Few of you have followed us since 2007, we thank you as always for your continued support and interest. For those that are new to us and are part of our growing audience – we’d like to take the time to introduce ourselves and our new additions to The Bonebell Crew. Collectively we will be capturing off-road cycling life, aka ‘dirtbaggin’, in Chicago by way of feature articles, product reviews, editorials, and interviews. We are all approachable and enthusiastic and welcome your opinions and ideas of how to continue to promote dirtbaggin’ in our city. We look forward to giving you great things to read and opportunities to participate with the dirtbaggin’ community.

Paolo Urizar (El Maya)
Photo: Amy Dykema
Paolo has been dirtbaggin’ since he first learned to ride a BMX bike along Chicago’s lakefront in the early ’80s. When he met Brian Parker and Dave Norton, the three of them knew they had to spread the gospel and goodwill of dirtbaggin’ to Chicago lest anyone forgot that riding a mountain bike is one of the greatest escapes available providing more than just a sporty challenge, but renewing the sense of belonging to nature and the outdoors. Notable accomplishments have been creating the Mountain Bike Program for xXx Racing-AthletiCo in 2006 and as Director of the Juniors Development Program from 2008-2010.
Paolo will be racing as a privateer but also in representation of the famed dirtbaggin’ stylists better known as Twin Six for 2011. Paolo will be concentrating on his major love of endurance mountain biking throughout the year culminating into his other love of Cyclocross in the fall/winter season.

Brian Parker (Stiggity)
Photo: Michael Young
Brian raced mountain bikes competitively for his college team at Ferris State in Michigan. Already a fierce competitor with a wrestling background, Brian’s calm demeanor belies his intense racing focus. Brian has been the director of the Mountain Bike Program from 2007-2010 for xXx Racing-AthletiCo. He was a member of the Elite Development Program from 2009-2010, and his hard work has garnered him a spot on the team’s Elite Squad for 2011. In fact, he’s the only dirtbag on the Elite Squad who almost exclusively does off-road races. Brian is known as the ‘human GPS’ for his incredible ability to recollect trail systems and roads with an astuteness matched only by Garmin. Brian will be focusing on increasing his competitive edge to compete as a Category 1 Mountain Biker and as a Category 2 Cyclocross racer for 2011.

Dave Norton (Nevada Dave)
Dave Norton
Photo: Mike Campbell
Dave Norton is a seasoned veteran, to say the least, in the world of competitive dirtbaggin’. An accomplished racer at all levels of XC mountain biking from short distance to 24 hour racing, and not a shabby racer at cyclocross in his off-season. His most notable accomplishment also highlights his youthful and adventurous soul, of trekking across the United States by bike on a solo journey. Dave is the fella everyone learns a thing or two about inner peace and hardcore competition in beautiful balance. Dave is taking a break from racing almost entirely in 2011, using his time to work towards preaching the dirtbag gospel at charity rides, group rides, and getting more people involved on dirt bikes by way of example. Look for new feature articles by Dave that will focus on his solo trek across the country in addition to his thoughts on the greatness of life by bike.

Greg Heck (DaDoubleG)
2010 09 26_USGP Madison2_0720
Photo: Nikki Cyp
Greg Heck has been ardent supporter and volunteer extraordinaire for the cyclocross racing community. He has led one of the most successful season starting races in the history of the Chicago Cyclocross Cup by way of thoughtful organization and extensive knowledge of course design. He was the founder of the Cyclocross Program on the xXx Racing-Athletico squad and led the team to continued recognition for involvement in the cyclocross community. Greg will be racing for the juggernaut cyclocross powerhouse Pony Shop team for 2011. In addition to his cyclocross love, he will be participating in some seriously long foot races and events throughout the spring and summer along with his dirtbaggin’ routine to prep him for his goal of CX National Championships this coming season. Greg has a great love of delicious plates and brews that he will be bringing to the site this year in a new feature to bring a different flavor to our readers.

Julia Daher (Julia Goolia)
2010 10 24_USGP KY_0272
Photo: Nikki Cyp
Julia Daher is one of the strongest up and coming racers in both mountain biking and cyclocross in the midwest. She took the womens field by storm in her rookie year taking wins and podiums spots handily in every event she entered, all the while focusing on her studies at medical school! Julia provides the interviews and articles for women racers to be noted and to incorporate a diverse viewpoint of female athleticism in Chicago. She is continuing her studies this year and will be looking forward to providing more guidance on the Women’s Trail Days this year, training and racing her MTB in the summer and of course, continuing the dirtbag theme through cyclocross. She will be racing proudly for Johnny Sprockets in 2011.

Amy Weik (A-Dub)
2010 Montrose Harbor CX
Photo: Luke Seeman
Amy’s roots in cycling are deep, not only through her family, of which founded the Apple Cider Century, but through her own dedication and participation in racing and promoting mountain bike racing in the midwest. She was involved with helping build trails and maintain the website for the DINO race series in the 90s. She has participated in just about every type of mountain bike race and cyclocross race available in the midwest, and now most recently, an indoor MTB bike park. Amy will be providing articles with her added perspective to the dirtbaggin’ scene overall. Amy will be racing ‘The Bonebell’ colors exclusively for 2011!

Amy Dykema (Velogrrl)

Photo: Christine Czarnecki
When Amy first saw a mountain bike, it was knobby love at first sight. She has been photographing cyclocross and MTB racing at the national, regional and local level. For the past few years she has been team leader for the Clif Bar Midwest MTB team. She has been racing the WORS series (several time WORShead), the WEMS series, and events such as Chequamegon, Fall Color Festival, Iceman, and the Chicago Cross Cup. For 2011 she will be racing MTB and cyclocross for Half Acre Cycling. We are proud to have Amy onboard as our photographer at large to contribute her awesome skills to show you great shots of the scene.

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