Wednesday, November 30, 2005

New Pix!

Here are shots from noted photographer and Backbone Racing Pre-Ride Team Manager
Greg Pleiss. Here we have Jay Schippers and Taylor (Charles) Libolt dropping in to the finish at the Fontana DH race a couple weeks ago! Racing Semi-Pro never looked so good!
Hopefully I will one day get some more shots of Conor, but I just don't know. He says he has them, but I can't use them if I don't get them! (hint-hint)

Nice pix Greg, and great race Jay, Taylor, Conor, and Ryan...

Cap'n Chris

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I love that little sleepy town. Located just about fifteen minutes north of Solvang, Los alamos has been a great place to hide out and ride. After spending my high school summers backpacking Euorope, the Solvang area is most like those French/Italian/Pelopponesian countryside roads.
A favorite of Lance Armstrong, Huell Howser, and Michael Jackson, it is a bike riders Heaven.
Departing from the Union Hotel and Victorian Mansion on a foggy and cool morning, Desi and I rode off through the vineyards made famous by the movie "Sideways." There is something amazing about cruising for fifty miles from a homey B&B through hours of scenic backroads, only to return to that same wonderful place and EAT LIKE HOGS, drink some Firestone Walker Double Barrell Ale, and take a nice hot bath. Ever sleep in an 1880's Wells Fargo stage coach stop? Our team is sponsored by one, and man does it so NOT SUCK! It was Tuesday, and we rode unimpeded for three hours into Los Olivos and back...seeing only about four cars. I am be going back Friday night, just out of spite.
During the ride, we passed the Firestone Cal State race course area, and several fond memories cam to me from last years race there. This year, Ara broke his bike in half, and Jay hauled ass on a mini-dirt bike that looked to be stolen from a Russian circus bear. The weather was cool and overcast...perfect for climbing. We returned to the Hotel for food and beer, not really wanting to return just yet. Ever. Never.
If you haven't ridden that area (many of you have, I know), there is so much to see, and so much of California's history to see, I highly recommend it. Hooky, while morally reprehensible, has benefits for the human psyche that are beyond calculation. I would do it if I were you, especially in sleepy little Los Alamos.

Cap'n Chris

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Turkey Trizzle Gold/Silver!

Many people showed up for today's Turkey Trizzle psycho-cross race, except ME! sorry 'bout that. Thanks to a slight change in weekend work schedule I could not attend, but JAY SCHIPPERS did, and pounced on the men's "C" division on a sweet S-Works tri-Cross bike! jay placed 7th in a 50 plus deep field of racers, keepin' it real for DH racers everywhere.
Bert "The Lung" Blanchette raced Single Speed again, bringing home the much coveted TOP PODIUM SPOT for the day. First place is gonna start getting old, right? oh yeah, it doesn't get old..ever. bert decided not to do his two race format today, and spent time cheering on women's "A" division SILVER MEDALIST Teri Strayer! Teri placed second today in her first 'cross race, only having to lose out to a 'cross veteran who has yet to lose a race this year.
Congratulations to Jay, Bert, and Teri, and thanks to Ara for showing up early to help out! If these races are any indication of the season ahead, we may be looking very good for 2006!!

Thanks everyone..

Cap'n Chris

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Ara Expert?

OH MY GOD! Ara has decided that he is through beating everyone in the Sport categories, and has made the move to Expert! He will be racing Expert Marathon for much of next season, and will fill in with Expert XC and Singlespeed. Great work Ara, you are movin' on up like George and Wheezy Jefferson!


Sunday will be the next Verdugo Park Cyclocross race, affectionately known as the Turkey Trizzle. Backbone racers who are scheduled to race will be Bert "The Hurt," the Glendale Heavies, Teri "da Slayer" Strayer, Christie "White Chocolate" Pleiss, and little ol' me. Come on out and watch, race, or just be a menace 2 society!
Highlights will be watching Juan and Elias force on extra small jerseys, me trying to re-mount my bike after a dismount, and seeing something as lean as BERT average 85 miles an hour on a bike. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, in case I don't hear from ya'll. I am riding in the morning, so if anyone can make it, gimme a ring!!

Cap'n Chris

Monday, November 21, 2005

Fontucky Gold

HOLY SCHIZZLE! Christmas came early to the Rowan household, as Conor (semi-pro DH) took FIRST PLACE in XC on Sunday at Fontucky. After carb loading on a case of Newcastle, Conor stormed his way to the Gold, and did so with a healing but busted collar bone.
Conor's wing-man, Jay, took 10th place in men's semi-pro DH. Great finish for a long and pedally dh run that was filled with rocks, ruts, and a 62 mph wind. Taylor (aka Charles) busted some ass and took the Bronze home for the greatest team in Cali, doing his run in 2:38 flat..I think. Flyin' Ryan parker came out o do his first DH race as an expert, on a borrowed bike, and still grabbed a tenth place spot. He did this with a gnarly crash in practice, whereby he lost his shoe!
Thanks to the guys for going big yesterday. I would also like to thank the XC crew members who came out to support the gravity wing of Backbone. New teammate Joy D. came with her man, and DOZER the dog. Christie and Greg brought Murphy, Teri came with a friend, and Ara drove in with me to set up and feed. I will post pix as soon as I get them! I have new short films from Jim Roff to post, as soon as I figure out how! Thanks everyone, and we'll see ya'll at next Sunday's TURKEY TRIZZLE in Glendale!

Cap'n Chris

Friday, November 18, 2005

Sponsor Spotlight; Kenda Small Block 8

KENDA is releasing a great new tire for next year, named the Small Block 8. It resembles the wildly popular Nevegal, only with micro-sized blocks. Sporting the DTC (Dual tread Compound) rubber, it is a high volume tire with grip like a gecko. This tire comes in a 26x1.9, 26x2.1, and 26x2.2 casing, and should be available after the first of the year.
I have been on the 1.9 since Interbike, and have had nothing but good luck with it. It rolls very fast, thanks to a ramped central knob, and even with me running it 55 psi, still hooks up well in hard pack/semi-loose conditions. After many miles over rough rocky ground on a hardtail, the tire still appears brand new. I suspect it will be excellent for Four Cross/Slalom racing, and can't wait to watch the accolades stack up in '06. Thanks to Kenda for keeping us riding on the best rubber available!

Cap'n Chris

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Fontucky Race Sunday!

Well, race fans, it never really is over here in the Golden State, is it? It's mid-November, and all the other states in the Union are cold and dismal. It's 80 degrees here, and we still have the option to do a race about every weekend. And you thought you'd get to save some money in the winter...HAH!
This weekend, in Fontana, nestled between the 60 and 10 freeways, some talented Backbone racers will be doing their thing at the Southridge race. Sunday we will have Jay, Conor, Taylor, and Flyin' Ryan Parker going for Gold. If anyone has a Sunday to spare, come on out to the KENDA e-z up and help me drink beer and watch the guys tear it up! Post-race wrap up will follow the race.
Anyone NOT racing down for a ride on Saturday?


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Camp-N-Rizzle Pix #3

Camp-N-Rizzle Pix #2

Thanks to Tim Willey for these pix from the Camp-N-Rizzle!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Camp-N-Rizzle '05

1. Saturday raffle

2. Sunset at Sycamore

3. Murphy da Dawg

4. The Mars Lander

5. Group ride on Two-Foxes trail

So here are pix courstesy of Vegas Bob from this years Camp-N-Rizzle! Thanks to all the teammates, family, friends, and ESRI employee cyclists Union who attended this year. Also, thanks to the sponsors who always seem to pull through at the last minute. We still have shots coming from Betsy's husband, Tim, and from Greg. Greg had his knee brace on Saturday, and still managed to tough out the long ride with tons of climbing and singletrack. We had to drink a tremendous amount of beer to recover all the lost fluids from that ride.
Christie and Greg brought the entire workforce from ESRI in Redlands, leaving the entire city almost barren for three days. Congrats to all the newbies from ESRI, who went cukoo for cocoa puffs on the sometimes hairy singletrack options found in the park. In the words of Japanese Admiral Hirohito, "I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant.." The ladies will be out on their bikes much more, I think, armed with the skills developed at Camp-N-Rizzle.
Oscar Rodriguez also showed up, and brought his boyz with him for the ride and raffle. They had to share a ride with King James Saturday, and hopefully did not get too reamed out by their wives for enjoying themselves for a couple of hours. Selfish bastards! :) It was great to see Oscar, as his new baby has prevented him from racing all but Sea Otter this year.
We also had the pleasure of seeing Tim, and Betsy's sister and nieces/nephews. Tim is my Doppelganger, and has the world's most remarkable rendition of a camel (toe) you have ever heard. We all enjoy Tim, in all his freaky-ness. Vegas Bob came out, as well, and was of great help to me in Friday's set up and raffle-prize bagging. How about those raffle prizes, eh? DO OUR SPONSORS HOOK IT UP, OR WHAT?
Desi-Lou, with her recently rebuilt bike, went out on a 4 hour Sunday epic with Betsy, then left for work. Her bike is now fixed, and I hope she will enjoy riding the mtb again. Bert and new teammate Dawn returned to camp-N-Rizzle this year as well. Bert completely destroyed me as a human being, and as a cyclist, when I made the woefull decision to pass him on the fire road back to camp. After almost laughing himself into a coma (I am guessing), he went by me with only a hundred yards to go. I sneezed, and he was GONE. Not that kind of gone where you see them slowly drop you. GONE, like Pam Anderson's father's pride after that video came out with Tommy-Lee. gone. Bye, Bert. See ya later. I was taken to school Sunday, in a very short, very yellow bus, with my helmet on.

I hope that everyone enjoyed the weekend. I am in post-DE-partem depression, and am seriously thinking about living out of my truck, under the cover of my sweet KENDA e-z up for the rest of my life. Please bring me beer and burgers if you find me.....

Cap'n Chris

Tuesday, November 08, 2005





I would like to take a minute to officially welcome two new EXPERT XC racers to the team for the 2006 season and beyond. One of them has been an "unofficial" member from way back in the CFR days, and I am proud to make it official now! Dawn Lyons, former privateer in the Expert ranks, will be helping out the rest of the ladies squad next season. Dawn has assisted our team for years, and will be a welcome sight in a Backbone jersey.
Also joining the family will be Joy Deurksen. Joy comes to us from the Jose Ole team, where she has steadily worked her way up into the top Expert ranks. Joy lives in Forest Falls, and will be near Christie, Bev, and Taylor for training and team issues. Joy has also been an "unofficial" teammate for some time, always being assisted by Backbone teammates and support staff. Joy and Dawn both have taken more than a bottle or two from Stakk and the Heavies, and now get to do it representing the only team that me!
Welcome aboard ladies, I'll try and find jerseys for ya before the new clothes go to print for '06.
See ya at the Hell Ride on Saturday!!!! (for info on the Hell Ride, call Christie Pleiss!)

Cap'n Chris

Monday, November 07, 2005

Monday Blues

(Desi-Lou in Utah, Marathon Trail)
(view from top of Sycamore Canyon)

(Taylor in Mammoth)

Well, we are back from Camp-N-Rizzle. Damn I hate the day after Camp-N-Rizzle. Life is just not the same after camping out with 50 of your closest friends and riding for three straight days.
I should have pix for all of you soon from the weekend. I am still unpacking, and haven't had any time to download photos! I will do a complete re-cap as soon as I have the shots to go with it. Thanks to all who attended, and the sponsors who supported the 4th annual Camp-N-Ride!!

Cap'n Chris

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

more pix

Taylor's Mammoth
Machine, 8th Pl Pro!
Hillary Harrison
Jay and I at the Feed Zone in Mammoth