Sunday, January 29, 2006

Bev Sets Standard

Bev has set a great goal for anyone to beat this week! She has a total of 225 miles of total riding! If anyone can beat that, please let me know, and I'll post it for sure. Great job Bev, those base miles will pay off come April!


Can San Juan Trail be more fun? I doubt it. In the fifteen years or so I have been riding that trtail, it has yet to bore me, or make me get off and walk something. Thank GOD we did it yesterday for Vegas Bob's (formerly Hot-Dog Bob) birthday. It was cool, sunny, and perfect for a shuttle run with teammate Betsy, hubby Tim, Steeps Shawn, and Willey family friend Steve.
After the normal rock-laden start, we dropped in towards Chiquito Falls Cut-Off, and sped out to the fast and rolly stuff. Everyone who had never done this type of riding, was brutally awakened to the reality of having to step up their game..or die trying.
Tim was aboard an '06 Stumpy rental bike....very nice, and very forgiving. Betsy and I had the hardtails, representing old-school style. After passing (again) two fella's on five thousand dollar fully Santa Cruz's, we realized that THIS time one of them had taken a turn for the worst. After smashing into a rock, he flipped over, bashed open his knee, and was proceeding to beat his wheel out on a rock to attempt to straighten it out. Ouch. At this point, our mostly newbie group was all smiles, having dealt with their fear of eating shit about three hundred times, and handling this new found confidence well. They were running that unforeseen gauntlet, and winning!
At the half way point, we had more fast and fun stuff than slow and rocky, so the attitude brightened. We rolled across the meadow, launching off the rollers, and dropped into the upper switchbacks. The rain really worked these turns, and careless riders were taking great pains to DRAG THEIR BRAKES around each corner, gouging out huge, deep ruts through them. After about six or seven near death experiences from loose sand and rut-riding, we hit the last section of turns, and descended to the cool canyon bottom.
We cleaned up, and re-grouped with Vegas' O.C. squeeze at a Brewery. Beer...mmmmmmmm

Happy Birthday, Vegas Bob, and thanks for the great ride!

Cap'n Chris

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Jay and Jim grab medals at Fontana

Sorry guys, I wrote this Monday, and apparently forgot to save it to the blogsite!
Jim and Jay went out to Fontucky last weekend, and busted a double podium for Backbone! Jay (semi-pro) raced down to a 4th place of his best at Fontana. Jim, in his DH debut, placed second in Sport, and would have gotten 7th in Expert! Sweeet! Great job guys! Sorry I have no pix, I am at work doing this, because our cable modem is dead at home. Hope to see ya'll this weekend, and remember that Jim leaves for Colorado next week, so call him and buy him booze!


Vegas Bob Ride and Fontana Race

Vegas Bob's b-day ride is coming up, and we'd like to head down to the OC for a San Juan trail run. This will be on saturday, January the 28th. ON SUNDAY, the 29th, we have another istallment of the Southridge races in Fontana. We should have both DH, and XC racers there! Sweeeet....Contact me for details on either!


Friday, January 13, 2006

Sea To Sea Trail 60% Complete!

San Diego county has been working on a project now for some time, that you all may want to know about! It's called the Sea to Sea Trail, and it covers approx 200 miles of trail from San Clemente Canyon, to the Salton Sea. It is officially 60 % complete, and may have the cool factor of hut-to hut access if the funding gets approved! Oh, and yes, BIKES ARE ALLOWED!! Check it out...


Thursday, January 12, 2006



Hi guys! Looking at the USCF website, NORBA has changed the schedule around...AGAIN! There will now be a race in Sonoma, CA (Sea Otter course) on July 15-16th, at INFINEON RACEWAY. Please make a note of it! Aliso/Wood Canyon ride this Sat at 9 am, and DH practice at Fontucky Saturday for those racing Sunday..


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

DH Race/Aliso Ride

This Saturday, we have a sweet little ride going down in The O.C. Betsy is leading out the ride Saturday at 9am. Give yourself a couple of hours to get there from L.A. The exit is off the 5, not far beyond the 405 interchange. Go to and check the WIKI map for directions!

Also the guys have a DH race in Fontana on Sunday! Come out with me and help cheer on the fellas! Conor will be there, but not racing, due to a wrist fracture. Jay, Taylor, and Ryan should all be there slugging it out!


Thursday, January 05, 2006


Well, surprise, surprise. NORBA/USCF has changed the schedule, AGAIN! Smelly Bonelli will NOT be hosting an NCS race for 2006. Our neighbor to the south, Don Jackson and Southridge Racing, will host the event! Please check your local USCF website for updated schedules. Please check out the and help me help THEM build a large trail network map!



Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Christie, Teri, Papo say goodbye...

It's true, Backbone had seen little Christie Miller become Christie Pleiss. She started out coming to Desi and I as a Sport racer from the mid-west (Expert there), who was eager to grow in the sport of cycling. We were CFR then, and I had big plans for the team. The team at that time consisted of Desi and I, Bert, and Tommy. Christie would become California's exemplary Sport class racer, then move to Expert. She became the State Champ, Am Cup Champ, and even the Rim Nordic Champ. At Big Bear's NCS race in 2004, she placed an astounding SECOND in Expert XC, and even did her first Short track race.
She and Greg have been everywhere with me, from Solvang Centuries, to Utah, to the "DirtyBird." Christie "White Chocolate" Pleiss is a consummate competitor, who will exploit every angle to whip your ass, then take you out for beers after. She has been a great friend, and helped me to build Backbone into the super-team it has become over the past year. Without Christie (and Bert), we would have had no "backbone" to Backbone, and she will be greatly missed. Christie heads to the TREK/K&N FILTER TEAM for 2006. Wish her luck, along with ex-Backbone sister Teri "Playa" Strayer.
Teri was introduced to us with her DH Semi-Pro Hubbie, Jay, in 2004. Teri also came in as a Sport racer, but quickly turned Expert as 2005 approached. She has been the bubbly, french-manicured, always late but always on the podium wing-woman that spearheaded the Backbone ladies races. I have not had the FOUR plus years of time to get to know Teri, but look forward to watching her mature as a Pro racer, and Christie's teammate on the K&N Filter team.
Ray "Papo" Caballero has also announced his desire to fly other colors for 2006. Papo trains every day with the boys over at HELEN's cyclery. He will be representing the gold and green for 2006, and will be missed as well. Papo has been one of the surprises of my managerial career. In the beginning, on a tip from James, I tried to get him on when we were still CFR. It didn't work out then, but I was glad it did last year. Papo tore up the Expert field, and always managed to seem like he just smoked about 47 pounds of weed! This guy is so chilled out, you'd think he was sleeping...if he weren't pounding your ass all over the mountain! Props to Papo, we will miss him greatly.
As you all can imagine, this has taken a tremendous toll on me personally. I put 110% of myself not just in to the team, but to all of you individually as well. To lose ANY of you is like a heart attack for me. I promised myself that when I started this team, I would do everything possible to see that you all had a great cycling experience, regardless of category or results. The mere fact that Christie, Teri and Papo were able to move from Sport racers to Pro's and experts in such a short time I guess is a testament to that devotion and hard work, no just by me, but by all of you. Thanks for the past few years, Christie, and the past season or two from Papo and Teri. Good Luck, and knock 'em dead...

Cap'n Chris

Monday, January 02, 2006

New Year's Resolution Ride

It rained so freakin bad on Saturday's Rocky Peak ride, I think the sea level 15 feet, covering what used to be Santa Monica up to about the 405 freeway. The group consisted of Fuzzy, Jim, Jay, Teri, Dawn, Vegas Bob, Betsy, and I. For a couple of hours, we slogged through cake-mud, then we slipped and slid through wet, sloppy mud. It was all on slick, sand stone rock, on a singletrack trail that was often times hard to see through the fog. Betsy and I were the only retro-retards on hardtails with rim brakes (they soon turned to NO brakes). The ride was super-fun, and we only had one real casualty, which as you all know, generally turns out to be FUZZY. Poor Fuzzy. That was his last testicle.
Everyone made it back safely, but my truck still has damp seats. My shoes haven't dried out, either.
Yesterday's ride was great! VERY foggy in the Santa Monica Mountains, and the rain threatened us throughout the ride. We had Joy, Desi, Betsy, and Shawn from the Steeps. Cab Canyon was a fun, cold climb up to dirt Mullholland, then out to Backbone Trail. We had to turn around at Will Roger's, as the rain droplets were beginning to make Betsy question my decision making abilities. We turned back, and split up at Cab Canyon's descent. Betsy, Desi, and Shawn went back to the car, while Joy and I went up Cliffside Trail and out to Nike. We turned back there, and headed straight back to Cab Canyon just minutes before the clouds broke open again.
Hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year's Eve, look forward to riding with you all soon.

Cap'n Chris