Tuesday, September 29, 2009

FGD Challenge—Post-Menno Cross

Saturday's race was fantastic. While it was entertaining for spectators like me to watch, it sucked for the racers (see Mike's race review below).

It was great to have Kyle and Michelle finally get out for a race. We've been after those two since there was still snow on the ground to get out and race. Hopefully it won't be their last showing. Rumour has it Michelle's out buying some cross tires for the Bourkvale throwdown.

RRR fielded a team of 6 riders which matches our best showing at a race this season. Unfortunately, those black shirts seem to multiply like rabbits come cross season. With 13 riders out, the FGBC quelched any hopes we had at reeling them back in the FGD Challenge. I dare say, however, that if we can maintain or increase our numbers (oh, Larry/Jane, where art thou?) and the FGBC continues to under-inflate their tires, we may be able to slow the bleeding.

Saturday was a 109-59 victory for the black.

Joke all you want about his wardrobe malfunctions...Brad's a stud. He'll prove that again on Sunday.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cross Sucks!

Let me explain.
Cross sucks.

It's a bike race. All out, power ride till you puke. Just like mountain bike racing. Just like road racing.

Road racing, you can suck someone's wheel and recover, and still do pretty well.
Mt. bike, you go as hard as you can, if you see someone, awesome, but usually, you are on your own sucking wind.

Cross race- go as hard as you can, no recovery, you can see everyone else, and see how much sucking you are doing, plus, you have to get off the bike (?) and run- WTF! that isn't a bike race, it's some kind of an aborted triathalon.
And as for spectators- Sheesh- my own wife heckling me and making me crash on the last lap, losing 2 places-And WTF! All this talk of beer at cross races- hand ups and post ride recovery beverages- not a dark bevy to be found. Even the coke was all gone by the time I got there. 
(they had diet coke- but that spells "die" with a t....)

I thought that I was done suffering for the year, but I am rather competitive, and now I realize I need to start (yes start) training all over again. I have to get off my lazy ass, and ride. The season is not done, I'll bring my own beer next time, and leave my wife at home.(just kidding Tami :) )

KK does have a nice bike, and I think I saw a really nice cross frame at Olympia.......I did just get a full ultegra groupo......hmmmmm.............

I did taste the inside of my stomach on saturday,
I did like the short and twisty course
I did like the good turnout, and kids race and many extra's who came out to race (Kyle, Lorno, Emma and Callie, and Michelle)
Two of my kids raced (Solomon was the lanterne rouge- which is pretty cool)
I had T-bone steak and honey browns for supper
I loved heckling the FGBC guys in the B race. (hope nobody was offended)
The race was well organized and very well laid out. (Good job FGBC)

Racing sucks. It sucks me in. Now I have to compete.(and maybe get a new bike?)

So I'll see you at Bourkevale on Sunday.

(all pictures stolen from Kyle )

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Menno Cross—A Pictorial Report

Future RRRers

B Race - Brad lines up with another old dude with retro shades

Brad shows a couple FGBCers how it's done

This molehill is nothing after Glacier

Michelle's first bike race - watch for a short learning curve with this one

Kyle - RRR's answer to FGBC hipsters Luke and Matt

Lorno rails another corner on his dualie

A Race - Menno or not, there's no pacifism amongst these big guns

Mike and Gilles' first cx race - they got more graceful on the barriers with each lap

They got off to a fast start...

...but were fried before the end

Gilles: "the race is over only after you cross the line"

Mike: "cyclocross sucks"

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sandilands Sweetness

Yesterday evening I had a chance to go ride out at Sandilands with a former colleague. I was pretty curious to see what the trails were like because since I'd last ridden there they'd had a serious forest fire. In response to the loss of trails, Steinbach's local biking contingent has put in time, with the help of IMBA, to create new trail. My thoughts? The trails we rode were so fun, I'd encourage everyone to give Sandilands a ride this Fall. That is, if you like rolling, forested, seemingly endless singletrack. Rides like yesterday make me realize that as much as I love all types of cycling, nothing compares to sweet, sweeping singletrack on a mountain bike. It didn't hurt that the weather was perfect and the mosquitos were manageable.

Now, we ran out of time and never did get out to the new trail they cut, which I've been told is in the vicinity of Suicide Hill (Sandilanders will likely know where that is, but I've never been). In any case, if you're interested in riding the trails, check out the map and friendly help at Pat's bikeshop, Body Driven Sports, on Main St. in Steinbach.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

FGD Challenge—Post-Vuelta Pool and CX #2

As per Duece's race report, and the results, RRR did okay at last Saturday's cyclocross race at King's Park. We had a few teams place in top 20 in the FGBC's Vuelta pool as well. Unfotunately, the FGBC did well at the King's Park race and in the pool, too.

Without further ado...

This upcoming Saturday's Menno Cross race should prove to be well attended by RRR, even with an A Race competitor or two. And if things play out as they look at this point, we'll have a double-x chromosoned competitior or two lining up as well.

How Larry Met Jane?

Is that Larry with a moustache at 1'03"?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cross Newbie Initiation

Larry, Brad, KK and I had the opportunity to enjoy the weather and take part in a great day of cross racing Saturday. KK took pics and heckled, while the rest of the RRR contingent raced in the B race. For Larry and me, it was our first ever cross race. All in all, RRR didn't embarrass themselves, which is good. In fact, Brad showed that all the moaning about how slow, fat and old he is total rubbish. But, we all knew that.

El Espanolito displays his fleet form. No chemical help required, or so he says.

I didn't stay in front of Brad for long.

Lot's of grass...

Pretty much I'm flying here...

Here are some pics from our hated rivals and arch enemies. Grrrrr. we hate them...

No mistaking that helmet. Johnny G.

The Dark Horde's Emperor

Good times.


Here are a few more photos courtesy of our friend Kevin B.

Menno Cross - September 26

Last Saturday's cyclocross race at King's Park was fun. More fun will be had on the 26th at Menno Cross...the home of THE BUNKER ... BUNKER...bunker...bunker...


Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's About Performance

Some youtube videos are a waste of your time. This one isn't one of those. You'll laugh. Then you'll realize that the guy in the video could be any number of guys you know...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's Millar Time!

Well, he's still in it. Yeah, all the other TT specialists are gone- but not this guy.
Okay he's a bit of a nutbar, but he still scored a first place for the land of the vicarious bike racing. Yes, he is on my pool team.

Monday, September 14, 2009

FGD Challenge—Go Mike!

Mike's heroic 4th place finish at the Provincial Crit was almost enough to bring us within 40 points of the dudes and dudette of the FGBC—we're now -41 to the black.

Saturday's King's Park CX race is the next scheduled showdown. Should be good. Can't wait.

Lucky-13 Report

The good news? I managed to get over the barriers without any face plants. Excellent. That doesn't mean I didn't suck, just that I didn't hit the turf. I brought my mountain bike thinking we would be facing gnarly jumps and berms. Not like I would have ridden them anyway...

It was a good reminder that cross bikes roll faster on soft wet grass. The highlight of my race was starting ahead of certain 63 year old bike messenger, and when the inevitable pass came, I did manage to stay sort of close for a few laps. And then faded into oblivion. I managed to finish not last. And finished off my buggered up rear derailleur as a bonus. Any body have an XT derailleur collecting dust?

KK showed up to heckle and hobble around on his crutches. It was good to have some team support out there. Get better soon.

Congratulations to The Cricket who showed us all how it's done. Followed by Elvis Tristan, I think, and then I am not sure. I think somebody figured out the placings. Tenacious V took home the prize of the day, a one month supply of perogies, courtesy of Elvis. Very nice.

Many thanks to Luc, Johnny and Tristan. It was a fun course, complete with beer hand ups. Very nice touch on what turned out to be a hot afternoon. Post race cinnamon buns and Fort Garry sports drinks capped off a great afternoon. Thanks guys.

Photos courtesy of KK.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Provincial Crit.

I love crits. It's too bad this is the only one I was able to do this year. The Mint is a nice course with some tight corners. All the better as far as I'm concerned. Flat. Curvy. (no references to any women here). Just my type.
Just before the race, I noticed my front tire was low- slow leak. Due to a rip/hole in the tire. I used a piece of gel packet to do the old patch the interior of the tire trick. It worked.
The 30-39 and 40-49 started together. A group of about 15. I was worried about the big group in the tight corners, so I hammered from the start line to be in front- at least for a few laps. After 2 laps, the group was down to 9 guys. 5 guys in my category. This was an okay size of group for the tight corners. Basically, it was single file through half of the course because of the corners. The start finish was right after the last tight corner- maybe 100yds from it. On the prime laps, it seemed that whoever was first before all the corners, was first at the line. That, and Don Swatzky is very fast. He would have won both primes, if it wasn't for a caught pedal on the last corner before the finish. He managed to get back to the group and eventually win the race.
As for me, I felt pretty good. I was only 2 guys back from Don on both prime laps, and I loved the corners- whereas most guys seemed a bit apprehensive about them.
Anyway. I was looking for a podium for the provincials in my group and thought my chances were pretty good. The last three laps were happening. On the 2nd last lap, we lapped a few guys, who decided to ride in the middle of our group. Not allowed. They joined the middle, and a gap started to open between the first 5 guys, and us 4 who were behind the join ins.
Coming in to the corners, I decided I needed to get past these guys and get up there before this lap was done (because of my previous observation of placing). I got past them, and started to get ahead of a few of our group. I cut tight in the corner just before the start finish, and both wheels slid out.
Luckily, nobody ran over me, and nobody else crashed due to my fall.
Unluckily, the group carried on, not waiting for me on the last lap.
I finished still. Bleeding and torn.
4th place.
Another of our group crashed on that same corner on the next lap and didn't finish. So I scored 4th. And I also scored a lot of road rash.
I still had a great time.
I love crits.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Got Some Supersonic?

Finally, the leak.

There are some happy guys in the RRR camp.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I would call it a win!

fail owned pwned pictures
see more Fail Blog


Awesomeness personified.

"Today I drink herring juice for to attack breaking dish-boy leg bones."

"Now for huge muscles for yellow in the SMASH."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

FGD Challenge—One more crit to go

Last night's crit concluded this season's series at Assiniboine Park. Two opposing riders, Lars for RRR and Jonny G for the FGBC were there to contest the B race. The result? The same as last week—Lars in 5th and Jonny in 6th. According to Lars, Jonny would have passed him with about 10 more pedal revolutions, so it was another close finish between the Scott and Redline jockies.

The FGBC's lead in overall standings remains virtually unchanged despite the 18-16 RRR victory on the night. The next race on the calendar is Sunday's Provincial Crit out at the Mint. I suspect another scoreboard update will follow shortly thereafter.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

FGD Challenge Update

Three racers of note participated in last night's crit at Assiniboine Park. In white, representing RRR was Lars, while Chris H and Jonny G donned the FGBC black.

In the B race, Lars and Jonny duked it out to the end. Lars, making the most of the advantage granted by his carbon fiber featherweight steed over Jonny's CX racer, pipped Jonny to claim a top 5 finish. Jonny was 6th.

In the A race, Chris decided to make his criterium debut a memorable one. The youtube clip at FGBC's blog tells a tale of a thousand words. I give Chris an 'A' for effort; there are some really fast guys in that A race.

In the end, it's a small victory for RRR. At this point we're happy for "stage wins". Good job, Larry.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Glacier trip day seven

Morning in Pincher Creek

Almost there

Safe and sound back in Lethbridge

My best Fabian-after-the-Giro pose

Pincher Creek to Lethbridge


5 hours, 31 minutes

109.15 kilometers

Average speed 19.7 km/h

Max speed 56.9 km/h

I had trouble getting out of the tent this morning. The only thing to look forward to was finishing. Not very motivating. The drunk guys from last night were up early and just as loud as the night before. There is something about that that doesn't seem right.

I got packed up and fired up the stove to cook my last package of Kraft Dinner for breakfast, but the stove ran out of fuel. My neighbor was awake and he was just way too chatty for me that time of day, and I was having trouble concentrating on packing up while he peppered me with endless questions. A very friendly guy, it just isn't my favorite time of day to visit.

So off to Subway it was to get some peace and quiet. That was the dirtiest Subway I've ever been in. I got a 12” breakfast sandwich and stowed half for later.

Heading east means that the mountains are behind and the flat lands are ahead. It is always hard to watch the mountains fade from view in the rear view mirror. No different today.

Fort MacLeod was about the halfway point of the day. And by then I was hurting. My butt was killing me, I had no energy, there was a headwind and I really didn't think I could finish. It was the lowest point physically of the trip. I had been feeling great on the bike all along, so this was unexpected.

I stopped at an A & W and had an Uncle Bacon Cheddar burger with fries and a root beer. Then to the gas station next door for a Coke, a Hershey bar with almonds and a Mars bar. I phoned my sis in Lethbridge to adjust my ETA thinking I was going to be dog slow the rest of the day.

I was going to ride all the way, but I thought it would be ride 5 k's, sit and cry, then ride 5 more and gut it out all the way. So I started out, not really sure how crappy the afternoon would go. Somewhere along the way I started to feel better. Then I saw a cyclist approaching from behind.

He was a local triathlete out for a training ride. We rode together about 45 minutes, and we were talking the whole time. I was riding at 25 km/hour that whole time without really noticing it. We came to a long climb, said our goodbyes and he took off.

But after that I was flying. I ended the day with my highest average speed of the trip, even with a bit of a headwind. Strange. From the worst to the best in a few hours. Amazing what food will do. Don't underestimate the power of an Uncle Burger.

I got to my baby sister's place and there was beer waiting in the fridge and a big supper planned. Thanks Vera. You guys sure helped make the trip a lot easier. I packed my truck for the next day's 1,200 kilometer drive home, and had a great evening hanging out with family.

A successful first tour. Next time, less weight, and tire liners. I really hate fixing flats. A big thank you to Ian for lending me his tent, Thermarest, panniers, racks and trailer. I would have been pulling my kids old plastic wagon without you.

I can't wait till next year. Who's in?