Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Backbone Welcomes Ricky Lundberg!

New Backboner Ricky Lundberg testing his new bike.
Randy Rush called me late last year and asked if his training homey Ricky could squeeze a spot in on the team...and of course how could I say "no?" SOMEONE has to drive Randy home from events!

Here is his Fontana Super-D report...

Good morning Chris!

The entire week leading up to the race I had a bad head cold. It wasn't until Friday morning I was sure I was racing. I had little saddle time and still was ill. I took two practice runs of the Super-D course, and it was exciting mostly due to the rock gardens. I love rock gardens! I was confident with all the rocky sections, but had little in the tank for the uphill sections. I took it easy on my practice runs to conserve for the race, where of course I gave it 100%. My Norco Sight handled everything with ease. I ended up 9th out of 25 in my category, with first place about 2 minutes up. I think if I can get more hill repeats and sprints in in the next few weeks I'll move up the line quickly! Overall I had a great time. 

Ricky Lundberg 

Randy Is Back And So Is Winter.


Randy Rush is back! Great to have one of our vets back out having some fun.

It's true you know. Hide the sheep, Randy is back! Randy has been out of action for a little while, but has returned with his new sled, a 2014 Giant Anthem. Rolling out of his Ramona, California home with new rider Ricky Lundberg the two lads were set to race XC (Randy) and Super-D (Ricky). Randy's race report is as follows...

Randy's new Giant Anthem looks race-ready!

After a four year hiatus I got back to racing at my favorite course.........good old Fontucky! I was so happy to get back. I haven't done much riding because of work but I didn't care, just wanted to be back around cool people and a great industry. Let me just say "THANKS" to you and our team sponsors for sticking with me! I knew I would get back to it,  just didn't know when. That being said, on to the races.

So I headed out Friday mid day so I could sign up and not fight the crowds in the morning. Ricky Lundberg couldn't come out Friday but was coming out Saturday morning to just ride super D. I chilled Friday night and made sure I was ready to go for Saturday morning. There was a huge crowd this weekend and we had 16 in my class!  I was a little shocked and kind of expected more but a good turnout anyway.

Off the start I wasn't going to push it as I didn't want to explode by the time I got up the paved road.  I didn't have a lot of miles in my legs so far. Donnie had changed the course since I was last there and they go up the paved road only about three quarters of the way. Then you go left up some steep technical single track to the top of the "elevator" (I think you know what that is). I have only ridden once and it is rocky and some parts very technical single track downhill that they also use as part of the super D course. So I was running towards the back on the first lap but having a very fun battle with three other guys. They would climb better than me but I could descend better so it was back and forth and soooo fun.

Starting the second lap I pushed a little and got by all three and was feeling ok .then boom! I hit the deck they go by. I catch back up and hit the deck again! I fell for a third time but no damage done pushed as hard as I could and ended up 13th which I'm cool with.

I was signed up for super D also but after looking at and pre riding the course I wasn't comfortable with it. They had a couple rock gardens in it that for me were kind of sketch and after pre riding those I figure out I was freaking tired! so I opted not to ride that.

I hung out with Roger from Kenda and caught up on BS helped him at the end of the day pack up and had a few beers.

A very big thank you to ALL of our team sponsors.........Kenda tires, Sigma Sport, Ryders Eyewear, Xpedo pedals, KMC Chain, Formula Brakes, Hydrapak, Amino Vital, without all these top shelf companies helping us out I wouldn't be able to do this!

Might not make it to round two as Trevor is back from Italy but I will be at the rest. Til then have a good one man.


Meanwhile, in the great white north of the country the White Death is in full effect. Not one to sit on a trainer for five months of an Ohio winter, a great mobilization has taken place with the help of Jon Hanshaw, also known as "The Angry Cyclist." Heading out from the roll: Polaris location every Sunday in the kind of weather that would make Frosty The Snowman depart for Sumatra, the group defies all common sense and heads out in to the morning freeze.

Sunday, January 11th 2015. It was about 18 degrees, but who cares? We don't need no stinking trainers!

It takes a lot to get out of bed when the mercury sits near zero. That did seem to deter the likes of cyclocross racer David Spurlock, solo Continental Divide rider Ron Young, bike mechanic to the stars April Curatti, roll:'s own Anna Haney, Novatec Wheels' Jake Scott, road racer Meredith Gabriel and the rest of the headcases yesterday. The snow was deep and fresh, and with a variety of bike types ranging from my 26" Ti hardtail to Ritte/BMC/Giant 'cross bikes, 29ers, 26" Anthem W, Felt fatties and a 27.5 steel framed Raleigh everyone had to approach the ride differently throughout the day.

The magnanimous David Spurlock on his Ritte Crossberg on the singletrack..errr..non-existent-track.

It was great to see so many new and veteran riders willing to get together and ride in the snow, ice and pavement for three and a half hours. Think "Bad News Bears" in lycra. The nice thing is that I think we will have just as great a turnout next Sunday:) Watching Ron ride across the frozen edge of Alum Creek Lake with his studded 'cross tires was a sight to behold.
Jake Scott out for some fun in the white stuff.

The old Titanium FCR just keeps on going. Fun bike for the snow!
My trusty old 2006 Titus FCR hardtail was equipped with KENDA 2.35 Nevegal tires, complete with the old Side Wall Shield tape! My trusty Sigma ROX 10.0 allowed me to retrace the steps via GPS later, since I had no idea where in the hell we were. Formula R1's allowed precision braking over frozen logs while in the singletrack trail network, and my trusty Hydrapak Tamarack kept me hydrated and well prepared for anything.

 The overcast day saw me break out the yellow lenses for the Ryders Eyewear pictured below, and as always they fit so well I never knew they were on my giant head. No rust at all on my KMC gold Ti chain either, and I never missed a shift! XPEDO pedal precision meant that I also never missed a cleat engagement or release depsite my shoes being packed with ice and snow...and frozen beach sand...weird.
Pictured with me are The Angry Cyclist (Jon Hanshaw), Jake Scott, David Spurlock, Ron Young and guest.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

2015 Is Upon Us!

Deep in the bowels of Cuyahoga national park, racing from the storm.

A frozen Hayden Run Falls.

 It's negative eight degrees here in the Midwest. It was negative twelve yesterday. It's actually warmer in Anchorage, Alaska than it is in Columbus. That being said, I did manage to get on a bike for five of the first six days of the new year. It may be another few days before the temps climb above zero, the roads thaw, and I can venture back out on a ride. Better fire up the old Titus and get her ready for winter snow riding!
January 6th, 2015. 12 below zero on my lunch break.

    Ara had an amazing racing season last year, taking a number of top five podiums in 'cross. He ended up landing a top 3 overall for 2014!
Hot Fuzz rounds the corner in So Cal Cross.

The run-up barrier with Ara.


 After a short hiatus Randy Rush will be back THIS COMING WEEKEND to race the Southridge Winter Series events that dominate So Cal this time of year.
Randy Rush getting his XC on at Southridge.

 Josh and Jeff are already looking at their available resources of time to see where they can get in the time allowed for events as well. They made the local newspaper in KY for their 'slow race" at Greenbo! Josh got to shake the hand of the Mayor of Lexington after his road race win, and Jeff has been teaching everyone in Kentucky how to ride a mountain bike.
Jeff showing you the number of healthy meals available at Cracker Barrel after a short dirt-nap at Greenbo.

Josh learning how to race XC on his new Talon with Tookie as a teacher.

Josh won the race, and shakes hands with the Mayor.

"Charlos" about to heat up his tires before taking the win in his Subaru.

Charles has made the switch to full time car racing in his Subaru, and Vegas Bob has been clawing his way out of a nasty back/neck issue (welcome to the club) and has been trying to get himself to a happy place on the bike.
Bacon Bob after his post 300 mile, 30k feet of climbing event with Ara.

Bob and Fuzz heading out of the SIGMA tent for some cross racing action.

Team warm up time at So Cal Cross.

Bob looks like he's near the top of GMR.

 He DID make the L.A. Times with his Assistant Coach position with the Laguna Beach High School MTB team, which was really cool to see. The link to his interview is her..
Mark Thome riding to the top of some crazy-high mountain in the snow... with a wrist brace on.

   Mark and Matty-Ice Thome had an adventurous year as well! I am not sure you can live in Montana for more than a month and not see and do some amazing stuff. mark had a nasty surgery, so instead of racing he showed up to the races and took photos for everyone.
Mark and his loin-fruit Matty-Ice inside Glacier National Park.

 Matty-Ice moved in to a small town inside Glacier N.P. for a while, but looks to be back to the land of the living and will be back on the bike. Mark is back home in CA, and is already rehabbing the back for a season of riding.
 "The Angry Cyclist" Jon Hanshaw and I out for a Sunday morning winter ride.

Riding along the historic Cuyahoga Scenic Towpath Trail during my annual Awesomefest.

    I rode more last year than I have in the seven and a half years since I have lived here, and have found new motivation with some new (and some old) riding partners here in the new neighborhood. As busy as work and keeping Camp Hiawatha from collapsing around us has been, for me to get about 5,000 miles in on the road bike was really fun. Recent upgrades to the old TCR Advanced have made her fresh again,
Five years old and she still looks sexy thanks to XPEDO pedals, KMC's Ti SL chain, Kenda Kountach tires, a new crank set and a beautiful SIGMA ROX 10.0!

This Sunday morning ride was 28 degrees. Those socks were as close to pants as I usually wear.
and I can't wait to get started with all the crazy new ride events I am working on this winter. Cleveland trips, Cuyahoga runs, Zeppelin Memorial Rides, Giant Fest, an overnight down and back to Cinci with a stop at Chateau la Roche, and my monthly Temperance Row Rides are going to be a blast.
The Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland, just across the street from Great Lakes Brewing Co.

    The bad thing about winter here is all the fatty-fat-fatterson foods that we have available. Cracker Barrel, Bob Evans, Hot Chicken Takeover, Dirty Franks, etc. are all quite delicious when you can't feel your face after a ride. The bad thing is, at 220lbs I am at the limit of everything I own in team clothing. Jennifer has promised to feed me Venezuelan stagnant creek water, teeming with phylum Platyhelminthes.
Whatever it takes not to come out in Spring with a single pound over 215!

     I am very, very excited for this team to be rolling in to it's TENTH YEAR as an official team. A DECADE of amazing rides, friends, sponsors, events, Camp-N-Rides, Interbikes, and spectacular road trips with you all.
Hammer dropping inside Indiana's Brown County State Park trail system.
    If we get the budget we need for new clothing again this year, I am going to add a little 10 year medallion to the jerseys somewhere this year! Most of you have been with me for the whole time, and some for almost the entire time which has been great. I am excited for all of us this year and am energized to make it fun and productive for everyone.
Stikkity-Stakk helping Ara at the cross races last season.

Aleks and his pooch about to head to the feed zone for Fuzz.

    O.K. guys, just checking in! Big thanks to Tsolag and Aleks for all the help over the past 13 years or so (even back in the CFR days) and we all owe Fuzzy a thanks for being the drop-zone for all the sponsor stuff. Please be sure and also thank your personal support groups at home for giving you the time and help to do what makes you happy (like Donella, Meghan Brown, Cyrille, etc). Without these people we would be SCREWED.

Jeff brings the pain last year during a six hour race.

  Have a great 2015, and happy decade of Backbonerness!