Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sagebrush Safari Next Month

Wow...that sure was a short winter off, right? Although it's cold and snowy here in Jeff, Sean and I's neck of the woods, out in California the rest of you are likely making some final preparations for next month's season opener in the Big Laguna Mountains of San Diego. I have many fond memories of what quickly became my favorite race course. The time that Jim and Ara shaved their heads outside Jim's camper. Riding over the top of all the broken bodies and bikes at the bottom of that large boulder drop on the back side of the course. How about various members of the Glendale Heavies beating drums and heckling you all?

Watching people who have never seen a hike-a-bike on a mountain bike course struggling up the wall of boulders and sand before flying across the ridgetop singletrack. There was even a time when I was pre-riding the course with then team-mate Teresa Hill after a torrential thunderstorm...she and I were flying down the backside fireroad when all of a sudden..nothing. No teresa anywhere to be found. She had manualed into what she thought was shallow pool of water at about 50mph, only to discover that it was about 6 feet deep. She was hurt bad enough that I had to race back to the car and go pick her up.

Seeing the pain on rider's faces as the came out of the back side of the course, hanging on for the twisty and steep descent to the final finish line run was always fun. There was even a day when we all were hanging out at the awards ceremony (2005 I think?), and Jim Roff's daughter saw a guy in dolphin shorts w/out underwear sitting in the grass facing her. She leaned over to us and asked us what it was that "looks like chewing gum rolled in cat hair?" coming out from his shorts. I still use that line to this day.

So it is that another season begins for the Backboners. My hope is that I will be able to make it out to a couple of races this year with family in tow, and maybe even bring Jeff with me to race with you guys. Make sure to ride hard, be as safe as possible, and most importantly, have fun. Good luck everyone!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Wedged somewhere between Dynamic and Gigantic lies a shadowy realm finally named last night for the first time. Who knew that a late night trip to Westerville would yield the birth of a new way to describe something's sheer awesomeness. With the overuse of terms like "extreme" leaving us with little to utilize in the off chance that something is in fact beyond the norm, drunken nights with friends sometimes yield literary gold.

While absorbing pints of Guinness at Jimmy V's last night after Lydia's show, my friend Dave Tabron was attempting to explain how gargantuan something was....but gargantuan apparently wasn't getting the job done.
As the beer mixed with sparks in his brain (and a wet fart or two mixed in at the same time) Dave slurred a word that I will be using for the foreseeable future. It started to form on his lips slowly as he feverishly scanned the dark recesses of his mind for the right word. Watching it evolve was hilarious in it's own right.

A couple of years back Dave had taken a nasty fall on his mountain bike and seperated his shoulder.
Not having gone to the doctor right away led to what was used by the local Med School instructors as a case study in how bad a shoulder can get when left unattended after an accident. I am postive that the resulting prescriptions for pain medication left lasting residual pharmaceutical damage to his brain. Roll it all together and you get my new favorite word.


It's not just any word. It's like a new class of Superword that the Government hunted for years and now has locked away in a rotting hanger in the Nevada desert,
waiting for the time to unleash it on an unsuspecting enemy during our greatest hour of need. My fear is that once unleashed on the population it will spread quickly and overpower us all, just like television's over-use of Beyonce in advertising.

Will we be at Sea Otter in April and see every new bike brand using some dopey new acronym to set their product apart from the others with names "EGT" (Easton Gynamic Tubing) or "Gynamic Suspension Design?" I hope not...but at least if it DOES happen that way, you'll be able to tell all your friends where it came from. Just do me a favor, and if it gets so big you hear Beyonce say it during a commercial for Shake-Weights just choke me out and toss some rocks on my carcass so I don't have to see it devolve any further.

Monday, January 17, 2011

KENDA Slant Six and Chucky-T

Yo Chris,
Just a quick blog update for ya! So Ive been laying low still, contemplating my next move, and just stoked that I graduate this quarter! I'm also looking forward to having a few months off and spending a lot of time in Mammoth/Tahoe this summer. We've been very fortunate with the weather lately- after the major rainstorms that washed away a major road in Riverside, we've had unusually warm temperatures. I went out for a late afternoon XC ride yesterday in Sycamore Canyon, and got back to my car just in time to watch the sun set on another 80 degree day. Besides pointing out the wacky warm weather we have been experiencing in Southern California, I also want to plug the new Slant Six that I tried out on my ride yesterday. I'm a fan of the Small Block Eight, as are a lot of people I know. The Slant Six is slightly more aggressive, and handles loose and moderate terrain better than the Small Block Eight, while rolling just as fast. I ran them sorta high, around 50psi front and back... but thats just because I'm lazy, out of shape, and needed help on the climbs! But even with the high pressure, they hooked up leaning into corners! So thats it, just a quick plug, and hopefully I'll make it out and see some of the team folk at the races this winter. Later!

Monday, January 10, 2011


Kenda just dropped by a pair of the sweet new KOMMANDO 29er Mountain tires, in the 2.20 variety. Meaty but light, they just may be the ticket for those nice new TOMAC DIPLOMAT 29er bikes out at, or just hit the link to the right!

It Starts Anew

It starts anew. 2010 was a killer year for the Backboners..and it's funny, because I feel like I say that every year. Vegas Bob moved up quickly in 'Cross category, and managed a 12th overall in the U.S. Cup. Vanessa won the U.S. Cup West and took home the bronze for the U.S. Cup unification race, Claudia killed in all of her UCI races last year and took two gold medals in U.S. Cup races, and third overall in her category as well. Jeff Williams managed a bronze overall in the Ohio State Series, after missing two races and having a double flat in another. Sean Cavalluchy had a horrific wreck that ended with a back injury...which he bounced back from immediately and continued his OMBC racing season.

Cheyne managed a 4th overall for his U.S. Cup West series, and a 9th during the unification race! This year we also saw the Fuzziest return to racing.

Ara moved up a category, and STILL managed an 11th place in the Sagebrush Safari. Charles Libolt was accepted to The College Of London, and after a GREAT season again as a Pro DH racer, will be the first Backboner to race in Europe! Humberto Castro took a bronze medal in the U.S. Cup race at Bonelli, and even ended up with a 10th overall for the series. Austin Benge blasted his way to a 6th place finish at Plattekill's Gravity open DH race too. Mark Thome landed inside the top 5 for every race he did last year, earning himself a silver medal for the U.S. Cup West overall series!

Claudia's father Jaimie also did quite well, taking home 13th overall for the U.S. Cup West series in a VERY well stacked field.

Couple all of that with a team that lost not a single sponsor from the previous year, had riders featured in numerous catalogs/print ads, and I'd say we had a great season! I have to tell you all that you owe Roger a HUGE "thanks" for all the work he puts into this team...with zero in return. If you guys were smart, you'd maybe pay his house payment for a month or something, seriously...I'll help.

Jim Roff and Jay Schippers are doing great with the ROYAL product line out in Colorado, and I am personally loving my Royal gloves. Ken at XPEDO's boy is growing like a weed, and Ken even rode SIXTY miles on a "high-wheeler" bike with no frikkin gears for charity last year! SIGMA's James Keller also is a proud new daddy, and everyone at SIGMA is moving to a new facility as you read this. POB no longer works for Amino Vital, but he also has new baby he is enjoying being home with for now.
TOMAC continues to grow with great new products like the Diplomat and the Supermatic 120.

All in all, everyone seems to be rebounding and 2011 looks great. I hope that those who took 2010 off from racing will return to the ranks this year, and Lydia, Luka and I are hoping to get the time to come out west more often to help out and cheer you guys on. The team's XPEDO pedal order is in, the tire order from KENDA has shipped, and all I need to do now is pay all the damn taxes to the City Of Los Angeles. HELL..I even managed to get on T.V. a couple of times, and have a radio show coming next month on MIX 107.9! I look forward to the epic tales of rides and races, and don't forget to send in some pictures for me once in a while! Much love to my peeps at Backbone Adventure Cycling, you guys are the breast.