Wednesday, December 29, 2010

TNR Report, RRR Style

Some may recall the March 31, 2009 TNR as one of the best, if not the best TNRs of 2009. The combination of mild temps, minimal wind, and large snowflakes made for a Norman Rockwell atmosphere in which to ride. Last night had a very similar feel, and once again, only five riders were on hand to partake in an awesome night on two wheels. As Brad and I are the only two constants between then and now, we are hi-jacking this week’s TNR report.

After espressos and ho’cho at the alternate winter HQ, we set out westward from the Forks via the river trail which was more-or-less a long slab of ice (snow-covered except under the bridges). Both the Hipster and Thomas were only a few meters into the ride when they were abruptly reminded or the perils of riding on ice. Thomas went down especially hard, sliding bottom-first with “take-out weight” into limestone blocks. Thomas’ explanation of how the impact was absorbed by his body will not be repeated here at this time. The rest of the ride was uneventful, yet exceptionally enjoyable. The riverbank trails we’ve been on the past few weeks were better than ever, worthy of a do-over.

Later at the Assiniboine Park duck pond a best-of-seven knock-down race ensued, a sort of Anger Cross part deux, given the joy the Impaler had as he schooled both young and old. The results:

The Impaler
Tenacious V
The Hipster

Later at the klubhaus, Johnny S and his ThNR note-taking, Sportnet’s plays of the year (“ultimate is gay”), the horse barn throw-down, speaking in the third person, Thor’s SMASH upcoming Paris-Roubaix win in the rainbow jersey, and V’s multiple encounters with death were discussed. V was also propositioned in the men’s room by a BC transplant looking to join the FGBC and take part in the TNRs, and then some.

Alt and modern rock made up the night’s set list—Cake, The Silversun Pickups, Jet, and The National to name a few. The Cheap Trick streak has finally ended.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Thanks to all we've bumped shoulders with over the past 12 months. You've helped make 2010 a great year for riding bikes and having fun. 2011's already shaping up to be a great year with more good times in store.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Something For Larry... do on his crabon Scott.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

RRR Jersey ordering time?

As the cold winter chill sets in, I ponder what could make me feel even cozier in my new RRR cycling 'home'.....the answer is simple, a new wool RRR jersey! Oregon Cycle Wear has chosen to release a new jersey style , the 'Morrison', to coincide with my move to RRR (I wonder if Fabian is suggesting Frank and Andy also place an order this week as he moves to Luxembourg?). So if you don't have a jersey, or want another, or like Larry, need to drop some $$ this week on a cycling related purchase, let me know!

Discounts are present for 2 ($69) or more, then for 14($53) or more jerseys. I doubt we will get to 14, we are already at 2 (I have told my wife, Mary, that Mrs. Cancellara will support her man by wearing his new colors, she has capitulated)!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Halloween at the Harbour photos

Murray Braun, RRR affiliate and citizen racer extraordinaire, handed me a disc a few weeks ago with some pictures he took at our race. I kind of forgot about it til now, but here they are.

Cross vids

I found these on the Velonews website. A great series of cx videos. Sigh. It's almost over for another year...

Cross Crusade Race #5 Astoria - Chapter 1 from Burk Webb on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

KK goes ape

KK goes ape from Brad on Vimeo.

You have to turn up the volume, it's all about the heckling.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

At The Rundfart Checkpoint

On a day where we remember grit and determination, it only makes sense to enjoy our freedom by voluntarily participating in a ride requiring grit and determination. Rules 5, 9, 21, and 67 are in full effect below. As I write this in the warm comfort of home, they're still out there, about half done.

Violation of rule 50 is forgiven, as this is Movember.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cross Provincials

In cross there's a 101 things to do right, and that means there are 101 things to go wrong. For me, the two things went terribly wrong at the worst possible part of the race. With 3 laps to go--BAM! Down on the gravelly left corner off the parking lot into park of soul-sucking grass. With 2 laps to go--BAM! Face plant in the ditch.

Up until the first crash, I had enjoyed a hard-fought race with Ian and G, managing to open a gap on them and s-l-o-w-l-y reel in Rocket Ron. Ian and G caught me at after my navigational error and the heat was turned up with just 2 to go. I had managed to continually make a bit of time on them, confident I could hold them off until the end. Alas, I tempted fate one too many times at crossing the ditch and augured hard for some up-close dirt sampling. That pretty much left me that semi-coherent daze for the final lap. I spent all of last night wishing I had elected for the safe option of dismounting at that stage in the race. Oh well, so it goes. I had fun with Ian and G; it was definitely the most fun I've had this cross season. Next year race I'll try to do one or two more things right. Until then, a hearty helping of road rash will remind me to ride smarter, not harder on the 27th.

Thankfully, Mike did more right than wrong and earned himself a bronze in the 40+ race to make sure RRR didn't go home completely empty-handed. Good job, Mike.

Thanks again to the race organizers and volunteers. Your efforts are appreciated.

Deb and I snapped a lot of photos. You can find the photo dump here.

Cheerleaders ("go, buddy!") and hecklers

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Halloween at the Harbour Lost and Found

Here's an assortment of items left behind at last weekend's race. If any of these are yours, please find me or someone in a RRR jersey at today's race.

A smaller pair of these MEC mitts may have been taken by accident. If you have a pair that's too small, these might be yours. Little Jonah would like his mitts back.

And if this was your bottle of Little Scrapper, too bad.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Next Year and This Weekend

Next year we'll have human moving barriers. What a great idea. We're taking names now for those willing to volunteer for this job. Sign up now and beat the rush.

Some other fun photos from the Cross Crusade Halloween race can be found here to inspire you for next year's Halloween at the Harbour. But for now, all sights should be focused on the Provincials. Details on that here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween at the Harbour Results

Forget Olli's big win of the day, Rene's kick-ass costume, the cowbells, or the whoop-dees. The Cyclocross Manitoba poster-child has undoubtedly set the bar high for the next year's Halloween race when it comes to making a lasting memory in everyone's minds. It's the disconcerting combination of cute playfulness and an ever-so delicate sprinkling of facial hair that left people bewildered with conflicting senses of aversion and attraction.

A big thanks for all those that attended, both to race and cheer/jeer. By all accounts, the race was a success with 80 riders showing.

Full results may be found here. Photo galleries are here, here, and here.

Friday, October 29, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...


Growing up in Manitoba, you always knew Halloween often brought snow. Looking out the window tonight, I noticed a bit of the white stuff starting to accumulate. But have no fear. It won't last, but will make tomorrow's cross race—Halloween at the Harbour if you've been living under a tomb stone—as memorable as the first time your parents let you go out for a second pillow case of candy corn, Rockets, and that earwax-like stuff in the black and orange wrappers. What was that stuff anyway?

Course construction is well underway. A bit more work is to be done tomorrow morning before the registration desk opens at 11:00. We'll be congregating at 8:30 (-ish) to tie up the loose ends and get a head start on the good times. Feel free to come out and give us a hand if you're so inclined.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Help wanted

We will be doing the majority of course marking on Friday afternoon. Saturday morning we will start the final set up at 8:30. Any help Saturday morning would be greatly appreciated. Email me at bradleeennzAThotmailDOTcom for details.

There is a Salisbury House restaurant in the park and they are making lots of soup, coffee and hot chocolate which will be available for purchase.

Monday, October 25, 2010

CrossTastic Report—A Repost of Sorts

Mike sort of scooped my "cross sucks" take on yesterday's race at Whittier Park. I'll let him have it though, as I was going to re-post something he put up about a year ago. After watching from the sidelines last year, I'm fully experiencing the same sentiments he expressed here, particularly the first 4 paragraphs or so. I'll just leave it at that...and add that I'm not at all superstitious.

Overall for RRR, it wasn't the best of days. Ryan crashed out very early on in the B race, Artur had a rare off day, and Brad wiped out on the run-up and hurt his hand which set the tone for the rest of his race. Michelle (wearing the cool jersey she won at last year's CrossTastic), however, did well. Despite a quick and dirty fix to a rear der shifting problem mere minutes before the start of her race, she rode a strong race on her new 3x1 (big thanks to the good samaritans that provided mechanical expertise and tools for this quick fix). Despite this last-minute distraction, it might have been her best race all year. Larry and Jane also rode well to respectable finishes. For Jane, this was her first CX race.

Thanks to Gary and all the volunteers that made CrossTastc great. The course was punishing but fun. I look forward to exacting my revenge next year. Until then, here are some photos from the kids and B race to enjoy. More photos here, here, here, and here.

Next week: Halloween at the Harbour—win a sweet carbon fibre Cane Creek wheelset or one of the cool door prizes. Wear your costume and increase your odds of winning (and fun).

Cross Sucks! Kidney Stones Suck More!

So as much as I hate cyclocross- kidney stones are worse.
After a great course put on by Gary and the FOG guys, I felt fine- until it was time to leave. Pain dropped me to my knees. Good thing we have doctors on our team- and nurses- Dr. Larry drove me home in my close to passing out state- said it sounded like a kidney stone- (Thanks to Jane too)
Later that night the pain returned- a couple of visits to the porcelain throne on my knees (yes just like cross it drove me to vomit), and off to the hospital- only 5 hours of sitting around there and it appears I may have/had have, a kidney stone.
So, I have my excuse for Sunday's cross race- what's yours?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Swag: CrossTastic and Halloween at the Harbour

A couple of exciting races are on the horizon. First is this Sunday's CrossTactic at Whittier Park, put on by Gary and the FOG club. Based on Gary's philosophy of what a cyclocross course should be (at dirty road race) and what Whittier Park has to offer, expect this one to be a fast course.

Despite the fun of racing, the highlight will no doubt be the handing out of 3 Ridley cyclcross bike frames AND a top-end TRP brake set. Nice! (Can't wait to bring one of those Ridleys home.)

All the details, including A and B seeding, can be found at the CrossTastic site.

Next on the calendar is our very own Halloween at the Harbour (not to be confused with Hal Loewen at the Harbour, though I supposed the "sexy librarian" could be a side show to some). You can find all the details if you click on the graphic in the right-hand column. We've put a lot of thought and effort into making this a fun event, but that's not to say the course will be easy.

If you are lucky enough to win one of CrossTastic framesets, you'll want to make sure you're at our race on the 30th. Even if you don't win anything on Sunday, you'll want to be at our race for a chance to win our grand prize for the day—a carbon fibre Cane Creek wheelset worth $1,500!

Wear a costume! You'll get one ballot for showing up, but earn an additional entry into the door prize drawings if you're dressed up. In addition to the door prizes, prizes will also be awarded for best costume, so dig into that tickle trunk and try not to spew in your mask.

Southern Cross

I can't remember the last time I fell off my bike. I don't know what that says about me. Am I too timid? Too slow? Really smooth? Or just lucky?

At Southern Cross the streak ended. I got off to my usual fast start (which is typically followed by a slow fade to mid pack) and was in the top three or four when we hit the hill area for the first time. Like many others, I went down on that cursed shiny straw. The first time was pretty harmless. Up and rolling without losing much time. The second time not so lucky. I went down hard and was passed by several riders. And I have some pretty nice rash to show for it.

Both crashes were in the first lap, so I knew I had some time to get back in the mix. I started to pass a few folks and by the end I finished near where I felt I should have. For the third or fourth time this year I had a race within the race with Dallas. I got up to him, but just couldn't get by. I thought that's where I would finish, but he was kind enough to crash on the last lap and let me get by. What a guy.

Who knows what could have been if I could have used all that energy a bit further up in the group? Racing is full of unanswered questions like these. RRR's very own Artur Pich proved to be the most consistent racer of the weekend and took the top honors for B. Well done.

After my race I sped through my usual clean up and re-hydration routine to get ready for the best part of the day: heckling. With Dallas leading the charge, we assembled 30 strong on the hill. At some point we noticed some of the A racers were dismounting at the railway ties and running up the hill. A lot of us B slobs rode that, so of course this unleashed some vicious heckling. Sorry Anna, you deserved it.

The first time I saw Olli round that turn and get assaulted by the screams, he bunny hopped the ties clearing them easily and accelerated up the hill. I think I'm in love...Tristan, Tomek, and Luc also get top marks for form.

But the best move of the day was for sure by Rene. He almost got his front wheel, I mean Cam's front wheel, over the ties. But not quite. The endo was spectacular, as was the pretzeled handlebar that resulted. That hushed the crowd. For about two seconds. Man I do love me some heckling. I'm glad you're OK Rene.

Good times at the curling club to finish the day. Tons of swag was doled out, lots of Southern Cross IPA flowed, and chips were eaten. Every champions post race food of choice. And I went home with a sweet Sugoi cycling cap.

All in all another great day in Altona. Thanks to Johnny S and all the ABES crew. You guys know how to put on an event.

Next up, the amazing prize fest that is Crosstastic, and then our spooktacular Halloween at the Harbour. Singlespeeders be afraid, be very, very afraid.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I Think I'm Turning Superstitious

Saturday's race at St. Malo was the best I've had in a while. No mechanicals or flats. It was more than less a good day. Would have liked to finish in the top 10, but that's more about doing your homework ("if you want the grades you got to do your homework") and eating properly. Both of which have been less than more of a priority post-Hot Pursuit (my bad).

Anyway, on Saturday, in my scramble to get to the venue on time, I left behind several "race day essentials". No wool jersey to wear pre-race to keep me warm, no gloves, and no race jersey. Well, I did have the old white one—it would have to do. As I pulled it on, I realized the worst races I've had in a long time seem to happen when I don the new RRR jersey.

Starting a the back of the pack is far from ideal, but I did manage to work my way up closer to the front before the first tight corner where I took the honour of being the first to break the tape. Too aggressive (again), hoping to force the guy next to me to take a different line (he didn't...again). After getting the mess of tape out of my brake hanger, I was off and chasing hard to get back with the guys I was with when the mishap occurred.

I did catch up and managed to hang on for most of the race. I slowly reeled in a few guys, which felt good. Yikes! I was actually having fun! Rock on, ratty old white jersey!

It was a good course. Chapeau to the Olympia gang and the town of St. Malo for a fun day. As much as the run-up sucked, it was awesome. Same goes for the sand.

I couldn't make it out to Southern Cross. I was pretty bummed about that all day as I felt good to race on Sunday. Alas, being home on Sunday afternoon allowed me to accept an invite to watch Jason Bonham's Led Zepplin Experience from the comfort of a fully-stocked corporate box. So much for the homework I had intended for the evening.

I snapped a few pics of the St. Malo B-race; you can find them here. I would have taken more of everyone, but my camera batteries died early on.

I must say Artur never looked so at home in any race as he did on the St. Malo sand. Must be the shorts. With Artur being the winner of the Grand Prix Sugoi package, it's my guess he'll be rocking some new bib-knickers at Whittier. Not.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Smash Heard Around the World




"Mark Cavendish is absolutely right. I have not even thought of his name amongst the riders I think will be a part of the finale."

Friday, October 1, 2010

2 Sleeps Until The Barrier

I’ve put off writing up any kind of MennoCross race report. The truth is I had a bad race, maybe the most frustrating ever, and couldn’t find much that I wanted to say. That’s, of course, no reflection on the event itself. The Dark Horde did a fine job of organizing the event and with the course conditions what they were, it was as cross as we’ve seen in Manitoba in some time.

As I reflected on the race and what went wrong, I felt compelled to do what I could to minimize the chances of those variables ever coming together again.
  • Shifting problems? Sure, but everyone had ‘em so I can’t use that as an excuse. Wash the bike, give it some TLC and make sure things are running as smoothly as possible for the next race
  • Wrong gearing? A new crankset should arrive on my doorstep today which will give me something a little more ideal than my current 50/32 setup.
  • Over-extended? The bottom line for my poor showing was that there wasn’t much gas in the tank. Hard intervals (as opposed to easy intervals) on the Wednesday and Thursday before the race weren’t such a good idea. This week, I’m doing the opposite—if too much riding makes me slower then… I’ve been faithfully attending church and paying homage to St. Arnold. Penance has been 3 Hail Marys each day. And when not in church, I’ve been binging on Halloween candy and chocolate ice cream. Regardless of what happens on Sunday, I should be well-fueled.

Sunday: The Barrier

Led by Gary, a rag-tag team of volunteers have pressed on to ensure there will be a race this weekend despite the cancellation of the Omands Park race. These guys are proof positive that if there’s a will, there’s a way. Guys, you all get a “attaboy” for stepping up. All the details you need to know can be found here. Oh, and don't forget to bring a rake.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Utah Beer

When in Rome....
Enjoying a pint of this fine beer
Sad to have missed menno cross yesterday. However, riding in Moab all week- with temps in the mid to high 90's all week, I can't complain. And with beer like this available...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

2 Sleeps Until MennoCross!

It's reported on the FGBC site that, in addition to a yerba bar, there will be cash prizes—$100 each (3 deep) for the women's A race and men's and women's B races; and $300 (7 deep) for the men's A race. This has "race of the year" written all over it! (until Oct. 30, that is)

Screw work! I'm going home right now to do some intervals. Yerba and a chance to win cash!? You kidding me?!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

CrossVegas—Live Streaming


The broadcast will begin at 7:45PM PDT and "run until the lights go out". In case the embedded link below doesn't work when the time comes, click here.

Visit for more Videos

Thanks for the link, Ryan.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

CX #1: Wildwood Park

It feels good to have that one behind me. Really. It was my first cross race if I don't count last season's Kildonan Park race in which I was coming off 10 weeks on the couch due to an ankle/leg injury.

I set out hoping for a mid-pack finish, not really sure how I would stack up against more experience cross racers. I figured I could do well, but the barriers concerned me somewhat after spraining my gimpy ankle a few weeks ago. In the end, it went mostly as well as I had hoped. I got my mid-pack finish, but I crashed four times, two of which really set me back after clawing myself into top-10 positions. The most dramatic was the one which saw Gary riding over my bike and flying over the front of his bike a la Superman. Chalk it up to a combination of inexperience and a poor choice of tires to handle the greasy mud corners. I'll be better equipped and a little wiser for next weekend's race at CMU.

I raced with Mike in the A Race. He did really well considering he has spent very little time on the bike this year. It's not hard to see how he was one of the top racers in the province when he was dedicated to training everyday.

In the B Race, RRR was represented by Brad, Artur, Michelle, and new-comer Ryan.

Brad, ever a stud, finished in 4th spot beating kids half his age on bikes half the weight of his Cross Check. Steel is real, and that's how a real man does it.

Clearly not a man who conforms to the masses, Artur continues with his trademark platform pedals and board shorts. And he continued from where he left off from last year, claiming B Race's 3rd podium spot.
Michelle rode strong, finishing a bit back in what should prove to be a very competitive woman's field. Another race or two and she'll be right there, just as she was last season.

Ryan looked very impressive in his first-ever bike race. He held on to some good company for much of the race. He'll be one to watch as he gets a few more races under his belt. Adam should be looking over his shoulder. Thanks for the post-race refreshments, Ryan.
nice jersey!

A great crowd made the racing memorable for all. I loved racing past all the screaming, even if I couldn't force a smile at acknowledge the cheering (Brad, you had me laughing on inside numerous times). Also a big thanks to the Woodcock team and the race officials for making it all happen.

I have a few B Race photos (mostly RRR and FGBC) here, and there are LOTS more pictures over at JP's blog (thanks, bud).

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cross Lab Tonight

6:30 at Omands Park.

With some cross lab practice, you might look as good as Mike.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

CX 2010 Kicks Off in Less Than a Week!

As posted on Olli's blog:

Woodcock Cycle Wildwood Cyclocross, CX series #1

September 18

The first race of the Manitoba Cyclocross series will be held at Wildwood Park, 271 North Drive, Winnipeg, MB.

Race course is the tested lung burner/leg buster in Wildwood Park along the Red River. Races will be fast and furious, the perfect way to get up to cyclocross speed. This is also the first race of the CXMB participation series. More info on CXMB blog.

Light food, fruit and water are available for all racers.

Race prizing to be awarded after all races are complete. You must be present to accept your prize.

Registration from 1:30pm - 3 pm at the Wildwood Community Club, washroom facilities located here. Parking on the North Drive gravel shoulder.

Registration $15, novice riders and kids under 16 race for free.

Races starts at 2pm B Race - 2pm, 30min + 2 laps

Kids Race - 3pm, approximately 15min + 1 lap (modified course)

A Race - 3:30pm, 45min + 2 laps

Friday, September 3, 2010

Get Ready For October 30

it's not the best photo, but you get the idea

Thursday, September 2, 2010

God of Thunder


2010 Bike Shorts Film Festival

It's now September, so that means it's time again for the always entertaining, sometimes bizarre Bike Shorts Film Festival. Details here.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wednesday Night Cross Lab Haiku

Six boys in the rain
Squishy socks and muddy backs
Cyclocross draws near

Next Cross Lab: Saturday @ 7:00 am, Omand's Park
Full Cross Lab schedule here.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

RRR's Silver Medal and Iron(wo)man

Sunday was a good day for RRR members. First there was the Provincial MTB race at Grand Beach. While the number of RRR riders was small, hardware was earned and brought home. Congrats to Brad for claiming 2nd place behind uber-stud Lindsay in the 50+ category. Our FGBC rivals also had a surprise entry, as Tenacious V showed up to rock hop (or is that stump jump?) his 29er around the course.

happy old guys

I elected to sit this one out (it darn near killed me - the MTB Committee and volunteers did a bang-up job with the course) and nurse an injury as cross season's too near to risk further ill effect. I did have my camera, however, and enjoyed capturing most riders. I don't claim to be David Lipnowski, but there is the odd good one to be found here.

Sunday also saw Larry's wife, Jane, take part in the Subaru Ironman Canada triathlon in Penticton, BC. After breaking her collarbone while training in June and missing out on weeks of training, she put in a great effort to finish in the top half of her field with an overall time of 13:26:13. Two weekends ago I participated in a mini triathlon with a 400m swim which hurt worse than any interval training I've ever done. I can't imagine swimming 3.86 kms.

this just doesn't look like fun to me (just sayin')

Good job, Jane! Can't wait to see you racing cross as we kick some FGBC butt this year.