Saturday, September 15, 2018

FALL IS COMING

Leaves are turning. Best time ever to ride here.
It's happening.
You can feel it in the early mornings.
The heat is starting to yield to a pinch of cold air before the sun comes up.
The days are getting shorter, and the air is drying out a bit, which means you won't have to listen to the electric droning of the air conditioner anymore to sleep. The mosquitos will dissipate. The trees are already dropping leaves by the branch-full.

Riding time is upon is in the north.

Bridge over the Cuyahoga near Sagamore Hills.
 In a couple of weeks, I get to take a group of fellow riders up to Ohio City, and spend the weekend camped out in The Cleveland Hostel. We will be riding (as usual) on Saturday through Cuyahoga National Park and back. There will be a LOT of beer from Great Lakes Brewing Co., Nano Brew, Market Garden Brewing, etc. Sunday we ride to Rocky River, followed by more bad choices. The National Park is ablaze with color at that time.
The old Coast Guard station in Cleveland.
 The old Coast Guard station stands watch over the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, one of very few that flew north in North America, thanks to the Continental Divide that lifts the land just north of Akron. This is my favorite time to ride in Ohio, and probably my favorite place to ride this time of year.
So much of this is coming!
 The old towpath trail is about 85% dirt. Most people think that a road bike has tires too small for this, but that is not true. A soft hand on the brakes is all you need, and a road bike will steam away through the park trail network. Rolling through the valley floor, you see old mills, barns, the mighty river, and even ride through the middle of the old lock network which allowed boats to deliver goods along the river at the turn of the century.
The days are getting shorter, but the views will get better.
 The routes around Hoover reservoir are also nice this time of year. Any water left in the lake will freeze solid once again, leaving a starkly beautiful landscape to absorb while churning away in the biting wind of fall and winter mornings. In a few months....snow.
It won't be long until months of this happens.
This is the only truly pleasurable time to ride here.
I am looking forward to it.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

VEGAS BOB #1 AT OTH!


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

July Racing Heatwave!

Ash Cave in the Hocking Hills of Ohio was a nice break from long work days.

 While the Carr Fire is blazing it's way through the Golden State and the rest of the West is en fuego this week, Ara and Vegas Bob have been enjoying the fast racing action from So Cal to Colorado.
Bob pulled out a win at the Over The Hump race, and depending on tonight's season finale, may actually take home the series! Big thanks to HB Velo Cyclery for helping VB with a hardtail to race. Visit www.hbvelocyclery.com for their group rides and races.

Vegas Bob FTW at last week's OTH race!


Vegas Bob wrote this after taking 1st at the OTH race:

"#thrilled with my #WIN at the second #OTH race last night!!!
The #broiling #hothotheat took its toll, but not on me. #VegasBob in the hizzy!
#somelikeithot #itsadryheat #imthefirestarter #nowwerecooking
#hotchacha #burninforyou #hottimeintheoldtowntonight
#firstplace #race #mtb #dirt

Thank you to @hbvelocyclery for the sweet ride #khsteam29 and the race support. #redmeansgo #justride
And thanks to all my #backboneracing #sponsors for everything you do, and my #teammates for help keeping me #motivated
#backatit next week, see you there!"

VB getting his groove on during the OTH race.


Bob also took home a silver medal at Round 2 of OTH:

"#ecstatic with my 2nd Place finish at the first race of round two at #overthehumpoc @raceoc. The #firstandonly run into #limestonecanyon suited me well with long #sustained #climbs and lots of #falsepeaks that #demoralized other riders.
Huge ups to @hbvelocyclery for providing me with Candy’s own @focusbikes #ravenmax. Apparently #29inchwheels are a thing now #whoknew? #bigwheels #speed, #carbon #hardtail #quickness, and #shimanomtb #sweetness, it’s the ultimate tool for the job. #justride
IS THAT JIMBO? Jim and Ara in Crested Butte this month.


Ara has been roaming the western U.S. this month, racing and visiting the likes of Jimbo Roff. He got to ride Park City, Crested Butte and Grand Junction again this year, and other breathtaking parts of the country. Check him out on Facebook and Insta as "Backbone Fuzz." Ara was up in Big Bear last weekend for Crafts and Cranks as well, and dropped a silver medal finish! Ara's partneship with Wingspan Cyclery in Simi Valley (www.wingspancyclery.com) has been great this year, and he even has been dropping a podium or two with The Path bike shop in Orange County at the NON DOT races.

Fuzz at the Breck Marathon XC event, where he would take 5th.


The Breck 100 Marathon XC race was a doozy, and The Fuzziest came home with a 5th place podium spot. His report is as follows:
"5th place in Cat1 Men's Breck 100 Marathon and WOW! Could be one of the toughest races I have completed; singletrack, roots, rocks, steep climbs, long gradual climbs, and the elevation. Kenda Tires USA Regolith and Honeybadgers were flawless again especially with fresh Orange Seal Cycling to keep the punctures/flats away. Wingspan Cyclery bottles were key for keeping hydrated and calorie intake.
Can not say enough Thank You's to Jimbo for the support, really felt like the old days back at home, especially the finish line beer!
Thank you to all the well wishes and tips for the course. Matthew Smith, you were spot on with the info, thank you!
Backbone Adventure Cycling
#kendatiresusa #ridekenda #xpedo #sigmasportusa #iamaroxstar #ryderseyewear #norcobicycles #wingspancyclery "



Nice.


The NON DOT series is hugely fun, and Fuzz raced all 4 for a nice overall position there. Vegas Bob also came out to ride and assist for some of these events.

"That is a wrap on the Non Dot Adventures race series for 2018! Really have fallen in love with this 4 race series down in Orange County. Great environment, upbeat staff/volunteers, family-oriented, and best of all the courses are so fun!
Thank you Andy Lightle, Jon Kearley, Missy Kearley, and the rest for making this unique and enjoyable mountain bike series.
Thank you Kenda Tires USA and Roger Hernandez! Forgot how fast my Felt Bicycles Doctrine1 is with #saberpros. Troupe Racing, Tim Vangilder the Luge on Ice tasted so refreshing today after the race. The Path Bike Shop Race Team for the support and killer kit today, appreciate the cheers! My hero and words of wisdom, Mike Franze!"


The Golden State Series has been prolific for the Fuzziest as well, with frequent podium spots having constantly in the running for an overall spot on the box.

"Good times all around up in Big Bear for the Gold State Round #7-Series Finals. Hot and dry conditions made it into a game of survival on the Endurance race... bonked hard on the second lap but was able to regroup and finish strong. Dan Blurton of The Path Bike Shop Race Team took the win in Cat1 XC and the overall, congrats buddy!
Backbone Adventure Cycling Kenda Tires USA Roger Hernandez SIGMA SPORT USA Xpedo Ryders Eyewear Brewyard Beer Company LLC Wingspan Cyclery
Look for a GoPro video edit of the race soon..."

Ara bringing "The Rage" on his Felt hardtail.


Ara's season recap today is a great overview of a stellar season of racing.
"That is a wrap on an amazing mountain bike race season! Roger Hernandez and Dan Blurton #kskmart, you two made it so much fun this year and couldn't have done any of this without the support on and off the bike, thank you! Go get it at #Leadville100 buddy!
VisionQuest : 5th / 68
Epic Rides : Whiskey 50 Open Men – 32nd/174
Carson City Off-Road – 29th / 132

Breck100 : Expert Men 5th
SocalEndurance 12hrs of Temecula w/ Timari Pruis Allen – 1st place COED
Gold State Cup Endurance Series : 2nd Overall
Bonelli – 2nd
*Fontana City National – 12th
Santa Ynez Valley Classic – 2nd
Big Bear Shoot-Out #1– 2nd
Big Bear Shoot-Out #2- 1st
CraftsnCranks Series Final – 2nd
Non-Dot Adventures : Series Winner – Expert Men 36-49
Whiting Woods TT – 1st
Caspers Wilderness – 1st
Aliso+Woods – 2nd
Santiago Oaks – 1st
Quick n’ Dirty Sagebrush Safari : 12th Expert Men 16-39
Race 📸 by : Philip Beckman pbcreativephoto.com"

Mark Thome has been posting some stunning photos of the Montana countryside, as he heads out in the evenings. Bozeman looks like an amazing place to live if you are a cyclist! I have been working a lot, and squeezing in small hikes and road rides when I can. A recent trip to Ash Cave and Rockmill was a great way to clear the brain before another week of craziness.


Beauregard enjoying some free time at Rockmill.



Friday, June 08, 2018

Team Update for June

It has been a few weeks since the last update (sorry about that)!
Despite my lack of posts, the team has been very busy with rides, races, beers and BBQ.
Ara has been slammed with races and events, like the most recent Big Bear endurance XC race last weekend. Fuzzy writes:

Fuzzy hearts racing so hard.


"En Fuego! Not my race result but the weather up in Big Bear for the Big Bear Shootout #1. Was sitting in the top 5 going out for our second lap of the Long Course when my tire got slashed by a gremlin. First a young Junior racer saw me on the side of the fireroad that I had just passed, he passes me, doubles back, and throws me a canister of GUUP, and takes off! So cool! Then Turner Conway comes by and lends a hand also. Finally I had no choice but to put in a tube. These young racers have class! Tube started to lose air slowly on Skyline which required the hand pump. Finished strong and salvaged a 6th place at least. Bummed but got a good weekend of riding for Carson City in two weeks.
Super Stoked for Dan Blurton getting the top podium spot in Cat 1! He still can't believe it, you better believe it! Keep the momentum going.
Thank you Roger Hernandez of Kenda Tires USA, Christopher Rubin of Wingspan Cyclery, SIGMA SPORT USA, Ryders Eyewear, 7 Protection, Michael Nasco of RedMonkey Sports, Brewyard Beer Company LLC, Christer Phizzle, Xpedo pedals, and Baby Jesus!"

Ara and Roger rode with FOFO for a warm up prior to the Golden State Series #6 race, and Roger is looking FIT AF!
Roger Hernandez from Kenda Tire looking mad-fit!
 Vegas Bob and Fuzz raced together a couple of weeks ago, and Fuzz came away with some bling.

"Did that just happen? Can we do a couple of more laps at Aliso & Wood Canyon XC Race - Rescheduled date Wow... that was a scorcher even tho it was overcast and misty! Coming down "Rock-it" twice did rock a bit on Felt Bicycles Doctrine1 with Kenda Tire SaberPro 2.4/2.2. Bob Snyder rocked it also on his 26er. Didn't even have time to drink out of my Wingspan Cyclery bottle. Couldn't shake off Freddy Andersen and he got the win by 13 seconds, great race! Thank you Tim Vangilder and Travis Clater for the Troupe Racing Roasters coffee in the morning... that was delicious. Time to relax with a Brewyard Beer Company LLC Younger Dayz.
Thank you Andy Lightle, Jon Kearley, Missy Kearley and all the crew/volunteers at Non Dot Adventures, the podium awards are unique each time, so worth the pain and blood."

SEXY BASTARDS.
 Vegas Bob has been up in Bend, Oregon, riding trails like Phil's Trail Complex and getting his camp on. I am SO jealous!

Mark Thome has been riding his giant sled of a motorcycle all over Montana, and enjoying some summer riding in the mountains. Mark frequents the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area on his various bikes.

Check out that Pasadena MTB Club jersey representation in Missoula!


Jeff Williams has finally made the long-awaited move across the Portsmouth bridge, and now lives just south me in Portsmouth, Ohio! Jeff is a STEM academy instructor there, and he and the fam just bought a new home. CONGRATS, TOOKIE!
Tookie is in Ohio for good!
Good-looking bastard, Josh Qualls, has been on a racing hiatus to handle some home needs, but has been back on the road, mountain and BKOOL trainer to get back in to the swing of racing. It's OK to hate him, he's that damned good looking.
Josh Qualls. Bastard.
Randy Rush has been riding a TON, popping up to lots of Fontana and Racers and Chasers events, and drinking more beer than human organs can allow. Make sure to congratulate him on his recent retirement from the Ramona Water District!
Why does his water bottle always smell like Brewyard Brewing Co beer?


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Bikes, Beers, Bonelli, Grasshoppers and NON DOT.

Vegas Bob on course during the Grasshopper Adventure Series in Nor Cal.

It has been a busy past few days in Backboneland.

Vegas Bob has been eating lots of 5 Guys burgersnacks, and has also been throwing back some Brewyard Beer Co pints! Bob (pictured above) has also been involved in a stellar series of rides in Nor Cal called the Grasshopper Adventure Series. The website can be found at http://grasshopperadventureseries.com/  if you'd like to join VB on a stellar set of rides in amazing parts of CA.

Brewyard Beer Co has new beers! Go get some!


Fuzz on the box at Bonelli.

Fuzzbucket has been trying to find a balance between being fast, and being stupid-fast. He fought a hard fight last weekend in Bonelli for the Kenda Kup/Golden State Series race #2. Fuzz would land squarely in Silver for the day, following up on a great win at the NON DOT race at Ron Caspers Wilderness Park. Vegas Bob came out to help support the racers that day, because he is awesome.
Brewayrd beers were flowing, because...well....it is freaking amazing.
Ara ascends at the NON DOT race.

BREWYARD BEER CO.  IN DA HOUSE!

Bob and Fuzz hanging out over Brewyard beers post-race.



Cold and bright day for some road miles in Ohio.

I ended up using my BKOOL SMART PRO2 trainer for most of last month, since the weather was deplorable here in Ohio. It was a great to get out on some actual roads in sunlight yesterday with Jon Hanshaw (The Angry Cyclist) and Eric Grether. 28 degrees, but sunny and spectacular.
Hope everyone is enjoying the outdoors, bikes and brews!

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

VB Does Palm Canyon Epic







Epic first ever ride in Palm Canyon. Avoiding the OC rain haha. Warmer than expected, perfectly sunny, a cool breeze, and some tasty trails. Rad jamming some sickly fast swoopy rocky singletrack, dipping and diving around cactus. Thanks to BC and David for charging hard, CC and Fossil too.
#palmcanyonepic #sand #rocks #cactus #crystalblueskies #fast #flow #kendatires #royalracing #ryderseyewear @ Salsas Restaurant





Thursday, February 22, 2018

Randy's Fonucky Race Season Recap!



Chris,

Well, being as we are three races into the winter series, I figured it was time to send a race report a three for one deal!
So, round one I knew it was going to hurt bad (and it did) but I just wanted to be at the races and ride the whole series again. We had 16 guys in our class and the weather was perfect. 

Donnie shortened the course for the beginner and sport class. I guess there has been some complaining about climbing and descending the elevator shaft which for the sport guys I don’t understand, but it’s probably good for me cause I’m not in great shape so I won’t miss the extra climbing.

I wasn’t out to kill it on the start as I would be dying on the road climb anyway, so I just started about mid pack and rode my pace, and sure enough the pavement killed me! I was hurting on lap one and had two more to go (GEEEZZZZZ). I had a few small mishaps on lap one fell once and messed up on one climb and had to walk it but was still having fun.

Headed out for my last two laps and was hurting on lap two, but felt much better on lap three. Although I finished fourteenth out of sixteen I had a great time and enjoyed Bullshitting with Roger from Kenda and the famous Fuzzy. We had some goooooood beer after from the great Brewyard Beer Co.

On to race number two. We had seventeen guys this week and a mean Santa Ana blowing. Took off at my own pace again and got to the paved climb, and the wind was howling. I think I did like 4.5 to 5 mph up the road! Just ridiculous, but got to the single track and enjoyed the ride.. oh... up until I was gassed and made a stupid mistake on a G-out with my right foot down (dumbass). I hit a rock and broke one side of my pedal (not a pedal failure Ken) so I couldn’t clip in on one side. It was a little difficult and was going to DNF after lap one, but again couldn’t do that so I figured out how to run it on one side and continued on.

Felt a lot better this week and knocked a minute and a half off my previous weeks' time. Still didn’t finish too well with a fifteenth out of seventeen but another fun day at the races. 

Race number three and a cooler but non windy day. Sixteen this week and no wind was welcome. This week pushed a little harder off the start and was mid pack or better until the pavement. I need hill repeats in a bad way! I’m getting killed on the climbs but oh well. For having very little rain this year the course is in very good shape and with a few changes to my suspension, I could get after it on the down hills.

It was a good day (not so much finishing wise). I knocked four minutes off my time so I was very happy with that. I finished fourteenth this week and had a blast.

A whole lotta love for everyone who helps this team out: Ryder’s eye wear, Kenda tires, Brewyard brewing, Xpedo pedals, Sigma sport, Hydrapak, and of course you the one and only Christer Phizzle.

Will be back for round four this weekend.

**THANKS, RANDY! GREAT REPORT!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Hint O' Spring









The incessant march of the Grey Death has been lightening up a bit here in the Mid-West, with temps jumping from below freezing, to above 70 degrees within about 36 hours. Trails here are muddy and slick, and its been raining almost every day for weeks now. My BKOLL SMARTPRO2 trainer has been an amazing help, and the 3D, avatar-filled universe is more competitive than most club rides. With nay luck, I'll at least be able to cover 25 miles and not black-out when Spring final springs.




Back in California, Fuzzy has been racing his collective arse off, taking home a sick podium spot with his teammate-for-the-day Timari Pruis of Pivot Cycles. The pair won a hard-fought, race to the finish line victory out at the 12 Hours Of Temecula. Ara also has been prepping for the SoCal test of ultimate leg-death, The Vision Quest. He also has been slaying the NON-DOT races in Vail Lake.
Fueled by BREWYARD BREWING CO beers, his carb-loading regimen is on-point.




Vegas Bob has been up in NorCal, using the lens technology of his Ryders Eyewear to manage the varying light conditions of the fog-laden coast. Bob has been riding the Grasshopper Gravel Enduro Series for a change of pace from the hot and dusty O.C. mountains. He has been climbing like a goat this year, and will probably take Contador out at some point in the near future.




Randy Rush managed to get back out to Fontana for some Southridge racing, and his XC bike has been able to keep up with his calves...and his beer guzzling! Randy also showed up for some Cyclocross racing with Fuzz,  is hoping to be back in force for 2018 as well.




Jeff Williams has been working with his employer, and a hospital in Portsmouth, Ohio, on a program to get at-risk teens involved in mountain biking. Jeff is a teacher in Portsmouth, but gas to cross the suspension bridge back to KY for the drive home every day.




Josh Qualls has also been on his BKOOL SMARTPRO2 trainer, and has had some great success in the Winter Cup Series on their website. Josh should be getting back on the podium for 2018, after some life-events required him to take a race-break last year.




Mark Thome has been back and forth between Huntington Beach and Montana, riding out of HB Velo Cyclery. His fat bike is getting lots of use on Bozeman, and his road bike is being decimated via the HB Velo Sunday group rides.


Hope you all are enjoying the week, and I hope to hear from everyone soon!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Team Update



Last weekend, the Fuzziest was out at Southridge with Randy Rush. The dudes were set to race the XC event for the weekend, and Fuzzy decided to have a pre-ride-wreck! No stitches, but I hear Randy licked it, so the bacteria probably helped close it up. Rocky, hot and dusty, Southridge is always challenging. Steep ascents and pinned and technical sections keep even the best racers on their game.


Ara ended up in a solid podium spot, 3rd place! The wreck and related bleeding clearly had it's benefits. Who needs leeches?


Randy finished his daily race route in 14th position, and was thirsty enough to drink all of the Brewyard Beer Company offerings...before the race started.


Josh Qualls went out for a ride at Barboursville Park with Julie Ditty...right before the snowpocolypse landed in this part of the country.


Vegas Bob was out trying to get all of the elevation on his Giant Reign. Amassing 3,126' feet of climbing in a single morning of work (about 20 miles), his Sigma Sport ROX 10.0 was very busy gathering all the ride deets.


Mark has been in SoCal riding with HB Velo Cycling crew, hitting all the Fullerton Death Loops he can get his hands on.




With a newly replaced helmet thanks to Wingspan Cyclery in Moorpark, CA..and with a favorable weather report that may melt most of 7" of snow we have...I am hoping to get back out on the bike this weekend and thrash the hell out of some really, really flat roads.




Have a great weekend!