Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mountain Biking In Cali Officially Screwed.

Photo of Taylor courtsey of Terry Martin, at

Hi everyone. This is gonna take a while, so grab some lunch and a stiff cocktail and hang on. I may be a little pissed now, so that will add to the "spunk" of this one as well.

For 2007, some changes have occured. California will be cleaved into two separate racing divisions. Reminiscent of the Mason-Dixon Line, our Civil-War-Esque division has begun. Can I play Abe Lincoln, his hat was sweet. Instead of the usual 11 races we had to do, we have now been relegated to a mere five. Those races are;
March 25th, Bonelli; March 29th, Firestone; May 20th, Castaic; June 1st-2nd, Santa Barbara; June 30th-1st, Big Bear.
The Big Bear Shoot-Out will determine the best riders in their classes in the State. OOPS! It will just detrmine the best riders from Santa Barbara to Big Bear. My bad. "Hey mom, look at me, I won...I'm the best guy in FOUR COUNTIES!" sweet. We will also NOT have any point and a half races this year, and only four of the five will count toward your overall score, sixty points max per race.
Now, we all know how bad the RESULTS/AWARDS system is at TBB events here. With the already late 11am starts, we rarely escape these venues before 5 or 6pm. On a Sunday after racing, that puts people home just in time to change clothes and go to work. Well, in their infinite wisdom, the peeps at Blue Wolf/TBB have decided to push race starts back to TWO P.M.! Better gather some sick days, cuz you ain't makin' home in time for work. Oh, and did I mention that that the Firestone DH is scheduled for FRIDAY? Don't people have to work to pay for this shit on Fridays?

New rules have basically outlawed women from racing all together. Gather the Suffragettes and let's march on USA Cycling! Here are the rules as of now...

1...NO AGE CAT. separation for all Beginner and Sport ladies. That means if you are a 40 year old Sport woman, you get to race against 20 year old Sport women. That's fair, right?

2...Expert ladies only get three age groups, 19-29; 30-39; and 40+.

3...NO seperate designation for over forty women and beyond. Sweet.

Now, I may be missing the point here, but how is that making women actually want to continue racing? For a team like ours, that PROUDLY supports up to SEVEN women in all classes and age groups this an aggregiuos violation of not only the ladies who race, but the INDUSTRY COMPANIES WHO SUPPORT THEM.
By comparison, last year in the NORBA NCS Series, there were only four men in the 65+ age group. There were SIX women in EACH of these age groups (45-49 and 50-54, with one in the 55-59). How the hell is that fair?

OH, and another note...SAGEBRUSH SAFARI is not ahppening this year. When asked why, TBB/Blue Wolf said that due to the fire a year and a half ago, we couldn't race there. I just got off the phone with the Lake Morena Park Ranger, and he told me that as completely untrue, and that w ecould come down and ride today if we so pleased. Veronica Mars ain't got shit on me.

Peace out peeps..


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Fontucky Race Pix!

World Class Photographr Terry Martin snapped this pic of me at the race Sunday. Shortly after this shot was taken, Mr. Martin had to throw away his camera for fear that I would ugly up future pix of real athletes. Note the sweat on my brow..that's real fried chicken gravy!!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Kenda Nevegal With SWS Coming Soon!

Kenda's latest show-stopping tire technology is about to explode onto North American mountain bike racing. Certain KENDA sponsored riders have been on the prototypes for almost a year, like KHS Four Cross rider James Schwanke...and ME! Although I suck massive amounts of squid testicles, the other semi-pro and pro riders who are on these tires are happy with the results.
SWS as it is known, is a sidewall hugging "tape" that is comprised of thousands of tiny little spheres. These little guys are ridiculously round, and tightly packed. You can take a pen and try and jab the sidewall, but good luck getting through it! This SWS is specifically designed to fend off the DH racers worst nightmare (no, not lack of beer in the post-race cooler), sidewall cuts from jagged rocks.
Right now, the technology is only found on two tires. The freakishly popular Nevegal, and Mary Mac's personal fave, the Karma are the only two that have it fo now. BACKBONE ADVENTURE CYCLING's riders who ordered the corresponding sizes in these models were automatically upgraded by ME to SWS equipped tires. These would include Ryan Nolan, Jay Schippers, Taylor Libolt, Ming and Mai Tai, and Bev Monohan.
Surprise! No more walking home from SART anymore, Bev.
The SWS is great for the XC crew on Karma's as well, since it adds almost NO additional weight to the tire! I have had a 2.35 Kevlar Stick-e Nevegal for a few months now, and it is rockin' my 2007 Titus Moto-Lite. If you are DH racer or aggresive XC competitor, always ask for your Nevvies or Karma's to have the SWS advantage.

Cap'n Chris

Kenda Karma lovin' National Champ and Olympian Mary McConnelough rcing Super-D at Mammoth in 2005.

Jay Schippers at Fontucky, counting in his Nevegals to see him home.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Thanks to James and Jenni at Sigma for the team's computer order! It has arrived, so you all can go forth and tell the masses how sweet your new SIGMA products are! Please be sure to e-mail them or call and say thanks for supporting us. They WILL be looking for help at the next Interbike, so be prepared to work with James. He has several warrants out for his arrest, ranging anywhere from feeling up Backbone teammates, to sending us unsealed HRM's. :)

Thanks again to SIGMA for their continued support!


Downhill Racer Taylor Libolt Takes 7th!

Taylor called me from Fontucky this morning to let me know he finished in 8th place today! Then he called back and said they had him in SEVENTH place! I asked him to hang out for a few and see if they would give him a medal. ANYWAY, he is getting closer to the podium in Semi-Pro there, and that's good! Fontucky is his home turf, and we look for this skinny cracker to break the top five in the next race or two. THANKS Taylor for cheering me on yesterday!


Cap'n Chris Survives XC Race!

This pic is NOT from the race, I was so far back the photographer went home, thought the race was over..

Randy and his wife rolled out to Fontucky Friday night with the trailer and the dogs, and waited for Saturday. Randy was chillin' with the wife (team hoochie:))and the dogs. Randy was probably reday to go, because he races frequently. I on the other hand, haven't raced in FONTANA since 2001. It was really strange to actually be preparing to RACE! With ZERO expectations, the butterflies common to those who actually TRAIN were not present.
With almost no sleep thnks to my stinky Bassett Hound, Beauford, I awoke Saturday at 6 a.m. Jumping in the car and heading to the 'Bucks for coffee was little match for my sleep deprivation. Doing everything right prior to the race (except training, eating right, and pre-riding the course) I was ready to go for the 9:30 start time. Rolling up to staging, I was stunned to see ALL THE SAME SANDBAGGEERS THAT WERE IN MY CLASS SIX YEARS AGO, still squatting in Sport. Sad, real sad. It was nice to see some of the guys, like my bud from Rancho who i used to see at Chino Hills all the time. He has stayed fast, while I have enjoyed The Colonel's Extra Crispy!
The gun went off, and the pack exploded. It was just me and my other old compadre from Bear Valley Bikes watching everyone disappear in front of us. As we caught up on each other's lives, we remembered we were racing and took off. Our excuse is always "let 'em blow up, we'll catch 'em on lap #2! Amazing how few we actually catch up to! Maybe six or eight at best? Anyhow, the only goals I set for myself were not to finish last, to live through it, and to finish in under two hours.
I'm alive, I turned a 1:41:25, and was just a few marks out of the top ten. Randy actually whipped my ass by a little over a minute! He finished in 13th, right ahead of me..although admittedly I never saw him after the start. The race was fun and more techical than I remember it being back in 1492 when I was actually podiuming there. I was surprised by how many people on full suspension bikes could not ride the steep stuff! I blew my old Scareb 80mm through it's travel at least 4 times per lap. The funny thing is, I REALLY HAD A GREAT TIME! It definitely helped that Ihad Randy there as a wing man, and Taylor was heckling me from the DH course.
Bob Meeker was there too, finally getting to heckle me back after YEARS of me giving him crap. He said I was so fat, I had a "muffin top." Ah well..the truth hurts! Bob passed me like I was dead right away. Never saw him after that. Bastard.
Anyhow, I had tons of fun, and may just do another one day soon. Then again, maybe not..


Friday, January 26, 2007

Tire Order Deadline Today

Please see that you all get me your tire orders TODAY, as I must submit the count tonight or Monday. Hurry, or you may get NOTHING! :)


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Cal State Mountain Bike Series Update

Fuzzy, after his Tomac split in half.

New insider news today about the missing Cal State Series. Many of us have been trying in vain to reach Tom Spiegel (or anyone at TBB for that matter), race director for about everything here in So Cal and the Nat's. Tom has been going through a rather rugged divorce, and was forced to vacate the TBB offices and shut off the phone. He then moved in to his son's home, bringing all available TBB stuff with him. Soon after this nightmare, his son managed to sell the home. This explains why NO ONE was able to get any info. Blue Wolf Events (who?) is supposedly taking control for the remainder of the period.
Also in Cal State news, the Firestone Walker Vineyards/Brewery is pulling out of the Cal State Series by 2008. That being the case, the promoters are trying to enlarge the event by getting the Santa Ynes Chamber Of Commerce on board. The venue will likely change by 2009. That is sad, since that race had the rare Lawyer Lovin' combo of XC and DH events.
Just wanted to keep ya'll up to speed. OH, and for the record, my beer o the week happens to be the hard to find but easy to drink FIRESTONE WALKER LAGER.


cap'n chris

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Jay and Vegas Bob's B-day's This Week!

Vegas Bob showin' the horns

Two of Backbone's finest celebrate birthdays this week! Jay Schippers and Vegas Bob both get a little bit older between Wednesday and Saturday. VB will be holding a birthday booze fest at his swinging Frat House, and Jay will probably be working overtime at 661. Buy them really expensive stuff, just not from 661, because Jay can get that stuff cheaper than you. Bob needs a hardtail, so somebody should really step up. Hope to see ya'll at VB's on Saturday!

Jay after his dh practice, trying to understand how anyone could go any faster than he does.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Fresh Pics of Jay and Taylor

Taylor racing last weekend, phot courtesy of Terry Martin

Hey guys! Professional photogropher and xc racer Terry Martin was on hand at Fontana last week, and snapped these pics of our DH crew. He told me that he frequently gets you guys at the races, and actually forwards them on to Jim at KENDA!
He is a great guy and I hope you all will get to meet him this year. He said he will continue to look for you guys and gals out on the course, so try not to suck when he takes your picture, ok? THAT'S MY JOB, so don't take that from me..

Jay coming down right before Taylor, pic also courtesy of Terry Martin

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sea Otter and Scottsdale NORBA Fast Approaching

Jim, Ara and I at the NOVA Desert Classic last year.

The Scottsdale National is fast approaching, and the date has held firm so far for more than a week. That means it will probably stick! We should get together, get a head count, and find out how many rooms we need to get. Dates are March 29th to April 1st. NOTHING in the Fountain Hills neighborhood is available, so I have scouted other hotel locations throughout the greater Phoenix area. They are filling up fast, and range everywhere fron 170 to 75 dollars a night. I would recommend staying Thursday through Saturday nights, so you can pre-ride the course, race Saturday, then return (six hour drive) Sunday.

Vegas Bob gettin' dirty at Sea Otter

Sea Otter is just two weeks later, and I have a room already reserved for Wednesday through Saturday nights. Taylor and Vegas Bob are slated to crash with me already, so if you need a place, better call soon.

Fontucky race next weekend, anyone besides Randy, Vanessa and Taylor racing?


Jim "Shortz" Roff In So Cal This Week!

Jimbalaya Roff staging a shot so we think he is fast.

Jim Roff landed in Los Angeles today for a "work" trip. Now, we all know that means he had to come out here and perform court appointed community service work, but whatever. Jim will only be around until Wednesday, so PLEASE meet up with us at Jay and Teri's place on Tuesday night to get this man-lover loaded. Oh, and bring a camera, because I need compromising pics.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

SIGMA SPORT's New Lighting System

The 2007 Sigma Evo/Evo X Pro Endurance System has it all

The holy-grail of lighting has arrived at my house. The SIGMA Evo/Evo X Pro Endurance package has it all. It arrived in a sweet travel case, really great for those of you planning on actually using/racing in this kit. It is entirely tools free, and comes with more optional equipment than an R.V. It comes with TWO batteries, each one capable of of FOUR HOURS of burn time. Let's use all that trig we had in high school and do that math...THAT's EIGHT HOURS OF NIGHT LIGHT with this package.
The batteries are tiny and light, made with a new NiMH technology that keeps it less than a super light XC tire (350 grams)! It charges in 5 to 6 hours, and is small enough to easily slide into a jersey pocket. It's also watertight, and comes with a quick charger that has temperature regulation and overcharge protection. I know it works, because my woman left it on the charger for twelve hours. Smart, real smart.

Not just for handlebars anymore, these lights are a split system that can be run either on the bars, the helmet, or both simultaneously!

It also came with the "Cube Rider" red blinky taillight. A nice touch for the commuter or night mtb rider who likes crashing. Helicopters and rescue crews can find you more easily with a SIXTY HOUR blinky red light attached to your mummified carcass.
The Mirage EVO (one half of the lights) won the Euobike Award in 2005, and has the governments' highest ratings for brightness. At 5 watts and 20 Lux (unit of measurement), it can mount anywhere in seconds.
The Mirgae EVO X is the other half. With a 5 or 10 watt selction, this light is great on the handlebars, and the other on the helmet (mount included, can ya believe it?). They both are watertight, and kick some major ass. Desi ran on ONE battery last night, with both lights blazing the entire two hours (she is old, and thusly blind). her lights never dimmed, and my top-o-the line Niterider system completely DIED after just two hours...on DIM! No more, i amordering my own Mirage EVO X Pro Endurance system tomorrow....



Backbone's very own clothing model, Paris Hilton showing off the team duds for 2007.

Here it is everyone! I couldn't wait any longer, so take a loooong look! Since it is so hot here in Cali, I chose the "race cut" from Voler Team Apparel. Minimalist, I know, but if you look hard enough, the KENDA and MFactor logos are clearly visible near the general 'taintal area. I got mine a size smaller than normal, because I am a large man who sweats profusely. Also, a smaller size means less weight, right James? :) Nothing but the best for you guys, LOVE YA!!


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Snow In Malibu!

Desi Lou on tonights night ride

HOLY CRAP! It snowed in the Santa Monica's today! Up by Britney Spears' place on Kanan Dume road, they got DUMPED on! How freakish that we had that happen in the land where rain never falls.

My new Titus Moto-Lite and I sharing a moment

Desi and I went out on a night ride tonight and saw tons of snow and little hail balls lying around and waiting to fomed into an ice ball. That ball of course would be thrown at someone's eye, or junk, or something! Craziness, amn, just craziness!

The Los Angeles coast line from the top of the Santa Monica Mountains

I ahve been enjoying my night rides again, and the colder weather has certainly been a big part of that. Being a bloated sweaty SWEDE I do enjoy me the cold. Monday night was especially chilly, and as a result, I was the only knucklehead I saw out on the trails that night. i like it like that, until I become Puma Bait. Then, being alone in the woods at 10pm ain't so hot..


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

It's Not That Cold In Cali

Desi on Sydney Peaks Trail, near Brian Head Utah.

Don't cry about the cold. In Brian Head today (Ara and I's fave plave to ride) it is a cozy ZERO degrees, with winds making it MINUS THIRTEEN. Quit crying, and get out and ride! Monday night I had a great ride all alone, up Sullivan canyon and down Westridge Fire Road. It was actually fairly warm at the top of the canyon, and despite a seemingly freezing start, was sweating like hell. I'm sure it doesn't help that I weigh myself on a livestock scale, but it really wasn't cold enough NOT to ride.

Desi and Jimena Florit on the NORBA course last year

My buddy Jesse is trying to get me up to Strawberry Peak on Saturday, but I may go out and pre-ride Fontucky! I hate for Randy to race in the old fart division alone, so I may go cruise the course with him next week. It may be cool, but not cold! Timari said it was ZERO in Mammoth last week, too! She is still out snow shoeing, so suck it up!

Me descending the left fork of Bunker Creek Trail in Brian Head. With all that pretty, it should be a crime to cover it in snow so I can't ride it...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Southridge Winter Series Opener!

Vanessa prior to race start, wondering where all the other Expert girls are.

Saturday morning in Fontana was interesting. At 8:30 am, it was 38 degrees and there were 60mph gusts RIPPING through the XC and DS courses. Vanessa was up first, and I was very worried that her 45lb body would survive the buffeting wind gusts. With no other Expert ladies lined up, and all the magazine photographers in hiding, Vanessa took off. She would get to the top of the climb on her second and final lap befor the chain broke. Riding all the way down, we had to fix it. She then sped off into the "ass-chappin' cold" (thanks, Lydia) to win her class.

Randy "King Of The Beer Poachers" Rush laughing it up before he vomits at the start of his race.

Randy's Sport class went off not far behind Vanessa, and he emerged from the start in a strong third place. He clearly blew his wad on the first lap, because when we were waiting for him at the finish of lap two, he was no longer with the group of guys he started out with. He crossed the finish line with a large bucket of the Colonel's Extra Crispy chicken, all eleven herbs and spices burning a hole through his chamois. How he managed to leave the race course, find a drive through, and still place seventh I just don't know. That man has talent.

XC race over, we all began to tire of shaking like a dog crapping peach pits and sought warmer cover.

Taylor "Money" Libolt during his race run

Taylor and Jay were up today (Sunday) for the Semi-Pro DH race. Fontucky being rocky as it always is, nobody was looking forward to another terrible day of weather. Turns out, weather was perfect. Racing started late, as usual. Why, by the way, can I have a phone that gets T.V., internet, text messaging, and G.P.S., but NOBODY can start a s**t-ass mountain bike race on time? Anyone? Bueller?
Jay was up first, and was the first Semi-Pro down the hill. Looking GREAT through the rough and rocky upper half, Jay's legs turned into gelatenous goo by the time he hit the long pedal section to the finish. He would end up in 15th place. Now, understand that in DH racing, the difference between first and 15th could be two seconds or even less, so he could still whup all of you. Don't think your all bad, he'll seriously tear you anew ass. Really.

Jay Schippers dropping through the rocks like a downhill Samurai

Taylor came just a couple of riders behind Jay, and despite the pedal slippage I saw, still was one of the fastest men through the upper section. Taylor would finish 0.17th of a second in front of Jay, pissed at the numerous times his feet came unwantonly unclipped from his pedals. Flats will be installed on Taylor's bike before next week.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Titus Moto-Lite For 2007 Here!!

So, after many months of eager silver 2007 Moto-Lite showed up....with a tan. Actually, they still don't have any Silvers, so they sent me the FIRST BLACK ONE on the planet. Yes, I am officially a TITUS lab rat, testing the new carbon bits on the trail bike. I will send the frame back as soon as the silver one arrives, but in the mean time..YEEHAW!

Parts pick is the 2007 All Mountain 2 Kit, with a mixture of XT and X-9 parts from Shimano and SRAM. I have never owned SRAM, but must say I am pleasantly surprised despite my skepticism. Cranks and cassette, and front derailleur are XT, with the shifters and rear derailleur SRAM X-9. Brakes are Avid Juicy 7's, and the wheel are DT X455's. Carbon seat post (w/black chrome head), Ti railed saddle, and bars and stem are from MAXIM, and a WTB headset with it. FOX provides the squishy bits, with a 2" stroke RP23 in the rear and a re-designed TALAS RLC 32 up front. Both suspension parts have more finite adjustments than Rosie O'Donnell's girdle, and allow the bike to morph from locked out 4" xc bike to 5+" travel trail bike. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my XPEDO pedals, which will greatly enhance my ability to beat the crap out of this chassis.

******NOTE THE TIRES***** This bike comes with 2.35 Kenda Nevegals...but I have a secret. That's a 2.35 Small Block 8 in the back. Up front you will see a prototype tire from Interbike..a new tire sidewall strip that almost entirely eliminates sidewall cuts, with no added weight! It's sparkly, too, like stipper boobies! Yaaay stripper boobies! It's on a 2.35 Nevegal. Stealthy, very stealthy.

"Don't you wish your bike stash was hot like mine?..Don't ya'?"

With a fairly high bottom bracket, I look forward to rolling through terrain not touched since the old CONEJO AP/5's downhill days. Should I feel guilty for having two new bikes? naaahhh...really, when you think about it, this selfish bastard of a team has gotten me nothing at the end of the year for TWO STRAIGHT years, opting instead to bleed me dry then kick dirt in my face. (hint....DROPPED)
SO, I had to take matters into my own hands. That makes TWO brand spanking new TITUS bikes in the last two months. Now if I just had a new road frame.....

Anyone down to help me break her in next weekend?


Thursday, January 11, 2007

XPEDO Features Ryan Nolan On Website!

Ryan Nolan has a great picture that our rep Ken posted on the website! He put him fittingly in the DH section, and DAMN is that a nice looking DH jersey.....Thanks for the props, Ken..see ya at the Backstage bar next week?


Lily Munster Dead At 84.

Yvonne De carlo died this week at the age of 84. She was living near our house in Woodland Hills at a rather odd assisted living facility. It is managed and funded by the union that binds all actors/actresses, and looks after them when they are too old to look after themselves. It's a nice place, really, and a very comforting place for those who used to bask in the glow of Hollywood's heydey.
Yvonne De Carlo was born Peggy Yvonne Middleton in Vancouver, Canada (eh). Born Sept 1st, 1922, she missed that whole "free-ride" thing the kids love so much in Vancouver today. Her father abandoned the family when she was three, and her mother pushed her into acting classes. She moved to Los Angeles and won the title of "Ms. Venice Beach" in 1938. She married a stuntman who was almost killed on the set of "How The West Was Won," and was forced out of semi-retirement to pay the medical bills. The job? Lilly Munster, wife of Herman Munster (Fred Gwynn).
Although she had been in numerous successful films, her role as Lilly was the most revered. Yvonne was in films like "The Ten Commandments," "The Deerslayer," Brute Force," "Salome Where She Danced," "Frontier Gal," and many more. Lily she would later admit was a role she never expected to gain anything from!
Ms. De Carlo divorced her husband eventually and lived in SOLVANG, CA (my fave place to road ride, especially from the Union Hotel in Los Alamos!) up until 2000. She then moved to the home in Woodland Hills, where she passed away this week at 84.

What does this have to do with cycling? Nothing really. I grew up glued to the T.V. watching the Munsters, and I was sad when Fred Gwynn died a few years ago. For some reason, Ms. De Carlo's passing has affected me more. Never knew her pesonally, only the way millions of other Americans did, through the black and white T.V. screen as she took "Spike" the pet dragon for a walk. Miss ya' Yvonne, hope all is as it should be up there...


Yvonne De Carlo as Lily Munster, her most famous and accidental role.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Abel Vaca Only Mexican In Macau!

After an exhaustive research study performed by the University Behind Bob's Big Boy (UBB), it has been determined that Backbone's very own ABELARDO VACA is the only Vato in all of Macau. He has plans to one day rule this island nation, proclaiming a chicken in every house, and a broken down Chevy Nova in every yard. Abel was sent there to work for a couple of weeks, but after the native women saw his abilty to flex the "Pythons" he has decided to stay and create Nuevo Mexico Chino. Good luck Abel, we miss ya but hope you are having fun...

Chris and the Backbone Peeps..

Jim Roff In Leadville 100 Lottery

Jimbalaya Roff has officially entered the "lottery stage" of the world famous Leadville 100. This race covers 6 million feet* of climbing and 2 billion miles* of Rocky Mountain trail death(*actual numbers may vary). Rhoda, Jim's wife, has Tom Wehe's (the Blue Santa) phone number on speed dial in the unlikely event that Jim should become Puma Bait along the route. Please send any cash to the Rhoda Wehe Wedding Memorial Fund just to be safe! Oh, and Jim's gay.


Devil's Rope

Growing up the offspring of redneck dirt farmers from Texas, I have never been able to escape the tetanus-inducing grip of barbed wire. When visiting family in Pampa, Texas (see; nowheresville) barbed wire was as natural a sight as sheep at my uncle's back door after dark. You saw it everywhere, mile upon uncountable mile. It came in more varieties than Jimmy Chu's shoes and probably felt as good to walk in. Barbed wire, however taken for granted it may be, has played an integral role in American's life out west. The human animal is a builder of barriers, using materials like mud, wood, and stone. The Great Plains have none of these (the KENDA wherehouse in Ohio is made of buffalo dung and straw) and settlers were forced to create a new style of fencing to retain their livestock.
In the late nineteenth century, smooth wire was strung between sticks to create livestock fencing. This was of little deterrance for multi-ton animals that would simply lean into it and flatten it allowing easy access to the "greener grass on the other side." With several early ideas that failed to take off, a man named Joseph Glidden created and manufactured the first widely accepted barbed wire. Soon, there would be over five hundred patents for barbed wire. With the success of this new wire, open range cattle ranching (now returning to favor) was soon to be extinct. Large fenced in ranches dominated the plains and created the practices seen to the current day.
The expanding American West was not the only place to find barbed wire, or the inventions of Mr. Glidden. At the onset of World War I, he had a great financial plan. He would manufacture "war wire" and sell it to whoever would pay. War wire was a much more lethal wire, with alrger and more tightly spaced barbs of all types. He also went into the arms business, proclaiming to "Let the Europeans kill themselves, so we don't have to." The Germans were first to use it in the war, and to great effect. The oncoming French and British Expeditionary Forces fell like dominoes under the slowing effects of barbed wire...and Glidden's newest invention, the machine gun.
Not to be outdone by a mere wire, Mr. Glidden sold thousands of machine guns to the German Weirmacht. He also licensed his design to the British, to be built by the Vickers company (who also made aircraft). Thinning more than herds of cattle, the Devil's Rope saw many a young man's life pass while bullets whizzed by.
So, the next time you are cruising around Flagstaff, rolling through Ahmanson Ranch, or shooting cans on the farm in Plano, keep in mind that little pointy thing that keeps tearing meaty holes in your lycra. It, too has a history all it's own.


Monday, January 08, 2007

YouTube Featuring Ryan Nolan!

Ryan Nolan is our newest film star on youtube! By going to you can watch his sweet dh footage, and representin' the Backbone colors, too! Great footage of Ryan doing huge gap jumps and drops....super sweet to watch!


Fontana Races This Weekend!

Taylor keepin it real

This weekend the Southridge Winter Series kicks off! With both XC and DH, look for all kinds of freakishly fast people to show BACKBONE's very own Taylor Libolt, Jay Schippers, and Randy Rush! Come out for a day of gravity racing, vomit inducing XC racing, or a full weekend of both! See ya there squares!


Jay at Fontucky

Roadies Vs. Wind

Ming rolling through Alisal Canyon Road outside Solvang last year

Sunday we (by "we" I mean Vegas Bob, Dawn, Ariel, Heidi, Teri, Darter and I) all met for an impromptu road ride along Pacific Coast Highway. The route was to roll due north up PCH to Point Mugu rock and back. That works out to over sixty miles, lightly hilly....and F******G WINDY! With gusts clocked at over sixty miles per hour yesterday, the lighter riders amongst us met an untimely demise on the way north. Just past Sycamore Canyon, Vegas Bob and Heidi both were blown entirely off the road and onto the sand and rocks off the highway.
We fought constant and unpredictable winds all the way up, seemingly into a headwind all the way...but Darter and I knew better. It's always worse going home.
Always. Fighting flat sections that I would normally cruise in the mid-twenties, we were fighting it every inch of the way back (35 miles, and hilly) in our climbing rings. With no money for beer and pizza, I began to feel hopelessly doomed. Telling Bob to carry on without me, save the kids, etc..we hung on to finish over FOUR HOURS LATER. My face was a huge salt-lick, and several horses followed me home and licked my face. If only they were dogs and I had peanut butter....oops, was that out loud?
After four plus hours of leaning into the wind and pedaling, we all split up and went home to watch football and collapse. Bob rode for another hour in the valley, then we ate...twice. Thanks to all who managed the suffer-fest, and by the way, the entire mountain above Pepperdine is all on fire today, right where we rode!



Sigma's new BC2006MHR
BC2006MHR is Sigma’s latest and greatest cycling computer. The new BC2006MHR has all the standard features of last year's BC1600 PLUS heart rate, altimeter, and temperature! The computer is completely wireless and will come with mounts that allow you to use either o-rings, zip ties, or both. And there’s more! Measure altitude on and off the bike…every BC2006MHR will come with a hiking bracket that will switch the computer into hiking mode, giving you hike times and altitude (DESI and other crunchy Sierra Clubbers take note!). The new computer from Sigma will be available in April and will retail for $129.99! For more details visit Kinda makes that new Nintendo Wii look like a Colecovision, eh?

Cap'n Chris

Friday, January 05, 2007

Pro Bike Fits @ The House Saturday!!

Tomorrow, January the 6th, I will have a professional bike fitter for the team at my house by 8:30am. Price is eighty dollars per bike, so come by and take advantage of this favor while you can. A proper bike fit can give you that extra percentile from your fitness that you did not know you had. From shimming the cleats to proper saddle height, this is the perforamnce upgrade you have been missing. Vegas Bob and Vanessa are up first, so ne need to be here too early. see ya tomorrow!


Thursday, January 04, 2007

King James Moves To Louisiana Temporarily.

"King James" Cross will be heading to Louisiana, where the state motto is "GOD DAMN IT'S HUMID!" He will be shooting for the new upcoming film "The Cleaner," starring Samuel L. Jackson. He will be where there are no mountains, and lots of gators. Poor James, only stationary trainers will be his workouts. Good luck James, try not to impregnate the toothless locals, ok?