Monday, March 31, 2008


The Team's TOMAC DH bikes are on the way! Larges are available (Chuck-T), and the one medium that Joel has should get sent to Ryan soon. Jim Roff's will come as soon as the next batch of mediums comes in! Finally, the guys get to step it up!

Taylor's Update

Phew! The long CalState/NMBS weekend has finally come to a conclusion, with medals all the way around! Before anything else though, I want to pass along a BIG thanks to Randy and Kim this weekend for putting up with all of us who attended the race, and being so hospitable. Also thanks again the Jim Wannamaker from Kenda for taking care of us as usual, and swapping out some tires for me.
My weekend started off with me slightly confused, as I attempted to enter just the CalState DH race that Donny was hosting... the NMBS was just a sideshow for me. As many of you know I have decided to focus a bit smaller this year, and skip Nationals in favor of the better organized Mountain States Cup, Northstar DH, and the CalState series. When I asked where "registration" was, a TBB employee showed me to the registration tent, where I promptly registered for my race, thinking the $65 entry fee was covering both races for the weekend, which was also the word from a few other racers I know. Unfortunately, I later found out that my $65 did NOT cover the CalState race, which was an additional $30 through Donny at Southridge. So basically, I wound up paying $95 to race an NMBS that I didn't want to enter in the first place, but I did get to race the CalState I had originally intended racing when I rolled into Fontucky on Thursday.
I took my NMBS DH run conservatively, and used it as a "fast practice run" to prepare for the CalState race I wanted to focus on. Staying quick but safe through the top rock sections, and not sprinting through the infamous "wall" all the way to the finish netted me a 20th place finish for the day, about 11 seconds off the pace of the fastest Semi-Pro.
My CalState run, I went for gold, and wound up with Bronze! I was still a little tired after taking practice runs, and my NMBS race run, but I still managed to put together a clean and quick race run and shaved 4 seconds off my previous NMBS time, securing a 3rd place finish(same course, 3 hours later) I finally feel redeemed after a mediocre Fontana Winter Series(8th overall), which I feared was setting the tone for my entire season! Looks like I have a fighting chance of securing a top spot in the CalState DH series this year, with hopefully more to come. Pictures are on their way, courtesy of Kim and King James!

Vegas Bob's RADS Ultra Quest Challenge Report!

Backbone's very own World Famous Vegas Bob rolled up to the chilly morning start of the first ever RADS ULTRA QUEST CHALLENGE race on Saturday. A forty mile race with three ascents of the Ortega Mountain Range along the So Cal coast, it was going to be a doozy. Tons of hike-a-bike, NO support crews, no radios, no water stations, no NOTHING...this race for the old school hard-asses still looking for a ass-kicker of a race. Vegas Bob rolled his brand new and trouble free TOMAC CARBIDE, and the bike performed flawlessly. A great way to showcase the design of the Carbide's amazingly efficient platform, Vegas Bob would constantly slug it out with the fourth place finisher. On the final climb up San Juan Trail, he finally ran out of water about 3/4 of the way up. Having to stop at the Blue Jay campground to fill up, he wasn't hurting too bad thanks to his Amino Vital product. After finishing the final ascent, he rocked down the last 2-plus-hour descent to Bell Ridge Trail. His pedals had taken such abuse, a spring had snapped and left him with only half of his right side to find during those on again, off again hike-a-bike sections. Expecting to finish in 11 hours (many riders rode with lights, just in case) Vegas Bob and his Carbide rolled in at 8 hrs, 17 minutes. That would land him squarely in 10th, with 43 riders starting this challenge. Great job, Bob!

Bob during the Leaping Lizard DH race earlier this month, another RADS challenge.

Too Much Sand To Bag, The Saga Continues

Johnny O'- Douche-Nozzle actually WON the Semi-Pro XC race yesterday!! That would normally not raise my hackles...but the fact that he was still in f*****g EXPERT certainly does...

OK, so the expert course was a bit shorter, but STILL...this has to stop.

I am certainly interested in opening this back up now, with yesterday's results being available. My cel phone literally rang to the point of battery-death after the results were tacked up to the board yesterday afternoon. I had calls from Pro, semi-Pro, Expert and Sport guys for about an hour yesterday barking outrage and utter disgust into the phone. He beat his closest guy by 5 minutes, and won the Semi-Pro race (or would have, had he moved up) by FORTY-FIVE SECONDS.

A pox on this guy. There is no excuse. Even IF UCI allows it, even IF USA Cycling allows it, and even IF his team allows's low-class (and that's coming from me...and that ain't good) and unsportsmanlike conduct of the highest order on a PERSONAL level. Sickening, really. The ripple effects of this kind of judgement have a trickle down effect that damage mountain bike racing as a sport, mountain biking as an industry, and effects the sales of cycling products all the way down to the most basic level.

I'll take Wednesday off of work, get everyone out there interested the info on how to file a formal protest in writing, and post it on the blog so we can get this done...since he won't. Peace out bitches!

Backboner's Blow Up Fontucky!

Race report info courtesy of Semi-Pro Gravity Pimp, Chuck-T.

Well I'll be dipped in poo. As much I stress the fact that I want all my riders to have fun first, and worry about doing well second....they all did amazingly well over the weekend. Roger showed up with a team that was ready to rock and roll (and drink,) and probably throw up a little too back behind the Kenda trailer. Fontana was perfect for the weekend's NMBS race, and apparently the Backboners weren't too far from that as well. What with almost all of them having moved up in the past two years, they were NOT favored to kill it this weekend....except maybe at Billy-Bob's Choke and Puke Truck Stop near the 10 freeway....but kill it they did.

Taylor had three dh race runs to hit Sunday, due to the combo of Cal State and NMBS points up for grabs. He was there for the state race, but threw down the NMBS as well, just for fun. Taking it conservative for the NMBS Chuck-T rolled to a top 20 finish for that one. He then had to re-adjust, hit his Amino Vital bottle, and prepare for the two-run state race format. KILLING IT on the wall sprint to the finish, Chuck "Charles In Charge" T rammed his way to a BRONZE MEDAL FINISH in what??? Oh yeah...Semi-Pro. Hell of a long day, but great finish Charles!

Trevor (Randy and Kim's future Pro DH man) also managed to show up and put out, displaying mad natural descending skills under Jay and Taylor's expert guidance. Trevor would ALSO podium for the race, landing in 4th place for the dirt-bag division!

Vanessa the mini-mangler raced her Expert XC Saturday sick as a dog, but came back Sunday after a night of sleeping on the porcelain throne. She would line up for Super-D (perfect for the Carbide, by the way) and hammered her way to a 3rd place finish! That is a hell of a recovery from someone not well...and shows great sportsmanship and poise...unlike someone else I'll talk about in the next blog page.
Nice work Super-V, see ya in a couple of weeks!

The picture below is of Brant and Bert's feed zone representative from Amino Vital. POB had her flown in to better represent the Endurance product and the two horniest racers on the planet. Forget crabs, Brant goes straight for the LOBSTERS when he looks for dates! Now thats a player, yo!

Brant came out to pound Super-D with Bert, both of the boys having a good day yesterday. Brant "The Hitman" Hatton managed to intimidate his opponents and blast his way to FIRST FRIKKIN' PLACE yesterday!! Bert, in the super-crusty division, decided to back his THIRD PLACE SINGLESPEED XC RACE PODIUM (again, not in Expert but the one UP from that, hint hint) with an unbelievably sweet SECOND PLACE in the Super-D!!! Bert's TOMAC CARBIDE was clearly up to the challenge. Holy crap, for just wanting you guys to have some fun, you did pretty damn well.

Ryan also came out to the race with Bert, but as of this morning I am not sure if he raced, and how he did. I should be able to amend that by tonight. I know he ws there though, and like the team spirit anyway! Ryan is a wicked 'cross racer and Super-D specialist, so I'd love to hear if he raced.

The XPEDO pedals also continue to perform well, and we have yet to see any problems with the product at all this year. I still haven't snapped my hollow Ti spindles, and I outweigh the weight limit by 14 metric tons.

All of the pix in this report were from last year, but I will replace them as I get pix in from the weekend. Thank you to everyone who came to support, race, watch, and to all the sponsors that keep this thing rolling. Oh, and did anyone bring Jim Wannamakebabies a banana or something? He was probably low on Ho-Ho's by Sunday, and certainly out of Diet Coke.

Ryan and Randy racing to the finish last year at the NMBS race...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bert "The Hurt" Blanchette Brings It Home At Fontana!

Bert "The Hurt" Blanchette was out at Fontana yesterday with Randy, Taylor, and Ryan for the NMBS opener. Chuck-T spent his day preparing for his THREE RACE RUN DOWNHILL today, where he will be doing both the NMBS race, and the Cal State opener in three successive runs. Yesterday was Expert XC day as well, and Vanessa's results I am not sure of yet as of 9:30am...but I do know she was fairly sick all week, so even showing up to cheer was a nice touch on her part. Randy just drank all day, and Roger spent his day between feeding V and Bert and working for Jim at KENDA.

Bert is the guy I have results for, so I am posting this before going back to work! Bert raced singlespeed in the open class yesterday...which is Semi-Pro and Pro riders (not Expert, despite his "age") and had a phenomenal race. With his ancient ball-sack flapping in the Fontucky breeze, looking more like a flying tree squirrel than a man's privates...Bert flung himself at the course and landed on the podium!! Even with all that drag-from-his-bag to slow him down, this ancient slab of sinewy beef jerkey hammered his way with NO FRIKKIN DERAILLUERS through the course and gave himself a great points jump for the remainder of the year.

Thankfully Amino Vital created a special blend of ENDURANCE powder for this wizzened up old fossil that has a 90% Metamucil content, mixed with another 5% Aleve and the remaining 5% Viagra. It's fun to goof on him when I am 3,000 miles away, becuase the reality of the situation is, he'd probably bitch-slap me with his old wrinkly balls and then take my woman for a steak dinner!

Congrats to Bert on a hard-fought podium in a very difficult class...y'know, for an old bastard! Thanks to everyone who is out there this weekend to help, race, and help race. I'll call after 5 when I get off work, GOOD LUCK!

Friday, March 28, 2008

RADS ULTRA QUEST Featuring Vegas Bob!

World Famous Vegas Bob and his Tomac Carbide are rolling out to race the first ever RADS ULTRA QUEST CHALLENGE this weekend! Although originally slated for the Fontana NMBS race, Bob has asked to do this mega-death race to put his new Tomac Carbide to the ultimate test. This new event is Saturday (the same day as his NMBS race), but a great way to showcase his new bike and pedals, tires, hrm, Hydrapak, and Amino Vital product.
The race is alleged to be a result of the the "discontent" (for lack of a better word) with the difficulty level of the Warrior's Society endurance event that went down a couple of weeks ago in the O.C. That ride began as a RADS ride a looooong time ago, and then was absorbed by the W.S. Since then, it has become a large event that many people finish. That ain't good enough, so the RADS will be hosting this invite only event TOMORROW! The UQ is 40 miles, but it's all singletrack, LOADS of hiking, 12,000 feet of climbing, no first aid, no moto-sweeper, no radios, and no 100 dollar entry fee. That's ol' school bitches!

Vegas Bob has had a ton of hard miles on the Carbide, and he comes from an old TOMAC/RLX team issue Titanium frame (Litespeed) that one of their female racers used for the 2004 season. He said the Carbide makes NO NOISE, climbs better than the Ti bike, and w/90mm. of adjustable-lock-out-rear travel, has been amazing in the technical and blisteringly fast So Cal mountains. The last place you wanna lay over a Carbon mtb is San Juan Trail and the surrounding rock-strewn singletrack of the Ortega Mountains. He is so in lovewith this bike, I may have to call the police and get a "sex-offender" declaration made against him. That would suck, though. he'd have to stay 100 yards away from any Tomac Carbide bikes...and who could be expected to do that?


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fontucky Pix From The Past

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"Thank You," Or What To Say To Sponsors

I am not sure where or when it happened. Somewhere along the line, mountain bike racers forgot how to say "thanks." Now, I'm not saying that they ALL have, but as a general rule the dynamic has somehow shifted. Along the way, riders have forgotten that the companies that make bike goods don't actually OWE them anything. They don't owe them anything, but are willing to help them because they also can increase their brand awareness. The annoying thing about the complete lack of gratitude? It's usually not from the Pro riders, who get the most....and typically return the most in the amount of press and input.
The majority of riders who expect free stuff (and no "thanks", or a 6 pack, or a "hey, how's the family?") come from the ranks of Sport and Expert. Now, understand that NOBODY on this team does that, and I am not responding to anything anyone here least not anyone on the team NOW. This was a page I wanted to write a looong tome ago and just now am getting to. SO...on that note...
When the season is coming to a close and you are submitting your letters of sure to say please and thank you. Also, it's a good idea to write down what YOU are willing to do for THEM. Offer to wash their car, take them for dinner, anything. We go to events and races and actually build sponsor booths when asked (like Interbike), and sell products at races for them. You need to be able to provide feedback on the product you receive...oh, and another quick thing...this is a BIG area where a lot of LARGE budget teams loose their sponsorship...provide them with pictures. If a company (let's say KENDA) donates 20K to you'r team, don't be a dumb ass and send them a bill for 5 thousand dollars for a photo. Buy a camera, and take your own pictures if you need to, but send them for free so they can then spend another 25K on YOUR TEAM to promote it in magazines. The reason Lyd uses us so much in magazines and web-ads? It's not because I'm good in bed (I'm not), it's because I'm the only person sending her frequent rider pictures (thanks Darter) and race reports, and product updates. All the cash they spend on big-$ teams, and she has to ask me for a picture of riders in the snow...from California. make a short story way too long...for those of you out there that are new to the whole rcaing thing, just mind your manners. Say thank you to the people who take care of you, and don't be a jack-hole and try to get everything you want, and nothing you don't. Someone who is working at a place that accepts your proposal may not always work at "Bob's House Of Anodized Parts." In a year, he could be working at Tomac, Amino Vital, Kenda, Sigma or Xpedo and really provide you with things that are better than you deserve.
Practice the art of thanks, and you may just BE that Expert guy with free clothes, bikes, pedals, hydration packs, sunglasses, heart rate monitors, computers, tires,nutrition products, portable bike-washers, magazine ads, etc. My people get that already, but then again they can say "thanks."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"Green" Replaces "Extreme" As The New Word I Hate To Hear Most!

"Extreme" in it's many forms (X-TREME, xtreme, etc.) has been my most hated word for many years. Used to market things from Cheetos to nose-hair trimmers, when you see something that is tagged as extreme you can bet that it most certainly is not. There is a new EXTREME word/term/tag-line/buzz-word/marketing goldmine out there, and it's called "green." I hate this word already because I can see it coming.

In the coming years, GREEN will be used by corporations big and small to push their products. The Soviets are no doubt in talks on how to push the Chernobyl blast area as a "green" tourism site. I have already seen GREEN being marketed by companies like Shell Oil, American Steel, coal mining co-ops, and other markedly UN-green entities. Not only do I not buy it, but I am wholly offended that these people think we are all so stupid we don't know any better. How green is Ethanol? It only turns a 1% difference between what it takes to make it, and what it saves in carbon footprint. Now that's GREEN! uhhhh...yeah. How about maybe brown?

In preparation for the coming twenty years of EXTREME-replacing tag lines, be aware that I am calling shennanigans on the whole thing now. I highly doubt that a ship-wrecked oil tanker seeping crude into Santa Monica Bay is green...or that a Ford Family-Truckster V-10 that somone uses to drive kids in LA traffic to soccer practice with is green, just because it smells like popcorn when it rolls by..


article courtesy Bicycle Retailer Magazine

Kenda Adds 650B Tire to Lineup

REYNOLDSBURG, OH (BRAIN)—Kenda has jumped into the budding 650B (27.5-inch) market by showcasing its most popular tire, the John Tomac Nevegal, at this year's Taipei Cycle show.

Kenda displayed the 2.35 version and promises that a 2.10 size will follow.

When asked why Kenda chose to pursue this new size, Kenda marketing director and events coordinator Jim Wannamaker, said, "From a design standpoint, this new wheel size makes sense. It allows a bigger wheel to be used on a longer travel bike, plus smaller riders can get away from some of the negatives like toe overlap and stand over clearance issues found with bigger wheels. It looks like Kirk [Pacenti] is onto something."

"We've also been asked by many product managers with various companies to offer our most popular tire in this new size format," added Matt McClendon, Kenda's OEM sales manager. "We're in the tire business 100 percent. We don't do grips, saddles, rims or cockpit components, so it's important for us to plug into these new tire-related trends. Kenda provides tires of all sizes for cyclists of all kinds, so adding this new size helps us round-out our product offerings for the consumers as well as the bike manufacturers.

"Going forward, we want this to be an open dialogue between Kenda, product managers, engineers and even the small frame builders concerning this new project. That's why we chose to have the unveiling here at Taipei where the industry's movers and shakers meet. In the months to follow, we encourage any and all industry folk to contact us so we can provide them with the specs of our tires to help them design their products." McClendon added. "As with all Kenda tires, we're making the 2.10 and 2.35 true to size and every bit comparable in performance to our 26-inch versions."

When asked about production, Wannamaker said, "We're in the initial testing phase with the 2.35 size and the mold for the 2.10 is being cut as we speak. If all goes well, consumers should expect to see these models by mid summer."

Spring Is Coming!

Wehe, with that twinkle in his eye for spring. He can be reached at Neverland Ranch....

That's right kids! Although every other state in the union gets sunlight most of the in Ohio we are beginning to see that big hot thing in the sky once again (and I'm not talking about Grace Jones in "View To A Kill"). Sunday was a bright, sunny and tropical thirty-two degrees. Despite the phallis withering temperatures, I squeezed my oatmeal-in-a-pair-of-pantyhose looking self ino my team kit and rolled out. The Ti-Tomac rolled fast through Upper Arlington and out to the north end of the outer belt (270fwy), thanks to my KENDA Kwick Rollers. 120 minutes of spin time after Easter's "wheel o meat" breakfast was great.

It was great to see the sun again. I rode in my Backbone Team thong, having put it on backwards for maximum sunlight on my bulbous backside. Coming from Riverside (the 909), we saw blazing hot sun even in December most years. Here in Ohio, sunlight is a commodity many would pay handily for. This time of year, Casper the Friendly Ghost would be like "Damn, those people are WHITE!" I guess that's what always made me laugh about tanning booth companies in's free morons! Just go outside! Going outside here in December means 15 degree temps and ice everywhere...and I mean everywhere. That's right...I said everywhere.

I think we may have sunlight now for the rest of the stupidly short season here.
It's amazing for me to think that our forefathers had this entire continent to settle on (it made no difference who owned it back then, people squatted anyway), and they chose the frozen North to do so. Why would you move from Sweden (my family) and move to Minnesota? Why even leave? Hell, Sweden's warmer most of the year anyway! Sea Otter is coming soon, and even that is no guarantee. For those who haven't been yet..bring a rain coat and shoes you can throw away. The rain that falls almost every year for at least a day or two is so all-encompassing, not even the tightness of a gnats-ass is waterproof...and Randy would know. OK that was messed up, sorry.

So my cries for sunlight and mountains shall go mostly unnoticed by the heavens again. I will go home and stare blankly into the warm and inviting glow of the 25 watt bulb in the neighbor's e-z bake oven, and dream of the inferno that is St. George in August....