Monday, July 14, 2014

Cruzier Nation 2014 - Flagstaff, Arizona

Several RAD dudes from B.P.R. AZ raced some bikes.
words by Frog, the Polliwog, B.P.R. AZ

The Fourth of July is an annual celebration of the roots of mountain biking at the Back of the Pack. This most recent patriotic pillaging party, marked the 20th anniversary of a time honored, underground downhill coaster brake race in Flagstaff, AZ known as Cruizer Nation. For twenty years Bryce Wright and his tribe in the north country have been rolling downhill at suicidal speeds to celebrate the freedom that ‘merica provides to its sons and daughters. Gnarly Marley baptized Joey and yours truly, Frog the Polliwog, at last year’s event, which until this year was the greatest bike race that I had ever raced.  

I picked Joey up from his abode in Cave Creek bright and early so that we could win the race to the race. We were well prepared as Joey is the proud owner of Shadetree Bikes and had tuned our carefully crafted race machines to withstand the beating we were about to unleash. He even made my Worksman cycles custom klunker, Rolo, somewhat rideable by donating a seat that I could actually sit on. Amazing. We nearly lost the race to the race to Gnarly Marley but we were able to pass him and James as they succumbed to the culinary calling of Mike and Rhonda’s in Flagstaff. Sayonara Route 66, hello dirt church.
Early birds get the choice parking spot and EZ up rights and we set up camp accordingly. Gnarly rolled in just a few minutes after us and the rest of this motley crew slowly assembled. Loads of coaster brake klunkers and solo brake singlespeeds were unloaded and readied and the slow ascent to the starting line began.  I would like to note that arriving to this spot near Lower Moto would be the only time that I have been able to beat Gnarly to this location. And I was driving my truck.

Cruizer Nation rules are pretty simple. One brake and fastest one to the bottom wins. Run what you brung. Coaster brakes are the most terrifying and fun way to get to the finish. Joey, however, found the sickest drum brake to run on his klunker that I had ever seen. It worked like a champ until the hail decided to make the race a little more interesting. Slippery when wet, fo sho. We braved the downpour, parked our bikes in a row and got ready. Bryce starts the race by stacking some cans between us and our bikes. First one to take them out with a rock and the race begins. You must walk to your bike (which is fine with BPR ‘cause we don’t run) or get hit with rocks and then head down the hill. I got to Rolo and got my game on.
Gnarly was probably close to finishing by the time I hit the trail. I was just super psyched to play in the mud and know that I wasn’t going to smoke my coaster. Everything was going fine until Joey decided to get rad on the inside of a turn and almost put me into a Ponderosa pine. That definitely stoked the fire and I started dropping a few hammers to catch up. I eventually caught him at the suicidal rock carnage area and edged on by. The course is not an easy one to remember and I had to use some creative navigating to get back, as did Joey and a bunch of other riders. We finally made it back and started adding our bikes to the stack. First one down the hill lays his bike down and everyone else dog piles their bikes on top until the last one is in. 

Back of the Pack was far from dead last at this race. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Gnarly ran the greatest race of his life by his own account. Joey and I had a pretty great time battling it out but I was able to pedal by him at the end. Rob “Fig” Naughton won his first Cruiser Nation, which is a little surprising because that guy wins all the time. Such a great event won by such a nice dude. Everybody truly wins at this race because it is too bitchin’ for words. Seriously, I haven’t done this race justice. Best bike event with awesome peeps.

Cruiser Nation 2015. Be there or be square.

RAD Dudes


Dog Pile

Brethren of the Klunk

Frog, The Polliwog

Saturday, July 12, 2014

PhatPacking on The Colorado Trail: Seg 20 / 21

So... let it be known... I hate walking AND I hate hiking. Because, well, just because... people walk through WalMart. Yeah, people are known to HIKE through WalMart. Hell, people even BackPack in CostCo. No joke, jokester.

So... I hate everything that people do in WalMart, like Hike. 

BUT then there is The Colorado Trail. And there are a few miles, like 150 miles, that are off limits to bikers. (Yeah, it's the Wilderness Area thing.) Therefore I'm forced into walking mode, hiking mode, backpacking mode. Because my Black Sheep Single Speed ain't welcome in these areas. So it goes. So it is.

And although walking & hiking are STOOPID. Cruise'n through Colorado ON The ColoRADo Trail ain't so STOOPID. That is the truth, dude.

just some pixels from 12,700 ft

and just remember... the s*^t ain't just about high altitude views...
it includes high, but not so high, high altitude booze!

Then, just as you think I am STOOPID, let it be known that I'm just screw'n with you. 

I'm just a ColoRADo freak. And I do anything and everything to get back to my home state. And cruise'n the big bad high altitude trails is what I live for. 

That's right, even though I am...

  1. Afraid of the dark
  2. Afraid of monsters
  3. Afraid of man eating saber-tooth'd cats
  4. Afraid of man squashing woolly mammoths
  5. Afraid of Amazon Chicks that want to eat all my food and make me SUFFER... with my head between my knees... if you know what I mean.
  6. IN BED with the ALIENS that are invading our Earth
... I still love to cruise the remote areas of Colorado.

And don't forget to check out:

So, I didn't learn many lessons this trip. I just re-learned many known lessons. Does that make sense? Probably not for the Average Neophyte out there. But because you are curious, I'll review the lessons RE-LEARNED

The Lessons RE-LEARNED:
  • Moose are big
  • High altitude lightning strikes are Thunderous
  • Blisters Suck
  • Chaffage can be avoided. Yep, Okole Suff works, if you use it. It f'n doesn't work... if you don't use it. Get it dude. Or get The Chaffage. Dude.
  • You really really don't need a 9mm & a Battle Axe & Throwing Knives & a shotgun... if you're just cruise'n on the CT. Just think'n. Think'n OutLoud.
Next on the List:
Enough Lingo / GARBAGE ->The Pictures... because that's what matters:



all alone... in paradise

just low altitude s*^t

just 11,000 ft s*^t

just 14,022 ft s*^t... San Luis Peak

just cruise'n at high altitude
cuz that's what I do

a storm and some flowers... for The Madre

is that MOOSE or MEECE?

up close and NOT personal

Thursday, July 3, 2014

2014 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest - USA 24 Hour National Championships

domination... at the back of the pack... maybe.

The dust settled, The Lt Col completed his 'victory' lap, The Lt Col hit all the daytime talk shows (he's retired), The Lt Col passed on the nighttime comedy shows (yep, he's old and retired)... so now it is time to tell The Real Story... in The Alternate Reality that we call Back of the Pack Racing.

You see, we've had The Battle at the back of the pack FOR YEARS. This Battle was 'epic'. (Just had to throw that word in there, never used it before.) The Battle is simple. Who would bust through the 24 Hour / 200 mile barrier... on a single speed... at the back of the pack.

And The Lt Col was / is convinced that he won The Battle. But He Didn't.

The Dude left his spear gun at his humble abode in The Keys, he left his KEYS to his jumbo jet back in the Miami. (Ok, I'm not sure he really has a Key to his American Airlines 767. But The Lt Col (ret) should have a set of keys, right?). And The Freakshow to end All Freak Shows (get the grammar / sentence structure thing?) pounded out 10 laps on his ancient Black Sheep single speed machine. 

And now the controversy. The Lt Col likes to round up. Like, a lap is 18.9 miles, about, so The FreakShow rounds up to 20+ miles / lap. SO... The Controversy. 

The data clearly shows that the battle was not won, by THE OLDEST founding father of Back of the Pack Racing. The data clearly shows that The Lt Col put in 189.850 miles, which is a record at the back of the pack. But 189.850 is not 200.0000. I don't care what fuzzy math a dude works with, I don't care what Chaos Theory a dude believes in. 189.850 IS NOT 200. End of Story.

And let me just throw this in. The Lt Col's 189.850 is a record. But 8th place in the USA 24 Hour National Championships /  Solo SS... is not a record. That record would be held by The Philosofizer, 6th place, at a much harder / technically demanding course formally known as 24 Hours of Moab. Yep, just had to complete The History.

Better luck next time LT Col. The Battle rages on.

But to The Lt Col's defense, I think the dude is just lost in the "straightforward fuzzification during the sixties and seventies" because the old dude grew up in the 60s and 70s.

The Data... The Results:

Data Doesn't Lie... Even if The Lt Col won't believe The "1s" and "0s"

And then there is the rest of The Crew and performances that you are accustom to seeing at the back, way back, in the pack:
  •  Mad Rhino: something like 6 laps. He had 'issues' around midnight. We call these issues The Demons. But Mad Rhino calls the 'issues' just 'issues'. More on that some other day.
  • The Judd: something like 3 laps. The phat dude was pounding out laps, cranking up the hills, smiling at all the ladies, blah blah blah. Then the phat dude simply said... "riding laps if F'n stoopid, more than slightly stooped, I want to go bike packing, I want to go to Colorado and cruise on The Trail. 
  • Duece: probably 2 laps. We lost count. He lost count. But that doesn't matter. The dude showed up at 24HITEF to dominate the FatBike category but was placed in the SS Championship category. This issue freak'd the dude out. He collapsed under the pressure and decided to take it easy, back of the pack style
  • Jolly: we have no idea what this freak put down. You see, he signed up for the Phat Bike category. AND he showed up with a Phat Bike that had PHAT GEARS. So, the dude promised to stay in Gear 10, Gear 10 out of Gear 27, and we said.... "ok. Sure, we won't disqualify you because you are The Jolly and The Jolly Crew is f'n cool". And then we turned our backs, laughed and decided that Jolly just secured his position at the back, way back
AND THEN... our buddies in Colorado. The Thelen's that roll at The Back of the Pack but race 'professionally' for ProCycling. That's right, at the back of the pack we hang with 'pros'. Just because.

So Nick is / was The Official PIT BOSS (he was 'tapering' for something) and now Tracy is THE 24 HOUR SOLO NATIONAL CHAMPION. NATIONAL CHAMPION like THE CHAMPION in The United States of America.

How cool is that! Way to go Tracy! You are way tougher than any of us, plus you blew through the 200 mile barrier. AND, no matter what you say, we don't give The Pit Boss any credit. You rode the bike. That dude just pounded Bud Lights like... like.. we pound IPA. 

The Chaos:

And of course, aside from the biking, there was major chaos at the Back of the Pack pit. I didn't take many notes, as I'm tired of begin The Hustorian... and The Philosofizer... and The Leader. I'm just tired. So, we have a few quotes that will make you shutter / wonder / or call the cops.

The Teenager #1: "Dad why can't we have suspension?" 
The Lt Col: "I gave you suspension, you were born with knees and elbows" 

The Lt Col: "There's going to be a lot of reprogramming on the drive home" as he shakes his head when The Teenagers explain TO THE GROUP what a helicopter ride really is. (MADRE! Do not click on that link! Actually, Madre, stop reading right here!)

The Teenager #2:
The dude tells us his #1 pickup line: "Do you work at Subway? ....Because you're giving me a foot long!" 

Duece: "I drank too much and .... too recently." (Sorry, I can't complete that quote, as The Madre is probably still reading are REALLY get's PISSED OFF when I'm 'crude' in The Ether that we call The Internet.)
  •  By the way, isn't it crazy that we have this WORLD FAMOUS blog yet we can't be 'us' because of Censorship. Yep, we live in America. I guess The Madre is just trying to protect us all from The NSA. F*^k'n spies. Although I'd like to work at the NSA and spy on all of you freaks. Ok, that may be boring.)
What's Next?
What's next? Hell. I don't know. 
  • I'm headed to Colorado to check out The Trail
  • Some of use are headed to Alaska for SSWC14... and liver transplants.
  • And then there is The Colorado Trail Race.
  • How about a trip to The UK... SSUK14. That may happen. 
    • And check out The Sponsors... dude
Enough Lingo... The Pics

The pictures that matter... because it's about The LifeStyle and NOT The Laps
ok, that's twisting the truth, just a bit.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

24 Hrs in the Old Pueblo: The Morale Chairman DOMINATES... at the back of the pack

24HITOP v2014 will go down in the books as... just another awesome weekend with awesome dudes and dudettes. Yeah. We could say it's was the best weekend of 24 hour chaos, EVER. But, you see, we have a great time no matter where we are or what we are doing. Because that's how we do it.

But this weekend was a bit different, a bit new. The Freak Count, i.e., the total freaks in The Crew at the Back of the Pack, expanded over that last year or so. And this was the first opportunity for a critical mass to assemble. And let me tell you, the critical mass went Critical, if you know what I am saying. And that's JUST THE WAY we like it. 

So read on, if you care. Or don't. 

but first, like the Back of the Pack Pit / Drive-In at Old Pueblo. 
Anti-Professional Photography at its Finest

The strategy of The Founding Fathers:
The Crew at the back of the pack now consists of each and every type of Hooligan that you can imagine.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Arrowhead 135 v2014: Holy Moses... Simply Unbelievable

I'll be serious to start this soliloquy, before I dive into The Alternate Reality that governs us at The Back of the Pack. (And yes, I am talking to myself, I really am. I think.)

The Overview:

The Arrowhead 135 has the greatest assembly of humans ever, at any one place, in any one event. That's why the Arrowhead 135 is truly the best race in The Universe. The race organizers, race volunteers, spectators... JUST AWESOME

And the Racers! The most courteous / gracious athletes I've encountered. Think about that. Every racer is frozen. Miserable. But friendly & courteous. It's like every racer is your long lost brother. Seriously. I love it! And then there are the awesome Minnesota inhabitants. Everyone is awesome. Hotel operators. Bar tenders. Waitresses. You name it. Awesome humans. I love everything about northern Minnesota. And not just because I'm a Minnesota native... raised in Colorado, of course. 

And we now have two years that serve as data points... 

Anyway. The Arrowhead v2014 was the biggest physical / mental achievement of all my athletic endeavors. And the 2nd best experience of my life... right behind The Antarctica / South Pole trip. (And sorry, only a trip to The Moon will beat out The South Pole.)

I have yet to come down from the adrenaline, the high generated by the OUT OF THIS WORLD experience. It's that awesome. It just is.

And, by the way, if you aren't interested in The History, from The BPR Hustorian, then just check out the pics from the website. Awesome. (Although I still don't understand that thing called a 'derailleur'.)

The Alternate Reality... as I Experienced IT:

Ok. Here it goes. Below is an volume or two of information. Some serious. Some not. That's just how I operate. That's how I roll.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014: A Schedule for Ludacracy... Managed CHAOS

I was planning to construct a large scale review of the 2013 events. Because:

If you don't understand The History... you can't MANIPULATE The Future.

But then I realized that The Crew, the BPR Fan Club, the general public has a finite attention span and thus the large scale effort would be a waste of ONE valuable resource... a limited natural resource... my time. 

So I decided to construct a list of 2014 events that we plan to attend.  
(We = me + The Morale Chairman + any and all freak jobs that want to hang)

And let it be known that 'plan' is defined in OUR Alternate Reality. And this reality changes at random and unpredictable intervals. Just say'n.

And before we get to the agenda - remember... 
Ja Love You More and that's fore-sure. 

Arrowhead 135:
date: January 27 - 28+
the history: Arrowhead 135 v2013
comments: the weather is the unknown. disaster could strike in the form of: tropical heat, sleet, snow, ice storm, crippling cold, etc. But let it be known that we are fully loaded with what you'd call... Life Insurance. So if we meet our MAKER(s), someone(s) will get filthy rich. I think.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Life underground, and under the bridge.
YOUR life could be worse...see video below and you decide.

Ride your bike!

Photo dump from recent B.P.R. adventures.
Photo Credit - me and other people whom I jacked them from.