Juliana Bicycles and a Ride with Julie

Julie Mug Fixed

Julie Furtado

Seeing Furtado’s portrait on the new Juliana Bicycles website reminded me of the this one time when I rode with her, briefly. It was during the 1995 Mt. Spokane NORBA. Like all racing stories, it starts with, “felt like I was dying, suffering like a dog…”

Then I was flying down a fire road, into a hairpin, up a goat trail, shifted hard, and the chain snapped. Four dudes that were behind me quickly passed and my day was done. In a panicked state, I fumbled with the chain tool for 10 minutes or so, put it on backwards once (wrong way through the pulleys), and then after what seemed like an hour was back on the bike.

I chased like a MOFO, with the hope that someone flatted ahead, or one of their Tioga Disc Drive wheels exploded, and pedaled a frantic pace until the women’s field arrived. After the initial humiliation of being caught by them, it was very pleasant to ride briefly with Juli Furtado. She was the smoothest rider I’d ever seen. Like a machine, she rolled up in a small group, we chatted (they probably thought I was near a heart attack or something), and then just motored on. At times, even now, when I’m struggling on the bike, I remind myself to smooth it out. Just pedal and relax like I saw Julie do.

Had a 28-inch waist back then and a sweet Specialized S-Works StumpJumper with a Manitou front fork

Later, at the finish, did a wheelie for like 8 minutes and eventually wore out those Umma Gummas.

Back to Julie’s new bikes, she brought back the original women’s MTB bike with the help of Santa Cruz. For the ongoing wheel-size debates, those aren’t 650b or 29rs.

Women’s bikes 27.5


Hah - I was riding the Iron Horse (road race) in ‘94 as the prelude to the mt.bike race the next day. Cat 3/4 men went off before the women pros. We got caught on the lower part of Molas pass by a duel between Furtado and Susan Demattai. A couple of us tried to hang as long as we could. They were climbing like they were on a flat. Was simply amazing to watch them work at motor-pace distance - even with blurring vision.

Later that day saw Demattai outside the coffee shop in Durango. She was wearing a skirt and sports bra. It looked like you could bounce an Oldsmobile Tornado off her abs. Those women brought such class to the scene and I remember following women’s racing as closely as the men.

This was also back in the day when Missy (The Missile) Giove was prone to hurling her bike after a bad run, and deadly Ned Overend (who you are most likely familiar with ;-)

Ahhh, those were the days.

btw - I raced the EXACT same bike / fork. Even had those stylin’ ‘ski bend’ bar ends. Only rode through one set of the Gumma’s and then settled on a more durable option to cut my costs. To this day I still ride a Smoke / Dart combo out of nostalgia.

Thanks for the memories DL :-)

Awesome to hear that and heard more in other channels. Hope she knows the influence she had. I talked to Ned about this day once, and he recalled it was one of the NORBA series that Tinker won, and like by a wheel.

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