Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Sigma Sport Service

Now in their second year as a team sponsor of Backbone Adventure Cycling, James Keller and Sigma have once again proven their supreme coolness. After causing my PC-15 HRM to leak water, and after Ara ripped off yet ANOTHER computer mount, Mr. James "Stellar" Keller had BOTH replacements on my doorstep in a matter of about four days. I actually sent him an e-mail to follow up from work today...and felt like a total douche nozzle when I returned home. On my doorstep was a package with MORE than I asked for. SIGMA continues to amaze me with not only the design and quality of their products, but (more importantly)their willingness to stand behind them. Thanks to James and everyone at Sigma for the constant and valued support of our talented and GROWING team of scary-good bike people.

Cap'n Chris

Lance Cleared of Doping Charges

Dutch report clears Lance of doping in 1999
Associated Press
Posted: 1 hour ago

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - Dutch investigators cleared Lance Armstrong of doping in the 1999 Tour de France on Wednesday, and accused anti-doping authorities of misconduct in dealing with the American cyclist.

A 132-page report recommended convening a tribunal to discuss possible legal and ethical violations by the World Anti-Doping Agency and to consider "appropriate sanctions to remedy the violations."

The French sports daily L'Equipe reported in August that six of Armstrong's urine samples from 1999, when he won the first of his record seven-straight Tour titles, came back positive for the endurance-boosting hormone EPO when they were retested in 2004.

Armstrong has repeatedly denied using banned substances.

The International Cycling Union appointed Dutch lawyer Emile Vrijman last October to investigate the handling of urine tests from the 1999 Tour by the French national anti-doping laboratory, known by its French acronym LNDD.

Vrijman said Wednesday his report "exonerates Lance Armstrong completely with respect to alleged use of doping in the 1999 Tour de France."

The report also said the UCI had not damaged Armstrong by releasing doping control forms to the French newspaper.

The report said WADA and the LNDD may have "behaved in ways that are completely inconsistent with the rules and regulations of international anti-doping control testing," and may also have been against the law.

Vrijman, who headed the Dutch anti-doping agency for 10 years and later defended athletes accused of doping, worked on the report with Adriaan van der Veen, a scientist with the Dutch Metrology Laboratory.

EPO, or erythropoietin, is a synthetic hormone that boosts the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.

Testing for EPO only began in 2001.

Armstrong had challenged the validity of testing samples frozen six years ago, and how they were handled.

Vrijman said a further investigation was needed regarding the leaking of the results to the French paper.

He said a tribunal should be created to "provide a fair hearing" to the people and organizations suspected of misconduct and to decide on sanctions if warranted. Vrijman's statement did not specify what the alleged violations were.

The UCI said it was upset with Vrijman for commenting on the report before all parties involved in the case were informed.

"Upon reception of the document, the UCI will study in details the content before publishing it in its whole," the UCI said in a statement.

WADA chief Dick Pound said he hadn't received the report yet but, based on what he had read in news accounts, was highly critical of Vrijman's findings.

"It's clearly everything we feared. There was no interest in determining whether the samples Armstrong provided were positive or not," he told The Associated Press by telephone from Montreal. "We were afraid of that from the very beginning."

Pound reiterated his claim that the UCI had leaked the forms to a reporter from L'Equipe and was responsible for the doping samples being linked to Armstrong.

"Whether the samples were positive or not, I don't know how a Dutch lawyer with no expertise came to a conclusion that one of the leading laboratories in the world messed up on the analysis. To say Armstrong is totally exonerated seems strange," Pound said.

In a separate statement, WADA expressed "grave concern and strong disappointment" over Vrijman's reported comments.

"Elementary courtesy and professionalism would have dictated that WADA should have been provided with a copy of the report before interviews were given to the media," the statement said.

"WADA continues to stress its concern that an investigation into the matter must consider all aspects - not limited to how the damaging information regarding athletes' urine samples became public, but also addressing the question of whether anti-doping rules were violated by athletes."

The anti-doping lab at Chatenay-Malabry has been accused of violating confidentiality regulations.

Mario Zorzoli, the doctor who gave copies of Armstrong's doping control forms to L'Equipe, was suspended by the UCI for one month earlier this year. He has since been reinstated.

The full report was sent to the UCI, the LNDD, the French sports ministry, WADA and Armstrong's lawyer. The International Olympic Committee also had requested a copy.

The accusations against Armstrong raised questions about how frozen samples, routinely held for eight years, should be used.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Bev Takes 3rd in K.O.M. Challenge!

Ever say to yourself "I'll take them on the climbs?" If you are riding with Bev, you bring a Hankie, cuz the only thing you'll be doing on the climbs is crying like a bitch. Bev took third overall in the Planet Ultra King Of The Mountains Century Challenge! That is a three day, 323 mile stage race with 30, 800 feet of vertical!!
Your old Hyundai can't even DRIVE 30,800 feet of vertical! The final stage was 100 miles, with (oh, nothing) 8,700 feet of climbing. To put that in perspective, that would be like you riding from the beach all the way...who am I kidding, NO ONE knows how to compare the suffering! Congrats to Bevvie on her rock-star performance in the KOM, and please don't ever say to Bev "on you'r left," it may just be the last thing you ever do....

p.s. Can someone remind Bev to wear her team jerseys at races???

Cap'n chris

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Desi's New G-Ride

My lovely girlfriend Desi-Lou has made a purchase today....a spankin' new 2006 Toyota Matrix XR, fully pimped with curb feelers, spinners, hydraulics, metal flake green paint, woofers and tweeters, ohhhhh damn, my bad..that's Abel's new bike frame paint job. Desi's new Matrix is sweet, so you may see it instead of the ol' truck at rides in the future. It will be certainly decorated in vinyl finery from Backbone, Crank Bros, Kenda, etc..helping to set it apart from the herd. Do not put shaving cream on it, dog crap under the door handles, etc. That's my job!



I just read the most recent Roff Report tonight, and I must agree with Jim. Is anyone out there? Does anyone besides Jim and Vegas Bob respond to these pages? I take a monstrous amount of my time to taking, naming, downloading, and categorizing race pictures...and the subsequent posts...and does anyone read them? It doesn't cost anything to comment, and is meant to be a forum for the team, etc. If no one cares, maybe Jim and I can start a blog page about naked albino cave fish or something. Let me know, peeps, cuz I waste good beer drinking time on this!


Saturday, May 27, 2006

Mai Tai's New Titus Frame

Backbone team supporter and 2007 team member Mai Tai just received her new XXSmall Racer-X frame in the newly available white color. Look closely, as this upgraded frame has the carbon seat stays and carbon "swing link" on the rear end. I was not going to get a new bike this year, but after seeing this frame, and the attention to detail that Gus and the boys at Titus put on this frame...I am ordering one very soon! See you all next week in Santa Barbara!


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

More race pix

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Good Times/Bad Times

This weekend's Big Bear race was phenomenal..mostly because I only had to complete the pre-ride on Saturday and not the actual race! ;) As I pedaled away on a course that seemed to be waaaaay too much fireroad, I suddenly found myself makng a turn on to Red Ant Trail. WOW was that a friggin' blast! Steep drops, sand chutes, and rocky step-downs..mmmmmm. The Expert/Semi/Pro classes were in for a treat! With one of the longest and highest courses Big Bear has put out for a while, the true mountain biker had a distinct advantage. Even the final descent was down Fall Line, a generally tough xc finish for most.
As the night progressed on Saturday, familiar faces cam in to the old Switzerland Chalet. Ara and Stikkity, James, Papo, and Vegas Bob. We also had Roger and Vanessa, two new Backbone groupies from the Bert area. Although I really enjoyed being back in the ol' team condo, I definately missed Jim, Rhoda, and Brianna. Oh, and James, true to form, spent EIGHT F*****G HOURS tearing down his bike...again..the night before/morning of a race. If he didn't get his first podium of the year, I'd probably kill him...but he did great, so he can live...for now..

Sunday arrives, and beer bottles littered the place. It was a hive of activity, with me preparing the days feed zone stuff, and everyone preparing to race. With 25 miles, and 3,225' of climbing, Bert went off first. Vegas, Dawn, James and JAY SCHIPPERS (doesn't he race dh??) followed and the race was on. Bert pulled so much time on Red Ant trail, he ended up the 12th place Semi-Pro! Vegas had a blast on his Kona, Dawn..poor Dawn..she double flatted and had to walk..alot. We still love you Dawn! JAY PODIUMED and so did JAMES!!! They rocked the Sport course, and actually looked like they had some fun out there, to boot!
Desi, Stakk, Roger and I schlepped out on to the course for feed duties, and that seemed to work well. Everyone was watered up, gu'd up, and rollin' deep.
In the race for "Worst Day Ever" Kentucky Jeff edged out Colorado Roff! Jim had a crash and a resulting shoulder injury-to-dnf at the Mtn States Cup. Jeff, however, bested Jim by bending his wheel, flatting, crashing in a creek, separating his shoulder, dnf'ing...and.....his damn tick-bag of a dog bit someone! YOU WIN JEFF!
In other team news, Bev M. climbed about a frikkin' billion miles last month on her road bike. That's all for now, kids, hope to see you all soon. thanks to Roger, Desi, Ara, and Stakk for helping last weekend, and to Jim and Jeff's families, who will have to listen to them piss and moan for the next two weeks! :)


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Ballona Creek Ballers

I received an e-mail tonight from the Pacific Division P.D., which handles the Venice area here in L.A. In it he is asking all cyclists to PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THE BALLONA CREEK BIKE PATH due to increased gang activity. There have been murders, etc, of cyclists recently among other things. Please choose another route through the area if at all possible! Thanks...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Big Bear Challenge this weekend!

Allright peeps, it's that time again! We are only doing three races in Big Bear this year, so we will only get to stay in the team condo of death three times! Also, we will only get to visit Dongio's three times, too. I actually miss our Boulder Creek resorts this time last year we had already done 67 races there or something like that! It will be fun, I can't wait.
I get to install a water feature at 6:30 am on Monday morning, so PLEASE DO NOT PODIUM so I can go home Sunday before midnight from Snow Summit! haha...
Can't wait to se you all this weekend, hope all is well.
You didn't hear this from me, but World Famous Vegas Bob may ACTUALLY be moving out here in a couple of weeks! Also, Jim is racing this weekend in Colorado, so wish him luck. Have a great week everyone, and we'll see ya on the mountain.


Monday, May 15, 2006

Abels' New Team Paint Job..

Abel Vaca went out and had a sweet team paint job dialed in on his bike this week, complete with Ghost Flames and Desi and I's souls manifesting from the head-badge!
These pix just don't do it justice, so please talk to Abel and get the number of his paint guy!

Jim Roff To Race Mountain States Cup In Colorado!

Backbone All Star Jim Roff has announced his schedule for 2006, placing him in the very tough Mountain States Cup in Colorado. He will probably be doing DH, XC, and Single Speed (if I know Jim) and will probably look damn fine doing it. His schedule is as follows..

May 20-21st................Chile Challenge
June 10-11th...............Chalk Creek Stampede
June 24-25th...............Wildflower Rush
July 1-2nd.................Eldora Escape
July 15-16th...............Blast The Mass
July 29-30th...............Full Tilt Telluride
Sept. 24th.................Keystone Climax

Best of Luck Jimbo..DH jersey's are coming!!!

Cap'n Chris

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Ode to Downhillers...

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Death Of A Cel Phone

Turns out that in their natural habitat, the cel phone apparently hates water. I took mine to the waterfall in Eaton Canyon today for a little R & R, and took it swimming! Turns out, cel-phones can't swim. You can almost hear the little fella in my pocket, just below the water line, screaming for air. If I don't respond to voice mail for a few days you now know why. Funeral services will be held at Forest Lawn on Tuesday. Send any gifts to the Backbone Cel Phone Awarenes Fund, and help me make more folks aware of the plight of the cel phone. So many lives taken so senselessly....


Friday, May 12, 2006

Honey-Do Weekend..

Above is a picture of what I WOULD LIKE TO BE DOING, in the place I would like to be doing it. That, however, is not my reality. I am covered in spiders, flower goo, and freaking riddled with Bouganvillia spikes. Although I have donated tons of stuff the Idyllwild Challenge race this weekend on behalf of my favorite team (you guys), I can't be there. Life on the road as racers tends to leave the domicile in huge amounts of neglect. My nizzle Greg Pleiss can attest the hours of horrendous and back breaking work that goes in to home maintenance.
As I depart OSH with a new chainsaw and other accoutrements, I can' help but think of the hoodoos in the Southwest corner of Utah that I call home for a couple of weeks every year. I will share with you some shots, if only so that those of you who are also stuck at home away from that gypsy life, can live vicariously through the Backbone Team blog site. Enjoy, oh Kings of the Krysanthemums, and dream...

Cap'n Chris

Thursday, May 11, 2006

More NCS Fontucky Pix

Mammoth Changed To SONOMA...

It's official..the Mammoth National has been changed to SONOMA. It will be the same dates, etc. but due to 20 plus feet of snow, will not be held on Mammoth Mountain. Hope to see you all there!!


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Bev Sits In 3rd Overall For King Of The Mountains!

Backbone racer and altitude freak Bev has completed another leg of the King Of The Mountains Stage Race here in California, and sits in 3rd overall! She ran the last leg in just over seven hours, and now has a commanding lead of 10 minutes over 4th place. Great job Bevvie, hope to see you at the Rim Nordic race soon!


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Blog site technical difficulties?

hey guys, the blog seems to have a glitch on P.C.'s, but not on MAC's. The sponsor links/sits of interest info on my PC is waaaaay at the bottom, while on Desi's Mac it's where it should be. Please contact me if it is the same for you all!


More Shots From Fontucky

James at the start line

Bert on his gold medal winning Super-D run
This guy has some huevos, eh?

Monday, May 08, 2006

NORBA NCS Fontucky!!

Bob and Noemi back from the grave!
Fuzzy First!
Jay on the Rocks..
Rarely do we get to drive for an hour to participate in a NORBA National, but this past weekend, we did! In our very own backyard (the smelly one with all the cars parked on the lawn, and the Federal Government Superfund Cleanup Site) we had the first National of 2006. Starting things off for us was Ara "FUZZY" Movsessian in the 8am Marathon XC race. In just his second Marathon event, the Fuzziest placed on top of the box! First racer, first FIRST! Then came Bert "The Hurt" Blanchette with another STUNNING victory on his Seven Cycles Sola hardtail in Super-D. That's two racers, two Gold medals, one day.
Saturday was not much different, as Heidi "Der Teuffel" Volpe rampaged down the gnarly DH course to a stunning Silver medal! That was followed by a GOLD medal in the ladies XC around 3 o'clock. This chick is crazy good, even wearing a 40 lb. camelback! Then came Ryan Blanchette, Son Of Hurt, who hammered his way across the finish line in second place, narrowly missing the top spot. "King James" Cross tossed out the Holy Hand Grenade in the Sport XC and went over the bars on lap #1, but recovered and pounded his way into the top twenty. Not bad for a guy who biffed it in the rocks with an hour of racing left to go!
Sunday was all about the Downhillers. With this being our local course, things looked good for the Three Amigos in Semi-Pro. Jay was let out of the gate first, pummeling his bike through the stone to break the top fifteen. Taylor "White Shadow" Libolt was bent on destruction, since it is rumored he was actually CONCEIVED on the Pro/Expert DH course at Fontucky. With waht looked to be the fastest run seem so far, Taylor dominated the big rocks. Then, without much warning at all....FSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.....pinch flat....on the front the 40 miles per hour. Taylor now looks like Ernest Borgnine after a night of binge drinking at a Tijuana Donkey Show. Poor guy finished his run, then vowed revenge on the mountain that took his glory. Conor came shortly after Taylor, and blazed through the rocks and sand like crazy bastard. After almost mising the picture, Conor flung himself down the mountain to a well-respected top twenty five finish.
All said, I must admit that this weekend was really fun for me. Yes it was hot, yes it was dusty...but iI did get to see you all give 'er hell, and actually have a laugh after it was all over. I also managed to see Jim Wannamaker (KENDA) eat a banana for the very first time! Never in my life have I seen a man that hairy run so fast to a port-o-potty. Carl Lewis is a punk!
Thanks again to everyone for coming out, for helping out, and for hanging out. I'll miss you guys this weekend, but look forward to being home with my son, Beauford.

See ya'll in a couple weeks..

Cap'n Chris

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

great shot of Jay


Results have just been posted, and it appears as though Heidi did better than she thought! THIRD PLACE! Great job Heidi, thanks for representin'!

Also, MAMMOTH NCS venue will change, but the date will not. Venue has yet to be selected by USA CYCLING.

More Firestone Shots!

Monday, May 01, 2006

more pix!

One Team, Three Venues...

So this is what it's like to actually live up to the term "Backbone Adventure Cycling." This weekend we had THREE FRONTS on which to compete. In West Virginia's State Series, we had JEFF WILLIAMS busting out the Sport Class. In Lake Castaic, CA, we had HEIDI VOLPE re-tooling the women in the X-Terra qualifier, and up North in Los Olivos, we had the rest of the squad hitting the #3 Cal State race at Firestone-Walker Vineyards. My cel phone I think may have exploded during the past two days, with reports coming in from all over the country!
First to strike was Jeff, using his blazing fast KENDA tires to tear through a 60 plus deep field of XC racers. Jeff would slug it out to an amazing 4th place podium spot. I will hopefully have pix of Jeff soon! (hint-hint)
Heidi swam, rode and ran her collective ass off on Sunday, too. She called to tell me that although sh is but a Sport XC/DH racer, she absolutely SCHOOLED the Pro X-Terra women's field on the bike, making up many minutes from the swim. After talking trash on the hill climbs ("you ladies do these alot?") Heidi unfortunately struggled on the run...but still did very well (results pending, but top 10).
For the group at Firestone, Jay, Conor and Taylor (Chucky) were first up on Saturday for DH. With times in the 1:30's, the course was more 4X than DH, but VERY FRIGGIN FAST. Fontana NCS looming a week away, many Pro's came out to test their mettle and prepare for this weekend's big dance. Our boys played it conservative and raced clean enough to be injury free for this week. Taylor DID manage a sweet off-course tabletop landing on run #1 that may have ended in his own mandatory bowel evacuation.
Here is one of the great stories of the weekend..
ARA (the FUZZIEST) Movsessian, after NO SLEEP thanks to Stakk's moose-like snoring, was up and racing at 7:50am. WHY? The 75 miles of XC bliss called the "MARATHON." This being his first, no one really even expected him to finish the 1,200 feet per lap of climbing (5 laps!). In typical Fuzzy fashion, Ara kept going like a hairy Juggernaut, completing the race in under eight hours. Oh yeah, did I mention it was 80 degrees and humid as a mo' fo'? IT WAS. See the Jim Roff Family Colorado Report for Fuzzy's colorfull past at Firestone....please.
Next up was Ryan Blanchette. After a night of Sarsaparilla drinking in the Union Hotel bar, Ryan managed to sack up and run a huge xc lap out, finishing in SECOND PLACE! Dad, are you letting him borrow your Lance-approved E.P.O?
The next great story of the weekend............
Bert "The Hurt" was being rectally exponged by a NORCAL racer for a full 28 of the 29 miles of the semi-pro race! Watching the entire course from the Backbone Mobile Assault Vehicle (my truck), I watched as mile after mile went by with this lycra clad lesion attached to Bert's ass. In a move of historical unsportmanlike conduct, this jack-hole NEVER took a pull...and even had the bag to ask Bert for water as he was being "chauffered" around the course. Here comes one of the MANY reasons I like Bert....Bert never even said anything to this douche-nozzle. He just rode on and on, never asking the guy for help or even stopping to beat the living hell out of him. Good things come to good people though (is that why I have noth...never mind) and Bert placed inside the top ten in Semi-Pro, earning a spot to race at the Mammoth NORBA Champiionships. Nice work Bert!
Vegas Bob raced in the heat as well.....when he wakes up, I'll let you guys know how he did.....Bob.....wake up tomorrow Bob....:)
Dawn "my t-shirt has bumps" Lyons came out also, to defend her crushing 2nd place race from Bonelli. Aboard the world's crappiest bike (Intense Spyder), she still managed to claw her way to the finish line. Dawn dug so deep Sunday, it's gonna take a case of Double Barrel Ale and the "Thunder From Down Under" to help her recover!
King James came out swinging Sunday, as well. With a freshly rebuilt Turner rear-end and NO FRIGGIN WATER......(pregnant pause)..........................James hauled ass up a course he was assured he wasn't racing by the event timing staff. With a mis-communication between myself and James, he did not have a feed zone where he thought he would, and had to suck it up until he made it to where I thought it was...unfortunately it was too late to save the King, and we lost him due to de-hydration and lack of recent sex. O.K., I added the sex part, but the no-water thing really happened.
In attendance this weekend were faithfull Backbone support staff STIKKITY-STAKK, one of the Glendale Heavies who's not so heavy, Desi-Lou, Chris from the Union Hotel and Victorian Mansion, and Vanessa and her hubby. Thanks to Stakk especially for his tireless work at the e-z-up, and out on course feeding the peeps.
So that's it guys, next week is the NORBA National Series Opener here on our home turf, FONTUCKY! Pix will be posted over the next few days, so keep checking!
VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO LOYAL TEAM SPONSOR, UNION HOTEL AND VICTORIAN MANSION OWNER CHRISTINE WILLIAMS! We sucked up every room she had, and for what? A bunch of ungrateful, smelly mountain bike racers! I better hear about some thank you calls, or balls will be broken! Great job to ALL of you, and thanks for the constant updates fom Jeff and Heidi..

Cap'n Chris