The Roots of Mountain Biking

Sharing a great story from N1NO`s Hunt for Glory, as I’ve been spending more time back on the dirt too, riding in Park City, Colorado, and Bend.

N1NO`s 5th chapter of his #huntforglory webisode is all about a journey to the roots of Mountain biking. The 3x MTB World Champion meets one of the Godfathers of Mountain biking, Tom Ritchey, at his home place in Skyline, Northern California. Tom Ritchey is the guy who was already racing bicycles, which we call “Mountain bikes” today, back in the 1970s on his backyard trails in the hills of Skyline and Santa Cruz. He built the first Mountain bike frame, and since those early days, every new invention has been chased by another.

Over the years Tom’s focus has shifted from frame building too component design, but his obsession with functional, lightweight and reliable equipment has not wavered. Many Ritchey designs and manufacturing methods have become industry standards.

Mountain bike racing has always been something Tom Ritchey was passionate about. 3x World Champion Thomas Frischknecht was part of Ritchey’s Racing team in the 90s. Still today, Tom creates World Championship winning parts for the top guys- like N1NO. As a Co-Sponsor of SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing, Tom contributes to the Team’s success with innovative products and his experience.

“Tom Ritchey is a pretty down-to-earth guy. It’s amazing to meet and ride with this legend, and it’s a privilege to have him on our side. Check out Chapter 5 and watch how we treated the trails, of which Tom stated, “That’s where it all started.”

N1NO and Frischi not only went out riding on the single tracks where Mountain biking was born, but Tom Ritchey also showed them where the first frames where welded and where all the inspiration came from. N1NO got to know more about the early days, and Tom Ritchey explained how Mountain Biking came into existence.

See the making of this story. I met Tom back in 07 and most recently at CrossVegas. So many stories to tell from him, Gary, and Mike too. I wrote a bit about it last month in issue 26 of our magazine and on Medium.