Saturday, June 24, 2017


Nothing like breaking up the week and exploring the local @kystateparks.


Round of applause for Non Dot Adventures for putting on a fun race out at Casper's Wilderness Park today! Well organized, cheery staff, and family feel atmosphere. Check them out at for more races to come. Big Thank You to Roger Hernandez of Kenda Tires for letting us know about this gem of a race series in the OC. Bob Snyder,Ben Goyette, Kimmi Runner, and a bunch of others from Troupe racing, The Path Bike Shop, Cycleogical and Red Monkey to name a few threw down some fast laps.
Pictures courtesy of Scott McClain of


Had a fun Father's Day racing w/ iDave at Rnd #6 of the Kenda Cup West XC Series at Big Bear Lake. Finished 1 min quicker over the same course from 2 weeks ago. Hot & dusty! #backboneracing



Kenda Cup Weekend at Snow Summit, Big Bear Lake Report :
Snow Summit was buzzing with all types of mountain bikes; XC, Enduro, Downhill, and the occasional E-bikes of impending doom. It was hot and dry, but luckily windy enough to keep it manageable. The snow is gone which leaves behind some nice trails to ride it, and ride we did!
Saturday was the Enduro race with three stages, two of which was lift accessed. No complaints here because I didn't want to over cook the legs for Sundays XC. Running a Kenda HellKat in the front and HoneyBadgerDH in the back, love the setup.

Overcooked a sharp turn crashed on Miracle Mile during the practice run and didn't have another chance to ride it. Lets just say the race run wasn't at full speed with another crash. Xpedo GFX (Ken Yamakoshi) pedals worked great on some hairy sections where I had to Moto some turns, stable and solid platform. Went straight to stage 2, Plumbers/Skyline, pedally stage and again short. And the third stage was the longest and funnest Upper and Lower FallLine. Missed podium by freaking 5 seconds in the MasterMen category! Thank you Royal/7iDP Transition Pads for saving my skin on those crashes.

After a great night of recovery meals and liquids (MiguelMike-o Arreola) we were set for Sundays XC throw down. All the big guns had showed up for a fast 18 mile course. We had a 5 man train for the first half of the race until we hit the Plantation climb where the 3 racers took off. This is where the battle with Dan Blurton got heated. Passed him on the climb and started to gap him on the fire road to Skyline. Calf started to tighten up on the switchbacks and the Diesel came roaring by. Barely hung on to his wheel trying to stretch the calf out. Then the downhill chase. He is running the Kenda Sabres (fast rolling and high volume) and I'm on HoneyBadgerXC (slow rolling but more bite). Norco Revolver vs. Scott Spark. The Path vs. Backbone. Let the debate begin! It was an epic downhill all the way to the road. Would come up to his rear wheel but couldn't make the pass. I knew he would get me on the road to the finish and that is what he did. Hung on for 5th with Benjamin Islas close behind. Adrenaline rush to last a lifetime!

Big Thank You to Roger Hernandez for his continued support and being a dang cool friend. Vegas Bob Snyder and Mark Thome threw down Backbone style. Joy Chow for keeping us hydrated and taking race pics that Christer Phizzle uses later at night. Sigma Sport computers and heart rate monitor, Xpedo Pedals, Ryder Sunglasses, Kmc Chain, Norco Revolver (Ben Essman), Royal/7iDP, and Balvenie Doublewood...

Big Shoutout to Ben Goyette for a hard fought 8th in Pro. Sam Wiernucki for a top five in the Endurance race! Reno Z Karimian for a top 5 in fast Cat 1 category. Michael Nasco was in second place just seconds away from the finish line but blew out his rear tire. Izeereal Redmonkey was talking about cyclocross after his race, not yet dude!
#5seconds #kendatire #kendamtb #sigmasport #norcobikes #switchtoxpedo #royalracing #Miguelnolikewhiskeybutdrinksitanyway
Photo by Philip Beckman.


Rim Nordic Series #1 : Back in Elevation! Long grinding climbs, fast single track, and ladybugs. Kenda HoneyBadgerXCpros hooked up so well on that nice dirt. Even when out of the saddle on 18% grades the tire never slipped. Had the suspension on the Norco Revolver set to trail most of the time, feels like butta! Ben Essman. Finally had a race where I can push it without having my right leg cramp up and go numb. Fun battle with 2nd place, especially on the downhill sections, t...ook the lead before the single track descent and just went for it. 1st out of 7. 1hr 28 minutes, 2300ft of climbing, 16 miles... won by 17 seconds!
Big Thank You to Ben Goyette for feeding a vital bottle for the second lap. He was running Kenda Kozmik Lites, Roger Hernandez get me some! Arin Brandeis-McGunigle got 1st in Expert! Michael Nasco took 1st also and taking the podium pic! Alfred Pacheco dominated a large 13 racer pro category. Thank you to the Rim Nordic family, such a fun and friendly venue to race some prime mountain bike trails.
#kendamtb #norcobikes #sigmasportusa #switchtoxpedo #rydersunglasses #backbone #stillshortestontopstep

Santa Ynez Fuzz

Fun weekend out at Santa Ynez Valley for Kenda Cup #4! Earned a 5th place in the Master Men Enduro on Saturday. Was in 3rd but came in too hot and totally missed a turn on a wooden bridge which sent me right over the bars into the creek on Stage 3. Clawed my way out of the ravine and finished the stage with twisted bars. ALWAYS PRE-RIDE! Luckily nothing major but a nasty calf bruise and insect bites all over. Barely able to pedal on the last stage. 1800ft of climbing and supe...r windy! Called it off last second for Sunday's XC race. Fun cheering on peeps out on the dirt crit course. Shout out to Kimmi Runner for 2nd place, Dan Blurton for another 2nd behind Chris, and Ben Goyette for a top 5 in Pro!
HoneyBadgerDHpro 2.35 was a good fast tire on the front for the Endure, looking forward to trying out the HellKat for Big Bear. Thank you Roger Hernandez! Xpedo GFX pedals are solid pedals with a firm base for jumps and drops. Royal Apparel and Seven Gloves/Protection gave confidence.
Photo by Philip Beckman

Big Bear Bob

Fun day racing at Big Bear today. Hardly anyone to pass on Skyline and had Bristlecone all to myself, wow.
Dry, dusty, high altitude riding requires hydration and rehydration/recovery. Get it with #aminovital #stayvital. #backboneracing #kmcchain #kendatires #ryderseyewear #race #mtb #bigbear #snowsummit #singletrack #ridelife

Kenda Cup West San Dimas With Fuzz and Vegas Bob

US Cup/Kenda Cup West/UCI HC Pro Weekend was a blast! Full two days of great XC racing at Bonelli Park, San Dimas. The best part was seeing old familiar faces and greeting new ones. Still amazes me how fast the UCI Pro level is, truly superhuman!
The course was a mix of techy front side with an all out pedally backside when you cross the road. Tough to find a rhythm with punchy climbs. Had a slow start in the back of the pack of 15 riders but saved myself from blowing up on ...the first climb. Worked my way up to 5th behind the fast guys in your category. Every time I wanted to put a surge in to close the gap my leg would say no and had to back off. Felt better last lap and had a fun time with two other category riders to the finish line. Ended up in 6th. Bob Snyder had an unfortunate flat on his first lap but ended the rest of the race strong. Mark Thome has a strangle hold on his rivals (Rod and Disco Dave). Gabe Margve represented the old man crew, even going over the handlebars , Mr. Margve finished 3 hard laps! Ben Goyette raced UCI Pro Saturday and raced Pro on Sunday! Will be running Kenda tires for Sea Otter now. Joy Chow is the glue that holds it all together, thank you for bottle handoffs and taking pics of us.
Big Thank YOU to Roger Hernandez for a fun weekend in and out of the Kenda Tire pits. Ben Essman from Norco Bikes, Nico and Mike from Shimano, Amino Vital Nutrition, Sigma Sport USA, Xpedo Pedals, Ryder Eyewear, Royal Racing, Kmc Chain, and all the cheers and jeers. Red Monkey crew is hilarious
I told this to my students yesterday and I want to share it with you all that read these reports; Dan Blurton of Path Bike Shop is a true sportsman and has my full respect. Dan got the win in our category but chose to relegate himself to 2nd giving Chris Kutzmarski the win because he was pushed on purpose in the sprint by another racer from our category. Dan came around the tangled mess and witnessed what had happened. Great example to share and karma is on your side my friend.
#Backbone #BackboneAdventureCycling #Kendatires #Sigmasportusa #switchtoxpedo #KMC #stayVITAL #pterodactyl

Friday, March 17, 2017

8 Hours Of Suffering With Team Mud Butt.

Team Mud Butts Kenda Lites ride again! 8 hours of Smelli Bonelli was yesterday and it was real "hot" laps out there. 90 degree temps with a dry course made it a... war of attrition for team and solo racers. Hydrating was key, lucky for us we had Amino Vital Pro-R to be ready for each interval lap. Team Mud Butts Kenda Lites rolled in for a 4th place finish in the 3-rider category with Vegas Bob Snyder anchoring in our 15th lap on a Tomac Carbide 26er, you heard me right. Ol' man Gabe Margve (63 years old) had sub forty minute laps on a short but punchy course.

The best part of the race was getting to hang out with friends and heckle/cheer racers on as the day progressed. Roger Hernandez, Joy Chow, Mark Thome and David Zaitz (Team Inappropriate, PMBC crew), Timari Pruis Allen and Win Allen of Win's Wheels, and solo Cheyne Mckeever made it into an interesting pit at the Kenda Tire easy ups. Shortstack and his fiancé made a surprise appearance and Cyrille Hanson (mother of Dante and Xavi) had some sweet jalapeño cheese bread. Brewyard Beer Co. Ready to Mingle hit the spot in between laps, thank you Mike Sagun!
Shout out to Lauren Mulwitz for the 8 hour Solo Women's win! Ben Goyette earned a cramping 3rd in the 4 hr Open Elite, 8 laps, nice! Sam Wiernucki for completing 8 hours of solo hell, RED Butt MONKEY!

Thank you to Kenda Tires, Amino Vital, Sigma Sport, Xpedo, Royal, Ryder Eyewear, and all the support off and on the course!
#kendatire #kendatireusa #stayVITAL #sigmasport #mudbutts #backbone #strugglebusbottlelauncher

Thursday, February 02, 2017


Ara is smashing berms and scaring worms at the 8 Hours Of Vail Lake, with Tem Mud Butt Kenda Lites.

Team Mud Butt Kenda Lites takes 5th in the 3 person category yesterday at the first Socal Endurance 8 hours in Temecula! Gabe Margve (63 years old), Ohio Joe Kenda Tires USA badass, and I had a blast on a fun course. Thank you Roger Hernandez for setting this up for us. Kenda Plus team threw down a few laps of their own. Who gets the mohawk? Miguel? Big shoutout to Stephane Roch for a second place finish in the Open Men solo category, insane!
Thank you Kenda Tires, Amino VITAL, SIGMA SPORT USA, Xpedo pedals, Ryders Sunglasses, HydraPak, Voler Apparel, and Royal Racing.
#stayVITAL #switchtoxpedo #kendatiresusa #sigmasportusa #mohawk

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Randy's 'Cross Report

Hope things are well for you and Girlface and the temps are warm in OH! Well I FINALLY got back to a race last weekend doing my first cyclocross race and it was a good time. It was great to be back with the rag tag misfits otherwise known as Backbone racing. Had a great time catching up with Backbone Fuzz and the infamous Mr. Thome and also very cool to see and catch up with the Hitman.
As far the  racing goes didn't really know what to expect and didn't even know what class to ride. Fuzz had to help me out with that. So I rode the 35+ C class and as usual it was the biggest class of the day with 39 riders.
I got out to a decent start top 15 or so and was just kind of pacing myself so I wouldn't blow up half way through. Had to use a little Moto skill in a few corners and got a little drift going to pass and took out a course marker or two but it was cool. Half way through lap #1 I was trying to pass a few people going outside inside on one of the tight tree corners and had my front wheel wash and I almost saved it but crashed and another rider hit my bike and derailed my chain. It took me a bit to get it back on (Dam gloves) so l lost about 12 spots or so and had no idea where I was then.
So for the next lap or so I battled with two guys and passed one only to get smoked going down the asphalt by the scoring tower by one guy no way was I keeping that pace. On the last lap I caught him again and had something happen I've never had happen during a race! my heart was going to explode and my lungs were saying no more dude. I had to stop pedaling for a minute or two and those guys were gone.
Finished in 26th place but had a blast. I want to thank you and all our team sponcers for everything you all have done for me, vie been a little MIA for a while and you all have stuck behind me.
I had no problems getting in and out of my Xpedo pedals was well hydrated with Amino Vital and wish I could have hooked up with Roger at Kenda tires because I had other tires on and that's probably why my front end washed. Could see very well in the shadows with my Ryders eyewear but didn't wear my Sigma sport heart rate monitor because I didn't want to know. Also big thanks to KMC chain and Hydrapak for their great products.
Be back for the weekend of the 3rd and 4th.
Have a good one,

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Randy Rush To Race Cyclocross This Season!

Oh SNAP! Randy Rush has been working hard this year to get himself back in to riding, and beer drinking, shape. With a new purchase that involved a 2015 TCX, Randy is looking to jump in to 'cross with Fuzz and Mark before the season comes to a close. THREE Backboners on deck for 'cross? YES! Can't wait for it:)

Ara Takes Bronza At Kamikaze Games

Ara is seen above, mid-flight, on his way to stunning third place finish in the Open Men category at the Kamikaze Games in Mammoth, CA.

Mark and Fuzz at Krosstoberfest

Magic Mark and the irrepressible Fuzzbucket were on the scene at last weekends' Krosstoberfest, and wow, whatta race! Ara's write up is here:

"Tough day out at the first Socalcross Prestige series race in Whittier Narrows Park, but so good to be actually out there. Faded in the last couple of laps after a good start, was in the top 15 but ended up 23rd out of 55. Room for improvement that is for sure! Leg held up better than expected with the run ups and dismounts. Amino Vital Pro-E was much needed as the temps rose. Ryder Eyewear kept a...ll the beginning lap dust out of my eyes, Xpedo CXR's worked flawlessly clipping in and out. New KMC chain shifting true in a tough chattery course. Sigma Sport Rox 10.0 went flying when I clipped a tree and went down hard but still working!

Mark Thome threw down some hot laps, great to have another Backboner out there representing. Roger Hernandez with KendaTiresUSA hooked it up with a sweet Kommando X Pro 36 which hooked up well on the hairpin turns. Thank you for the support my friend. Sorry to disappoint you Mike Franze, the beard is growing, but I love all the cheers. Great to see Jonathan Livesay and Isabelle Thompson of Montrose Bike Shop with a strong team out there, especially Robert Sandoval back on the bike after shoulder surgery. Good ride Benjamin Goyette, gunning for you next time! Brewyard Beer Co., Mike Sagun, what a delicious Soul Cal to drink after the race!"

Friday, September 09, 2016

Fall Is Here.

Well, finally.
It is a tough thing being a cyclist in Ohio, especially in the humid summer months. You live for Fall, Winter and Spring around here. The weather dries out, gets cooler, and the as the seasons change, it gets stunning. Leaves turn to auburn reds and Crayola yellows, and the bugs are nearly non-existent.
Tire selection gets a bit larger for the winter, like my 2.35 Nevegals on the hardtail. Road tires run a bit softer on days when you are likely to get hit with sleet and hail.

Ara, Bob, Randy and Mark still seem to be enjoying the dry, dusty trails of So Cal, and it has been a pleasure to see Randy Rush pop up on Instagram riding through Cuyamaca and along PCH.  Bob has been busy racing, riding and drinking a LOT of wine north of Frisco. Ara? Well, he's been working hard to get back in to racing shape, taking a podium spot just two races out of the hospital.

Josh and Jeff have been riding a great deal of road and mountain. Josh had wrecked out, but was back on the bike quickly. Seriously, he's fast. Chucky-T has been off the bike, but eating up the track in his Subaru, racking up numerous 1st place finishes again this year.

Me? I have been riding less thanks to the new job, and also due to the disgusting humidity. That is about to change, as you can already start to feel the air get dry, and the mornings don't start out feeling like 96 degrees and swampy. Fresh KENDA tires are mounted on the Titus. New schedule is dropping Monday. FALL IS COMING! Hopefully, I will have some aof that new SIGMA SPORT bling to talk about, as Eurobike is over and we should start to see the new stuff!

Enjoy Fall, and go shred some dirt people!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Summah Thyme!

Memorial Day in Westerville, Ohio.

Sweaty, swampy, and hotter than a two-peckered goat in mating season. That is precisely how I would describe the higher-than average temps here in the Midwest, steeping in humidity. Not even chamois butter rendered from elephant seal fat could stand up to withering humidity. That being said, it is not negative twenty degrees, either, so you ride in it. I recently replaced some older KENDA TIRE bib shorts with two brand new pair, and what a difference! Voler makes some amazing cycling clothing, and the newly upgraded KENDA bibs are no exception. My days off have changed to Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so the rides have been longer than usual to attempt to maintain a decent mileage goal for the week. Good shorts are a must.

Jeff Williams and his beautiful family. I mean, without him they would be beautiful, of course:)

Jeff “Tookie” Williams is planning a stellar ride down at Greenbo State Park on Memorial Day Monday. 18 miles of singletrack, Kentucky bliss. My riding partner Jon “Angry Cyclist” Hanshaw is up in the mountains of Pennsylvania riding his hardtail through the ferns this week,
The Angry Cyclist (Jon Hanshaw) roaming the mountains of PA.
and it looks like Josh Qualls has been organizing group road and mountain rides and reroofing homes in his spare time.

Josh Qualls in Greenbo, KY.
Josh leading the charge with the Ashland Cycling Enthusiasts.

Randy Rush is looking to get back to racing this season, and Ara has been working very hard to rehab his leg from blood clots and get to the finish line of a race. Vegas Bob has been roaming about France with his sommelier girlfriend, Cyrille.
I love this. Vegas Bob and Cyrille roaming the French countryside on Sturmy-Archer 3 speed vintage bikes.
Bob posing in front of his new bike garage in France.
Drinking and vintage bikes are rad in Europe. Mark Thome seems to be killing it at the Over The Hump race series, occasionally showing up to a Fullerton Death Loop for training and tacos.
Mark Thome has been racing his chamois off!

The Fuzz at the recent Kenda Cup race.


In sponsor news, Peter O’Brien (alias POB) is back working with long time partner Amino Vital. This is great news for both us and them. The new product tastes cleaner and works much better, and under his direction we have seen some great ads with Backboners! Everyone seems to be cruising along this year, and I love seeing the team page blow up with ride and race photos. Keep up the great work, and see you all on the trails!

Finally, winter has moved back to Canada.

Cap’n Chris