Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday Anticipation: Special Cyclocross Edition

DarkCross is just two weeks away! That is very exciting. But it is also a bit scary.

Fortunately, CrossLabs are starting next week. Show up if you need help with dismounts, cornering, shouldering your bike, eliminating the stutter step from your remount, applying embrocation, and other goofy cx skillz. Or even if you just want to hang out and experience the special vibe that makes the cyclocross community so awesome. Plus, they're taking place at CMU, so you will have an opportunity to try out the new steps at the Bunker.

Bring the kids too. There will be someone on hand to give some special attention to the Junior Dark Side/Little Red Roosters.

The official announcement reads as follows:
CrossLabs - Free Casual Cyclocross Practice 
Everyone is welcome! Join us for a fun cyclocross practice session and workout that will mix skills and drills with games and challenges. All you need is a bike (any bike will do) and a helmet. Suitable for all ages and abilities. 
When: Tuesday nights in September at 6:30 p.m. 
Where: Canadian Mennonite University (North Campus), 500 Shaftesbury Blvd.

Stage 12

Holy crap, that was steep! And super exciting to watch. If this was a real race, the Ratt wouldn't have been anywhere near the front. But the beauty of vicarious racing is that its relationship to reality is tenuous, at best. Adrian claimed a big win today and padded his lead in the overall race. The Secretary finished second and is starting to get himself spiffed up for the final podium photos. King Andy finished third today. He's up to fifth overall now. That kind of consistency is why we call him the King.

Full results and overall standings here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Stages 10 & 11

The real race is turning out to be pretty interesting. The vicarious race, considerably less so. There's still no change atop the overall standings. But at least we've broken the tedious pattern of Ratt and the Secretary trading wins. Patrick took the win on stage 10 and Andy won the vicarious ITT.

Full results and overall standings here.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Meanwhile, out at Falcon Lake . . .

Olli won a silver medal. So did Vanessa.

Perhaps equally newsworthy, it's not even dark yet and the results have been posted! That is very promising.

Grasshopper Grinder Report

Big time thanks for Terry for yesterday's Grasshopper Grinder. Then again, there were times when it seemed he was trying to kill the lot of us. But the post-race pool party and dogfest did seem to suggest he had our best interests in mind.

There were plenty of grasshoppers, as promised. And lots of crickets too. But there was only one Cricket. He did, however, roll in just behind the Impaler. We can expect to hear about this at the klubhaus every other week or so for some time to come. But at least it will break up the monotony of the story about time he beat the Awesome One.

There were some navigational issues. Some of us climbed Spring Hill more than was necessary. That sucked. But nobody climbed it more than the CycleChick, who scaled the beastly run-up a full six times, following the arrows from last weekend's Dirty Donkey race, before heading back into the howling headwind. That headwind, it was absolutely horrible!

There were also some casualties on the cx portion of the course. Refusing the race director's suggestion that we walk it, Halberto went down on the sketchy descent. The end result was some much needed colour on his thigh and a new excuse to spend more money on bikes.

JP crossed the finish line first. That he was very strong was demonstrated by the fact that he was lucid  enough to appreciate the need to take some photos of the scene at the finish line. The rest of us needed a little more time to recover from the heaping plate of agony Terry prepared for us.

Stages 8 & 9

Randy and King Andy finally broke the stranglehold that Ratt and the Secretary have had on the race. Andy won stage 8 and King Andy took stage 9.

In the overall race, Todd has bumped Prince Dan out of third place.

Full results and overall standings here.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Stages 6 & 7

The Secretary and the Ratt are taking turns winning stages right now. The Ratt is winning the climby stages, thanks to his combination of Rodrigues, Roche, and Capecchi. And the Secretary has been unbeatable in the sprints, largely due to the Italian duo of Benatti and Viviani. So the Ratt won yesterday, his third stage win in four days. And the Secretary won on the race car circuit today, giving him two wins in three days. Can anyone stop these guys? Tomorrow is another uphill finish. The pattern would suggest it is Ratt's turn again.

No changes to the top three. And no changes at the bottom either, where Gianni looks to have a stranglehold on the vicarious lanterne rouge.

Full results and overall standings here.

One other thing: there will be prizes again. The fine folks at Revolution Wheelworks are back with a pair of socks. Jason reports that the pair he won in the TdF Pool are super sweet! Even after wearing them for almost a month. The winner will get to choose between those and a pair of FGBC socks. Unless someone comes forward and donates a bottle of Tempranillo to the prize pool.

Grass Track

It rhymes with Ass Crack. But it is totally different. Nevertheless, Ian and Hal decided it was time to put the ASS in Grass Track and relocated the annual late summer travelling road show to ASS Park. It was bumpy. They also tried out a new timing system. It seems promising. Especially the fact that results are available online pretty much as soon as the race is over.

And so the cyclocross pre-season has begun.

The Hipster was there to take some sweet photos. My favourite is this one of KK being swarmed by the Dark Horde.

Notice how the Cricket looks like he's barely working. He showed that being a new dad hasn't slowed him down any. At least not yet. And JP showed the he's recovered nicely from his Canmore effort. Something tells me there will be plenty of darkness on the podium this year.

We also welcomed a new member to the team and accepted a transfer application from an old friend.

Make sure to check out the rest of Mark's photos.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Did Somebody Say DarkCross?

Thanks to the Cycle Chick and her talented creative team for another awesome poster!

Now, let's get down to spreading the word, shall we?

Thursday Anticipation

1) Grass Track tonight at the ASS Park locomotive. Unless it rains. Check the OCC blog for updates.

2) Terry's Grasshopper Grinder Invitational goes down on Saturday. Don't forget to RSVP.

St Nob STXC Report

Those trails kick-ass. Thanks KB!

JP won. He made it look easy. KK was the best of the rest. Mike was looking good too, until he crashed into a tree. Ron also looked like a good bet for the podium. And then he took a wrong turn. The rest of us were just happy to stay on the trail. The Secretary and Tinker Tim showed up for the post-race dogfest. As did a very cute baby. Good times.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stage 5

In which the Secretary finds himself standing on the top step of the podium. Actually, he shared it with Todd. That is because they both chose Bennati and Viviani as their sprinters. Consult the rider list and note the location of those two riders on that list and you will be introduced to the secret of the Secretary's strategy for assembling his team. Genius!

Ratt is still in the lead. The Secretary has moved into second overall. Prince Dan drops down to third.

Full results and overall standings here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Riding to KB's

6pm at my place if you want to ride with Vic, Jonny G, and me.

Stage 4

Evidently, the Ratt isn't afraid of King Andy. Adrian won today, ahead of Chris D and Terry. He also extended his lead to over 200 points. That's two stage wins in a row. This could be serious.

In the real race, Alejandro had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Full results and overall standings here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Don't Forget to RSVP

KB specifically mentioned that the ABES are invited too.

RSVP in the comments below if you are planning to attend.

Stages 1-3

That was exciting today. It's good to have El Pistolero back in the mix. Attacks like that sure would have changed things at the Tour.

Full results and overall standings here.

One question: is it DJ Adrian or Shop Rat Adrian who is leading this thing?

Flyover Party, Part II

Another sweet day at Mike's place. It doesn't seem right that work can be so much fun.

Bad Ass.
The run-out ramp.
Tested and approved.
There is a bottle opener, just in case.
Did someone say cider?
There was a dog fest, of course.
Isn't she purrrty?
It does take up some real estate.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Vuelta Pool: Deadline Extended

The first stage starts a little later than normal since it's a TTT. Get your teams in by noon and you can still enter the Sweetest Vuelta Pool in the World.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Let's pretend it's still Thursday

Because there's one other upcoming event I forgot to mention. Hal and Ian are planning a grass track throwdown at ASS park next Thursday, August 25. More information to follow.

That gives us three races in five days. And each of them very different. It should be a good week.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday Anticipation

There are two exciting homegrown races going down next week.

1) On Tuesday, we will do our annual mtb race in St. Nob with post-race festivities to follow at KB's place. Sadly, the post-post-race VW engine overhaul and the reunion of long lost cousins will not take place this year.

2) On Saturday, Terry is hosting the final gravel grinder of the season. But since we're all thinking about cyclocross right now, he's promised a number of cx elements as well, including what may well be the longest run-up in the world. Do not worry. There will be Scrapper, dogs, sweet prizes and good times to make sure everyone goes away happy. Racing starts at 10am. More details to follow.

Needless to say, all members of the Dark Red Machine should be at both events. And those who are playing ultimate on Saturday should make sure to show up after their games.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Vuelta Pool

The 2012 FGBC Vuelta Pool is open for business. The bad news is it's the last grand tour of the year. The good news is it means that cyclocross season is just around the corner.

Entry is free and open to all. Feel free to invite others. Give us a little time to round up some prizes.

We will use the same rules and scoring system as usual for the grand tours.

All you have to do is pick a team of nine riders from this list and send them here by 8am CDT on Saturday morning.

Be sure to assemble your team on the basis of the following criteria:

1) Pick two GC men. Their vaules must add up to six or more.
2) Pick two sprinters. Values must add up to four or more.
3) Pick one climber and one TT man. Values must add up to four or more.
4) Pick one stage hunter.
5) Pick two wild cards.

Good luck!

TNR report

We got together. It was like this...
Bye Big Frame. See ya when we see ya.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Big Frame's Farewell

Our loss is Altona's gain. The DIY Director is heading south.

We will bid him farewell Tuesday night at Brad the Impaler's place, 9:30 pm.

Bring $10 for the Scrapper.

And $5 for the pool to predict the amount of weight Lyle will have gained by next summer.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Back 40

It's easily the best mtb race this province has to offer. And it goes down this weekend. It's back at the lake trail this year. And yes, it will be awesome. Everything else you need to know is right here.

Sadly, I will not be there. Even more sadly, Brad the Impaler won't be there either. Something about a last-minute fishing excursion. Fishing! But the Dark Red Side won't be entirely unrepresented. Jonny G and Charlene will be there. Maybe KK too. Unless he has decided to stay in Europe forever. I'm sure they'd appreciate some company.

It would seem appropriate to mention something about the Butter Belt. But does that competition even exist any more? If it does, might we see a repeat winner?

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The Flyover Construction Party

Things are about to get a whole lot awesomer. After a very full day of hard work and good times, the Dark Red Monster otherwise known as the Star Building Flyover is almost ready to be unleashed on the local cx scene.

Sadly, the Secretary was not there to make the time-lapse movie he'd been planning. But if you scroll through the photos below you should be able to get a good sense of how it all came together.

Provincial ITT Results

There was a distinctly Dark Red hue on the Mens 40+ podium. Get used to it.

Full results here.

Thanks to Ian, Dallas, the ABES and everyone else who helped out. That was a sweet event.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Good Vibrations

In case you missed it: local garage rock trio The Vibrating Beds are confirmed for DarkCross. That is very awesome. We think they are a perfect fit.

See the DarkCross website for more.

And don't forget to spread the word.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Provincial ITT Championships

Race poster by Miley S.
I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that there are very few people who would ever have expected to see the words "ABES" and "ITT Provincial Champion" comingling with one another in the same sentence. But at the same time, we should know that Altona is a place where weird and unexpected bike-related occurrences happen with a frequency that can only be described as improbable.

Along with the good folks from the Olympia Cycling Club, our friends from the HBCW are co-hosting an olde tyme cycling party that will include, among other things, the crowning of this year's Provincial ITT Champions. Of course, in classic ABES fashion, there will be another, far more casual event that will take place alongside it. They are calling it the ABES Grossen Preise. It is open to anyone. And it will no doubt be awesome. It may also provide an opportunity to learn a few more low-German words or phrases.

I will be there along with Little M and the J-Train from the Junior Dark Side. We would love it if we would be joined by a few others who have Dark Red nectar coursing through their veins.

All the information you need to know is here.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The 9 Step Program

Hello, my name is the Dark Lord. And I am a lazy oaf. I am tormented by a general tendency to avoid pain and intense physical efforts at all costs. In fact, I am currently sitting on the couch with a cup of dark caffeinated goodness watching other people ride bikes in the Olympic ITT. It is not painful at all. Some might even think to describe it as super sweet. And yet I feel so dirty. So I am finally ready to admit that I need help. Lots of help. I have tried other programs. But someone tells me this new 9 step program at the bunker is just the thing I need to give this wicked addiction a final kick in the balls. In fact, the brochure says that searing quad and calf pain and a feeling of dizzy disorientation is guaranteed, especially by the time we reach the last couple of laps. Yes, I know it will suck. But I am ready. 9 steps to a harrowing world of hurt. Bring it on.

Big thanks to John B, Jonny G, Graham, Mark, Olli, and especially to Jaron for all the hard work they did to help turn this dream into a reality. It is a great gift to lazy, pain averse people everywhere. You will have an opportunity to check it out for yourself at MennoCross on Sept. 29. That course was already a good one. But it is going to be crazy awesome this year. The new bunker run-up, the flyover, and the return of the big tent ride-through. Holy crap, that is exciting!