have to remount your bike for the trip back down. For the Men's Cat 1/2 race, that should add up to 8-10 additional kicks to the groin.

Menno says "you are welcome."

Stage 15

Elisha wins it, ahead of Phillip and Jonah.

Jason continues to lead. But Dan has narrowed the gap to less than 100 points. And the King has moved into third overall.

Full results and overall standings here.

Stages 12-14

We'll have to keep it brief. We're done the 24 Hours of Falcon Ridge, but now it's off to do some work on the bunker in preparation for MennoCross. Things are a little hectic here at the Dark Side.

Stage winners were as follows:

Stage 12: Auckland
Stage 13: Dallas
Stage 14: Andy and Dan L

Jason still leads the overall race. But Dan L has moved into second and Pete is in third place.

Full results and overall standings here.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Stages 10-11

Cousin Thomas shared the win with Phillip on Stage 10. They had 250 points apiece. Chris Y was second with 225 points.

Marcus won stage 11. You may have noticed his team is full of riders named Chris or Marcus, or at least something similar. With Kiryienka and my boyfriend thrown in just for fun. That team building strategy worked to perfection today. 200 points for the youngest member of the 2012 FGBC TdF Pool. Bill was second with 175 points. Marshall and Patrick both had 145 points to share the third step of the podium.

Jason still sits atop the overall pool. Rachel has moved up into second. And Jonny B is now in third overall.

Full results and overall standings here.

There were plenty more departures. In addition to Fabs, Petacchi and Krivtsov finished outside the time limit and were sent packing. A bunch of others crawled off their bike and said "this Tour is geese." Check out the latest carnage in the Pool here. Interestingly, the Secretary is one of the few whose team is still intact. And yet he continues to languish near the very bottom of the overall standings.

Once again, the FGBC's Dept. of Low-Stakes Gambling will be closed for the weekend. We are all heading out tomorrow to the 24 Hours of Falcon Ridge. Look for the next update on Sunday evening. Hopefully by then Bradley Wiggins will have fallen off the side of a mountain.

Commissioned Trophy

Here's a sneak peak of the uncompleted commissioned trophy for the 24 Hours of Falcon Ridge this weekend.  Wouldn't it be great if a FGBC'er could take this home!?

Thursday Anticipation

Bring! It! On!

This weekend is going to be awesome. Very, very awesome.

Other than that, everything you need to know can be found here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Yes, we will ride.

9:30 pm at my place.

The first order of business is to get the sweetest jersey (and shorts, and knickers, and wind vests) in the world into the hands of their proud new owners. That may entail heading straight for the klubhaus.

We will also have plenty of business to discuss regarding the 24 Hours of Falcon Ridge. Online registration closes tomorrow at midnight. So if you haven't already done so, surf on over and get yourself signed up.

And finally, we will provide some details about an exciting new sponsor that has signed on to partner with the Dark Side.

TNR Report

Does anybody know where we can find a good intern? The Dark Side's activities are running way ahead of the capacity of the Communications Dept. to document them. We could use some help. Preferably good help. And free. In any case, here's another week late TNR Report.

The Generator Project cannot be declared a success just yet.

We're assuming the President was working. Otherwise, he'd be riding with us for sure.

The Cricket tried out the Big Frame's big Frame. He said it was as big as advertised.

We ran into a local hero at the vendor. He said he'd save us if we were drowning.
But since we weren't, he asked if we'd buy him a six-pack instead. We politely declined.

We are an equal opportunity bike club.

By the time we arrived at the klubhaus, the bike with the rake was still there.
We probably talked about a bunch of stuff and made some important decisions. But unfortunately, I can't remember what any of them were. So we'll have to try again tonight.

Finally, we get to invoke Rule 6

It reads as follows:
Any rider who is disqualified from the race for a doping violation (during the race) forfeits all his points. If he survives the race and gets busted later, you get to keep your points.
Astute readers like Jonny G will have noted that this particular rule is rather vaguely worded. It mentions nothing about a formal conviction. The only requirement is that a rider is booted from the race on account of a doping matter. Surprisingly, that has not happened in a long time. But it is exactly what happened on today's rest day.

It seems Remy Di Gregorio placed a phone call to a dealer and got snagged in the wire. Somewhere, Lester Freamon just flashed that big smile of his. Once hailed as the next great French climber--an heir to Richard Virenque, on the mountains, at least, if not the bedroom--Di Gregorio has been pretty much invisible as of late. But he did score 30 points for Olli on Stage 4. Those points have now been stricken from the record. And there could be more to come if the rumour mill is to be believed. Di Gregorio used to ride with Astana. And it sounds like this case is linked to his time with the boys from Kazakhstan. Some have suggested that there are more disqualifications to come for Vino's team. We like Vino. But it is only right that they should get punished for wearing that putrid Tar Heel blue.

Meanwhile, it sounds like my boyfriend has his bags packed and a helicopter waiting on account of a baby that is about to be born. We would miss him in the final time trial. But with Tony Martin quitting the race as well, that's shaping up to be a bit of a yawner anyway.

The list of withdrawals has been updated in light of these latest departures. Thomas has been hit the hardest. He only has five riders left on his squad. Amazingly, there are a handful of teams that are still intact. Have a look-see here.

And finally, tonight at the klubhaus, we will raise a glass of JD on behalf of the Honorary Captain to judge Sam Sparks, who opened a can of juridical whup-ass and sprayed it all over a certain Mr. Armstrong.
"This court is not inclined to indulge in Armstrong's desire for publicity, self-aggrandizement or vilification of Defendants, by sifting through eighty mostly unnecessary pages in search of the few kernels of factual material relevant to his claims," he said.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Stages 8-9

Bill won stage 8, in part because he was the only person to take a chance on a young man named Thibault Pinot. Catherine and Brad rounded out the podium.

Steve and Jonny B had to share the win today. They had 290 points each. Troy finished third, just 5 points back.

Yes, Jason still leads the overall race. He's up to 1780 points now. Aaron C is in second with 1620 points. And Rachel is third overall. She has 1595 points.

As for the real race, there must have been a mistake with the timing system. It says my boyfriend lost an ITT to a couple of skinny British dudes. That can't be right.

Full results and overall standings here.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Stages 6-7

Well that sucks. First the big crash that took out a whole pile of contenders. And today Team Sky confirmed that they are going to make this a very boring race. Good for them. That is probably what they have to do. But it sure makes for lousy spectating.

Fortunately, the vicarious racing is much more interesting. Elisha, Randy, and Mike shared the win on Stage 6. They have 185 points apiece. And then Brad and Catherine crossed the line holding hands on Stage 7. They both picked up 205 on the first mountain stage of this year's Tour.

Unlike my boyfriend, Jason did not lose his lead today. With 1435 points, he is 95 points ahead of Rachel. Aaron C rounds out the top three. He's another 25 points behind Rachel.

Full results and overall standings here.

If anyone is curious to see how the record number of withdrawals has affected the 2012 FGBC TdF Pool, have a look at the list of teams again. The riders in bold have all quit the race.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Stage 5

Top 10: Jonah - 225 Adam - 215 Val - 215 Charlene - 170 KK - 170 Joe - 170 Aaron L - 160 Dan L - 150 Terry - 125 Auckland - 110 Hal - 110 Anna - 110 Overall: Jason - 1150 Graham - 1110 Jonah - 1075 Rachel - 1045 Aaron C - 1045 Adam - 940 Jonny B - 910 Chris D - 880 Rhonda - 880 Dan L - 875

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Stage 4

Our stage winner today is Aaron L. The Halfrican and the Finnish Funkmaster rounded out the podium.

In the overall race, the Awesome One is narrowing the gap. He's just 25 points behind Jason now.

Full results and overall standings here.

I'm heading out town for the next little while. And then it's Folk Fest. I may be able to post very brief updates. But don't count on seeing the full results and overall standings until next week.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Run Forrest Run?

The Awesome One won today's lumpy, Ardennes-like stage into Boulogne-sur-Mer. That is fitting, because the real race was won by another Awesome One, who goes by the name of Peter Sagan. It needs to be noted, however, that our Awesome One does a better job with his vicarious victory celebrations than young Peter does with his real ones. Was that really supposed to be Forrest Gump, as CN suggests? There are bikes in that scene. But didn't Cadel and his two chins already do that salute a few years back?

In any case, the Awesome One had 310 points thanks to Sagan, Cancellara, Hesjedal, and Van Garderen. The Dark Lady finished just 5 points behind Graham and had to settle for second on the stage. She does not like finishing second. Thanks Graham. Let's hope the Death Star doesn't suffer too much damage as a result. The Halfrican rounded out the podium with 280 points.

Jason continues to lead the overall race. He's up to 1055 points now. The Awesome One has moved into second. He is 65 points off the pace. Aaron C is third overall, another 25 points behind.

There were a number of goose eggs laid today. 11 of them, to be exact. The Secretary was not among those who laid goose eggs. But somehow he managed to fall into last place anyway. So he takes over the vicarious lanterne rouge from Miriam.

Full results and overall standings here.

Tomorrow should favour the sprinters once again. But that road by the sea, it could get a bit windy out there and cause the peloton to splinter into a series of echelons. That is always so much fun. At least for those of us watching at home.


Anyone up for a ride tonight?

9:30 pm at my place.

I have a report from Stevens to share at the klubhaus.

Brad, can you show up a bit earlier to help me make sure the generator is ready for the 24 Hour Race?

Oh yeah, we rode last Tuesday too. It was awesome, not least because it was KK's birthday. Thanks to Mrs. KK for the brownies and pitchers of darkness. A couple of FGBC rookies showed up for their first TNR as well. We hope they will join us again soon. Maybe as soon as tonight.

Token photos:

Monday, July 02, 2012

Stupid Math

In suggesting that less than a third of us would so lucky as to win stages in the 2012 FGBC TdF Pool, I neglected to consider the possibility that almost a quarter of the field would win a stage on the same day. That is what happened today, when we discovered that the top step of the podium is actually as spacious as a VW bug. 15 teams squeezed onto the top step of the podium, finishing with 165 points apiece. That is because 15 teams went with the combination of Cavendish and Eisel for their two sprinters.

Jason still leads the overall race, even though he fell well short of the high standards he has set for the race so far. He picked up 90 points and is now up to 815 overall. The J-Train has moved into second overall. He has 755 points. And Jonny B looks to have kept the strong form he showed in the 2012 FGBC Giro d'Italia Pool. He now sits in third overall, 30 points behind Jonah.

At the other end of the standings, Anna is finally on the scoreboard thanks to Cavendish's win. Miriam now holds the lanterne rouge thanks to the goose egg she laid today.

Full results and overall standings here.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Stages 1-2

With 65 teams in the pool, it is a safe bet that at least two-thirds of us will not experience the joy of winning a stage. And if Jason keeps it up, the percentage will be even higher than that. Jason has stood atop the the podium in each of the first two stages of the 2012 FGBC TdF Pool. Not a bad start. Actually, he had to suck in his gut and squeeze onto the top step with Jonny B on Saturday. They tied for the win with 335 points apiece. But he got it all to himself today after racking up another 390 points. Aaron C was second with 365 points. And Rachel finished third. She had 355 points on the day.

Needless to say, Jason leads the overall race. He already has 725 points. Aaron C sits in second place overall. He is 85 points off the lead. Graham and Jonah are tied for third overall, another 35 points back of Aaron.

At the other end of the standings, Anna is not having the start she hoped for. She is exactly 725 points behind Jason. Hal and Darryl are not doing much better. They are both 700 points off the pace. But at least they have points.

Full results and overall standings here.

Tomorrow the sprinters come out to play.