The Bonebell
The Bonebell is an intimidating bell – large in size, with an actual cowbone as its ringer, and has the number 69 stamped on its handle.  It is the harbinger of all enthusiastic mayhem that one can muster swinging it on the sidelines at any race – and this site is a reflection of that beautiful bell. The Bonebell Crew is made up of dirtbaggers who one day decided – “It’s time to get dirty!”

Bonebell Gang @ our CX Worlds Party
 

The Bonebell is…
Paolo Urizar / Brian Parker / Dave Norton / Greg Heck / Amy Weik
Amy Dykema / Jeff Holland / Regina Campbell / Eleanor Blick / Jason Alvarado
Matt Daniel / Monika Jackson / Andrew Baldyga / Brett Ratner / Andrew Giniat
Joe Doyle / Becky Mikrut / Anthony Mikrut / Sofia Biller / Tiber Scheer
Kim Scheer / Lincoln Scheer / Sadie Scheer

 

Paolo Urizar (El Maya)
Joined: 2007
Paolo Urizar
Photo credit: Bill Draper
Paolo is a founding member of The Bonebell and is in his 8th year leading the crew. He is a born and raised Chicagoan who brought MTB programs to life by previously mentoring and administrating the XXX Racing-AthletiCo Junior Development Programs. Dirtbaggin’ is his calling and he loves evangelizing both the joys and opportunities for the cycling community through his writing for The Bonebell and organization of events with The Bonebell Crew.

2015 will mark a significant milestone in his direct collaboration and work with the Big Marsh project to bring Chicago’s first dirt bike park to life! Paolo took a year hiatus from racing to focus on career upgrades and family time, and will be racing again in 2015 with his daughters in tow!

Brian Parker (Stiggity)
Joined: 2007
Brian Parker
Photo credit: Bill Draper
Born into a family steeped in the ways of the bicycle. Raised on a steady diet of Deep Purple, Foghat and the Allman Brothers, marinated in Michigan singletrack. His calm demeanor belies his intense racing focus. He is known as the ‘human GPS’ for his incredible ability to recollect trail systems and roads with an astuteness matched only by Garmin. He raced MTB competitively for his Michigan college team, was the director of the XXX Racing-AthletiCo MTB Program from 2007-2011 and also a member of their Elite Program from 2009-2011.For 2015 he will focus on gravel and endurance races like Barry-Roubaix and the Lumberjack 100 – and with his relocation to Michigan will be representing our Lake Michigan East chapter.
Dave Norton (Nevada Dave)
Joined: 2007
DaveNorton2_BillDraper
Photo credit: Bill Draper
Up from the steep, rocky, rooty PA hills cometh Nevada Dave. He is a seasoned veteran of competitive dirtbaggin’: an accomplished racer at all levels of XC mountain biking from short distance to 24 hour racing (including 9th place at 2008 24-Hour Solo Nats), and holder of an IL State Cross championship title. He has also trekked solo across the United States by bike. NBD. He is the fella everyone learns a thing or two about inner peace and hardcore competition in beautiful balance.Sadly, Dave has moved to Pennsylvania and will be shredding the East Coast gnar while spreading the dirtbag gospel wherever he travels. He loves to go long and fast, and to satisfy the competitive urge will be racing endurance mtb, gravel grinders, and possibly some cross. You have been warned.
Greg Heck (Bilbo Dirtbaggins)
Joined: 2009
Greg Heck
Photo credit: Bill Draper
Greg has been an ardent supporter and volunteer extraordinaire for the cyclocross racing community. He was the race director of the most successful season starting races in the history of the Chicago Cross Cup, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Chicago Cross Cup. He loves long distance riding, and exploring new dirt and asphalt whenever possible.For 2015, he plans to finally mark the 100 mile mountain bike race off his bucket list at the Lumberjack 100. Greg is also a new father, and looks forward to getting his son on two wheels, maybe before he can walk. He is an avid runner with a few trail races planned for the year. Greg also enjoys exploring the ever-expanding world of craft beer, and spending time in the kitchen baking.
Amy Weik (A-Dub)
Joined: 2010
Amy Weik
Photo credit: Jayloo Photography
Amy’s roots in cycling are deep, not only through her bike-touring parents who helped launch the Apple Cider Century or her great-grandfather who owned a Schwinn bike shop, but also through her own dedication to racing and promoting mountain bike and cyclocross racing in the midwest. She has built trails across the midwest, previously administered the DINO Series website, and is a founding member of the Chicago Cross Cup. She now serves at the Vice-President of The Bonebell.For 2015 Amy has set goals to get stronger and push her boundaries by trying new cross-training opportunities like rock climbing. She also looks forward to promoting, fundraising and trailbuilding for the Phase 1 buildout of Big Marsh.
Amy Dykema (Velogrrl)
Joined: 2010
Amy Dykema
Photo credit: XTRPhoto.com
When Amy first saw a mountain bike, it was knobby love at first sight. She can be found photographing cyclocross and mountain bike racing at the national, regional and local level all over the midwest and beyond. She has been racing the WORS series (several time WORShead), the WEMS series, and events such as Iceman, Chequamegon, Fall Color Festival, and the Chicago Cross Cup for years. She races for Half Acre Cycling.We are proud to have Amy on board as our photographer at large by contributing her skills to provide you with great shots of midwest, national, and occasionally international off-road cycling scenes.
Jeff Holland (El Jefe)
Joined: 2011
Jeff Holland
Photo credit: Ed White
Jeff found cycling not long after retiring from alpine ski racing, and has never looked back. First it was BMX, then more recently road and track racing, until he finally found his true calling: cyclocross and MTB XC racing. He is a fierce competitor and is often witnessed doubling up at Chicago Cross Cup races.In the belly of his two-wheeled mid-life crisis, Jeff continues to focus on cyclocross and MTB XC racing with the occasional gravel foray thrown in. Having achieved his goal of Cat 2 in cyclocross in 2014, he will focus on the Masters category for 2015 and shoot for the podium. Just narrowly missing his 8 hour goal last year in the Lumberjack 100 by 4 min, he’ll be back at it this year and looking to go sub 7:45. Add some WEMS MTB races, lots of long road rides in prep for LJ100, and supporting Big Marsh and it will be a great 2015 season.
Regina Campbell (mtbVegan)
Joined: 2012
Regina Campbell
Regina’s bike obsession began in 2006 – after her first few mountain bike races she was hooked! She has competed in almost all forms of mountain bike racing, but really just loves to ride trail. Her greatest joy comes from riding on her beloved singlespeed which she raced in WORS, WEMS, Iceman, and upon which she even won the Chequamegon 40!Regina races proudly for The Bonebell and will be sharing her insights on all things singletrack, racing and riding… and perhaps the occasional vegan baking recipe.

For 2015 she plans to return to mountain bike racing with her own personal cheering section (aka her daughter).

Eleanor Blick (Ol’ Dirty Blickster)
Joined: 2013
Ellie Blick
Photo credit: Peggy Keiner
Eleanor started racing in 2010, pedaling through hundreds of left turns before she made the first right: down the rocky descent on Bullwhip at Palos Forest Preserve. She took to dirt like a weed, itching for any opportunity to ride off-road. When she feels like riding something other than her mountain bike she is a category 2 ‘cross racer, has volunteered for the Chicago Cross Cup and has led equality initiatives for local women’s racing.Now residing in Boulder, CO, Eleanor works for the International Mountain Bicycling Association to spread the gospel of the dirtbag.
Jason Alvarado (J-Rad)
Joined: 2013
Jason Alvarado
Photo credit: SnowyMountain
Jason’s two-wheeled addiction began many years ago, and he has yet to look back! After flying solo for a few seasons, he spent the 2013 season with the Bonebell family, and has never felt more at home. He is one of the founding members of the Chicago Cross Cup, and has some of the best looking legs in Chicago cycling due in part to his proclivity towards year-round embrocation.2015 will bring several milestones, including his 11th year of racing cyclocross, his second year racing MTB, and a dive headfirst into the world of endurance racing at Lumberjack 100! With his transition to J-Rad, M.D. complete, he looks forward doing the Bonebell proud and making sure 2015 is one to remember!
Matt Daniel (Pending)
Joined: 2014
Matt Daniel
Photo credit: SnowyMountain
Matt is a veteran of the bicycle industry and currently operates as a the General Manager of one of Chicagoland’s oldest bike shops. Matt’s experience as professional mechanic, bicycle fit technician, bike shop founder and cycling advocate has earned him a reputation within the Chicago cycling community which includes a loyal following of daily commuters, amateur and professional racers from nearly every discipline. His passion and dedication for the bicycle as well as his positive energy has made him an asset to many charitable events such as the Ride for AIDS Chicago, Bike MS Tour de Farms as well as his own non-profit foundation and cycling event, The Ride Against Lyme. Outside of the shop, Matt can be found gettin’ zesty on the local trails on his mountain bike or laying the law with the best in the local cyclocross scene.
Monika Jackson (Red Dragon)
Joined: 2014
Monika Jackson
Monika is the self-proclaimed first Latina Single Speed Mountain Biker in the Midwest and her racing roots can be traced back to the XXX Racing-Athletico MTB squad circa early 2000s. Starting out as a weekend warrior eventually transformed into 12 and 24 hour endurance racing fueled by pure passion and heart. She has recently returning from an eight year hiatus outside the Midwest – making stops across the country where she traversed the Las Vegas desert, rode the hills of Maryland as a commuter, and volunteered in the Atlanta Sopo Bicycle Cooperative.

For 2015 she plans to represent The Bonebell by focusing on select endurance MTB races and well as continuing to hone her cyclocross racing skills.

Andrew Baldyga (Pending)
Joined: 2015
Andrew Baldyga
Photo credit: Jayloo Photography
While one of the youngest members of the team, Andrew can still say he has been riding his bike in the dirt for over a decade. His first job at the age of 15 was teaching kids 8-12 how to ride over logs and how to successfully negotiate horse trails at a summer camp in downstate Illinois. After the camp closed he found a job back in Chicago where he switched over to riding bikes on the pavement. In the last few years he has found a renewed passion for the dirt in the extra fun discipline of cyclocross.For 2015 Andrew will give the singlespeed category a go in both mountain and cross and hope for the best.
Brett Ratner (Ratocaster)
Joined: 2015
Brett Ratner
Photo credit: Warren Cycling
Brett rediscovered cycling in 2005 after accepting a job five miles from his Chicago home. Figuring he could save some gas and get a little exercise by riding to work, he purchased a low cost, entry-level hybrid. Clearly he liked it because within a year, he was doing centuries, weekend camping trips, and venturing out on mountain bike trails.Nine years, 12 bikes, 35,000+ miles, four RAGBRAI’s, and countless adventures later, Brett still loves riding his bike to work every day, as well as racing cross, mountain, gravel and track. He is super excited about being part of The Bonebell not only for the primo dirtbaggin’, but also for opportunities to give back to the local bike and racing community.
Andrew Giniat (Bone Hanger)
Joined: 2015
Andrew Giniat
Photo credit: Eric Goodwin
Andrew’s love for dirt began at a very young age. Throughout his childhood Andrew used his bike as a means for flight and speed. Since then he has dabbled in all forms of cycling and is happy on any occasion he’s afforded the opportunity to ride a bike. However, it wasn’t until Bonebell member Greg Heck convinced Andrew to try cyclocross that he was officially hooked. That very same season it all started, on an old pair of Greg’s race wheels, Andrew won the Cat 4 State Championship at Montrose Harbor.Now, just finishing his third year of racing, Andrew enjoys the challenge of competing at the CCC’s highest level and putting a premium on getting his butt kicked – sometimes even trying to chase the pros at UCI level events around the Midwest.
Joe Doyle (joeyTWOwheels)
Joined: 2016
Joe Doyle
Photo credit: J.A. Hicks Photography
It was ’83, and young Joe found himself at “The Tracks”, a bandit BMX course next to the railroad off 97th and Central in Oak Lawn. He rode his Schwinn Scrambler as hard and fast as he could, hoping to replicate the big air the older kids were bringing.Fast forward to the late 90s, when he bought a new Trek and set off for Palos with some work buddies. Out of shape, but wanting to get back to the freedom of the bike, Joe worked hard at it and eventually found himself racing. He’s never stopped.A former member of North Branch Cycling Club and XXX Racing, Joe was soon hooked by cyclocross and founded the Chicago Cross Cup in 2004. From 2011 to 2014 he was the Texas Cyclocross Coordinator and now he’s back home and will race MTB with The Bonebell for 2016.
Becky Mikrut (Bekasaurus)
Joined: 2016
Becky Mikrut
It all started with a turquoise Peugeot. Freshly out of college, short on cash, and needing a way to navigate our fair city, this was the bike that led Becky to cycling as an adult. Fast forward a few years, looking for a bike with more than one gear, she asked “What is cyclocross?” and later that year, she took 3rd in the CCC series for Cat 4 women and never looked back. After cyclocross came mountain biking, which quickly became Becky’s true love.

Becky is an alumnus of Johnny Sprockets and Kinky Llama Racing, in 2016 started a womens-only competitive mountain bike team, Skunkworks Racing, where she races Cat 1. She is also flying the Bonebell flag as a Cat 2 ‘cross racer. Getting more women riding more bikes, especially on dirt, is a passion of hers. She has worked with various organizations to promote cycling for women, hosts the Womens Dirt Days MTB group rides and clinics and is also a Trek Womens Advocate for 2017.

Anthony Mikrut (Llama)
Joined: 2016
Photo and bio pending!
Sofia Biller (La Pirula)
Joined: 2016
Photo and bio pending!
Tiber Scheer (Tiberculosis)
Joined: 2016
Photo and bio pending!
Kim Scheer (pending)
Joined: 2016
Photo and bio pending!
Lincoln Scheer (pending)
Joined: 2016
Photo and bio pending!
Sadie Scheer (pending)
Joined: 2016
Photo and bio pending!

What Are We Trying to Do?
We want to increase the awareness of off-road cycling by providing you information about the off-road cycling community (aka the dirtbags!). We also want to highlight the great organizations that have put a lot of time and effort into achieving that awareness. There are many off-road cycling opportunities that aren’t well recognized or known and we’d like to bring you those experiences to encourage more off-road participation. We have interviews, product reviews, race promotion, and community highlights posted regularly to keep you in the loop. We do this in addition to our busy lives because we feel it’s important to bring the dirtbagging community together to celebrate the awesomeness of the adventures of a knobby tire. Chicago may be flat – but it has plenty of dirt riding that is not just for a racer, but for an entire family to enjoy.

How You Can Help?
Help us keep the rest of the community informed! You have an event that needs to be broadcast? Have thoughts about a places we should get mapped out for riding? Have a special place in Chicago that has great dirt riding potential? Let us know! We’re regulars at off-road cycling events – and have a great community of off-road racers who spread the word about great opportunities to ride off-road.