Thursday, June 30, 2011

Memo from the Governor to the Admiralty...

Despite and entire week of peace in the colony (excepting the whole drunken blacksmith incident), pirates were once again spotted cruising off the coast . These bucaneers zigged and zagged in a confusing pattern that we simply refer to as a Crazy Blackbeard. Several attempts were made to intercept, but they stayed out of range of our 15 pounders and we could not give chase. While the raiders numbered over thirty, little damage has been reported, and the passages were clear of pirates by nightfall. The scullery maid did happen to capture a picture of one of the brigands on ye olde cell phone.

Unfortunately, the pirate used his wiley charms and made off with the scullery maid before I could apprehend him for his show trial. A pity, as I've had the gallows recently waxed and I have perfected my diabolical laugh. More diabolical and less maniacal seemed to do the trick.We did capture a few smaller crew members that only gave up the names of three 'volunteers' under extreme torture. Unfortunately upon closer inspection the crew members turned out to be plywood sandwich board signs and thus, a public execution would be a dissappointing and frankly humiliating event. We are on the lookout for these 'volunteers' and have identified them as Peter Heinemeyer, Ania Bergmann, and a shifty fellow named Brad Barron that we believe was a pirate in disguise. Later that night, my clerk did manage to secure a document with a curious code that we have yet to make sense of. How he came upon this list is a mystery and despite my threats to beat it out of him, that would require far too much effort and I have been resting up for afternoon tea for a while now. Perhaps I shall capture a helper monkey to more adequately do my bidding. The document reads as follows...

As soon as the chaplain sobers us, and assuming he survives his duel with the blacksmith, we will compare the document to certain sacred documents and see if there is any relation to the newly updated list of series 2 points. Well, writing this proven a challenge in this tropical climate so after a lunch of condor eggs and shark eardrums a longish nap is in order. On the next ship please send more gunpowder, a monkey trainer, and a new scullery maid.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Yarrrr....'twas lookin' at me calendar....

...and realized we're just 81 days away from International Talk Like a Pirate Day. And really, when is it not fun to talk like a pirate. Well, aside from funerals, job interviews, and the witness stand. Tis a curse for sure and I'll never be asked to tesitfy again. So you ask, what's up. Why the pirate schtick. Was this lubber once a seafarin' seaman? Was he visited by a mysterious green vaporous klaubautermann (I know you're googling it, remember the second n) while out in his van with his blond pal, a couple of girls, and his semi-literate faithful great dane? Or was it his scouting trip for the race where the recent Springbank housing boom of the noveau riche where giant houses as bland as Tom Bosley have been erected at an astonishing rate. The question then is then ... Ponzi or Pirate? I guess with the oil industry it's a little bit of both.
So I present the 2011 Ponzi Pirate Raiding Party Individual Full on Springbank TT. Real Pirates don't like rules, so there are none, just the Pirate code as it applies to TT racing. Full on TT gear welcome, flags optional but encouraged. Most pirates don't wear a watch, but this one does and we'll start right around 6:30ish.

Our route will take us south from the Springbank Meeting spot to towards the treacherous speed bumps of Mountain River Estates where we'll reverse course and head North back to the safety of the pirate's cove (meeting spot). A quick right on Springbank Road up to the Chicken Ranch where we'll head yet again south on range road 32 towards the end of the world (road). At the circle, come about again and set course for Lower Springbank Road where you'll turn to starboard (right) yet again and make for Range Road 31. One last foray south on 31 where we'll turn around again, deep in the heart of the empire, and flee to safety and the finish north along 31.
Tis a twisty and perilous route (actually it's fairly straight and simple but peril sounds cool and piratical) so I could be using some mateys to help point the way. Four crewmen would be perfect to raise a proper pirate cheer and form a dangerous landing party. Less than that ans we'll just resemble Disney theme park rejects with all the fearsome reputation of the South Fish Creek Lawn Bowling Association. One final note before I must weigh anchor. The pirate's best weapon is stealth so we must keep that in mind. Many a poor raid were undone by their use of a marching band. While I understand the need for a theme song, I note that there no famous pirates from new Orleans, and that tells me something. So we'll do the same. Park stealthily among the unsuspecting islanders and stay out of the shipping lanes before and after our fleet sets sail. Many of the locals have connections with the Admiralty and we don't need the Navy to susprise us. See ya Wednesday. Yarrrrrrrrrr.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dammit Jim, I'm not a doctor...

...I'm a race organizer. Well, tribbles be damned it was an interesting episode Wednesday night, with highs and lows, tears and celebrations, love and danger. Wait! Love and danger???
The lows, unlike shuttle disasters, Stanley Cup riots, hurricanes, and any Kardashian's career don't need to be endlessly hashed out. Suffice to say that we need to take care of eachother out there, always err on the side of caution, and communicate openly and clearly. The summary is that we had a crash in A that probably shouldn't have happened and someone was injured. Details can be found here with a bit of a discussion going on in the comments section. While the corner on it's own wasn't a big problem, situations can develop that require clear communication, quick decisions, and decisive action. While I can't always have guys on every corner and I'm not sure what an inexperienced volunteer could really have done anyway given the speed with which the situation can develop, it is incumbant on the riders to use their knowledge and perspective to marshal themselves to some degree. The experienced people with the knowledge and history to deal with it aren't usually the corner workers, but the ones on the bikes. While it is a race, there is a time to be racey, a time take it easy, and a time to hammer. If safety is at all issue at any time, then it's time to take it easy and everyone needs to do that together. When you're out there, you're one big team. Watch out for eachother like you'd watch out for your best friends.
While that was the crashy part of the evening there was another small incident that actually reflects some of the same principles discussed earlier here. A rider was dropped when he flatted and rode about 11km back to the cars on a flat front, a herculean feat that took about an hour to accomplish. While flats are a natural part of racing, like gravel, rain, and EPO, we need to know clearly if somebody has a problem out there and we'll deal with it. While we swept the course, there was some confusion as to the outstanding rider and somebody else out for a ride was confused for the guy with the flat. It was assumed that the rider had dropped out and gone home. We never heard about the flat. The flatee was riding about a 6 km/h pace that I can assure you is in no way a natural pace. I just ask that if anyone sees a flat or anything kind of issue that then make sure a volunteer hears about it and we'll check it out. I'd rather hear about it ten times than not. While it is hard to keep track of everbody while you're riding, do watch out for your team mates, and don't hang em out to dry. If you do drop out, make sure you check in with somebody and we'll have an account of you. I was out until almost ten looking for the rider and discovered him with his flat about 500m from the parking lot.
My apologies on behalf of the WNS to both riders for their troubles and I'll try my very best to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Finally, If anybody has comments, criticisms, or suggestions, let me know. While we give the series a good effort, I'm sure we could always be better, and I have pretty thick skin.

Disaster averted, the Enterprise survives ...

... and the red shirts live another day. you know the guys, the crewmembers with red shirts, no last names, and a limited lifespan. They guys that get crushed by rocks, or bitten by Sulu or something like that. Anyway, this is the results post, the Captain's log will follow as the next post.
The A results, as presented by Emmy award winning actor, author and humanitarian Wil Wheaton....
"It looks like the USS Highwood's Lt. Godlonton was caught in a Bici sandwich between Starfleet tranfers Campbell and Walsh. Man, I like sandwiches. Yup, that and D & D."

The B results, as brought to you by the star of critic's choice Reading Rainbow, one heck of a helmsman, and Richard Burton's son, LeVar Burton.
"Recently promoted ensign Bergmann kept the impulse drives floored distancing himself from the pursuing clutches of the wiley Lt. Barker, and ahead of the mavericky and oft misunderstood head of engineering Lt. Galbraith. Hey Wil, I like sandwiches too, wanna grab one at the Pasedena Chili's after this reading?"

"Leave me alone LeVar."

The C results, read in an unnecessarily deep and gravelly voice by star of stage and screen, former countertenor, Michael Dorn.
"Captian Donaldson of the USS Bow was pipped at the line by about a quadrant by the upstart Lt. Lung and ahead of newly arrived Lt. Tsuchida. While your victory was impressive Lung, we'll see how you do in B next time. Hey LeVar, I could sure go for a sandwich, wanna get one?"


And so we've revealed the disfunction in the TNG cast and touched on some of the fundamental questions of the universe, like how to thank volunteers, Geno Wendland and Peter Heinemeyer, and all those that helped out with the whole fight on the planet crashy thing including Dan Sigouin and his trusty shuttle.
While I try to sound all relaxed, philosophical, and profound as I dictate an essentially meaningless summary of my adventures to basically a cardboard wall, some flashing lights, while looking at a styrofoam planet, I can't help but think of two things... I wonder if I can get the number of the girl that played the third green alien? And are there any sandwiches on the craft table?

Monday, June 20, 2011

...The long awaited AWSMSSCWNSSHBDFRR....

...With pseudosummer now behind us, we thought that it would be good to celebrate the not quite few minutes of good weather we almost did enjoy with a road race on nearly the longest day of this so-called year. Well, I can't argue that it actually a year, what with the sun going around the earth and everything (thanks Ptolemy for your Wikipedia page on that one). While trying to come up with a catchy name for the race I was drawn to the radio and a report on what could possibly be the most important dignitary to visit Calgary since Magellan ... William Shatner.While I didn't join the throngs of single guys out to see the royal thespian, I did feel that we should mark his visit by naming the race after him. So I present the Annual William Shatner Memorial Summer Solstice Crankmasters Wednesday Night Series Slightly Hilly But Doable Fun Road Race or AWSMSSCWNSSHBDFRR for short.
The AWSMSSCWNSSHBDFRR will take off from our Hwy 22, and 22X meeting space which has been chosen due to the proximity to the observatory which serves as the inspiration for the planet Deneva and those devious ameobas. The route is one that we've enjoyed before and was introduced last year by Mark Perry who was trumped in the naming by Sir William Shatner, P.hd (Hon), M.Sc. (Hon), B.Sc. (Hon). We'll race up 22X from the meeting point about a kilometre before turning right on to Range Road 30 and bearing south (Warp Factor 5 or 6ish) for about 10 kilometres. We'll then turn right at the stop sign at Township Road 214 (274 Avenue) and head down the hill for a kilometre or so to 22X where we'll turn right and fire back to the start for another lap.

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We'll agree on the number of 22.5km laps for each category on the night of the race. Rest assured that it should be Goldilocks all the way (not too long, not too short). We'll finish at the uncharted road just past the observatory on the way back to the meeting spot. Of course, I could use a volunteer or two to make it run so stop by your nearest planet of the way and pick up a reasonably competant and adventurous biped who wants to see the universe or at least a small portion of the Municipal District of Foothills No. 31. Please, no blue people, I was once jumped by two Blue Man Group Groupies after a show in Vegas. It was worse than the time that Scott Baio wouldn't leave me alone at a Denny's in Cleveland.

Friday, June 17, 2011

...bowties are cool...

...and so are raincoats. Glad I had one on Wednesday but I'm not sure the riders noticed. They all came in with purplish red leggings. Funny, they didn't start out that way, but hey, perhaps there was a roadside vendor of some sort. Anyway, it was kind of alternating between sunshine (and lollypops) and rainshine (tm). A perfect October day and even the local rancher's were wearing jaunty scarves.
On to the results... Line honours went to Wayde Bymoen, but his tri rig attracted an appropriate modification of his result (based on the Socal TT calculations) and he slid to fourth. He did however impress us with brickisizing the outing and we can forgive him his Triathlete ways. Andrew Paul brought it home followed by Karel and Mike in A, with Callum Galbraith edging Walter and Allan in B. Riding well, Tomo Tsuchida took Willy and David for the points in C.

Props to the volunteers that made it all go. Rob lanthier, Thomas Yip, and Clarence Poon all lent a hand so thanks guys I appreciate it.
I think next week is looking like a Road Race somewhere down south until i can get a good course scouted in the north. We'll use the Mark perry Rectangle that we introduced last year and was well recieved. Details will follow and if anyone else has any really good ideas for a course (road or TT), shoot me an email and I'll giver 'er a scout. Avoid needy Daleks and play safe.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011's not locusts, just rain...

My comprehensive analysis of the weather radar combined with some forward modelling and and probablistic analysis has determined that it is indeed raining. The fact that the crack dealers across the street from my office are still operational tends to suggest that it either is not raining that hard, or Charlie Sheen is in town. Either way, it looks like it should pass and although a little annoying, rain doesn't tend to inflict much damage, so I will show up tonight and as long as the weather isn't too bad, we'll race. Sorry I can't be more definitive, but I hate cancelling races and want to give it any opportunity to go. And if Charlie Sheen is in town, you're welcome to come and volunteer, but I'm afraid you can't race. Although I understand you are addicted to winning, I have no category for warlocks and the tiger's blood is a definite no-no.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Foot to the Floor...

...Merckx style. There are a few things that money can buy like a Bugatti Veyron, Keanu Reeves bobblehead, Keanu Reeves, and a chinchilla fur coat for your chihuahua. Among the things you can't buy are a Condor egg omlette, NASA, a dictionary autographed by any member of the Bush family, and faster legs. Well while the last one is not exactly true (see Floyd Landis), one thing that money can buy is a faster gear. Commonly referred to as 'free speed' (not sure why something 'free' costs several thousand dollars) all these techie gizmos can tilt the playing field. To remedy this, we'll go at it like Eddy intended. Raw and unadulterated, or as we call it in cycling, Merckx style. No aero bars, no aero wheels, no aero helmets, no little aero booties, nothing, nada, zip, zilch. Just you and your traditional road rig.
The where is the Woodland course, the home to TT racing in the greater Bearspaw region.

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Wednesday, June 15th, and we'll try to get the first riders off sometime shortly after 6:30. The usual two notes apply in that we ask that if you can, spread the parking out and ride to the start so that we don't look like a Justin Bieber fanclub, and I need a couple of volunteers. And yes, they can be members of a Justin Bieber fanclub. The course is the usual slog into the wind and the rocket ride downwind. Ease the main, trim the jib, heave to starboard, full speed ahead Captain Hazelwood.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Team Road Race Results

We had a very good turnout of 40 riders for the team Road Race. The weather cooperated and we had a great evening of racing. This was on a new course with very challenging terrain but I think everyone enjoyed the route.

Orange Team: First Place
Green Team: Second Place
Yellow Team: Third Place
Pink Team: Fourth Place
All riders in the teams will receive finishing points.

Thanks to Rick and Peter for helping out with the race.

I will be handing the organization of the next set of races off to Jamie.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tonight's race is on (June 8)

It like the weather has improved a bit. We will try to run the race tonight.

Status of Tonight's race

We will make the call this afternoon around 4PM.

The current conditions don't look good but this evening's forecast is looking a bit better. It is difficult to decide right now but I will make the call early enough so you know before heading to the race.

If someone is in in the area of the race late this afternoon please post the current weather conditions or email me at .


Monday, June 6, 2011

Week 5: Team Road Race (39km)

We are going to extend the first set of five races and try to run the Team Road Race that was cancelled a couple of weeks ago.

For week five we will return to the Priddis meeting spot at the corner of Highways 22 and 22X. This is the same place we met for the road race. The course will be quite different, we will start on highway 22x (Spruce Meadows Trail) and ride East to 37th Street (Highway 773) and turn South. At Township road 221 (still Highway 773) turn right. Continue West on Township road 221 until it bends left and turns into Rand Road 21A. Stay on this road for several bends and it will turn to Township road 214. When you reach highway 22 turn right and head north for approximately 7km to the finish line at the observatory just before the parking lot.

The race format will be the ever popular team race. In this, we divide the riders into a fairly evenly mixed few teams and assign them the task of getting the bulk of their team over the line before the other teams. In other words, it's not which team can get one rider over first but rather who can get the rest of their riders over before the other teams. We've run these before and they have proven quite popular and a great exercise in working together, communication, and tactics as the teams work amongst themselves and against the other teams. We'll set the number of riders on a team and the number of teams once we get an idea of the total number of riders that we'll have out for the evening. This is a race for everyone, regardless of ability, and a great experience. This is good opportunity for experienced racers to work on their race strategy and novice racers to learn about race strategy.

The race will start at 7:00 PM to allow for additional time to get to the race and we have currently have light until later in the evening. If everyone can register by 6:45 and I'll divide everyone into teams and get the race started at 7.

As always, we can use a few volunteers for this event to help at the corners and at the finish line.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Results from Millarville

We had almost ideal conditions for racing Wednesday evening down in Millarville. Not much for a tailwind I think, maybe a slight assist. The plan was to lay out a 10 k route, in the end I believe it was about 9.3 k. Several racers averaged above 45 kmh, did we get a 50 kmh average? I think Trev must have been close. Lots of interesting equipment choices out there ranging from full aero to old school. Congratulations to all the Alberta Games 55+ qualifiers, Rick came close to the fastest time of the night and represented the 55+ group very well.

Volunteers were in short supply, Trev was very kind to leave his bike aside till the end and help. Thanks also to Peter Hernemeyer for helping out. As this was the first time using this road for a race your comments would be appreciated, should we use it again, was it too far out of town? Was 10 k too short?