Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Hey Chris,
Sorry about the delay in getting this to you, but Monday morning I came down with some flu like symptoms that knocked me out for about 48hrs. Anyway, the last race of the year is finally over; the 17th annual Southridge Challenge. The race had an excellent turnout, it was great to see all the usual people out for the Fall race, and even quite a few spectators on the course for the race action on Sunday. The weather really couldn't have been better, cool temps and no sign of the "Fontana wind tunnel" effect. I had some solid practice runs Saturday and Sunday, and an equally smooth race run. Despite not feeling like my fitness was all there and settling into my Fall weekend warrior routine, I still placed 4th in my last Semi-Pro race ever. My time was only about 3 seconds off the pace, so I guess my race run wasn't all that bad. Overall, it was a really fun weekend, and I'm looking forward to next season! HEY CHRIS..........

...... just a little something for the sponsors, I just found the overall results for the 2008 Southridge races... (this is cumulative of the entire season, winter and state combined) I pulled off a solid 2nd place overall for the year in Semi-Pro. Not a bad way to cap off the season!

An Update From Corty-40.

Yo Cap! It's Colorado Court. Amino Vital rules! I will write the forums. Sorry I have been a stranger but I fell into home improvement hell after the race season. I finished 5th overall in sport 35-39 in the Mountain States Cup. I had a tough start to the season with four hours of sleep after getting stuck in a snow storm on Vail Pass for 4 hours with a 4 year old. I blew up in the time trial that morning and had the xc the next day. I drank Amino during and after for recovery and was able to race well in the xc the very next day. The end of my season my truck broke down on the way to my last race in Breckenridge again with my family and I missed the race. The highlight of my season was Crested Butte where I finished 7th and got to hang with Roff and Schippers. Thanks for your support and all you do with Backbone, and to all the cool people that ride for Backbone! Happy Thanksgiving dude to you and your HOTTIE and all the Backbone riders, I'm broke but I'll be back. Thanks for the sick SUNLINE carbon bars Schippers! Late!

***Glad to hear you had a great time this year, isn't that what it's all about? I look forward to next season, and hopefull we can all get together soon and talk about how great we were in 1992 or something! See ya Court!*************

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I tried this once with my own bladder, and did NOT have the same results.

OK, well this one is from 2008, but one of my favorite things they make. Perfect for a long and technical race, where grabbing a bottle isn't ideal. This one is small and light, and doesn't interfere w/that nice jersey you bought laden with logos of companies that don't give you any help whatsoever. The bladder for this is also designed NOT to slosh around (photo at the bottom).

The Streamline has 70 oz. capacity, is right at a pound of weight (very light) and is the PERFECT pack for about 99% of the buying public. Big enough for what you need, and small enough that you don't bring a headset press with you, just because you can.

The Laguna (named after the O.C.'s home of Wood Canyon Park?) is a sweet full day pack.
This bad oscar has a 100 oz. capacity, which will hold JUST enough Warsteiner Dunkel to get you to the top of Saddleback Peak on a hot summer day. It affords you the luxury of a change of clothes, food, your inflatable sheep (in case you have to stay the night), a bucket of KFC, and a cel phone!

This is the ultra-fly rain cover, for you guys in the Big East. Cheap, and can be used on your helmet if your head is as large as mine! WOW, so many ways to goof on THAT comment, where do you begin?

The aforementioned slosh-proof Bantam's baffled bladder!

The newer and nuke-proof bladders from Hydrapak. Simply the best hydration bladders ever designed, period.

This picture has absolutely NOTHING to do with Hydrapak at all. I do like it though, and it has nothing to do with Jeff.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tomac Cortez & Automatic

The Cortez in the paddock at Sea Otter

There are two great choices out there from Tomac for the budget conscious XC racer, and they are extraordinarily nice for the money. The CORTEZ is the Bradbury designed aluminum hardtail, very close to the ones that the RLX Polo team raced in 2004 (Jimena Florit, Dave Wiens, Jeremy Horgan Kobelski, you know..)and WE bought in 2005. These frames climb like goats on crack, and build up to a paper light race bike with plenty of mud clearance. The CORTEZ 2 retails for about $1699.00 dollars, and has a great parts pic on it.

Ryan Blanchette floating the front on his RLX POLO team bike at Sea Otter.

The Automatic waiting for a test ride at Sea Otter.

The Automatic is a more value oriented full suspension offering from TOMAC, with all the same killer design features as the Carbide..just made in aluminum instead of high modulus carbon. This little wunderbike retails for about $2,000.00 and is a killer deal. Anything that Doug Bradbury designs is going to work..except maybe for that time he cut the brake arch off of that Manitou Skareb just to see if it would still go out and get one while you still have a job! Click the Tomac link on the right for the full spec sheets and geometry, as well as a list of bike shops who sell them!

A fuzzy shot of the Automatic at Interbike.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chuck-T Takes 4th!

Chuck-T's NEW DH Hammer, in production-run white.......

...and his old one, in R&D-no-serial-number BLACK.

Sticking a 50' drop-gap in Tahoe on his black Primer.

Pinning it to the podium in Santa Barbara

In Colorado doing something the engineers hadn't quite planned for when they made those wheels...

Chuck-T featured in this Amino Vital ad!

At the awards ceremony in Southridge last year.

In the bottom half at Fontucky..

A Darter-sponsored head shot from 2006.

In the rocks at Fontucky.

In his last race as a Semi-Pro, DH racer and all around nice guy Charles Taylor Libolt flung himself down the mountain in the gravity world's Fall Classic race in California. His TOMAC PRIMER DH bike slammed it's way down the mountainside, Marzocchi 888 fork smoking like a Thai prostitute after a visit from Gary Busey. His bike has been money so far this season, and now that Austin Benge is here, these two knuckle heads can band together with Jay Schippers and that other KENDA dirt-bag, James Schwanke for all the Tahoe stuff! Great way to end your 2008 season, "Tabasco!" Hope to see you all soon, have a great week!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Custom Bike Show Coming To Polaris!

Look at that sweet custom Ti bike...mmmmm

The Be:Spoke custom bike and accessory show is coming to Polaris on December the
5th! Instead of riding in the freezing rain on a bad trail, come in and have a beer, and check out some sweet BLING at the Be:Spoke Custom Bike Show! It's kinda like a mini-Interbike in Ohio, and it only happens once a come on out and check it while you can! Visit www.roll-online for details, and bring your custom made bike if you have one just to feel like you fit in somewhere...even though you probably don't.

Ok, maybe I don't fit in. I'm not sure I want to fit in.

Clavo Cellars Wines In Bellagio!

Julie and Neil have been Backbone team groupies for years, and Julie left Burbank in early '07 to head back up to Paso Robles. She and her main squeeze Neil have a vineyard management company and a newer wine label out that is turning heads. SO MUCH SO in fact, that Bellagio Casino (yeah, that's right, the place I built the fountains for) has purchased the Clavo Cellars Syrah to make available to their worldly and discerning customers. For those in California, you can purchase it and attend tastings....for us here in OH, we have to cry like punks until we fly back home to try it. Check the link to the right of this page and see when they are doing tastings! You may actually hear some of Lyd's music from overhead in their tasting room...I'm just sayin'....

Vegas Bob in the sand trap at the '06 Castaic Final, where Jules was waiting with a sandwich and the puppies!

Lyd getting her sun on in Julie's backyard in Burbank when we were out for Sea Otter

If you remember, Julie Kuhnle (former Disney Exec.) came to a few races to support over the years, like this 2006 Lake Castaic Final...she brought homemade snadwiches, remember?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

TOMAC Vid From Interbike! (Thanks Bob!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rancho Boca de Santa Monica

Chuck and Jay in the Santa Monica Mountains

Post "Treaty Of Guadalupe Hidalgo" Santa Monica

The Mexican government granted the land that eventually became the City of Santa Monica in 1839 to three Mexican citizens. Francisco Marquez, Ysidro Reyes and Francisco Sepulveda were the grantees. This coastal land was given as two separate Mexican land grants: the 33,000-acre Rancho San Vicente (recognize that name?) that was granted to Francisco Sepulveda (recognize that name, too?), and Rancho Boca de Santa Monica grant. At just about 6,656 acres, this was given to Francisco Marquez and Ysidro Reyes. Marquez/Reyes began cattle ranching on the land, built adobe homes and raised their families. They owned the area called Santa Monica Canyon, and allowed people from the town of Los Angeles to camp there for free and enjoy the cooler, tree lined canyons. Today, the State Of California wants twenty bucks for campgrounds that still use the trails the Chumash Indians developed hundreds of years ago.
It's amazing how the land and it's uses have changed. From a modest and dusty steppe that was used for cattle grazing and support of a far-flung Mexican army to one of the wealthiest and most population dense parts of North America. When you are bombing through the Santa Monica Mountains and huffing up those long grades, take a second to look out and imagine what the "city" would have looked like then. You may actually have been able to SEE the city then. Except for the fire breaks, many of the trails we ride were cut from the cattle who grazed those canyons, the natives who inhabited them, and the Spanish and Mexican farmers who cooled off for a spell inside them.

Sullivan Canyon, in the Santa Monica's near Brentwood.

Backbone team fan John Caldwell trying to make the team selection for 2007.

NMBS Series Finally Dead?

Bert after the podium at the Santa Ynez NMBS this year. Photo by Darter!

Good inside sources (who will reamain nameless) tell me that the 2009 NMBS series, despite it's available calendar, is pretty much dead at this point. With nobody buying into the Sho-Air bail-out plan, and nobody else really having the cash to pour into it, it appears as though the series may finally be done. The current economic situation being what it is, that may work out at least for us. Nobody really has the cash anymore to support such a poorly attended series. To be able to stay in our respective regions will save THOUSANDS of dollars (seriously, Roger spent upwards of fifteen thousand this year? Who has that kind of dough NOW?).
Although three hundred thousand dollars is nothing to an organization like USA Cycling, they are still working on the actual payout of that amount to Sue Haywood as a result of the 2004 Olympic Bid fiasco played out in the film "Off Road To Athens." That money not being in the coffers was reason enough for many to believe that USA Cycling won't be ponying up any major assistance. People like Jeff Williams don't attend the NMBS series, instead choosing the endurance/24Hr circuit. The races are better attended and although $200 dollars an entry fee for his Pro status, they at least make you feel like you are getting something for your money.
So? We should know any day if a magic man on a white horse laden-heavy with gold bars rides in to save it, but for now I'd expect to adjust your vacation schedules to take an ACTUAl vacation in 2009. We should be able to get to the MSC and Cal State races within a days' drive, and even stay in friends' homes to save some cash.......I'll let you all know what I find out, when I find out, but that's all the gossip that's fit to print for now...

Jay and Chuck-T at the 2006 NMBS Fontucky DH race.

Jay on his way to an NMBS race in CO in 2007.

Vegas Bob on course in Brian Head, UT in 2005

Randy and Vanessa at the Scottsdale, AZ race in '07

Vanessa, Bert, Ryan and Brant at the Fontucky NMBS

Both Bri's on the box at the '05 Firestone National

Ryan feeding the Fuzz at Deer Valley, UT

Jim and Corty-40 at Angel Fire, NM