Monday, November 30, 2009

The Tratt Pack.

The Tratt show has been raging, and last weekend's session was a pretty good indication of how things will go from now on. The group of musicians that are to be regulars have already gained the name "The Tratt Pack" with each week bringing in new acts to keep things rolling.

The City Of Columbus' "Neighborhood Pride" program has also been really fun. Bruce Black appointed Lydia the Celebrity Judge and singing coach for a very nice and very talented group of middle schoolers. There are about twelve kids who have made the cut, and all have been making the effort to get to practice on time. The final talent show will be held at the King Entertainment Complex on December 16th, and will also include a few kids who will be dancing.

The Tratt will have a show each month from here on out, and we will be there to host it! I would recommend that you call ahead for a table reservation, as the past two shows have been packed!

Oh, and P.S...if you are interested in playing..BRING YOUR OWN CRAP..the biggest Chachi maneuver you can pull is to assume you can borrow someone's horribly expensive equipment. Just don't do it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Charles Back After Concussion

Not known for making wise medical decisions, Charles was back out at Fontana just a few short days (actually, the very NEXT DAY) after his "WOW, I see everything in GREEN outta' my left eye" concussion during DH practice. Here he is running a newly cut trail below the water tanks at Fontucky on his one-of-a-kind TOMAC SNYPER 4X mod. Good to see him up, although I'm sure it's only matter of time before he either gets arrested by UCR campus Police or takes a shot in the bean.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tomac Carbide SL Reviewed In MBA!

The newest Carbide in the fleet is Sean Cavaluchy's, but it's not the SL!

Bert showing off his Backbone Team Issue Tomac Carbide frame from 2007.

I just received my new issue of Mountain Bike Action Magazine in the mail, and they are reviewing the TOMAC CARBIDE SL!
As usual, the reviews are awesome..and why not? The bikes have been rocking it hard for us for the past two (more than that now) years, and it's great to see other people saying what we have known for a while. The bikes are bad-ass. Their factory '09 issue bike weighs in at 25.4 lbs, but the 2010 will have a full SRAM XX kit with all the cool new it may be a bit lighter.

Keep in mind that Randy's Carbide (NOT THE SL) weighs in at 24.5lbs, and Vanessa's Carbide (NOT THE SL) weighed in at this bike frame with the right parts kit should be able to get REALLY lean. My TYPE X in a large, with nothing over XT on it and a SUNLINE hardgoods build sits at 21.5 lbs with computer, bottle cage, and pedals! Crazy, right?

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Here's a never-seen pic form the '08 Sea Otter..just seemed to fit!
Hope that everyone out there in Backboneland (yes, even Wehe) has a great Turkey Day. Please try to NOT to be like Charles and mash your head on a rock until you see green for two hours, ok? Great. :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Randy's Fontucky Race Report


What’s up Captn? Sounds like not much good if you can’t back up the rig, but I will send Mc rib sandwich if you need them, anyhoo Trevor and I went to Fontucky for the Southridge challenge this last weekend to do some race-in. Now I haven’t ridden but once in the last eight weeks so I wasn’t expecting much in the X-C race and that’s exactly what I got.

The race started off ok we had a short course only 4.5 miles so we did three laps and that’s a bitch climbing to the water tank after no riding but oh well I was running 5th or 6th till half way threw the second lap and the old lower back seized up so I proceeded to yell and scream every cuss word I could think of and had to stop and stretch for a minute so I ended up getting seventh but I tell you what the f-ing Carbide rocks that thing is soooo sweet it’s ridiculous.

On to super-d I went and pre-rode the course to find out it was perfect for the Snyper just a little bit of climbing and a lot of down hill that bike rocks to it was a lot of fun and I got second in super-d it was cool.

Now on to the old D-H and I’ve only ridden my D-H bike one time since I got it so I was really looking forward to this. I headed up for some practice runs and I was beat to shit tired from the other races on my first run (and only one for the day) I said OH SHIT the course was really rocky some said more rock than dirt and I got way intimidated and said no more for the day I was to tired and didn’t want to get hurt so stop to live another day.

Ah get up Sunday morning all refreshed (after 7or 8 beers Saturday night) and go up for some more practice and one run that was worse than Saturday and I said f**k it I will just hope for the best on my race run. Race time and I’m really nervous and I cleaned my run except for one small foot dab and I was very happy with it and got third so that was cool. Now on a two and a half to three minute run the guy who won beat me by 31 seconds and the second place guy beat me 24 seconds (can we cheery picker) but no big deal if they can live with it so can I. all in all a fun weekend and I will do some set up on the D-H bike and be ready for the winter series.

Trevor ended up getting fourteenth after having a great run going only to eat shit on one of the g-outs at the bottom of the course. Now Mr. Darter just killed it after moving up to the vet pro class he got second and had a fall on his run. That dudes an animal man, and you already heard about Mr. T.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Transmission Failure, Yet Again.

**The ol' truck, when it wasn't TOO old at the first camp-N-Ride in Sycamore Canyon State Park.**

So after eight years and 150 thousand miles, my truck's transmission finally failed two years ago. Taking it to the local " very large chain" transmission shop, they rebuilt it for about 3/4 of what the truck is actually even worth. In EXACTLY two years to the week (and less than 13,000 miles), it has failed again. I'm not sure, but I'd say that is one sucky cost/benefit ratio. Of course, the place only gives a year warranty, so just in time for the holidays I get to spend cash I don't have on something other than gifts. Awesome! I have had Shimano drivetrain parts and Truvativ cranksets last longer than the 2K rebuild on that transmission, and the bike parts get hammered a hell of a lot worse than that truck does.

**That bike (and everything on it) was over ten years old when I sold it.**
I wonder if SRAM makes a compatible XX automatic tranny for a '99 GMC pick up? Well, luckily this time of year it's only about 20 degrees and snowing/frozen here in Columbus, so walking or riding to work should be a breeze. Or maybe not.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


**Chucky-T at Fontana early this season aboard his Tomac Primer.**

Hey Chris!
The last race of the year is upon us Southern California folks, and the weather could not be any better. Donny put together a brand new DH course that involved plenty of rocks and steep drop-ins. Unfortunately, my head met one of these rocks during practice yesterday.

**Our gravity crew relies on products like the 661 Evolution helmet to stay alive.**
I never lost conciousness, but my vision turned green for a little while. It went back to normal after about a minute. I have a mild concussion (yeah, I know, shocking), and a very sore neck (which was compressed when I hit head first). Needless to say, I will be skipping the race today. But, I would like to at the very least say thanks to 661 for making an awesome helmet! The rock took a small chunk out of the side, and since my head and neck took the brunt of the impact, I can only imagine what would have happened without my gear! So, I am a little sore and slightly concussed, but I'll be back on the bike in a couple of days. Maybe I'll take up something less injury prone next year, like shuffle board. . .

Friday, November 20, 2009

SIGMA ROX Chest Straps In!

I just received my box of two sleek ROX chest straps for Jeff and I's 8 and 9.0 SIGMA ROX uber-computers yesterday! The West Coast groups are en route to Roger as we speak. They are super sleek looking, and I can't wait to get outside and check them out! I was wearing mine during a recent trip out for McRibs..and I know it works because it went from about 140bpm to almost zero..which might be bad. Anyhow..look for the new SIGMA ROX chest straps from Roger by early next week! Thanks SIGMA!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hipsters & 'Cross Racing

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2010 Hydrapak Stuff Out Soon!

Don't wait, just go ahead and order the Morro, a Gel-Bot, a soft-flask and a Pure-Bot now.

Project Cassius

Here are some spy shots of a bike known only as "Project Cassius." It's a DH rig (duh) that has a push-button electric shifting INTERNAL GEARBOX located up in the bottom bracket area. While admittedly not complete, it's not far off either according to the builder.

Note the 150mm fixed gear disc hub in the back!

No hangy-down parts means less to snap off on the race run. With many gravity guys running Dura Ace cassettes and rear derailleurs, this may just be the ticket if it gets worked out.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Vanessa Humic's 26lb Tomac Snyper

Holy crap, Roger can build up seriously sick bikes!

Vanessa and Roger opted to take home a SNYPER frame for Vanessa to race DH and Super D on during Interbike this past September, since her small type X never materialized. That's great, because at 26lbs completely built, her Snyper will be a ridiculous weapon on the DH and SD courses for 2010. Roger managed to get her Tomac Carbide down to 22lbs last year, and that's when most are weighing at least 3lbs more than that.

I can't WAIT to see what kind of damage Vanessa can do on that bike! Love the pix guys, please keep them coming!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Terrible Truth About Tubes.

It's easy to ride when you still have your hands attached...

It was most interesting, lying in the bush watching the natives quietly at their day's work. Some women...were making banana flour by pounding up dried bananas. Men we could see building huts and engaged in other work, boys and girls running about, singing...I opened the game by shooting one chap through the chest. He fell like a stone...Immediately a volley poured into the village.
-Captain William Grant Stairs, Congo diary, September 28th 1887

In 1904 a report was issued to the London Colonial Office. It was filed by Roger Casement, and recounted his investigation into widespread rumors of conduct in an African colony adjacent to Brit-owned Rhodesia. This report would document some of the worst human atrocities ever put to paper...even to this day. Mr. Casement had been in the position of Their Brittanic Majesties' Consul in many of the African territories. He had been sent to Africa to investigate instances of barbarism at the hands of the colonial government. What he would find was a collection of murders, amputations, slavery and mutilation all run by the government. Entire ethnic groups had all but vanished without a single word, with many more on the brink of extinction. Along with the removal of villages, the report also chronicled a new phenomenon..the hacking off of hands.

The reason for all of this? The invention many years earlier by Doctor John Dunlop of Belfast, Ireland. He had actually invented an air-filled tube to repair his son's trike tire, and began to sell them. By 1890 demand was so great, he had quit his veterinary practice and devoted his time to the product. set up with air-filled, cushiony tubes the bicycle became supernova-hot. The world's demand for rubber exploded.

Enter the greedy and aristocratic Belgian, King Leopold II. Thanks to an expedition by Henry Stanley, Leopold had possessed an enormous slab of the Congo about equal to the size of Europe. Acquired as part of Belgium? Nope. He wanted this one all to himself. Called Congo Free State, it was ripe for the plucking and replete with ivory and the new found liquid gold, rubber.

With more free labor than he could ever need, he would ship only guns, powder and ammunition IN to Africa, with rubber and the blood of the Congolese pouring out. Until rubber resources could be mass produced, the King realized if he could make this work he would own rubber production for at least a decade..and he did. The cost was terrible. Entire villages were murdered, children held hostage and tortured, mutilated or killed if the fathers returned from the fields with sub-par baskets of rubber extract. The soldiers began to get paid by the killing, and as proof would be required to return with severed hands as proof. The soldiers got greedy, and would just begin lopping of indiscriminate children, women and men's hands..while still alive..often so many per soldier they had to be steamed and shrunken to get back to the pay camp. This left thousands of amputated people who would probably die slowly of infection rather quickly at the end of a rifle. Forced labor, mass rape, and unheard of brutality fed the European and American demand for rubber goods. Back in Belgium, King Leopold II with both hands attached greedily filled his coffers and expanded his private villa's, palaces and personal museums. he would even construct a "Triumphal Arch" to himself entirely from the blood money born from the Congo Free State.

Thankfully, it wasn't all going entirely unnoticed. English shipping clerk and astute French speaker, he was often in Belgian ports to witness the off-loading of ivory and rubber. he was also there to see what was being ON-loaded to those same ships heading back to the Congo. The documents read "...items of daily use as payments for trade...", but all Mr. Morel saw were guns and ammunition. After careful inspections of records, he found that no payments were heading into the Congo, nor were the monetary amounts recorded even close to matching what was being off loaded.

The workers' lives were too often tragically changed for the worse, like this instance witnessed by Reverend John Harris...

"Breakfast was just finished when an African father rushed up the veranda steps of our mud house and laid upon the ground the hand and foot of his little daughter, whose age could not have been more than five years." If you have ever read Conrad's "Heart Of Darkness," this was it in real time. For the sake of rubber goods, it is estimated that ten million Congolese were killed. And King Leopold? He would spend the money on renovating his Paris villa and spent many days there lavishing gifts on his mistress, a prostitute he had met in there many years prior. Now when you set about changing that flat tire, it may make you pause and think about how much you treasure your hands....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sean's First Ride On The Tomac Carbide

We got out to "break-in" Sean's new Tomac Carbide..and in a way my Tomac Type X brought home from Interbike (Thanks Joel!)...with just a couple of minor tweaks, it's all good! His Tomac Carbide is equipped with some sweet KENDA kicks. The rear is a 1.8 Dred Tread, the front is a 2.1 Blue Groove..perfect for the greasy leaves on the narrow midwestern singletrack. Xpedo furnished the pedals (rad), and the bars, seat, grips, seatpost and stem are all provided by SUNLINE. A mixture of XT and SLX drivetrain bits keep it inexpensive and effective, and the red SPINERGY WHEELS are sick. The HYDRAPAK STREAMLINE and DUAL-BOT rocked the tight and twisty trails, and with Amino Vital Endurance (Mandarin Orange, of course..thanks P.O.B.!) keeping us running, it was a fun afternoon on the trails. Sean was amazed at how sweet the Carbide's suspension soaked up the chop on the trails! A couple of small changes brought the Type X down to 21.5lbs with pedals, bottle cage, and computer..with NO XTR cassette or carbon post. Nice.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Randy's New Tomac Carbide Pix!


What's going on douche nozzle ? I wanted to send a couple pic's of my
Carbide as I FINALLY finished it the way I want it. I put XTR shadow rear
derailleur, Avid XX mag Elixir brakes 185 front and 160 rear, XTR rapid fire
shifters, and rock shox Sid team fork. After finishing it last night I put
it on the scale and it weighed in at a scant 24 lbs 2 ounces which is a
pound and a half lighter than my epic was.

I'm going to race it in two weeks at the Southridge Challenge along with Super
D and Downhill, but I can't wait for the winter series to start the second
week of January.

Hope things are good and I'll talk to ya later.