Monday, July 30, 2007

Tookie And SIGMA Finish The 24/9 Alive!

SIGMA's Endurance light system

Jeff "Tookie" Williams (KY) drove without me all the way up to Wisconsin on Friday, because I couldn't get off of work. His mom drove with him, feeding him pre-race food like peanut-butter fudge and salami and cheese sandwiches. Upon arriving, James Keller and the SIGMA boys took them out for dinner. Somewhere in there, Jeff had told the guys that he had once raced these events solo. BIG MISTAKE. The SIGMA boys decided that they would allow Jeff to pretty much start (and finish) the race by himself while they slept. Now, I'm not saying I wouldn't have done that either, just wanted to put that out there.
With the world's worst transitions, and with Tookie running a lap without his transponder, our boys were as ready for this as Nick Nolte was for his arrest photo a few years ago. About 6a.m., they were all asleep. Jeff's mom decided to call Shenannigans, and took Jeff's 29er for a lap with his ankle chip. She turned the fastest lap of the whole group, and then made fudge.
Jeff will return home today, and hopefully will not be carrying James' love child. I heard it was cold, and James gets kinda handsy in the wee hours....

Thanks to SIGMA, and my beeatch Jeff.

Heidi "Cougar" Volpe Wins Everything

Heidi "The Cougar" Volpe has won everything, and will now begin a fruitfull attempt at snowmobile racing. At FORTY (oh my god, really?) years old, she knows she is very close to death, and would like to compete in something else before the icy hand of the Grim Reaper takes her away into the night. Heidi has clinched the Rim Nordic series, and the California State Series. She may actually be leading the points in Cougar class in the NCS series, too, I'll have to check. She could honestly win the overall Pro DH category, as well. I asked her not to race DH because at her advanced age, she could splinter a hip. :)

Girl Gone Wild

Backbone's very own Vanessa Humic has spent the past week and a half living out of her car. Did Roger kick her out for drinking all the beer? Naaahhhh....she actually DROVE to North Carolina to race the National. On the way, she spent the night sleeping in her car in truck stops, and was seen setting up her wind trainer in these rest areas to spin out her legs. Occasionally stopping in places where tiny white girls shouldn't be, she heard things like "you got a perty mouth on you," and "your hands are all soft and supple, like a lady." Vanessa is a mini-cougar in training, though, and would probably have made any of these people pay with their lives...or their junk.
She started out well, but on her first lap (after all that driving) she flatted. Fixing the flat in the pouring rain and mud, she managed to finish the race. Getting some points, but finishing last due to the mechanical, she maintians a decent spot in the overall points spread. All the OPEC nations would like to thank Vanessa for driving a billion miles and buying gas at 5 bucks a gallon...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

DH Race Update From Ryan Nolan

Hey Chris,
Just want to check in with you let you know how things are going.

The US Open went pretty well for me this year. The race starts off with qualifiers with about 300AM riders and then they take the top 100 for the real race. I qualified 21st out of 300 and ended up 15th out of 100 in the race. Overall the race went pretty well and I was pleased with my riding, there was some sand bagging going on for sure though due to the value of the prizes they gave out. (1st got a 5000$ bike).

Next race was a Diablo Domination race which holds a AM/ Pro format. This was my first pro race and the course was great. I am always more motivated to ride when I like the course and this was one of their better ones, had some high speed sections on the slope, some crazy rock gardens in the woods, and a 35ft double as the finish line jump. I had to battle with most of the fast east coast riders and I ended up 18th of about 30 racers. It could have went a little better but overall it went well and it opened my eyes up to what I need to do to beat these guys. GET TRAINING!!

My first time to Plattekill and the course was cross country mixed in with some downhill. Most of the course was pretty flat with 2 steep but short sections. A all mountain bike would be been great if not for the 2 steep sections which would have been a little crazy to attempt with out a duel crown fork. Im sure I have said it before but my favorit courses are ones that I dont have to pedal much in so this was not one of them. My finishing place reflected this with a 7th out of 15 in expert 19-24. Once again this race opened my eyes to my fittness and what I need to do.

National Championships Mount Snow VT

Last year this was my favorit course of the year with its high speed motocross like feel. This year there were some sections that were almost up to my knee in water and mud. My first practice run down I got a flat tire from hucking off the edge of a rock face in order to dodge another rider. My second run down went awesome I was drifting most turns and hitting every line I saw when I walked the course, I felt like Sam Hill. The feeling didn't last for long though as my third practice run would be my last. I got through the most difficult section no problem but after it was a wide right hand sweeper which had a single large rock right in the main line. I know better but coming into it I could not take my eye off this rock so naturally I hit it and fliped over the bars landed in a deep mud puddle laughed and got back on my bike. I went about 10 feet after that spot and I dont really remember what happend but I found my self riding on my fr ont wheel off the trail into the woods. Next thing I know I was over the bars again but this time there was trees and rocks to brake my fall not soft mud. After this I layed there for about 30 minutes in pain before I could finnaly stand. After it happend I felt like I was going to pass out and all I could think about was getting a drink of water. When I went down to get some ice the medics told me I could have a hairline fracture in my femur, they said when you break a bone you will usually get that feeling like you are going to pass out. I couldn't ride my bike or even put pressure on my leg while standing. So I was not able to race in the National Champinships this year hopefully next year I won't take my self out..... Good news is my leg is feeling much better today.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vanessa's Mountain Bike Action Pic

Backbone's own XC and Super-Dizzle racer Vanessa Humic was caught showing her good side (oooh..buuuurrrrrnnnn) in Mountain Bike Action this month. The photo was taken at Sea Otter this year on the Super-D course. Thanks to the magnificent John Ker at MBA for the picture. Look for results after this weekend from Vanessa, who is en-route to North Carolina to avenge Bert Blanchette after his gnarly crash in VT on the Super-D course.

Jeff "Tookie" Williams' Florida Vacation

I'm back from Florida from a some what relaxing vacation, where the heat was like standing next to the 7th rim of hell, but as always its a learning vacation also.
1. Crossbikes don't handle very well in sand.
2. looking for lizards with a butterfly net with your kid is a blast.
3. Cubans' on the run are the best cuban sandwiches in Orlando.
4. Disney world is one step below Wal-Mart for global domination.
5. 4ft rat snakes in the circle K parking lot don't like to be picked up.
6. 14 hour drive back home after taking a header over the bars of a cross bike and cracking your helmet earlier that morning, makes the 2007 vacation complete.

talk later

Monday, July 23, 2007

Camp-N-Rizzle Under Planning Phase

Hey everyone! Team fundraiser/get together is under the planning stages as we speak, and I'd love to know what ya'll would like to do for a venue location. Last year we went to the Big Laguna Mountains in San Diego. That was great, but I also know everyone likes Sycamore canyon in Ventura County, as well. Please get back to me so I may tally the votes and secure campgrounds and flight accomodations. Talk soon, and tell the one or two friends you may or may NOT have! :)


Camp-N-Ride 2006 in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

Charles and Jay in Sycamore Canyon, on Two Foxes Trail

Tim and the KENDA tent, Cuyamaca.

Cuyamaca attendees showing off their sweet SIGMA raffle prizes

King James on Noble Canyon trail, on his LENZ Sport Behemoth bike of death.

The boys on Noble Canyon Trail, after ascending Indian Creek Trail

Betsy happily climbing the burnt remains of Black Oak Trail in Cuyamaca

Sycamore Camp-N-Ride 2006's Raffle evening on Saturday.

Tim, Bob and I at the campfire in Sycamore.

Mary Mac Wins, Mike B. Takes Third!

Mary Mac and Mike Broderick (SEVEN CYCLES/KENDA)both had stellar weekends in Vermont. Mary won the Pro XC, and Mike took an amazing THIRD! I guess all that World Cup racing really DOES make a difference after all. They also had great Super-D races, with mary winning and Mike taking podium honors as well! Congrats to both of them, and buy them a beer when you see them next!


Bert Blanchette Crashes In Vermont Sunday

Backbone's National 2006 Super-D National Champion and all around great guy, Bert Blanchette, had a terrible crash yesterday in Vermont. I had a long conversation with Jim Wannamaker (Kenda USA) this morning, and he had told me that Bert had suffered severe lacerations on his legs and back. While able to walk (barely), Bert was saying that he was happy that it wasn't any worse. Apparently the course had to pretty rough, since Bert can ride more stuff on his hardtail than most people can clean on a DH bike.

***Bert and Vanessa at Sea Otter this year***

I tried calling him today, but will assume he is in recovery at this point. My guess is that Bert will NOT be racing in North Carolina at the end of the month. I will attempt to reach Ryan tonight for an update on Bert's condition.

Rim Nordic Shots Courtesy Of Michael Darter!

"King James" Cross, holding his Golden ticket to Expert Class.

Vanessa Humic, Backbone's next run at the Pro classes.

Heidi "Quadzilla" Volpe, after checking her times against the Pro men...

Michael "Snapster" Darter in a self portrait called "I won and you didn't."

Brant "Fuzzy II" Hutton, holding up his favorite thing to handle on a Sunday..but

Thursday, July 19, 2007


During this week, about 65 years ago, Roger's mom passed him like a gall-stone from her body cavity. Strangely, empty beer bottles and KFC wax-paper buckets also were crapped out. Scared senseless, she quickly gave up drinking and gave Roger to the proper handlers....US! Happy B-day Roger, wish I were there to have a beer with ya!


Rim Nordic Race Update From Roger

hi chris,

This past sunday was another grueling long race at a real mountain bike course ,and i wanted to let you know that your racers are the best!!! We had a great attendance and its great to be on a team where everybody pitches in and helps out each other. Not only are they getting ready for their race they are mingling and networking and talking up our Great sponsors and their awesome products they have let us use!!! Always thanks to Kenda and their wide variety of specialty tires, Sigma for telling us how far we gone and when we are going to have a heart attack, Xepedo for put the power to the ground and letting us unclip in time during bail-outs, HydraPack for keep us cool, and M-factor for the shirts on our backs!!! I know this is the short list on sponsors but I'm at work and have to keep this report short...

first on the agenda, the super niner couple Michael Darter and Heidi Volpe, this was there last race of this season and I wanted to thank them both for the support and for earning the team all those awesome trinket medals this year!!! They are getting married and will be spending the rest of the season getting ready for their wedding and wrestling in their underwear during the honeymoon...

Rim Nordic / Cal State race 7/15/07

M.D. turned the fastest time of the day for our team 2:34:32 for three laps giving us a 5th place finish in expert class 40-44. Michael was back on a new BackBone Blue niner and was ripping it up. Just to give you an idea of how tough a field he was in, the 1st place finisher in his category got the second fastest time off all the racers that day including pro and semi-pro field... Nice finish on the season Darter Man!!!

Heidi Volpe-Darter (V.D.) :) gave us a 1st place medal again in expert 40-49, she did 2 laps in a mere 2:04:10... she says she owes it all to long hours at work, healthy foods and training for upcoming honeymoon...

Vanessa Humic took second place in another xterra challenge 3 laps expert 19-29 3:24:38. Wow she must really love riding that mtn bike??? Nothing spells fun like going at race pace for 3 1/2 hours... Vanessa had a nasty fall off the cliff at the end of the race and decided to do rock climbing for awhile before getting back on the bike and finishing... she just crazy and all mine hands off SHo-AIr goons

Brant Hutton expert 30-34 stole 1st place with a 3 lap 2:34:36. I asked him how he can achieve such feats??? He said a fine tuned training schedule of going to the O.C. fair eating funnel cakes, and chasing them down with Red Bull/Vodkas followed by drunken dancing and girl chasin...

Vegas Bob expert 30-34 started out of the gate like a mad man and was en-route for a great finish, but the course and the heat proved to be the victor that day... Vegas swears a pox and revenge on the mountain and will be training hard for their next battle...

Randy Rush sport 40-44 2 laps 2:08:08 earned us a middle of the pack finish in a steroid packed field of 25 riders, nice job randy. He promises next race to stop jumping off his bike and playing the dirt, but he still a kid at heart...

James Cross sport 40-44 2 laps 1:43:05 4th place... rock that niner JAIME !!! Just for the record james was on time, bike ready and at the start line ready to go, you make me so proud, little james is all grown up now ....

also special mention to Matthew Tome beginner jr 13-14 3rd place !!! and thanks to Vicki Tome for help in the feed zone handing out water bottles and cheers!!!

yours truly Roger H.

Jay and The Fuzziest Go To Colorado

Ara and Jay go to CO

The year was 2007. The date was June 28th. One Armenian was about to go where he has never gone before. Colorado. This is the story of Ara “Fuzzy” Movessianianboomshakalak and his journey to the far east (or just a little east to Denver). The ship (aka 661 van) arrived to pick up the little fuzzy guy at his house on this Thursday night. The adventure started out with the neighborhood drunk and trying to get Ara’s 2 bikes into the van along with my 5 bikes, the CRF 50 and enough of my gear to survive on the road infinitely. We drove through the desert for most of the night taking a short break to cuddle somewhere on the 15 in Utah. Ara woke before me to drive a while in the morning but I believe he slept about 12 of the 14 hours that we were in the van.

The first stop was Keystone resort where we met up with Mr. Jim Roff. We pooped. We then set up the most prestige camp where we readied our bikes in preparation of a full day of riding the next day. All was well until the meany security guard kicked us out for illegal camping. This worked out to my favor as we headed back to the Roff residence for a shower and Rhoda’s great cooking. This is where the story changes gears. Mainly because if I keep going in this much detail, everybody will stop reading, somebody will get arrested and I will have no idea what I am talking about, because parts were a blur.

So here are some highlights of our trip not particularly in chronological order. We rode at Winter Park resort where Ara took to the lifts and “didn’t crash” at least twice. We hit up Keystone resort again where Jim did crash twice and Ara decided to avoid the lift and earn his way to the top of the mountain. We spent the other days riding Jim’s local cross country trails which where some of the best trails that I have ridden in a long time. We watched 4th of July fireworks from the Roff’s balcony (we all held hands). Visited Dana, Shane, Ross, and the boys at the Yeti factory. Did a little “bar” tour with Rhoda’s co-workers. Stopped by the New Belgium brewery in Fort Collins. By the way, next time you talk to Jim ask him how a full growler feels on your toes (major party foul), Spent time in between working on our tans at the pool and hot tubbing. We managed to do all of this while drinking and eating Rhoda’s food the whole time. I do have to mention that at one point, the youngin (not to mention any names) said NO to beer. So disappointed. We also managed to get to the movies for the opening night of the Transformers movie. Best true story that I have ever seen on the big screen.

So that is a quick summary of what I can remember from my part of the trip or that I can tell with out getting anybody in trouble or highly embarrassed. All in all it was one of the best trips that I have ever taken. I can’t wait to go back. Actually, I am going back this Friday. I would like to thank my little fuzzy co-pilot/room mate for the week, Jim, Rhoda, and somebody else (hmmm…) for the great time that I had there. The pictures that we took probably tell a better story than my words, so enjoy them.

Ok, so this is the little part at the end of the movie when they don’t tell you the end of the movie so they cheat and explain the rest to you.

July 8th
Jay went on to leave CO on his own to do the full drive in one shot and arrive home at 4:00 am that Monday morning were he was found overdosed on coffee and Monster.

July 14th
Jim and Ara completed the Triple Bypass ride with a total of 129 miles and over 10,000 feet of climbing. Animals I tell you, animals.

July 16th
Ara boards the plane back to CA with a tear in his eye. Armenians reside in Glendale buddy. Sorry.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sasquatch Trio Found In California

Southern California has seen a flurry of Sasquatchian activity this year. Turns out the Santa Monica Mountains have been a place of much activity. These upright bipeds are known to be male, and run in packs of three. Going by the names "Ara, Darter, and Brent," they have attempted to assimilate into a degenerate style of human life known as "mountain biker." Probably realizing that mountain bikers neither bathe nor shave, the ruse would last much longer than if they tried to enter the normal workforce.

("Ara," here at a restaurant in Solvang. He apparantly felt a connection to the buffalo head, perhaps mistakenly identifying him as a relative.)

Mountain bikers are typically smelly, hairy, and kinda slow-witted, so these animals have some success in their endeavours. Wearing the customary clothing, these beasts have managed to even land spots on a local mountain bike team, Backbone Adventure Cycling. With course hair bristling from the well-designed Backbone team artwork, these male Yetis manage to carry on as though nothing were amiss. Are human mountain bikers that dim-witted? Time will tell.

Known as "Brant Hutton," the newest of this gaggle of sasquatches seems to like the ladies. Here he is seen displaying aggresive mating rituals with the resident team females. His real mate could not be reached for comment, and has declined use of her likeness in this photo, taken shortly after "Brant's" transgression. She is presumed to be living in O.J. Simpson's old house in Brentwood as it has been vacant for some time.

(Jane Doe, "Brant's" recently disavowed mate.)

The one they call "Darter" has been seen in the Topanga Canyon area. Often passing human riders at local races in CA and UT, he seems to posess a super-human ability on a bicycle. Frequently seen with what can only be described as a life mate, this female human has large muscular protrusions on her thighs. this may be due to the nocturnal mating rituals of the Sasquatch, whose physical prowess exceeds that of a normal man.

("Darter" and mates child, "Lumparwump.")

The one called "Ara" seen here having a moment of joy, probably after a recent livestock kill. This breed of Sasquatch looks to be slightly hairier. With a strange dilaect, it is assumed that this is a hardier sub-species from the Iran/Iraq border areas of the Middle East. they are known to drink abnormally large quantities of beer and are fans of the soccer club, Arsenal.