An Afternoon in Santa Cruz with Keith Bontrager

Last summer, after Keith Bontrager spoke at Mission Workshop, I got to spend a few hours with him back in his home town of Santa Cruz, California. The intention was pretty simple, gather some ‘lifestyle’ photos for Trek and Bontrager to use in ads, magazines and their photo annual book.

Getting an opportunity to take part in a photoshoot like this was as intimidating as it was exhilarating. When I was really into mountain biking in college, I used to covet the hell out of a Bontrager frame. I think we all did at some point. So seeing Keith’s house, his work shed and his favorite sunset bike ride, was something special for me. Ok, I was geeking the fuck out!

Entering the ‘man shed’ of Keith had my eyes scanning the surfaces, looking for clues and signs of the many years he’s spent developing products for Bontrager. In a corner, the first machine he used to roll rims on, on the ceiling, hung a few early prototypes.

Everywhere you looked, there were fragments of road and MTB history. Keith gave me a quick tour, before heading out the door to catch the sunset at Wilder Ranch, one of his favorite dusk trail spots.

These photos are out-takes and doubles of what appeared in various publications last year, so enjoy. Also, there will be more to come…

Tools of the trade:
Mamiya 7ii / 80mm / Porta 400
Leica M7 / 28mm / Neopan 400