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Cross Country Crossover

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The cross country season wrapped up this last weekend in California with the state championship race at Woodward Park, Fresno, where I finished 16th in the D5 schools race.  For many runners, the last race of the season means only a brief break before they lace up their shoes and start putting on the miles to prepare for the spring track season. A small group of athletes, however, takes to a completely different sport and jumps onto their bikes. I am privileged enough to be one of those people who runs cross country in the fall and races mountain bikes in the spring. People have lots of different perspectives about this but my experience has been nothing but a positive one.

To start, there is definitely an advantage to cross training.  Cross country puts one at the pinnacle of his/her athletic ability by the end of the season and to have that base going into the bike season is extremely helpful. I really notice how well my cardio performs on long rides well after my legs are fatigued. Running also helps with the mental aspect of riding as well. Just like mountain biking, running is an extremely mental sport where you can’t lose focus for one second during the race and have to trick your brain into breaking through the barriers of pain. Every season of racing compounds to toughen one’s mind tremendously.  The skill is definitely transferable.  Switching up sports also helps to prevent injuries from overuse. Many year-round runners end up developing serious injuries due to the fact that they are constantly pushing the same muscles non-stop. Biking allows the body to work different muscle groups, giving the others time to recoup for the next season. Finally, participating in the two sports help to avoid burn out. By the end of one season, I am always ready to start the next sport with fresh enthusiasm.

I know I am not the only athlete who opts for running in the fall, biking in the spring.  It is really neat to see, talk to and cheer on SoCal racers that I know at cross country meets.

So, in other words, I am home from Fresno and this week I can’t wait to go ride my bike.

Showing Up is Half the Battle 

For my English final I had to write a story about my life. I chose to write about my race at league finals. Here is my story…

The stress of the final mile weighed in on me as we sped along. There had been no break away, no guarantee of a top three finish. Lungs searing and legs arduously turning the cranks, I was desperately trying not to fall off the back of the peloton. All I needed was one final push to the top of the sandy fireroad. “Passing on the left!” my competitor hollered, and our train of top three racers snaked its way past a rider from the previous race still finishing up. “Woah!” I had been sideswiped by the slower rider we were passing. My front tire struggled for traction as I frantically tried to avoid two evils: the D1 rider on my left and a tree on my right. I careened down the trail. Back throbbing, hands and knees stinging, and stomach contracting with disappointment, I looked at the new top two riders, zipping up the road ahead of me. I had been hit twice while trying to pass the same person, the second time catapulting over my handlebars and colliding with a painful thud on the dirt.

With less than a mile left, I straightened out my crooked bars and set out after the kids who had whizzed by me while I was fighting to get up. Head down I crossed the finish line disheveled. Thoughts were flying through my head about how things might have turned out differently if I had only not crashed at the fourth SoCal high school mountain bike race which I needed to win at this point in the five race series.

I hobbled into urgent care two days later. The pain in my back had not diminished after the adrenaline of race day had dissipated. I sat in the sterile smelling doctor’s office while they called for an x-ray of my lower back. A fracture in my spine had to be ruled out before I could proceed with treatment. After thirty minutes of playing Super Unicycle in the silent and tense waiting room the doctor bustled in. Everything was clear. Phew! I had, however, severely strained my lower back muscles. My back was spasming uncontrollably, causing my lumbar spine to be almost straight when normally it should have a prominent curve. My season was over.

I had gone from leading the Socal series to walking hunched over clutching my back. I had fallen from the pinnacle of my athletic performance to rock bottom. My drive had left me. It wasn’t about losing a race or even losing the leader’s jersey. It was all of my work flushed down the drain. All of the hours monotonously spent on the stationary bike and relentlessly pushing myself to the limits on the trail had been for nothing. I couldn’t even finish the series.

I briefly paused on the single square doormat before entering the Julian Fitness Center. Physical therapy was the next step to healing. As I laid on my back and Dr. Kramer put me through a variety of excruciating exercises, I contemplated how things might have turned out differently. Would I have broken the other two guys on the last climb? Would it have come down to a sprint finish? Would I still be wearing the leader jersey? I left physical therapy despondent. Recovery in two weeks seemed unfathomable. Mentally I had already given up on racing in league finals in two weeks. My parents kept encouraging me to ¨keep an open mind,¨ but I had already made up mine.

The next two weeks slogged by. Every other day I would go to physical therapy and I would get put through a set of exercises that I would have scoffed at less than a month ago but now struggled to complete. On the days I didn’t have therapy I would try to keep up my cardio fitness by riding the recumbent bike. Out of the window I could see my team ride by, going out for their daily ride. The thought of them out on the trail while I sat tediously riding indoors made these ¨training” sessions even harder to handle.

The hotel room had been booked and all the travel plans had been set in motion which made not going to the race out of the picture. The days leading up to the race were full of apprehension. Not only had I not ridden my bike for half a month but I also had the mental block of crashing again. I was plagued by scenes of hurtling down the trail, something going wrong and once again sailing over the bars. I packed haphazardly. Walking out of the door I had forgotten to pack my gloves, glasses, CO2 inflator and Garmin. Without my parents’ vigilance I would have been woefully unprepared if I decided to race.

My plan of attack was to completely forget about the race. On the four hour drive to Tehachapi I tried to distract myself by blasting music through my Beats, studying AP flashcards, and napping. Despite my efforts, when we arrived at the incredibly windy venue, I had thoroughly psyched myself out.

The pre-ride was bleak. It seemed as if the course were the exact opposite of what I was hoping for. The wind raged non-stop, the climbs were short and punchy, and the descents were so rutted and rocky that I bounced all over the place on my hardtail bike. When the pain in my back set in it was hard to distinguish if it was physical or mental. After one six mile lap I was done. I hoped tomorrow would be different.

I consoled myself with music while we checked into the hotel, unpacked the car, wheeled the bikes into the room and flopped on the bed. A while later, our small team converged in the hotel lobby before heading to dinner. We walked down the street to a pasta place to carb load but left soon after realizing it was standing room only and we couldn’t get a table for a few hours. Over 2000 people had assembled for the 5th bike race of the season. The Lays, Rich, Chad and Elisara’s then switched restaurants. Dinner did not go according to plan. We waited a long time to be seated and an even longer time to eat. When we finally arrived back at the hotel room it was well past when I should have been asleep. Going to bed past eleven o’clock is not ideal before the most important race of the season.

“Ugh..I’m exhausted” are not good words to utter the morning of race day. I hurriedly pack my gear and once again drowned out my thoughts through my earbuds and hid behind the dark tint of my glasses. I sat reticently at breakfast that morning as I picked through my eggs and sipped at my electrolyte drink. Blurrily, I watched my teammate Ryan push himself to the limits as I waited for my race. I carelessly got ready, forgetting my heart rate monitor and energy shot blocks. After a halfhearted warm up I slouched into a chair under our shade structure. I was on the verge of calling off the race. My back pain seemed to have doubled rendering me demoralized. My team and family encouragement was constant. After countless words of support and brisk pep talks, I gagged down my GU and rolled off to staging.

I coasted into the start chute second because I no longer wore the leader jersey I had possessed all season. Brief small talk was made between me and my competitors as we sat jittery on the front line. These boys were my friends. I had come know them during the season, and we had developed a camaraderie when we weren’t trying, as they say in the sport, “to rip each others legs off.” We all waited with heart beating tumultuously.

My coach has told me multiple times that “The B.S. stops when the green flag drops.” There was no green flag, only the tense moments before “GO” crackled out of the starter’s megaphone, followed by the clicks of pedals engaging with shoes, the scraping of tires on sandy soil and the uproar of the crowd. There were no friends, just rivals.

As a field of 100, we careened down the start chute and up the valley in an all out sprint. It suddenly hit me that there was no glaring target on my back. It had been transferred to the new leader. With no reason to lead, I sat comfortably on the back of the peloton sucking the wheel of the person in front. Close to the top I took the lead rounding the final and treacherous switchback. I was quickly passed by another rider, and we worked together to make a small break on the first downhill fireroad. As we both funneled into the single track the rider in front of me bobbled. He had washed out on his front tire and barely saved himself from tumbling down the side of the trail causing traffic.

Seizing the opportunity, I jumped in front and immediately started working. A switch had been flipped. No longer was I competing for the 25 bonus point given to riders who finished every course, I was racing. The back of my jersey says, “Dig Deep.” It’s hard to describe the turning point that took place in those brief seconds. At last I had the clarity of mind to pull upon all of my strengths: my competitive nature, athletic ability, the support of family and friends, and mental toughness. I was all in. I knew I could open up a sizable distance between me and second place because of the pileup behind me. The thrill of being in the lead again carried me up the next two climbs and through the finish of my first lap. I heard the announcer say I had opened up a one minute gap as I sped by the timing booth.

The final lap is exponentially harder than the first. My initial adrenaline had worn off, and I struggled up the first climb on the backside of the course. It was quiet. No spectators had hiked out that far to watch. The only noise was my labored breath and grinding of my smallest gears. Rounding the first switchback I realized I wasn’t as alone as I had previously believed. Sam Ferris, currently wearing the leader jersey, had closed the gap and was not far behind. Within moments he was catching my draft as we carved our way down the twisting single track. The pain set in. My back throbbed, and every sinew of my legs and lungs cried for mercy. My dad’s voice echoed in my head, “Anything can happen.” The last three miles were brutal as we battled it out like gladiators fighting to the death.

The stress of the final mile weighed in on me as I took the lead and barreled into the last portion of the race. We were still together as we sped toward the final single track leading into the finish. Up ahead someone was stopped. Sam went left; I to the right. Our shoulders collided as we both entered the single track. I barely slipped into the lead and flew toward the finish, with Sam directly on my rear wheel. Dirt flew as I rounded the corner into the downhill sprint, eyes locked on the black timing strip. With everything left in me I turned the pedals.

A bike length. Less than a second. It came down to a miniscule amount of time between first and second. I stood on the podium proudly wearing the leader jersey indefinitely after taking the win that day. With a first place finish in the fifth and final race, I had secured the overall title for the SoCal series in my category, Sophomore D2. It was the cliché story of beating all the odds and coming out on top but to me it holds much deeper meaning. The race serves as a roadmap to my life. As in life, we all face setbacks, disappointments, and challenges that we must push through. This experience has taught me the importance of showing up, focusing on the task at hand and putting my whole heart into everything I do. I will aspire to these goals and never settle for less in sports, education, relationships, career and God’s purpose for my life.

Fit for Finals

The countless hours spent in the saddle should be comfortable ones. In addition to the fatigue and muscle soreness from pushing hard up and down numerous hills, there should be no pain from a correct bike fit. After breaking my frame (see my last post) I had a hard time being comfortable on my Trek Superfly. After a few pedal strokes into my ride I would start to have acute lower back pain. This pain was exacerbated by my crash in the fourth race of the season at Vail Lake. Physical therapy helped to heal my back, but I was still struggling with the bike fit issue–the root cause of my back pain.

The solution was to get a professional fit from the experts at Moment Bikes in Liberty Station, San Diego. Normally the fits are for road or cross bikes, but their training covers a wide range of bike types and certification from multiple bike fit programs.

Here Vince Gonzales, the bike fit engineer, is taking my measurements. Apparently I have abnormally long legs compared to my torso.

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The entire fit is done on a machine that mimics your bike exactly. They took the measurements from my Superfly and copied them onto the computerized bike machine. They then work with you to adjust the bike machine to find what is comfortable for your body and its optimal riding position.

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They also look at the contact positions on your feet. Here he is sizing up the contours of my feet so spacers can be added underneath the cleat on my shoe. This helps prevents hotspots on long rides.

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Another thing we looked at extensively was the saddle. I tried multiple saddles before deciding on the Specialized Romin. It was by far the most comfortable, and I also felt like it improved my posture on the bike.

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After working with me for two hours they took the final, most comfortable measurements off the machine and adjusted my mountain bike accordingly.

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My final impressions after some days in the saddle following my adjustments were all positive. There was definitely an increase in comfort. I had no little to no back pain following my fit, and the rest of my body felt much more at ease. I also felt like I could put more power on the pedals and boost my speed.

So you may be wondering what happened at league finals—stay tuned for the next post….

Oh Crack! A Redemption Story

Going into the third SoCal race of the season, I tragically broke the frame of my race bike. I was on a training ride and while going through a G’ed out section of the trail I heard a heart-sinking crack. When I looked down I noticed a long fracture running down the top tube of the carbon frame.  The future was looking pretty bleak with the next race fast approaching.

Here I am looking glum that I was one week away from the third race in the SoCal series and I didn’t have a working bike.

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The day after the crack, Friday, we drove down to the Trek Bicycle Superstore in Kearny Mesa in San Diego to see what they could do in a week.  They’ve helped me with various issues in the past, and this time was no different.  After surveying the bike, submitting photos to Trek mechanics, and making a few phone calls to Trek HQ in Wisconson, we got the glorious news they would ship a new frame to do a bike rebuild by Monday afternoon! (As my coach has repeatedly said, “Trek’s got your back!”)

Here I am standing with Mike Willard, the super professional manager of the service department who helped us work through the issue.

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The new frame arrived, and my bike was rebuilt. The guys at Trek were even nice enough to hook me up with the 2016 frame which was super rad. I was very thankful for the quick action they took.  Mike said the guys in Wisconson told him, “OK, we’re going to get this kid back on his bike!” Because they did, I was able to put the new frame through its paces only a few days later at Lake Castaic, a brutal course where I had crashed twice last year and threw a chain.  I was looking for redemption….

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…which I found with a second place finish.  Two firsts and a second mean I am still in firm possession of the leader jersey for the Sophomore D2 series.  None of this would have been possible without the excellent support from the people at Trek and the Trek Bicycle Superstores in San Diego.  Thank you!

Always stoked to be on the podium!

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Shots and Socks

Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of shots you don’t take.” This is a principle by which I try to live. In February, NICA put out a 48 hour challenge on their Instagram page: to design rad socks. They had partnered with Defeet International to put on the contest and recruited the people at Seven Designs to judge. I squeaked in my design just under the deadline but I managed to create some socks that I though were both cool and represented NICA’s goals as an organization. After searching through Instagram under #NICAsockgame, however, I realized I had some tough competition. Lots of registered NICA riders from all over the country had entered some super cool designs. They announced the winners the next day and unfortunately I didn’t win, but I had a great time working on my socks….and taking a shot.

 

IMG_0846I went for multiple bands around the socks with bike related elements similar to southwestern patterns. I also incorporated the three core principals NICA tries to promote among their athletes as well as their slogan.

SoCal Season 8

Last Sunday the eight season of Southern California mountain biking kicked off at Lake Perris. The league boasts close to one thousand riders this year. Not only has the league grown but Team Gold has also gained another high school racer, Ryan Lay. Our small but mighty team had been working hard everyday to prep for the season since early December, and we were all excited for the season to begin.

I arrived at the venue shortly before Ryan took off in the D2 sophomore race. The weather was perfect: not too much wind and not blistering hot. Ryan started in the back of the pack but quickly weaved his way to the front of the field. Unfortunately he took a spill after the downhill single track which cost him a few precious seconds. He quickly recovered, however, and finished out the race very strong.

Going into the race I had the second call up based on points from last season. The start this year was different from last time. We were staged and then lead out onto the main road where we stopped briefly and then took off. A train quickly formed and stayed together for most of the only climb on the course. Close to the top I broke away and had opened a gap by the end of the single track decent. I led for the rest of the race and walked away with my first ever SoCal win.

David Stringfellow, our JV rider, took off during the heat of the day. He unfortunately lost his water bottle during staging and had to race the first lap before getting a replacement. Nonetheless, he fought hard and came away with a solid 12th place finish.

After months of blood, sweat, and gears it was great to finally race and see my teammates race. I am very blessed to be a part of this program and I can’t wait to see what is in store for Team Gold this season.

2016-02-28 09.28.21Ryan cranking away on his first lap.

20160228_143756David looking good on the trail that connects the fire road descent to the beach.

IMG_1130So stoked to take home the leader jersey! The top of the podium was an unreal experience.

 

On Patrol with Fellow Mountain Bikers

Community service is required for most high school graduates and is an important part of the college application. It is also a good practice to cultivate throughout your life. Naturally, I want to volunteer in an area related to mountain bikes. A few months ago my coach, Chad Leptich, invited our team out to patrol with the Cuyamaca Rancho State Mountain Bike Assistance Unit (MBAU). Once a month, Chad and other volunteers of the MBAU ride throughout our local state park, scouting for trails that need maintenance and talking to other riders. As an added bonus, Chad informed me that I was able to gain community service hours for my time spent on the trail. I have participated in two patrols already and I look forward to many more rides with the MBAU.

In addition to doing patrols, the MBAU is responsible for creating new trails throughout Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. They are constantly organizing work days to help maintain the trails in my backyard, and new trails are also tirelessly being created. They are also responsible for hosting the Cuyamaca Rancho Benefit Ride. The annual event includes a ride through the park with multiple stops where participants stop and collect cards to make a poker hand, followed by a spaghetti lunch and extensive raffle. For 25 years they have hosted this event in the park. I have been able to ride, be stationed at a card stop, and walk away from the raffle with numerous goodies.

FullSizeRenderTeam Gold is representing at the 2015 benefit ride–Chad is second from the right (blue jersey). I didn’t ride because I was in the middle of my cross country season but my mom and I were at one of the card stops along the route. My dad had the best poker hand at the end of the ride and won a Shimano XTR wheelset!

Like Son, Like Father

It all started last summer when I broke my frame. I put a big crack in the carbon on the top tube during a ride. With the race season over, I took my bike down to the Trek Superstore in Kearny Mesa to get my frame replaced through Trek Care Plus. (This is a wonderful program that fixes almost anything for a modest one-time enrollment payment, but unfortunately is no longer offered.) They gave us a Trek Fuel EX full suspension bike during the time that my bike was getting revamped. With the fast-approaching cross country season I was putting more miles on my legs than in the saddle. This left a cool loner bike sitting in the garage.

During my riding downtime Dad took up mountain biking more seriously on the loner bike. He had acquired a Trek 820 when I first started riding, but as a starter hard tail bike it was good for easy flat rides, but it was hard on him on the more difficult trails and steep climbs. The difference between the two bikes was like night and day. In his youth, my Dad was an extreme athlete climbing Half Dome, summiting South American peaks, and leading 21-day backpacking excursions. After years of working from home, his sedentary habits have caught up with him, but with the easier-to-ride Fuel EX he was determined to work on getting back into shape.

Fortunately I got a new frame for my bike, but unfortunately that meant in late fall my Dad had to part with the loner bike he had been consistently riding all summer. Since then excuses for not exercising from my Dad all alluded to the fact that he no longer had a good bike to ride. We finally put an end to these somewhat valid excuses two weeks ago when my dad purchased a brand new bike. Gone are the days of toothpick stantions and mal-shifting. He got a brand-new Trek Remedy 29’er. The bike is designed to be an all mountain bike providing my Dad with lots of cush on his rides.

Beyond the new bike, however, there is something more special going on. My Dad has developed a passion for the sport I love, and we are able to share that in common. This connection brings us closer because we are able to bond over bikes and being in nature. I can share with him my knowledge of trail tips or mechanical bike advice, and he can get in shape while spending time with me, especially since I’ll be on my bike a lot from now until May.  I look forward to the many shared rides to come.

IMG_0170.jpgWe broke in the new bike on a 15 mile ride up Rainbow Wash in the Anza Borrego Desert. While the rest of us got ready David took a quick snooze.

IMG_0213.jpgDaddy getting acclimated to the new setup. Thankfully we had just gotten a good rain so the sand conditions were good.

IMG_0228Standing proudly at the turn around point in the ride. The new bike served him well!

IMG_0237Our coach, Chad, and my Dad camping out in the shade and getting a bite to eat while David, Ryan and I explored the canyon.

IMG_0241Fifteen minutes of climbing up the sandy canyon walls led to this shot. I’m not sure if it was worth the struggle. It does, however, display the new frame Trek hooked me up with!

IMG_0238My bike also got swallowed up by the sand in the making of the photo above.

temp.jpgDavid also broke in his new bike!  ( Guest post coming soon from David about this bike.  Key word: sponsorship.)

If you like what you see, don’t forget to subscribe for more Spoked! New content goes up every Sunday!

 

Showers for Cyclists

Now that high school cross country is a wrap I am stoked to begin my second year of mountain bike racing in the SoCal League. Expect more frequent postings from now on, and to get started I want to catch you up on my biggest bike story from the summer and fall: my Eagle Scout project.

The highest rank in Boy Scouts is a Eagle Scout, and one of the requirements for that rank advancement is to plan and carry out a large service project. From the start  I knew I wanted it to incorporate bikes. One of my very first ideas was to  build a pump track at Julian’s local park. The idea fell through because of lack of space. At the beginning of the summer I was approached by the United Methodist men’s group with the idea of building collapsible shower stalls for the traveling bicycle groups that stay over night at our church. These groups, such as Bike and Build and Ride for World Heath, typically shower off in their bathing suits with the cold hose water after a long day of riding through the Anza Borrego desert en route to Julian. My project was to provide them with private showers equipped with hot running water. I also sat down with an architect and drew plans for a custom storage shed for all of the equipment.

Over the summer I wrote a proposal and budget, got my project approved, built a prototype shower, tested it out on a group of cyclists, made the necessary adjustments, fundraised, acquired all of the materials needed, and set the date for the build day, August 22.

On the day of the build I rose early and nervously doubled checked everything that was waiting in the garage to be taken to the church. Once all of the materials had been unloaded and everybody had arrived I called everybody together to go over the plan for the day. After the prayer, we set to work…

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Our assistant scoutmaster’s truck is fully loaded with the wood for the shed and the PVC for the showers.

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One of the two teams is studying the blueprints for the shed and coming up with the best plan of attack.

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The boys are constructing the side panels for the shed. My job for that day was to be the director of all of the workers.

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Here are some of the scouts attaching the side panels.

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While half of the scouts were working on the shed the other half were constructing the two showers (and testing them out—see above.)  The shower frame was made with 1.5 inch PVC. The square floor mat measures 3×3 feet and and was constructed out of TREX board. The outer layer of the shower is two shower curtains custom sewn together with ties to attach it to the outside of the PVC frame to help resist the onslaught of wind. On the inside of the showers are anti-microbial shower liners. There is also a custom shower caddy that snaps onto the PVC frame. Finally, hot water is pumped into the shower from a propane heater that heats the water from the hose instantly.  I fundraised close to $1,000 for the entire project.

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After a morning of hard work everybody was hungry for food.  My family hosted a big lunch in the church’s fellowship hall. My Nana made crazy amounts of potato salad, a family favorite.

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The shed was specifically designed to hold everything perfectly.  The PVC poles for the shower clip onto the wall, and each heater has its own labeled bin.

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The goal of the shed, besides storage, was to make it extremely easy for a volunteer to use. Laminated instruction panels were later attached to the doors.  Here you can see bins with shower curtains, shower liners, shower caddies and the four square bases.

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After a coat of green paint, my scoutmaster finished the roofing.

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I couldn’t have done it without my church, my family, or the legendary Troop 690!

 

 

 

A SoCal Pilgrimage to the Birthplace of Mountain Biking

The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, which had previously been located in Crested Butte, Colorado, recently moved to the birthplace of mountain biking: Marin County, California. It was wonderfully combined with the Marin Museum of Mountain Biking and is now a tribute to the early bikers and people who helped advance the sport. It is located in the shadow of Mount Tamalpais, a steep mountain north of San Fransisco where early riders would race downhill on World War II era bikes, prompting them to engineer lighter, stronger bikes that could be pedaled uphill and taken on more versatile terrain. Before visiting the museum, my family did a ride near Mount Tam.

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Last February the Anza Borrego Foundation hosted a movie and talk by another one of the founders of mountain biking, Charlie Kelly. He gave a talk on his involvement in mountain biking and then we watched the documentary Klunkerz. I also bought his coffee table book Fat Tire Flyer which is a very detailed account of the early mountain biking in Marin, filled with early photographs and illustrations.  So on our family’s summer road trip we squeezed in a drive to Fairfax, California to the newly opened museum and hall of fame to learn even more about my favorite sport’s lineage.

Ethan Outside Mt. Bke Musum

One big room with bikes brilliantly displayed everywhere, the collection has everything from a safety bike from 1890 to the 2014 Tour de France winner’s bike to world champion downhill race bikes. As for mountain bikes, it boasts some of the very first frames and prototypes built by Joe Breeze and Tom Ritchey.  Speaking of Joe Breeze, I was lucky enough to meet him and get a personal tour of the museum. Behind him is the bike he designed for Charlie Kelly: the Breezer!  Also, sitting just inside the front door in “employee bike parking” was another Breezer that Joe rode in to work that day!

Ethan & Joe Breeze Photo

Inside the museum there is plenty of seating to sit back and read the latest issue of Decline, a mountain bike magazine or other historic books.

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The red and blue bikes are two of Charlie Kelly’s and Gary Fisher’s first mountain bikes they sold. The frames were designed by Tom Ritchey who now owns Ritchey Components.

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A thoughtfully curated collection, this museum tells a story that is close to my heart: the birth of a sport that has been a huge part of my life.