Friday, June 30, 2006

Tour DeBacle!

Spanish government agencies have seized information about as many as fifty eight Tour de France Racers from all over (except USA) the world regarding blood doping. As a unanimous stand, all teams implicated will be CUTTING those named from tomorrow's race start in France. many not allowed tto race tomorrow are front runners to win, like Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Alexandre Vinokourov, etc. Look for all Americans like Levi, George Hincapie, Dave Zabriskie, etc to take all three podium spots this year. Australian cadel Evans gets my vote for the only NON-U.S. rider to podium, and that's because he was a great World Cup XC racer fro cannondale many years ago. race coverage begins tomorrow on OLN Network, check your local listings for times!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Cel Phones

McDowell Mountain park, near Scottsdale Arizona.

I hate noise on my rides. Unlubed chains that sound like Panzer tanks, creaky crank arms, etc. I leave the house clad in what is possibly the most dangerouly gay outfit a straight guy could ever wear (ok, except wrestling tights) to escape the noise of work and civilization. The last thing I want to hear is the shrill sound of a cel phone wailing like a Harpie when I'm rolling through the backcountry. Oh sure, there are things like "Safety," and "911," but if I'm going to die, I'd rather do it WITHOUT the sound of Puff-Daddy's latest down-loadable ringtone buzzing from my jersey pocket.
What about cancer, too? Sure they SAY they are safe, but Madame Curie died from radiation poisoning, and the microwaves that baked her haven't changed. Do I really want something in my pocket that melted the chocolate in the scientists lab-coats in Los Alamos, New Mexico so many years ago? I guess if I did get a tumor on my hip I could hog it out and use it for spare inner tube storage! Cel phones I hate...but there's another satanic noise making device that I hear when I'm out.
I-Pods will make the CD obsolete very soon. Remember the Eight Track Tape, and Vinyl records? How about all those cassette tapes? You know, The Blowmonkeys, Rick Astley, Kajagoogoo? They sold millions, so don't act like you were the only one NOT buying those albums! I-Pods are the next eight track, and I'll be damned if I haven't heard Rod Stewart's "Tonight's the Night" while passing a guy on a bike that was way too expensive for the talent level of the rider on it. Why? Does the car not have a radio? Can we not leave the house for even an hour without some type of artificial stimulation? Please help me to enjoy my silence, and leave the satellite navigation-flip-down DVD-Cuisinart blended-wi-fi-whatchamacallits where they belong...anywhere but where I'm riding.
Well, that's all the witty banter I have for tonight...gotta go turn on the Plasma big screen with surround sound and watch helmet cam footage..:>


Pix from Jim and Court in Colorado..see the bird??

Court reminding the mountain that he whipped it's ass on Saturday..

Jim showing you the number of times he's made sweet, sweet love to a Llama...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Jim and Court Race in Crested Butte!

Jim Roff and Court raced out in Colorado this weekend, and Crested Butte did them well! Despite running into MTB legend(in his own, very crowded mind)and Backbone Buddy TOM WEHE, Jim and Court played nice in XC and Super-Dizzle. Court went first on Saturday, and despite the Chris Sharp Diet Program (beer and more beer) still held on for third place! Jim said he fought tooth and nail for every scrap of real estate during the long and tortuous course.
Jimbalaya raced Super-Dizzle today, and had a forty seven mile run for his Le Mans (not Le Mond) start. After a less than Olympic run, Jim was forced to pass on the bike. Crawling back from the depths of last, Jim clawed his way up inside the top ten. Finishing in seventh, Jim was happy that he was still alive and did NOT re-break the wrist. Great job PIMPS, and sorry about WEHE's KNOW he'll be back to get even on those boys! Long live WEHE!!!


More Rim Pix

Rim Nordic #1 Podium-Perfect!

Heidi and Michael stole this pic of a girl's thong..hope ya'll enjoy it.

King James in Second!
Michael representin' his bling..
Heidi looking stronger than all the men I know.
James warming up
The crew post race

It was a short day up at Rim #1, and we came prepared to get down in the dust. Under the cover of the almighty KENDA shade, I watched as James, Michael, and Heidi systematically tore up their competition. James had a great start, and after the first lap passed the leader! One missed-shift and a wash-out was all it took to get passed, and James had to settle for a FANTASTIC second place! Michael "Poison" Dartar also rocked it, and finished in the #2 spot as well, showing all the climbers his MAD DH skills to finish well. Heidi "der Teuffel" Volpe took lap number one conservatively, waiting for lap #2 until she pounced and ran away with the race. None of them were injured, or had a mechanical, and Michael barely escaped a flat at the end of the race. Thanks to Abel for driving up on two hours of sleep, and thanks to Roger for helping out as well. Congrats to Vanessa for her podium finish as well. See ya'll soon...


Friday, June 23, 2006

Ryan Nolan Breaks Top Twenty at Mt. Snow!

New Backbone teammate and dh racer extraordinaire Ryan Nolan squeeked out a top twenty finish at the Mt. Snow NORBA National last weekend! hailing from Spring City, PA, Ryan is an old friend of Jay's....which means he'll probably whup all ya'll asses. I have no pix from Ryan YET (hint-hint), or any race report, but hopefully I will get that soon. Ryan is looking to move soon to Kentucky for college, and that will pplace him in close proximity to Jeff "Tookie" Williams. Ahhhh a match made in heaven...


Crank Brothers Moves (down the street!)

Christina, Andrew and the gang at Crank Brothers all moved this wek to a new location in Laguna Beach. They are now one block off the beach, versus one MILE off the beach! This should facilitate late night binge drinking at "Kachina's" and surely spur on more creative designs for the cycling masses. Leaving the old building (a home built by Crank Brothers founder Frank Hermansen...who by the way was the first guy there to give me Pro-Deals before they were actually GIVING Pro Deals..Thanks Frank.) was a needed move, giving the company more room to expand operations. The new location is found at 310 Broadway in Lguna Beach. If anyone is in the neighborhood, drop in and say HI to the crew...oh, and the Phone # will remain the same...

Capn Chris

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Jeff "Tookie" Williams breaks another chain

Jeff busted another chain, and some serious slacker ass this weekend in the West Virginia State Series Race in "The Sticks." With temps in the low 90's, and Tammy Faye Baker's make up sliding off her face like wax from a surfboard, Jeff set out to race. After three ass kicking miles, another snap and the chain was gone. Ten or fifteen guys roll by saying stupid things like "that sucks" and "ooh, too bad." Then a hottie with a CRANK BROTHERS 17 MULTI TOOL rolled by and offered it up. This being the greatest multi-tool ever made, Jeff was up and running in no time. Passing guys back, Jeff said things like "That SUCKS!" and "ooh, too bad" as he rolled by them. He ended up clawing his way back up to seventh place. His raffle prize after the race? A Crank Brothers 17 Multi's that for irony? Way to go Tookie, thanks for throwin' down!


Monday, June 19, 2006

RHODA to make CA appearance!

Rhoda Roff, the team den mother and all around bad-ass mo'-fo' is coming out for Brianna's 15th B-Day party! She arrives on July 26th, and heads out August 1st. Desi and I leave for Utah on July 29th, so we will have to get with her maybe that Friday night or so. Jim will not make it due to work, and probably because she beat him up for riding his bike too much. Embarassing when your wife beats your ass, y'know? (I do.) Alright, hope to see ya'll together with Rhoda in a big ol' fashion love fest next month!


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Vermont NORBA Nationals, from Jay Schippers

Jay had a better trip this time out, with all previously made flight and hotel arrangements working out as planned. With weather being rainy and disgusting on Thursday, the rocks and roots were slicker than teflon underpants. It was by far the most technically demanding course Jay has seen, and actually commented that for the first time ever, he was afraid of a section. To give you an idea of how hairy it was, WORLD CUP DH CHAMPION Sabrina Jonnier did NOT do it. It was a no-set up, bad-exit field of boulder drops with gaps and shelves....and you had no room to jump any of it. IT ALL had to be wheel dropped at a slow speed, or immediate death would insue. The course was so bad, NORBA actually had to install a "go-around", despite the fact that Jay actually cleaned it in practice!
Due to an Insurance Company formality, the venue could NOT pad up any of the trees on the course, either, resulting in numerous season ending injuries. Let's see, greasy mud, wet roots and pads on the trees...makes sense to me! Forty percent of the Pro racers could not do the rough section, and after the go-around was installed, all but five riders took it. They made no time by taking the rough line though, so they just did it on principle.
Jay is back safe and sound, and CONOR ROWAN is in West Virginia racing the NORBA there this weekend, as is Ryan Nolan. Jim and Court are racing in Colorado today, and Jeff "Tookie" Williams is racing in west Virginia State Series XC today, as well.
Good luck to all who are racing this weekend, and we will see ya'll at the Rim Nordic season opener next Sunday!


Monday, June 12, 2006

More Pix from Flagstaff #3

Lower Lake Mary
Desi on Schultz Creek
Rocky Ridge Rox
The new Cycology Decal in Flagstaff
Gate on Campbell Mesa Trail

Sunday, June 11, 2006

More Flagstaff

Sinauga Pueblo, built around 1,000 A.D.
Me on ANOTHER boulder drop on Rocky Ridge Trail
Desi on Campbell Mesa Trail
Babbitt Bros Mercantile, built in 1933
Yep, another rock drop..and my booty!

Backbone Racers Everywhere!

I am still waiting on pix from the guys but we had Jim Roff and Courtney (XC) racing in Colorado today, and Jay and Conor (DH) racing in Sugar Mountain North Carolina. Jim called me today to sy that "Court" WON his begiiner class, and posted the thirs fastest beginner time of the day. Jim placed 17th (probably out of 4, :)) in the newly moved into Expert Class! The race was HOT and very dusty. Jim said that he will grow tired of Court whipping his ass and will break his knee caps, a-la Nancy Kerrigan.
I haven't heard from the DH guys yet, but will call tomorrow to check on them! They will be sporting their new Backbone/KENDA Team DH Jerseys!! Way to rock it on a National scale, guys! Thanks for all the hard work and travel, hope to see you all back here safe and sound...


Funky In Flagstaff

Me trackstanding in front of an old Hotel-turned bar
Desi cruising Schultz Creek Trail
Elden Peak from our Hotel
Me riding Rocky Ridge Trail
Hotel Monte Vista
Desi reaching out to her "Inner Heidi" for inspiration on this Log Jump

Desi and busted out for Flagstaff at noon on Friday, and were home by 7pm Sunday. We have the pictures to prove it! The riding was perfect, the town had the best bike culture I have ever seen, and the weather was perfect. I'll write a long boring article later, but for now enjoy the pictures!


Friday, June 09, 2006

Robert "Taco" Monterrubio

At Water Studio (where I work) we have one of the funniest motherf*****s I have ever met. His name is Robert "TACO" Monterrubio. His nick name comes from a semi-homeless woman he overheard on a bus one day, calling an Hispanic guy the only derogatory term she could think of...."TACO." Anyhow, I brought in a very old, but very clean Specialized Sirrius commuter bike for him a few weeks ago, in the hopes of getting him interested in commuting to work, or just riding in general. Turns out, this TACO has been bike commuting on the Sirrius two days a week, every week since the bike was handed over! The old rig has had new life breathed into her thanks to Robert. Anyhow, he is the biggest team supporter you never met, knows about all of you guys/gals, and reads the team blog every night. Look for some whacked out comments soon as I am encouraging him to comment regularly. Robert will hopefully come to race soon. His wife "works late" alot (yeah, right, works late..sure she works keep buying that one! :))so she may not be able to come, but he may just be there one day handing you a water bottle and yelling. Just don't think he's gonna stab you, cuz after all, he is a "TACO!" haha..thanks Robert!


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

New Name For Vegas Bob?

IT IS FINALLY HAPPENING!! The once named "VEGAS BOB" will be moving out to the O.C. next weekend! He has a job and everything! We must now have a naming contest, since Vegas no longer applies. Profanity/vulgarity is not only allowed, it is encouraged. Please enter as often as you like.


Mountain Lions

After a pleasant conversation with a Santa Monica Mountains Ranger wherein I described the fox I saw in Mandeville Canyon, I was informed that there are SEVEN tagged mountain lions roaming the area that they monitor 24/7. That made me happy, but also wary. In light of this information, and because many of you ride the local mountains daily, I thought I'd write down some big-cat info.
To describe them in a sentence, mountain lions are nowhere and everywhere. It's various names even elude confinement. Names like cougar, puma, panther, catamount, and even "painter" seem so widely different, one even wonders if they are the same animal. Well adapted to their environment, they are part of a growing number of carnivores in North America.
With a fifteen foot leap and color pattern to match the dry brush of the Western States, we have all probably been watched by one at some time or another. Kittens eyes are blue at ten days old, but turn a yellow/amber soon after. They are born with spots to help protect them as babies, but these fade after ten months or so.
With instincts and proper parenting, they can become fierce hunters in their habits. They kill deer and elk periodically, and they tend to limit their numbers to meet available territory. Only so many cats will live in a given area.
Currently each U.S. state regulates the killing of lions except Texas. While their numbers are now on the rise due to this legislation, it was not always so. Between the years of 1820 and 1845, it is estimated that 600 mountain lions were killed IN ONE COUNTY ALONE(Centre County, Pennsylvania)! In Florida today, it is argued whether the Florida Panther is actually extinct. In 1992, it was beleived that only 29 remained, but many fel they are actually transplants from Montana, and not the native Florida species at all.
As our population centers grow, and we expand into the hills and mountains for shelter, one thing is certain. We will see more and more of them, and they will see much more of us. They typically attack from high ground, using their body weight and gravity to assist in felling their prey. If you see a mountain lion, he's seen you for a long time. Unlike bears where we are told to play dead, if you do not fight for your life with a lion, you won't be playing dead at all. Remember to never ride alone at night, and always tell someone where you are going to go..EXACTLY. Now here comes the hard part for the mountain need to actually stick to the route plan you left your spouse/friend/significant other. If you change the route, and ANYTHING happens to you (lion, crash, flat tire, dehydration) you greatly reduce your chance of being found. Just a little 411 on our feline friends, hope it helps!

"Lord of stealthy murder, facing his doom with a heart both craven and cruel."
Theodore Roosevelt, on the mountain lion
Super Dork

Monday, June 05, 2006

More Santa Barbara pics

"Fontana Throat Flakes"

Teri told me that Jay is still coughing up "Throat Flakes" after the hot and smoggy DH race at Southridge on Sunday. That sounds about right, considering that all around that area are livestock farms, old military nuclear waste dump sites, and all of the smog that Los Angeles can offer..all tucked into the hills of Fontuky.
Sunday had temps in the triple digits, and our three valiant crusaders of the cush, Jay, Conor, and Taylor went to do battle. Two run format Sunday allowed the racers to work out the kinks (no, not the BAND, the Kinks!). Taylor had a great first run, holding 5th place heading in to the afternoon. jay and Conor both had ok first runs but were feeling that they could do better.
Run number saw taylor a little slower, ending him up in 9th overall. Conor and Jay flipped it, and had stellar second runs. Jay finished in 7th, with Conor right behind Taylor in 11th. The run was on average about two minutes long, and only four seconds separated 1st from 9th. That's tighter than vaginal rejuvination surgery!
Great job out there guys on a hot as Hades day. Have a good week traveling back east to the National!


Sunday, June 04, 2006

Santa Barbara Bamboozle!

For the love of GOD, why do we have to drive to Santa Barbara to race in 106 degree temps? Isn't it supposed to be cool there? Isn't the ocean a block away? DAMN, I had start drinking beer at 10:30am just to counteract the effects of the heat! Bert had a 5 lap race in Semi-Pro, at 2pm. He ended up taking TWO bottles of fluid and TWO gels per lap, instead of his normal NOTHING for the race. Bert had his best Semi-Pro race to date, however, finishing in 7th place!
The Blanchette Jr Developement Team was on fire also, with Bert's daughter taking first, and Ryan finishing atop the box as well. Bert is selling his semen to European families for breeding stock purposes, kinda like race horses. Crazy, but true!
King James Cross was called up to the start in 4th, to his amazement. James has never been in the top 5 (except for that time he ws in the Special Olympics for Curling) and was STOKED to line up at the front. He was running the race of his life, had passed third place, and had a half lap to go when a wekling crashed in front of him and he flew off the bike and down the gully. James still finished inside the top ten, but was disappointed that he could not finish in he top three.
James is on form though, so look for him to be killing people at a race near you!
Heidi "Dirt Baguette" Volpe threw down on the XC race as well, placing FIRST in her xc division, and posting the second fastest time of the day for Sport women.
Cutting the timeline too close, she was unable to compete in DH.
In other news, I drnk a crap load of Fat Tire Ale. Team Pre-Ride is alive and well! Look for tonights blog page of the Southridge DH race with results from Conor, Jay, and Taylor!
Thanks to Roger-Dodger and Vanessa for their help, and thanks to Michelle for coming out to the race as well. Michelle in such good shape, she looks at Bert and says.."Damn, he's fat!" :) Thanks to everyone ho came out to race, and to watch!

Peace-Out Nizzles!


West Virginia State Series Race #2 was last weekend, and DAMN it was hot! With temps in the 90's, and humidity not far off, Backbone's very own Jeff Williams was in for a race to the death. With sloppy roots, gummy mud, and mosquitos that dwarfed the Spruce Goose, he set out on a path of destruction. Jeff was graced with several photographers, so we finally have a shot to post! After a crash and a flat, Jeff "Tookie" Williams ended up in a highly respectable 6th place, keeping in the fight for the overall top five. Great job Jeff, and keep the pix rolling in!

Cap'n Chris

Friday, June 02, 2006

Jay's Race from Hell (at Mt. Diablo!)

It starts out as any other long distance trip. Planning and packing, and eager anticipation were de riguer for Jay in the days leading up to the Mt. Diablo/U.S. OPEN of Mountain Biking. With all that prep work, you'd think he'd have a smooth trip and race, right? So mistaken you would be..sooooo mistaken.

His flight was delayed, which put him late by a lot! That led to a sad encounter at the rental car place. Turns out, Jay can't rent the car he thought he rented, because of an issue with his driver's license. Oh yeah, he also had NO HOTEL due to overbooking and late flights. That meant he had to rely on vouchers provided by the airline. Three times. That's right, THREE times he went from hotel, then back to airport, then back to hotel, because they would not honor the vouchers! At 2am Jay finally got to sleep, and had to be up by 5am to head to Mt Diablo Freeride Park for the race. All day Friday runs were flawless...and on saturday, the first run out was a disaster! A crash set the one for qualifying, and Jay had to spend the rest of his weekend with podium hopefull and teammate Ryan Nolan...who also had a less than forunate weekend.

Sorry Jay, better luck next time!