Monday, October 30, 2006

Great Pix

Giant Dork Owns Mountain Bike Team!

Oh god no, it's a Flabbalanche!

That's right, I am quite possibly the biggest 'tard you have ever seen. But much like my helmet clad, bib-wearing compadres, I am (almost)always oddly happy. That is, when I am doing God's work..y'know, promoting the peeps here at Backbone Adventure Cycling. Just wanted to take a second and remind you all that this is supposed to be fun, and I hope that you all don't take this TOO seriuosly. Except Bert. He can do whatever the hell he wants. I'm afraid of him, because he calls me names like "douche bag" now. Frikkin' Bert.

That's right...take it all in....don't look away, just let that burn into your retinas....mmmmmmm.....that's gonna stay with you for a while, isn't it? That's the crack of the guy that's runnin' the show, so suckle it....yeah.....that's where all the free racer goodies come from......oh yeah.

Castaic Pix, Finally!

King James being faster than you

Heidi and Vanessa drop in at the start

Vegas Bob in the sand trap

Chris' dream unrealized

James and Vanessa at races end

Darter to race DH for '07!

In a daring move, Michael Darter (photographer to the not-so famous, and marginally noteworthy) has impressed upon me his desire to race DH for 2007. With Conor moving to PA, Darter wants to fill his slot here in CA, albeit in Sport class for now. Go get 'em Darter!

Ladies Of Backbone In Kenda Ad!

Backbone racers Heidi, Bev, Teresa, Dawn, and "Vinylla" all were used to promote the "Iron Maidens" ad created by Kenda web-guru and team drinking buddy Lydia Brownfield. Jim Wannamaker gave Vinylla final approval, which concerns me a little bit. He promised me he would quite calling her, but now I am just not sure. Better call "Cheaters" and have them followed....

Cap'n Chris

24 Hrs Of Moab Report

Darter and I flew into Salt Lake City early Friday morning to pick up what would be our home for the next 8 days. Little did we know we would immediately be inducted into some secret cult and find every hippie-semi washed, hirsute man and woman waving at us, talking to us and asking us what year as if we were comparing infant age. ?Um, we just rented this Westfalia, it?s not ours,?
was the fastest way to shut down the inevitable ear bleeding

We met up with our friends from Santa Fe and the 5 of us formed, Velo Morits aka the spinning dead. We were set with pit crew, Mountain hardware Everest base camp dome . the heat demon and the Astro smurf. Who needs the Four Seasons?
Our team had a strong start, our team captain killin? it with a blazing 1:19 in the friggin? peanut butter start.

Nic killed it on his Santa Cruz with a 1:23 (the first time they timed us) and Darter crushed on his Super Moto with a 1:21 (the first time the timed us) I followed it up with a respectable 1:34 (the first time they timed us, then all hell broke loose, it rained harder and herded and J9 headed out for her 1st and only lap, taking one for the team this poor girl
clocked in a 2:26. Swift water, fog, and painfully slow and dangerous lap times, they stopped the race due to bad weather some concussions and a few missing teeth.
Tent city was all a hum with fires, people working on trashed drive trains, generators purring to keep the softies in the RVs warm.
Daylight broke, team meeting and they asked the group
1) call the race
2) continue racing and drop the last lap

After a group hug and a coom-by-fucking-ya, we started up again, our team got two laps in and we finished 2nd, so we thought. They changed the scoring again, and included the stormy lap time?!?!?
Supposedly we got 2nd, technically we got bumped to 12th, you figure it out, Granny Gear is still trying to.

Confused, we drank champagne and Tecate.

Darter and I stayed in Moab for the rest of the week, did laps on Porcupine rim, rode slick *ock and Amasaback.
We did the epic and rode the rim from TOWN, the second lap I left the boys on the climb (I was riding my racer X and they were on their bigger travel bikes) and did the whole ride alone and then didn?t want to waste my knobbies on the pavement so I hitchhiked back to town and caught up with them after a shower and 2 beers.

The 3rd lap we paid the shuttle and extra $5 and got more 8 miles of exposed, technical single track. DO IT if you can.

CLEAN YOUR BODY: Showers at Poison Spider $1.50 for two minutes, indulge and go for 3 minutes, you?re worth it.
Shuttle: Poison Spider $10 per person ask about the $5 add on
CLEAN YOUR GEAR: Poison Spider has bike washing and wrenching area

GET YOUR SPRO? ON: Chile Pepper Bikes: Espresso that will make your nose hairs salute.

FILL YOUR PIE HOLE: Miguel?s Baja Grill.
GET HAMMERED: Moab Brewery.
CAMP RAT: Sand Flats at Slick Rock. $10 per night
Site D11 rocks
Don?t mistake the free-range cows for a vibrating black berry.

We hit snow in the higher elevations; rain down low dramatic weather all around.

darter is sending pics. stay tuned.


Ti XC pedals

Magnesium DH pedals

Thanks to a positive meeting at Interbike last month, the people at XPEDO made us a deal we can't refuse for the 2007 season! I am very excited to embark on this new sponsorship endeavour, and hope we can promote the brand as successfully as we did the previous supplier. Please visit for a full list of products for your bike and body. Look for Backbone racers across the country to be sporting SWEET new XPEDO products on their race rigs for 2007!

Solvang Prelude Ride Next Saturday!

Don't forget kids! This saturday is the Solvang Prelude Ride....Fifty miles of some of the most scenic road rides California has to offer. Don Burke and I will be rolling out at O-Dark-Thirty saturday morning...any takers??

Teresa Hill Returns From X-Terra World's!

I just looked at the X-terra website to see how our very own Teresa Hill (Vet Masters DH Pro) fared in Hawaii. She was ballsy enough to enter as a solo Pro, not realy doing anything like this on a regular basis...except last year's Iron Man. Teresa hung on to a 26th place finish (out of two) JUST KIDDING! I could not run at all, EVER, so Kudo's to T-Money for rolling to Maui and givin' it hell. i hope to get a race report from her soon, and a pic or two as well!


Sunday's Cyclocross

Bert raced 'Cross again last weekend, and managed another near blowout! The only man to beat him was a hugely successful road racer (cat 2) who has won every race in this series. Say it with me now..."Sand Bagger." There..that's better. The gap between Bert and third place was about three minutes, but Bert was on a singlespeed! He's cool, so you should try to be like him a lot more than you do now.
Vanessa (Ms. Roger) was also there racing, being coached by teammate Dawn Lyons (Expert XC) on the finer points of Cross. Vanessa won her class, inspiring the father of the girl who normally wins to come up to her and tell her she needs to move up! Amazing, since this was Vanessa's first Cross race, and the other girl has won every race thus far! Who should move up? Oh yeah.

I will post a much more legit "new team additions" page soon, just need to finalize a couple of more people! Thanks to Dawn, Roger, Bert and "V is For" Vanessa for being at the race while the rest of us slacked off on the road ride Sunday.


Castaic State Final Report

FOR THE RECORD..I have a ton of pix from this race, but for some reason they won't download. I will try to put more up as the system permits. Direct all hate mail to if your fragile ego is crushed.
If I were to use two words to describe Castaic, they would be Sucky, and Suckier.
Hot and dry, windy and sandy, and no shade...oh yeah, with 34% climbs and NO discernable downhilling. Sweet. No wonder the Fuzz won't race here (Last year he projectile vomitted on a fellow racer while climbing).Nice.

Robert and I arrived at 9a.m., and proceeded to set up two e-z ups....only one of which would survive the day. Roger and Vanessa showed up, followed by Heidi/darter, James, Ariel, Don Burke, Julie, and Bert The Hurt, and Vegas Bob. The wind was not as bad when james and Ariel, Heidi, Darter and Vanessa went off. The girls BLASTED up the hill, passing Jocinda as though she were in a coma. Vanessa was gone, but unfortunately flatted in the second lap and took her out of first. Heidi (fresh from the 24hrs of Moab, just flying in the night before the race) had 1st all locked for the overall, but came to race anyway. After looking at her 24hr Of Moab times, she was ELEVEN minutes ahead of fellow EXPERT racer Heidi K.! She was tired and stopped for James' busted chain. James fell from 2nd to 5th as a result of the chain in the overall...bummer!

Bert took off like a bolt, and managed his best finish in semi-pro..6th place! That saw him grab a top ten overall and keep it, I think 7th(?) overall! Vegas Bob took off and had a great race too! He was looking to his meeting with the coach for the next weekend, and wanted to push hard. Bob finished in the top 10 in Expert!
It was a great race for some, and a pain in the booty for others, but that's racing! I pre-rode the course the day before the race with Vegas Bob and Steeps Shawn, and it was windy and loose in places. Other sections were surprisingly fast, lik the initial climb-o-death out of the start. All in all, that race reminds me why I drink beer heavily and heckle my racers. Well, the season is now over after a mere 11 races in the State Series alone. In the words of the '80's Demi-God Ferris Bueller (at the end of the movie, as credits roll) "What? Are you still here? Go home!"


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Weekend Update

This weekend, Bert will be racing in the Cyclocross race series he is currently in second in. You call me for details or I can e-mail ya the link w/info! Also, we will have a team mtb ride Saturday morning, and a team road ride going out Sunday morning. The road will be from our house (early) out to Griffith Park, then over the 101 to Mullholland Dr. We then traverse the mountain top over the 405 to Hayvenhurst, then drop back in to the house. I will then likely be heading to Bert's CX race. Lemme know if you all can come along!


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Internet Down

I am writing this notice from work, as our cable/web service died yesterday. I have lots of news, so give me a day or two and I'll post as soon as it comes back on line! Teresa leaves for Maui X-Terra World's today, I have a race report from Jeff Williams, and the Cal State Finals report to do. Also, new KENDa ad for January featuring our ladies coming soon!


Monday, October 23, 2006

The Importance Of Support

What sets this team apart from most, in my casual observance of said teams, is the amount of support we have. It comes in spades from within the team itsself, but is found also in the folks who come out to watch and be a part of something different for a day.
For Sunday's California State Final, Robert Monterrubio got up at 6:30a.m. to meet me at my house, so we could haul ass up and get ready for the Backbone peeps to arrive and prepare to race. Not long after, Roger the Tire Chief showed up with his girlfriend and female phenom xc racer Vanessa. Roger quickly set to work at the team pit helping in any way possible to ensure that OUR TEAM was set with everything we needed. Don Burke, electrician to the stars and all around great guy also came up, watching his first mtb race ever. Coming up from Burbank was the talented Ms. Julie Kuhnle, who came prepared with Tri-Tip sandwiches for the whole frikkin team!
HOW'S THAT FOR A FIRST TIMER, eh? Jules even brought her dogs for some action. Randy from SD stopped by for a brew after his race to meet the team, as well.
Ariel, the fastest guy you'll never get to meet in the Sport class, also continues to hang out with us and provide much needed support for the Backbone squad. He also races and most likely will pass you, so ride faster, ok?

I wanted to make sure I took the time to mention everyone, because without all the pieces that make up this puzzle, I wouldn't have NEARLY as much fun. Robert and I drank an entire case of Bass Ale before just can't get that kinda help anymore.:) So, on behalf of the Backbone team, and myself, I wanted to say a quick "THANKS" to everyone this year who has made it so much fun. That includes Jeff Williams' family back in Kentucky, the Roff's in CO, and all the knuckle heads here that keep me snorting sandwich bread out of my nose with laughter every weekend. You guys rock, and I hope on some level you enjoyed watching as much I do.
The 3 Amigos

Ariel in the sand trap

Roger and Vanessa chillin'

Robert, keeping an eye on his peeps

The crew watching out for Bert and Bob

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ryan Nolan's DH Update

Ryan Nolan Letting The Other Guys Win For A Change

The season ended quickly with the last two races of the Diablo Domination Series being only a week apart. The race on September 24th was definitely my favorite course all year. It had some of everything in it, from fast speeds on open fireroads and some crazy rock sections. In my opinion it was the perfect race course, mostly because it did include dry weather. I finished 5th place in this race. Just 2 weeks prior, on October 8th at the finals they decided to do something different for the last race. They incorporated many of the drops that Diablo has to offer all in one course. This was fun to ride but I didn't feel as if it was very much like a race course. Maybe because the course from the last race I felt was the perfect dh run because this one had a lot to live up to. It turned out that the course didn't like me much better than I liked it, as I only rode to a 17th place finish. Now for the good news, in the overall points for the series I finished 8th place. I'm very happy with this because each race always had close to 50 competitors. Some had more than 50, I know the first race had 90 something. I can't believe the season is over already, it seems like I was just at the first race. Next year I am going to try and do more NORBA races along with the Diablo Series again and focus some on the Mid Atlantic Cup.

Ryan Nolan
Backbone Adventure Cycling
Expert DH

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Conor Rowan To Move Back East

Backbone semi-Pro DH racer Conor Rowan is rumored to be heading to the east coast with his new bride this year! Conor and Jay have worked together at team sponsor Six Six One (Valencia Sport Group) for a while, and Conor is just plain sick of Jay's crappy attitude. When asked in a recent interview why he wanted to leave California, Conor replied..."Jay is douche-nozzle, and he picks his nose. It's not uncommon for Jay to leave fecal matter in the urinals at work, and blame me for it. He also claims to be my biological father, and I hate that."
Jay Schippers, who also races Semi-Pro DH for Backbone, calls these allegations outright lies. Jay states that Conor is leaving because he is jealous of the fact that he is much better at unicycle-gap-jumping, and that Conor's unborn children probably look like him. No one really knows what to believe, mostly because I am writing this story.
We wish Conor the best, and actually hope he does NOT leave. Conor has been an integral part of this team for two years now, and it would suck giant squid testicles if he does in fact move. Please call Conor and ask what the hell is on the east coast besides Jersey girls that is worth leaving CA for. Thanks for your cooperation.

The management.

Monday, October 16, 2006

State Final XC Race at Castaic This Sunday!

The Three Amigos, Jay, Conor and Taylor

I know, I know, they are DH racers..but it's such a great shot. Plus the guys all race XC too, when their DH bikes are broken. This weekend (Sunday) we have the series final race at Castaic Lake Recreation Area north of Valencia off the 5 freeway. Racing starts at 11am, so please come out cheer on your favorite Backboner!! The course is very visible from the staging area, and the DH portion is always full of surprises. Hope to see you all there!


Our poor house...

Our poor little house begun it's metamorphosis today, and I wanted ya'll to see what it looks like in the beginning. Thank god for the guest house, otherwise we'd be crashing at Fuzzie's house! Hey, at least Fuzzy's mom cooks....mmmmm

Sunday, October 15, 2006

California's Lost Coast

Spanning about eighty miles, California's aptly named Lost Coast is an outdoor enthusiasts dream. With a dozen mountain peaks watching over her, this stretch of highway-free coastline in Humboldt County has a sixty four mile backcountry hiking trail. This jewel of California has two dozen streams marching to the sea through deply cut and treacherous canyons. These were so rugged in fact, that road crews opted to go around the entire stretch when planning Highway 1. With no highway bringing people in, it quickly became "lost" to the unknowing masses. Only four roads reach into this area, two of them are dirt....all are very steep, and very treacherous.
The California Coast Trail spans roughly sixty four miles. At it' northern end, you pass an old lighthouse used by sailors to navigate safely past the rugged shore. You traverse two thousand foot peaks, dropping back down to the coast repeatedly. Sand and slick rocks, chapparral and grasses await the adventurous who attempt her crossing. Five to six days are what most people take to hike across the length of the trail, and there are little or no services to speak of. You end up in the Sinkyone Wilderness park at the southern end, and here is where the bulk of post-card perfect scenery lies.
The two provincial borders of the Lost Coast are shared with Centerville Beach (Private Ranch) and Hardy Creek (Timber Land). In 1929, the Federal Government withdrew public land for sale from this area, setting the groundwork for the eventual King Range Conservation Area (1970). Controversial loging of the last of the areas old growth timbers (redwood, fir, spruces) halted as a result of activism in 1983.
This is a beautiful and rugged trail, most of which isonly accessible on
foot. Experienced trail hikers should accompany anyone who is attempting this type of trip, unless you are going for the day! Bring a good camera, sturdy boots, and batteries. You will need them to recall the romanticism of California's Lost Coast and prove to the grandkids that it still exists, far from the clutches of the City of Angels.