We had a rippin’ TGSCIF ride today, which we’ll tell you all about tomorrow. For now, I hope this gets you amped up for the weekend!
Bike Jerks HQ: The Tale of the Ritchey Prototype Bi-Plane Fork Crown
Words and photos by Jeff Frane
Behold, perhaps the coolest thing that has crossed my path since I inadvertently started collecting vintage bicycle stuff. One of the rarest for certain. What you’re feasting your hungry eyes upon is one of the few examples of the legendary bi-plane fork crown that Tom Ritchey produced during the heady and formative year of 1983. Now, I have no actual idea how many exist, I should probably ask Tom, but I’ll leave the actual journalism to the professionals. Or the commenters.
It never saw production, as Tom instead decided to focus on the uni-crown, but was later famously copied by Grant Peterson for his legendary MB-1. How was this acquired? Well, my good friend Jeff Schmidt purchased it directly from Tom to potentially use to build a fork for a giant size Ritchey he had previously acquired. See below for their correspondence. (more…)
Our local species of yucca, aptly named Spanish Bayonet – Hesperoyucca whipplei – has decided to show the world its life work this month, blooming alongside the singletrack and mountainsides of the San Gabriel range here in Los Angeles. These plants will grow to maturity in around five years and shoot out a beautiful inflorescence, which grows extremely fast, reaching over 10 feet tall. These towers of white flowers attract pollinators from moths to bees and hummingbirds, as well as sending a sweet scent across the springtime air. Yesterday, on our 23-mile singletrack “descent” – which packed in over 4,000′ of elevation – I couldn’t help but stop every time one of these beautiful blooms shared our singletrack. More on that later…
… the Mountains of Madness are calling!
“Erik Hillard has always believed the best way to know a rugged trail is to bike it. But for nearly a decade, the historic Gabrielino Trail in the peaks above La Cañada has been all but unknowable to mountain bikers.
The 2009 Station fire and the rainy season that followed it rendered impassable much of a 26-mile stretch of the trail.”
I wanted to share this article with you, outlining the financial decision of Vista Outdoors to sell off Giro/Bell/Blackburn, which the company states it had plans of doing so before the outcry a few months back.
“Vista’s firearms and ammunition sales had already been soft for several quarters when the company found itself in the spotlight following the Parkland High School shooting in February. On March 1, REI, MEC and some independent retailers said they would stop ordering Vista products because of Vista’s lack of response following the shooting. Although REI and MEC don’t sell firearms, they sold Bell, Giro, Blackburn and other Vista Outdoor outdoor cooking and water sports brands.
“We have been on this path … way before any of the noise came about eight weeks ago.” — CEO Chris Metz
In an investor conference call Tuesday, Vista Outdoor CEO Chris Metz said the canceled orders had little effect on the company. Answering an investor question, Metz noted that REI represents less than 1 percent of the company’s total sales.”
Continue reading at Bicycle Retailer. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this issue.
This time of year is the best, as the sun resides in the sky for a bit longer, it allows our rides to happen well into the evening. Last night, 13 of us took on our favorite loop as the sun dropped behind the glow of the city. Before we knew it, it was 9:30 PM.
I can’t wait for the coming months!
Jan from Compass and Bicycle Quarterly takes us on a look through the “Derailleurs of the World – Huret” book, with some incredible insight. If you like to nerd out on vintage bikes and components, head to the Bicycle Quarterly blog for more.
Photos by Wolf Ruck, words by Brian Vernor
“It was my friend Kevin Wilkins, founding editor of The Skateboard Mag and an avid mountain biker, who first came across the film on YouTube and sent it to me. The upload date said 2010 and the quality of the video was grainy at best, a poorly digitalized version of old celluloid that made it hard to view details.
But you didn’t need a sharp image to see the obvious— if dated—skills of the mountain bikers it portrayed. The mustaches, the fanny packs, and cutoff-jeans, the insane bike setups with everything from drop to bull-moose bars, the riders’ radical style; it all added up to a masterpiece both timeless and purely 1980s.
The film was titled Freewheelin’, and was made with a windup 16mm camera by someone named Wolf Ruck. I immediately emailed Kevin back, and our conversation went crazy from there. We scoured the internet for more information, but beyond the grainy YouTube video, Freewheelin’ seemed to be completely forgotten. The original publishing date said 1985, ancient in mountain bike terms—so ancient that, as far as we could tell, the poetic, funny and, by any standard, action-packed romp was the first mountain bike film ever made.”
Check out this story at Freehub Magazine and make sure you pick up a subscription!