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!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014


My first Over the Hump Mountain Bike Race Series race! Painful, but my Kenda Tires USA Small Block 8's were perfect for the lakeside course. They float over the sand sections and gravel, and roll quickly over the pavement sections, but still grab when you need them to!

Ara's New Super-D Weapon, The XPEDO Equipped TRANSITION!

Jun 3 at 10:33 PM

The new race rig was built today over at Montrose Bike Shop. Transition
Bikes, small little company from Washington where the 15 man work force
goes on shredding sessions every lunch break.

Transition Bandit 650B.
Wish I had this bike over the weekend instead of my hard tail, my back
ribs still hurt from the first run. A big thank you to the coolest guy
Ken at Xpedo.
 Sent out a pair of Chromoly Baldwins for the new ride.
Clip in or clip out, Expedo has got you covered. Another big thank you
to Sigma for their Rox 10.0.  All I need now are Kenda Tires in 27.5...

Thanks again to Ken at Xpedo pedals.


Monday, June 02, 2014

Ara Takes 5th In Big Bear Super-D Saturday!

The Fuzziest ran up to Big Bear, CA last weekend to give a go at the Super-D race. With a two-run format style, consistent runs are key...except when you are the Fuzz. Admittedly, he had a less than stunning first run down the course. That usually spells podium death...but the HOT FUZZ brought the rage and HAMMERED his second run, moving up so much with it that he landed in 5th! Great job ARA!!

Josh Qualls And The McDonalds TT!

I thought yesterday would be a easy day on the bike, I was in for a wake up call! Cat 4/5 crit race was stacked with some heavy hitters. My race strategy was working out great until about the 15th attack!!
It was the largest and almost fastest race of the day. I should have went with my gut and raced the Cat 3/4.
We averaged 26 mph for just under 30 minutes (last year we averaged 22mph). With a lot of bumping, yelling and no one really holding their lines while doing 27/28 mph into corners (Yes, I happened to look down at my Sigma Rox 10.0 for a split second) It was a madhouse. 
I had a great birthday (any day on the bike is a great day) and getting a picture with Ronald McDonald was the icing on the cake!