Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Ohio Run

The Ohio trip this past weekend was great. I left Burbank on Saturday and it was about eighty degrees and sunny. I got to Ohio and it was twenty eight degrees and snowing! Thank god I am lard-butt Swede. My hotel in Columbus had collapsed due to the snowfall, so the night before I had to change hotel plans. I went from a four diamond resort to a four cockroach motor inn in the blink of an eye. Ever worry about the things your sleeping in while at a crappy motel? Me too. I wore my official KENDA BURKHA to bed, to prevent any unwanted disease from unwashed blankets.
In all fairness, the trip was actually great with the exception of the hotel. I like snow, so the weather was fine. I saw Columbus' entertainment districts, like the "Short North" and the "Brewery District." I even had a great little dinner at a sushi place called Haiku. I know, sushi in Ohio CAN'T possibly be good...but I have had worse in Santa Monica. Monday was the the day I had set up to actually meet with the KENDA peeps. Melody met me at the door and was great fun to talk to. She is the one who usually directs all the calls and is the hub for info there at the office. I saw Stefano right away in his cubicle, and he told me that has been moved to road bike stuff, and will probably not see much of us until Interbike. Scott, Stephen and Barry work in the wherehouse, busting ass to see that your tire orders are always filled correctly. Barry actaully loves to roll up to Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park and hit the logs on weekends!
I also was able to finally meet the dynamic duo, Cindy Mcgrail and Karen Harold.
Cindy works in Bicycle Sales, and loves making candles and golf. Karen is the woman who kindly takes your constantly flowing fax orders and sees that they get filled properly by the wherehouse fellows. karen loves boating, gardening, and wants to get back into cycling! Then, I was rolling through the office and ran into El Jefe himself, Mr. Lonnie (Buffet King) Wells. Lonnie is the G.M. and Vice President there at Kenda U.S.A. He has been employed at Kenda for 15 years, and spent the prior twenty years at Columbus Cycle. Lonnie is a vintage car buff (like me), so we spent some time discussing our old cars. He has a sweet 1978 Corvette! Lonnie also plays guitar on occasion at Kenda Holiday Parties with fellow employee and web-guru Lydia Brownfield.
Jeff "Tookie" Williams made a Herculanean effort for Backbonerdome and drove up from Kentucky in S***Y weather to meet with the Kenda employees, and me. We had a great time catching up in the KENDA meeting room, and marveled at all the bike memorabilia in Jim's he must be really old. And hairy. OK, REALLY HAIRY! :) I took Jeff, Lonnie and the crew for lunch at a Chinese Buffet that Lonnie apparently frequents. We sat in the Lonnie Wells Memorial Pagoda Lounge and at shrimp from the backs of Chinese concubines. Not really, but you soooo believed me, right? Anyhow, glad to be back, and sorry to have missed ya'll this past weekend. See ya at FONTUCKY this weeend!


2007 Team Apparel Has Arrived!

That's right jackals! For all of you loyal Backboners out there in racer land, it's the season opener PAYDAY FESTIVAL coming soon. ALL NEW TEAM KITS..CHECK. ALL NEW TEAM COMPUTERS FROM SIGMA..CHECK. ALL NEW TIRES FROM KENDA..CHECK. MONEY TO RACE AND TRAVEL ON COURTESY OF MFACTOR AND KENDA..CHECK. BRAND NEW PEDALS FROM XPEDO TO HAMMER ON..CHECK!...It's good to race here, right?
Thanks to all of you who for whatever reason (be it too lazy to look elsewhere, or just happy to be here) have stayed for so many seasons with me. From the Backbone vets to the newbies, you guys all rock, I love ya, and can't wait to see you all at the races. Peace out, bitches!!!


Monday, February 12, 2007

Jim's 2005 Backbone Video

Some riders and sponsors have changed, but the shennanigan's are still the same..

USA Cycling Changes

So here is the update....Sonoma (Cougar Mountain Classic) is off the schedule. In it's place, the popular Firestone Walker race will be the big dance. For now. Possible changes again, probably right after you booked your hotel rooms.

Also changes in the women's rules again. Thanks to you all's overwhelming support in signing the petition, SEVEN HUNDRED FEMALE RIDERS got their way. Here are the changes....Categories for Women's xc, non-pro;

Expert 40-49, and 50 plus
Beg and Sport 18 and under, 19-29, 30-39, and 40 plus.

Thanks to all the Backbone peeps who signed this petition.

Cap'n Chris To Visit Kenda Factory In Ohio This Weekend

That's right, I am leaving the 70 degree temps of Cali to go visit -20 degree temps of Columbus, Ohio. I will be out from Saturday to Tuesday, so you all should get together and ride this weekend. I will be working the motorcycle show in Indianapolis with Lonnie Wells and Lydia Brownfield, then go to the factory for a meet and greet on Monday.

Taylor Racing Bootleg This Weekend!

Backboner Taylor "The Heat" Libolt will be driving through the town that birthed the likes of Vegas Bob (Las Vegas), on his way to DH MECCA BOOTLEG CANYON! This a great place to race, and is home to the annual Interbike Outdoor Demo! For those of you not present at the time, I set the Interbike record for a flat repair at 57 seconds at Bootleg in 2005. Ahhh the memories. ANYHOW, T-Money will be rippin' it up out there desert style. Wish him luck, and hopefully he won't get suckered into working for the Thunder From Down Under Male Review like I did...

Fontucky Race Report

With Randy and I out for various reasons, we had to let Taylor and Vanessa hold it down this past weekend in Fontana. Ahhh Fontana, where the town motto is "hey, I can see the 60 freeway from here!" Saturday was XC race day for Expert bad-ass Vanessa Humic. All alone in her category (I can't blame them, would YOU wanna race her?) Vanessa was both first and dead last at the same time. She finally had a race free of mechanicals. That is TALENT bitches! Saturday was Taylor's day to practice his mad DH skills. Randy's wife and Backbone team chef was there representin' the toy hauler for the weekend, as Randy's nephew came to also race dh.
Saturday was a MUD FEST on the dh course. Taylor decided that he would be conservative and NOT throw his season away before it started. That was a great plan, as he drew himself three seconds closer to the first place finisher, and finished inside the top ten for the second week in a row. Great job!
Backbone Alum Chrissy Bono (Trek Regional) came out to race as the only Pro woman, and Kenda homie James "The Sister Crippler" Schwanke took third in the pro 4 cross, beaten only by the two World Champs that showed up (Kenda Alum Eric Carter).
Next race we should ahve a decent turnout, with rock stars like Randy, Vanessa, Vegas Bob (debuting his new legs), Taylor and Jay. Hell, i may even show up again and stretch the boundaries of LYCRA and good taste!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

MFACTOR Meet And Greet Ride Sunday

Hi kids! Marc from MFactor (and hopefully Ming & Mai) will be coming up Sunday to ride with me in the Santa Monica's, and I would love to see those of you not racing DH in Fontana show up. Vegas Bob has the flu, so he's out, but Heidi is already in. Thanks guys!

Cap'n Schnitzelfritz

Friday, February 09, 2007


No, ya big dorks, KEN himself did not give birth....but his wife did! Ken has been absent from recent e-mails because his baby was born a little earlier than planned. At a tad over seven pounds, the little lolli-pop poacher will no doubt soon be changing it's first flat tire, and figuring out how a chain breaker works. I'd say nice work, Ken, but your wife said you just laid there! :)
Best wishes, and send us a name for that child, would ya?


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Prototype Update

Being the giant nerd who (unfortunately for you guys) runs the program here at Backbone, I get certain perks. This year I have had the pleasure of testing more "R&D" product than ever. Kinda funny, since I am slower than Courtney Love's drug treatment plan. I have had some of these items for a while, and others for a short time, but I am prepared to give you an honest asessment of them.

First up will be the products from SIGMA. Desi and I have been running the Mirage EVO/X Endurance lighting system for a few weeks now, and it has proven to be not only reliable, but very well thought out for the racer. With the trademark "tools free" mounting, this system is a literal snap to get together. The lights can be mounted together on the bars, or split to do a bar/helmet combo. The batteries are the smallest and lightest I have ever seen, and really pack a punch. There are so many cool little
extras in this kit, it is a major player in my evening riding plans.

The SIGMA DTS 1706 HR is the new bar-candy I just unwrapped last week. It is the ONLY ONE in existance right now, and doesn't even have a manual written for it yet! My PC-15 last year was a major disappointment, but this new HRM/Computer has exceeded the shortcomings of the PC-15. With a stealthy black body and subdued color display, this computer gives me all the data I SHOULD need to get faster. Yeah, good luck with that.
On my previous HRM, the signal was so weak, it could not reach from strap to computer, and rarely read for more than a minute at a time. With the new digitally encoded strap, the info NEVER wavered on all the test rides so far...and has been waterproof..unlike the PC-15. With it's help, this computer may one day advance my brain to a point that would allow me to actually retrieve my own e-mail without the help of a nine year old. It gives more functions than I have time to list, so visit their link on the right of this blog for all the details.
My SUNLINE headset, developed by our own Jason Schippers for the Valencia Sport group, is amazing. Lighter than a KING, but so much sexier, my headset on the the hardtail Titus FCR is the inch and an eighth xc version. Jay first showed them to us at Interbike, along with the 1.5" headset, saddles, stems and bars he has developed. My headset has been burly and smooth, and with such exceptional design, should last for years. He designed the bearing cups to sit flush with the bearing, so that water and muck won't sit in and collect on the bearings like all other conventional headsets. That's great for me, since I like to ride in weather that would make a Monk Seal shiver.

Next up we'll look at the two proto KENDA tires I have been on for a while. The Dred Tread has been nothing short of phenomenal. I have been on the 1.8 since Interbike, and STILL have it on my FCR. It's light, but extraordinarily grippy thanks to a tread pattern reminescent of dirt tires from the early 90's. They are lower profile than tires of old, so it still manages to roll faster than I would have ever expected. I can't wait to put a 2.1 on my '07 Moto-Lite! I raced it for the first time at Southridge last week, and was stunned at it's ability to stay down in the loose and shifting sand there.
Next from KENDA is the SWS (side wall shield) equipped Nevegal, in the 2.35 version. Mounted on the Moto, it has been a destroyer of fear. Barging into rock gardens previously avoided, the SWS gives me confidence that I shall emerge unscathed from the stone hell I am thrusting myself upon. Winning "Best Of Show" in Tai-Pei last year, this technology will be ripped off by everyone as soon as they can find a way around the patents. Good luck with that.

XPEDO Pedals? That's right, freaks. XPEDO has stepped it up, and we have some sneaky-peeks at three different models. Randy Rush ripped his XTR crap off his Specialized Epic and replaced it with the XPEDO platform clipless all mountain pedals right before the last Southridge race. No practice, just a great way to test the intangeables of a new product. With no hesitation, Randy hit the course and was glowing about his new kicks. The pedals have adjustable bearing load on the axles, NO BUSHINGS (the achilles heel of other, more egg beatery products) and come in more colors and varieties than you thought you needed. No muddy binding either, which Shimano pedals have...which took my ankle from me in 1994. Then again in 1996.

The guys at TITUS, you know, E.J., Matthias, Pat, etc.? They have launched some amazing rigs this year. I have purchased two myself, because I am amazingly wealthy...that's why I sell blood and semen for cat food to eat. ANYHOW, my FCR (that's "Full Custom Race") arrived first. With welds so tight, they could seal a gnats ass this bike is a pure bred racer. The comfort level on a bike made FOR ME is something I wish you all could experience one day. Stiffer than expected, this bike is a rocket on climbs and out of the saddle. Geometry allows for loads of fun on REALLY..and I mean really...tight trails, and even droppy stuff if you have the huevos for it. I have yet to try the conversion to he singlespeed dropouts, but my buddy Andy will when his arrives next week. This bike is a no-shit racer that even in an age of full suspension, still gets me "ooohs and ahhhs" from other riders every day.
The Moto-Lite for '07 has been my main steed for the past two months now. Having ordered it before TITUS even had the carbon stays made up, I was #1 on the list. Ming's '06 is the same main frame as mine, but the '07 hs some small carbon bits like the swing link and seat stays. The bike, in a large, with 2.35 SWS Nevegals and Small Block Eights, and no carbon post (it came with it, but was replaced with a heavier Al. one.) weighs a scant 27.75 lbs. that's damn light for a bike with almost 6" of travel up front and huge tires. I have taken an EIGHT FOOT drop on this bike last week, on a night ride....NOT on purpose...and I never even bottomed out the fork. Without a question, this is the most versatile and neutral bike I have ever owned. I am going to race this TRAILBIKE next week just to prove how good it is. No flex, no creaking, nothing. I built it up w/ the exceptional TITUS all-mountain 2 kit, and have yet to even miss a shift. The parts are top notch, and the bike makes the SC Nomad look like a one legged kid in an ass-kickin' contest.

Please stop and ask me about any of these items on the trail or at the races, I will be glad to show you how they work, and what makes them tick!

Cap'n Chris Features Taylor (aka Charles) Libolt!

Charles "Taylor" Libolt is currently featured on's website article about the last Fontucky race! It's a great pic courtesy of Terry martin, who is a great photographer and a ripper on the singlespeed.

Great Job T-Bag, nice pic. Do they give out air sickness bags up there??


Monday, February 05, 2007

"Bridge To Nowhere" And The Horshoe Mine.

In 1929, Los Angeles comissioned a highway up through the San Gabriel River gorge that was to connect to the ski resorts at Wrightwood. Completed in 1936, this monumental task was to be short lived. On March 1st of 1938, FOURTEEN inches of rain fell, and by daybreak of the second, the "Bridge To Nowhere" was all that was left of the roadway. The project was promptly abandoned.
This year, the bridge will celebrate it's 71st birthday. It is still used to this day for Bungee Jumpers and as an all day ten mile hike destination.
On this creek-bottom hike, you can often see big horn sheep, tarantulas, and many species of amphibian. The bridge and all surrounding land is claimed by the relativs of the Saunders family, who first laid claim to this area for gold prospecting in 1909.
Back in 1888, land surveying was not as precise as it is today. The government thought it was building on public domain, but the Saunders estate has proven the land to be on their gold claim from 1909. The "Horshoe Mine" was named after the bend in the river where it is located, and still bears relics of the gold rush here. Sluices and old stone house footings can be found, as well as implements inside the mine itsself.

The last known mention of it was in a local L.A. hiking publication called "Trails Magazine" which only ran from 1934 to 1939. The mine is downstream of the bridge, but difficult to find due to it's location away from the hiking trail, and down a 600' ledge. The wife of the Saunders offspring, a VERY old woman who left the mountain many years ago, now lives in Texas and collects money from the Bungee Jumping company that runs tours here to the bridge.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Super Bowl Sunday Ride

Super Bowl Sunday is great...when it starts with a fun dirt ride with good friends. This morning we all met at Reseda, and ran the sixteen miles up Caballero Canyon, across Mulholland, up Cliffside Trail (yeah, no s**t " 4" wide "cliffside" enough?) out to Sullivan ridge, then down the picturesque Sullivan Canyon Trail. Unfortunately for us, we then had to turn around and reverse everything we just did. With 2,400 feet of climbing in 15 miles or so, it's not a bad little cruise to do before the beer drinking begins. The ride up Cab. canyon is only about a mile and a half long, but gains 924 feet!
In attendance today were "No-Way"Jay, Vegs Bob, Taylor, Ara, Jesse and Katie, and Mike and "Big Willie" McClure. Jay cracked me up when, near the bottom of Sullivan Canyon, a knuckle head in a full-face thought it would be wise to tailgate Jay. we let him by, becuase he apparently thought he was fast. He probably killed himself later, because Jay was up his arse furter than a Tijuana tape worm. Good times, good times.
It was about four and a half billion degrees here today, and I sweated so much I created a large Thunderhead over the Santa Monica Mountains. After the ride was all over, I had to drink about seventeen bottles of beer to recover. Thanks to everyone who came from the south, the west side, the north, the north east, and the far east to get here for the ride today. Ara even rode from Glendale to my house BEFORE we rode...that's like twenty miles before doing the fifteen, then he rode HOME again after! Frikkin Armenians.

Thanks guys, pics courtesy of Big Willie's dad, Michael..

Angie Everhart Is My New Neighbor

After today's Super Bowl Sunday mountain ride, Vegas Bob, Ara, and Taylor hung out for the game. At half time, my nighbor Jenn rolled by to inform me that my new wife, ANGIE EVERHART (see photo), just moved into the neighborhood. This is good for Beauford, because I will be walking him about four hours a day until I run in to her myself. And by "run in to her," I mean have crazy chinchilla sex with her. Just thought you'd like to know. God, I love my neighborhood. Did I mention I have an actress that lives behind me who walks around her yard naked? It's good to be the king.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Jim Roff's Rant

You guys have to click on the "Roff Report" link on the right and read the comedic stylings Of Jimbo! Look for the blog page about the newly refurbished Cal State Series, it's great..

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Weekend Rides/Game Party

Hi freaks and geeks! This Sat morning at 7am, I am meeting some folks for a solid trail ride from Cab Canyon, to Cliffside, to Sullivan and back. I have not ridden with these people before, and have no idead how long it will take...but it's a fun 90% trail ride. We meet at the Reseda Blvd trailhead for Caballero Canyon.
Sunday am Vegas Bob, Taylor and I will be going out (maybe with Ming and Mai) to Chesebro, Ahmanson Ranch, or BOTH! We need to be home by noon Sunday for the Superbowl, so we can watch Desi's handywork on NFL Network. Hope to see ya'll on one or both of these rides!

Superbowl party at my place on Sunday!