Tuesday, June 30, 2009

FGD Challenge Update (revised)

A number of results were finalized or finally posted last night. We now have the missing placements for both RRR's Lars and FGBC's President from last week's WNR #3 out at BHP, so we can complete the tally for each team in that event. With Lars edging out the President in the Sport category, I'm pleased to say we won the night with a 66-62 victory. If only we didn't have 2 DNF's...

Other results have come been posted within the past 24 hours. First, last Thursday's handicap road race out at BHP. Mike, our stalwart racer, bumped and grinded his way to a 6th spot finish in a group sprint to the line. Next we have Sunday's Bring a Friend race out at Birch where Chris and Gilles placed 10th and 11th, respectively.

Drum roll please...

After this installment of the FGD Update, we're down by just 35 points.

The next major event is Sunday's Reach the Beach enduro which counts for double points. Even those that finish outside the top 20 will recieve points, so a lot of points can be accumulated in short order (well, in about 5 - 6 hours).

I would be remiss to not mention the upcoming 2009 FGBC Tour de France pool. In a vicarious race between RRR and FGBC memembers, the final results in this 21-stage spectacle will also be included in the fierce FGD Challenge. It's going to be exciting and as an RRR member you don't want to miss out. Full details to be released soon.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Reach The Beach Is On

The OCC provided confirmation that we (well, some of us) are racing on July 5.

Bring it!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Travel to RTB

If anyone is interested, I'm looking into some arrangements for transportation back to Beausejour after Reach the Beach. If I know of any interested parties, I may be able to up the seating sizes (depending how large you are) for a return trip.
Oh, and on a side note- we have a sister chapter in Texas- spring training anyone? http://www.redriverracing.org/ So what if they only paddle- good for cross training?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Reach The Beach Update

I stopped in at Olympia to register for the Reach The Beach race next weekend. According to Morgan they're still about 10 racers away from the event being a "go" (or a "no go").

If you're planning on racing, be sure to register by tomorrow for the discounted price of $35. Otherwise, you'll have to pay $45...if there's still a race.

Registration form
Waiver form

What are you waiting for?

RRR Wool

I see our FGBC friends are talking about wool jerseys. That's funny. So are we.

While they're calling their's the sweetest jersey, we don't feel the need to throw around such grandiose terms. Our jersey speaks for itself.

Total cost for the long-sleeve with embroidery comes in at $70 US with a minimum order of 12.

With already a few confirming interest, you know you want one, too.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

RIP Farrah

A pint for Farrah...

Reach The Beach - July 5, 2009

From the sand pits of Beausejour to the sand dunes of Grand Beach...

$35 until June 27th (that's this Saturday!)
$45 after June 27th

Registration form
Waiver form

Watch for more details about a FGD Challenge prize to be awarded to the best RRR / FGBC rider.

route not exactly as shown; will likely include more sand

WNR #3—A Bitter-Sweet Night For RRR.

The Sweet: We had a season-high 6 riders out at the same time. We heard a few names called out during the roll call that we haven't heard in a while, most noteably Chris and Larry—good to have you guys back. Mike, Gilles, Brad, and I also lined up for what started out as a hot night of racing on a fast and dusty course.

The Bitter: Mike and I both DNF'd. Mike had a flat (and no spare tube) on lap 1 which left him walking through the PI from the farthest point on the course back to the parking lot. Shortly into lap 2, my chain somehow managed to kink itself in two spots, leaving me with a multi-link corkscrew that couldn't be overcome without that chain tool I left at home. Things went from bad to worse as post-ride festivities were dampened by driving rain and falling temps. Things could have been worse as we all finished in one piece...special get well wishes to Rob B.

Special thanks to Kevin B and other volunteers for putting on another top-notch event.

(photo poached from OCC)

(photo poached from OCC)

(photo poached from OCC)

(photo poached from OCC)

Mike practicing for next year's Butter Belt (photo poached from OCC)

"Little Spaniard" Larry summitting another climb

Deuce...a bit camera shy at his 2009 debut

Gilles defies shutter-speed yet again

Brad hauls his huge carcass across the finish

"Little Spaniard" brings it home

The FGD Challenge: We were unable to capitalize on our numbers (6 RRR vs. 4 FGBC) due to our 2 DNFs (oh, what could have been). It appears 2 racers of note, one from each club, are missing from the the results, so the scoreboard remains unchanged at this time. Best case scenario has RRR edging out FGBC by a few points on the night. Hopefully we'll get this all sorted out in short order.

The word on the street is Colin's aware of the omissions and working his abacus and slide ruler to make the necessary corrections.

Tonight: Chris and Mike are taking part in the handicap road race at BHP. Due to their efforts we should be able to make up some of the points we lost at last Friday's Grass Track race. Godspeed, boys.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

FGD Challenge Update (I'm going to be sick)

The combination of cottage life, great weather, and busy times at work have me from updating the FGD Challenge scoreboard. Not to mention the fact our friendly FGBC rivals took it to us at last Friday's Grass Track race...not in a big hurry to post that kind of news. All the gory details on that here.

35 points in one night for the FGBC vs. 0 for RRR. OUCH! I guess that's what happens when FGBC accounts for 3 out of the 5 racers with no RRR representation in attendance.

Next time RRR will be out en masse, right guys?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Today Is Grass Track Friday

7:00 - Bertrand Arena (map)

Alternate rain location - Whittier Park

Results count towards the FGD Challenge

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lance Pre-Tour Testing in Aspen

Love him or hate him, I think this is interesting. If you believe the hype, he's going to factor into the final results of next month's big race. As per the video below, courtesy of the Chris Carmichael doping cartel, he's stronger now than he was in the Giro just a few weeks ago.

great legs...the key to an Olsen twin's heart

It will be interesting to see if Astana (or whatever they'll be called) succeeds or blows up with the apparent in-fighting and power struggles.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Reach the Beach 2009

Details are still sketchy (route? distance?), but we at least we have confirmation that we're starting out from Beausejour. I'm curious to see the new course. Apparently the bog has been taken out, which is good and bad. Good because we don't have to face it anymore; bad because it was always good for a few stories during post-race debriefs. Knowing Lindsay there will be something else "epic" to overcome.

I suspect someone's on their bike riding the route right now collecting the data we're anxiously awaiting. Keep an eye on the OCC site for more details. For now, this is the latest (includes link to the registration form).

Friday, June 12, 2009

Birthday rides

Here is an article stolen from the latest Road Bike Rider newsletter. These guys take the concept of the birthday ride to another level. Some would say to an immoderate level. There isn't even a mention of patio stops.

It's fun to do a special ride on your birthday. For RBR co-founders Fred Matheny and Ed Pavelka, the tradition is to ride twice as many miles as their age. Now that they're into their 60s, this means some long days in the saddle.

When he reached the big 6-0, for example, Coach Fred marked the occasion with a 120-mile (193-km) jaunt on a western Colorado course that climbs Grand Mesa. This is the highest flat-top mountain in the world, rising more than 6,000 vertical feet (1,820 meters) in about 25 miles (40 km).

The grade is never greater than 8% but the sheer length of the grind, coupled with the 10,839-foot (3,288-m) summit, makes for a challenging, sometimes disheartening, and occasionally gruesome ascent. As Fred deadpans in his upcoming eBook, "The Complete Book of Climbing for Roadies," that particular birthday ride probably took 5 years off his life.

Ed knows the feeling. Last Sunday when he turned 63, he did a 127-mile ride into the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The course had 9,200 vertical feet (2,790 meters) with way too many at 15%. A highlight was the 2.4-mile (3.9-km) ascent of a knee buckler called Fox Gap. It started at 14% and evened out at 9-11%.

Hard, for sure. But what a view from the top! And what a sense of satisfaction finishing rides like these when lots of people in their 60s are breathing hard just walking upstairs.

Fred and Ed aren't smug. And they sure aren't supermen. They're able to do these birthday rides for one basic reason, a dedication to the key component of lifelong fitness: Consistency, staying in shape year-round.

Well, Ed was forced off the bike for 10 months in 2007-8 due to a hip replacement, but that problem is mostly behind him now. Fred has had better luck -- no physical setbacks -- and at 3 months shy of 64 he's in the midst of riding 1,100 miles (1,770 km) in 2 weeks while coaching at PAC Tour cycling camps in Wisconsin.

Some people their age dread birthdays. For these guys, the main concern isn't growing older, it's finding courses long enough.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

FGD Challenge Update

I'm happy to report the dust has settled. As per the minutes from yesterday's TNR, the RRR and FGBC clubs have emerged from 3-hours of closed-door negotiations with a mutually satisfactory resolution to questions stemming from this past weekend's race. For both teams it's all systems go for the ensuing MCA, Grasstrack, and MUERTO events.

Long live the rivalry.

Notice of Correction/Clarification

In the recount of Sunday's Back 40 race entitled The Morning After the Back 40, reference was made to Coach Dave as one of FGBC's racers in the 33km distance. Some have expressed concern/confusion over Coach Dave racing for FGBC; this is a merely a matter of mistaken identity.

There are, in fact, two Coach Daves. First, there's Dave D, widely known in the Manitoba cycling community as Coach Dave. He's hard to miss—he's pretty fast (when his bike is functional) as evidenced by his Back 40 placing. Then, there's Dave U. He's also known as Coach Dave, but awareness of that nickname is generally limited to the smaller FGBC and friends cycling community.

So to clarify, Dave U was the intended reference in The Morning After the Back 40 post, not Dave D. The post has been amended to address this oversight/point of confusion.

Dave D: super fast, but not FGBC

Dave U: fast, handsome, and FGBC

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Few More Back 40 Photos

It's two days later and it seems the buzz around the TCC Back 40 race has hardly faded. Here's a few more random RRR and FGBC photos I've poached from the Back 40 website.

In case you missed the link from Kevin B in comments to a previous post or as found on the FGBC blog, the Back 40 race and the Butter Belt have made national cycling news. You can check it here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Did someone say birthday?

Hey Deuce, enjoy!

Happy birthday Deuce!

See you in back in town in a couple weeks!

The Morning After the Back 40

Let me begin by saying I'm very happy to have a desk job today. Sitting on a cushy office chair feels heavenly.

Kudos to Kevin B, the rest of the Tinker Creek crew, volunteers, and sponosors for putting on the 2009 TCC Back 40 race. As 118 racers would testify, this event was very well planned, organized, and punctual event—a good example of how a race should be put on. Extra thanks to Kevin B for going the extra mile by introducing the RRR/FGBC FGD Challnge "Butter Belt" (below). I know this piece of hardware provided extra excitment and motivation to both RRR and FGBC riders. It's this kind of special thought and effort that turns a good race into an excellent event. Thank you.

On to the race

The race course was an exciting but a very challenging loop that included twisty singletrack, a couple creek crossings, switchbacks, and Morden's answer to Birch's Double Camel—the Dead Horse climb. On any other day, riding the 16.5km loop would be fun, but racing this circuit was gruelling as there's no place to let your body recover.

Most of the RRR and FGBC riders elected to partake in the 5 lap option. Some would say this was immoderate and they'd be correct. It was epic, as and enduro should be. Not only was the loop difficult on the riders, but it seemed to eat equipment. I saw or heard at least 4 riders tending to broken chains, a couple flats, 2 taco'd front wheels, a broken seat post, and a broken suspension bolt. The constant strain on the drivetrain with all the climbing and shifting was magnified with the sticky mud that was somewhat strategically placed about the course. Survival, of body and equipment, was key.

Race results

RRR had its share of struggles. Brad had been nursing a seized up lower back after last week's WNRS #2 and hadn't been able to put on his socks 36 hours before the race. Not feeling too bad on Sunday, he rode strong with Jonny G and Dallas until half way into the 4th lap when his back decided enough was enough. With his back locked up, it took him about an hour to push the his bike back to the start/finish area—not a fun way to end the day.

Lorno also put in a good effort, but the force wasn't with him on this day. He's promised to put in some big miles, commuting to the Red River city from Landmark, to make his next showing something great. Those of us who know Lorno know great rides at what define him. Who else would ride the Muddy Waters century 2 days after getting snipped?

Mike became plagued with mechanical concerns after 2-1/2 laps when he stripped or sheared a suspension pivot bolt. Pushing the bolt back into place every few minutes meant he could keep riding, but obviously this made for a precarious situation what robbed him of any efficiency on the trail. The results show Mike didn't make the 4th lap cut off time, but his showing was good enough for a 13th place finish. Not bad for riding a crippled bike.

Now, everyone knows Mike has done more than his fair share of earning points For RRR in the FGD Challnge. Well, he's gone above and beyond again by recruiting Gilles C as our newest RRR member. Some may say "sweet"; I say "deluxe". Welcome Gilles!

Gilles, who raced in the 33km event, danced past me on one of the many punchy climbs like I was standing still. Maybe I was standing still, but he looked strong and owned the trail—no Dead Horse creek crossing or climb was going to slow him down. I know this because I witnessed it with my own eyes. (Bridge? I don't need no stinking bridge!) Gilles, congrats on your strong 6th place finish. Sorry to have missed you at the end of the race. I have a beer with your name on it.

I'd like to say my ride was a spritual experience, but simply put it was long and hard. I had gluten coming from my eyeballs. About 2 laps in, I began to wonder if I had bitten off more than I could chew by registering for the 80km distance. The legs didn't feel very lively and the semi-slicks I was rolling on were terrible in the mud, espcially those strategic corners and climbs I alluded to earlier. On the 3rd lap I started to settle in. I wasn't going to catch anyone, but I figured I could hold my own, and more importantly I knew I could finish. I had to finish...the Butter Belt was on the line, after all. After trying to entertain the TCC boys in my semi-delirious state at the end of every lap, I knew I had to finish. FGBC's Jonny G would surely be putting in a good effort for the belt and I knew it would take a serious mechanical for him to quit.

Congrats to our friendly rival FGBC riders, all of whom looked strong even if they DNF'd. Dr. H, who finished the 80km race in the prizes at 5th place, rode me off his wheel on the first gravel section of lap 2 like he was on a scooter. Well done. Jonny S (who technically is now an ABES rider), was good for 4th in the 16.5km race and did so in style on his trick Softride. Jonny G tied with Dallas for a 10th place finish in the 80km race and Coach Dave Dave U persevered in the 33km to finish 28th. Craig DNF'd in the 80km race, but he seemed to have a smile on his face when we'd pass each other in the back part of the loop (that kind of scared me).

Alas, the Butter Belt belongs to RRR!

Earning points for the FGD Challenge is cool. There's a good feeling that comes with contributing to the points tally, but one can ride for points in "any MCA, Grasstrack, or MUERTO race". It's only on the rarest of occasions that something like the Butter Belt is up for contention.

While FGBC edged us out in points towards the FGD Challnge, RRR came away with the real prize of the weekend—the Butter Belt.

- Back 40 registration: $40
- Power gels and Clif Bars: $14
- Shared transporation to the race: $12
- Winning the Butter Belt: PRICELESS

A few photos

The first few of the 118 racers signing in

RRR rocking the Back 40

Uh-oh. Pre-race mecahnicals...not a good sign

Muddy and tired, but happy

RRR team transport—thanks Brad

We were greeted by signs on McGillivary welcoming us back home

Friday, June 5, 2009

New Theme Song

This is a tribute to my wife- she has a tricycle tattoo on her back. And it mentions Alpe D'Huez. So, I may have to sell my 2 wheeler and buy a 3 wheeler. I'm pretty sure this could be our theme song.

Back 40 Teaser

Holy cow!

Kevin B, Back 40 race organizer, has just contacted RRR HQ with a brief glimpse of what we're racing for this weekend.

you may love it, but i actually hope you kinda hate it. either way, the winner needs to use it. sunday - it shall be unveiled!
Not only are points at stake, but there's some shiny hardware for the "best" RRR/FGBC rider. Love it or hate it, I'm positive it'll be one of us...but who? Better clear off some mantle space.

Thanks in advance to Kevin B for putting on Sunday's race and adding a little extra drama to the FGD Challenge. Kevin, you're awesome.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Things that make you go "hmmmm..."

While it seems the FGBC's strength comes from its numbers, its size is apparently unmanageable. Unbeknown to the club, two additional members are donning what they flippantly call "the sweetest jersey". Perhaps bureaucracy has run a muck at FGBC with all the VPs and other officials - somewhat typical of such government-like institutions where the left hand doesn't know what the right hand it doing. Or perhaps they need to appoint a VP of Club Registrations to manage their roster. Their motto is "we are exactly what we are". The thing I question is, do they know who they are?

Quick to apply retroactive mathematics, the FGBC's scoreboard has already been amended to reflect their "gee, look at what I found" discovery. That's fine...it seems everything is still above board, and heck...we have a trick or two up our sleeve as well. Some may call our pending team acquisition "sweet" or even "deluxe".

The scoreboard below has also been updated to not only reflect Brad and Mike's awesome showings at last night's Wednesday night race, but the addition of 8 points to their tally resulting from FGBC's eureka moment.

RRR will have 3, possibly 4, riders at Sundays enduro in Morden; things will be changing in the near future yet again. Even if it makes you go "hmmmm...", the FGD Challnege is undeniably exciting.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mike: Father, Cyclist, Poolie, Dancer, and Teammate

Mike's dramatic showing at Sunday's Falcon Lake race (2 flats during and finished on a flat), combined with his top of the GC finish in the FGBC Giro d'Italia pool indicates what those of us already know. Whatever Mike does, he does with unparalleled vigour, determination, and an unwavering sense of purpose. "Big ring, big ring..." is more than a slogan to Mike—it's a way of life.

Mostly on the strength of Mike's broad shoulders and Team RRR's dominance in the aforementioned Giro pool, RRR finds itself in a dead heat with our FGBC rivals. This is the stuff movies are made of, right Dr. H?

The scoreboard will change somewhat within the next few days with tomorrow night's Wednesday Night Race Series #2 and Sunday's Back 40 enduro in Morden. While I can't make it to WNRS #2 due to a violin recital (at which I may attempt to play U Can't Touch This), there's a rumour that Lars may sign in for the event...time will tell. Brad, The Impaler, will follow up his Jens Voigt-like breakaway on Saturday's Spring Ride with appearances at the WNRS #2 and the Back 40. Watch out for Brad...like Lance, he's getting stronger and stronger with each outing—trust me, he has the same steely look of resolve behind those Raybans.

can't touch this one more time...