Welcome to The Unofficial Thursday Night Race Page (UTNiRP) 2012 Edition.
Well, here we are again. Since before many of you were born (really!) and several years before the term "blog" was invented, this site has been an attempt to document the rumours, gossip, bullshit, outright lies, and maybe some actual mountain bike racing that occurs every Thursday evening at 6:30pm at the London Ski Club at Boler Mountain in London, Ontario, Canada. i have no affiliation to anybody, and everything i write is my own opinion blah blah blah. i hereby reserve the right to be totally wrong. While it's unlikely that i will ever have any pornography on this site i might cuss and swear from time-to-time; if it bugs you, go away.
This site went ultra-low-bandwidth around the beginning of the millennium. i thought about fancying it up again with colours and graphics but with the sudden proliferation of iPodPhoneBerries it might be just as well to leave it alone. Content over eye candy. That said, i might make it into a WordPress page, just to make updating a little easier and to get RSS working. We'll see if i get around to it. If you wanna read last year's blurbs, click here. If i get ambitious, i'll dig out the really old versions of the site - they are kind of fun to read.
A couple years ago year i started a facebook group, but it more-or-less jumped the shark within weeks of its inception. Honestly, it was nipped in the bud by Yanner's much more ambitious londonmtb.com BBS, which quickly reached critical mass and is now the place to go for social networking in the London mountain biking community. If you've not seen it, go check it out immediately.
If you haven't raced at Boler, do so. It's not like a muscle-beach jock-fest or tinker-toy shiny bike party. It's more like an amateur bowling league with a high population of nerds who don't really care about winning that much. It's more about riding as fast as you can and having fun, and hanging out at the barbeque after the race (they sell burgers and beer). There are categories for every ability level - young and old, Ontario Cup winners and couch potatoes, and the courses are a blast to ride. Most importantly, the regulars are generally really nice, sociable people who welcome newbies with open arms. Wait. Does that sound too gay?
2012/05/24 - Race 1 - A quite respectable 43 participants signed up tonight - far better than last year's dismal 20 but a bit shy of 2010's opening group of 47 (but then, back in 2008 we had 62!). Record-braking hot weather brought an amazing race start temperature of 78°F. This is pretty wacky for a 6:30pm in May, but thank heavens there was a bit of a breeze. The course was a short and fast (and tremendously fun) course in the days leading up to this first race, with the steep switchback drop before the Lungbuster, Bob's Stairway and the run across the ski hills all absent. These were added in for the race, however, which made the lap significantly longer and caught more than a few people off-guard. There were a few missed turns and cut courses so some of the times should be taken with a grain of salt. Regarding the course, it must be mentioned that the Boler staff seem to have put significantly more effort into the course design this year, with more-creative-than-usual course routing, new bridges, and even a couple of brand-new trail cuts. There's even a new jump on the white course! We haven't seen this much effort put into the course since the last century, and credit should be given where it is due. Well done, guys! However, another thing that must be mentioned is that all the official statements last summer confirming the use of Hill 2000/The New Hill this year have been reneged, and those riders who spent the off-season salivating at all the awesome ways they'd finally be able to use the new hill are understandibly bummed out. Word is that any bike trails on that quarter of the property are not allowed at all this season, and that even includes the climb beside the tube run we've had this past few years (though many feel that the course is more fun without that climb anyway). Personally, i'm not all that upset about losing the trails over there, particularly with the extra effort that has gone into the existing courses - i love the coursees as they are, but i do think that Boler management owes the mountain bikers a decent apology and explanation. Also, while we're on the topic of planning for the season, note that the number of races this season has been reduced from the usual 16 to 14. This is no doubt partially due to last year, A.K.A. The Season That Would Never End, but we really had an unusual number of postponements last year. Most seasons we don't get more than about two or three at most, and we're sad to see the number of races reduced. But we won't really know if this was the right move until we see what the weather is like this season. Now then, back to the race… (i just like saying, "Now then.")
Most of the usual suspects were around and enthusiasm was high with plenty of long-time-no-sees and catching up, gawking at new hardware and colourful wisecracking. Significant discussion of the gopher hole after the first bend (and the continuing Caddyshack-style battle with staff) wasn't enough to prevent a scary-looking crash right on top of it, and there were a few more thrills and spills here and there, but no serious injuries or trashed bikes to report. Times were really fast for a first race, largely because it's been unusually dry and hot and the ground is already so hard. The flip side is the nasty level of silt and dust in some of the braking zones and turns - sometimes a few inches deep - and there were plenty of tire grooves leading straight into the trees/further adventure. You really have to be on the ball and pick good lines. There was also a new short climb at the top of the ski hill that was covered in footprints - looks like almost nobody was able to ride it (and that's another good thing we haven't seen in years). Post-race social hour was well attended with burgers, sausages and beer, and draw prizes included a rather nice Boler hat, a bottle cage, and a very cool pair of gloves. There was a new girl doing the timing whose name i already forget (sorry) and it appears she didn't screw anything up - unprecedented for a first attempt! Quote of the Week: "Hey Randee. You look hot… in both ways!" - MichEllesworth on the starting line.
2012/05/31 - Race 2 - There's not a whole lot we can tell you about today's race other than the time sheets themselves. We can tell you that it was 65.5°F at race start and quite pleasant. We can tell you that attendance dropped to 25 participants - not surprising with the Hardwood Canada Cup this weekend. We can tell you that we missed the race due to work commitments, but we got the time sheets and we will be back to racing next week.
2012/06/07 - Race 3 - There was a race this week, and we were there. However, with great sadness we have no times, points, or media. The past 15 years here at UTNiRP are evidence that nobody cares more about racing at Boler than we do, and we were really excited aboiut making this site better than ever this season. However, those in power at Boler no longer seem to care or appreciate this site, the work that goes into it, or its influence over the past 15 years. Under the current circumstances, we have decided it's better to just shut things down. It's been a good run.
There may be an occasional editorial post here from time-to-time, but weekly updates are finished for now. Thanks for tuning in.
2012 SEASON | Weekly Time Sheets | Points Standings and Stats | Media
No points standings.
2011 SEASON | Race Blurbs | Weekly Time Sheets | Points Standings and Stats | Media
2010 SEASON | Race Blurbs | Weekly Time Sheets | Points Standings and Stats | Media
2009 SEASON | Race Blurbs | Weekly Time Sheets | Points Standings and Stats | Media
2008 SEASON | Race Blurbs | Weekly Time Sheets | Points Standings and Stats
No, i never did get final points standings for '08 and '09. Let the conspiracy theories fly.
Odometer: thanks to digits.com - reset May 2001. Last update to this page June 28, 2012 5:01 PM