Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Hey Captain!
What a season!? From podium spots at the UCI race to the meltdown in Long Beach, it was a fun season but long. 12 races out of 14 for the series, I am officially tired and burned out. My goal was a top ten overall, trying to top my best  of 18th overall from last year. What a difference a year makes..and a cyclocross bike. Consistently getting a top ten at the races, 6 podium spots, and almost winning one of them was rteally exciting. Earning a 3rd place overall in Class B was surreal, made me edgy at times fighting for my place, but kept the me going through the end. Hearing the race announcer say "Ara Movsessian from Backbone Adventure Cycling" gave me goosebumps every time. It all came together this season mentally and physically, hoping to transfer this over to the upcoming mountain biking season. Of course I couldn't do this without the support from home and afar. Big thank you to Joy and Stack who supported me at the various races, especially Joy. It means a lot to have somebody to help. HUGE thanks to all the sponsors who support Backbone Adventure Cycling. Big shoutout to Roger from KENDA TIRE for hooking me up with great tires for the various conditions. The Kommandos for grassy flat courses and Kwickers for the mud were great. Ken is the man!! Thank you for the XPEDO CXR pedals. Never had an issue clipping in and out with these pedals in the mud. Amino Vital for hydration/nutrition was perfect, got me recovered enough to do two race weekends! SIGMA computers analyzed my training and racing data so I knew where to improve..soooo much data gathered. H & S Bike Shop for the Giant TCX hook up was a big help. Made a world of difference. Made new friends out there week in and week out. Anthony, Ben, Mike, Curtis, Griffith, and many more. Time to take a break and get the batteries charged for the mountain bike season!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Mark and Matt Thome Spend Thanksgiving in Polebridge, Send Fat Bikes!

Mark and Matty-Ice spent Thanksgiving up in Glacier National Park. THAT is adventurous for sure! With FEET of snow dumped on the ground, the town of Polebridge (where Matty-Ice resides) was a frosty welcome for Matt. They did wish they had their fat bikes, since the riding would have been perfect for them, but there is only so much room in the car y'know? 

People were certainly out and about in Polebridge, like the guy above on a grocery run with his mtb and a trailer. Mark has been out with some surgery, but has been rehabbing like a mo-fo and looks to be riding and racing again for 2015. That is always great news!

Have a great Christmas everyone, and keep the rubber side down!


Ryders Eyewear Selfer Contest!

Josh and I sent in our "SELFER" contest entries to Ryders Eyewear last week...by FAX...which is awesome and the only way you can enter TO WIN FREE SHADES FROM RYDERS! You must hand-sketch your "selfer" and fax it to Ryders. Deets below....

Josh Qualls Earns ACE AWARD, and Makes The News With Jeff Williams!

Backboner Josh Qualls was brought in to the fold by Backbone lifer and all around amazing guy Jeff Williams...so it's no coincidence that Josh would also be a pretty amazing guy. The Ashland Cycling Enthusiasts (the well-executed club he rides with in Kentucky) chose Josh, along with a couple of other folks, as this years' "Ashland Cycling Enthusiasts Award" winner. Josh continues to be a great example of what it means to be on this team, and with a mentor like Jeff how could he not? Here is the nomination/award write up from A.C.E;

"Josh Qualls- this individual has restored my faith in our youth. Whether representing ACE and sponsors at races or assisting a newbie on a challenging ride, this ACE member truly exemplifies the ACE values of giving back to the sport. Most recently this individual initiated Sunday morning mountain bike rides at Greenbo State park which had upwards of 20 riders in attendance. Building on this success, this individual presented the mountain biking opportunities at the recent KBBC meeting at Greenbo. Capable of dropping every rider in the peleton, this rider can often be seen at the back assisting struggling newbies or even seasoned veterans just having a bad day. Our next recipient of the Spirit of ACE Award is Josh Qualls."

Jeff and Josh also were written up a few weeks ago in the local newspaper in Kentucky, where they were photographed during their "Slow Race."  See the page below!
Great job doing great things guys, it is an honor to have you on board!

Ara Tops Podium In So Cal/UCI Cross Races

Below are a few of the Fuzziests' latest cyclocross race updates from all over California..with one being the UCI race in L.A. that saw him land in 4th place! Big thanks to Tsolag and Vegas Bob for their support!


SLOcross was not slow! Fast course with plenty of tight turns and power ups. The teeth chattering back section took a toll on my wounded left hand but hung on for dear life. Got 2nd place, good result, but lost first place by 2 seconds. Couple of the top 10 guys didn't show up so we took advantage of gaining major points in the overalls. Lost the guy on the backside and almost caught him at the end. Some of the those Central Coast racers are fast. Took the Sunday race off to recover and heal. Getting ready for some major racing coming this weekend at the Greek Theatre, UCI Sanctioned CXLA! Goal is to get top 15. Hopefully. 

This past weekends race was a good way to tune up for next weekends big races.Sponsor Spotlight : Amino Vital Pro Grape
It is nearly impossible to drink from your bottle during cross races
because you are just pinning it the whole time and there is no room to take a sip, so for me it is very important to recover well after the
race with Amino Vital Pro. Cooling down after the race and sipping on 3,600mg of BCAAs, Glutamine and Arginine. This past weekend after the race I rode back to the hotel which was 6 miles away and had a whole bottle of Amino Vital Pro to replenish my empty muscles. Felt good the next day during my recovery ride around San Luis Obispo."

FUZZY TAKES 4th AT L.A. CROSS TODAY! That is a UCI race, and he landed top five out of 36!! Way to bring the rage Fuzz!

Ara took another top five finish in last weekends' UCI cross race at Griffith Park! This pic was taken by the fine folks at Tenspeed Hero after the race.

The Fuzz rolled to the Turkey Trot CX race last weekend, and sadly wrecked out (as did many) in the rain-soaked sand pits. The pix from this obstacle looked pretty amazingly bad on Dorothy Wong's page, but that's racing folks! The wrecks were too much for Ara to overcome to have a repeat podium performance...but still managed to fight his way back in to a top ten! Ninth place is still amazing, and we are proud of our Fuzzbucket no matter what!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ara Takes Silver At Kamikaze Games!

Ara. Mammoth. Fight to the death.


Now that was a race! Had a blast racing on the Mammoth Kamikaze XC
course. The 12.5 mile loop had everything ; long climbs, fast descents,
flowing sections, and some tough technical downhill sections with jumps
and man-made wall rides/bridges. I might have had an advantage because
I have ridden those trails so many times in the past, especially
Shotgun and Chain Smoke. Actually got to meet the designer of the
course, he actually got 3rd right behind me in my category.
Ara bringing The Rage.

My Trek Superfly all set-up with a brand new KMC chain I headed to the
staging area. Started in dead last off the gun because I didn't want to
blow up myself at 9,000ft. But on the first climb past a bunch and went
into the single track in 4th place. Didn't know who was in my category
so every rider was fair game. It turned into a battle royal with the
Rodeo Racing guy! Back and forth on that first lap. He would pass me on
the climbs and then I would blow him by on the technical descents. It
was important to hydrate in the thin air of Mammoth Mountain so Amino
Vital Endurance was consumed quickly and frequently. Made a move on the
guy on a steep climb coming back from Beach Cruiser but I blew up. My
Sigma Rox 10.0 had my heart rate in the red and had to ease off and
reel him back on the next section. Caught him while bombing down
Shotgun and it was rough on a hard tail. Twice I heard my rims get
bashed by sharp rocks underneath the pumice rocks as I was white
knuckling it down the drops. The tubeless Honey Badger XC pros held on
like a champion. No tears or cuts, especially held on after two burps.
Came through the start/finish line ahead of Rodeo and couple of other
racers. Shortstack, Big Al, and Tiffany were there with loud cheers and
a much awaited bottle of Amino Vital to send me off on my second lap.
The Fuzz assisting in the Kenda booth.

Stikkity-Stakk staying on 24hr vigil to both aid Ara during the race, and get him obliterated after the race. TEAMWORK!

Second lap hurt. Rodeo passed me on the initial climb with a power move
and I was playing chase the whole time. Two more passed me and I could
feel the podium slipping away. Then the RAGE came out. I've worked so
hard these last couple of months to get back in shape and represent
Backbone and the great sponsors we have. Pulled back two riders and
passed them with conviction. At this time the weather was changing and
dark clouds were rolling in. It was a good choice to change out my
Ryder Sunglasses lens with the red ones because of the shadow effects.
On every downhill section I was just going all out, my Royal signature
gloves gripping my handlebars for dear life. I just didn't have the
power in my legs for the climbs. On the final long climb I felt my
right hamstring tighten up and I stopped to stretch it out for a few
seconds. Chugged some more Amino Vital and off I went again to finish
the race. Bombed down Shotgun with everything I had. bashing my
bombproof Xpedo pedals on volcanic rocks with my remorse. My lower back
was on the fringes, triceps burning, hamstrings about to rip, and all I
can think is how much fun this is. Racing is my therapy, my counselor,
my psychologist, the way I deal with my inner demons. Oh yea,
Shortstack had a beer waiting for me at the finish line too! Came
through the finish straight away to hear Larry Longho announce to the
crowd, "Here comes Ara Movessian from Backbone to a podium finish in
2nd place!". That was drugs straight to my veins. Sure enough
Shortstack was there with an Anchor Porter and boy it tasted so good.
Starting line Fuzzbucket.

Climbing up to the top of the stage at the Canyon Lodge venue area was
surreal. I really wanted that top spot but 2nd will do for now. Like
always, I would like to say thank you to all our sponsors in Backbone
land. Jim Wannamaker from KMC and Roger from Kenda Tires who were at
the venue. Randy from Sigma, Ken from Xpedo, Amino Vital crew, Ryder
sunglasses, Royal clothing, Voler apparel.

Big thanks to Shortstack and the Nashalian family for coming out and
supporting me. It truly means a lot to have that support there and just
to hangout. Wish other people were there too to share these moments.

Cyclocross starts this weekend!



Friday, August 29, 2014

Jeff and Josh Win Eastfork 12 Hour!

"First experience doing a 12 hour mountain bike race was interesting yet fun.
I did the first lap, it was a muddy mess. I had mud from head to toe. Jeff did laps 2 and 3 and did amazing. I did laps 4 and 5 and kept a good pace. If I wasn't sick I could have done a little better. Then we alternated laps. We each got in 4 laps at 44 miles.
We placed first in the duo CAT 2 (sport)."

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Betsy Willey To Ride The MS150 In California

Backboner Elizabeth Willey has signed up to ride the MS150 this year, and is looking for your help with donations to her rider profile! The ride rolls from Irvine to San Diego between October 18th and 19th and will cover 150 miles..mostly along the stunning California Riviera!

 The link to her page is..



Double Wins! Ara & Josh Bring Home Gold.

Josh Qualls and Jeff Williams rolled down to the Homeless Vets TT in Raceland Kentucky to see about taking the series win, and that is exactly what Josh did..

"Great race today in Raceland!!!!
1st place over all in the Eddy Merckx (non aero) division with an average speed of 24.3 mph over a 6 mile course.
Which put me in 1st place over all for the Homeless Veterans Time Trial Series in my divis...ion.
I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout this race season. You all are amazing!"

Huge thanks to Jeff for the support during the race!

Ara also has been rocking the Over The Hump series in Los Angeles. With a third place podium finish one week, and a HARD fought victory the next, the Fuzz is overcoming his recent injuries in grand fashion. Ara will be moving up a category! Here is his report from a couple of weeks ago...

"Felt good to race again! Fun day in the dirt. Slowly getting back to
shape. Had a rough couple of months with injuries. My injury is getting better and better with no setbacks this time
around. Going on those bike tours has gotten me stronger. There are a couple of more OTH LA races left in the next few weeks. Should get me in race shape just in time for cyclocross season.

Thanks for hanging in there with me this year...


Great job guys, and many thanks to all of our amazing sponsors and supporters for allowing it all to happen.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Central Coast By Bike With The Fuzz!

Just got back from a multi-day solo bike tour of the central coast. The
mission was to get to the Point Conception Lighthouse and sadly it
failed. There is no public access to this beautiful and vital landmark,
Point Conception lighthouse in Santa Barbara County. The roads north
from Gaviota and the roads south from Lompoc Surf are all private land
and the ranchers there are very strict (releasing dogs and calling
authorities). After 200+ miles on my Kenda Kwick Tendril 700x32 and
camping out in hiker/biker sites I never saw the lighthouse. Couple of
days the sun was scorching inland on the HWY 1.

Sigma Sport Rox 8.1 had
a max temperature of 110.4 F. Fortunately I had my Amino Vital bottles
with Endurance in them to keep me hydrated as I chugged along with all
my camping gear and food on this journey that started in Carpinteria
and ended there days later. Thanks to my Xpedo Pedals, brought to you
by Ken, it was easy clipping and unclipping for micro-brewery breaks.
The guys at Figueroa Mountain Brewery in Buellton are great guys who
make great IPA's. Carrying that 22oz in my Axiom Randonee 60 pannier to
camp was so worth the extra weight. Big props to Cameron Cripps who
gave me a 7x5 plot of land at his campsite at Jalama Beach to call my
tent home. Great people out there helping the weak and tattered. He was
also nice enough to bike out with me the next morning on the tough
climb out of Jalama Road back to HWY 1.

Many tourists and locals ask
why and how we do it, my only response is "because we can and need to
for our soul". Also, its great advertisement for our team and sponsors
who make these trips possible by their support and reliable products.


Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Jeff And Josh Race The 6 Hours of Versailles, Indiana

Backbone team veteran Jeff "Tookie" Williams and his team member Josh Qualls rolled out of Kentucky for the 6 Hour race in Versailles, Indiana. True to form, Jeff's laps were withing 30 seconds of each other for the entire race, and Josh even ran over someone who wrecked in front of him...ON VIDEO TAPE I might add! The guys put in a solid OPEN CLASS effort and landed in 11th place! GO DUDES!
Look for the guys to throw down this weekend at Eastfork, Ohio's OMBC series xc race!

Mark Thome Takes Silver In Montana!

Mark Thome has been heating up his old-fart category in the Missoula XC races this year! His last race was no joke, landing squarely in the silver. I'd love to see his son Matt get back in there and get to racing with pops again!

Josh Qualls Takes Silver In TT!

Backboner Josh Qualls destroyed his legs during the Homeless Vets benefit race last weekend, rolling to a Silver Medal finish for the day! His average speed for the race was somewhere in the mid-20's...not bad for a solo-event! His son Atreyu was there to cheer him on. Great job Josh!