Yo, this here is a special shout out to my main man MG Mike. The dog won't be joining in on the Spring Ride fun as he's got a function, dig. MG, we'll be thinking of you and your dope moves. But please, Hammer, dont' hurt 'em.
Stalwart RRR dude and hip-hop dancer extrodinaire, Mike has once again put in a good performance for our team (and by performance I mean bike race, not recital). By my calculations, Mike's finish adds another 13 poiints to our total which keeps us within a 7th place finish of the FGBC.
I must applaude Mike for his regular contribution - without him we'd surely be in a much different position. He's helped us keep things close despite us so far only having 3 points-getters vs. FGBC's 5.
Factor in an unfortunate injury to FGBC's secret weapon, Deuce's donning of the colours in less than 4 weeks, Lars' return from Europe where he surely learned of the latest performance boosters, and a possible appearances for sure-fire points from Jane (and a new recuit?), we're not out of this thing yet.
Another flat tire. At least this time I had it before the race started. I did a quick tube change (my last one in stock), and pulled out the tiny sliver of wire piercing my tire. I like handicap Road races. If everyone one in you category works well together, you can pull off the win. So, the cat. 5's went- a group of about 8 I think. We waited 7 minutes and followed. 11 in our group, and the cat 3's left about 4 minutes behind us. (a group of about 7 or 8). The key to doing well is, as I've said, is working well together as a group. We didn't do too bad. Lots of inexperience and jumpy riders. Not the smoothest group. We caught the cat. 5's on the 3rd and last lap, just before the downhill by the east gate. The cat 3's were no where in sight. Experienced road racers are very patient. They wait and watch- wait for the right time to attack or chase or sit in or sprint. Now, most of manitoba road racing is fairly flat, and the race usually ends up in a sprint- so everyone bids their time. Nobody wants to expend too much energy and not have anything for the sprint- which is usually what happens. So we descend the hill and start the climb just before the sprint finish. I can't handle it, so I jump early- way early- just as we start to climb. Everybody is yelling "there he goes", "watch on your right", "go get him".etc. I don't seem to really be going fast past anyone, but then I look back- I have a good gap. Nobody wants to chase. Too close to the finish. Everyone is looking around to see who will give chase. I look back- maybe 8-10 seconds- enough to hold it- as long as they don't give too much chase. Inexperienced road racers are not so patient. One particular racer decides he can catch me. And he does. And he brings everyone with him. Then he gets dropped. I managed to keep up and not get dropped, but only placed 9th in the sprint. Talking to the particular racer, ( actually a pretty good mountain biker) he realized what he did, and did comment that he probably should of let me go. Oh well, next time. 9th place scored me a tube So all in all, life is good.
Now it is more obvious than ever. The FGBC demise is imminent. I went to pick up beer the other day, and what did I come across? A sampler 12 pack of fort garry and.... two rivers! I realize now that the FGBC will slide into oblivion in the RRR battle. To partner with a beer that comes in 2 litre plastic bottles (and the 591ml plastic bottle) is unexplainable. We may not have a beer sponsor, but at least we are not shamed by being connected with two rivers. I believe that new jerseys are in order for the FGBC (soon to be TRBC). First the Russell thing and now this- where is the dignity? I have to admit that picking up the half pints was an excellent decision, and almost makes up for the two rivers- but not quite. Have a drink on me boys- as long as it's brewed in Manitoba.... / rated here
Tonight's grass track event was just about what one would expect as we jumped on our cross bikes; temps near zero with a cold north wind, and rain turning into snow turning into rain. It was wet, soggy, and cold.
Five of us (Mike from Brandon (BBC), Dave L, Dr. H, and I) comprised the original field of racers before Hal arrived to even out the numbers while Ian played the role of commissaire and race director. We did four different types of races around a 200 meter grass oval...I'll probably some of the details wrong.
Race 1 - 20 laps 1st-Dr. H, 2nd-KK, 3rd-Mike, 4th-Dave
Race 2 - match sprint, best of 3 (ranking from race 1 used for pairings) round 1a, heats 1 & 2 - Dr. H vs. Dave, winner Dr. H round 1b, heats 1 & 2 - KK vs. Mike, winner KK round 2, heat 1 - Dr. H vs. KK vs. Hal, winner KK round 2, heat 2 - as above, winner Dr. H round 2, heat 3 - as above, winner KK (in a dramatic, full-on sprint finish with Dr. H)
Race 3 - handicap race 1st-Mike, 2nd-Dave (those two had another dramatic sprint finish), 3rd-?, 4th-?, 5th-probably me...at this point my head was still in a fog and my legs the consistency of wet noodles from the RRR/FGBC duel.
Race 4 - miss and out 1st-Dr. H, 2nd-KK, 3rd-?, 4th-?, 5th-? (again, I had very little awareness of my surroundings and was just trying to stay upright—Dr. H must have gifted me Race 2 as he seemed completely recovered for this race)
Special thanks to Ian for making this all happen. This kind of grass root (ha, ha) event is where it's at—I had a vonderful goot time.
The next scheduled grass track race is June 19. The weather has to be better by then, so hopefully a larger group will be out to participate.
In the meantime, I'll adjust my stringent training regimen to address the foggy head thing.
I think that everyone would know this already, but for those that don't - having a superboy for lunch the day of a race-not a good idea. I'm not sure what I was thinking.
Maybe I thought that I would be super? Even 6 hours after consuming the behemoth, it was a horrible feeling. However, I did take 2nd place at the TT last night. I think 1st might have been in the cards if it wasn't for the wonderful feeling I had in my belly.
Anybody up for a road trip to some of the best riding this side of the Rockies? And I don't mean Pinawa. How about it? 3 nights camping and riding the Maah Daah Hey Trail in North Dakota??? I've got a couple of days from July 14th-17th that I can get away and do some riding. Any takers? Yeah, I know, this post is pretty much a waste of time, seeing as who's got 3-4 days off in the middle of July that can be spent away from family obligations???
But, in case a little bit of information, pictures and some helmet cam video footage from the trail could convince you, then lookie here...
It's time to rally the troops. The FGBC gang has been making a lot of noise lately. With four racers participating in this past Sunday's race at Grand Beach (results, photos) and a strong finish on the asphalt in last night's crit at Assiniboine Park (photos), our rivals have started to open a gap in the FGD Challenge.
While Mother's Day obligations and mechanicals hampered our ability to add to our points total, there are a number of upcoming races to stage a counter-attack.
May 14 (tomorrow!) — The Woodcock ITT #1. I anticipate at least one of the TT machines from the collective RRR stable will show. Will it be Jane? Larry? Mike's probably out with a KOM scheduling conflict. The forecast should mean a smaller field which means more potential for points.
May 15 — The launch of Grass Track Fridays. Not a part of the MCA schedule, but counts in the FGD Challenge regardless. No MCA license required.
May 24 — MB Cup #2 Mountain bike racing returns to the Brandon Hills. IMO, this is one of the finest venues in Manitoba—well worth the trip. May 13 — MB Cup #3 at Falcon Lake. I feel I should mention it, but most of us will be joining the FGBC gang for their annual Spring Ride and won't be in any condition to race.
Apparently, our brothers over at the Fort Garry Bike Club, have a new owner. Russell Beer. So, maybe RRR should change our beer sponsor to Russell Beer- as we will soon be owning the FGBC. It is a good brew too. Enjoying some right now. Good Luck to all racers on Sunday. I'll be at the road race (with some Russell beer in the cooler in the truck). I'll even share with any FGBC racers who may happen to be at the road race. Now there is beer as well as points available on Sunday.
Some really good and dedicated people are starting the formation of a group to build singletrack MTB and hiking trails in Riding Mountain National Park. The group includes a number of Brandon riders along with people from across the region.
Here's the note that they sent me.
We formed a new group that is pursuing an opportunity to build and maintain single track trails within Riding Mountain National Park. We are looking for people who are interested in joining our society to promote and support this great idea.
We are hoping to get a pilot project later this summer-fall to begin the development of an area that few people see. This area offers unparalleled views of Manitoba and has the potential to become a world class trail system. If you are interested please fill out the waiver and attach the appropriate funds, so we can continue pursuing this dream. Thanks.
They are teaming up with IMBA, and are hoping in the next 5 or so years to have the trail become close to, or actually an IMBA EPIC trail, which is HUGE! The trails will have up to 3000 feet of climbing!
From one Member:
In a nutshell the trail development would include some trails by the JET, Baldhill, Packhorse and eventually an epic "12 Gorge" trail. "Rome was not built in a day" so the scope of the project is long-term.
As always with the government, environmental assessments must be done and $'s budgeted (which apparently are there but not sure how much). It's kind of a 'we want to develop this with volunteer public help'. The 1-5 year plan the Park has definitely shows a keen interest for this escarpment project. Deron has again done ALOT of work contacting interested people/groups (surrounding area and Winnipeg) about this project. The acronym METS (Manitoba Escarpment Trail Society) is not solely limited to cyclists. The hope is that many people (user groups) will come on board and want to involve themselves with a project of this nature. The biggest input would be the volunteer labour pool which is covered by a yearly insurance policy (provided you are signed up) through IMBA. An example may be a one weekend a season trail-building/maintaining work-bee.
If you are interested on helping out and want to see a world class MTB trail in one of our greatest natural areas, go HEREto download a signup sheet.