Check out the facebook page here.

Check out the facebook page here. It's got more pics, links and ways to waste your time.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Social report. Oh, and a x-mas gift from Camp Fortune!

Sorry this is a week late; I was hoping to get some actions pics of the day, but to no avail, yet. When they come in, I'll post them up.

Sometimes, snow both giveth and taketh away. Sunday the 15th was a case in point, in that while the demo was kind of a disappointment to me, the racing part of the day was a blast! The social was an example of how with fatbiking fresh snow can be either a blessing or a curse, depending on how you approach it, and when.

The morning of the event I didn't have high hopes. Don't get me wrong, everything was set to be awesome: a horde of snowshoers directed by Iain R. had packed down three spur lines off the CBC access road; a flotilla of demo bikes were ready, and both firewood and drinks had been secured. As foundations go for a good fatbike event, you couldn't get any better.

Unless, it snows a foot at Camp Fortune overnight, ending only an hour before the event. That can wreak havoc on the best laid of foundations. The snow was the type of cold, dry, drifting snow that is impossible to pack down in the time we had before the demo started. Although Watson, Noah, Chris, Marcel, and Rob tried to stomp the lowest and shortest section of the demo trails, it was to no avail. With that sort of snow, you need much more traffic and few days for the trails to set, not a dozen footprints and an hour of time. Thom's text to me summed up pretty much what I was thinking when I woke up: "you know, getting newbies to try out fat bikes in these conditions isn't optimal."

"Yeah, this could be a wash," I feared.

Getting sized up for a fat run.

I thought that because of the snow, not many people would turn up. I was wrong. People were there the waiting for us when we arrived, and at times folks were waiting for the bikes! In all, about 30 folks showed up to demo the bikes, some of them having skied by, gone to their cars and changed shoes so they could come back and fail around in the snow. One guy even gave me his season's pass as ID for the rental!

Hot drinks, cold trails, equals goods times.
 Generally, everyone who went out came back with positive experiences. Even if most of the trails were buried, that didn't stop folks from trying, and/or taking them for rips in and around the parking lots and the foot of the ski hills. What was cool was that people hung out afterwards, had something to drink and talked about the bikes. The recruitment, err, I mean the demo was a modest success.

The fire pit is starting to become an expected feature; these folks brought fatbikes to ride, and wieners to cook.


As the sun set and the last of the skiers came down the Mountain, Matt and Thom went to work setting up a dual-slalom course on the lower flank of Marshall. They quickly discovered that despite the new snow, it was impossible to get any poles into the ice-hard man-made snow base. So they improvised(what a surprise, given this series' history); the course morphed from parallel courses  to one where there were 6 wide gates, marked by hastily built-up snow mounds lit by glow sticks. Two riders were sent down at the same time, hoping to get the holeshot. 

Bikes getting ready to race!

Talking about the format and racing order. Yes, that is a fat unicyclist in the pic!

The Olive, prepping for the race...

...and best cape contest, which he owned. Mind you, David's all-black victorian number was pretty swank. Dapper, even.
While this format in most other contexts would likely have resulted in some elbows thrown, everyone knew this was not that sort of race, and if they didn't, they quickly got the hint from the amount of heckling that was going on at the top of the hill. If that didn't keep them in line, well, the course did. 

All that soft, new snow meant that staying upright was the major challenge, not your challenger. If you could stay upright, or manage to fall the least, you would win. In one race, each person slid out at least twice. One poor soul face-planted twice (laughing at the end of his race as he cleaned the snow out from the inside of his glasses, thankfully) and another fell four times, only narrowly losing to his competitor, who only fell three times... 

The race was done elimination style, with the winner of the consolation round going up against the loser of the champion round. The championship came down to the mad, hellbent descending of Matt, versus the smoothness of Daniel's runs. We all thought that Matt was going to take it, because, well, he was going stupid-fast! So fast, that everyone was wondering when, (not if) he went down, how much time he would lose. But we all thought that by the time he went down, he would have a big enough gap to recover, and his competitor would've wipeout out as well. However, Matt went down early, with Dan right behind him. and Dan didn't fall. Dan was in for the win. 

I can't remember much of Nick's winning run. I was staring at his new fatbike suspension fork the whole time...

 Below are the results, kept track on my high-tech scoreboard (a posterboard taped to a table). The top names are the under 40 podium, the lower three are the over-40 winners

So, Dan, Matt, Nick and Karl: I am still waiting on the prizes Giro and Outdoor Gear Canada gave me to get here. It will be likely the second week of January. Send me your emails or FB me in the new year. Or check back here; I'll post when they are in.

The fire was sooo nice afterwards, and made nicer by the bottle being passed around.

Finally I want to thank a shit-ton of people of helping out. Getting all the stuff up to Fortune and setting trails is no small task, and these people deserve thanks. All this community support is pretty heartwarming, for it shows that this fatbiking thing has the making of being a pretty cool scene of folks willing to help out to get folks together to play in the snow.
-Iain, for the snowshoing, which alas was for naught (this time; more on that after New Years)
-Mike and Noah for coming up to Fortune the night before and marking trails in one of the coldest winds I've experienced in a loooong time, and hauling stuff back and forth.
-Chris Wood for hauling up a big pile of wood.
-Marcel and Rob P. for being packing fodder (again, for naught).
-Thomas and Will from Tall Tree Cycles for bringing up the tent and their fleet of demo Surlys (which you can rent until the 7th of January),  and for paying for the drinks. Much thanks!

And special mention goes to Watson, who ran all sort of crap errands for me while I was at work: getting photocopies, getting paint, tarps, and gods knows what else. All hail Watson!

So that's it for now.  I'll post post new pics when I get them.

Happy Holidays, and I will have good news in the New Year; if you liked what happened this time, well it looks like we may get a repeat or two! Thank you Mr Sudermann!

But for now; bank on the next race being in the city, on Jan 19th. It starts in someone's backyard.




Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Social is still on.

Ok, the weather tonight and tomorrow will be very, uh, winterish.

Normally, I'd move the date (if anyone recalls I spaced events out to a month apart  this year to give myself some 'act of nature' latitude.

However, this time I am sticking to my guns, mostly due to the fact I have to.

Tall Tree only has their demo fleet until the first week of January. Then it is off to Alberta (if you can't make it to the demo, call the shop and reserve a day ASAP if you want to try one). With the holidays starting next week, there was no other time to really do this. Speaking of time, it is kinda hard to reschedule at Camp Fortune; mr Sudermann has been very gracious, and I don't want to push my luck. The coupled with the return of the demo fleet, Fortune starts night skiing after New Year's, again adding pressure to do the social tomorrow.

So folks, dress up, and if you are coming for the race, know that there may not be a lot of bush trails to ride before 4:30. We will do what we can. However, there will be fires and warm liquids for you.

And the hill itself should be crazy fun! Powder!

See you there,
Flounder.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Fatbike Social: all the details!

So, it is official: Camp Fortune has amazingly agreed to let fat bikes run amok on Sunday, Dec 15th. Thank you Camp Fortune, and Peter Sudermann!

But there are limitations. Here are the details, both good and slightly inconvenient:

There will be a tent set up to the left of the Clifford chairlift. Tall Tree Cycles providing a demo day from 2 to dusk (4:30) with a fleet of Surly Pugsleys and Moonlanders. There will be a couple of short trails to try them out on. Maybe a few 9zero7's too. Demos will be let out for 30 minutes a pop. First come first served, but you can take them out multiple times if there is no one waiting. This is all free.

We will NOT be allowed on the skiing hills until after 4:30, when the skiers are off. There will be no hillside lighting, unless it comes from a nearby trail that there is snowmaking on, and no, you can't ride in the snowmaking! I know; I thought "boo" as well, but freshly made snow is really heavy and hard to ride through, so it's not as much fun as you'd think, although I always keep aiming for it when I see it...

But I digress: the point is that LIGHTS ARE MANDATORY FOR THIS EVENT (200 lumens at least).

After 4:30, there will be a cover charge of seven dollars to ride a series of packed trails, the cbc access road, and Marshal ski run. If you want, you can register and pay for the whole series of four races, a mere 21 dollars at the registration table.  Starting around 5:30 will be a dual slalom race on the lower third of Marshal. The emphasis will be on fun(as always), and turning over speed. Winner in the 4 categories get a prize:

Men under 40,
Men over 40,
Ladies,
Best cape worn while racing. For real: this category gets the best prize.

Things will wrap up around 7. There will be fires to keep you warm, and free coffee and hot chocolate to keep you warmer. If you are wondering, and are new to these events, the 7 bucks is to cover costs, if that. It would be nice if I could buy the volunteers a round, someday...

Speaking of which, after the race, folks are encouraged to stop in Chelsea for drinks. I will!

please to give us an idea of how many to expect, there is a facebook page set up for the event. Please click here and let me know if you are coming, so I can get enough drinks for everyone.

See you at Camp Fortune,
-Flounder

Oh, does anyone have a load of firewood to sell???


Monday, December 9, 2013

The 15th is go!

Mr Sudermann said yes. All hail Sudermann!

However, we need to figure out the hows and the wheres. One thing to note: you will need lights for the latter part of this event now, as the ski hill lights will not be on. The chalet will be closed after 5, so bring your own refreshments. Naturally I will provide some, but they may not be to everyone's tastes! The daytime demo will go on as stated before: on a short course off to the side of the ski runs.

Looks like the slalom course will be lit by tiki torches and glow sticks now... not that that is new.

More details tomorrow night.

Anyone got some firewood up there?

-Flounder

Friday, December 6, 2013

Fat Bike Social, Dec 15th at Camp Fortune! (tentative)

A place where everyone will get to know your name. Yes; they'll be mandatory.
Folks,

Early this week, on a whim, I called Peter Sudermann, co-owner of Camp Fortune, on a lark. For a while, I had an idea to do an event there in the evening before the resort opens for night skiing. However, I never bother to follow up on it, thinking I'd get rejected out of hand; I've been frustrated these last couple of months after several attempts to work with groups to organize some more accessible events have fallen through. I didn't think much was going to happen this time either.

I made my pitch. Mr. Sudermann asked a couple of questions, asked about waivers, and then said, essentially, that he was okay with it, as he knows a few people with fatbikes. However, we would need to sort out the details a bit before he totally signed off.

Damn, that was easy. I know it is not a 100% yet, but Mr. Sudermann was waaaay more receptive than anyone else I've dealt with. So I am posting this with with high hopes, and to give everyone plenty of advance notice.

  Fat Bike Social! Fun Race! Dec. 15th, 1-7 pm!

So here is the (again tentative) format for the day: Tall Tree will run a fleet of 6-10 demo fatbikes from next to the first aid hut in the lower parking lot. There will be sign up sheet and liability waivers that everyone must sign, and you can pay for your series of races or individual races there. From one until four, we would encourage folks to go and ride a short(1-2 km) loop of the XC mountain bike race course below Pineau run. Folks can get a bike for about 30 minutes, then they have to return it for the next person. You are welcome to put your name in for another round, but you will have to wait. Warm beverages will be served. If you have a bike, feel free to come by and try out the course.


Click here to open.
After four pm, once the skier are off the hill, is when the real fun begins  for the fatties. Folks will be able to ride up Humdinger ravine, to the mountain bike trail that connects Humdinger to Pineault and go over to Pineau. Then folks could can rip down Pineault, as many times as they'd like. The other option that may be allowed folks to ride up the access road,  go across and come down Marshall (or at least part of it). This depends on what Fortune can offer us.

Around 6 ish (earlier if there is a shit-ton of people) there will be a very low-key race on a short section of the hill. Format will be dual-slalom, head-to-head eliminator style, with a consolation round. Winner gets a prize. Categories will be men under thirty-five, men over thirty five and Women.

At seven pm we would call it a day on the hill. Hopeful, the chalet bar will still be open -it would be nice if you gave Mr. Suderman some money for being so awesome. If not, folks can reconvene in Old Chelsea.

So again, let me stress that this is TENTATIVE. I will know by Monday, Tuesday at the latest. So keep an eye on this page. I'll post as soon as I can.

See you on the hill, I hope!

No really, pray for me, if you do that kinda thing.

-Flounder.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The 2014 poster!

It's here!


Thanks to Greg Cosgrove for again designing a killer poster; it is by far the most professional part of the series!
A special thanks to John Rathwell Photography for allowing me to use his pics from one of last year's races. If you need your soul stolen, hit him up!

Now to explain it some: the series will be 7 dollars a race, or 25 dollars for the series. Right now I am planning a race a month. I am aiming for the weekend that is closest to the 15th of each month, either on the Saturday or the Sunday, depending on the event. To anyone that did a night event in the past, you know what to expect: similar formats(think a winter cross event), similar venues(short courses in city parks, with 'features' to navigate). What is new this year will be daytime events. They will be a bit longer at 90 minutes, and on slightly longer laps, but nothing scary. They will be held just outside of Ottawa, within 30 minutes

Why every month? One word: weather. Last year some will recall that I had to move and then cancel a race because the weather was too cold one night, and then a melt totally screwed up a course I set. Setting each race a month apart allows me to postpone an event without suddenly having two events back-to-back.

And why does it say four or five? Well, a race may get cancelled. An opportunity may open up to do something cool. but really it is because of this: There will be one event that is going to be longer. Much longer. Think 6 hours, hike-a-bike sections, steeps and all in the woods. It'll be hard. There will be survival gear requirements. It will be done in teams of three in case somethings goes wrong out there. This will be invite only. Email me if you are interested.

More to come!
Flounder.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Some pics

Here are some pics from last year, which were just given to me from John Rathwell Photography.

Enjoy! Next post is going to be about my summer's fatpacking adventures.









Friday, March 22, 2013

Course route

I just was out marking and figuring out the course and it will be as follows:

Start on Klondike near the pipes.
Cross the bridge and do the outer section of Rockhopper, passing Rachel's Garden.
Down deerdrop, then turn right onto North Dogsled for a few meters.
Left onto Porcupine.
Right onto Fast Out.
Left at the Bird Feeder.
Left onto M Line.
Right onto Beartree.
Beartree until Klondike Finish.

For those of you who don't know KL well, here is the trail map

By the way. The conditions are REALLY good: Grippy, hard, and smooth. I think regular MTB's will be able to do the course.

-Flounder.

last fat race, this Saturday!

Race is at Kanata Lakes, and starts at 7:30 pm. Race lasts an hour and a lap. Meet at the  Klondike and 2nd line road trailhead. Go up the main trail (towards the swamp) and look for the torches.

I aiming to make the course fast and fun, not too technical, and have it pass the BBQ area/finish line each time, so it a bit more spectator-friendly. If you were having any misgivings, don't. It will all be good.

Did I mention the keg of beer, and the bbq after? I just did.

God help me, it should even work on non-fat tires!

-Flounder

Monday, March 11, 2013

LPP#3; Words, pics and vids! Oh yeah; the season finale announced.

The view from up top Carlington Hill. At night, I always think it is one of the prettiest in the city.
So, LPP#3 is in the can. I think it went quite well, despite it being the softest trails conditions so far, and having one of the toughest features of any of the races (the old east side sliding hill). Andy and I went out the night before to pack sections of the course, and, to be honest, decided what the course should be. It was quickly decided that even with the snowshoe packing, anything but the most hard-packed or downhill trails would be unridable in the heavy, wet snow that were the conditions. So that in mind, the course was pretty straightforward.


the long slog up to the top. The downhill (which is hella fun) is in the woods picture left.

       One issue to deal with when making a course that is mostly singletrack is how to spread people out. With my events, I have taken to making the starts selective, but without resorting to the tried and true (and boring) Lemans start. My starts involve walls, fences, snowball fights and airplane bottles of booze hidden like Easter Eggs. This time, all ten of the racers had to take off their front wheel and stand in a line facing down the main sliding hill at Carlington, which is no small rise. Once in line, they had to hand t wheel to the person to their right. Those whose who had bolt-on wheels had their bikes stashed in the woods by Andy and Glenn.  When I said 'go!' everyone had to roll the wheel in their hand down hill, and wait 5 looong seconds before they could get them.  That, I figured, would thin the herd.

Now when I planned this, I seriously doubted that anyone's wheel would go all the way down the hill. The hill was bumpy in some sections, soft in others and the simple fact was that no wheel would be able to go straight for that long without toppling over.

Unless you hit this one lane of smooth, compacted snow, but hey who would hit that perfectly in the dark, with a fat bike wheel?

Turned out that Matts wheel did, went almost all the way down. Matt won the last race he was in, and is always fast. this put him dead last, as pretty much everyone ignored the 5-second rule and ran after their wheels almost immediately, creating total bedlam. While bedlam is typical, this time I blame Andrew Olive. And Neil, because Neil deserves to be blamed for shit. But I digress; the last one into the woods was poor Matt.

I thought the laps would be about 12 minutes due to the soft conditions and that evil hill. So I told everyone that there would be three laps and then a descent down the main sliding hill to the finish line, which consisted of Andy wearing a red blinky and a pair of snowshoes. First man to touch Andy would be the winner. Oh, and Andy was allowed to move partly to avoid any indiscreet gropes.

To my total surprise, lap one was doen in eight minutes! While no one made it up the hill on thier bike, plenty ran it. and the soft conditions and narro trails did not seem to slow anyone down. I think it says something to the skill levels that folks are reaching on their fatbikes this season. The second lap was 10 minutes. Amazingly, by the second lap, Matt was in third! But I had to make a call, if everyone kept going at this speed the race would be over in forty minutes. I started to tell people there would be a fourth lap. 

I was rebuffed. Not just rebuffed, but told flat out 'no.'

"Fuck that, you said three!"

"Fuck you, I"M  done at three"

There were worse comments too, but what impressed me was that such long emphatic refusals were coming out of folks who had just climbed up the hill and were totally in the red. So it stayed at three.

The finish was pretty cool. Marcel, who had been leading the entire race (I think) came off the hill with Matt right at this heels. They started the descent of the sliding hill pretty much side-by-side. They got close. Too close, elbows came out, snow started to fly and Marcel slid out. Matt bombed the hill with reckless abandon (doe he desend any other way?) to touch Andy for the win. Marcel recovered for second, and Neil placed a surprising third on my borrowed bike; he showed up on a Kona singlespeed with 1.9 tires. I looked at his rig, mocked him and told him to ride my 9 Zero 7. It will likely be the closest it will ever get to winning one of these.

Neil, learning the ways of the fat on my bike. He's wearing my helmet too, now that I look at it... 


So that is it. Many thinks to Andy for all his help the night before and the night of the race. Thanks go to Rodd for the pics you see here, and for Glenn, who threw bikes into the woods and took the videos posted below.

The finale will be at Kanata Lakes on Saturday, March 23rd. Race starts at 7:30 sharp, will last around 75 minutes (conditions depending as usual). BBQ, keg and fire pits to follow!

Now does anyone have a sled and firewood?


video


video


video

Monday, March 4, 2013

LPP#3 announced, and pics!

So, considering the amount of snow that we got last week, and the icy, slippery kind of snow it was. I feel fine having postponed the race. It did get me thinking for next year (yes, there will be a next year); that I will likely spread out the races, so they are once a month, from December to March. That way, if the weather creates the havoc it did this, year, I can move  races around without creating bottlenecks of events. That said, I am open to logistical suggestions...

And now it is time to announce LPP#3: It is at Carlington sliding hill. Park at the arena, go around the back, and come up to the top of the hill (no, you will not be racing up it). Race starts at 7:30. Drinks and nibbles after.

Finally, here are some pics from the daytime LPP. Thanks to Zara from Ottawa Velo Vogue for the pics.


See you Wednesday,

Flounder





Wednesday, February 27, 2013

LPP#3 postponed (Damnit)

Hey Everyone,

The forecast is for 20cm of wet snow and ice, coupled with high winds. I Don't think anyone would enjoy trying to race a course with a pretty hard hill on it, especially one I will have no time to prepare as I am at work, and all the snow is going to fall between now and race time. So, I am going to delay until next Wednesday, March 6th.


Does it feel like every act of god this winter has happened every other Wednesday?

Sorry about this, and I hope you all understand. Please let folks know.
Grant.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Resuming operations: LPP#3 tommorrow!

Hey everyone,

My apologies on two fronts: The site has been quiet for the last two weeks, as I was on vacation, and did not bring my laptop (I did bring my cycling gear, however). I left the day after LPP#2 happened, and didn't have any time to post anything. I was also hoping to get some pics before I posted, but that didn't happen, so I delayed the post.
A flounder in Florence


Alas, I still dont have any pics from that day, but I will soon, and will post, them promise. I will say this: it was a blast! Chris's track wasn't much to look at, in the sense it didn't strike fear into your hearts, nor did you think it would be much of a workout, but if you did two laps at full pin, your heart would be racing at the end. If you spent a couple of hours on it, you were guaranteed a wipeout. Why? One word: ice. Half the corners had bare, smooth ice coming into them and if you didn't hit the corner just right, or slow enough to put a foot out, you went down. This meant a lot of breaking and a lot of pedalling, resulting in a good, hard effort. All the folks who showed up had a blast.

Props to Andrew Olive, who, despite ruthless teasing by well, everyone, for wearing a skinsuit to race, won the damn thing, and got a set of Surly Bud and Lou tires. I'll write more when I have some pics to go along with it all.

Now, tomorrow's race. It's at Carrlington Hill sledding park. Here is the map: https://maps.google.ca/maps?ct=reset&tab=ll

Meet at the top of the hill, race starts at 7:30 sharp. It is happening, snow or not. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I get by with a lot of help from friends. Sunday Race is on!

Friends and acquaintances are good to have. Why? Well they are usually better than you at a lot of stuff or have cool stuff you can borrow. In the last week, I've been leaning a lot on friends to make these races happen.

For example, compare these pics, the first three pics below, take my ex-work colleague John Rathwell at the first race of the season, held on Jan. 30th.

oooo
aaaah
eeee
Now look at mine:

Well, at least I got two bikes in the picture,. Mostly.
Ok,  it's off center and the light is kinda flat, but it's got product placement!  Buy Kichesippi beer! You buy now!


Well, this sucks. Maybe I should try video...
It seems my skills are more in the realm of race organizing than race photography. Thanks for coming out, John.

As for the race, it was interesting, and it was the snow that made it so for the 20 or so riders that showed up and raced in front of a sizable crowd of amused dog walkers, who had gathered at the start line in Hampton Park. The course, which my friend Martin and I set (thanks a ton Martin!) started off firm-ish, despite the 10-degree Celsius weather we were enjoying (Jamie said that if this was a November 'cross race, everyone would be in shorts). But, as the laps began to build, the course became a wet, soft and slippery mess with everyone dabbing feet and/or dismounting multiple times. Still,  everyone finished with smiles, even the ones who were pelted with snowballs at the finish!

So, here are the top five finishers:

Susan Storm: 1st,  -5 points towards overall standings
Wally West: 2nd -4 points
Dick Grayson: 3rd -3 points
Selina Kyle: 4th -2 points
Bobby Drake: 5th -1 point

Everyone else get . 5 for showing up. Shout out to J'onn J'onzz, who was running neck-and-neck with Susan Storm, until he flatted. That, I think, is the first time I have ever seen anyone flat a fatbike tire, and certainly it is the first in a race!

The weekend following the Wednesday race, my friend Zara and my nephew Wesley joined me to do a scouting for the next race on Feb 10th. The plan was to hold a fat cross event at the new BMX track in Barrhaven. Wesley was going to pack the course down with his snowmobile, and Zara was going to look at the course with the intention of filming it.

Well, that ain't happening.

The Nepean BMX track is glare ice from the melt re-freezing, and unridable unless you have studs. I couldn't even walk up the pump section, never mind Wesley trying to get his sled up it! I came home pissed that the weather has been so uncooperative this year, and wondering what I would do for plan B.

Then I thought of my friend Chris. Chris has a backyard pumptrack made out of snow. Chris invites folks over to ride it. How would he feel about letting a gaggle of people ride it one Sunday afternoon?

He's game. We're on.

So, we are moving out to Richmond, Ontario, on Sunday, Feb. 10th, and onto Chris G.'s backyard track. The program for the day is this: Arrive at 2, practice runs until 3, race until 4-ish (it will be timed laps around the course, best of two runs determine standings) then 4-5 is bbq and drinks until 5. The best part is the course is hard and fast, so regular mountain bikes are welcome! As always, there are prizes to win, including a set of fatbike tires!

However this time around, you have to confirm if you want to come, as there will be a maximum number of racers allowed (it is his house, and he does have a wife and kids, who are amazing and very understanding, but everyone has their limits, and I don't plan on pushing theirs). Shoot me an email at lebindle@gmail.com

So to get the address, shoot me a quick email tell me how many are in your party and I'll send you the address. When it fills up, I write a quick "sorry, full" to let you know that, well, we're full.

Oh and when you meet Chris, tell him thanks. Like all friends, he's good people. Handy too.

Here are a few teaser pics of Chris's track. It's not that high or gnarly, so don't be worried. It is hard, so grippy tires are best. Elbow pads are not a bad idea too, if you really want to giver.





See you Sunday!

-Flounder

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Race, Jan 30th, 2013...

Is being held at Hampton Park. Here is a the map:

The weather isn't as bad as predicted, so traction shouldn't be too bad, and it sounds like it won't be dumping buckets!

Registration starts after 7 (bring change). Preride is at 7:30, Race is at 8 for an hour.

Drinks and nibbles afterwards at a house nearby.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Come rain or snow, there will be prizes galore!

The forecast is this, dammit.

Well, I don't care, I will not be denied a third time! The race is on, even if it's a bog slog. If the stunts are too soft, there will be bypasses, as there always are. If the trails are really soft, well, suck it up. If you are really tired after a lap or two, stop, grab a beer, and throw slushballs.

Just bring a rain jacket.

Now, to ensure a good turnout regardless of the weather for this, and all remaining races, I present bait.

I want to give a shout out to Live to Play sports, Tall Tree Cycles and Outdoor Gear Canada for their generous contributions, and I am still waiting for a stash of more lights and Lizard skin grips to come in too! Coolness!

Part of the bounty
Prizes will be given out at every race: there will be ones for first second and third, and there will be three random draw prizes as well. That's six prizes a race! Winners get to pick one thing from the pile.

This dosen't include the swag that Kichesippi is going to supply, apart from the discounted booze they are offering up, bless them.

There will be two special prizes on top of the ones already mentioned. Many, many thanks to NRG Enterprises for these two great prizes:

The first prize will be given on Feb 10th, after the daytime course. It is going to be a draw prize, so anyone who shows up and races will get a ticket to win this. As well, you can buy another five tickets for five bucks if you really really want to win. All proceeds go towards beer, food and firewood.

This is the prize:
Super-fat super-prize!
 Yes, a pair of Surly Bud and Lou 4.8" tires. You know you wanna!

The other prize is going for the best overall in the series. Points will be handed out for the first five finishers in men and first three in women. The man or woman with the most point will win a Larry and a Knard tire, perfect for summer riding!


This prize will handed out at the finale in March.

So, since we lost a race, there is a change in pricing. Races will be seven bucks per race still, but all four of them will only cost you twenty bucks. I hope that seems fair to everyone.

If not, screw you all, I'm going to sell the tires.

As always, the race location will be announced Wednesday at noon.

Until then,
Flounder

Monday, January 21, 2013

Postponed, again! Unless...

Argh,

So, a week after the melt destroyed the course I set up, we get this for weather on Wednesday. I would like to consider myself hard, but spending the next two nights preparing and running a course for what may be a vey low level of attendance  does not sound appealing to me. Oh, and really freaking cold.  I chatted with some people, and consulted the fat bike society. Survey says: postpone. I am inclined to do that.

But here's the deal: if 20 people write in and say "I'll be there, really," by 6pm Tuesday, I'll do it. If not, I promise that the race, and the bourbon toddies will flow on Wednesday the 30th.

Hope you all can forgive me,

Flounder

Monday, January 14, 2013

First Race -POSTPONED

Hey everyone,

I'm sorry, but due to the melt we had over the last three days, the course I had set is now a rutted, mangled and soon-to-be-icy mess. I am postponing the race by a week, so either some snow can fall and help me smooth out the course, or give me time to set up another venue. With the course as it is right now, I would need about 8 hours to stomp and shovel it into shape, and I don't have that much time available.

The course was looking good on Thursday: I had everything set before the melt, and the sections I had stomped with snowshoes and the ramps I had built were firming up nicely. But the melt came, and everything softened up, allowing the dozens of people who walked all over the snowshoes tracks (grrr) to leave hundreds of foot-sized potholes all over them, rendering them useless. Meanwhile, the pedestrian trails and the ramps that are still smooth are becoming VERY icy as the temperature drops again.  So, if I did go ahead with the race on Wednesday, it would be a mix of brutally bumpy and uneven trails, mixed with sections that will be almost glare ice. 

While I want these races to have a few challenges, ultimately they are supposed to be fun, not dangerously unpredictable and relentlessly harsh. So, I am calling it: First race, Jan 23rd, then back to the posted schedule.

Again, sorry about this, if you know someone who was planning on showing up, please spread the word.

-Flounder

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 race schedule

Happy New Years everyone.

I started 2013 how I always do: with a hangover. After several cups of coffee and leftovers from the party the night before, I finally got out for a ride, before the sun set. Oh, and the schedule for LPP's 2013 schedule was set. That was done in bed.

While the last week or so has not been great for fatbiking after all the snow we got, the reports on the society page have been saying that the trails around the city are in excellent shape now due to all the holiday traffic. Hampton Park, a little park close to where I live, was crap riding last week, but over the last five days, the trails have been packed down nice and hard by folks and their dogs. Deep troughs cut through the snow, and on them there is great speed and traction, but steer wide and you're hub-deep in snow. Classic winter riding!

The  fattie, straddling the trail.

While the ride was great, and the crisp air purged me of my hangover, the best part of Hampton was adding to my good karma: As I was riding around, I older gentleman asked me if I had seen a dog. I hadn't, but said I would keep an eye out. Five minutes later, I saw the dog, an old Jack Russel mix that looked scared and confused. I asked a lady nearby if it was hers and she said no. I told her I thought the dog was lost, and she said she'd keep the dog with her by means of treats. I went and found the man, and owner and dog were reunited. Everyone got to feel good.

Speaking of feeling good, I finally chose dates for the races this winter. Here they are.

Wednesday, Jan. 16th: pre ride at 7:30pm, race starts at 8
Wednesday, Jan. 30th: pre ride at 7:30pm, race starts at 8
Sunday, Feb. 10th : Registration and pre ride starts at 12pm, races start at 1. More on this event soon!
Wednesday, Feb. 27th: pre ride at 7:30pm, race starts at 8

Series final is Saturday, March 9th. Races starts at 7pm, party follows around 9pm.

As always, the races will be announced at noon the day of the race, or by word-of mouth. All the nighttime races are about an hour. The exception will be the Sunday afternoon race which I'll post up sooner rather than later.

Races will be 7 bucks each or all five for 25. Anyone who wants to pre-register, send an email to lebindle@gmail.com