Thursday, February 28, 2013

Classics Pool Update

Andy wins Het Niewsblad. Andrea wins Le Samyn. She is the overall leader after two races too.

Full results and overall standings here.

Now that the cx season is over, we'll wrap up the CX Pool one of these days too.

The Honorary Captain Goes to Yale

For this.

Monday, February 25, 2013


A slight break from tradition: we will meet at the Junkshon at 9:30 pm.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Saturday morning ride

Meet at Bar Italia at 8:30am for a coffee, then depart. Riding cross bikes, mixed road/trail riding, two hours or so.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Spring Classics Pool

The 2013 FGBC Spring Classics Pool is open for business!

Same deal as last year. If you are new to this nerdfest or simply can't remember all the rules, make sure to read them below. It's really not that hard.

One new request: when submitting your teams, please cut and paste riders from the spreadsheet. It makes the setup a lot easier. Easier setup makes for a happier Dark Lord. You don't want to see the Dark Lord unhappy. It's not a pretty sight. Failure to follow this simple request may result in banishment from the pool.

The list of riders and team building options can be found here.

If you see any riders listed twice or catch any other mistakes, please let us know ASAP.

Teams are due Saturday morning at 9am CST. Submit them by email to the Dept. of Vicarious Racing.

As always, entry is free and open to all. Please feel free to invite others.

The Rules:

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 to the address provided above by Saturday morning at 9am CST. You must indicate which option you used in assembling your team. Once again, failure to do so or to navigate the tiers properly may result in exclusion from the pool. The FGBC's Office of Getting Shit Done frowns on those who assume we are here to do your work for you.

5) Prizes? Maybe. But probably not.

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

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

#DRRLouisville Cont'd

Apparently Laurent was there too! He was standing right in front of us at the start of the women's race. Very cool to see that race through his editorial eyes. Mandatory viewing for all who were there. And probably also for those who weren't.

TNR report: Ko-hens not go-hen this weekend

So, there's been a bit of a snag regarding this weekend's scheduled merriment:  no location. We have a couple options for next weekend, so I think we can assume it's on for Mar 2-3. The collective would like to apologize for any inconvenience suffered by the collective.

Other matters were discussed, including, at some length, a business proposal to clean up after dead people.  Expect a flyer from the Fort Garry Body Collectors in your mailbox soon. Some were more keen on this potential enterprise than others.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Spring Classics Pool

The classics season starts on Saturday. Yikes! I thought it was a week later. I guess there is some work to do over the next couple of days.

Something will be ready. But be prepared for a quick turnaround to submit your teams. I'll try to have something up by Wednesday evening or Thursday morning. Teams must be submitted by Saturday morning.

Bring it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Knowing what day it is could be considered important by some. For others, what might be more important is having some Rooster eye candy at ones' disposal at all times. Either way, the 2013 Dark Red Racing Calendar delivers in spades. Yeah, it's already February, but sometimes we like to take our time and get things just right. The order deadline has been extended to tomorrow morning. That's Friday. See how important calendars are? Cost is $25 – orders can be placed via email to Andrea. andrea(at)tetrodesign(dot)com

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


The Spring Ride countdown is under 100 days!

That is all.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Roosters are gettin' Actif

Three hardy roosters will be tackling the close to 130km of chilly bald-ass prairie this coming Saturday. Mark and Dan will be rocking Actif for the first time, while for me it will be my second. With colder temps and more snow than last year, the race should hopefully hold true to its name. Last year the race was more of a spring classic with balmy temps and dry gravel. Let's hope this is a different game! If we don't end up frozen in snow drifts along the Crow Wing Trail some of us may attempt to join the Cricket for some Birthday beers following the race! If we don't make it out alive, Craig- Happy 30th man! Check out Mark's synopsis.

TNR Special Edition

It's Tuesday and it's beautiful outside, so we should probably ride.

Those who went to Louisville have a few accounting tasks to sort out, so we're going to meet at the Junkshon at 9:30. All are welcome! After we enjoy some espresso it'll be off to hit the river trails, or something along those lines. You should probably come.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Ice(y) Bike Report

Let's just say it was the day of the Rooster! David "Cold Hands" Coughlan (see photo below) and Andrea "Cloud Flier" Tetrault both snagged wins in their respective categories of the days penultimate event, the Abominable race. Cocks on top! Cocks on top! Shouted the thousands of delirious fans lining the long icy straitaways and treacherous descents along the Red River. Of the four Roosters entered in the race (Dave, Andrea, Leanne, and Myself), DRR left with 2 wins and a 5th place podium (Me) in the mens race. Pretty sweet. Where was the rest of the hen-coop? Perhaps they were enjoying beers on the beaches of Florida or warm hearth-fires in the bungalows of Manitoba... whatever the case... they were no-shows. Statistically, this might have been DRR's best event to date. I registered early and went back home to have some family time. When I arrived at the race I barely had a few minutes to spin up the legs before plopping my bike near the front of a bulging mob at the start/finish. Despite my tardiness, I felt I had things under control. In relaxed fashion I took off my gloves and was about to re-tie the drawstrings on my pants when the comissaire bellowed "10 SECONDS!!. Ten seconds??? WTF? That sounds like a pretty tight notice for staging well over 100 racers... I scrambled to tie up my pants and as the flood was unleashed, I barely had one mitten on. DARN. Great way to start. It was going to be one of those claw-back races.... After a brief foray on the paths behind the Johnston Terminal, the trail veered down into the astrological crater followed by a very snowy run-up the far side. The race headed across the old train bridge and down onto the gravel path under the Norwood bridge and south up the trails behind Donald. Following that, the course veered down a steep snow-covered switchback and onto the river. Now on the ice, we headed south to the end of the ice trail. Then a hairpin turn and we headed back north along the trail... who knew it was 2-way traffic?? Obviously not most of the racers... there were numerous close-calls as riders slipped and crashed on the ice... it was a bit of a gong show. Dave went down as oncoming riders slid into him riding on the wrong side of the ice-way. From there the trail headed north to the Provencher bridge. Yes, cross bikes would have been the best option here, as pushing my 29er against the wind started to feel like a tractor pull. Following the longest ice-trail ride since the 2011 24 hours of Clint Eastwood, there was a series of 2 snowy run-ups followed by a stair descent and then back to the start-finish. 2 laps of this 6 something km course marked the end of the race. On the second lapof the race I was sitting 4th behind Willem "The Butcher" Boersma and just ahead of Ari Robinson. On the last run-up Ari screamed past and I thought- good for him if he wants to use extra energy in the 2nd lap... I'll just apply constant pressure and catch up. Too bad for me I had gotten it into my head that there would be 3 laps... and crossing the finish I realized that I was officially a moron. Good times though! After the race I looked down at my computer and it registered 32 minutes of race time. What?? I'm not sure what most people call "Abominable", but this was definitely NOT it. It hearkened more to Curry Cross 2010 and the race from Broadway to the Klubhause than any sort of "Abominable" race. Oh well- in the end there was a TON of schwag thanks to the good folks at Woodcock cycle. Seemed like nearly everyone walked away with at least one door prize, many of them in the vein of bib shorts, sunglasses, 29er tires, shirts, bar mits, etc. What with the fancy dancy yellow woodcock touque in the racer reg pak, many folks will have come out even. I ended up with 2 pairs of beautiful Ryders sunglasses- and since they were on the "to purchase" list anyway, I was very happy I came out. Looking forward to Actif Epica next weekend and then the 24 hours of Coen!
***Photo Credit: Stefan Isfeld. He is awesome, eh?

Saturday, February 09, 2013

CX Pool Update

Remember last week when we pretended we were in Louisville for that cyclocross race? That was awesome, hanging out in that hotel in Winkler and photoshopping ourselves into all those photos.

Not to be forgotten in all the excitement is that there were some vicarious racing implications from all the real racing that went down. Some big implications too, as B-Rad weaseled his way into the top three.

The racing in the US is done for now. But they are still racing over in Belgium and will continue to do so for a couple more weeks.

Full results and overall standings here.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

CX Worlds Souvenirs

Upon arriving at the race venue in downtown Louisville, I quickly realized that much free swag was to be had.  KK, Thomas and I made our way through the tents picking up any thing we could get our hands on - like kids in a candy shop.  Only a 1/2 hour later did we realize that the racing had already begun, however, it was only the junior boys racing and let's be honest, who cares about them?
Later, on the way back to the hotel, it became obvious that I should use my vertical advantage to take one of these off a light post to take home.  It will soon be hanging in my basement.
I have to say though, that the best souvenir would be meeting a tall drink of water by the name of Barry Wicks under the Kona tent.  Having not been selected to represent the United States, Barry was at the race  as the team manager and Kona representative.  We hit it off quickly as men of significant height often do - here we are together, friends forever.
Barry brought his own cross bike to the race and when I asked him what size it was he replied, "it's man sized" Here was a man, one of the "twin towers" of the US CX world, validating my manhood to the world! I could have burst!!
"It's for sale, you want it?" he also said.   I laughed, knowing that my Wife would not be too pleased if I came home with yet another bike, I declined and quickly put the thought out of my mind.  Later on at supper, after consulting with my good friends who only have my best interests in mind, it was decided that this was too good of a deal to pass up - an almost new, massive, top of the line carbon cross bike for the cost of the wheels alone.  I left supper early to call my new best friend to broker the deal.

Best weekend ever!!

CX Worlds Report

We love ourselves some cyclocross. So when it was announced that Louisville was to host the 2013 CX World Championships, it wasn't so much a question of whether we'd go but how many of us would make the trip. In the end, there were 16 who made the 18+ hour drive from Winnipeg to Louisville.

We've been told that there are some who suspect that the whole thing was an elaborate stunt--not so much an imaginary girlfriend as a made up road trip. Some of our friends went so far as to say it didn't happen unless certain conditions were met, like Sven Nys receiving a high five from one of us or some sort of photo evidence in a newspaper. Sadly, we have no evidence of Sven receiving any high fives, just a photo of him walking past us on his way into the Foam Party. And we neglected to snap a photo of the high five we gave to Geoff Kabush at the Foam Party. The other criterion was not exactly satisfied either. Our friends at Cyclocross Magazine tweeted a photo of the Impaler and Co. getting ready for the first race of the day. But seeing as that is not exactly print news, Colin might say it doesn't count. We all know how seriously he takes his rules.

So just in case there still remains any doubt about whether we were in fact there, we begin with some documentary evidence confirming our presence at the Men's Elite Race. Note the times in case you want to scroll ahead to those precise moments in the video and see for yourself.

Exhibit A is a shot of David and his Hot Legs walking up a hill and through a crowd, right toward the camera. Footage this clear cannot be faked:

Exhibit B shows Little M, the J-Train, and me at our spot about 1/3 of the way up the limestone run-up. We are all wearing our white Helen Wyman supporters hats, as is Hot Legs in the photo above.

Since we are facing away from the camera, some might reasonably remain unconvinced. Here is a better shot of the J-Train watching Francis Mourey on the run-up while he was still leading the race.

KK and a few others were stationed on the other side of that run-up, catching riders on the way down. Here you see KK holding his orange horn and yelling "Go Jets Go!" Sven Nys looked back in confusion. Be he regained his composure to finish his task for the day.

We began our day by checking out the expo area. We were pleasantly surprised to find the TRP guys serving up shots of Makers Mark when we arrived at 9am. Yes, of course we had some.

The crowds were thick. Almost as thick as the run-up at DarkCross.

One vantage point we wanted to check out was the start line. So we made our way over for the start of the women's race to send good vibes to Helen Wyman.

Sadly, Helen's race did not go according to plan. She got stuck behind a pile-up early in the first lap and crashed again on lap 2. Is this what happens when the Dark Lord sends you his vibes?

Sanne Cant also had a rather shitty race. She crashed right in front of us on a tricky descent. And then she did the same thing on the next lap. Sanne is on my team in the 2012-13 FGBC CX Pool. Needless to say, I was hoping for a good result. More confirmation of the Dark Lord Jinx.

After the women's race, we made our way to the Kona tent to offer our apologies to Helen for the apparently rotten vibes we sent her. Wendy Simms was there to greet us and chat with Little M about her race. We heart Wendy. How sweet would it be if she started racing more cx again?

Helen was very gracious and refused to allow that our vibes might have played any part in her rough day. In fact, she felt bad that we might even think it was somehow our fault. So she gave us all hats and even gave Little M one of her old British Champion jerseys. She does have enough of those by now. But just as we were about to leave, she called us back and jotted down M's phone number just in case she needs to call and have M ask me to send my dark vibes someone else's way.

For the Elite Men's race, we decided the best place to be was on the limestone run-up. We showed up early and got a spot on the fence about 1/3 of the way up. It was steep and muddy. I very nearly took down the entire crowd at one point by slipping and falling on my ass. The ground, as the Impaler might say, was a bit uneven.

This location proved to be a good choice. Not only did we get to see all the riders close up while they were moving a bit slower. We also got to see some decisive moves: like this one, where Nys and Vantornout decided it was time to put an end to the Fancis Mourey show.

Lars Van der Haar did not get the holeshot. He chased hard and managed to grab the final podium spot. This kid looks like he's going to be alright.

Despite dominating this sport for what seems like forever, it was only the second time this guy has gotten to pull on the rainbow jersey. I suppose it is pretty cool that we got to see that. But I was hoping Klass Vantornout would hold him off. As if we needed any further confirmation about the Dark Lord's Vibes.

This is the same run-up that Adam Craig and Jeremy Powers rode up when the USGP race was here. It was not rideable today. Then again, Adam Craig wasn't there.

Kabush was the best-placed Canadian. At least he beat Jeremy Powers.

Alexander Revell's moustache showed up and got muddy.

On the way back to the hotel, JP was offered cash by some Belgians for Sven Nys's world championship flower bouquet. They were relentless. It took a lot of energy to hold them off.

So much energy, in fact, that even the Energizer Bunny ran out of steam.

It was a long day and there was more than enough walking involved. Fortunately, there were Giants around to provide rides for the kids.

Anna insisted that we make our way to the Foam Party. We take care of each other here at the Dark Side. So we made sure that Anna arrived in the good company of others.

This Foam Party, it did not have any foam. But it did have all four recently crowned world champions to go along with the small flock of Roosters.

Despite the absence of foam, it seems to have been very well attended. We were fortunate to have Barry Wicks and his sweet hair escort us to a room at the back. It was a little less cramped and also allowed Hot Legs to catch up with some old friends who apparently know him as Moose.

The mood at the back of the lounge, however, was a bit subdued. So Cousin Thomas took it upon himself to liven things up. Attending a party with Cousin Thomas is never a bad idea.

All in all, it was a good day. Some might even call it awesome. Too bad it will be a while before we can do it again. We might have to travel to Belgium.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

CX Live Stream

For those of us not in Louisville: you can watch the livestream at  I told a few people about CX Magazine, which is geo-blocked.