Ty Kady

The former Semi Pro XC rider and 3X Sea Otter Champion will be acting as Sho-Air/Specialized's team manager for 2009. Ty brings with him years of bicycle racing experience. Prior to that, Ty was a Professional Super Cross and Motocross racer on the AMA circuit back in the late '90's

So its Halloween!

October 29, 2010

So it's Halloween

And you feel like dancin'

And you feel like shinin'

And you feel like letting loose

Whatcha gonna be

Babe, you better know

And you better plan

Better plan all day

Better plan all week

Better plan all month

Better plan all year -Dead Kennedy's circa '82

Ah….. all Hallows eve is just around the corner and its time to throw down with all the ghouls and ghosts! I'm thinking of running "Chucky" from the Child's Play movies. Running a rad bowl cut, in some overall's would be classic for sure!

Halloween has to be one of my favorite times of year, and certainly one of the best "holidays" in my book. The change in seasons, the weather becoming cooler, the moist, tacky trails to be ridden, for me it doesn't get any better than fall.

Traditionally Halloween was used to mark the end of summer. Samhain was not only a band fronted by Danzig, but a Celtic festival used to celebrate the end of summer and the "darker half" of the season with shorter days and longer nights. This now secular celebration has taken on a new form in recent centuries, but is super fun none the least.

So to everyone, have a great Halloween, stay safe and most of all have fun!

Till Next Time,

The Red Cowboy!

Cross Together, Rock Together.

October 5, 2010

It's Not The Way We Look

It's Not Our Stance Our Style Our Hair

Forget Those Stupid Barriers

Take Down That Flag You Wear

Just People Living On

With Different Hearts And Different Minds

If We Live In The Same World

Why Can't We Stand In The Same Line

If We Can Walk Together

Why Can't We Rock Together -Seven Seconds

<>

Well with fall upon us it means Cross Fever has hit So. Cal.; time for the underground scenesters to come out of hibernation; Ramone’s shirts sporting rolled up rocker jeans, girls with knee high rainbow socks, cowbells and of course Tattoo's are just some of the things that let you know you aren't at a road or mountain bike race.

I've only done a handful of CX races in my life, choosing instead to enjoy the off season with some mellow rides, unstructured training, and partaking in the flowing beer and food that accommodates the holiday season.

However, Sunday morning while sipping a cup of Joe with my wife, watching Charles Osgood on Sunday morning, I got a wild impulse to race some Cross. There was a cross double header at Bonelli Park, right up the road from the house, and they were offering a Non UCI CAT 1/2/3 class at high noon. Perfect, a little 45 minute effort should blow out some cob webs.

Usually I scoth at such ill prepared undertakings when it comes to racing, because usually when you leave it to the last minute, shit can and usually does goes wrong. With that said, I made a mad rush to prep my S-Works 29 that had been collecting dust since August and thought it even better to mount a pair of Specialized Houffalize CX tires to my race wheels I had been saving, thinking this was the hot ticket to bridge the cyclocross gap.

Once at the track, I was not sure what pressure to run my tires at, so I set out asking around what people were running. Low PSI seemed to be the set up according to the CX crew. So with 32 PSI front/rear, I set out on some warm up laps prior to my race start. No sooner than a couple laps in, I was feeling comfy and thought I would try to hop the barriers. After all I was on the best 29 MTB hardtail around, dialed in with riser bars, disc brakes so I thought of it as an elementary exercise! Plus Sid makes it look so easy, so it’s got to be, right?

Next thing I know, upon landing over the first barrier, the front tire blows of the rim, sending me into a flying "W" into the last barrier. I've now just wadded myself up on my parade lap, with less than 12 minutes to start….what a F*#king kook! I can't remember the last time I hit the deck that hard, and even worse it was a squirrel move on my part! Man, I should have just stayed home!

Within thirty seconds I feel my left leg start to fill with fluid, which is always a bad sign! I somehow gain my composure, find someone with a floor pump near the start finish line and get the tire to seat, even though half my Stan's is soaking into the grass at this point. But now a new problem, it’s not holding air!! Man, I knew this whole mission could be a triumph or tragedy and its heading down hill quick!

Now calls up for the race come over the P/A. F-it! I throw in 60 PSI in the front, thinking if it’s a slow leak I may get 45 minutes out of it…maybe?.

In the end, I sucked it up while running a softball sized lump on my leg and took a 4th place on the day in the combined 1/2/3 race. Not too bad, but what a cluster it turned into and it would have been much more enjoyable to not have all the self inflicted drama.

Still it was fun to get out and see some fresh new faces and check out all the enthusiasm cross racing brings. It’s a good crowd and the vibe is laid back, making this a fan and rider favorite.

Till Next Time,

Watch out for the barriers

The Red Cowboy.

I'm goin' in to sin city

September 22, 2010

I'm goin' in to sin city

I'm gonna win in sin city

Where the lights are bright

Do the town tonight

I'm gonna win in sin city, let me roll ya baby-AC/DC circa '78

As I pen this latest blog novella, I'm in the final measures for a bonsai run out to Sin City this Friday. With that in mind I felt it was only proper to run a little AC/DC's "Sin City" with front man Bon Scott at the helm to christen this annual pilgrimage!

For anyone in the cycling business, the last full week of September only means one thing…….Las Vegas and Interbike! People bank their entire year around Interbike, with vendors and dealers converging on the floor of the Sands Convention center, gawking at the latest and greatest product, and looking forward to another season of all things bicycles. It’s also a time to let the hair down at the many after parties because as they say “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. Is that even possible with the Internet?

This year, I'm taking a different approach than years past! No more Nudes on Ice, Pen and Teller or long bouts of pickling my organs with copious amounts of alcohol and other damaging substances that leave me feeling wrecked weeks after. No this year I'm going to take it all in on one day, and get the hell out of Dodge!

I've had a long history with Sin City that dates back to my motocross days of the AMA Super Cross finals at Sam Boyd Silver Bowl, the MGM Grand Invitational and the days of World Mini Grand Prix! So the luster for me, even in the city where I tied the knot with my lovely has long faded. The days of buying puke insurance at the infamous Double Down as I went head to head with the crew from S&M bikes on an Interbike bender are just an asterisk in my record book.

This year, I will be highly focused on scheduled meetings and pushing the US Cup series and other opportunities we are offering. That still doesn't mean I won't have time to drop by a booth and drool over some carbon unobtainum, but time for wondering aimlessly or the pursuit of the next keg will be off the radar.

Till next time,

keep the wheels turning.

The RedCowboy

I Don't Mind the Pain

September 13, 2010

Remember to call my name

I adore it

If you call my name

I implore it

If w/ all these things we invoke here

Call you out our name

But be forewarned dear

I don't mind the pain- Danzig 4 circa '94

Well the US Cup just wrapped up the last race of the season, with the Specialized Invitational Finals at Bonelli Park. It was an awesome racing season, and for me one of the most fun I can recall.

Since we were sans Plaxton and Tad Elliott, I decided to kit up with Sid Taberlay, Johnny O'Mara and Team Blogger to see if the Team Sho-Air/Specialized boys could do a little damage on the day.

When the final curtain fell, we took 3 of the 4 classes we entered with Taberlay taking the Men's Pro, Johnny O taking the CAT 1 45-49 and yours truly taking down the CAT 1 30-34. Not only did we wrap up the Specialized Invitational Finals title, we all added a California State XC title to our race palmares, and thus capping off a great season for the Team Sho-Air/Specialized squad……Golf Clap!

I can't speak for Sid or the O'Show, but between the lack of racing and sitting in an ice cold office 40 hours a week, it was a pretty gnarly race for me. The mid to upper 80 degree temps were deceptively hot, and I had a target on my back with 15 CAT 1's looking to dethrone the Red Cowboy. But while my pasty white skin and office wig may give you the impression I'm a little light in my loafers…..I don't mind the pain!

In fact most of the appeal to this sport (for me at least) is inflicting pain on other's and yourself in some weird masochistic way. The whole goal is to break that person before they break you. Because at some point in a race, I don't care who you are, you always go through a little rough patch, or a little doubt creeps into your head telling you " Man, I'm a little off today or I don't know how much longer I can hold this effort, or shit its pretty hot out here". But if your like me, you will find solace in the pain and motivation knowing that if its hurting you this much, then its got to be hurting them just as bad or hopefully even more!

Also, this was also my maiden voyage on the S-Works Epic, as I'm usually prone to running the 29. However, conditions were far harsher than the March opener, and the course was down right nasty with square edge breaking bumps, loose decomposed soil typical this time of year in Southern California. I must say the Epic worked beautifully under these conditions and really led me to appreciate the "small" wheels again. It also didn’t hurt that I was on the bike that won the Triple Crown opener and Mellow Johnny's Pro XCT, so it was dripping with magic!

At the end of the 5 lap affair, I was able to gut out another solid win, leaving me undefeated on the 2010 Season…..Golf Clap.

Now its time to go into off season hibernation, feasting on a cornucopia of Happy Hour morsels and fine Ales!

Till Next Time,

The RedCowboy

Working Man

September 8, 2010

I get home at five o'clock

And I take myself out a nice, cold beer

Always seem to be wonderin'

Why there's nothin' goin' down here

Well, they call me the working man

I guess that's what I am…..Rush circa '74

Ah, all things Canadian again for this weeks blog!

This past Labor Day weekend left a soft spot in my heart for the "working man" and nothing is more fitting than a little Rush's "Working Man" to get my point across. One of the hardest working Trio's in Rock, Rush embodies the working class hero and their hard work and perseverance has led to a career that has spanned over 40 years!

Speaking of the working man, it looks like my picks for World's were turned upside down. I was lured into thinking Kabush, Plaxton or Pendrel would pull off something special, in front of their countrymen, but GB was the top North American and Canuck in 8th, well behind the top 3, which included Specialized's own Burry Stander who put in a solid podium ride. The Mountie put in a mediocre ride in 39th, getting involved in a first turn pile up that abruptly ended his hopes for anything special.

In regards to myself, I'm hard at work orchestrating our last US Cup mountain bike event for 2010, the Specialized Invitational Finals held at Bonelli Park this Sunday, September 12th. The weather looks to be cooling off and the turnout at this year's event looks to be strong.

Well here's a toast to all the working stiff's.

Until Next Time,

Get yourself an ice cold beer!

The RedCowboy.

Everybody's Working for the Weekend.

August 27, 2010

Everybody's working for the weekend

Everybody wants a little romance

Everybody's goin' off the deep end

Everybody needs a second chance, oh- Loverboy Circa '81

I'm going off the deep end on this latest blog and it may compromise my image to get into a little Loverboy on a Friday. But I figured with only four people following this blog, one which includes myself, I'll probably keep my street cred!?!

Plus Loverboy was formed in Canada, and you know I'm partial to the Canucks, as we have one on Team Sho-Air/Specialized, Max Plaxton. Also why were on the topic of Canadians, I'm calling out a Canadian double at this weekend's World Cup in Windham, NY. Kabush and Pendrel will take it!!! I would have put down the Mountie as my choice, but Plaxton is foregoing the World Cup, in preparation for the following weeks World Championships, which ironically are held in Canada….go figure!

Well, another weekend's upon the working class, and I'm pumped to be home in my normal routine. All that traveling really makes me appreciate the small things, and being at home with familiar surroundings is one of them.

I'll get in a little bunch ride on Saturday morning on the SL3, followed by a Birthday party down at the beach, sipping some chilly ones with friends in the sand. Then its back to dial in the house with some old fashion chores, followed up usually by a good meal out.

Sunday will start with a good mountain bike ride at one of my favorite new spots-The Oaks and then back to HQ to relax and finish out the weekend.

Till Next Time,

The RedCowboy

The Boys are Back in Town!

August 20, 2010

Guess who just got back today?

Them wild-eyed boys that had been away

Haven't changed, have much to say

But man, I still think them cats are crazy-Thin Lizzy

With the season winding down, its time for Sho-Air to get back to the roots of local racing!

There's no better place than the Tuesday evening Over the Hump Mountain bike series held at Irvine Lake. The 6pm start time, let's a working stiff like myself straddle the desk for 8 hours, and then bounce over to the Hump for some fun and fitness.

At a recent Over the Hump race, the Sho-Air boys were back in town, with Sid Taberlay, Johnny O'Mara, and "Blogger" all taking the start line. This low key environment is refreshing from the usual high paced, high stressed world of managing the boys on the Pro National scene.

The plan for me was simple-work for Johnny O in the Expert class and try and keep the 4X National Master's XC Champ out of the wind and out of trouble on the mass start.

Everything went according to plan, as I led out the first half lap, before I handed the lead off to Taberlay. To my amazement, none of the other Pro's in the field filled the gap, and the Aussie simply rode off into the sunset.

Behind Sid, it was a five man freight train, but me and the O'Show had dislodged all his expert rivals. For the next few laps, I took some long pulls, covered attacks and generally kept Johnny out of trouble.

In the end, Johnny got the win, and closed in on the series title, while I took second and put myself in between him and his nearest competitor.

It was a great evening of racing, and we all had an ear to ear grin on our faces as we pulled into the pits.

This is what racing is all about!

Till Next Time,

Enjoy the ride

The RedCowboy.

Jesus built my Hot Rod

July 29, 2010

alone and it's here it's this thunder

the thunder oh the thunder

Jesus built my car

it's a love affair

mainly Jesus and my hot rod-Ministry '92

Well last weekend was quite a change of pace for myself and the boys of Team Sho-Air. Pedal power was replaced with Metal Power!

We got a back stage pass to go up to Laguna Seca to watch both the MotoGP and AMA Superbike stars do battle on one of the best tracks in North America. The smell of fuel and burning rubber, along with bikes tapped out at 190+ took me back a little to my roots of MX….well not the 190 MPH …but the smell of the fuel brought me back to the good ole days. It was also great catching up with some old friends who I hadn't seen in a decade that are still working in the Motorsports industry. The more things change the more they stay the same!

The team was there to support our newest Motorsports member, Eric Bostrom as he makes a come back to AMA Superbike racing after two years off. In only his second race back, Eric has made some great progress on the Team Sho-Air/Attack Performance/CycleWorld backed Suzuki and placed a good 7th place in Sunday's final after a first corner mishap that sent him back to 18th We also brought up MX hall of famer Johnny O to sign some team posters and bottles with EBOZ, and we had a real nice turn out at the rig….so the marketing machine was in full effect.

Well there's 3 more races on the AMA calendar this year, so let's hope that Bostrom and the crew keeps moving forward and maybe we end up on an AMA Superbike Podium by years end.

Until Next time,

Keep the rubber side down!

The RedCowboy.

Fade To Black!

July 16, 2010

Life it seems, will fade away

Drifting further every day

Getting lost within myself

Nothing matters no one else

I have lost the will to live

Simply nothing more to give

There is nothing more for me

Need the end to set me free

Metallica-Ride the Lightning circa '84

Well the 2010 season has finally faded to black. Its amazing how fast the season races by once your in the trenches!

Overall it was a great year for the boys….and Plaxton came up big again in 2010! From his opening win at the US Cup All Mountain Triple Crown in March, a podium at Fontana…... to his dominate win at Mellow Johnny's….the Mountie showed he's ready to play with the big boys. Even his 2nd at the Subaru cup, the kid went down swinging with a last lap attack! His never say die attitude is refreshing and complements Team Sho-Air perfectly.

But the chapter on the season isn't fully closed…..Plaxton has a chance to dethrone North America's best Male Pro, Geoff Kabush at this weekend's Canadian Nationals. A close 2nd last year, maybe 2010 is his year?....we will know by tomorrow afternoon!

Taberlay established himself as one hell of a short track racer this year. His 2010 Australian Short Track Title certainly gave the Aussie wings, as Sid took out big wins at the opening US Cup Triple Crown, the Opening Short Track at the Pro XCT opener in Fontana, and even when under the pump, he took a 5th at the highly competitive Sea Otter STXC…..seat tool bag and all!

We also got the "Golden Boy" Tad Elliott going for his second U23 title today in Granby, CO at the US Nationals. The kid can bring it at altitude, so lets hope Tad has a good day and brings Sho-Air a U23 title.

As for me, my travels will be limited to my beloved Orange County only….to and from the beach to catch up on some surfing and snorkeling….to and from my local Saturday bunch rides…..and to and from Bev MO to pick up a few icy cold adult beverages on the beach cruiser….oh ya!

As summer hits full stride, here's to wishing everyone fun and safe adventures.

Until Next Time,

The Red Cowboy

I'm on my way...Home Sweet Home!

June 28, 2010

I'm On My Way

Well, I'm On My Way

Home Sweet Home

Tonight Tonight

I'm On My Way

I'm On My Way

Home Sweet Home...Motley Crue

As I type this I'm finally about to get the hell out of dodge...well Wisconsin at least!

This two week east coast road trip is almost over, and I can't wait to get back to Cali! A series of cancelled flights and strange happenings has made this an interesting voyage, but an experience to remember none the less.

The boys laid it down, starting with the H2O Overdrive Triple Crown finals in Massanutten, Va. Sid slayed the opening SD over local Jeremiah Bishop. Fireworks in the short track and a couple instances cost the Aussie the win there, instead he ended up on the ground. For the XC, local knowledge and a solid ride from JB proved too much and Sid took a 3rd on the day.

But we wrapped up the overall series title and had a blast hanging at the resort riding some proper East Coast trails. Massanutten is definitely a first class resort!

We finished up the tour in "dairyland" for a round of the Pro XCT Series. Plaxton kept the ball rolling in Cheese Land with a strong second place in the men's XC race, lighting the fuse on the last lap with a good attack, but unlike Mellow Johnny's he just couldn't make it stick! Still better to go down swinging, than just sitting around for things to happen. The days effort put the Mountie into 2nd overall in the series with one round remaining.

An "A" for effort goes to "Tadpole" Tad Elliot. The kid turned himself inside out in the short track mixing it up with the likes of Jonathon Page and some legit dudes. Hopefully this is a good sign for him leading into the U23 Nats in a few weeks.

Well were about to board and If I don't have anymore SNAFU'S I should sleep in my own bed tonight.

Until next time,

The Red Cowboy.

Plaxton is a Live Wire!

June 4, 2010

Plug me in

I'm alive tonight

Out on the streets again

Turn me on

I'm too hot to stop

Something you'll never forget

Take my fist

Break down walls

I'm on top tonight

Cause I'm hot, young, running free

A little bit better than I use to be-Motley Crue Circa '81

Just decompressing from this weekend's race out at Mellow Johnny's. Seems some guy that's won a few Tours decided to open it to us Mountain Bikers and let us shred some Texas hill country trails on his private ranch…and it didn't disappoint.

First, the course was pretty tech with lots of rocky drop off's, loose shale corners, and few little punchy climbs. When you add to that sweltering, oppressive summer Texas heat and North America's top XC racers, you have yourself a race that separates the men from the boys.

Let's just cut to the chase and talk about Max Plaxton's ride in the men's Pro XC race. One word comes to mind- Gnarly!

I've had the pleasure these last couple years to ride lead moto at some of these races, so I've witnessed some really good racing, by some of the worlds best riders. Having the best seat in the house, I've really learned about these guys style and how they race. But what I witnessed on Saturday, was equally impressive. Not because I'm a biased team manager, but as a racer I can appreciate the level of all these guys and what they do on their bikes.

To watch Max sit back against North America's best, and then proceed to ride those guys off his wheel for the last two laps, was really impressive. Not just because all the big boys were there, but the conditions on the day were so gnarly, it wasn't really a race we thought anyone would just go off the front and stay away.

In fact I was concerned when he went to the front and started turning the screws. I was sweating my ass off in the neutral feed just standing there, I couldn't imaging doing it at 180+BPM! But obviously the Canuck knew what he was doing, and steadily continued to build his lead up to over two minutes by the races end.

So a big congrats to Max on a great ride, and another solid Pro XC victory to his resume.

For those interested, check out a little Team Sho-Air/Specialized video recap on our team's Face Book Page-

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1262242129875&ref=mf

Till Next Time,

The Red Cowboy.

Heaven and Hell

May 21, 2010

Sing me a song, you're a singer

Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil

The devil is never a maker

The less that you give, you're a taker

So it's on and on and on, it's heaven and hell, oh well-Ronnie James Dio in Sabbath

Sad news from the music scene, as Ronnie James Dio passed last Sunday. The Rainbow front man, then turned Sabbath leader was a heavy metal icon that left all too early at the age of 67 after loosing a bout to stomach cancer.

And while I would never want to put Team Sho-Air/Specialized on the same level as loosing a life or battling cancer, the team's had its share of some Heaven and Hell moments in 2010!

But it appears as if the boys are back on track, if this weekends results reveal anything?

While Sid didn't win this weekend at the second H2O Overdrive Triple Crown, the Tassie rode a calm and collected race and used his experience to walk away with the Triple Crown points lead with one round remaining.

As always, the scrappy Aussie was willing to suffer more than most, especially with his lack of altitude prowess and limit his loses on the weekend. He ended up on the podium in all three events on the weekend….Well done Mate!

Up in the Great White North, Max Plaxton was attending round one of the Canada Cup Series. It was Plaxton's first race since April 11th, after he contracted a stomach virus from his travels down to Guatemala.

But true to form, the Mountie bounced back, grabbing a solid win for himself and the team.

Let's hope the boys now have the ball rolling in the right direction as we head into Mellow Johnny's next weekend

Until Next Time,

The RedCowboy

Road Trippin'

May 4, 2010

Road trippin' with my two favorite allies

Fully loaded we got snacks and supplies

It's time to leave this town

It's time to steal away

Let's go get lost

Anywhere in the U.S.A. -Red Hot Chili Peppers

I just got back from the 2010 Idyllwild Spring Challenge this weekend, and had a killer 3 day road trip in the Team Sho-Air/Specialized rig. I was traveling with my favorite two allies-my wife and our dog Ruby. And just to keep it real, we were loaded down with snacks and supplies! Nothing better than some good food, good drinks and good riding!

I've always liked Idyllwild for a local mountain get away, and the Hurkey Creek venue has some of the best riding around in my opinion. But the 30 mile loop that we raced for Saturday's XC took it to another level.

I'm not one to talk about shredding single track, or getting my vibe on or aligning my Chi with nature, but I must be slipping these days or just getting older, because it was some of the best single track I have ever ridden..period! I caught myself multiple times just basking in the cool sunlight, just carving these pristine trails and soaking in the mountain as it was in full spring bloom! I can't remember in recent memory having that much fun in a race.

It really made me realize from a racers perspective that experience can make or break riding your bike, or at least for me at this stage in life. And when I put my promoter goggles on, I realized that events like these have a good low key vibe that keep people coming back for the experience time and time again. Its what the sport was built on all those years ago, and the Spring Challenge really captured that feel and vibe again.

At the campground the RV was a rider magnet and it opened up some pretty good conversations over the weekend. I had some first time racers drop by for some tips and what to expect on race day, to others wanting there picture taken with the team rig, or how Sid and Max were doing and what were they up to.

On a side racing note, Team rider Manuel Prado nailed the weekend's Pro men's stage and took home his second Idyllwild Spring Challenge Title. He won 2 of the 3 events and flew the flag well for the team…good job Manuel.

Well now its back to reality and back into the office, but it was a nice escape for a few days.

Till next time,

Go road trippin somewhere in the USA.

The Red Cowboy

Otter Pop Recap

April 23, 2010

I just looked in the mirror

And things aren't looking so good

I'm looking California

And feeling Minnesota-Sound Garden circa '91

Well, another Otter is in the books and from a weather standpoint, it’s the best I can remember. From a team standpoint, the event didn't go as we hoped.

The one saving grace was Sid's 5th place in the Short Track race on Saturday. Even then he was a bit under the pump, he clawed his way up to 5th behind Todd, Burry and Susi, so it was a Specialized podium party in STXC.

Plaxton was hot off a Bronze Medal at the Continentals the week before down in Guatemala, but he must have taken home more than the medal with him, as a serious bout of stomach illness sidelined the Mountie from Sunday's XC race!

Sid was in the lead group on the XC race for about two laps, before a puncture derailed his day….but that's racing and that's the breaks!

Other than that, my week was filled setting up the rig on Wednesday, and then it was virtually non stop meetings and greetings with team sponsors as well as US Cup sponsors. There never seemed like enough time in the day to get to everyone or talk with everyone as much as I would have liked. And when the day light was gone, it was onto team or sponsor dinners.

The highlight of the weekend was a photo with the infamous land Otter with my wife Davy and our Boston Terrier Ruby. Rubes didn’t really dig the Otter and let him know with a sturdy growl that had us all laughing!

Till next time,

Get out and Ride!

The Red Cowboy.

Ah….The Sea Weasel!

April 20, 2010

“Young gods smiled upon the crowd

Their music being born of love

Children danced night and day

Religion was being born

Down in Monterey”

“The Animals, Monterey Pop Festival 1967”

Just touched down in Monterey, and I’m getting the team and rig dialed in for another year of the Sea Weasel.

If I close my eyes, can I see and here Hendrix, The Airplane, Byrd’s and the generation that descended upon this town back in ’67 for a three day festival of love and music. There is still a bit of that Hippy feel to this town and laid back vibe that reminds you of this places history.

My wife and I love Monterey and look forward to coming here every year and visiting our local hang outs and good food spots. Our Boston Ruby has joined us every year too, and she always loves to come out and hang. Its one of the rare times of the year she gets to run her killer dog sweater!!

Race wise, this race is going to be pretty gnarly, as it always draws a lot of International talent. Sid and Max have both been riding really strong as of late, and both finished second and third to Susi last year in the XC.

I know the Specialized factory team is showing, so that means Susi and Burry, along with Wellsie. It looks like the “Deaner” will be racing this year, and as a multi time Otter winner you can never count out Kabush. I’m sure there will be some other top North American and European talent I’ve forgotten to mention, by on this new 6 KM XC course, my bets still on Tabs and Plax!

Fortunately the weather forecast looks killer and we won’t get any rain, so that is going to take weather out of the equation!

Signing off from the Sea Weasel…….

The Red Cowboy

Tuesday's Gone

April 6, 2010

Train roll on, on down the line,

Won't you please take me far away?

Now I feel the wind blow outside my door,

Means I'm leaving my woman behind.

Tuesday's gone with the wind.

My woman's gone with the wind.-Lynyrd Skynrd

Man, I just looked up at the clock and Tuesday's gone with the wind!! That means my weekly blog is behind the eight ball, and my million of adoring fans will start to get rowdy if they don't get there fix!

Well, I'm heading north this weekend to Santa Ynez, home of round #4 for the Kenda Cup West Series. This weekend's race also marks round #2 of the H2O Overdrive West Regional Triple Crown Series presented by Specialized. It will be interesting to see if the local and regional Pro's support the concept of a smaller, more localized Triple Crown format, but still with some decent pay. There's a lot going on, with Sea Otter next weekend, and the Continental Championships this weekend as well.

With Plaxton and Prado will be down in Guatemala this weekend, chasing UCI points, I'll come loaded with one pistol for this event, but its my trusty Aussie 45 and seems pretty reliable.

On the Amateur side of things, this is round #4 of a six round series, and a week out from the Sea Otter. Could be some fast locals out at the race this weekend, testing there legs and fitness before laying it down the following week at Laguna Seca.

Well I better get off the blog and back to crackin'! I'm running out of day light and still have a shit load of work to do!

Till next time,

Ride on Train!

The Red Cowboy

California Uber Alles

March 30, 2010

"California Uber Alles"

Now it is 1984

Knock-knock at your front door

It's the suede/denim secret police

They have come for your uncool niece

Come quietly to the camp

You'd look nice as a drawstring lamp

Don't you worry, it's only a shower

For your clothes here's a pretty flower.-Dead Kennedy's 1980

Last weekend's race at Fontucky went pretty well, except for the gale force Santa Ana's on Saturday's XC race, makes for a bad hair day! Otherwise the low 80 degree temps in March would be a welcomed site in most other states.

Next up on the Team Sho-Air/Specialized tour de Cali is the H2O Overdrive Regional Triple Crown at Santa Ynez on 4/11, then the following week, were off to the Sea Weasel Classic in Monterey. Both those races are in Central California, which is always nice this time of year, with lush green rolling hills, and most likely some rain!

But were almost out of our California run….we've got three Cali races down, two in the oven, before the team heads back east and I'm looking forward to a change of scenery.

Max and Sid picked up a 3rd and 4th respectively last weekend at the Pro XCT opener, but the race literally came down to the last 90 seconds, as Wells, Kabush and the boys were all battling for the win! Also props to Wellsy for taking the XC victory, he definitely earned it! Sound like with all the money he won, he's going to buy Meg and Myron some Sketcher Shape Up's after the big victory on Saturday.

On Sunday, the guys had fire in their eyes and our little Aussie friend was pretty determined to pop off a win in the short track. Max ended up playing the "Mountie"... And a great team role sitting in the chase group, as Sid and Trebon dropped the hammer from the start. Then the Max sliced through the pack on the last lap to put Team Sho-Air/Specialized 1st and 3rd on the box…..nice work laddies!

Till next time,

Keep the pedals turnin'

The Red Cowboy

Run to the Hills

March 26, 2010

Riding through dust clouds and barren wastes

Galloping hard on the plains

Chasing the redskins back to their holes

Fighting them at their own game

Run to the hills, run for your lives!-Iron Maiden Circa ‘82

Well it’s time to run to the hills this weekend and possibly run for your life!?!

The “beautiful” scenic foothills of Fontana will host the third round of the Kenda Cup West Series presented by Specialized. It also happens to be the opening round of the Pro XCT series, so there’s going to be some serious horsepower on the starting line tomorrow.

I put some new sections on the XC course this year, as I always like to keep things fresh. The new pro only section on the back side of the courses main climb is a pretty gnarly granite rock face, just to add some texture to this year’s XC course and hopefully bring the Fontana XC course up a notch for 2010.

Fontana is finally gaining some history with the riders, media and teams over the past few years, and the US Cup has made every attempt to raise the level of the Pro course and amatuer courses every year.

This year’s 2010 Fontana City National brought to you by Specialized, should give the riders a chance to blow out the cobwebs before the season hits full stride.

If your in the area, stop by for one of the best, high powered US Cup managed events in So. Cal.

Till next time,

The Red Cowboy

Search and Destroy!

March 16, 2010

I'm a street walking cheetah

with a heart full of napalm

I'm a runaway son of the nuclear A-bomb

I am a world's forgotten boy

The one who searches and destroys-Iggy and the Stooges circa '73

Well the first major race of the season is in the books, and my boys Max "The Mountie" Plaxton and Sid Taberlay were on a "Search and Destroy" mission at this weekend's H2O Overdrive Triple Crown race out at Bonelli.

Check out some of their post race interviews:

Sid- http://www.cyclingdirt.org/videos/coverage/view_video/236742-us-cup-triple-crown-1-bonelli-park/318511-sid-taberlay-post-bonelli-stxc-1st

Max- http://www.cyclingdirt.org/videos/coverage/view_video/236742-us-cup-triple-crown-1-bonelli-park/318516-max-plaxton-post-stage-race-bonelli-1st

This race was a big deal not only because it’s the first race of the season, but also the fact the H2O Overdrive Triple Crown series is presented by Specialized, our personal bike and equipment sponsor. So the guys had some big expectations on them to deliver.

This early in the season, nerves and jitters are common for everyone, including me as the Team Sho-Air/Specialized team manager. I didn't know what to expect from the boys, but I know anytime they throw a leg over their bike, there going to give us 100%.

Plaxton and Taberlay are seasoned veterans and really let there legs do the talking this weekend! I can't re iterate how good the guys did, with Sid really setting up Plaxton in the Cross Country race by covering multiple attacks and then going off the front himself to splinter the group. That set up Plaxton to go on a 3 lap Search and Destroy solo mission, that he held all the way to the end…great work Mountie!

Sid also clawed his way back to second place in the race, after getting a flat tire going into the next to last lap. Then the Tassie backed that effort up, by winning Sunday's opening Short Track race!

That put the Mountie in a must win situation for Super D if he wanted the title back from his teammate. In true Max fashion, he laid it all on the line and got the win, and the first Triple Crown title of the year!

The guys also not only went one, two for the overall on the weekend, but between the both of them, they swept every race, putting their S-Works Epic on the box every time.

Next up is Fontana, the opening of the Pro XCT series.

Here's to hoping the boys can carry the momentum and keep on a roll.

Till next time,

The Red Cowboy.

Picture Me Rollin'!

March 10, 2010

All that jealousy and envy comin from my enemies

While I'm sippin on Re-mi

in front of black Lexus, Chevy's on the roam

Ninety-six big body, sittin on chrome

As we head up out the zone, stone-facin is on

You can admire, but don't look too long

I'm livin a dream with triple beams and my pockets bulgin

It's hard to imagine -- picture me rollin!-Tupac "All Eyes On Me '96"

Yesterday, I dropped a few dozen Franklin's on a Twenty Ten S-Works Hard Tail sitting on 29's. Gotta say this bike is pretty Sano!

"Now I'm living the dream, down on the scene; soon to be throwing down.. if you know what I mean?

29's soon to be rollin' hard….layin' tracks..racin in my own backyard! Gotta keep it real, S-Works got mad appeal…

#358 back in the mix, two by nine is straight legit!"

OK enough on my "Flow and Tell" session! I'll leave that to J-Pow and Grand Master Wicks!

So I've been a Two Nine fan for a few years now, and even got the honor to test the Specialized Carbon prototype back in the day, before Eric Schuda blew me off :)

But I have to admit, the boys at Specialized took the production bike to a new level! I've only ridden it on the street around work once, but I can tell this things one bad Mo-Fo! Every detail put into the bike, let's you know this thing means business.

If you haven't considered going to the big wheel, I would suggest checking out the S-Works 29…I think for some, it will be the ticket.

Until next time, lay off the Hennessey and keep it real with all your enemies.

The Red Cowboy

My pain is self chosen!

March 2, 2010

My pain is self-chosen

At least, so The Prophet says

I could either burn

Or cut off my pride and buy some time

A head full of lies is the weight, tied to my waist-Mad Season circa '94

Eighteen months of no racing + first race back=PAIN!!

Last weekend was a real eye opener for me personally, as I decided to throw a leg back over the bicycle and race. You tend to forget just how painful racing mountain bikes can be, and I got a refresher course this weekend.

As Sho-Air/Specialized's team manager, there really isn't a reason to go out and compete anymore. With guys like Sid Taberlay and Max Plaxton each taking big win's on the Pro tour last year, I can just sit back and enjoy their success, knowing these guys will bring it!

But I've been at racing in some form or another for over 20 years now, and its something I don't think I will ever get out of my system. For me there's a masochistic comfort in the pain, and there's that little space you crawl inside your mind and everything else is irrelevant at that point. Pain is something that ever cyclists have make peace with if they plan on winning…..at any level!

So the opener to Kenda Cup West Series presented by Specialized has been on my calendar for the last few months, and I've been quietly logging in my lunch miles from the office, laying of the beer, adult beverages and Happy hour nacho's, in hopes of not embarrassing myself or my team guys.

Luckily, when the day was done, I pulled one out of the hat and took home the CAT 1 30-34 victory, which was my first race in over 18 months. While not as impressive as Sid Taberlay's two and a half minute win over the men's pro field, I'll take it!

A big congrats to all the race finishers and it was good to see everyone come out and support the US Cup, despite all the rain.

Next Stop, H2O Overdrive Triple Crown at Bonelli Park…..OUCH!!

Till next time, enjoy the ride!

The Red Cowboy

Game on!

February 22, 2010

Well its officially here, the start of the California Mountain bike season! This one snuck up on me rather quick, and it seemed like only yesterday, we were putting the final unification race to bed in September.

I think the 2010 race season is going to be a great one. The US Cup trailer has been re wrapped, and all the new signage and banners are complete. I'm still holding my breathe on a few more items to arrive, but I've surrounded myself with a good team and hopefully everyone does there part to see this all come together.

A big thanks to all the 2010 US Cup sponsors. Without these key relationships, I don't know where we would be.

Speaking of great partners, the Kenda Cup West opener at Sage Brush is brought to you by Team Duke.Org (www.teamduke.org ). Yes, it’s the same "Duke" as in the legend John Wayne.

Greg Garber and Jill down at Team Duke the have really rallied behind the US Cup, and we are honored to support and be a platform for there efforts in the fight against cancer. Team Duke is an extension of the John Wayne Cancer foundation (http://jwcf.org/ ), and both these entities are really pushing hard to get the message out about this disease.

This became all too real for me late last year, when my father was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. For better or worse, I always thought that somehow myself or my family was "immune" to this disease and that we would go unscathed…WRONG!!

So now more than ever, this relationship with the folks at Team Duke.Org has much more significance than just a banner or slogan, its affected me on a personal level, as it has millions of people across the globe.

With that said, come on out to Sage Brush this weekend and support Team Duke and the US Cup in the fight against cancer and lets keep raising cancer awareness.

Until next time, buck up little camper!

The Red Cowboy.

Nose to the Grindstone

February 16, 2010

I won't be the one left behind

You can't be king of the world

If you're slave to the grind

Tear down the rat racial slime

Can't be king of the world

If you're slave to the grind

-Skid Row '91

I don't know how many blogs I can start off by saying how busy things are, or "its been a whirlwind" before I even get sick of hearing it, but I'll definitely be putting my nose to the grind stone these next couple weeks.

On the US Cup series front, our Kenda Cup West Series presented by Specialized opens up on the 28th of February at the Sage Brush Safari. Long hailed as one of the funnest course's in Southern California, the Sage Brush is a flash back to the days of longer loops with a wide variety of terrain. Rolling moto trails with Whoop-De-Doo's, bermed corners, fast fire roads, rocky drops and a climb to Los Pino's mountain make this a must attend event. And with the recent rains, the dirt is setting up to be in epic condition!

In regards to the team, things are coming together with product, bikes, clothing trickling in before the season hits. My guys Max and Sid, being seasoned veterans have a pretty dialed in schedule that allows me to focus on other criteria, without worrying if there training or sitting on the couch eating Tim Tam's. With Sid currently training back home in OZ and Max in Arizona with the Canadian Cycling team, its been perfect timing while I have my head buried in other projects.

On a personal level, I've been back in "Bike" mode, trying to get my fat ass in shape for a little racing this spring. So why not just add more work to my plate and make the US Cup opener at Sage Brush my first race back in over 18 months….don't mind if I do!

I must confess getting off the bike and then trying to restart after any considerable time off is the most miserable experience. If you had any sort of fitness or form, and then take time off, you can kiss it good bye! And unlike Moto, where you can get your timing back in a few weeks of riding, the bicycle has a cruel way to humble you!

So to keep things in perspective I'm going to set realistic goals. If I can at least match the speed of Specialized 29 R&D bad boy Eric Schuda, which word on the street has him winning his first MTB race of 2010 already, I'll be stoked.

At this point, to think I could topple the "Beast", Bobby Behan is a bit unrealistic, given the stories I have heard about the guys athletic prowess. I had the "Enforcer" Ben Capron in my cross hairs, but I recant that statement and don't want nothing to do with the 2009 CAT 1 US Cup 30-34 Champ, who now moves up to the CAT 1 40-44 group!

So here's to hoping I don't go embarrass myself, Sho-Air/Specialized, or my adoring fans with this "mini comeback"!

But that's half the fun of this sport, right? The challenge, the bike mocking you at times, and the progression you can see and feel.

Until next time, get out and ride.

The Red Cowboy.

Here comes the Rain

February 9, 2010

Hot sticky scenes, you know what I mean

Like a desert sun that burns my skin

I've been waiting for her for so long

Open the sky and let her come down

The Cult 1985 "Love Album"

Well another week in the books and more rain on tap. While California was in dire need of rain, this El Nino trend brings me back to the mid '90's where the last memorable El Nino hit.

Back then I wasn't worried about muddy single track, blown group rides, or if I should run the S-Works Storm vs. the Sauserwind. Back then I was sweating if Anaheim stadium was going to be a quagmire for the AMA Supercross, and how I was going to prepare the Pro Circuit RM 250 to make it through the entire evening of racing. Lucky that pressure is off, but after awhile, a broken string a non riding days becomes frustrating.

Ride the trainer you say? As a pure "weekend" warrior, I've made a vow that if the weather is bad enough to stop me from riding, then it becomes a rest day, as I just can't come to bring myself to stare at a wall hours upon end on a stationary trainer anymore. What's the fun in that?

Plus as the Sho-Air/Specialized team manager, I got a group of solid guys in Max Plaxton and Sid Taberlay that suffer through the bad weather for me in hopes of winning on the main stage in 2010, so I'll take the "Hall pass" and continue as a professional desk jockey while mother nature foils my lunch time rides.

So here's to hoping our week won't be blown out by another El Nino deluge and I can actually get in some saddle time for the upcoming Kenda Cup West opener at Sage Brush on 2/28/10.

Till next time, stay dry

The Red Cowboy

Californication

February 1, 2010

It's the edge of the world

And all of western civilization

The sun may rise in the East

At least it settles in the final location

It's understood that Hollywood

sells Californication -Red hot Chili Peppers

Winter in Cali is in full effect, and it’s by far my most favorite time of year. While some could say it’s not really winter, to us locals it’s a great change of pace.

The recent California rains, have left the local mountains snow capped and the ground is sprouting its velvet green carpet. The once scarred, burnt and dead hills are coming back to life, making for some really nice scenery, especially if your enjoying it from the saddle of your Specialized!

Azusa and GMR are some of the best local So. Cal training roads. I know its not as core as the Rocky's or a two lane Swiss road carving through the Alps, but given I can be riding in the mountains or the beach, all within 30 minutes of my house, I wouldn't trade it for anywhere at the moment.

This Saturday took us up into the lower San Gabriel mountain range for a little tempo ride. The air was fresh from the recent rains, and the granite on the side of the road was still seeping water from the over saturation it took.

It's times like these that give Cali such a cool and fresh feeling; a far cry from the normal crowded, hot smoggy days that is the usual stereotype.

Once we crested Glendora Mountain road, Mt. Baldy was sitting in the background snow capped and I had to geek out and grab a riding photo. Ego aside, I was actually pumped in my surroundings and realized that the bicycle can make the ordinary seem much more intimate and impressive.

Till next time, keep it real!

The Red Cowboy

Well as the season fast approaches

January 26, 2010

Yeah, I want to travel south

This year

Aaah, Woah, Woah

Won't prevent safe passage here

Why you act crazy

Not an act maybe

So close a lady

Shifty eyes shade

Alice in Chains-circa '94

Well as the season fast approaches, its time to start to think of traveling schedules, plane flights, hotels, rental cars and all the other logistics involved with operating a US domestic XC team.

I'm really looking forward to a couple of venues that I haven't been to, that are on the 2010 Team Sho-Air/Specialized race calendar.

First place on the list for me is the H2O Overdrive Triple Crown presented by Specialized round at Massanutten, VA. From what I gather, the resort is first class with a water park that has indoor and outdoor features, and the "Flow Rider" at the top of my list.

Also, I can't wait to finally see what all the buzz is about with their acres and acres of riding trails, said to be some of the best in the states. As an added bonus, George Willets, an employee of Massanutten Resort, has some Motocross bikes on site that we will surely bust out for some unreal trail riding.

Water parks, moto trails, mountain biking should make for a great trip to Virginia.

Next on the list, is none other than "Juan Pelotas" Ranch, aka Lance's ranch. With family and friends from FT. Worth, TX, I've done the 3 hour drive to Austin many a time. Probably one of the coolest city's in Texas, Austin is a great place to visit and if I ever moved back there again, it’s the only city I would live in.

So here's to hoping that the 2010 season will offer new found places and new found friends, and may all the team and racers have safe passage as they travel here and abroad.

Until next time, safe travels.

The Red Cowboy

Full Steam Ahead

January 18, 2010

Well things have been shaping up nicely since my last post. I survived the Holidays and New Year, relatively unscathed.

Team Sho-Air/Specialized rider Sid Taberlay captured a Short Track National title this weekend in his native Australia, backed up by a third place in the XC. While it may not sound that impressive, its remarkable really that he had anything left in the tank after his long year, which saw him race from March-January….that's 10 months of racing!

As the team manager, you couldn't really ask more from a rider than what Sid delivered last year with a Pro XCT win, 2nd Overall in the series, a California State CX Title, A National STXC title, and a host of podium appearances and local wins. Great job my friend!

On the US Cup end of things, the Triple Crown All Mountain Pro Series just secured a title and presenting sponsor last week. Now officially dubbed "The H2O Overdrive Triple Crown presented by Specialized", the series format seems to be gaining momentum in the public and with the riders. Let's hope to get a good first year under our belt and build on it into the future.

Also, the US Cup Invitational Finals to be held on Sept. 11-12th, just secured a new naming sponsor, which I will shamelessly plug right here. Now titled" The Specialized Invitational Finals", the good folks at Specialized stepped in to ensure the US Cup and its calendar of events will be supported and top notch for the 2010 season…..special shout out to Ian Dewar for working so diligently to get this secured!

That said, I'm going to crawl back into my "Hole" and get back to work. There's plenty of items to attend to prior to the US Cup's first event, which kicks off in San Diego, CA on 2/28/10.

Until next time,

The Red Cowboy.

Run Silent, Run Deep

December 21, 2009

I want to apologize to the millions of fans that read my blog every week, for going radio silent over these last 14 days.

Over the last several weeks, things have gotten ridiculously busy, and unfortunately my "blogging" suffered as a result.

By don't fret, I'm back online and typing away diligently before Christmas hits and I get sucked into the abyss of adult beverages, fuzzy sweaters and fattening food!

Between managing the US Cup, managing a professional team and the onset of the holidays and family, I'm going to need a vacation from Christmas vacation.

But its all good and I wouldn't have it any other way. Plus I've managed to get in some additional saddle time these last few weeks, which is always a good outlet for me, so that has made things manageable.

Speaking of big things, take a look at the 2010 US Cup website. WWW.USCup.net The calendar is shaping up nicely for 2010, with an new series called the Triple Crown All Mountain Series. We hooked up with 3 great venues in Bonelli Park, Mountain States Cup and Massanutten Resort in VA, to create a high level Pro series that should offer great media exposure, and some prize money along the way for US based riders.

Can't travel across the US? Hit up our US Cup West coast series, that has the opening Triple Crown race at Bonelli, followed up by a Pro XCT race at Fontana in the calendar, and then your off to some other great Southern California events.

If elite level Pro racing aint your bag and you don't live in Southern Cal, look at the network of Kenda Cup Races that act as local and regional qualifiers for riders to try and earn a ticket to our Invitational Shootout in early September, where racers will go head to head for a #1 plate, Champions jersey and some great swag. Hopefully there is one in your area that you can attend.

But for now, get out on your bike, breathe in the fresh air or relax on the couch in your Snuggie with a cup of hot coco.

Until next time, enjoy the Holidays!

The Red Cowboy.

Love Removal Machine

December 7, 2009

"Fell to the red room because she was there, uh-huh-huh-huh

A scarlet woman, she got me in fear, yeah, yeah, yeah

She said, do all those things that you do to me

You know what I mean, boy

Do all those things that you do to me, yeah"-The Cult circa 1987

I finally got my wife Davy hooked up with her belated 41st Birthday present in the form of an S-Works ERA. A special shout to my boy Ian Dewar (pronounced Do-er on the streets) for making it happen!

S-Works ERA=Love Removal Machine!

Friday, we decided to burn off all the extra food and adult beverages we consumed on Thanksgiving, so we headed out to the old Fullerton Loop to get her new S-Works ERA dialed in. Upon further inspection, I can say this is one of the sexiest women's race bikes I have encountered!

The ERA is all laced up with carbon and XX sitting on Twenty-Six's….she was definitely big pimping! But what's was even more noticeable was the way the bike rode and inspired confidence. Compared to the old hard tail, the ERA was in a league of its own and made for a great day on the trails.

Now all I got to do is keep myself from being replaced by the bike and I'll be solid!

Until next time,

The Red Cowboy

What a Week!

November 18, 2009

Man, what a week will bring you.

Since my last post, it seems things are starting to run wide open again.

We flew out to Colorado Springs for the annual USAC promoters summit. Pressed for time, we left early Saturday morning, landed in Denver and pinned the rental car for Colorado Springs. We arrived just in time for lunch…perfect!

We then jumped into some afternoon meetings, which was very enlightening.

In between all of this, my guys Manny Prado and Ben Bostrom were down in Costa Rica racing La Ruta. Both were leading there respective classes going into the last day. Reports were spotty, so I was on the edge of my seat trying to get confirmation that they won the event.

Finally, one of the attending media reps confirmed that Prado took the Elite Men’s title and Bozzy won the Master Men’s A class, and finished a spectacular 5th overall…..way to go guys.

After some serious sessions, it was off to dinner. A couple beers, some good food and a game of pool capped off Saturday’s events and brought everyone together to mingle.

Sunday morning arrived and I was off to do my power point presentation over at the OTC. It went relatively well and then it was time to pack and make the 2 pm flight in Denver.

Back in the rental car, the roads were covered in Snow and Ice. We tip toed our way to Denver with Tedro doing his “10 and 2” driving position. We made the flight and were Cali bound…..thank God.

Touch down in Cali at 5:20 pm just in time for the wife to pick me up and head home.

Man, what a slam dance of a weekend!

Until next time,

The Red Cowboy.

Just Another Day:

November 10, 2009

I just put another great weekend in the books and things couldn't be better.

I got in some good saddle time this weekend starting with a road bunch ride on Saturday morning. I threw down some attacks on my Specialized Pro SL to test the fitness and by all indications, I'm starting to turn the corner and regain some of the form I had in 2008. To bad the team "blogger" couldn't hang and take a couple pulls for me, we might have been able to stay away from the chase group.

On Sunday morning, I hopped on the S-Works 29 HT and met up with "Big Ring" Billy for a session in Santiago Oaks. Bill's just scored a 2010 S-Works 29 HT and has been getting the bike dialed in over the past several weeks. The new bike and paint scheme is really trick.

We hit some great trails and the "Oaks" really offers a variety of terrain, especially for us down here in So. Cal. Between some technical single track and sketchy rock drops, to fast, flowy trails hidden under a canopy of trees, the Oaks is some of the best riding to be found in Orange County hands down.

My other time was spent on H.P. (House Patrol) since I've got the mother in law coming into town this week for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. That meant catching up on tons of laundry, vacuuming, dishes and all the other stuff that get's ignored during the work week.

Till Next Time,

The Red Cowboy

Off Season Push-

November 4, 2009

Even though its technically the off season for my riders, there is still plenty to do on the management side of things. Tying up all the loose ends from September's meeting at the big "S", as well as gathering additional team sponsors for 2010 has me under the pump.

I've been still managing to get on the bike as often as possible to fight off the over indulgence that is sure to come in these next few weeks of Holiday gatherings. I see a forecast of Beer, Turkey, stuffing, deserts and basic gluttony staring me in the face as Thanksgiving rapidly approaches, so hopefully my local group ride helps me keep the LB's off!

The 2010 US Cup series is also coming together nicely and all most all the venues and dates have been selected. We've added some new sponsors, and have brought back several key sponsors from 2009. It looks like we are in for even a better year of US Cup managed events and I hope to build on our efforts from last year…or is it still this year?? I get lost in this time warp of planning and thinking for 2010, while its still November 2009…

In other team news, Sid Taberlay has been making a splash on the local So. Cal Cyclo Cross circuit. He started out with a bang at the opener, winning the event on his MTB. Since then he's managed to be on the podium at every race, while getting some much needed speed work training in the off season.

Ben Bostrom and Manny Prado are down in Costa Rica training and planning for the La Ruta Stage race. From the photo's and updates that have been sending, I'm glad I'm a desk jockey and not a Pro rider! The terrain, mud and weather down there doesn't look to appealing compared to my controlled climate office….but kick some ass guys!

Until next time, Keep the rubber side down.

The Red Cowboy.

Staycation

October 12, 2009

With the US Cup series and team obligations at slight lowell right now, there's nothing better to me than staying home on the weekend and just chillin.

Traveling some much during the year, plus as an amateur and professional motocross rider back in the day, I relish the weekend's I can stay home, catch up on some things around the house and get in some riding on the weekends.

Saturday started off with a cup of coffee and some laundry work. I headed out around 11:30am after the clouds finally broke for a road ride on my Tarmac Pro SL, which is one impressive bike if I must say so myself. Just a few years ago this bike would have been full blown S-Works technology with its 10r FACT carbon frame and cranks, yet in 2010 it doesn't get the S-Works branding. And at a price of $4400 retail, its amazing to see how the trickle down race technology makes its way into the public sector at a reasonable price.

After putting in a couple hours through one of our local canyons, I was back at the pad ready for some lunch and some afternoon shopping for house supplies.

Sunday, after I did some morning chores, I hooked up with a good friend to do a MTB ride up Glendora Mountain Road. Long famous for its opening TT in the San Dimas Stage Race, there's a dirt road that parallel's the famous Southern California climb. Its just a little over an hour to the top at a medium tempo pace and offers a mixture of good terrain. It’s a good break from the normal silty, powdery conditions that effect most Southern California MTB riding at this time of year.

Instead of our usual decent back down GMR, we hooked a right at the top and headed over towards MT. Baldy. Just a few miles up the road, was another system of trails that I had mapped out the night prior on Google Earth. While I had some idea of where we were heading, Bill and I were still essentially riding blind, hoping the trail would dump out at the bottom somewhere near our car.

After descending for almost a half hour and navigating our way around, we managed to pop out within a 1/4 mile of our car and the lot. The route was way better than descending back down GMR, which on the weekend is open not only cyclists, but every street biker hoping to be the next Ben Bostrom. Having a guy dive in on you as your going for the apex at 40+ on a bicycle can be an unnerving event to say the least.

However, this new route was a hidden gem and we both agreed it was the only way to go from now on.

Until next time,

The Red Cowboy

Meeting of the Minds

October 7, 2009

Well things are rolling along nicely for 2010. I just returned from a trip to the mother ship up in Morgan Hill to discuss team and series with two of the companies head honchos.

Every time I visit the big "S", the place always blows my mind.

Whether its the new product, the show room floor or the staff…. The whole place seems really dialed in as well oiled machine.

I gave myself a good scare messing around when I thought the electric chair upstairs displaying the helmets was a prop. I decided to flip the red power lever to see what would happen and to my surprised the thing came alive with a deep vibrating, pulsating sound that made me jump…..I guess that's what you get for messing around with things you shouldn't!

The meeting between myself, Sho-Air president Scott Tedro, Bobby "The Beast" Behan and Ben "The enforcer" Capron was enlightening to say the least. To add to the surrealism to the whole thing, The Captain himself called into the meeting and was pumped into the room via a massive BOSE speaker system. Fittingly, Ned sounded like the voice of God himself as his voice permeated the ceiling tiles as he chimed in on topics and gave us his input. Considering Ned has been with Specialized for several decades, I just thought the whole scenario was too funny.

After the meeting, Bobby gave Scott and I a quick tour. We got a sneak peek at some of the new product and equipment coming out for 2010. The stuff I saw was unbelievable and it looks like Specialized really does believe in their "Innovate or Die" mantra!

Later that night, we met up with Bobby for dinner at one of his local Morgan Hill Thai food haunts. Unfortunately, Ben "The Enforcer" Capron had parenting and family duties back home and was unable to join us.

We still managed to have a good time and get back to the hotel at a decent hour.

On Friday morning, I hooked up with R&D guy Eric Schuda and Global Marketing guru Sam Benedict. It was good to catch up with these two, especially Eric who is a So. Cal transplant and who I have known through Rock N Road Cyclery for many years. Its refreshing to see Eric find a company where his passion and experience is well used.

I then hopped a flight out of San Jose back home to O.C., just in time to start my weekend.

Until Next Time,

The Red Cowboy

It’s a Wrap

September 29, 2009

Well the season is "officially" over with all PRO XCT and Kenda Cup's in the books. It was a good first year and I think things will only get better moving forward.

The Sho-Air/Specialized team did really well in 2009 and I'm proud of my guys and everyone who made it possible. We were there week in and week out and were always a factor at the races. We put at least one rider on the podium at every event we attended, so you can't argue with that!

I got a couple days in Vegas to touch base with some industry contacts at the Interbike Show and take a look at the new 2010 product. Its always cool to see who is pushing the limits of performance and function, and it looks again like Specialized is pushing that envelope! Plus putting faces to names is always nice in this day and age of e-mails, texting and cell phones, so I was to get to meet some key players face to face.

Other than that, we are already looking forward to 2010 in regards to the team and series. We have some really cool things lined up for next year, that I will fill you in on at a later time.

Until next time,

The Red Cowboy

Seventy Five and Sunny

September 11, 2009

I just capped off a pretty Epic Labor day weekend that include some good riding, good friends and great food.

The weekend started off Saturday with a local bunch ride that leaves out of Fullerton at 8am. I'm just getting my Tarmac Pro SL dialed in, and I'm feeling more comfortable every week I spend on it. The acceleration and handling on this bike is really crisp. As my fitness comes around, I'm able to play a more active roll at the front of the group which is always fun.

After laying down some good attacks and getting in a 3 man break that stayed away from the main group, I was back home ready to do my "Honey Do's" around the house.

From there it was a quick trip up to LA for a afternoon BBQ with some friends we hadn't seen in a while. I chowed down on some tasty Turkey burgers, threw back a couple of Bass beers and put the feet up on the couch to take a load off from the mornings bunch ride.

We got home at a decent time on Saturday evening to begin packing for our departure on Sunday morning for the mountains. I figured Davy and I would get a room up in Big Bear for the night and do some riding and hanging out, plus I wanted to get out of the smoke filled air.

With all the fires we've had recently, the air quality has been less than desirable for any kind of activity, plus its been "Africa" hot the past few weeks and we wanted to get away and beat the heat. The only good (if any) I guess, is the sunsets have been amazing as the light refracts off all the particles sent into the atmosphere from the roaring blazes, which leads me to thinking about the Fixx and there song "Red Skies"-

Red skies at night, red skies at night

Wo oh, wo oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

Red skies at night, red skies at night

Wo oh, wo oh oh oh oh oh

Had to throw in some classic 80's riffs for ya!

We got a good jump on Sunday morning and split for the Mountains. You know its going to be a good weekend, when your up in the mountains and its 75 degrees and sunny with not a cloud in the sky. And the air was crisp and clean…..ahh Heaven!

We quickly unloaded the car and prepped our bikes and were off for an afternoon ride of exploring. I took Davy through downtown Big Bear and then off Pine Knott Ave. into some of the local trails. We road some of the old NORBA course sections from back in the day as we made our way over to Snow Summit. From there we took a mixture of fire roads, jeep trails and single track to the other side of the resort and made a 2 hour loop out of it.

After the ride, we cleaned up and hit the town for some dinner, drinks and ice cream. Downtown was hopping with a labor day festival and street market that was pretty cool. After walking around doing some window shopping and browsing, we called it a day.

Monday morning, I hooked up with some Big Bear Locals-Larry Longo, Derrick Hermon and Tommy Spiegel. These guys know every inch of the surrounding trails in Big Bear, so I knew they wouldn't disappoint. They said they had a ride they wanted to do….so with my Specialized Carbon 29'er I was all game.

The guys turned me onto the PCT loop, which turned out to be some of the most Epic single track I have ridden anywhere in So. Cal. It turned into a good 3 hour plus ride, with some really cool guys and some really fun terrain. My 29'er was loving every inch of this fast, flowy, and punchy single track loop!

I couldn't have asked for a much better weekend. I got in some really good ride days, met up with friends we haven't seen for in a while, and rode some of the best single track trails I can remember with some good friends.

Until next time,

The Red cowboy

Pro XCT Wrap Up

August 21, 2009

Well the first year of the PRO XCT is in the books and the Kenda Cup East series concluded as well at Windham Mountain last week.

I was pretty stoked to go to NY, as I hadn't visited the Catskill Mountains in any prior travelings. It was a great drive from the Airport and upon arriving, you could tell Windham was a first class resort. I knew we were in for some good racing.

The stage was set for a barn burner after Plaxton the series leader suffered a bad day the week prior in MT. Snow. That left the veteran Sid Taberlay in 2nd for the series going into Windham. If anyone was going to be able to pull of a win and take the leaders jersey, the Aussie is as good of choice as any. But we needed some help from our Factory Specialized brother Todd Wells, as well as Craig, Schultz, Zandstra, Sammy J if we were going to wrestle that jersey off JHK's back with a 25 point deficit to make up.

When the gun went off for the men's PRO XCT race, Kabush drove it at the front with Taberlay, Plaxton and the boys right there. As they shot out of the woods for the first time, it was Taberlay leading, with Kabush, Plaxton, Wells and the boys in tow.

Later on lap 2 Kabush made a critical mistake and threw it away, letting Sid, Max and Todd off the front. JHK was dangling in 5th and Sammy J, Kabush and AC weren't too far behind. What a perfect scenario-A 3 man train at the front, all Specialized "team mates" with JHK in difficulty……I was actually starting to believe we might just pull this off.

However on lap 4 that all evaporated as Wells, Plaxton and Taberlay came through the feed zone, Taberlay yelled to me to get the rear wheel ready….he had a flat. That allowed Wells to move off the front, as Plaxton stayed behind to tow Taberlay back into contention.

However the damage was done, and Kabush, JHK, Schultz had now latched back on to Sid and Max as we tried to swap the rear wheel out…..well so much for the series title!

In the end, it was a personal battle as Taberlay clawed his way back onto JHK and Kabush, why Plaxton headed out in search of Wells. Sid ended up getting around Jeremy to win the battle on the day, but couldn't put enough real estate and riders between himself to take back the title.

Up front Plaxton punched it and got by Wells for second place on the day…..making for a great showing for the Sho-Air/Specialized team.

Until next time,

The Red Cowboy.

On the road again.

July 23, 2009

Well its been awhile since I last checked in and a lot has gone down.

I took an epic work/vacation at the beginning of July that was simply one of the best I can remember. Scott cut me loose in the Team Sho-Air/Specialized RV for a road trip to see my parents up in Oregon. On the way, I stopped in Ashland to hook up with Amy Warner the promoter of the Spring Thaw event about the possibility of hosting a PRO XCT round for 2010. If you haven't stopped into Ashland, I highly recommend it. It’s a cool., quite, sleepy little town that's big on mountain biking. After hooking up with Nate and John for a tour of the trail system, and a couple hours of shredding of some sweet single track on my Specialized 29'er, I was on the road again North.

I plotted some really cool camping along the Rogue river for some relaxing and rafting before heading up to see the folks. Also really cool was the attention the team RV gathered. Whether we were at the gas station or camping, people by the droves came up to me asking what the rig was all about or to say they had an old M4 hardtail, or to even thank us for putting on the US Cup. I even had one lady at a gas station in Yreka, CA ask me if I was someone famous? I guess my Oakley shades, and team shirt made me look pretty stylish, not to mention the 40 Ft rig parked right outside her window. I never really realized the impact or reach of the team or series had until this trip. People were genuinely interested and intrigued and offered me a great opportunity to talk to them about the US Cup series and the Pro team.

Once I saw that this wasn't going to go away, I pulled out some left over series swag in the rig and pretty much became a rolling show for the team and series, handing out water bottles, stickers and T-Shirts to fans along my route.

Once into Toledo, I stumbled onto another gem, as my old man's 5.5 acres backed up to miles and miles of private logging trails. Being from So. Cal, I was stoked on the damp, dank, dark earth that was perfect for mountain biking and some moto. I made sure to hit the trails daily and just enjoy my surroundings. After hooking up with another promoter mid week for a site inspection up in Corvallis for another possible venue, it was time to start making our way back home.

We took our time getting back, taking the coast back home though Red Wood Hwy out of Grants Pass Oregon, stopping on some lazy rivers and quite little towns for the night. It’s a real eye opener on just how good some of the riding up here is, compared to my burnt out, So. Cal desert dust bowls I've become accustomed to. It really makes you realize of why you mountain bike and the reason you started in the first place.

After some stops along the coast checking out some tourist traps, it was time to check back into reality and pull into the OC.

Now its back to work, planning the series and team for 2010……but it was good while it lasted!

Until Next time,

The Red Cowboy.

PRO XCT #4-Rocky Mountain High

June 17, 2009

But the Colorado rocky mountain high

I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky

The shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullabye

Rocky mountain high” John Denver Circa ‘72

Well I just got back from round #4 of the PRO XCT series, and this time we were in Colorado Springs. A new venue, new city and new state was a great change of pace from the muggy south of Alabama just a couple weeks prior.

Colorado was exceptionally green this time of year and the Cheyenne Mountain State Park was easy on the eyes with Pikes Peak nestled in the background for a picturesque feel that not many parks offer these days. Truly a great place to come and ride.

Team Sho-Air/Specialized rolled in with the men’s leader’s jersey riding on the shoulders of the “Mountie” Max Plaxton, with Aussie Sid Taberlay holding down 2nd place.

The course was a perfect blend of double track, single track, rock gardens and technical decents, enough to separate the field. The S-Works Epic was the teams weapon of choice on this course and Plaxton delivered in a big way!

Just a week before Plaxton wasn’t feeling it at TEVA games and ran around in 9th, some 6 minutes off JHK and Todd Wells, both Colorado locals. So with Coloroado Springs just one week away, it look like Wells and JHK were going to put the hammer down.

However when it came time to race, Max was all game. He put on a riding clinic on his Epic, leaving even the top Pro’s scratching their heads watching this kid desend like a mad man. It was a pleasure watching Max and the guys first hand on my Kawasaki Lead moto….truly the best seat in the house!

All in all is was a great week. Plaxton took his first win, and extended his PRO XCT points lead to 10. We had two other riders in the top 10, so that was solid as well.

Now we get a much deserved break, before heading East to the land of Maple Syrup…..Vermont in August.

Other than the team win, I got a chance to ride with the Legend himself Ned Overend. I was surprised on our course pre ride with team mate Johnny O,that Ned was drinking the 29er punch and joined us for a big wheel spin on the XC course the day before. Ned is deadly on anything thing he rides, whether it’s a 29’er, 26 in or beach cruiser.

Even better than the ride with Ned, I knocked down a couple frosty pints at the local brewery with him and Ian Dewar (prounced Do’er) for those not in the know. We downed some really good rare Ahi, while we swapped stories and planned for 2010.

All in all it couldn’t have gone much better than it did.

Till next time,

The Red Cowboy

Ah... another glorious weekend of MTB racing in the books.

April 28, 2009

It was a short week from my Sea Weasel adventure before I headed north again for stop #5 of the Kenda Cup West Series at Santa Ynez. The land of wine and Danishes was a much welcomed sight as we rolled into town.

I was down to only two riders, as Plaxton and Sammy J headed home to prepare for the next PRO XCT race in May. No worries however, I had the defending Santa Ynez Champ in my back pocket, Sid Taberlay along with Manny Prado flying the team colors. Taberlay was looking to lock up the Kenda Cup West Series with a 9th place finish or better, and Prado was looking to over take Andy Schultz for second in the series.

After a good dinner, a few beers it was race day. Time for me to dawn my lead moto apparel and commence my filming duties for the weekend.

Out of the blocks the field set a blistering pace. Upon reaching the days first climb, my little Aussie friend took off like a wild dingo and dropped the bunch. He must have wanted some extra footage from the moto, as Susi took all the spot light at last weeks Ocean Gopher Classic. From there I rode with Sid as he went onto his 3rd win out of 5 races in the Kenda Cup West Series, clinching the men's Pro XC title along the way.

Morgan Hill legend Ben Capron also graced us with his present, using the Team Sho-Air Rig as home base for the event. BC was looking to lock down the CAT 1 35-39 title as well. After a hard fought second place, Capron headed home to Marin with a Kenda Cup West title, making it a sweep for Team Sho-Air.

Until next time-

"The Red Cowboy"

Sea Otter Classic 2009

April 22, 2009

It seems like every year, The Sea Weasel pulls out all the stops. This year was no different. Record Heat Wave, World XC Champ taking the win and Specialized putting 3 of 5 guys on the box, including my boys Taberlay and Plaxton,….couldn't have gone much better?

Now you might ask why is a team manager even blogging…good question..one that I asked myself, but none the less I will oblige. This was the first year I haven't raced the Otter in the last six year's. After taking the Semi Pro XC in '08, I decided to pull the plug and take a different route by managing the team and running the US CUP series marketing. So instead of training rides, recovery and nutrition, this year I was hob knobbing with the big wigs, drinking beer at hospitality tents and stuffing my face with extravagant finger foods and planning where to go sing some karaoke in Monterey.

Manager meetings, talking with UCI officials and press interviews were the order of the day, along with making sure that the series went off without any hitches. My only "rest" on the weekend, was when it was time to do the lead moto honors for the men's Pro XCT race. I've got to say this is by far the best seat in the house. For those two hours I'm not answering e-mails, taking calls on the celly and certainly not blogging! As a racer, its something that really makes you appreciate how legit these riders are, once you spend the intimate time out on the course with them, side by side.

The action that goes down in these races is really something we are trying to bring to the public, hence why I'm doubling up with a helmet and hand cam while doing the moto. To watch the race on Sunday was a real treat. Riding side by side with Sauser and not even breaking a sweat is about as good is it gets, and watching the race unfold on the remote parts of the course that no one else see's, you almost feel like your cheating everyone back at the start finish.

All in all it was a great weekend. I met some new faces, caught up with some old friends and everything went according to plan.

Till next time..

"The Red Cowboy"

Stats for Ty Kady are coming soon.