Thursday, May 29, 2008

Taylor's MSC Update/Primer Pix!

Yo mang!
So I'm just about fully recovered from this last weekends race up in Angel Fire New Mexico. And, after traveling through such scenic places as Gallup, Albuquerque, and several other shady areas, I have decided that I really have no need to ever drive through New Mexico again. On the positive side, just about any Fireworks a man could possibly desire are completely legal. And, just in case any federal officers are reading this; I did not purchase illegal fireworks from the Reservation, nor did I transport them across state lines into California. With that out of the way, here is the race report:
I arrived into town early in the afternoon on Friday, and much to my surprise, it had been raining and snowing! What a change from earlier in the week in SoCal when it was close to 100 degrees. Jay and Jim had already been out on the course handling the mud and now, showing everybody what the Backboners are all about.
My first day of practice was quite a shock. Living in SoCal, I never get a chance to ride in cold snowy and muddy conditions. And as Jay pointed out, if it is raining/snowing, I'm probably going to skip my ride anyway. The course turned out to be the most challenging course I've ridden this year. The MSC crew incorporated a little bit of everything into the DH course; lots of rocks, long tree/wood sections, roots, drops, jumps, pedaling straights, and even a small road gap.

Practice went well, and the new Tomac Primer just handled the course like a dream. Unfortunately, the course changed rapidly throughout the weekend. From cold temps and snow on day one, to high seventy degree temps and dust on race day! My race run was unspectacular, I made a mistake entering the first rock section, and came to a complete stop thanks to a tree that jumped out in front of me. That first complete stop sort of set the tone for the rest of my race run, as I proceeded to ride off course several more times. After realizing that I was way too far back to have any sort of competitive result, I decided to sit back and enjoy the ride. I coasted the 2nd half of the course, and finished near the bottom of the pack. Oh well, after having solid podium finishes at the California State series races this year, I wasn't too bummed about one bad finish, especially on a such a challenging course with a brand new bike!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lydia's Myspace Music Page Is Up, and GIG INFO!

So Lyd got her MYSPACE MUSIC page up and running, with the acoustic set she recorded last week downloaded for your listening enjoyment! I put a link down on the right, so check it out. She also has a paying gig on SEPTEMBER 18th at the Thirsty Ear in Grandview, OH...AND two other shows booked for August and September in Atlanta and New York (Manhattan)!! Thanks to everyone who comes to her shows and supports her. See ya on the road!


Big Bear Shoot-Out This Weekend!

Jay-Hood actually podiumed in a XC race here in 2006! F*****G downhillers..

Vegas Bob ascending 1EO1 trail durng a 2006 XC race in Big Bear

This weekend the Cali crew will be heading to the former center of the mountain bike racing universe, Big Bear California. Staying in team sponsor Boulder Creek Resort's team condo in the parking lot at Snow Summit, the peeps will attempt to throw down on the local favorite xc course. Lots of climbing, fast singletrack, and the occasional raging fast run down Upper and Lower Fall Line make this race a winner. It's not unusual to reach speeds in excess of 45 mph on the dirt fireroad leading down to PineKnot trail! Fun, unless you are not comfortable with two-wheel slides.

Betsy finishing her race in 2004.

Come on up to Big Bear this weekend and help the guys drink beer and hang out! Vanessa said she'll try NOT to pass you on the pre-ride Saturday. Best of luck everyone, I miss ya and hope you all have a great time!

Vanessa Humic, voted "Best Legs In Racing" for 2008, on top of Snow Summit.

Professional photographer and all-around bad ass Michael Darter and the Pythons.

Bert, Dawn and I hanging out at awards in 2006.

NOMAD vs. Crappy Spray Tank

I hear people occasionally talk down to my beloved NOMAD H2O ON THE GO tank, and it makes me angry. They roll up with their sixty dollar hand sprayer they stole from the cemetary maintenance shed near their house and think it's the same. It's not. Not even close. The NOMAD system is better in so many ways. Jeff's 24hr race last weekend saw the tank get abused for lap after lap of filthy bike and filthy rider getting repeatedly cleaned to a "t."

I asked the guy to "fire up" his manually operated 1.5 gallon junk box and show me what it had. At FULL PRESSURE, it barely had enough spray force to knock the gnats off his ass. Even THAT was a close call. In about 90 seconds, it was empty. He had to run BACK to the lake, refill it, run back to the pit area, and repeat the whole process. No adjustable spray nozzle, NO reach (which means you stand in your own puddle eventually...after two dozen trips to refill the crappy tank), no pressure, manually pumping the thing after your wiped out from laps of racing, no filter in the line, and no storage space on each side for brushes and solvents..

I plugged in my NOMAD, and had enough water and pressure to knock dried mud off Jeff's bikes (BOTH bikes), give him AND the neighbor racer girl a shower, and still spray all the funk off his clothes. I didn't pump, didn't refill, and had a thirty foot radius from which to operate. Perfect. What's better? NOMAD is releasing a NEW tank that is cordless!!! It's larger, too. This little wonder tank beats your garden sprayer hands down, every time. Find a dealer and get one, especially if you race 24hr races. Nothing better than a post-race shower that doesn't end in jock-itch on your feet and hangy-down parts!

DH racers need NOMAD tanks for their rigs on the East coast, where mud is an ever present performance robber.

TOMAC PRIMER before NOMAD bath...


1/10th Of A Second; The Ryan Nolan Story



Friday practice went pretty good the conditions were pretty slick. I was less muddy than last week but actually harder to ride because the rocks and roots were like ice for some reason. I still got about 10 Runs on the new bike though and felt pretty good about everything. ( I would have got more runs in but bending my crank and pedal took about 2 runs time to go to the Sram trailer and get it fixed.

Ryan's new DH rig, the TOMAC PRIMER


Saturday the track was pretty dry with the exception of a few spots. It was much faster and more fun knowing you could pin just about everything with good traction. I did 3 practice runs on the track and walked and rode the few sections I felt slow in. My qualifying run went really smooth when I got to them bottom I realized it was the smoothest run I had ever had I did not take my foot off the pedal one time. This concerned me and with good reason because I missed qualifying by less than a tenth of a second. The worse part was is I held back some because I knew crashing would have been in instant non qualifying time. I wish I would have A: tried as hard as I could have which would have given me a qualifying time or B: tried as hard as I could have and crashed and had a better excuse why I did not qualify. There is always next year though and I learned a lot this weekend about what it is going to take to place where I want to so it was not a lost cause.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Jay's Angel Fire Race Report

The MSC race in Angel Fire NM was great. We got snow the first day that accumulated at the top of the mountain. The course was so much fun. Unfortunately, I am in terrible racing shape, and didn’t do too well. I guess that you really do need to train for semi-pro. I think this may have given me some motivation though. I will be back. Jim was riding real well and going fast all week. Unfortunately he was taken out of the race by an early morning race day crash on a different course that we had to ride down after not getting a practice on the race course that morning. There were 550 DH riders entered with a 1 hr practice window day of the race. We had plenty of time to practice throughout the week, but a run on the course on race day of would have been nice to check out conditions. I am not saying that this would of helped me though with my conditioning. Here are the semi-pro results (yeah, look way down there L) I had a great time riding the course with Jim and Taylor. It is nice to be back on the course after a year off.

Mexican Bitin Fish and the Holler; 24 Hrs Of Burn

I knew it would be a fun-soaked weekend with Tookie, Big Ed, and Tookie's mom within the first couple of hours. Along the route from Argilite, Kentucky to North Carolina a moment of comic gold presented it's self. While on a pee break for Jeff, who's bladder is the size of something everyone considers small (Randy's junk, Abels' book of sexual escapades, etc.) we ran into a bonafied Appalachian Holler Whore. Now, understand the word is actualy spelled "hollow." We are in hillbilly country though, so it's pronounced "holler." The difference between "holler" and "holler" when describing a place AND a form of hillbilly long-distance communication is still unclear, since they sound exactly the same. I'll try and use them in a sentence..."I was a' hollerin' at ye te cum down outta' the holler fer yer supper!" Does that help? Me anyhow, back to the A.H.W. So we stopped for the aforementioned pee break at a road-side gas station. All but me went in and upon returning to the car were approached. Not more than twenty, she had a dirty pink purse full of cigarettes and no shoes. Silver spray paint glistening in the summer sun on her upper lip, she had been huffing probably just minutes before and was clearly lacking that thing the rest of the country needs to handle the most basic human life functions..brain cells.

She hit up Big Ed to use his cel phone, at which he laughed and said no. When I asked her why she had forty dollars in smokes in her purse but no change for a pay phone, she looked at me for a second...then drooled in the utter confusion of the question. She said she had quit four times while she was pregnant with each of her four kids, but couldn't quit. I wondered if it was the cigarettes she couldn't quit, or the flat-backin' in the back of her pimp's windowless van that was the issue.
Jeff was next, and he was foolish enough to agree.
She would talk on his phone for twenty minutes before we finally had to pull the plug and roll out. We burned the phone at the next rest stop. It smelled of seafood and over-ripened liverwurst and we decided it was for the best. She would provide us with comic relief for the next five hours until reaching our destination in Wilkesboro, NC. On arrival to the venue, we set up camp right before a huge rain storm hit, but it was a warm night and we slept well.

The race wasn't until noon Saturday, so we slept until 7a.m. and had breakfast. Jeff was nervous and had not done a solo 24hr race for five years. We got his meal plan worked out, got him registered, and began loading several bottles with life saving Amino Vital powder. It was to be a LeMans start (not Le Mond Start), then off to the races. With 76 solo riders to compete with, it would be a fight to the death. Jeff was really great until about 4 or 5, when the shock to his system began to force his body to revolt a bit. he was actually in 3rd place at the time, behind the #1 and #2 guys in the 24 hr game being the Santa Cruz Syndicate rider Mark Hendershot, and some guy who often beats him. Jeff would hang on, continuing to race without rest until 3:30am when I asked him to get some sleep. He slept for three needed hours, and awoke in 22nd place. He would climb back in the saddle and slug it out back into the top twenty to finish, turning some of the fastest laps on the board.

Saturday night was much colder than Friday, so I slit open Big Ed's belly like a TaunTaun on the Ice Planet Hoth for Jeff to crawl into and sleep in the warm and inviting body cavity. Knowing that he had stayed with the best and made the top twenty with a job, college, a wife and a daughter was a great experience. This guy was all heart out there!

Big Ed and I tried to heckle him as much as possible to keep his morale low, "hollerin" things at him at each lap like "HeySkippy, that thing got a Hemi?" and "Don't suck, ya pickle smoocher!" Gay digs don't go over well here, where even mountin bikes have gun racks. A girl who was racing solo some time around 2am had blacked out on the bike from exhaustion and fell into a "crick." Apparently, this is some form of hillbilly stream, but it didn't end well and she was removed from the course on a stretcher. Jeff's mom would explain her surgeries to us throughout the night, at one point even removing her shirt to show me the Frankenstein-like slashes the dungeon-master doctors had carved across her. Being completely un-apathetic, we goofed on her as you would all expect. NOBODY gets special treatment here!

Jeff's 29r was great, but needed a new seatpost binder and it was slipping causing major cramps. I cracked my magic toolbox and KAZAM! TWO binders that fit that bike! He was off and running, so i checked over the backup bike. It was an old TREK 3900, and was in bad shape. I replaced the cables, the chain and the middle ring just in time for his next lap. It ran perfect, and no more bike issues happened during the race..not even a flat (thanks to the KENDA KARMA 29r tires)! We began to tear down camp while Tookie was out on his last lap, and by 1 pm we were out. The drive home would be one of the most hilrious few hours I have ever experienced. Many things were discussed...

Event sponsor Burn Energy Drink has Guarana in it because of it's caffeine content. While Big Ed was driving, Jeff read the ingredient label out loud. When he said "Guarana," Big Ed chimed up in his best Billy-Bob accent and asked "Ain't that Guarana one of them Mexican bitin' fish?" to which we exploded with laughter and had to temporarily pull off the highway until we could safely operate the vehicle. That was seriously one of the funniest summbitchin' things I have ever heard. We also discussed the proper spelling of "summbitch." Big Ed was the driver, and we were using Jeff's "TOMTOM" gps unit. While overdosed on Blue Grass music and punchy from laughter, Big Ed broke into song parody with his new hit tune, "TOMTOM Take The Wheel." It was too much to handle, and I blacked out..

We asked important questions like "Why do all Dodge trucks have a decal of Calvin and/or Hobbs pissing on something in the back window?"

We discussed the factual validity of large West Virginia billboards claiming the existance of "Clean Burning Coal."

The next sign we saw was for a law firm that specializes in mesothelioma (lung cancer) cases. That answered the previous question.

We also tested the merits of home schooling on the local populations as we stopped for food/gas. It doesn't work.

All in all it was a great trip. Tookie did great, the company was funny as hell, and the sponsor product worked great. The SIGMA EVO and EVO X lights and batteries did a great job of allowing Jeff to see everything. The Amino Vital product allowed him to NEVER have to stop due to cramps. The 661 gloves and SUNLINE V1 carbon bars took the sting out of the trail, and the KENDA KARMA's

never flatted or holed. The NOMAD was used to keep the bike in perfect condition...and as a shower after the race! People were super jealous as Jeff bathed in a shower-free environment!
BOTH the sets of XPEDO pedals worked great,
as did his Hydrapak for the HOT as hell day laps. Thanks to all for the great products and to Jeff, Big Ed, and Momma Jeff for their support!

Friday, May 23, 2008

MSC Race and 24hrs Of Wilkesboro This Weekend!

Jim Roff and Corty-40 (and Jay?) will be in Angel Fire, New Mexico for the Chile Challenge! Chuck-T may be on his way as well, but I think he's going somewehere else to race this weekend..maybe. Jim will be drinkng and trying to get Corty to quit smoking herb, and hopefully Jay will be racing. Tookie and I will be rolling to North Carolina to count mullets and meth-whores. Does it count twice if they are the same person? We may or may not also be counting rusted junk cars in uncut front yards as well. Ahhhhhh the power of moonshine! Have fun and good luck everyone!

Ryan's New TOMAC PRIMER For the U.S. Open!

Ryan got his BAD-ASS new TOMAC PRIMER (thanks Joel) in the mail yesterday at 11:30 a.m. This is what TWO HOURS of labor looks like! Holy crap, I am just jealous as hell. Ryan got her all together for the upcoming U.S. Open Of Downhill, and even got a few practice runs in yesterday in PA! Taylor got his built this week as well, and was able to also get out for practice at Sycamore Canyon in Riverside, CA.